Senusret (Greek: Sesostris) is the name of several Ancient Egyptians:
Senusret I, Egypt pharaoh, 1971BC-1926BC
Senusret II, same, 1897 BC - 1878 BC
Senusret III, same, 1878 BC - 1839 BC
This conqueror not only subdued the lands as had Senusret III, but also conquered Asia and had crossed over into Europe to annex Thrace.
But since of all the other kings they spoke of no showing forth of actions, like any that is of brilliance, except that of the last of them, Moiris, and he showed forth as memorials Hephaestus’ foregates that are turned to the north wind’s direction, dug a lake, whose circumference is of as many stades as I will make clear later, and built pyramids on it, about whose size, together with the lake itself’s, I will make mention --he showed forth so much, but none of all the rest anything --passing by them, then, that man who became king after them, whose name was Sesostris, I will mention.
He, the priests said, first, setting off with long boats from the Arabian gulf, subjected those who had their settlements by the Red sea, until he, in sailing farther, came to a sea no longer navigable because of shallows. And when he had come back thence to Egypt, according to the priests’ report, he took hold of a large host and drove through the mainland and subjected every nation in his way. Now, with whomever of them he met that were valorous and strove terribly for freedom, for those he set up pillars in their countries that said in letters his own name, his fatherland’s and that by his own power he had subjected them, but whosever cities he took over without a fight and easily, for those he wrote on the pillars after the same fashion as for those of the nations who had proven manly and, what’s more, besides drew on a woman’s pudenda, because he wanted to make clear that they were invalorous.
Doing that, then, he went through the mainland, until, having crossed from Asia to Europe, he subjected the Scythians and the Thracians. And to them the Egyptian army seems to me to have come at its farthest. For in their country pillars manifestly are set up, but farther that they no longer. Thence, then, he turned round and went back and, when he had come to be by the Phasis river, I am not able to say exactly thereafter whether the king himself, Sesostris, divided off a part of his host of such and such a size and left them behind there as settlers of the country or some of the soldiers, vexed by his wandering, stayed behind round the Phasis river.
Sesostris at Karabel (photo)
Între 30 martie şi 2 aprilie 2000 în Scoţia, Universitatea din Edinburgh a organizat Conferinţa Internaţională „The Iron Gates in prehistory” (Preistoria Porţilor de Fier) ca semn de preţuire acordat importantelor vestigii scoase la lumină în defileul Dunării între Carpaţi şi Balcani.
„„Nu sunt de neluat în seamă nici informaţiile pe care ni le transmite V. Flaccus (m.90 e.n.) care, referindu-se la drumul argonauţilor (din sec. XIII î.e.n.), spune că aceştia au văzut pe porţile templului Soarelui din cetatea lui Arietes: „reprezentarea înfrânderii egiptenilor, conduşi de Sesostris, de către geţi”.
Dar Diodor din Sicilia (c.80-c.21 î.e.n.), în istoria lumii antice de la origini şi până la războiul lui Cezar în Galia din 58-51 î.e.n. intitulată „Biblioteca istorică”, prezintă campania egipteană din Tracia condusă de Sesostris, se pare din timpul domniei faraonului Ramses al II-lea (1290-1224 î.e.n.) (2).
Dacă la toate acestea se mai adaugă şi informaţiile recente, ale studiilor mineralogice de laborator, care au confirmat că aurul din sarcofagele egiptene provine din Transilvania, înseamnă că istoria ţării noastre are rădăcini adânci prin vestigiile şi documentele atestate din antichitate şi până în prezent, iar legenda se poate transforma în istorie veridică.
Greeks accepted Osiris under the name of Dionysus in their mystery-cults
A small Osiris ... this is the sole example of such a monument found in the Danube region and in the Balkans
by Ovid Densusianu
PART 1 – Ch.VII
The expedition of Osiris to the Istru – traditions and legends about
his battle with Typhon, from the country of the Arimi
Diodorus Siculus (I.c.27) also tells us that, according to what some authors of antiquity said, the grave of Osiris and of his wife Isis might have been in the city of Nysa in Arabia, where existed a column, which had the following inscription, written with religious letters:
“My father was Saturn, the youngest of all the gods. And I am Osiris, the king who led his armies through all the countries, right to the uninhabited regions of the Indians, and up to the regions which bend northwards, up to the sources of the river Istru, and back to the other parts leading to the Ocean … There is no place on earth where I did not go, and with my goodness have distributed to all the people, the things I discovered”.
