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Isis And Osiris

regard the ass as an unclean animal dominated by some higher power because of its resemblance to Typhon,a and when they make cakes at their sacrifices in the month of Paÿni and of Phaophi they imprint upon them the device of an ass tied by a rope.b Moreover, in the sacrifice to the Sun they enjoin upon the worshippers not to wear any golden ornaments nor to give fodder to an ass. It is plain that the adherents of Pythagoras hold Typhon to be a daemonic power; for they say that he was born in an even factor of fifty-six; and the dominion of the triangle belongs to Hades, Dionysus, and Ares, that of the quadrilateral to Rhea, Aphroditê, Demeter, Hestia, and Hera, that of the dodecagon to Zeus,c and that of a polygon of fifty-six sides to Typhon, as Eudoxus has recorded.

31. The Egyptians, because of their belief that Typhon was of a red complexion,d also dedicate to sacrifice such of their neat cattle as are of a red colour,e but they conduct the examination of these so scrupulously that, if an animal has but one hair black or white, they think it wrong to sacrifice itf; for they regard as suitable for sacrifice not what is dear to the gods but the reverse, namely, such animals as have incarnate in them souls of unholy and unrighteous men who have been transformed into other bodies. For this reason they invoke curses on the head of the victim and cut it off, and in earlier times they used to

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plutarch-moralia_isis_osiris.1936