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purport of which is that the writers came and "adored the very great God Hermes," (frequently with the title)" Pautnouphis."
The name Pautnouphis probably refers to the town of which he was the presiding Deity, since the name in hieroglyphics, Taut-ñ-pnoubs, or Tautñ-pa-noubs, is followed by the sign of land and the female sign; which last may perhaps be read as part of the name, making it Taut-ñ-pa-t-noubs. A tree also seems to be a demonstrative sign accompanying the name, as if it ended with "the land of the tree." The word Nouphis, however, does not appear to connect him with Neph, the great God of this part of the country; nor does his hieroglyphic legend, Taut-ñ-pnoubs, apply to the town of Pnoups, which was much farther to the south, probably at Samneh, placed by Ptolemy in lat. 22°, and opposite Tasitia. We might even suppose the word Paut-nouphis to be a corruption of Taut-nouphis. But I cannot agree with the ingenious Champollion *, in reading it "Pahit-nouf" (" celui dont le cœur est bon"), especially as the Greek inscriptions write the name Paut-nouphis, even in the oblique cases, proving that s is the Egyptian, and not the Greek termination.
The Ibis was sacred to him as to Thoth, of whom, indeed, he may possibly be an emanation ; to its perch is attached an ostrich feather, the emblem of Truth, which, like the head-dress he wears of four plumes, belongs also to the God Ao. In his hand he frequently bears a staff, surmounted by the head of a hawk, the emblem of Re, with a snake
twined round it, accompanied by a scorpion, the symbol of the Goddess Selk. From this the idea of the caduceus of Mercury may have been derived, signifying, as some suppose, prudence. In the opinion of many writers, as Eusebius, Psellus, and others, Hermes Trismegistus was a priest and philosopher, who lived a little after the time of Moses, and taught his countrymen mensuration, theology, medicine, and geography, upon which subjects he wrote forty-two books. According to others, he was a cotemporary of Osiris; but this fable is contradicted by the fact of no Egyptian individual having been raised to the order of Gods. It is possible that the works of some philosopher (perhaps of the same name, the Egyptians having the custom of forming the names of individuals from those of their Gods) may have been ascribed in after times, through the ignorance of the Greeks, to a Deity, who was, in fact, no other than the abstract quality of the understanding, the supposed cause of that success which the human mind obtained on the various subjects they ascribed to him.*
Their motive for separating this Hermes from Thoth it is difficult to ascertain. It was probably one of those subtle distinctions which philosophy had established, and religion had deified as a separate attribute of the divine wisdom, as modern inquiries have shown the difference between the understanding and the reasoning faculty.
"The principal books of this Hermes," according to Clemens † of Alexandria, " forty-two + Clem. Alex. Strom. lib. vi. p. 196.
* Vide suprà, p. 9.
in number, were treated by the Egyptians with the most profound respect, and carried in their religious processions. First came the singer, holding two in his hand, one containing hymns in honour of the Gods, the other certain rules for the conduct of the monarch. Next to him the horoscope, .. whose duty was to recite the four books of astrology, one of which treated of the fixed stars, another of solar and lunar eclipses, and the remaining two of the rising of the sun and moon. Ten books contained those things which related to the Gods and the religion of Egypt, as sacrifices, first fruits, hymns, prayers, processions, holy days, and the like. Last of all came the prophet with ten other books, called sacerdotal, relating to the laws, the Gods, and rules of the priesthood. Thus, then, of the fortytwo most useful books of Hermes, thirty-six contained all the philosophy of Egypt, and the six last treated of medicine, anatomy, and the cure of diseases."
I had supposed this Deity to be the "material or visible body of the moon," which in Egyptian was called Ioh. This is, however, very doubtful, and the absence of the figure of the moon in the name of the Deity greatly militates against my conjecture. He bears on his head a single ostrich plume, or a cluster of four feathers, and is always
* “ Δυο μεν ουν και τεσσαρακοντα αι πανυ αναγκαιαι τῷ ̔Ερμῃ γεγονασι
painted of a black or dark colour. In the tomb of Remeses III., at Thebes, he is represented seated on a throne, on either side of a small chamber, where it is possible that the king's minstrel was buried; and before him two figures are playing the harp, as though he were the patron of music.
From Porphyry's description of Kneph, which represents him of a black colour, and wearing a single feather on his head, Ao has been confounded with the ram-headed Deity; but this has been already noticed. *
The ingenious and much-regretted Champollion supposed him to be Djom or Gom, the Egyptian Hercules, though his name does not agree with that of the God of Strength. In either case,
whether as the Moon, or as Hercules, the title "Son of the Sun," which he always has in the hieroglyphics, would accord perfectly with his character; the Moon, from its borrowing its light from the Sun, being aptly considered its offspring, and Hercules, from his being the power of that luminary. For Hercules was the abstract idea of strength, applied to it in every sense; he was the power of the Deity and the force of the Sun.† Agreeably to which notion," says Plutarch, "Hercules was supposed by the Egyptians to be placed in the Sun, and to accompany him round the world, as Mercury does the Moon." The Hercules of Egypt was called Gom (Xwu), which in
* Vide suprà, Vol. I. (2d Series) p. 240. † Macrob. Saturn. i. 23. Plut. de Is. s. 41.
Coptic signifies "strength;" or, according to some, Chon, Gignôn, Gigôn, or Sem: and Macrobius + asserts that the Egyptians considered the power of this God to be manifold, alluding to the universal influence of the Sun, which extends over all things, τον ἐν πασι και δια παντων ἥλιον.”
According to Herodotus ‡, he was one of the twelve Gods born of the eight great Divinities of the country. Cicero § considers the Nile his father; and shows him to have been distinct from the famous Hercules of Tyre, the reputed son of Jupiter and Asteria. The antiquity of this Deity is noticed by Herodotus in contradistinction to the comparatively modern date of the Greek hero, and is distinctly pointed out by Macrobius, who says, "Hercules is religiously worshipped at Tyre; but the Egyptians venerate him with the most sacred and august rites, and look upon the period when his worship was first adopted by them as beyond the reach of memory. He is believed to have killed the Giants, when, in the character of the valour of the Gods, he fought in defence of heaven;" which accords with the title of a work called "Semnuthis," written by Apollonides or Horapius ¶, scribing the wars of the Gods against the Giants. Semnuthis, or Semnouté, signifies the "power of
Vide Jablonski, II. iii. 3., from Hesychius. + Macrob. Saturn. i. 24.
Herodot. ii. 43.
"Alter (Hercules) traditur Nilo natus Ægyptius, quem aiupt Phrygias literas conscripsisse." Cic. de Nat. Deor. lib. iii. 16. Diodorus says of Hercules that he was by birth an Egyptian, i. 24.; vide also v. 76.
|| Vide Herodot. ii, 145, 146.
In Theophil. Antioch. ad Autolyc. lib. ii. c. 6.