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Euterpe   


too, the swineherds, notwithstanding that they are of pure Egyptian
blood, are forbidden to enter into any of the temples, which are
open to all other Egyptians; and further, no one will give his
daughter in marriage to a swineherd, or take a wife from among them,
so that the swineherds are forced to intermarry among themselves. They
do not offer swine in sacrifice to any of their gods, excepting
Bacchus and the Moon, whom they honour in this way at the same time,
sacrificing pigs to both of them at the same full moon, and afterwards
eating of the flesh. There is a reason alleged by them for their
detestation of swine at all other seasons, and their use of them at
this festival, with which I am well acquainted, but which I do not
think it proper to mention. The following is the mode in which they
sacrifice the swine to the Moon:- As soon as the victim is slain,
the tip of the tail, the spleen, and the caul are put together, and
having been covered with all the fat that has been found in the
animal's belly, are straightway burnt. The remainder of the flesh is
eaten on the same day that the sacrifice is offered, which is the
day of the full moon: at any other time they would not so much as
taste it. The poorer sort, who cannot afford live pigs, form pigs of
dough, which they bake and offer in sacrifice.
To Bacchus, on the eve of his feast, every Egyptian sacrifices a
hog before the door of his house, which is then given back to the
swineherd by whom it was furnished, and by him carried away. In
other respects the festival is celebrated almost exactly as Bacchic
festivals are in Greece, excepting that the Egyptians have no choral
dances. They also use instead of phalli another invention,
consisting of images a cubit high, pulled by strings, which the
women carry round to the villages. A piper goes in front, and the
women follow, singing hymns in honour of Bacchus. They give a
religious reason for the peculiarities of the image.
Melampus, the son of Amytheon, cannot (I think) have been ignorant
of this ceremony- nay, he must, I should conceive, have been well
acquainted with it. He it was who introduced into Greece the name of
Bacchus, the ceremonial of his worship, and the procession of the
phallus. He did not, however, so completely apprehend the whole
doctrine as to be able to communicate it entirely, but various sages
since his time have carried out his teaching to greater perfection.
Still it is certain that Melampus introduced the phallus, and that the
Greeks learnt from him the ceremonies which they now practise. I
therefore maintain that Melampus, who was a wise man, and had acquired
the art of divination, having become acquainted with the worship of
Bacchus through knowledge derived from Egypt, introduced it into
Greece, with a few slight changes, at the same time that he brought in
various other practices. For I can by no means allow that it is by
mere coincidence that the Bacchic ceremonies in Greece are so nearly
the same as the Egyptian- they would then have been more Greek in
their character, and less recent in their origin. Much less can I
admit that the Egyptians borrowed these customs, or any other, from
the Greeks. My belief is that Melampus got his knowledge of them
from Cadmus the Tyrian, and the followers whom he brought from
Phoenicia into the country which is now called Boeotia.
Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from Egypt. My
inquiries prove that they were all derived from a foreign source,
and my opinion is that Egypt furnished the greater number. For with
the exception of Neptune and the Dioscuri, whom I mentioned above, and
Juno, Vesta, Themis, the Graces, and the Nereids, the other gods
have been known from time immemorial in Egypt. This I assert on the
authority of the Egyptians themselves. The gods, with whose names they
profess themselves unacquainted, the Greeks received, I believe,
from the Pelasgi, except Neptune. Of him they got their knowledge from
the Libyans, by whom he has been always honoured, and who were
anciently the only people that had a god of the name. The Egyptians
differ from the Greeks also in paying no divine honours to heroes.
Besides these which have been here mentioned, there are many other

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