Zeus-Kasios/Baal-Zephon @ Pelusium/Tell el-Farma (Sinai)

Discuss the world of the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, and Egyptians.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 583
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 pm
Location: New England, USA

Zeus-Kasios/Baal-Zephon @ Pelusium/Tell el-Farma (Sinai)

Post by billd89 »


Essential Bibliography:
Herbert VERRETH, The northern Sinai from the 7th century BC till the 7th century AD. A guide to the sources, Leuven, 2006.

Recent Egyptian temple site discovery.
https://www.npr.org/2022/04/25/10947301 ... rchaeology
https://www.heritagedaily.com/2022/04/a ... nai/143418

Here is Pelusium on the map, en route to Israel:

As I read it, this is the (last) Temple site for Zeus-Kasios/Baal-Zephon, rebuilt c.135 AD by Hadrian for his beloved Antinous. (That simple fact suggests specifically what kind of God was worshipped here previously: a Young Male God.) Archaeological evidence of "Zeus-Kasios" worship in the area was first noted by Clédat over 100 yrs ago. Egyptian 'Kasios' is first recorded c.420 BC in Herodotus, Histories 3.5.2-3, the first reference(s) to Zeus Kasios are found at Delos, c.190 BC. The question of deity and what I call 'the pantheon of Kasios' is most interesting background for much more important topics: Sethians and those Judaic Egyptian scribes who wrote the Torah, c.272 BC. So this Temple's discovery and the culture preceding it becomes an interesting focus for further investigation.

To begin, something about the Temple just reported and its putative god will indicate why this is an important mystery.

'Egyptian Kasios' is first recorded (c.420 BC) in Herodotus, Histories 3.5.2-3: Κάσιον ὄρος; Κασίου τε ὄρεος = 'Mons Cassius'. In fact, there is no mountain; there was merely a slight hill - perhaps the translation should be 'District of Kasios'? At any rate, all the scholars agree this Διὸς Κασίου, Διὸς Κασσίου = Dios Kasios = 'Zeus Kasios' = the God Cassius imitated or derived from the Zeus of Mount Kasios in Syria. From what is shown below, we will also see this 'Zeus' is NOT the Supreme God.

1. The Delian inscriptions are the oldest recorded testimony we have. See Antoine Salac "Zeus Kasios (en grec)" in Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique [1922] Vol. 46 p.162:
M.P. Roussel has published (3) two new inscriptions, dedications to θεὸς μέγας {Great God}, to Ζεὺς κάσιος {Zeus Kasios} and Τάχνηψις Tachnêpsis ("Ισις? = 'Isis of Kasios'). They emanate from an Egyptian and are in favor of a person with a Roman name, Leukios Granios Popliou. A person of this name was already known in Delos (4); M. J. Hatzfeld identifies him with a homonym in another inscription. Also, he probably lived a little after 88 BC, the year from which the inscription is dated... I think (like M. Hatzfeld) that it regards Antioch of Syria, and that Leukios Granios was either a freedman of Syrian origin or a Roman merchant in business with Syria. ... If we then believe that only one Leukios Granios Popliou lived in Delos, shortly after the year 88 B.C., we may add a remark. Zeus Kasios of Mons Casius near Pelusium is of Syrian origin. There was a famous cult of this deity at Mount Κasios near Antioch of Syria. Perhaps 'Horos Kasiotis' {the priest} wanted to take this circumstance into consideration in his dedication.

In any case, we must be careful not to forget that the two Delians {/examples} are so far the oldest Greek texts that mention Ζευς Κάσιος.

The dedicator is named, Ώρος Ὥρου Κασιώτης {Horus of Horus Kasiotis}. Horos is an Egyptian theophoric name; the character was from the small city of Kasion near Pelousion. In Delos he was ἐπιμελητής τοῦ ἱεροῦ {curators of the gods} - he served as an intermediary between devotees seeking help or healing and Egyptian deities of Sarapieion A of Delos, a private sanctuary (1). We see that he had not forgotten his homeland; he addressed himself in his two dedications to the deities: Θεῶι Μεγάλωι καὶ Διὶ Κασίωι καὶ Ταχνήψει (2), in favor of the Roman L. Granius P.f. The inscription adds: κατὰ πρόσταγμα, according to an order from the god himself, transmitted presumably during sleep (incubation). Two cultic prescriptions are still mentioned: prohibition of women from entering the premises of the Egyptian deities involved; prohibition of men from wearing woolen garments there. M. P. Roussel (3) explains this last prescription as an Egyptian rule (4)... We are obliged, because of these indications, to think that there was in Sarapieion A of Delos a sacred enclosure of these divinities; moreover, that is what Mr. P. Roussel has well observed (6). Thus, we would have to deal with an Egyptian zealot in Delos during the first half of the 1st C. BC, an instigator of a propaganda supporting divinities of his country, again like of a special divinity of his native city. We find his imitator in a certain Xenophon, son of Dionysios, of Berytos, who dedicated a marble plaque with an inscription to Zeus Kasios as a token of gratitude (1): perhaps he had escaped some danger during his journey.

1) We recall by two other Delian inscriptions, P. Roussel, ibid. p. 94, n°15, 15 bis.
2) Tachnepsis is known today as a nickname of Isis at Mons Casius, cf. Grenfell-Hunt: Oxyrhynchus Papyri, XI.1380, p.197, n° 1380, l.174-5, P. Lejay, Litanie grecque d'Isis. Tirage à part de la Revue de Philologie, XL (1916), p.83, P. Roussel op.cit. p.296; the identification of Theos Megas with Serapis, made by M. Roussel, seems justified.
3) p.288, n.5.
4) Herodotus, 2.81.

Although I do not agree Serapis is necessarily "the Great God" at Pelusium, the fact that this 'Priest of Horus' served a therapeutic role in dream-incubations and healings at the Delos Sarapieion is important. His role recalls the practice of the Therapeutae outside Alexandria, or rather: a Therapeut functions, in part, like a 'Priest of Horus' from the Syriad/Sethrum, a Jewish-settled area at the opposite side of the Delta near to Israel. However, this Delos Inscription CGRN 172, dated c.160 BC (?) identifies a Sarapieion Priest as a Divinized Son of 'Horus of Kasion, in a Pelousion lineage. If we imagine that Jews were influenced, over hundreds of years, by Egyptian temples, we must pay close attention to their nearest neighbors in the Sethrum.

