Serapis

Serapis

Serapis was introduced by Ptolemy I Sotar (Ptolemaic dynasty) so he combines Osiris with the Apis (the sacred bull of Memphis). The new deity absorbed attributes from the Greek gods Zeus (the king of the gods), Dionysus (also known as Bacchus, the god of wine) and Asklepios (god of medcine). Ptolemy built the Serapeum in Alexandria as the cult center of the new god and it remained the focus of pilgrimage until it was destroyed by the Emperor Theodosius in AD 389. The Serapeum in Saqqara (the home of the Apis bull) gained wider appeal with the Greeks thanks to the connection with Serapis, but the native Egyptians never really took to this Hellenized version of Osiris.

copyright J Hill 2010
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