Meaning of APIS in English

( (Greek), ) Egyptian Hap, Hep, or Hapi, in ancient Egyptian religion, sacred bull deity worshiped at Memphis. The cult of Apis originated at least as early as the 1st dynasty (c. 2925c. 2775 BC). Like other bull deities, Apis was probably at first a fertility god concerned with the propagation of grain and herds; but he became associated with Ptah, the paramount deity of the Memphite area, and also with Osiris (as User-Hapi) and Sokaris, gods of the dead and of the underworld. As Apis-Atum he was associated with the solar cult and was often represented with the sun-disk between his horns. Much of what is known about Apis comes from Greco-Roman writers. He was black and white and distinguished by special markings. Some ancient writers said that he was begotten by a ray of light from heaven, and others that he was sired by an Apis bull. When a sacred bull died, the calf that was to be his successor was sought and installed in the Apieion at Memphis. His priests drew omens from his behaviour, and his oracle had a wide reputation. When an Apis bull died, it was buried with great pomp at Saqqarah, in underground galleries known in the classical world as the Sarapeum. It was probably in Memphis that the worship of Sarapis (after the Greek form Osorapis, a combination of Osiris and Apis in the image of an eastern Greek god) arose under Ptolemy I Soter (305282 BC). From Alexandria, it spread to become one of the most widespread oriental cults in the Roman Empire.

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