Page 254

Fig. 118: Coin showing Arsinoe II

Another ancient testimony in link with the Ruler Cult is the procession of the prematurely died princess Berenike in the Canopus decree line 56 – 63 of the Greek text. A priest was to carry her statue in processions holding her in his arms like a child, and the statue was to have a scepter, which emerged from behind the snake-shaped crown and was like the scepter of goddesses.104 The Hellenistic period was marked additionally by the spread of the Egyptian cults of Isis and the creation of the Hybrid cult of Sarapis. The interaction between the Egyptian and the Greek religions and the common ritual of procession make clear that the procession was an important part of their cultic rites and festivals. Archeological evidence from the Sarapeion of Alexandria suggests the influence of procession in the architectural design. The T-shaped Building is connected to the South Building by a masonry-lined rock-cut passage running under the square paving and thus gives secret access to it. (Fig. 119) This 6O m long passage runs south from inside the south wall of the Tshaped Building, then turns east to enter the back of the South Building through its west wall. Some scholars noted that it could have provided access for priests to activate 'miraculous' events or for an oracle. This passage could also possibly have been used for processions rituals. Even in the roman period the architectural plan modification took in consideration the facilities of the procession by making an entrance in the north side of the colonnaded court that the court had two entrances to facilitate the circulation of processions. Most of the Sarapeion plan inside Egypt such as in Memphis and in the ancient Mediterranean such The Sarapeion C of Delos has a Dromos flanked by sphinx and altars in order to organize the procession (Fig. 120). Literary and archeological evidence from the Roman time prove that the cult of the Egyptian 104

Bulloch at al., 1993.

254

Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project