From these few still preserved historical fragments, which we have from Diodorus Siculus, about the life and deeds of Osiris in such a remote epoch, it results that this king of Egypt had made an expedition to the parts of Europe, and that he, according to the inscription from Nysa, had victoriously advanced to the sources of the Istru, and had conquered the whole European continent known to the ancients.
But while this Osiris legitimately reigned over Egypt, his brother Typhon, as the Osiric legends tell us, a violent and impious man, tricked him, trapped him in a coffin, then killed him, and cut his body in 26 pieces, which he distributed between the members of his conspiracy, in order to make them all responsible for this crime, and in this way to be entirely sure of their help. But the queen Isis, Osiris’ wife, helped by her son Horus, took arms against Typhon the usurper, defeated and killed him in a battle which took place near the village Anteu, in Lower Egypt. She then reoccupied the throne of Egypt, and wishing her deceased husband to be religiously venerated by all her subjects, ordered life-size wax images of his figure or body to be made, with the intention to distribute them in every region of her kingdom. At the same time, Isis called to her all the priests subject to her rule, assured them, one by one, that only at his place the remains of the deceased king will be interred, and forced each of them, by oath, to bury at his place the wax body or face of Osiris, to remind the people of the blessings of this king, and to venerate him with divine honors. The priests did exactly as they were ordered; on one hand because they remembered the good deeds of Osiris, on the other, to fulfill the queen’s mandate, and finally, because their own interests required it.
That’s why, writes Diodorus Siculus, each Egyptian priest insists even today, that the body of Osiris is buried at his temple. At the same time, the Egyptians also consider sacred the bulls dedicated to Osiris, with the names of Apis and Mnevis, because with the help of these animals, Isis and Osiris, the discoverers of the cereals, had introduced the benefits of agriculture (I.c.21).
After the divinity and cult of Osiris were so established, the ancient Egyptian theology showed Typhon, the powerful enemy of Osiris, as the principle of evil, as a demonic spirit, as a dragon, from which all the physical and moral evils of the world were born, and in particular, all the venomous animals and plants, and all the perilous winds (Plutarch, Oeuvres, Tome XI, 1784, p.346; Dupuis, L’origine de tous les cultes, Tome I.p.477, II.p.300, 351. In antiquity, exactly like in the Romanian legends, there was the belief, that all the animals which provoke wounds with their bites, were born from Typhon: Acusilai, frag.4, in Fragmenta Hist. graec. I. p.100) .
[3. In the ancient papyri laid next to the mummies in Egyptian graves, Typhon, the adversary of Osiris, bears different names, Apap, Sati, etc. He is shown as a dragon from the ends of the earth, or from the northern hemisphere, 70 ells long, which has his lair on a high mountain, and the ditch in which this serpent lies, this “son of the earth”, is hewn in live rock, 10 ells wide and 3 ells high. (TN – here follow 4 quotations from “Le livre des morts des anciens Egyptiens”, Paris, Edit. Leroux, 1882, chapters: 82.1.2; 149.13.14; 108.2.3; 39.5-9).
The Romanian legends say the same thing, that this dragon had encircled with the length of its body Oslea mountain, or some six other mountain peaks (namely Pestisanul, Stana Stirbului, Stana Ursului, Oslea, Oslita and Gropele from Mehedinti and Gorj districts), and that its trail, or the serpent’s trail, is seen on earth and on rock, on the coast of the mountains, especially on Oslea mountain, where it is called Troianul Sarpelui (TN – The Serpent’s earth mound). It is also told that even the river Cerna might flow on the furrow cut in the earth by this giant dragon, while it ran (Legends from the villages Busesci, Hirisesci, Tismana and Isvernea)].
In the historical Egyptian monuments, Typhon bears also the name Smu (Manetho Sebennytae, frag. 77 in Fragm. Hist. gr. II. p.613), meaning Smeu (TN – balaur), word of Pelasgian origin, having in this case the same meaning as the word dragon (Lexiconul de Buda, and Cihac, Dictionnaire, v.smeu). The epithet smeu and balaur is also used in our folk poetry, as a symbol of the heroes’ remarkable courage (Alecsandri, Folk poems. 196; Teodorescu, Folk poems. p.557, 568).
In Greek ancient mythology, which had adopted all its divinities and religious beliefs, part from the Egyptians, part from the Pelasgians, Osiris, the powerful king-god of antiquity, is identified with Jove, and the queen Isis with Juno. Even the genealogy of these two monarchs is one and the same. Osiris and Isis of the Egyptians, and Jove and Juno of the Greeks, are the children of the old and legendary king Saturn, who had reigned in those primitive times of history, over most of Europe, over western Asia and northern Africa.