Θεῶι Μεγάλωι
καὶ Διὶ Κασίωι καὶ Ταχνήψει,
Ὧρος Ὥρου Κασιώτης
ὑπὲρ Λευκίου Γρανίου
τοῦ Ποπλίου Ῥωμαίου.
γυναῖκα μὴ προσάγειν
μηδὲ ἐν ἐρεοῖς ἄνδρα
κατὰ πρόσταγμα.

"To Theos Megas and Zeus Kasios and Tachnepsis, {From the Priest} Horus, 'Son of Horos of Kasion', on behalf of Lucius Granius (5) son of Poplius, Roman. A woman does not go in, and a man not in woollen clothes, according to a prescription (of the gods?)"

Sarapieion A was the most ancient of the three sanctuaries of Egyptian deities, which held an important position on the island of Delos. It was a private sanctuary, as shown from a famous act of foundation engraved on a small column (IG XI.4 1299) inscribed in the course of the 3rd C. BC, and found in situ, at the foot of the Inopos. After the construction of Sarapieion C, a larger, public sanctuary, in 166 BC, a worshipper demanded that the authorities in Rome confirm his right to celebrate the cult in Sarapieion A (ID 1510). Perhaps our inscription should be placed shortly after this event, as a further part of the attempt to boost the prestige of this older sanctuary (Bricault).

Sarapis was not the only deity who was worshipped in this sanctuary, as we know from the names of other gods engraved on the benches along the sanctuary walls. In this inscription, we find a dedication made by the priest Horos, son of Horos (whom we know to be priest shortly after 167 BC); this individual was originally from Mount Kasion in the Northern Sinai (cf. Trismegistos no. 1014 ). The dedication consisted of a cult-site consecrated on behalf of Roman Lucius Granius, son of Poplius (on which cf. also ID 2180, lines 4-5 ; ID 2181, line 6-7) to Theos Megas — probably identified with Sarapis (cf. Baslez, p. 36)—, to Zeus Kasios (Zeus of the Kasion District) and to Tachnepsis (an Isis epithet perhaps specific to this area).

A small purity regulation follows the dedication. Against the normalcy of inclusion, exclusion of women represents a more rare or exceptional case. For occasional instances, see here the commentary on CGRN 33. Herodotus explains that woollen clothes are forbidden for Egyptians in their cultic practices (Hdt. 2.81, and cf. Plut. De Is. Os. 3 and 4 [352b-e]). Comments on the material of the dress of the worshippers occur elsewhere on Delos, for example, in IG XI.4 1253 an individual (a priest?) prides himself on being a σινδονοφόρος (a wearer fine linen clothes). In that inscription, the consecration is explicitly presented as a result of a divine command: κατὰ πρόσταγμα τοῦ θεοῦ. For further discussion and references, cf. Sokolowski. In our present text, it remains unclear here whether this is also the case; the vague phrase κατὰ πρόσταγμα in line 8 might thus be a shorthand or, perhaps instead, be meant to designate another form of command (e.g. by individual or an official).

Because the gods are jealous, and we need to sort this properly, the order of this Pelusian pantheon (c.150 BC) is stated as follows:

1. Great God ............... (Unnamed) ....................... ~Zeus Ourios .................. (Unnamed Supreme God?)
2. Ruling God ............... Zeus Kasios ...................... ~Zeus Kasios .................. (Serapis)
3. Consort ................... Tachnepsis* = 'Isis of Kasios' ... ~Astarte Palaistine .......... (Isis)
4. First Son .................. Horus of Kasios (Young God) .. ~Herakles-Apollon ........... (Horus)
5. Second Son ............... Horus' Son ( = Priest?) .......... ~'Iolaus' ....................... (Man: Son of Horus/Son of God)

* Oxyrhynchus Papyrus XI.1380. has "Isis... at Pelusium: 'The Bringer to Harbor' {Isis Οrmistria}; in the Casian District: Tachnepsis; at the Outlet: Isis, Preserver..." This 'Isis' is thoroughly a marine goddess, a sailor's deity. (In Alexandria, we should see this deity as a sea-voyager's Agathē Tychē.)

Antoine Salac "Zeus Kasios (en grec)" [1922]:
{p.166} On the Egyptian cult of Ζευς Κάσιος we have certain information provided by ancient authors; recent excavations have also enriched our knowledge. M. P. Roussel has already summarized the results in his commentary on Delian inscriptions (1).

According to Strabo (2) and Pliny the Elder (3), a temple of Ζευς Κάσιος existed on the hilltop called Κάσιον {Kasion} or Mons Casius (4), near Pelusium. Certain passages from Lucian (5), Philo of Byblos (6), Flavius Josephus (7), Solinus (8) also concern this famous sanctuary.

Until recent years, the notice of Strabo, a contemporary of Livy, was the oldest document. But we have learned, from these newly-found Delian inscriptions, that the Temple, as well as a village of the same name (9), already existed at the beginning of the 1st C. BC at least. However, J. Clédat studied the ancient indications relating to Mons Casius in situ (10). He found this hilltop was wrongly identified with a place called Ras el-Burun {Ras Kouroun?}. He himself looked for it at a place called Mahammediya {Gerra}, a hill 15 kms east of Pelusium; he found a little sanctuary there;

1. L. c.,. p. 97.
2. XVI, 2, 33 iC 760).
3. V.68.
4. Varia leclio: Cassius.
5. Phars, VIII, 808. etc.
6. Fr. H.G., III, p. 568, frg. 2, $Π.
7. Debello Iud.,IV at the end.
8. 153, H. Mommsen. It is unclear whether the mention of Epiphanios (Ancoratus, ch. 106, p. 209, Dind., III, p. 209 Migne; : Kasio; oî Ό ναν/.λτ,ρος παρά Πτ,Λουτιώταις (se. τιμάται) belongs to the same temple or, rather, to the temple of Zeus Kasios of the city of Pelusium, a temple of which I will speak hereafter.
9. This is clearly seen by M.P. Roussel, l. I.
10. VAc reports. of Inscr., 1905, p. 602 sqq. ; the J09, p.764 sqq.

a niche of an alabaster altar bears a Nabatean inscription in the name of Zeus Cassius (1). This location is exact, near the dig-sites, of which M. Th. Wiegand (Archaologischer Anzeiger [1920] col. 87-88) gives some indications: «Here, on a treeless sand-dune, lay the famous sanctuary of Zeus, the remains of which have been unearthed by excavations. The marble temple image showed the god in youthful form, holding a pomegranate in his right hand». Mr. Wiegand believes the god assisted the traveler in perils of sea and desert. It is also certain (thanks to J. Clédat) there was also a Temple of Zeus Kasios at Pelusium (2). This temple would have been consecrated, according to Clédat, by Hadrian to Zeus Kasios, either following the emperor's first trip to Egypt (122 AD), or perhaps during his stay in Pelusium. The dedicatory inscription on the architrave of this temple is preserved to us; it is unfortunately mutilated. We cannot accept without corrections the rendition given by Clédat for the first line: “Most High Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus (sic) Hadrianus, Venerable, and of the House of His Majesty and of the Universe, the Gods’ great lament … (4). It should read: “Most High Emperor Caesar Traianus Adrianus, Venerable,” etc. In the 2nd line, we hardly understand the transcription: "Dioscasius Dios Apollonius" {God of Kasios, God of Apollon}; it seems sure that Κάσιος is a

