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Serapis


The cult of the Apis bull started at the very beginning of Egyptian history as a fertility god connected to grain and the herds.

In the land of Canaan the Apis bull was known as Baal.

Osirapis was the sacred ascended bull of Memphis after its death according to the hieroglyphic texts which were found on stelae and other objects in the Serapeum at Sakkara.

Serapis was a syncretistic deity derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis (Osiris + Apis = Oserapis/Serapis).

Greek and Roman authors have much to say about Apis, the marks by which the black bull-calf was recognized, the manner of his conception by a ray from heaven, his house at Memphis with court for disporting himself, the mode of prognostication from his actions, the mourning at his death, his costly burial, and the rejoicings throughout the country when a new Apis was found. (Dalai Lama)

The Apis bull, a manifestation of Pharaoh, symbolized the king's courageous heart, great strength, virility, and fighting spirit.

Auguste Mariette's excavation of the Serapeum of Saqqara revealed the tombs of over sixty animals, ranging from the time of Amenhotep III to that of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

At first, each animal was buried in a separate tomb with a chapel built above it.

5th century BC Herodotus equates the Egyptian god Osiris and the Greek god Dionysus.

331 BC Alexander III of Macedonia founds Alexandria.

Alexandria becomes not only a center of Hellenism but also home to the largest Hebrew community in the world.

The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Misnah, is produced here.

304 BC Ptolemy I succeedes Alexander III of Macedonia and assumes the traditional title of Pharaoh.

Ptolemy I Soter I (Ptolemy the Savior) promoted Serapis while adding Hellenistic overtones most notable in the use of a human headed idol rather than an animal headed idol like Anubus.

The followers of Serapis endorse him as the patron of Alexandria.

The composite term Serapis is found around the start of the first century BC, for example in Aegyptiaca by Hecataeus of Abdera, and in works by Leon of Pella.

At the time of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth the Gnostic Mystery of the Serapis was well ensconced in Alexandria.


"When in ancient times a pestilence arose in Egypt, the common people ascribed their troubles to the workings of a divine agency; for indeed with many strangers of all sorts dwelling in their midst and practicing different rites of religion and sacrifice, their own traditional observances in honor of the gods had fallen into disuse.

Hence the natives of the land surmised that unless they removed the foreigners, their troubles would never be resolved.

At once, therefore, the aliens were driven from the country, and the most outstanding and active among them banded together and, as some say, were cast ashore in Greece and certain other regions; their leaders were notable men, chief among them being Danaus and Cadmus.

But the greater number were driven into what is now called Judaea, which is not far distant from Egypt.

The colony was headed by a man called Moses (Moshe Rabbenu), outstanding both for his wisdom and for his courage.

On taking possession of the Cannan he founded Jerusalem.

In addition he established the temple that they hold in chief veneration, instituted their forms of worship and ritual, drew up their laws and ordered their political institutions.

He (Moshe Rabbenu) also divided them into twelve tribes, since this is regarded as the most perfect number and corresponds to the number of months that make up a year.

He had no images whatsoever of the gods made for them, being of the opinion that God is not in human form; rather the Heaven that surrounds the earth is alone divine, and rules the universe.

The sacrifices that he established differ from those of other nations, as does their way of living, for as a result of their own expulsion from Egypt he introduced a kind of misanthropic and inhospitable way of life." - Aegyptiaca by Hecataeus of Abdera

The Gnostic Mystery of the Serapis included:

Creator made flesh, humanities Savior is the Son of the Creator = the Creator made flesh;

The Father of the Savior resides in the ineffable heavens while the Savior's mother is a mortal virgin.

Serapis' birth was prophesized by a star in the heavens.

Serapis was born in a lean-to before three shepherds.

Serapis offers his followers the chance to be born again through the rites of baptism.

Serapis miraculously turned water into wine at the marriage ceremony.

Serapis was powerless to perform miracles in his own village.

Serapis rode triumphantly into town on a donkey while people waved palm leaves to honor him.

Serapis had 12 disciples, was accused of licentious behavior and hung on a tree.

Serapis dies at the Vernal Equinox as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, descends to hell after bodily death, and then on the third day his tomb is visited by three of his female followers, he rises from the dead and ascends to heaven in glory.

Serapis death and resurrection are celebrated by a ritual meal of bread and wine, which symbolize his body and blood.

Numerous Gnostic mystery groups existed in the eastern Mediterranean during the late classical antiquity period, including the Eleusinian mysteries, the Dionysian mysteries, the Orphic mysteries and the Mithraic mysteries as well as the Mystery of Serapis.

Some of the many divinities that the Romans nominally adopted from other cultures also came to be worshiped in the Gnostic mysteries - for instance Egyptian Isis, Thracian/Phrygian Sabazius and Phrygian Cybele.

At the heart of the Gnostic Mystery of Christ was the myth of a Dying and Resurrecting God made into a Human, an Avatar, who was known by different names in different cultures:

- in Egypt he was Osiris and later Serapis;

- in Greece Dionysus;

- in Asia Minor Attis;

- in Syria Adonis;

- in Italy Bacchus;

- in Sumeria Tammuz;

in Persia Mithras.

This Dying and Resurrecting God had been popular throughout the ancient world for centuries and carried many local names but was mostly seen as a Bull as seen in the Canaanite god of fertility Baal.

It was the cross pollination with Hellenism, which always modeled the gods in human form, that allowed, first, the Alexandrian followers of Serapis and, then, the Essenes to model the Dying and Resurrecting God on, first, the Greek ruler Alexander III of Macedonia, and, then, Jesus of Nazareth.

The name 'Osiris-Dionysus' was sometimes used to denote the universal composite nature of reality in much the same way that the term Serapis was used before being replace by the term Christ.

Chrestus (Christus) was another name for the Egyptian god, Serapis.

Chrestus may be translated as "Messiah".




"In the city on the borders of Egypt which boasts Alexander of Macedonia as its founder, Serapis and Isis are worshiped with a reverence that is almost fanatical.

Evidence that the sun, under the name of Serapis, is the object of all this reverence is either the basket set on the head of the god or the figure of a three-headed creature placed by his statue.

The middle head of this figure, which is also the largest, represents a lion's; on the right a dog raises its head with a gentle and fawning air; and on the left the neck ends in the head of a ravening wolf.

All three beasts are joined together by the coils of a serpent whose head returns to the god's right hand which keeps the monster in check." - Macrobius, Saturnalia



Constantine was searching for a new State religion to unite the far flung reaches of the Roman Empire.

To this end Constantine took existing fragmented and splintered Gnostic Mysteries synthesizing the Mysteries of the Serapis with the Mysteries of Mithras and codifying the structure of those Gnostic mysteries into a new religion with a new sacred text - the New Testament which was underlain by the previously devised ponoerologic mythology of the Sadducees found in the Old Testament legitimized by the writings of Saul of Tarsus.
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