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Apis, the son of Phoroneus, is said, after his death, to have been worshipped as a god, under the name of Serapis (J^dpa-jris); and this statement shews that Egyptian mythuses are mixed up with the story of Apis. This confusion is still more manifest in the tradition, that Apis gave his kingdom of Argos to his brother, and went to Egypt, where he reigned for several years afterwards. (Euseb. Chron. n. 271; Augustin, de Civ. De^ xviii. 5.) Apis is spoken of as one of the earliest lawgivers among the Greeks. (Theodoret. Graec. Affect. Cur. vol. iv. p. 927, ed. Schulz.)
2. A son of Telchis, and father of Thelxion. He was king at Sicyon, and is said to have been such a powerful prince, that previous to the arrival of Pelops, Peloponnesus was called after him Apia. (Paus. ii. 5. § 5.)
APIS fAms), the Bull of Memphis, which enjoyed the highest honours as a god among the Egyptians. (Pomp. Mela, i. 9; Aelian, Hist. An. xi. 10 ; Lucian., de Sacrif. 15.) He is called the greatest of gods, and the god of all nations, while others regard him more in the light of a symbol of some great divinity ; for some authorities state, that Apis was the bull sacred to the moon, as Mnevis was the one sacred to the sun. (Suid. s. v.; Ammian. Marcell. xxii. 14 ; Aelian, I. c.; Lutatius, ad Stat. Theb. iii. 478.) According to Macrobius (Sat. i. 21), on the other hand, Apis was regarded as the symbol of the sun. The most common opinion was, that Apis was sacred to Osiris, in whom the sun was worshipped ; and sometimes Apis is described as the soul of Osiris, or as identical with him. (Diod. i. 21 ; Plut. de Is. et Os. 20, 33, 43; Strab. xvii. p. 807.)
In regard to the birth of this divine animal Herodotus (iii. 28) says, that he was the offspring of a young cow which was fructified by a ray from heaven, and according to others it was by a ray of the moon that she conceived him. (Suid., Aelian, II. cc.; Plut. de Is. et Os. 43.) The signs by which it was recognised that the newly born bull was really the god Apis, are described by several of :he ancients. According to Herodotus (I. c.; 3omp. Strab. I. c.), it was requisite that the animal >hould be quite black, have a white square mark m the forehead, on its back a figure similar to ;hat of an eagle, have two kinds of hair in its ;ail, and on its tongue a knot resembling an insect ialled stdvOapos. (Compare Ammian. Marcell. I. c.; solinus, 32.) Pliny (//. N. viii. 71), who states, hat the cantharus was under the tongue, adds, hat the right side of the body was marked with a vhite spot resembling the horns of the new moon, lelian says, that twenty-nine signs were required ; nit some of those which he mentions have refer-nce to the later astronomical and physical specu-itions about the god. When all the signs were 3und satisfactory in a newly born bull, the cere-lony of his consecration began. This solemnity 3 described by Aelian, Pliny, -Ammianus Marcel-mis, and Diodorus. (i. 85.) When it was made nown, says Aelian, that the god was born, some f the sacred scribes, who possessed the secret nowledge of the signs of Apis, went to the place
of his birth, and built a house there in the direction towards the rising sun. In this house the god was fed with milk for the space of four months, and after this, about the time of the new moon, the scribes and prophets prepared a ship sacred to the god, in which he was conveyed to Memphis. Here he entered his splendid residence, containing extensive walks and courts for his amusement. A number of the choicest cows, forming as it were the harem of the god, were kept in his palace at Memphis. The account of Diodorus, though on the whole agreeing with that of Aelian, contains some additional particulars of interest. Pliny and Ammianus Marcellinus do not mention the god's harem, and state that Apis was only once in every year allowed to come in contact with a cow, and that this cow was. like the god himself, marked in a peculiar way. Apis, moreover, drank the water of only one particular well in his palace, since the water of the Nile was believed to be too fattening. The god had no other occupation at Memphis, than to receive the services and homage of his attendants and worshippers, and to give oracles, which he did in various ways. According to Pliny, his temple contained two thalarni, and accordingly as he entered the one or the other, it was regarded as a favourable or unfavourable sign. Other modes in which oracles were derived from Apis are mentioned in the following passages: Lutat. ad Stat. TJieb. iii. 478 ; Diog. Laert. viii. 9 ; Paus. vii, 22. § 2 ; Plin,, Aelian, Solinus, U. cc,; Plut. de Is. et Os. 14.
As regards the mode in which Apis was worshipped, we know, from Herodotus (ii. 38, 41), that oxen, whose purity was scrupulously examined before, were offered to him as sacrifices. His birthday, which was celebrated every year, was his most solemn festival; it was a day of rejoicing for all Egypt. The god was allowed to live only a certain number of years, probably twenty-five. (Lucan, Phars. viii. 477 ; Plut. de Is. et Os. 56.) If he had not died before the expiration of that period, he was killed and buried in a sacred well, the place of which was unknown except to the initiated, and he who betrayed it was severely punished. (Arnob. adv. Gent. vi. p. 194.) If, however, Apia died a natural death, he was buried publicly and solemnly, and, as it would seem, in the temple of Serapis at Memphis, to which the entrance was left open at the time of Apis' burial. (Paus. i. 18. § 4; Clem. Alex. Strom. i. p. 322 ; Plut. de Is. et Os. 29.) The name Serapis or Sarapis itself is said to signify "the tomb of Apis." Respecting the particular ceremonies and rites of the burial, its expenses, and the miracles which used to accompany it, see Diod. i. 84, 96 ; Plut. L c. 29, 35. As the birth of Apis filled all Egypt with joy and festivities, so his death threw the whole country into grief and mourning; and there was no one, as Lucian says, who valued his hair so much that he would not have shorn his head on that occasion. (Lucian, de Sacrif. 15, de Dea Syr. 6 ; Tibull. i. 8; Ammian. Marc., Solin. II. cc.) However, this time of mourning did not usually last long, as a new Apis was generally kept ready to fill the place of his predecessor; and as soon as he was found, the mourning was at an end, and the rejoicings began. (Diod. i. 85 ; Spartian. Hadr. 12.)
The worship of Apis was, without doubt, originally nothing but the simple worship of the bull, and formed a part of the fetish-worship of the