Archive file# r112999a
donated by L. Savage
The people of Karanis inhabited an environment that reflected their religious
preoccupations at every turn. The imposing stone walls of the North and
South Temples proclaimed the central role of the public cults in the life
of the town. In addition, images of the deities, amulets, votives, and equipment
used in the celebration of religious rites were to be found in even the
most intimate quarters, constantly reminding one of the ever-present gods.
The names of many of the deities are recorded in papyrus documents, and
a few are inscribed in stone. In all, about twenty-seven divinities are
known. Of these, approximately half belonged to the indigenous Egyptian
pantheon and half to that of the Greeks. Together these deities, many of
whom claimed special jurisdiction over the fecundity of the earth, present
a picture of a religious life typical of agrarian communities throughout
Egypt in Graeco-Roman times.1 Not until late antiquity
did Christianity make significant inroads into the domains of the ancient
gods of the land.
The Cult of the Crocodile
Among the cults of Karanis more is known about that of the crocodile
god, Sobk, than any other. Familiar to the Greeks as Souchos, the crocodile,
although not worshipped everywhere in Egypt, had held sway in the Fayoum
since earliest Dynastic times.2 His cult was centered
in Shedyet (Crocodilopolis) but many locales in this region maintained temples
in his honor.3 In the two known temples of Karanis,
Souchos was worshipped in three guises - as Pnepheros, Petesouchos and Soknopaios.4
The powers of the crocodile god were thought to have extended to the
very creation of the world. Lake Moeris, in the Fayoum, was regarded as
the primeval ocean (Nun) of ancient myth wherein all forms of life originated.5 It was at Shedyet, according to myth, that the primordial
mound arose out of the waters of this ocean, and life appeared on the earth
for the first time. The crocodile, which emerged silently and mysteriously
from the waters of the lakes and river, could be likened to the primeval
mound and was thus believed to embody the elemental powers of creation.6 Although a treacherous creature, it was considered
a benefactor of the land, analogous to the Nile itself whose threatening
floodwaters nonetheless ensured the perpetuity of life. Writing in the fifth
century BC, Herodotus confirms the Egyptians' traditional belief in the
elemental power of this beast and its ability to transform human beings
into something approaching the divine:
When anyone, be he Egyptian or stranger, is known to have been carted
off by a crocodile or drowned by the river itself, such a one must by all
means be embalmed and tended as fairly as may be and buried in a sacred
coffin by the townsmen of the place where he is cast up; nor may his kinfolk
or his friends touch him, but his body is deemed something more than human,
and is handled and buried by the priests of the Nile themselves.7
The priests of the crocodile cult at Karanis would have been schooled
in such age-old theological tenets and myths, but whether the cosmic significance
of the god was understood by the average person in Graeco-Roman times is
perhaps doubtful. Indeed, accounts dating to the Roman period suggest that,
by and large, the divinity of the crocodile had come to be understood in
more concrete terms.
Diodorus of Sicily, who wrote in the first century AD, expressed skepticism
at the notion of the deification of crocodiles:
... a subject regarding which most men are entirely at a loss to explain
how, when these beasts eat the flesh of men, it even became the law to
honour like the gods creatures of the most revolting habits.8
He found that Egyptians themselves varied in their views of why the crocodile
was held sacred. Some claimed that it ensured the safety of the country
since foreign robbers were prevented from crossing the river into Egypt
because of the great number of crocodiles in it. Others explained that the
crocodile had saved an early king from his own vicious dogs by carrying
him on its back to the other Ode of Lake Moeris and that on this account
the king commanded the inhabitants of the region to pay homage to the beast.9 Plutarch, writing at about the same time, found the
reasons for deification to reside in the character and habits of the crocodile
... it is said to be the only tongueless creature and thus a likeness
of God. For the divine reason does not need a voice, and
passing on a noiseless path,
Guides mortal things aright;
(Eur. Tro. 887-8)
and they say that the crocodile, alone of creatures that live in the
water, has covering is eyes a smooth transparent membrane which comes down
from its forehead, so that it sees without being seen to do so, which is
true of the highest God.10
Moreover, both Plutarch and Pliny the Elder maintained that the crocodile
was a prophet of the annual inundation, since the females, sensing the levels
of the coming flood, would lay their eggs just beyond the anticipated high
water mark.11 Further, according to Plutarch, they
lay sixty eggs and hatch them in so many days and those who live longest
live for this number of years, which is the primary measure for those concerned
with heavenly phenomena.12
Temples and Ceremonies
While it may not be possible from these varying accounts to know how
the ordinary citizens of Karanis regarded the crocodile god, some idea of
how they worshipped this divinity may be gained both from the architecture
of the North and South Temples and from related sanctuaries at other towns
in the Fayoum. Like all Egyptian temples, these sacred structures were the
abodes of the god, in which,. given the proper invocations, he would appear
to his devotees. As Henri Frankfort, a prominent historian of Egyptian art
and thought, has articulated this concept,
... the temple, in Egypt, was a place of power. The gods were immanent
in nature, and hence difficult to localize. The temple cast a spell, as
it were, on a given spot where divinities might be approached.13
The form of the temple building was prescribed by Egyptian religious
tradition, and scholars of Egyptian architecture have interpreted its plan
as a cosmic metaphor.14 Approached along a causeway,
open air courts precede a series of enclosed rooms which gradually diminish
in size, an arrangement which provided an ideal model symbolic of the universe
at the beginning of time. Even in the use of stone for the temple walls,
the permanence of this universe was proclaimed.