Although the Greek legends, as written testimonies, are from a much later epoch than the Egyptian ones, we find in the Greek version very precious extra details about the course of this memorable prehistoric war between Osiris or Jove and Typhon.
“After Jove chased the Titans from the sky”, Hesiodus tells us in his Theogony, the gigantic Earth (Gaea, Terra, Tera) gave birth to her youngest son, Typhon. He had robust hands, capable for work, exactly like those of a man, and the legs of a strong and tireless god, but from his shoulders, one hundred terrible dragon heads rose, with black tongues, and fire glowing in all the eyes of these dragon heads. All those heads had voices, and produced all sorts of sounds, which can not be described, as some time they sounded as to be understood by the gods (Homer mentions on various occasions the language of the gods, which was the ancient religious language – Pelasgian), another time they resembled the bellow of a wild, strong bull, or the roaring of a terrible lion, or the barking of dogs (allusion to a barbarian language, not Greek), or they sounded like a terrifying rumble, which made the high mountains echo. And truly, it would have been a terrible thing if Typhon ruled one day over gods and mortals, and the father of gods and men (Jove) understood very well the gravity of this situation. So Jove, gathering all his strength, took his weapons, thunders and lightning, and rushing out of Olympus, he hit and burnt all the gigantic heads of this fearsome monster, defeated, mutilated it, and threw it into the vast Tartarus.
From Typhon were born the perilous storms, which scatter the boats and drown the sailors, or blow on the surface of the earth and ruin the labor of the men born of the earth .
[4. Hesiodus, Theog. v. 820-880 – According to Hesiodus, Typhon, the big and strong dragon, was at the same time the father of storms. This tradition still exists today with the Romanian people. “The people who lived here before us, cast spells on serpents, and took them into battle. Those serpents were the children of the “strong one”, a big dragon which goes rumbling in front of the flood. People feared the storms and the floods, which listened to the “strong one”, and that is why they cast spells on serpents and took them into battle, so that the flood (big wave of muddy water, which follows the torrential rains) will avoid them (communicated from the village Orbic, Neamtu district).
A special importance presents this legend in regard to the name Typhon and Typhoeus, given to this dragon-hero of prehistoric antiquity. In old Greek typhon means a destructive storm, a flood (TN – puhoiu) caused by rain, and because in the Doric and Aeolian dialects p is often changed with t, the Romanian word puhoiu appears, by its meaning and by its etymology, as identical with the Greek Typhon and Typhoeus].
We find other characteristic data about this powerful king-dragon of prehistory, with Apollodorus.
After the gods defeated the Giants, this author tells us, the furious Earth (Gaea) had sexual relations with Tartarus, and gave birth in Cilicia to Typhon, who had a mixed nature, of human being and monster, and who surpassed, by the size and power of his body, everyone who had ever been born on Earth until then. His body had a human form down to his legs, but it was of an immense size, and higher than any mountain. He often touched the stars with his head, with one hand he reached to the west, and with the other to the east, and from his shoulders raised one hundred dragon heads. His body was covered with viper spirals (leather belts) from hands to feet, and these spirals, stretching to his ends, produced fearsome whistling. He was covered with feathers all over his body, and his rough and entangled long hair, as well as his beard, fluttered in the wind. From his eyes, fire was flashing, and from his mouth he threw a big flaming fire.
When the gods saw him assaulting the sky, they all rushed to Egypt, and to conceal themselves from his fury, they changed into different animal shapes. But Jove, seeing that Typhon, who was chasing them, was still far away, hit him with his thunderbolts, and when Typhon drew nearer, Jove frightened him with his steel battle axe, and chased him to mount Casiu in Siria. Here Jove closed in, and seeing that Typhon was tired, grabbed him, but Typhon caught Jove, tied him up with his spirals (leather belts), then, taking him on his shoulders, crossed the sea to Cilicia, where he shut him in the cave called Coryciu, and put the wild maiden, half she-serpent, named Delphina, to guard him. But Jove escaped from the cave, with the help of Mercury (Hermes), and started a fresh assault on Typhon, whom he followed with his thunderbolts to mount Nysa. Typhon, seeing this, withdrew to Thrace and the battle took place at Hem Mountain, from where he threw whole mountains on Jove, and Jove hit him with his thunderbolts, and returned on him the mountains he threw. A lot of blood (aima) flew on that mountain, from which it is said that this mountain got its name of Haemos. From Hem Typhon ran across the sea of Sicily, where Jove threw on him the great mountain Etna, from where fire spouts even today, because, as it is said, of the many thunderbolts thrown there (Bibl. I.5.3).