1. Compts Rendues, etc., 1911, p.433.
2. Annales du service des antiquites de l'Egypte, 13 [1914], p.79sq. Ms. Adler, who only knows about this subject from the short communication in Archaologischer Anzeiger, 1911, p.294, has confused the temple of Pelusium with the temple of Mons Casius.
3. Antonius: Hadrian never bears this name, his first-name was Publius not Titus.
4. Another inscription found by Clédat p.84, on the site of the temple, carries the date xxxxxxxxxxx; Clédat thinks that the character would be the prefect of Hadrian in the year 126 AD (see Prosograph. J.-C. (see Prosographia Imp. Rom., Il, p.256; there was also a homonymous prefect under the reign of M. Aurèle ibid., II, 257. A coin of Pelusium (see below, p.171), dated the eleventh year of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (=126/7 A.D., according to Egyptian computations, bears on the reverse a pomegranate. The same year is also the date of the office of said prefect of Hadrian. If the person of the Pelusian inscription is the same prefect of Hadrian, an interesting coincidence exists between the two dates: but it is not allowed to exaggerate the importance of this fact, because all the types of coins of Pelouse are in relation with Horos of Pelusium, a deity which was identified with Zeus Kasios (see below, p.173 sq). The archaeological exploration of the temple of Pelusium will perhaps provide us with a solution.

nominative. One must perhaps seek here either a proper name (1), or a demotic, instead of the Κασιώτης of the Delian inscriptions. In any case, it seems impossible to say that Hadrian himself had consecrated this sanctuary; we can only think that the dedication was made in this Emperor's day, and in his honor (2).

Fortunately, the date of this temple's foundation can be specified. We know, by a passage from Vita Hadriani, the Emperor had come to Pelusium after his Arabian voyage (3). In his study, W. Weber (4) has dated Hadrian's stay in Pelusium to the year 130 AD. During the aforesaid stay, it seems the erection of a temple to Ζευς Κάσιος was decided; this deity would have been preferred, not only because of the proximity of the famous Temple of Mons Casius, but because it was a question of honoring the Emperor himself. One will refer indeed to what Vita Hadriani tells us about the Emperor's stay in Antioch, immediately before his arrival at Pelusium (5): "sed in monte Casio, cum videndi solis ortus gratia nocte ascendisset, imbre orto fulmen decidens hostiam et victimarium sacrificanti adflavit" {As he was sacrificing on Mount Casius, which he had ascended by night in order to see the sunrise, a storm arose, and a flash of lightning descended and struck both the victim and the attendant.}. W. Weber (6) has gathered all the ancient testimonies on this miracle; he interprets it in the following way: Hadrian would have been designated by the lightning of Jupiter and in the sanctuary of the god himself

1.Cf. the remark: of Clédat himself; CRA1 [1909], p. 774, on Kasios as personal name in another inscription.
2. J. Clédat has given a photograph of this inscription,- l. l.. pi. XI;. unfortunately one cannot draw anything from this photograph for the reading of the text.
3. Ael. Sp. Had. 14.4: peragrata Arabia Pelusium venit et Pompeii tumulum magnificentius exstruxit {He then travelled through Arabia and finally came to Pelusium, where he rebuilt Pompey’s tomb on a more magnificent scale}.
4. Wilhelm Weber, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Kaisers Hadrianus [1907] p.246.
5. Ael. Sp. Had. 14.3
6) P. 235 sqq.

as the favorite of the Master of the Heavens: a designation comparable to the adoption of Alexander the Great; as Son of Jupiter-Ammon. It is certain that such stories must have been propagated in the past, at least unofficially. From then on, the foundation of the temple of Ζευς Κάσιος at Pelusium appears to us in a completely different light; it was the first public act of recognition of the Emperor following the miracle at the Kasion of Antioch. Pelusium was a very important place of worship in Roman Egypt (1), and was already close to a well-known temple of Zeus Kasios. The foundation of the temple of Pelusium thus becomes an important religious event; the date alone seems doubtful (2).

Such considerations help us to understand from now on a certain passage of a Greek novelist of Alexandria, Achilleus Tatios. He writes (3):
Ἔστι δὲ ἐν τῷ Πηλουσίῳ Διὸς ἱερὸν ἄγαλμα Κασίου: τὸ δὲ ἄγαλμα νεανίσκος, Ἀπόλλωνι μᾶλλον ἐοικώς, οὕτω, γὰρ ἡλικίας εἶχε, προβέβληται δὲ τὴν χεῖρα καὶ ἔχει ῥοιὰν ἐπ̓ αὐτῇ, τῆς ῥοιᾶς ὁ λόγος μυστικός. {Now in Pelusium there is holy statue of Dios of Kasios. And the statue is a young man, probably Apollonius in part (for he was not mature of age), and his hand is outstreched, and holds a pomegranate in it, and this pomegranate has a mystic meaning}. He adds, after a few words:[2] καὶ γὰρ ἔλεγον μαντικὸν εἶναι τὸν θεόν {And it is said that he was a diviner of God}. This text gives an exact and precise description of Ζευς Κάσιος of the Pelusian temple, the ruins of which were discovered by Clédat (4).

According to a common opinion, Achilleus Tatios would belong to a very late period; Mr. E. Rohde (5) has proposed the middle of the 5th C. A.D. for the date of his life. Mr. W. Schmidt (6) goes down even further - to the 6th C. A.D.; Messrs. A. and M.-.Croiset (7) do not give a precise answer. It is possible that it is necessary to stick to such a late date, although the recent discovery of a Greek novel

1. Cf. U.Wilcken, "Der ägyptische Konvent" Archiv Fur Papyrusforschung, IV, 1908, p.376 sqq.
2. Cf. note 4 on page 167.
3. 3.6.
4. Mrs. Adler speaks wrongly of the statue of the sanctuary ά Mons Casius.
5. Der griechische roman und seine Vorlnufer2, 1900,1 p. 302 ff.
6. Pauly-Wissowa, I, 'col. 245
7. History of Greek Literature, V (1899), p. 996. [A.J. Reinach, Recueil Milliet, t. I, 1921, p. 406, n. 2, dates the description of the temple of Pelouse by Achileus Tatios, "at the earliest of the 5th C. AD"].

on Ninos, dated to the 1st century B.C. and differing very little from the other so-called Sophistic novels, gives much to think about. In any case, the description made by Achilleus Tatios of the statue of Ζεύς Κάσιος, in the temple of Pelouse deserves attention (1).