At the South Temple of Karanis one may observe this typical arrangement.
A paved walk leads to a colonnaded courtyard which like all such temple
courtyards, symbolized the primordial marsh. The columns represented the
plants of the marsh but, by rendering them in stone, their perishable nature
had been overcome and their essence preserved. Beyond the courtyard lay
the temple building proper. The first and largest chamber gave access to
a smaller room which served as a vestibule to the innermost chamber which
housed the sacred shrine. in this sanctuary, a high platform or altar represented
the primeval mound.15 Here, probably in dim torchlight
or in darkness broken only by rays of the sun entering through the doorway,
sacred rites were performed by the priests to invoke an epiphany of the
We can do no more than speculate upon the nature of the various duties
and ceremonies performed by the priests of the North and South Temples at
Karanis, for no records of them have come down to us from the town. Herodotus
informs us of some of the practices of the crocodile cult both at Thebes
and in the Fayoum in the fifth century BC, which included the elaborate
care of the live animals as well as their mummification after death:
There, in every place one crocodile is kept, trained to be tame; they
put ornaments of glass and gold on its ears and bracelets on its forefeet,
provide for it special food and offerings, and give the creatures the best
of treatment while they live; after death the crocodiles are embalmed and
buried in sacred coffins.17
Strabo, writing in the first century BC of his visit to Crocodilopolis,
confirms some of the observations of Herodotus. He reports that the tamed
crocodile, called Souchos, was kept in a lake on the temple grounds and
was fed grain, pieces of meat, wine and milk mixed with honey brought by
foreigners who came to see the divine creature.18
At Karanis there is no evidence to indicate that live crocodiles were
kept within the temple precincts. However, numerous crocodile mummies which
had been buried together were discovered, and certain architectural features
of the temples attest that mummified animals were used in the temple ceremonies.