These are the ancient remains, preserved under the veil of Osiric religion, about the great war of prehistory, between Osiris from Egypt and Typhon from the Istru, two traditional kings, both sons of Saturn, one worshiped, the other condemned by Egyptian and Greek theology.
We find the same historical elements in Romanian traditions.
The victorious hero is Ostrea or Osiris (in Greek form Ostris / Pauly, Real-Encyclopadie, V. Band. 1848, p.1011), or Iovan Iorgovan (Hercules), Osiris’ military commander over Egypt, during his expedition. And the defeated hero is the powerful king-dragon of prehistoric antiquity. Both adversaries fight for the domination of the ancient world, and especially for the succession to the vast empire of Saturn. But in the end the titan-king from the Istru is forced to withdraw into the mountains, where he is defeated, mutilated and thrown into a deep and dark cave.
In Romanian legends, the hero Ostrea-Novac, who fought with the dragon, is presented as the “king of the Jews” (TN – Jidovi, name very much similar with Jove)”, or of the Semitic race. He had, according to the Romanian traditions, very large courts in the parts towards Tarigrad (TN – Constantinople), or the southern parts, and in his courts were stone candle holders, stone tapers and coiled dogs of stone (Egyptian sphinxes); he was a great king, “everybody knelt before him as if he were God” and obeyed his commands (traditions from the villages: Maldar / Olt; Ciocanesci / Ialomita; Vertop / Dolj).
The legend of Osiris and his battle with Typhon, is a legend with a lot of authority. It formed the most glorious tradition of the Egyptian and Hebrew worlds, a sort of religious folk history, which fueled the imagination for thousands of years, and in Greek lands the autocratic power of Jove, either if he were the same person as Osiris, or if he only helped him.
Now, from a scientific point of view, we are faced with the challenge of finding the positive essence of this legend, in order to re-establish the historical truth of this theological synthesis, and especially to find out where took place this grandiose war, which had decided the fate of the ancient world; the memory of which, we repeat one more time, has been transmitted only under the form of some figurate descriptions, edited and propagated by the Egyptian priests.
Homer’s Iliad (II.v.782-783), the most ancient monument of Greek literature, tells us that the country of Typhon or Typhoeu, as he calls him, was the country of the Arimi (the form Arimi corresponds to Rimi; the Greeks said ‘Aripes instead of ‘Ripes, to a population from Achaia), near the mountain Typhoeu, where was also the abode of this brave and legendary dragon.
These Arimi, as Hesiodus says (Theog. v.304-306; 731) dwelt at the northern edge of the earth known to the Greeks, the place where there was also the vast subterranean cave, in which this ancient and powerful monarch of the Istru was thrown. The placing of the Arimi in Asia Minor (cf. Strabo, XII.8.19; XIII.4.6) is completely unscientific and is in total contradiction with Homeric and Hesiodic geography, as well as with the Egyptian legends.
With the war between Osiris and Typhon though, the political role of the Arimi comes to an end. Their name disappears completely from Greek literature. They belonged to an ancient world and their memory appears only as a far away echo, even in the poems of Homer and Hesiod.
These Arimi, by the importance given them by Homer and Hesiod, were during the first heroic epoch, the most extended population of the lands of Thrace, the Lower Danube and Scythia, and westwards we find traces of ethnic settlements of the Arimi right to the Cotic Alps and beyond the Rhine valley.
Typhon is Arim or Ariman by nationality, and the dominant ethnic element in his empire was the nation of the Arimi. Under the name Ariman, Typhon is shown in the national religion of ancient Iran as the principle of evil. The great event that had happened at the Istru, had also a deep impact in the entire prehistoric world, right to the banks of the Ganges.
A great and united empire had been destroyed, the largest which had ever existed, founded by Saturn, the father of Typhon and Osiris; empire in the orbit of which fell a large part of Europe, of north Africa and of western Asia, which is what Apollodorus means when he says that Typhon reached to the stars with his head, with one hand to the west and with the other to the east.
This Ariman, the doctrines of Zoroaster tell us, had tried, under the shape of a dragon, to measure himself up with the sky. Ninety days and ninety nights all the gods fought against him, and at last, he was chased out by Ormazd, the god of light, and thrown into hell.
