The previous post in this series may be found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/lucian-of-samosata-concerning-sacrifices-14/
Their (the Egyptian) sacrifices are the same, except that they mourn over the sacrificial victim, and standing about they strike themselves; and after the it has been slain they bury it.
Now the Apis Bull is a great god to them, so if it should die, they make big ado and shave their head to show their mourning — even if they had have the purple lock of Nisus. After that, a new Apis — a god — is hand chosen from the herd, the one most beautiful and august from all the cattle.
Since these things are so, and many are determined to believe, it seems to me they lack only A Heracultis laughing at their ignorance and a Democritus lamenting their stupidity.
Greek Text & Notes:
αἱ δὲ θυσίαι καὶ παρʼ ἐκείνοις αἱ αὐταί, πλὴν ὅτι πενθοῦσι τὸ ἱερεῖον καὶ κόπτονται περιστάντες ἤδη πεφονευμένον. οἱ δὲ καὶ θάπτουσι μόνον ἀποσφάξαντες. ὁ μὲν γὰρ Ἆπις, ὁ μέγιστος αὐτοῖς θεός, ἐὰν ἀποθάνῃ, τίς οὕτω περὶ πολλοῦ ποιεῖται τὴν κόμην ὅστις οὐκ ἀπεξύρησε καὶ ψιλὸν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς τὸ πένθος ἐπεδείξατο, κἂν τὸν Νίσου ἔχῃ πλόκαμον τὸν πορφυροῦν; ἔστι δὲ ὁ Ἆπις ἐξ ἀγέλης θεός, ἐπὶ τῷ προτέρῳ χειροτονούμενος ὡς πολὺ καλλίων καὶ σεμνότερος τῶν ἰδιωτῶν Βοῶν. ταῦτα οὕτω γιγνόμενα καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν πολλῶν πιστευόμενα δεῖσθαί μοι δοκεῖ τοῦ μὲν ἐπιτιμήσοντος οὐδενός, Ἡρακλείτου δέ τινος ἢ Δημοκρίτου, τοῦ μὲν γελασομένου τὴν ἄγνοιαν αὐτῶν, τοῦ δὲ τὴν ἄνοιαν ὀδυρουμένου.
αἱ δὲ θυσίαι
Yet/But the it will sacrifice/the sacrifices
De: Equivalent level of discourse; new subject.
καὶ παρʼ ἐκείνοις αἱ αὐταί,
and by these the those
which is beside those
“But οὗτος does, as a rule, refer to what is near or last mentioned and ἐκεῖνος to what is remote” Robertson Grammar, 702.
πλὴν ὅτι πενθοῦσι τὸ ἱερεῖον
Except/only that those mourning the sacrifice
πλὴν ὅτι: only that, except that (Acts 20:23, Phil. 1:18).
ἱερεῖον, Ion. ἱερήιον or ἱρήιον, τό, a victim, an animal for sacrifice or slaughter, Hom., Hdt., Att.
2. αν οφφεπινγ φοπ τηε δεαδ, Od.
II. of cattle slaughtered for food, mostly in pl., Hdt., Xen.
The sacrifice is in the accusative since it is mourned over; it is the concern of the mourning.
καὶ κόπτονται περιστάντες
and mourning/striking standing by (?)
Standing by they strike: a participle of attendant circumstances. Wallace notes that the main verb can be a historical present (642).
The striking is often associated with mourning rituals. Striking themselves is implied.
since having been slain
οἱ δὲ καὶ θάπτουσι μόνον ἀποσφάξαντες.
by the also they bury only has/having cut the throat
ὁ μὲν γὰρ Ἆπις,
For on one hand the Apis
ὁ μέγιστος αὐτοῖς θεός,
The greatest god to them
if it should die
τίς οὕτω περὶ πολλοῦ ποιεῖται τὴν κόμην
who thus concerning much it/he does the hair
The article indicates possession: their hair.
ὅστις οὐκ ἀπεξύρησε καὶ ψιλὸν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς
thus one not shaved and the hair upon the head
τὸ πένθος ἐπεδείξατο
the mourner shown
The shaved head indicates the mourning
, κἂν τὸν Νίσου ἔχῃ πλόκαμον τὸν πορφυροῦν;
If the Nisos he may have the lock/braid of hair the purple
ἔστι δὲ ὁ Ἆπις ἐξ ἀγέλης θεός,
but he is the Apis from [the] heard the God
Chosen to be god.