This statue represented a young man of the Apollo-type, therefore beardless; he held in one of his hands, stretched forward, a pomegranate; a special hieros logos {magical saying} was mentioned about this symbol; the god's divine power was also praised.

Saved from a shipwreck, the characters of the novel of Achilleus Tatios pray to this divinity and ask him for news of the other passengers of the ship. The late notice of Epiphanios 2) is only an euhemeristic explanation of Zeus Kasios worship given for navigators. It is interesting to note that the old temple of Mons Casius had also had its legend, relating to certain aid lent to navigators; PhiIo of Byblos, who wrote his mythical history of Phoenicia perhaps before the foundation of the temple at Pelusium, says about the sanctuary of Mons Casius 3): Κατὰ τοῦτον τὸν χρόνον (the mythical history) οἱ ἀπὸ τῶν Διοσκούρων σχεδίας καὶ πλοῖα συνθέντες, ἔπλευσαν, καὶ ἐκριφέντες κατὰ τὸ Κάσσιον ὅρος, ναὸν αὐτόθι ἀφιέρωσαν {At that time (i.e. in the mythical story) the descendants of the Dioskouroi, {'Sons of Dios'} put together rafts and ships, and made voyages; and, being cast ashore near Mons Casius, consecrated a temple there}, which is explained, is the maritime power of the lord of that place; would remain to account for another; as a finding, not less important; why does the deity of Mons Casius bear the name of Ζευς?

1. Besides, the discovery of the Pelousian temple, made by Clédat, provided the first terminus post quem assured for the life of Achilleus Tatios; it was later than the principate of Hadrian. It is more or less the same terminus post quem which results from Alexander VI's description, where the writer mentions the monumental doors of Helios {Alexander Helios} and Selene {Cleopatra Selene II} with the boulevard which joins them; according to Jean Malalas (Chronographia 11 p.288 Bonn.). Antoninus Pius had founded these doors as well as the oromos. Rohde's remark (l.l. p.513 note: sehr unklare Beschreibung von Alexandrien) is severe and unfair: cf. Nerontsos Bey: L'ancienne Alexandrie, Paris [1888] p.8 ff.
2. Ancoratus, ch. 106, p.29. Dind. III, p.209 Migne, cf. p.166 n.8.
3. FHG, III, p.368 frg. 2.17.

There are still coins which best allow us to {p.171} to resolve this difficulty; Mr. Drexler (1) has endeavored to do so; but it is Mr. R.S. Poole (2), who, following the less precise indications of Mr. V. Langlois (3) best combined the data of the Egyptian coins. On the reverse of a fine Pelousion coin (4) we see a pomegranate; on another Pelousian coin (5), the head of young Harpocrates (or Horos?) is adorned with a characteristic symbol, called “hem-hem-crown”. If, on one of the Alexandrian coins, we find a bust of a character whose head is capped in the same way and also the pomegranate, with the same figuration, shouldn't we agree with Mr. Poole that the original statue held the pomegranate in his hand? (6). So there was at Pelousion a cult of Harpocrates — perhaps it would be better to say Horos — whose cult statue held a pomegranate in its hand.

This hypothesis is confirmed by another observation. We can cite here a rather curious passage from Plutarch: “Some say, however, that his (scil. Malkandrou Basileus, the Isiac Trophimon) name was Palaestinus or Pelusius, and that the city founded by the goddess was named in his honour.”

The Dios Kouroi (Sons of God) are “Dawn and Dusk”, with west Semitic names Shaljar and Shalim, also.

2. Article: Campbell Bonner, "Harpokrates (Zeus Kasios) of Pelusium" in Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens Vol. 15, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1946), pp. 51-59: (LINK)
"At Pelusium is the sacred image of Zeus Kasios; but the statue is that of a youth, more like Apollo, so young it seemed. He has his hand stretched out holding a pomegranate, about which there is a mystical story. After praying to the god and asking for a prophetic sign about Clinias and Satyrus (for the god was said to give oracles), we went round the temple." -- Achilles Tatius, 3.6

The epithet 'Kasios', given to the Pelusian divinity, is derived from [a] seat of the same cult, the Kasion Oros, a sand-dune about nine miles east of Pelusium. That cult, in turn, may have been a branch, established by sea-farers, of the cult of Zeus on the Syrian Mount Kasion, a range to the south of Antioch and the lower course of the river Orontes. Since the epithet Kasios is not given to Zeus in any native Greek worship, it is likely that the god of the Syrian mountain was a Semitic deity whom the Greeks identified with their own mountain-god. The Semitic divinity, according to a recent investigator, was Baal Zephon.4

4. O. Eissfeldt, "Baal Zaphon, Zeus Kasios, und der Durchzug der Israeliten durchs Meer," pp. 1-7, pp.30-39 (Beitrdge zur Religionsgeschichte des Altertums, I, 1932).

Why was the (Syro-?)Greek Author of Leucippe and Clitophon ignorant or evasive about this deity, c.120 AD? The exact local name of this ancient Young God is uncertain, as mysterious to us today as the narrator in 120 AD. Isn't it telling the statue was not then known as Horus or Harpokrates, Osiris or Herakles? There's no clear answer why, unfortunately, so we are forced to review all the possibilities.

Bonner (1946) makes a simplistic equation: Harpokrates = Zeus Kasios, which I deny as false. If we may assume today's discovery is the famed Temple of Zeus Kasios, then a key question is whether or not the statue of the Young God just described is the same. Bonner says p.52: "It is strange that any god who could be identified with Zeus should be represented by a youthful figure resembling Apollo; perhaps the best explanation is that when the Syrian deity was introduced into Egypt, he was identified, by that syncretism which had long worked in Egyptian religion, with a youthful god who had previously dominated the site, probably Harpokrates, the young Horus." Correction: 'Zeus Kasios' is the Father of the Young God; they are related, but not identical. (We understand well this kind of formula: Jesus is the represented Son, yet he is also One with the invisible God, in a Trinity.) I do agree this Young God might be some form of Horus-Harpokrates, after R.E. Witt, Isis in the Ancient World (1971) p.214:
For Herodotus the Egyptian Horus the Younger is linked with the Greek Apollo and affiliated to Dionysus and Demeter. Osiris son Horus, 'whom the Greeks Apollon' was the last king to rule Egypt. Herodotus is following the traditional view of the young heir of his dead father ruling with solar power in heaven and with fructifying force in earth ... The Beloved and indeed Only Begotten Son of the Father, the Omnipotent Child, he has under his control the circuit of the solar disk and so assumes the lotus which itself is the emblem of the rising Sun. In his chthonic capacity in the manner of his mother Isis he gives all herbs and the abundance of the ground. He is a god of seeds and manages the wood of the plants and all vegetables. True to his Egyptian ancestry, Harpocrates is Lord both of Sun and Crops.

