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Horapollo (from
Horus Horus or Her, Heru, Hor, Har in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities Ancient Egyptian deities are the God (male deity), gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt. The beliefs and rituals surrounding ...

Horus
Apollo Apollo, grc, Ἀπόλλωνος, ''Apóllōnos'', label=genitive , ; , grc-dor, Ἀπέλλων, ''Apéllōn'', ; grc, Ἀπείλων, ''Apeílōn'', label=Arcadocypriot Greek, ; grc-aeo, Ἄπλουν, ''Áploun'', la, Apollō, ...

Apollo
; grc-gre, Ὡραπόλλων) is the supposed author of a treatise, titled ''Hieroglyphica'', on
Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent ...
, extant in a
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
translation by one Philippus, dating to about the 5th century.


Life

Horapollo is mentioned by the
Suda The ''Suda'' or ''Souda'' (; grc-x-medieval, Σοῦδα, Soûda; la, Suidae Lexicon) is a large 10th-century Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman ...

Suda
(ω 159) as one of the last leaders of Egyptian priesthood at a school in Menouthis, near
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
, during the reign of
Zeno Zeno or Zenon ( grc, Ζήνων) may refer to: People * Zeno (name), including a list of people and characters with the name Philosophers * Zeno of Elea (), philosopher, follower of Parmenides, known for his paradoxes * Zeno of Citium (333 – 2 ...
(AD 474–491). According to the Suda, Horapollo had to flee because he was accused of plotting a revolt against the Christians, and his temple to
Isis Isis (; ''Ēse''; ; Meroitic language, Meroitic: ''Wos'' 'a''or ''Wusa'') was a major ancient Egyptian deities, goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Ol ...

Isis
and
Osiris Osiris (, from Egyptian ''wsjr'', Coptic ) is the god In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne ...

Osiris
was destroyed. Horapollo was later captured and after torture converted to Christianity. Another, earlier, Horapollo alluded to by the Suda was a grammarian from Phanebytis, under
Theodosius II Theodosius II ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 10 April 401 – 28 July 450), commonly called Theodosius the Younger, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the History of the Roman Empire, imperial pe ...
(AD 408–450). To this Horapollo the ''Hieroglyphica'' was attributed by most 16th-century editors, although there were more occult opinions, identifying Horapollo with
Horus Horus or Her, Heru, Hor, Har in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities Ancient Egyptian deities are the God (male deity), gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt. The beliefs and rituals surrounding ...

Horus
himself, or with a
pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

pharaoh
. Horapollo wrote commentaries on
Sophocles Sophocles (; grc, Σοφοκλῆς, ; 497/6 – winter 406/5 BC)Sommerstein (2002), p. 41. is one of three ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , ...

Sophocles
,
Alcaeus of Mytilene Alcaeus of Mytilene (; grc, Ἀλκαῖος ὁ Μυτιληναῖος, ''Alkaios ho Mutilēnaios''; – BC) was a Greek lyric, lyric poet from the Greek island of Lesbos who is credited with inventing the Alcaic stanza. He was included in th ...
and
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
, and a work ( grc, Τεμενικά) on places consecrated to the gods.
Photius Photios I ( el, Φώτιος, ''Phōtios''; c. 810/820 – 6 February 893), also spelled PhotiusFr. Justin Taylor, essay "Canon Law in the Age of the Fathers" (published in Jordan Hite, T.O.R., & Daniel J. Ward, O.S.B., "Readings, Cases, Material ...
(cod. 279), who calls him a dramatist as well as a
grammarian Grammarian may refer to: * Alexandrine grammarians, philologists and textual scholars in Hellenistic Alexandria in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE * Biblical grammarians, scholars who study the Bible and the Hebrew language * Grammarian (Greco-Roman ...
, ascribes to him a history of the foundation and antiquities of
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
(unless this is by an Egyptian of the same name, who lived in the reign of
Zeno Zeno or Zenon ( grc, Ζήνων) may refer to: People * Zeno (name), including a list of people and characters with the name Philosophers * Zeno of Elea (), philosopher, follower of Parmenides, known for his paradoxes * Zeno of Citium (333 – 2 ...
, 474–491).


''Hieroglyphica''

The text of the ''Hieroglyphica'' consists of two books, containing a total of 189 explanations of
Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent ...
. The books profess to be a translation from an Egyptian original into Greek by a certain Philippus, of whom nothing is known. The inferior Greek of the translation, and the character of the additions in the second book point to its being of late date; some have even assigned it to the 15th century. The text was discovered in 1419 on the island of
Andros Andros ( el, Άνδρος, ) is the northernmost island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on ato ...