In essence and in form, the theology of Zoroaster did not contain anything new.
The personality of Ariman in Zendavesta is the same as the personality of Typhon of Greek and Egyptian theology (Dupuis, Origine de tous les cultes. Tome II.285).
Zoroaster, the founder of the ancient religion of the Persians, had lived with many centuries, we can say even thousands of years, after the memorable event happened at the Lower Danube, and he had only subsumed the ancient traditions, beliefs and legends of the west, transmitted to Media and Parthia by the migrations of the Scythians (Isidorus, Origines XIV.3.9).
As we said though, the ethnic name of the Arimi disappeared after their political ruin.
We find mentions of various geographical traces of their dwellings at the Danube and at the north of the Euxine Pontos, until late in historical times.
In the list of the various ethnic nations settled near the shores of the Black Sea, Pliny the Old (Hist. Nat. VI.7.1) mentions a population called Arim(ph)aei, a nationality with the same mores, and on the same level of civilization as the Hyperboreans, whose dwellings, as this author tells us, were near the Riphaei mountains, the ancient cradle of the just people; mountains which, from a geographical point of view, formed the western border of the plains called Scythia, and were therefore identical with the Carpathians (Justini, Historiarum Philippicarum lib. II. c.2).
Pliny again, this illustrious man of Rome, who, with his spirit and vast knowledge, wanted to cover the whole world, tells us also that, in a remote antiquity, various ethnic tribes of the Scythians had the name of Aramaei (Hist. Nat. VI.19.1)
These ethnic names of Arim(ph)aei and Aramaei, which luckily were preserved by the geographical sources of Pliny, present the Greek form of the name Arimi or Arimani, as, for example, the Greeks always used the expressions ‘Romaios and ‘Romaioi as correspondents for the terms Romanus and Romani.
Typhon, from the country of the Arimi, the son of Saturn, is shown here, according to the doctrines of Egyptian theology, half man, half dragon. He holds in his right hand the shepherd’s hook, the mblem of imperial authority with the northern Pelasgians. In his left hand he holds a staff, the symbol of kingly power over the southern countries.
After the Egyptian planisphere, discovered by Bianchini in
[5. The costume of Typhon, as results from this symbolic presentation, was composed of a shirt with large sleeves, and long embroidered tight trousers, having at the lower part the shape of two wings for each leg, like the traditional trousers worn in Oltenia today. Over the waist he had a leather belt. The Egyptian priests have also attributed to Typhon a celestial character. On the Egyptian Planisphere, the entire northern hemisphere bears the name of “Statio Typhonia”, or “Statio Typhonis”. And Plutarch (Oeuvres, XI, p.308) tells us that the Egyptian priests considered the constellation Ursa, as the astronomical symbol of Typhon. Under the “Big Ursa”, according to the ideas of the ancients, dwelt the Sarmatians and the Getae (Ovid, Trist. III. 11.8; V. 3.7-8)].
We find a precious ethnic data regarding the Arimi, with the learned Alexandrine geographer Ptolemy, who had lived in the time of Adrian and Marc Aurelius. He is the only one, among all the geographers of that epoch, who mentions an ancient ante-Roman city called Ramidava (Geogr. III.c.8), meaning the city of the Rami, located in the southern part of this province, namely close to the river called today Buzeu.
Another important group of prehistoric Rami had in those times their dwellings near the Meotic lake (Pliny, H.N.VI.7.2), and beyond the Rhine, Cesar’s expedition made known to us the Remi or Rhemi (‘Remoi), one of the largest, most noble and powerful populations of Belgian Gaul, friends and allies of the Roman people (Caesaris, B.G.II.3, III.5, VII.90; Pliny, lib. IV. 31).
Homer’s Iliad has also preserved the memory of a Pelasgian lord with the name of Rigm-os, the son of Pirous of Thrace, hero who had taken part in the war with the Greeks as ally of the Trojans (Ilias, XX.v.484-5).
Between Drava and Sava, there appears during the Roman epoch, a locality with the name of Ramista (Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum, Ed. Parthey, p.266), or Remista (Die Peutingersche Tafel, Segm. V.3, Ed.Miller, 1888); in upper Moesia there was Remisiana (Itiner. Antonini, Ed. Parthey, p.63) or Romesiana (Die Peuting.Tafel, Segm.Vii.5); eastwards from Philippopoli there were Ramlum (Ibid. Segm.VIII.2) and Rhamis (Itin. Hierosol. P.269), and at the foot of the Cotic Alps, in the Narbonnese Gaul, there was the town Ramae (Ibid.p.263) - geographical names the origin of which goes back to the ancient, extensive and homogenous population of the Rimi or Arimi, which had become so famous in prehistoric times.
