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Hieroglyphics of Horapollo, tr. Alexander Turner Cory, [1840], at



To denote the Egyptian letters, or a sacred scribe, or a boundary, they delineate INK, and a SIEVE, and a REED, and they thus symbolise the Egyptian letters, because by means of these things all writings among the Egyptians are executed: for they write with a reed and nothing else: and they depict a SIEVE, because the sieve being originally

p. 59

an instrument for making bread is constructed of reed; and they thereby intimate that every one who has a subsistence should learn the letters, but that one who has not should practise some other art. And hence it is that among them education is called SBO, 1 which when interpreted signifies sufficient food. Also they symbolize by these a sacred scribe, because he judges of life and death. For there is among the sacred scribes a sacred book called AMBRES, by which they decide respecting any one who is lying sick, whether he will live or not, ascertaining it from the recumbent posture of the sick person. And a boundary, because he who has learnt his letters has arrived at a tranquil harbour of existence, no longer wandering among the evils of this life.



I. Inkstand: the ink and reeds, with one of which Thoth is writing, are placed in the cavities of the inkstand.

II. A royal scribe.

III. Thoth, the sacred scribe, is usually in this position, behind Osiris in the judgment of the dead.

59:1 SBO in Coptic denotes learning.—Champ.

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