Deep niches in the inner walls of the vestibules of both the North and the
South Temples evidently were used to store the mummies, which were brought
out on biers for display upon the high altar. Behind the altars of both
temples are recesses into which the ends of the biers may have been placed.19 Similar architectural features are found in other
temples of the crocodile god in the Fayoum.20
Very likely, the ceremony performed by the priests included the "unveiling,
aspersing, censing, and anointing" of the mummified god, and the presentation
of offerings.21 Animals would have been sacrificed
and their burnt flesh presented to the god. Probably the remains of the
sacrificial offering would have been consumed by the priests at a sacred
banquet, possibly in the company of wealthy citizens of the town.22 In the South Temple precinct, a large hall was constructed
for this purpose during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian (AD 69-79). Other
specially equipped rooms within the temple complex must also have served
particular purposes. One room held a large vat, possibly used for lustral
baths,23 but the function of others which were provided
with water vessels and drains remains obscure.24
During the ceremonies conducted within the temple proper, the duties
of the priests probably included the presentation of petitions on behalf
of lay devotees who were not allowed within the hallowed shrine. The daily
concerns of the average person were submitted to the god in writing in the
hope of obtaining advice through an oracular responses.25
A document from the year AD 6 addressed to Soknopaios, exemplifies such
To the most great and mighty god Socnopaeus, from Asclepiades son of
Arius. Is it granted me to marry Tapetheus daughter of Marres; will she
certainly be none other's wife? Show me and give me authoritative answer
to this written inquiry ... Formerly Tapetheus was Horion's wife.26
A peculiar detail of the construction of the altars of the North and
South Temples may indicate that provision had been made for the utterance
of oracles. Within each altar is a small chamber which can be entered through
a low opening along one side. It would have been possible for a priest to
remain hidden inside the altar while delivering the appropriate responses
on behalf of the god.27 Along both sides of the
South Temple, several houses were discovered within the precinct wall which
may have served the needs of such worshipers, some of whom might have traveled
from a distance. Several rooms are provided with benches built along the
walls where one could rest until it was time to enter the temple and await
the outcome of one's petition to the god.28
At various times throughout the year, during religious festivals, the
image of the god was taken out of his temple and was carried in procession
through the town. Frescoes depicting a procession of the crocodile god were
discovered at the temple of Pnepheros at Theadelphia in the Fayoum.29 The noted Egyptologist, Cyril Aldred, conjures up a lively
image of what the emotional climate must have been like on such an occasion:
His image, suitably veiled or hidden in the primeval shrine, was placed
on a litter and carried on the shoulders of his priests in procession....
As the cortege went on its circuit amid the shouts of the populace, the
chanting of the temple choir, the blowing of trumpets, the beating of drums,
the rattling of sistra, and the burning of incense, emotions rose to a
pitch of hysteria, and in such a frenzy the moment was ripe for the god
to intervene in the affairs of man by giving oracular answers to suppliants
by the spasmodic movements of the litter and the shoulders of its bearers.
So the morale of true believers was sustained by the presence of the god
in their midst, by the evidence of his divine power, and by his concern
in their everyday affairs.30
The Wider Pantheon
Such ceremonies and festivals would not have been restricted to the cult
of the crocodile at Karanis. Although the portal inscriptions of the South
Temple name only Pnepheros and Petesouchos, images of several gods found
within the South Temple complex and of two more deities in the North suggest
that the crocodile gods shared their venerable abodes. A case in point is
that of the youthful god, Harpocrates, no fewer than eight images of whom
derive from the South Temple complex.
Figure 65: HARPOCRATES, THE CHILD-GOD, HOLDS A POTTERY
VESSEL SYMBOLIC OF ABUNDANCE.
The cult of Harpocrates flourished in Egypt during the Roman era; and
we know from three notices in the tax rolls that there was a priest of his
cult at Karanis.32 Moreover, many additional images
of Harpocrates, in paintings as wellas terracotta figurines, were found
in the granaries and houses throughout the town, indicating that the god
was highly esteemed in the private sphere as well.33
The popularity of Harpocrates in agrarian communities like Karanis may be
attributed, in large part, to his close association with the fertility of
the earth. Harpocrates, or Horus the Child, was thought to have been conceived
by Isis after the murder and dismemberment of her husband, Osiris, by his
wicked brother; Seth. According to the well-known myth, Isis traveled over
the whole land gathering up the pans of the body of Osiris, and then magically
restored him to life. Thereafter, Osiris reigned in the underworld as lord
of life after death. This myth, central to Egyptian religion in all periods,
was readily related by ordinary people to the cycle of the agricultural
year. In fact, this was so common that Plutarch speaks disparagingly of
... the many boring people who find pleasure in associating the activities
of these gods with the seasonal changes of the atmosphere or with the growth,
sowing and ploughing of crops, and who say that Osiris is being buried
when the corn is sown and hidden in the earth, and that he lives again
and reappears when it begins to sprout.34
As regards the infant god Harpocrates, Plutarch goes on to report the
generally held belief that Isis
... at the winter solstice gave birth to Harpocrates, imperfect and
prematurely born, amid plants that burgeoned and sprouted before their
season (and so they bring to him as offering the first-fruits of growing
In keeping with the humble faith of the farmer, many of the terracotta
figurines of Harpocrates from Karanis show the young god with such symbols
of the land's fertility as cornucopiae and pottery jars. Harpocrates probably
also appealed to the masses of people as a patron deity of childhood and
as an instructive model to youth.36 According to
the myth, this child of Isis and Osiris grew up to avenge the death of his
father and so could be held as an ideal of filial virtue.