We find new geographical elements regarding the country of Typhon, and the power center of the ancient Arimi, in the important description preserved by Apollodorus.
The first battle with Typhon, this author tells us, took place at the mountain called Casiu, Kasion oros, and this time the success was on the part of Typhon. The titan king from the Istru, caught Jove, his adversary, and imprisoned him in the cave called Coryciu.
This mountain Casiu, which had become so famous in the war of Osiris (Jove) with Typhon, also had a historical role in the first war of Trajan with the Dacians.
Trajan, Suidas tells us, dedicated to Jove from the mountain Casiu (meaning to a sanctuary there), some silver craters and an enormous gilded ox horn, as gifts for his victory against the Getae. So, it is incontestable that this “Casion oros”, whose memory is preserved in two great wars which took place near the Istru, could not be in Antioch Syria, where the Greek authors have tried to place the first battles of Jove with Typhon, as well as the solemn sacrifices made by Trajan in gratitude for his victories against the Dacians .
[6. The mountain Casiu was, according to Apollodorus (I.6.3) in “Syria from beyond”. Which was though this Syria from beyond? The term yper… used in this case by the sources of Apollodorus, indicates quite exactly that here is not meant an Asiatic Syria, but a Syria from the north of the Greek regions (cf. Polyb. IV.29.1). Stephanos Byzanthinos mentions a city or a region (polis) in Thrace with the name Sirra, whose geographical situation is unfortunately unknown. And in ancient times, under the name of Thrace was understood the entire north of Europe, above Greece (St. Byz.Skythai)].
An important part of the crest of the Carpathians, which stretches from the Iron Gates up, towards Retezat mountains, had and still has today the name of Cosiu, name identical in essence and form with Kasion oros, mentioned by Apollodorus.
In the center of this vast semi-circle of the Carpathians, which encloses the western plains of Romania, and especially at the point of origin of the valley called Topolnita, we are presented with one of the most important natural defensive positions of this region, namely the mountain called Gradet, and at the foot of this mountain, another steep crest called Cosuri, term which belongs to the same type of names as Kasion and Cosiu. On the top of this high peak of Gradet, can be seen even today the ruins of an extensive gigantic wall called “Zidina Dachilor” (TN – zid = wall). The remains of this strong and colossal fortification belong to an archaic defensive system. It is a vast fortified enclosure, whose primitive function was to protect the inhabitants of western Oltenia against the enemy invasions, coming from the lower regions, or from the Danube.
“I have never seen until today”, writes Cesar Bolliac, “any other Dacian fortress, with such a size, strength and built on such a height. Here the stone is hewn from the neighboring mountains, and thrown on this peak with a titanic force, then gathered and tied together with a cement as strong as the rock” (Trompeta Carpatilor, nr. 785, 1869).
In the neighborhood of this strong defensive centre, strengthened by nature and by the hand of man, can be found even today various stone tools and Neolithic pottery. The traditions tell us that here was in antiquity the theater of a great war with a people from the southern regions (Spineanu, Dict. Geogr. Jud. Mehedinti, p.166). Here could be seen until our days, between the villages Balotesci and Scanteiesci, the enormous stone boulders of an extensive necropolis, called by the folk people “the graves of the Jidovi”, or of the giants (Spineanu, ibid. p.166; Filip, Studiu de geografie militara asupra Olteniei, p.96).
But what is of a special importance for the study of these historical events, is that, in this same region, between the villages Balotesci and Isvorul Barzei, not far from the mountain Gradet, there is the village and tableland called Curecea, and facing this tableland, there is a cavern with a particular folk tradition, analogous to that of Korikion antron, namely that in this cavern from Curecea there was a Jidov or a giant; imprisoned or not, the tradition doesn’t tell .
[7. This cave is situated in front of the tableland Curecea, on the hill called “Petra cu ciorele” (TN – the Rock with the crows), which is situated on the right bank of the river Topolnita, between the villages Balotesci and Isvorul Barzei, close to Severin.