But why would a literate Alexandrian (c.120 AD) not know some of this? From Leucippe and Clitophon we may ascertain the Temple of Zeus Kasios (c.120 AD) had been largely abandoned as a cult-site for mariners and ship-wreck salvation seekers: visitors vaguely assumed the god's statue must be Apollo. By necessity, that uncertainty must lead to an investigation of the Young God's ancient origins and some of the alternative possibilities 'Who the Young God of Pelusium Was'.

In Antiquity, scholars thought the Author of Leucippe and Clitophon, Achilles Tatius, lived in Alexandria c.125 BC. The ms. and work are now dated c.120 AD; that does not change what follows here. In this ancient romance, the narrator's life-story begins in Melqart's Tyre and proceeds by accident to Pelusium, Egypt. If we assume the fiction is correct in its details, and that it is nearly contemporary to Tatius himself, then logically his narrator should have had familiarity with (Syro-)Phoenician gods c.100 AD. We can demonstrate the Young God of Pelusium has a probable connection to (Syro-)Phoenician gods. Leucippe and Clitophon is contemporary to Lucian of Samosata's Adon of Byblos, and this Young God may also be compared to the (somewhat older?) Phoenician theogony of Philo of Byblos. (See below.)

Plates are on the last page of this pdf:
https://www.ascsa.edu.gr/uploads/media/ ... 146819.pdf

Agreeing with Bonner (1946), coin people today identify this God as "Harpokrates of Pelusium"

Harpokrates? on coin, Trajan c.113 AD (w/ Little Man)

292 AD:

Coins and intaglios offer several representations (pomegranate or cornucopia), and absent another statue of the same god, the details of this coin are important. Logically, "H" may be Horus, Harpocrates, or Herakles (if not a different deity). Above all, the robust, mature figure w/ Club (at right) would suggest Herakles. Also note the Child/Dwarf at lower left. Is that to indicate this god is 'the Son' of another, or is it another god (i.e. this God's son)? The tiny figure on the coin might be Baby Horus, Iolaus, or another god altogether - perhaps an impersonal representation of the cult's human leader? These symbols are unresolved but may prove important later on - so for now, I want to get back to what's known about Zeus Kasios.

To summarize:
The Temple of Zeus-Kasios had a Young God whose identity remains somewhat uncertain. At Delos (c.160 BC, or 88 BC), a Pelousion priest was the 'Son of Horus Kasios' (not 'Apollo' 'Harpokrates' nor any other). The (Egyptian?) priest of the god was certainly correct, making offerings for a Syrian or Roman merchant in business with Syria. But other near-contemporaries were mystified by the god's identity, which most scholars still define as 'Harpokrates-Apollon'. Therefore, both the archaic lineage of the god from Syria and alternate interpretations must be considered further.

Pelusium = Caphtor

Pelusium/Tell el-Farama is in Eastern Egypt, a region where many Egyptian Jews lived. This archaeological discovery is probably the reconstructed Temple of Baal-Zephon, of Exodus 14:2. The equation is Baal-Zephon = Zeus Kasios, with no confirmation 'Baal-Zephon' is a Young God. Who is the Young God? The statuesque youth holds a symbolic pomegranate. Graham Anderson {“The Mystic Pomegranate and the Vine of Sodom: Achilles Tatius 3.6,” AJP 100 (1979): pp.516–7} argued that the pomegranate became symbolic of Zeus Kasios, protecting and guarding the 'Cappadocians' {=Semites of Pelousion}, holding the pomegranate in his hand. In Hebrew, 'Capthor' is a pun meaning both 'pomegranate' and 'Cappadocians.' Of course, the pomegranate is a luscious fruit and super-food famous for its healthy seeds; the association of an adolescent god with a medicinal food indicates a healing divinity. Phoenician god Baal-Hadad was symbolized w/pomegranates, who Jews parodied as Rimmon: 'The Pomegranate.' As Herodotus tells us that Persians called Syrians 'Cappadocians', so in Egypt the older Judaic emigrants were 'Cappadocians' ('of Syria') to the newer Judaic emigrants (Persian Chaldaeans), c.500 BC. In 90 AD, Josephus (or a later translator) has logically rendered the ancient 'Capht-ur', i.e. the Great Calpht, as 'Syriad.' Finally, important Jewish sources place Caphtor in the region of Pelusium, the northern delta to which Phoenicians had emigrated from Syria; 'Capht' is also suggested as an Egyptian name for the oldest (Syro-)Phoenicians in Egypt. So the Caphtorim were a mixed ethnic (Semitic/Philistine?) mariner class/community with Syrian roots who inhabited the area around Pelusium c.600 BC and their god was Baal-Zephon (= Zeus Kasios).

As for the 'youthful deity', some may imagine Horus/Harpocrates resembling Young Apollo (Helios?), although naming a Semitic mountain deity of Antioch-on-the-Orontes ('Zeus Kasios') suggests rather some variation of Tammuz/Melqart/Esmun*, or Adon of Byblos (Lebanon). Recall that Lucian of Samosata (125 AD), a Syrian Greek, knew Adon was called Osiris at Byblos (before 100 BC?), yet this god is not. The Alexandrian Author (writing fiction about Syrian Greeks; perhaps one himself) oddly ignores Horus/Harpocrates and Osiris altogether; the mysterious Young God of Pelusium resembles "Apollo", we are told. In Phoenician Byblos, Lucian had been initiated into the Adonis cult at the Temple of Baalat Gebal (another god!), and Adon (Young God) was the adopted child of Aphrodite Aphakitis. Adon is associated there w/ Apollo (his killer) and obviously corresponds to Tammuz/Melqart/Esmun, etc. This is most suggestive, but again - the Alexandrian Author is himself confused about the god's identification and uses none of the obvious comparisons we would expect.

