A question about dieties

Several times in Book Two Herodotus describes an Egyptian practice, but refuses to “name names”:

p. 149 (132) “Once a year, at the festival on which Egyptians beat themselves in honour of that deity whom I must not name in this connexion…”

p. 165 (170) “Here too, in Athene’s precinct at Sais, is the tomb of one whose name I prefer not to mention in such a connexion;”

p. 165 (171) “It is on this lake that the Egyptians act by night in what they call their Mysteries the Passion of that being whose name I will not speak. All the details of these performances are known to me, but – I will say no more. Similarly I propose to hold my tongue about the mysterious rites of Demeter…”

I find this very amusing when elsewhere he feels free to share gossipy tales and state strong opinions on which Egyptian customs he does or doesn’t approve of. Who is he being so coy about?

Lisa Q.

01. March 2007 by Arrian
Categories: Commentary, Herodotus | Tags: | 1 comment

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