Andros
, and was taken to
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
by
Cristoforo Buondelmonti Cristoforo Buondelmonti (1386 – c. 1430) was an Italy, Italian Franciscan priest and traveler, and a pioneer in promoting first-hand knowledge of Greece and its antiquities throughout the Western world. He left his native city of Florence, in Tu ...
(it is today kept at the Biblioteca Laurenziana, Plut. 69,27). By the end of the 15th century, the text became immensely popular among humanists and was translated into Latin by Giorgio Valla (in ms. Vat. lat. 3898). The first printed edition of the text appeared in 1505 (published by Manuzio), and was translated into Latin in 1517 by Filippo Fasanini, initiating a long sequence of editions and translations. From the 18th century, the book's authenticity was called into question, but modern Egyptology regards at least the first book as based on real knowledge of hieroglyphs, although confused, and with baroque symbolism and theological speculation, and the book may well originate with the latest remnants of Egyptian priesthood of the 5th century. Eco U., (1993) '' La Ricerca della Lingua Perfetta nella Cultura Europea'' (The Search for the Perfect Language, Fontana Press (1997), ), chapter 7: The Perfect language of Images Though a very large proportion of the statements seem absurd and cannot be accounted for by anything known in the latest and most fanciful usage, there is ample evidence in both books, in individual cases, that the tradition of the values of the hieroglyphic signs was not yet extinct in the days of their author. This approach of symbolic speculation about hieroglyphs (many of which were originally simple
syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables *Abugida, writing system us ...
signs) was popular during Hellenism, whence the early Humanists, down to
Athanasius Kircher Athanasius Kircher (2 May 1602 – 28 November 1680) was a German Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbre ...

Athanasius Kircher
, inherited the preconception of the hieroglyphs as a magical, symbolic, ideographic script. In 1556, the Italian humanist
Pierio Valeriano Bolzani Pierio Valeriano (1477–1558), born Giovanni Pietro dalle Fosse, was a prominent Italian Renaissance humanist, specializing in the early study of Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system ...

Pierio Valeriano Bolzani
published a vast ''Hieroglyphica'' at Michael Isengrin's printing press in
Basle , french: link=no, Bâlois(e), it, Basilese , neighboring_municipalities= Allschwil , neighboring_municipalities= Baselland (BL), Binningen, Switzerland, Binningen, Buschwiller (FR-68), Hégenheim (FR-68), Neuwiller (FR-68), Oberwil, Basel- ...
, which was originally planned as an exegesis of Horapollo's. It was dedicated to
Cosimo I de' Medici Cosimo I de' Medici (12 June 1519 – 21 April 1574) was the second Duke of Florence The ''Duca della Repubblica Fiorentina'', rendered in English as Duke of the Florentine Republic or Duke of the Republic of Florence, was a title created in ...

Cosimo I de' Medici
. The second part of book II treats animal symbolism and allegory, essentially derived from
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
,
Aelian Aelian or Aelianus may refer to: * Aelianus Tacticus Aelianus Tacticus ( grc-gre, Αἰλιανὸς ὀ Τακτικός; fl. 2nd century AD), also known as Aelian (), was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Gr ...
,
Pliny Pliny may refer to: People from antiquity * Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79), ancient Roman nobleman, scientist, historian, and author of ''Naturalis Historia'' (''Pliny's Natural History'') * Pliny the Younger (died 113), ancient Roman statesman, ...

Pliny
and
Artemidorus Artemidorus Daldianus ( grc-gre, Ἀρτεμίδωρος ὁ Δαλδιανός) or Ephesius was a professional Divination, diviner who lived in the 2nd century AD. He is known from an extant five-volume Ancient Greek, Greek work, the ''Oneirocri ...
, and are probably an addition by the Greek translator. Editions by C. Leemans (1835) and A. T. Cory (1840) with English translation and notes; see also G. Rathgeber in Ersch and Gruber's ''Allgemeine Encyclopädie''; H. Schafer, ''Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache'' (1905), p. 72.


Select editions

*
Aldus Manutius Aldus Pius Manutius (; it, Aldo Pio Manuzio; 1449/14526 February 1515) was an Italian humanist Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...

Aldus Manutius
, Venice 1505 (''
editio princeps In classical scholarship Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity, and in the Western world traditionally refers to the study of Ancient Greek literature, Classical Greek and Latin literature, Roman literature in their o ...
'') * George Boas, New York 1950 (English translation), reprinted 1993 . * Orapollo, ''I geroglifici'', Rizzoli, Milan 1996 .


See also

*
Athanasius Kircher Athanasius Kircher (2 May 1602 – 28 November 1680) was a German Jesuit , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbre ...

Athanasius Kircher
* Hermes Trismegistos


References

*
Jan Assmann Jan Assmann (born Johann Christoph Assmann; born 7 July 1938) is a German Egyptologist Egyptology (from ''Egypt'' and Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), ...
. Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. . *


External links


A translation of Horapollo's entry in Suda
(studiolum.com)

etext of Ferrari's edition (studiolum.com)

{{Authority control 5th-century books Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptology Hermeticism