Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

(Gk Σέραπις, also Σάραπις, Sárapis). By ancient tradition, the image of the god Serapis was brought to Alexandria in response to a command given in a dream. The date of the transfer (under Ptolemy I, II, or III; Ptolemaic dynasty) and the image’s original location (Sinope, Seleucia, or Memphis) were already debated in ancient religious historiography (e.g. Tacitus Historiae IV 83f.). The name Serapis comes from Memphite local religion: it is derived from the Egyptian name for the Osirified form of the Memphite Apis bull (wsyr-ḥp; attested since Ramses II), to whi…

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Haase, Mareile, “Serapis”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 02 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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