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Fig. 27. Reconstruction of Sarapeion Already since the beginning of the Hellenistic period, Ptolemies managed to form a religious system, composed both by Greek and Egyptian elements, in order as much as possible common cultural environment for the different ethnic groups, living in Hellenistic Egypt. Two priests, one Greek – Timotheus from Eleusis- and one Egyptian – Manetho from Sebenytos- where initially responsible for this project. Their main task was to apply a wide religious syncretism, both in content and form, between the Greek and Egyptian religious systems. The new composite system, which however was not intended to replace either the traditional Egyptian or the Greek panthea, is best represented by the Alexandrian divine triad. Sarapis, Isis and Harpocrates. Sarapis was the head of the triad Patron god of the Alexandrian royal house (Figs. 28-29). This god had a double identity, both Greek and Egyptian. As an Egyptian god, he was the substitute for Osiris. In fact, by his name, he was the Hellenised form of the name of the sacred bull Apis, who was worshipped in Memphis, during the Late Period in the bull form of Osiris-Apis (Osor-Hapi). Therefore, Osiris-Apis, who since the Late period was adopted by the Greeks of Memphis as Oserapis, was renamed Sarapis. As a Greek god, he was identified with gods such as Dionysus (the god of wine, fertility and mysteries), Pluto-Hades (the Greek god-ruler of the underworld), Zeus (the father of the Olympian gods), and Asclepius (the god of medicine). In fact, Greeks seem to have assimilated him to the whole Greek pantheon. Accordingly, Sarapis was Greek in fashion. He is


Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project