In the Roman period the cult of Harpocrates was often merged with those
of other gods, including that of the crocodile, and perhaps it was in this
context that his cult was administered at Karanis.37
Among the images of Harpocrates from the South Temple area is a fragment
of a magical cippus of a type which depicts the young god standing on the
backs of two crocodiles. In this guise he was considered to be the shyer
of the menacing beasts rather than their divine ally.38
The cippus thus suggests aspects of ambiguity in the Egyptian worship of
certain animals, which, in reality, they had good reason to fear.
Figure 66: ISIS. THE TORSO OF THIS MARBLE STATUE WAS
FOUND IN THE INNER COURT OF THE NORTH TEMPLE.
Multiple images of Isis found at Karanis attest that devotion to her
cult was also widespread in the town, and the tax rolls twice mention her
priests.39 A marble torso of her found in the inner
court of the North Temple, along with two images of Soknopaios, suggests
that her official cult was located there. Isis was revered throughout the
Roman world not only as a model of marital and maternal devotion but also
as a goddess of supreme and all-encompassing powers.40
In the Fayoum, at Soknopaiou Nesos, her cult was joined to that of Soknopaios,
and it seems likely that this was the case at Karanis as well.41
Appropriately, in the guise of Soknopaios, the crocodile god took on aspects
of the character of Horns, the goddess's son. Although represented with
a reptilian body, he was given the head of the Horns hawk.42
Figure 67: SOKNOPAIOS WITH A REPTILIAN BODY AND THE
HEAD OF A HAWK. FROM THE INNER COURT OF THE NORTH TEMPLE.
One of the most striking portrayals of Isis to have survived Karanis
is a wall painting from a private house in which she is shown holding the
infant Harpocrates to her breast.43 It is easy to
understand how strongly the maternal aspect of this deity would have appealed
to the women of the town. Only the ugly dwarf-god, Bes, patron of women
in childbirth, seems to have rivaled Isis in the domestic sphere, judging
from the great numbers of amulets of him that were found. Isis was also
worshipped at Karanis in a specifically agrarian form, identified with the
cobra goddess, Thermouthis, whose particular charge was to protect the harvested
grain. Sculptures of Isis-Thermouthis with serpentine tail, along with votive
footprints dedicated to her, were found in private dwellings, where they
were probably originally displayed in household shrines.44
Osiris, the third member of the mythical trial is represented among the
finds from Karanis by only two terracotta figurines, one of which comes
from the South Temple where his cult could have been linked with that of
the crocodile gods.45 Worship of Osiris may, however,
have been overshadowed by that of Sarapis, the Graeco-Egyptian god whose
cult was encouraged by the Ptolemies as a means of integrating the religious
beliefs of the native Egyptians with those of the immigrant Greeks. The
persona of Sarapis first emerged from that of Osiris, who was worshipped
at Memphis in the guise of the Apis-bull (Osir-apis); but under the Ptolemies,
Sarapis also acquired the characteristic powers of three Greek divinities:
Hades, god of the underworld, Asklepios, god of health, and Zeus, chief
among the Olympians.46 As a god of fecundity and
resurrection, Sarapis enjoyed great popularity within Egypt in Roman times.
His cult, like that of Iris, spread throughout the Roman world. The countenance
of Sarapis has survived in several fine sculptures from Karanis, and there
is a partially preserved image of him enthroned among other deities in a
wall painting from a private house.47 The official
center of his cult at Karanis was very likely located in the North Temple,
along with those of Isis and Soknopaios. Here a large fire altar bearing
the head of Sarapis-Zeus-Amon-Helios, as the god was commonly called in
Roman times, was found in the rubble which had tumbled from the outer court
of the sanctuary.48
Figure 71: FIRE ALTAR WITH THE HEAD OF SARPIS-ZEUS-AMON-HELIOS
FROM THE OUTER COURT OF THE NORTH TEMPLE.
In addition to the crocodile nome god and the divine triad of Isis, Sarapis,
and Harpocrates, many other deities, both Greek and Egyptian, claimed devotees
in the town. Often it is not possible to tell whether these gods had separate
cults, for the tendency to identify counterparts within each pantheon was
common since the Greeks first settled in Egypt.49
Herodotus gives a scattered account of the various equivalents that were
known in his day, and Plutarch, writing more than six centuries later, confirms
that the great Egyptian gods were known by other names in other lands. Plutarch
was concerned that people .