The positive etymology of the name Korikion antron seems to be the word koraxi, Lat. Corax, raven, crow (TN – ciora). We find a similar name with the geographer Mela (lib. I.19; III.5), who mentions in a vague way a long chain of mountains called “mons Coraxicus”, which was connected to the Rhipaei mountains. We also find with Mela (I.13) an important topographical note regarding this cavern (specus Corycius). Near this cavern, he says, there is also a big river, which springs from a vast mouth and which, after flowing for a short distance, sinks and disappears again into the earth. Almost the same phenomenon presents today the river Topolnita, which flows along the foot of the hill, in which there is the cavern from nearby Curecea. Then this river sinks into the earth at the hill named Prosec, and reemerges at the mouth of the Cave facing Topolnita monastery].
Read at:on line http://books.google.com/books?id=4_p4yf48N5QC&pg=PA376&lpg=PA376&dq=Osiris+in+the+balkans&source=bl&ots=AuWy1VFMNK&sig=NfwKJ0uEOGYhr1BjLJ6oRMH8C-s&hl=en&ei=nI4vTODmEc-gnQfC8MCyAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAjgU#v=onepage&q=Osiris%20in%20the%20balkans&f=false
Osiris: death and afterlife of a god, By Bojana Mojsov
The author is a well-known Egyptologist. This is an excellent book with some photographs and many pen and ink drawing, heavily annotated and with a list of all the Egyptian gods,two pages of maps, a glossary, and Egyptian chronology, to help with references. The author does not assume the reader is an ancient Egyptian scholar: she starts the Osiris myth saga as it changes and develops over 3000 years of documented Egyptian history in the easiest way, by using Egyptian history as the backdrop.
Osiris was the god of the underworld, of death, but also of resurrection, and important in that it was he who welcomed the newly dead but surviving souls to the life everlasting and to their first trial after death, the trial of the heart and the feather. Osiris had been a great god, one of the first in all of creation, but was killed by his perfidious brother Seth or Set. (whose name may be a root word for the Hebrew word which became Satan.) Now, he ruled the world of the dead, not a negative image at all, but positive: he was beloved and worshipped. His wife was his sister, Isis, who after his murder searched the whole world until she found his dis-membered body and was able to magically have it put together again, and to create the child Horus from Osiris' dead flesh. Osiris went to the afterlife to rule there. In his role as the god whom one met in the afterlife, his role was to judge and to guide and help. Every person faced a type of judgement of one's sins, and had to recite a "negative confession", such as: "I did not kill" "I did not steal milk from the mouth of babes" are two such of 40-some such. He or she then stated they had given to the poor, and so on. Finally, the deceased's heart was weighed against a feather. The heart, the seat of the soul, the mind, understanding and morality must not fail this test, and along with the verbal statements it determined if the deceased would be devoured by a terrible monster, or would stand the chance to go on to the immortal afterlife. If his heart survived that test, Osiris would give him bread and beer, a sort of communion, and point him on his way with his shepard's crook to the next passage to eternal life. pp48-49. The Egyptian afterlife was a place not ethereal and angelic, but like the real and usual world, and everything one could do in the real world, one could do in the afterlife, one reason why they prepared for the afterlife as if packing for a move to a new residence. A spell or prayer on a funeral papyrus says: "A spell for going out into the day. Of coming and going in the realms of the dead. Of entering the field of reeds...Having power there. Plowing there and reaping. Eating there, drinking there, making love there. Doing everything that used to be done on earth."
As for Osiris himself: Each year Osiris died again and was reborn again. It is believed that each year there was a public re-enactment of his death (murder) and his resurrection: "At last the procession arrived at the tomb of Osiris. Reading, chanting, and prayers for the god's resurrection were spoken at the tomb. Then, the priests entered the sepulcher by the western door and reverently laid the chest of Osiris on a bed of sand in the chamber...Plutarch described how every year the earth and silt from the inundation (of the Nile) were placed in a wooden chest with seeds to symbolize the body of Osiris. After the chest was buried the death of the god was mourned for three days and nights....Three images were made, symbolizing his dead, re-membered, and risen body. They possessed sacramental, magical power....the festival lived on for thousands of years, lasting as late as Roman times." pp51-53
The many changes and the ways in which Osiris, god of the dead, was seen, worshipped, and incorporated with other gods who then weakened and disappeared into him, is explained quite clearly. Ra, and Amun were two important gods who became interwoven in some ways with Osiris over many hundreds of years. Aside from this, the main gist of the book, quite a lot of time is spent on the influence Osiris and the rest of the Egyptian religion had on other religions---especially those touched by/carried away by the Roman soldiers who would finally conquer and occupy Egypt. Through them many Egyptian cults were spread to Rome and thus to the Roman Empire as a whole.
