Apis dio antico Egitto

Fin dalla I Dinastia il toro Apis (Hop nella lingua locale) era venerato come una divinità rurale simbolo della generazione e della forza fecondatrice.

Adorato a Menfi, fu presto assimilato a Ptah, patrono della città, di cui fu riconosciuto come incarnazione.

A Ra, Apis deve il disco solare posto con l’ureus tra le sue corna.

I sacerdoti di Apis a Menfi, conosciuti durante l’Antico Regno come “Bastoni di Apis” andavano per le campagne alla ricerca del toro recante il marchio divino che doveva essere presente su più parti del corpo dell’animale, lo scopo era quello di trovare il successore dell’Apis regnante.

Quando un Apis moriva, veniva sepolto secondo un rituale preciso, dopo essere stato sottoposto a mummificazione.

Al termine del cerimoniale funebre, veniva calato nei sotterranei del Serapeum, dove andava a raggiungere le precedenti incarnazioni del dio,.

Veniva quindi posto sul trono il nuovo Apis, fatto che costituiva un’occasione di festa.

Dopo essere stato mostrato al popolo, il toro divino veniva condotto nel santuario, dove era destinato a vivere con il suo harem di giovenche, per non uscire più se non in occasioni di processioni che richiedessero la sua presenza.

Oltre a ricevere offerte dai fedeli, nell’Apeion, il dio-toro rendeva anche responsi in qualità di oracolo.

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