* Eshmun at Sidon seems characteristically closer but perhaps less connected (by trade); Eshmoun was generally/often identified as Ascelpius after c.250 BC. As Paean, Eshmun was associated w/ Apollo; as the Young God, Apollo was sometimes called Helios. This similarity & familiarity may explain the Greek understanding.

The Egyptian and Jewish strands of this myth complex should be examined. For "Zeus Kasios", Caphtor = Pelusium is confirmed by another Canaanite deity who lives in Egypt, in Caphtor: Ugaritic-Assyrian God Kothar-wa-Khasis (= Chusor, Kusor: metalsmith, craftsman, engineer, architect, inventor, soothsayer, magician, enchanter; god of knowledge, sailing, music, etc.) Under Baal's authority, Kothar sounds like a Proto-Judaic Demiurge AND the Semitic version of Egyptian Thoth, ~1200-800 BC. Kothar as 'Lord if the Opening' is consistent with Baal-Peor, who some scholars relate to The Young God Horus. Refaeli (1911) argued Baal-Peor was donkey-shaped, like Seth: truly, a Seth-Baal. If Baal Peor was 'Lord of the House of Horus', there again the resurrecting fertility god was affiliated w/ The Young God. In other ways, Kothar-Thoth as Father of the Young God might be confirmed by a parallel myth of Phoenician (Byblos) Kinyras: the Storm-God father of Aphrodite of Aphaka (= Baalat Gebal: Astarte/Isis-Hathor/etc.) & the ever-watchful, sometime angry father of Adon. Proximity to the Sinai also reiterates the Moses-Thoth connection, and suggests the likelihood other key elements of the Torah might derive from exactly THIS Jewish place/culture. (Whether or not Kothar-wa-Khasis became Baal-Zaphon/Seth-Baal, Thothic Kothar does not have attributes of a Young God either.) If Kothar-Thoth is the 'Father' (Protector) of the Temple, then who should the Young God be?

Greek identification (c.500 BC?) of Kothar with Hephaistos might suggest a 'Son' in Auriga (=Apollo Helios, The Charioteer; Joseph; Horus) or Phaethon (Myrtilos; Mithras), but I doubt a solar deity and Hellenic orientation altogther. We know that Egyptian Khonsu (= Khons or Chons; ~Greek Hephaistos) is the Young God associated w/ Thoth who also has the same attributes as the Syro-Phoenician god Kothar. Kothar/Koshar/Chusor... was a temple-builder. In Jewish myth, Bezalel (=Shadow of God, Son of Light), the Child-Craftsman in the Torah, would be a Young God equivalent here, and if (c.275 BC) Yahweh = Thoth, Moses = Hermes, etc. then so too Bezalel = Hermetic Tat (i.e. child/student). Philo of Byblos mentions Thoth Son-of-Taauth, as a copy. To represent Seth-Baal-Typhon, Bezalel or Jahat (i.e. dreadful; depleted of strength; snatched up; storm-god) illustrates the dual nature of a Hebrew deity: why someone saved from (or fearing) shipwreck might pray at his temple, for example. Another intriguing digression: the Jerahmeelites ('Jews') of the Negev worshipped Jerahmeel, a Moon God: Thoth, or Son of Thoth? Cheyne (1902) adapts the text of Genesis 2:8, as 'Yahweh planted a garden in Eden of Jerahmeel' (which emphasizes the pomegranate as Baal-Rimmon) to suggest the Garden of Eden was in the Eastern Delta! (An alternate interpretation has the Jerahmeelite Baal as a Bull; the Young God should be a calf. The Exodus Jews worshipping the Golden Calf would preserve a memory of this cult.) Poet Robert Graves (1948), citing Encyclopædia Biblica Vol.3 (1902), pp.3576-7, partly solves the riddle of the Young God with a fine if incomplete answer: Canopic Herakles (i.e. Melqart=Esmun).

Many Biblical scholars now regard the first three chapters of Genesis as a Jerahmeelite legend from the Negev of Judea, which was taken over by the Israelites and became Babylonianized during the Captivity. Jerahmeel ('beloved of the moon') is yet another name for Canopic Herakles. Dr. Cheyne restores the text of Genesis 2:8, as 'Yahweh planted a garden in Eden of Jerahmeel.' He writes: "The Jerahmeelites, from whom the Israelites took the story, probably located Paradise sometimes on a vastly high mountain, sometimes in a garden (at its foot?), in some part of Jerahmeelite territory {references his other statement at Psalm(2) on Psalm 74:15}. The mountain (with a sacred grove on its summit) has dropped out of the story in Genesis 2f. but is attested in Ezekiel; and in Ethiopian Enoch 24 the 'Tree of Life' is placed in a mountain range to the south. As to the locality, if it be correct that by the Hebrew phrase 'a land flowing with milk and honey' a part of the Negev was originally meant (Numbers 13:23,27), we might infer that this fruitful land with its vines, pomegrante-trees and fig-trees (see Genesis 37) had once upon a time been the Jerahmeelite Paradise {digression suggesting its an antitype to 'river' of the Milky Way}.

Jerahmeelites are mysterious, relic Philistines? Heterodox Semites? The identification of Thoth-Yahweh in Sinai (c.900 BC) reminds us there may be many marginal 'Judaisms' defeated and forgotten.

Baal de Ṣūr was Lord of Tyre; the Young God was Melqart at Tyre (Ṣūr) c.950-150 BC (Philo B. indicates Zeus Demarous is the father of Melikart/Melicarthus; Baal de Ṣūr would be the Father-God to their Phoenician (Philistine?) colony on the E. Egyptian Coast. The Romans made Melqart an Imperial cult. Suria to the Greeks becomes 'Syria', so the Syriad of Egypt (Josephus informs, 90 AD) is where Western Syrian Arameans had migrated in ancient times. Also, Young God Melqart was 'Son of' Baal-Hadad and (for the Jews) Baal-Rammon/Rimmon.
Following Hitzig, it is now held that Zechariah had in mind a public mourning for the god Hadad-Rimmon, identified with the Phoenician Adonis (Ezek. 8:14, 'Tammuz'), whose yearly death was the occasion for lament.

D.Voelter (1919) indicates Sopdu (~Yahweh) as the local name of this youthful/son god in precisely this part of Sinai c.1000 BC. That means: there was precedence for conflating a Young God (Sopdu) with a Storm-God (Yahweh: Seth-Baal/Typhon; Zeus Kasios). Furthermore, Ba'al Zephon is associated with Typhon (Seth) in this region, so probably at this location (El-Katieh = Pelusium = Kasion Oros, etc.) c.300 BC; recall Manetho c.250 BC. Strabo mentions this particular 'Zeus' cult at least as far back as Seleucus I, Nicator (300 BC); it must be older. And Josephus (J. BJ 4.11.5; 656) mentions a temple to 'Jupiter Kasios' (= Zeus Kasios) near Pelusium in 70 AD; unsurprisingly, Josephus knew something about the (Jewish) Syriad. If there was no Jewish connection, why should Josephus have mentioned that?

