Egyptian deities

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The Graeco‐Roman view of Egyptian religion is sharply fissured. Many writers of all periods, and probably most individuals, found in the Egyptians' worship of animals a polemical contrast to their own norms, just as, conversely, the Egyptians turned animal‐worship into a symbol of national identity. The first Egyptian divinity to be recognized by the Greek world was the oracular Ammon of the Siwa oasis; but oracles have a special status. The only form of Late Egyptian religion to be assimilated into the Graeco‐Roman world was to a degree untypical, centred on anthropomorphic deities—Isis, Sarapis, and Harpocrates—and grounded in Egyptian vernacular enthusiasm quite as much as in temple ritual. The other gods which became known in the Graeco‐Roman world, Anubis, Apis, Bubastis the cat‐goddess, Horus, Osiris, etc., spread solely in their train.

Subjects: Religion.

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