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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Greek sources from the fifth century BCE show a strong interest in Egypt, and archaeological evidence for the worship of Egyptian gods can be found in Athens from the fourth century BCE. In Egypt, during the Ptolemies’ 300-year rule, the Greeks, who represented the ruling class, grew close to certain Egyptian gods, in particular, Osiris, Sarapis, Isis, Horus, and Anubis. This chapter considers the interaction between Greek and Egyptian religion, with particular focus on Greco-Egyptian religion, which grew rapidly, first in the area of Greek culture, then in the western Mediterranean. It examines the ways in which certain Egyptian gods were integrated into the Greco-Egyptian pantheon and the organization of the cult, in terms of sanctuaries and personnel. Participation in the Greco-Egyptian cult was connected, for its worshippers, with initiation into mysteries, and this chapter explores the cult’s rites and practices, using Apuleius’ Metamorphoses as a source for the Isis mysteries.

Keywords: Anubis, Apuleius, Greco-Egyptian, Horus, initiation, Isis, mysteries, Osiris, Ptolemies, Sarapis, Metamorphoses, Egypt

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