In this vicinity, which I will postulate as the first Jewish homeland in Egypt, varying forms of the deity co-existed from c.900? BC-200 AD. It seems impossible Philo Judaeus could be wholly ignorant of this particular god (given a Jewish expression), particularly when he writes defensively about the shocking chosen-name for a 'Son of God' cult member, 'Anatole'. If it's from Hebrew, the root צמח (Tzemach = the Branch), meaning 'to grow', 'to heal' and implies salvation and righteousness (if not Oriens = The East, or sun-rise, etc.), then allusion to the consecration of priests and servants of God (i.e. Therapeutae) is most significant to our study. And was the Temple of Zeus Kasios which Hadrian rebuilt c.130 AD already a special healing site, in memory of the young Antinous (a reflection of the Young God)? Uncertain, from sources. But we can see why Philo's defense of 'Anatole' may have been in response to orthodox criticism of a pagan allusion (deity), the memory which must have still vexxed some Alexandrian Jews of his day. Resurrection - salvation: that seems to be the point of the Greek Romance at this juncture (i.e. after shipwreck) and here is a veritable pantheon of Semitic gods and Biblical Jewish characters, emerging from the ruins of Caphtor/Pelusium in Egypt! Is THIS an ancient Jewish homeland, folkloric fountainhead for major Biblical myths? If Proto-Judaism and Semitic myth had spread around the Mediterranean by Judaic sailors, then forgotten Caphtor/Pelusium may be more central to Judaism's pre-history than any scholar has noted previously.

800 BC: Seth-Baal/Baal Zaphon
700 BC: Seth-Baal/Baal Zaphon
600 BC: Seth-Baal/Baal Zaphon
500 BC: Seth-Baal/Baal Zaphon
400 BC: Seth-Baal/Zeus Kasios
300 BC: Zeus Kasios/Seth-Baal
200 BC: Zeus Kasios
100 BC: Zeus Kasios
000 AD: Zeus Kasios
100 AD: Jupiter Casius/Zeus Kasios

The god was called various names by different ethnic groups over the centuries; see Attilio Mastrocinque, From Jewish Magic to Gnosticism (2005), p.188:
In Egypt a god of Syrian origin was worshipped on {Casius Mons/Ras Kouroun}, near Pelusium, and was the same as the god of Mount Casius in Syria, known as Bahal Saphon (or Zephon), 'Lord of the North' 862. This deity must have been regarded as a kind of Horus, since in the Imperial Age he was depicted as Harpocrates (that is, Horus the child)863. But he was perceived more frequently as a Seth figure and identified with Apollo. This proves that the same god could be identified simultaneously with both Seth and Horus.

So: Zeus Kasios = Baal-Zephon, but also = Seth/Typhon. A dual nature of Egyptian Seth succumbed to a maleficent interpretation in time: Seth-Typhon was an evil God (Manetho), and negatively associated w/ Semites by 250 BC. Theologically, I am unsure how 'Zeus Kasios' (Father God, Storm God) is represented by The Young God (His Son), Horus-Sopdu/Harpocrates, but there are probably at least two gods worshipped at this site under whatever names.

If this is the Northern Israelite Young Dying God, then perhaps Biblical 'Joseph' is anotheicould be a possible Jewish expression. In either case, Egyptian or Graeco- , the Creator God is NOT represented: the Young God is the Ruling God's Son. Correspondence w/ other gods, alternately, would likewise confirm that.

It may be curious 'Dionysus' (Adon/Eshmun-Tammuz) was not mentioned here, because Ptolemy IV. Philopator (c.210 BC) had attempted to convert and brand the Jews with a symbol of Dionysus; that proved a failure. Nor is there mention of Imḥotep-Asclepius, Greek Imouthes: the “image and likeness of Thoth the Wise,” although later on (c.200 BC) and elsewhere Asclepius was associated with Phoenician Esmun. Again: the Syrian Greek narrator of Leucippe and Clitophon should have known something about (Syro-)Phoenician gods, c.100 AD: like Dionysus (or Osiris, or Herakles, etc.), those are not considered.

Asclepius is also omitted. Young Tem (Young Thoth) as Imḥotep-Asclepius does explain "Tat" in the Trismegistic literature (c.50 BC?), as GRS Mead noted (1906). Philo of Byblos (c.125 AD) elaborates an Egyto-Phoenician history, emphasizing Hermes (c.150 BC) in the Thoth Complex, but who would be the 'Young God' in 'Sanchuniathon'? Perhaps Zeus Demarous = Baal-Tamar (of Judea, I suspect), procreative but not specified as a Young God, and ruling on behalf of Kronos; see coin information below.

For a most excellent 2021 PhD analyzing the Baal-Zephon symbolism, see Brent Olson: "Exodus 14–15 as an Anti-Baal Polemic and Its Implications for Interpreting Exodus 15:17 and Dating These Chapters" LINK

Bringing these recent studies to bear on the relationship between the Baal Myth and the canonical account of the Sea Event, the dissertation argues the case that the Song of the Sea, together with its prose narrative frame in Exodus 14, functions in part as an anti-Baal polemic and plausibly does so originally in a New Kingdom historical context. That is, the final god which Yahweh defeats in his sustained attack against “all the gods of Egypt” in Exodus 7–15 is Seth-Baal ...the Egyptian hybrid of native Seth with the Syro-Canaanite Storm-god Baal-Zephon. The proposed anti-Baal polemical nature of the canonical account will be shown to have important implications for both interpreting and dating Exodus 14–15.

Another artifact demonstrating the centrality of Seth-Baal worship in Egypt during the Nineteenth Dynasty is Papyrus Sallier IV. Discovered in Memphis and currently dated to ca.1220 BCE, this famous document lists the gods of Perunefer, the New Kingdom naval base near ancient Avaris.68 Baal-Zephon is explicitly mentioned in this list, which reads in part: “To Amūn of the temple of the gods; to the Ennead that is in Pi-Ptaḥ; to Baˁalim, to Ḳadesh, and to Anyt; (to) Baˁal Zephon (bˁr-ḏȜpn), to Sopd”69.