Worship of Osiris, Isis and their son Horus were among those. "Horus-the-Child,was conceived at the Spring Equinox at the time of harvest, and born at the winter solstice...the worship of Osiris explicitly encompassed the doctrine of One-in-Three: the Resurrected Redeemer, the Holy Mother, the Savior Child." pp91 She also traces the influence of the Osiris cult and others directly on later Christianity and Islam. For example, speaking of the god Amun, "once a year the statue of Amun of Karnak was carried in a procession on a barge...went to visit his harem, then made the rounds of the sacred places in Thebes. To this day in Thebes (modern Luxor)revelers carry boats on their shoulders every year to celebrate the feast of Abu el Hagag, the Muslim Saint..."p61 "The cult of Isis and Horus-the-Child was especially popular. Hundreds of bronze figures of Isis nursing her infant found in temples and households became the models for the Christian figures of the Virgin and Child. Steadily, the story of Osiris had spread beyond Egypt and around the entire Mediterranean."pp101
Eventually, after Christianity had conquered the entire region, including Egypt, by the 4th century, the pagan temples were closed and the great library in Alexandria Egypt, which had supposedly held every book in the then-known world, was burned to the ground by monks, pagan worship of the old gods went underground. "The cult of Isis, one of the last bastions of paganism...as late as the fifth century we here of the existance of pagan temples in Egypt and of an Isis fesitval celebrated by peasants in north Italy. At the beginning of the sixth century the statue of Isis was still carried up the Nile to Sudan to bless the crops...as late as the tenth century (medieval historians wrote)people from local villages still gathered at Philae for the annual feast of Isis. It is from Philae we have the last hierglyphic inscriptions." pp119."
Herodotus cited a story told by Egyptian priests about a Pharaoh Sesostris, who once led an army northward through Syria and Turkey all the way to Colchis, westward across Southern Russia, and then south again through Romania, until he reached Bulgaria and the Eastern part of Greece. Sesostris then returned home the same way he came, leaving colonists behind at the Colchian river Phasis. Herodotus cautioned the reader that much of this story came second hand via Egyptian priests, but also noted that the Colchians were commonly known to be Egyptian colonists.
According to Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus (who calls him Sesoösis), and Strabo, he conquered the whole world, even Scythia and Ethiopia, divided Egypt into administrative districts or nomes, was a great law-giver, and introduced a caste system into Egypt and the worship of Serapis.
Herodotus claims Sesostris was the father of the blind king Pheron, who was less warlike than his father.
He has been considered a compound of Seti I and Ramesses II, kings of the Nineteenth Dynasty. In Manetho, however, a pharaoh called Sesostris occupied the same position as the known pharaoh Senusret II of the Twelfth Dynasty, and his name is now usually viewed as a corruption of Senwosret. So far as is known, no Egyptian king penetrated a days journey beyond the Euphrates or into Asia Minor, or touched the continent of Europe. The kings of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth dynasties were the greatest conquerors that Egypt ever produced, and their records are clear on this point. Senusret III raided south Canaan and Ethiopia, and at Semna above the second cataract set up a stela of conquest that in its expressions recalls the stelae of Sesostris in Herodotus: Sesostris may, therefore, be the highly magnified portrait of this Pharaoh.
[Sidenote: DEFEAT OF VESOSIS (SESOSTRIS)]
VI This was the region where the Goths dwelt when 47
Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, made war upon them.
Their king at that time was Tanausis. In a battle at the
river Phasis (whence come the birds called pheasants,
which are found in abundance at the banquets of the great
all over the world) Tanausis, king of the Goths, met
Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, and there inflicted a
severe defeat upon him, pursuing him even to Egypt.
Had he not been restrained by the waters of the impassable
Nile and the fortifications which Vesosis had long
ago ordered to be made against the raids of the Ethiopians,
he would have slain him in his own land. But
finding he had no power to injure him there, he returned
and conquered almost all Asia and made it subject and
tributary to Sornus, king of the Medes, who was then his
dear friend. At that time some of his victorious army,
seeing that the subdued provinces were rich and fruitful,
deserted their companies and of their own accord
remained in various parts of Asia.
The War of Vesosis and Tanausis is described in Jordanes' semi-historical account of the Goths as happening in remote antiquity when Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, made war against them. Their king at that time was Tanausis. In a battle at the river Phasis (in Colchis, modern Georgia), Tanausis, king of the Goths met Vesosis, king of the Egyptians, and there inflicted a severe defeat upon him, pursuing him even to Egypt.