ἐπὶ τῷ προτέρῳ χειροτονούμενος
upon the first hand chosen
ὡς πολὺ καλλίων καὶ σεμνότερος τῶν ἰδιωτῶν Βοῶν.
as much beautiful and most sacred of the own oxen
ταῦτα οὕτω γιγνόμενα
these things thus being
καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν πολλῶν πιστευόμενα δεῖσθαί
and by many having believed to be bound
μοι δοκεῖ τοῦ μὲν ἐπιτιμήσοντος οὐδενός,
to me it seems of the on one hand esteeming nothing
Ἡρακλείτου δέ τινος ἢ Δημοκρίτου,
Hpakleitos but of a certain one or Democritus
τοῦ μὲν γελασομένου τὴν ἄγνοιαν αὐτῶν,
the one laughing the ignorance of them
τοῦ δὲ τὴν ἄνοιαν ὀδυρουμένου.
the other the mindless lamenting
Their sacrifices differ from others only in this respect, that they go into mourning for the victim, slaying him first, and beating their breasts for grief afterwards, and (in some parts) burying him as soon as he is killed. When their great god Apis dies, off comes every man’s hair, however much he values himself on it; though he had the purple lock of Nisus, it would make no difference: he must show a sad crown on the occasion, if he die for it. It is as the result of an election that each succeeding Apis leaves his pasture for the temple; his superior beauty and majestic bearing prove that he is something more than bull.
On such absurdities as these, such vulgar credulity, remonstrance would be thrown away; a Heraclitus would best meet the case, or a Democritus; for the ignorance of these men is as laughable as their folly is deplorable
To conclude, the sacrifices are the same, as with us, excepting that the standers-round set up a doleful lamentation over the slaughtered animal; some, instead of burning, bury it, as soon as it is slain. If the greatest of their divinities, the bull Apis, happens to die, there is not a man in the whole country, but in testimony of his profound sorrow, shaves his head, even though he has purple-coloured locks, like Nisus the poet*. However his place is presently supplied by the priests, who chuse, in a formal election, out of all the bulls, that which has the finest shape and the most noble aspect, and nominate him his successor in the godhead.
Methinks these customs and traditions, which the great mass so firmly believe, are of such a nature, that instead of a serious reprehension, they want only a Heraclitus and Democritus, the one to laugh at the folly of the people who do and believe such things, the other to deplore their
αἱ δὲ θυσίαι καὶ παρʼ ἐκείνοις αἱ αὐταί, πλὴν ὅτι πενθοῦσι τὸ ἱερεῖον καὶ κόπτονται περιστάντες ἤδη πεφονευμένον. οἱ δὲ καὶ θάπτουσι μόνον ἀποσφάξαντες. ὁ μὲν γὰρ Ἆπις, ὁ μέγιστος αὐτοῖς θεός, ἐὰν ἀποθάνῃ, τίς οὕτω περὶ πολλοῦ ποιεῖται τὴν κόμην ὅστις οὐκ ἀπεξύρησε καὶ ψιλὸν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς τὸ πένθος ἐπεδείξατο, κἂν τὸν Νίσου ἔχῃ πλόκαμον τὸν πορφυροῦν; ἔστι δὲ ὁ Ἆπις ἐξ ἀγέλης θεός, ἐπὶ τῷ προτέρῳ χειροτονούμενος ὡς πολὺ καλλίων καὶ σεμνότερος τῶν ἰδιωτῶν Βοῶν. ταῦτα οὕτω γιγνόμενα καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν πολλῶν πιστευόμενα δεῖσθαί μοι δοκεῖ τοῦ μὲν ἐπιτιμήσοντος οὐδενός, Ἡρακλείτου δέ τινος ἢ Δημοκρίτου, τοῦ μὲν γελασομένου τὴν ἄγνοιαν αὐτῶν,τοῦ δὲ τὴν ἄνοιαν ὀδυρουμένου.