This would establish (Syro-Caananite/Sinai) Baal-Zephon's link to (Egyptian Sinai) Sopdu c.1300-700 BC. If (Judeo-Phoenician) El-Yahu/Ieud/Kronos worship supplanted Seth-Baal/-Typhon in this Semitic region of Egypt (c.800-300 BC), we can find coherence in the Byblian 'Sanchuniathon' myth w/ Hellenized names for their deities. I suppose Sanchuniathon is a crude Judeo-Hermetic record of Phoenician theological history (recorded c.150 BC) of the Coastal Levant, c.800-150 BC.

One final note on Byblos, which seems to have a connection to Pelusium: the 'Temple of the Obelisks (or betyls)' at Byblos may be the Temple of Zeus Demarous (Baal-Tamar: Pillar) which Philo B. mentions, as seen in later regional coinage for Syrian Zeus Kasios (~ Egyptian Baal-Zephon) with a betyl prominently featured. Recall that the Jews of Elephantine were furious when their pillars were demolished (and betyl/Beth-El deity was stolen) 410 BC. We all know that thunder-stones were divine for the nomadic semites; this only suggests a similarity between Baal-Tamar (Judea?) and Baal-Zephon (Sinai).

c.100 AD

c.115 AD

Correspondences of other alternate Phoenician-Semitic deities are presented below.

Phoenician Levant:
Baal-Hadad = Zeus Adodos = Hadad/El/Kronos/Zeus/Jupiter

Phoenician Coast:
Hadad >> ......... Baal Tamar = Zeus Demarous (Jupiter Tigillus)

Melqart >> ....... Baal-Rammon/Hadad-Rimmon (Jupiter Ruminus)
.......................... Baal de Ṣūr; 'Herakles'

Phoenician Egypt:
Seth/Typhon ............ Baal-Zaphon = Zeus-Kasios/Jupiter Cassius
.................................. (Serapis)
................................... El-Shaddai (= El-Kronos) ; Yahweh
Thoth ........................ Enoch ; Melchizedek ; Moses ; Seth
................................... Joseph? ; Jeremiah?

Sopdu/Horus/Khonsu ...Tammuz/'Apollo-Helios'; (Eshmun/Adon)
................................... Imḥotep-Asclepius/Imouthes/Harpocrates; Baal Rimmon
................................... Bezalel? ; Joseph? ; Jeremiah? ; Seth?
................................... Dionysus ; Antinous

Scholars are still uncertain where this ancient, marginal 'Syriad of Egypt' was located: most likely, we can see it is the land where Baal de Ṣūr (the Young God) was worshipped. And the deity will indicate from which Syro-Phoenician city the cult originates.


The cult of Herakles-Melqart was also established in Libya. Eudoxus of Cnidus {337 BC} (Athenaeus of Naucratis {c.200 AD}, Deipnosophistae 9.47): "The Phoenicians sacrifice quails to {the Fourth} 'Herakles', because 'Herakles {son} of Asteria {=Astarte of Delos} and Zeus' went into Libya and was killed by Typhon; but Iolaus brought a quail to him, and having put it close to him, he smelt it and came to life again." Athenaeus (c.200 AD) is reporting folklore supposedly recorded in the 4th C. BC regarding the Fourth Herakles, presumably son of Astarte Palaistine and Zeus Ourios (?). This is a strange myth, perhaps connected to Iamneia in Judea where demi-god Herakles-Melqart is killed by Typhon (i.e. Osiris killed by Seth) then resurrected by his pigeon/nephew/adolescent attendant 'Iolaus'. In the Greek romance, the Young God of Pelusium is not given a mother or nurse, but it is inexplicably wrong the narrator would not report 'Herakles' precisely. One reason may be the syncretism of multiple gods; on the complexity of Delian Astarte, see Wallensten [2014],p.1: "elaborate examples come from Hellenistic Delos and introduce the complex Astarte Palaistine/Aphrodite-Ourania, or Astarte Palaistine/Aphrodite-Ourania-Epekoos,4 and the even more complicated divine hybrid Isis-Soteira-Astarte/Aphrodite-Euploia-Epekoos, a goddess joined in worship to the male combination Eros-Harpokrates-Apollon.5" Against the Libyan myth, Phoenician 'Herakles of Iamneia' paired w/ Hauron/Typhon (a Destroyer/Healer) might be a similar example from Judea. The Melqart of the very ancient Phoenicia was Herakles to less ancient Greeks, and Herakles-Apollon fusion on the Imperial-period Egyptian Delta. Should Iolaus covertly represent a Young God, Eros-Harpokrates-Apollon?

Eros-Harpokrates on coin, Hadrian c.129 AD (w/ ass?)

Eros-Harpokrates on coin, Hadrian c.138 AD (w/ ass?)

Eros-Harpokrates, Statue

As Adamic Seth: Seth is in Adam's Image, Iconic. His cult has an extensive literature and ancient theological-philosophy, long before c.90 AD (according to Josephus; see Sethian tractates of the NHL). Again from Josephus, the reported stelae in Egypt's Syriad - vicinity of Pelusium? - would situate the cult's origins or center thereabouts. Seth as Adam's son - the Son of Anthropos, intuitively - explains his divinity and why Jesus (the Son of God) was called 'Seth.' (Jesus as The Young God is so well-known that no digression is needed here.) But the legendary connection(s) of Jesus (=Seth) to Egypt - again: presumably, in THIS area - would confirm the idea that Seth = the Young God. Thematically, the Young God is all about Rebirth, Resurrection, etc. Likewise, Sethian Gnostics practiced anagogy and henosis as Jewish Mystics from the earliest times; Josephus said the cult was ancient. The number and character of Sethian tractates in the NHL also leads us to conclude it was a Judeo-Egyptian Mystery Cult (though not confined there.) How many other Jewish Mystery cults existed in the Diaspora c.25 AD? We can grasp immediately why academics and intellectual laymen (like Carl Jung) alike have argued that an historical Jesus was an initiated Therapeut ('Son of God') or Gnostic, along these lines. Sethians were 'Sons of God,' etc. All this strongly suggests that the Dying & Rising Young God of Pelusium - with its age-old connection to Semitic Tyre/Antioch and its proximity to religious Judea - may be the homeland of the mysterious heterodox Sethian cult.

Among all these possibilities, the case seems strongest for Adam's Seth (see below) and not only for the name. By this I mean The Young God emerges as Jewish Seth, Son of God, one divinized by a cult and who may be followed by gnostic faith & ascetic practice.

In the older Egyptian form (Speos Artemidos inscription, 1500 BC), Horus-Sopdu (Khonsu?) the Young God is blessed by Great Pakhet (Sekhmet-Bastet) and Amun (via Thoth-Djehuti?) after the defeat of the Hyksos:
Post Reply