. . preserve the gods as our common heritage and do not make them the peculiar property of the Egyptians. Nor should they comprehend under these
names merely the Nile and only the land which the Nile waters, nor speak
of marshes and lotus-flowers as the only work of the gods. By so doing
they would take these great gods from the rest of mankind, who have no
Nile or Buto or Memphis. But Isis and the gods related to her belong to
all men and are known to them; even though they have not long since learnt
to call some of them by their Egyptian names, they have understood and
honoured the power of each god from the beginnings.
An especially striking example of the combining of cults at Karanis is
found in the wall painting from a private house, mentioned above. Here the
Greek Eleusinian deities, Persephone, Demeter and Triptolemus, stand alongside
the thrones of Isis (?) and Sarapis in the company of several other divinities
whose identities are uncertain.51 On the adjacent
wall, a nude female figure very likely represents Aphrodite, a goddess who
was honored particularly in the private sphere, either in purely Greek form
or identified with Hathor, Isis or another Egyptian counterpart. Numerous
statuettes of Aphrodite were found at Karanis, and it is tempting to think
that these may have belonged to young brides. In Roman times, a typical
dowry would have included an image of the goddess of love.52
Figure 72: APHRODITE. BRONZE STATUETTE OF THE GREEK
GODDESS OF LOVE FOUND IN HOUSE 418.
Sculpted representations of the Greek divinities Herakles, Eros, Priapus
and possibly Apollo have survived while Dionysus, Hades, Moira and Zeus
are only mentioned in the papyri, the last three in an epigram of a Greek
youth.53 From the Egyptian pantheon of gods whose
presence is known from the archeological remains are Nefertum and Nilos,
the latter often closely identified with the crocodile god of the nome.54 Imhotep (who was identified with Asklepios), Anubis
(the counterpart of Hermes as guide to the underworld), and Apis are named
in the papyri, but about their worship at Karanis little more is known.
Most of these gods may have been honored at household shrines, while for
some the written testimony suggests that actual sanctuaries were maintained.55 Possibly there were other temples in the town which
were destroyed by the sebbakhin, although if they were made of stone they
would have required great effort to dismantle. More likely, the South and
North Temples were host to many gods, as was common in Egypt especially
in Graeco-Roman times.
Figure 73: NILOS, THE RIVER GOD OF EGYPT, SHOWN PROPPED
AGAINST A PARTIALLY PRESERVED CORNUCOPIA AND SPHINX.
TEMPLES IN PROSPERITY AND DECLINE
In any case, the public temples surely had a dominant place in the religious
life of the town, and they no doubt served as the focus of much of its economic
life as well. As in most Egyptian towns in the Roman period, market places
and craftsmen's shops probably clustered close by the walls of the sacred
precincts. In fact the walls of the North Temple are incised with graffiti,
repeating the Greek word topos (place or site) at varying intervals.
Some have thought these to signify a dedication of some sort, but one scholar
believes that they marked the spaces allotted to individual merchants for
their stalls.56 Further, while there is no certain
evidence to indicate that the priests themselves engaged in the sale of
goods in the manner of private businessmen, there can be no question that
at Karanis, as at many other towns of this period, certain trades were attached
to the temples, probably to produce income. Papyri from Karanis attest that
sheep shearers, and wool merchants and possibly fullers operated under the
aegis of the temple.57 Commercial enterprises of
this sort undoubtedly produced a substantial portion of the revenue that
went toward maintaining the temples and their staffs and toward paying for
the supplies needed for various cult ceremonies and festivals. Some of the
items commonly required for these purposes included:
... robes for the gods and spice and ointments for sacrifices, the care
of cult animals. . ., embalming of the sacred crocodile,. . Oil ... for
annointing and for illumination, and wine ... for purification and other
At many towns in Egypt income was derived from the leasing of lands owned
by the temples -- lands which were often acquired by gift or bequest. It
is not known whether this was the case at Karanis, but the tax rolls do
record the payment of the gera, apparently levied on offerings received
by the priests.59 Other forms of private donation
are also known. An inscription from the South Temple precinct names one
Apollonius, sitologus (superintendent) of the granaries, as the donor
of a gateway on the north side of the precinct, a gift which he made in
the reign of the Emperor Commodus (AD 180- 192).60
Much of the revenue collected by an Egyptian temple in the Roman era
was paid out in taxation. In addition to the gera on offerings, the
priests at Karanis paid the epistatikon, a levy which in Ptolemaic
times, may have covered the salary of a government agent. The Roman administration
continued to collect the tax but evidently did not retain the agent.61 Other taxes imposed by the Roman government on Egyptian
temples took the form of initiation fees and the sale of priestly offices.
Although the priesthood was hereditary in Egypt, initiation fees were collected
when one entered into any of the offices in the hierarchy.62
Among the posts sold to the highest bidder were those of prophet, stolistes,
pastophoros, palm bearer, and image bearer. No record of these transactions
survives from Karanis, but one can be sure that the practice obtained here
as throughout the province.
It was common in the third century AD for priests to abandon their posts,
and with their defection the local cults fell into decline.63
At Karanis, the North and South Temples, which had been in steady use since
the early Roman period were deserted at about this time.64
The reason most often cited for the abandonment of the old gods is the spread
of Christianity. By the fourth century in Egypt, monastic communities, which
had first developed on Egyptian soil, were well established. In both a religious
and an economic sense, they had supplanted the traditions of the pagan shrines.65 Evidence for the rising strength of Christianity
among the townspeople of Karanis does not come from places of worship. It
emerges rather from numerous objects of household use such as pottery, lamps
and textiles which came to be ornamented with emblems of the new faith.
Many of the imported African Red Slip platters and bowls found at Karanis
are impressed with crosses, lambs, or images of saints. Painted vessels
show fish, birds, hares and other fauna which had served as symbols of the
old religion but were now adapted to the new. Lamps, some in the form of
frogs which signified to the ancient Egyptian the fertility goddess, Heqet,
became symbols of resurrection to the believer in Christ.66
Small crosses of bone, wood, and colored glass as well as garment fragments
in which the same designs are woven, all attest to the widespread acceptance
of Christianity by the people of the town.
Figure 75: CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS ON A PLATTER, LAMP AND
AMULETS BEAR WITNESS TO THE NEW RELIGION AT KARANIS.
The old gods did not disappear without a trace, however. In the third
or fourth century school children still practiced writing the names of Egyptian
and Greek gods on broken pieces of pottery. One of these may even have been
the work of a Jewish child, for the sherd seems to preserve the word "Sabbath"
among the names of the gods.67 In the Christian
context such images as that of Isis holding the infant Harpocrates may have
been understood as the Virgin and Child, just as the rider-god Heron became
the model for many, a Christian saint.68 A century
after the temples had fallen into ruin, the majority of the population of
Karanis had converted to the new faith, but echoes of the town's pagan past
continued to be heard for another hundred years until all life at Karanis
(1) Rubsam 98-104; Grenfell, Hunt and Hogarth,
32-34; Shelton, 33-36. See Dunand, 1979, 107-108 for a discussion of fertility
gods in an agrarian setting.
(2) Herodotus, II.69; Strabo, 17.1.44-47; Dolzani,
(3) Toutain, 12; Habachi, 1955, 108; Kuentz, 1929,
169-70; Kees, 1931, cols. 541-51.
(4) Grenfell, Hunt and Hogarth, 30-35; Boak, 1933,
13-14; Peterson in Boak, 1933, 17-55; Yeivin, 72.
(5) Kees, 1961, 224.
(6) Aldred, 1978, 32-33.
(7) Herodotus, II.90.
(8) Diodorus Siculus, 1.89.1-2.
(9) Ibid., I.89.3.
(1O) Plutarch, De Is. et Os., 75.
(11) Plutarch, op. cit.; Pliny, VIII.37.89.
(12) Plutarch, op. cit.
(13) Frankfort, 155.
(14) Frankfort, 150-55; Aldred, 1978, 37-38.
(15) Frankfort, 153.
(16) Peterson in Boak, 1933, 51.
(17) Herodotus, 11.69.
(18) Strabo, 17.1.38
(19) Boak, 1933, 9 and 13; Peterson in Boak, 1933,
(20) Breccia, 117.
(21) Aldred, 1978, 57.
(22) For banquets of Sarapis see Bell, 94 and
Youtie, 1948, 13-27.
(23) Peterson in Boak, 1933, 41. See Herodotus,
II.35 on the frequent bathing of priests.
(24) Ibid., 36-38.
(25) Bell, 95; Dolzani, 212.
(26) Bell, 95 (W.Chr. 122). This letter
is not from Karanis.
(27) Boak, 1933, 9; Peterson in Boak, 1933, 53.
(28) Peterson in Boak, 1933, 40.
(29) Breccia, 105-106 and 120.
(30) Aldred 1978, 61-6, see Dunand, 1979, 93-94
for such religious processions.
(31) Gazda et al., Appendix nos. 25, 64,
70, 74, 76, 77, 78, 82.
(32) Dunand, 1975, 162; idem., 1979, 73-87; Witt,
210-21; Youtie and Pearl, 1939, pt. II, P. 140; Riibsam, 98-99; Shelton,
(33) Gazda, et al, Cat. nos. 22, 49, 63,
64 and Appendix nos. 65-69, 71-73, 75, 79-81.
(34) Plutarch, De Is. et Os., 65.
(36) Gods of Egypt, 33.
(37) Milne, 1924, 210-1 1; Griffiths, 44; Dolzani,
(38) Gazda, et al., Appendix no. 25; cp.
Gods of Egypt, nos. 15, 16; Dolzani, 167; Plutarch, De Is. et Os.,
19; Griffiths, 346.
(39) Gazda et. al., Cat. nos. 24, 26, 52, 65 and
Appendix nos. 83-86; Youtie and Pearl, 1939, pt. II, P. 140; Riibsam, 99-100;
(40) Dunand, 1973, passim; Witt, passim.
(41) Kees, 1931, col. 558. For Isis and Pnepheros
at Theadelphia see Breccia, 120; for Karanis, Boak, 1933, 13-14
(42) Toutain, 177; Boak, 1933, 13; Kees, 1931,
cols. 551-52; Dolzani, 185 and 217; Gazda et al., Cat. no.31-32
(43) Boak and Peterson, P. 34 fig. 49. On the
maternal nature of Isis see Dunand, 1979, 60-70.
(44) Gazda et al., pp. 13-14 and Cat. nos. 26
(IsisThermouthisl and 34 (footprint); Dunand, 1979, 63-66.
(45) Gazda et al., Appendix nos. 89-90;
Kees, 1931, col. 553-54
(46) Dunand, 1979, 87-92; idem., 1975,
160-61; idem., 1973, I, 45-66; Brady, 9-12.
(47) Gazda, et al., Cat. nos. 28-30, 47,
54; Parlasca, p. 212, pl. 46, 1.
(48) Boak, 1933, 12.
(49) Dunand, 1975, passim.
(50) Plutarch, De Is. et Os., 66.
51) Parlasca, P. 212, pl. 46, 1.
(52) Gazda, et al., Cat. nos. 16-20, 39,
40, 48, Appendix 14; Bell, 87 on dowries; Johnson, 1936, 521 notes a tax
on the holy ground of Aphrodite.
(53) Gazda, et al., Cat. nos. 21, 23, 27,
41-45; Rilbsam, 102-103.
(54) Gazda, et al., Cat. nos. 26, 53, Appendix
(55) Riibsam, 98-104.
(56) Yeivin, 78-79; Johnson, 642.
(57) Johnson, 1936, 642-43; Shelton, 37.
(58) Johnson, 1936, 645.
(59) Johnson, 1936, 640 on lands; idem.,
556 on gera.
(6O) Grenfell, Hunt and Hogarth, 34; Peterson
in Boak, 1933, 42.
(61) Johnson, 1936, 562.
(62) Herodotus, 11.40 on hereditary priesthood;
Johnson, 1936, 645-46 on sale of offices.
(63) Johnson, 1936, 647.
(64) The North Temple was in use between the early
first and mid third century AD according to Boak, 1933, 14-15; the South
Temple site was occupied from the first century BC until the late third
or early fourth century AD. See Peterson in Boak, 1933, 20.
(65) Johnson, 1936, 647.
(66) Sheir 1978, 24 and 48.
(67) Robsam, 104. The interpretation of these
ostraka is however, controversial, as Rübsam points out.
(68) Witt, ch. 20; Bell, 88-89.
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