Ancient Egyptian deities: The Apis bull
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ApisThe Apis, , MdC transliteration Hp, was the Memphite bull deity, a fertility god, herald of Ptah, later also the "beautiful soul" of Ptah in the form of a bull. Ramses III called him Ptah's august son who is by Ptah's side. He had a brother named Renuy, , MdC transliteration rnwy, who is mentioned in a New Kingdom magical text as having come from Punt.
Apis bulls were carefully selected–they had to be black, have a white diamond on their forehead and a scarab-shaped mark under their tongue–and lived long, pampered lives in their temple at Memphis.
They sought his beauty in every place of the Northland, and he was found at the temple of Shedebod, after three months, when they had gone around the regions of the delta, and every district of the NorthlandThe ritual of Running of the Apis (MdC pHrr Hp) is known from as early as the first dynasty and was performed to fertilise the fields. He is depicted as having worn a menat, a protective necklace sacred to Hathor. Herdsman of Apis mdw Hp, was a coveted title during the Old Kingdom, and noblemen like Hemiunu, Khafkhufu, Hesi, and many others list it among their titles.
Khaemwaset, son of Ramses II, who became a famous literary magician figure, bringing offerings to Apis.
Year 23, first month of the third season (ninth month), day 15, under the majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Khnemibre (Amasis), given life forever.
Since the New Kingdom he carried the sun disk between his horns. From the Late Period on he was depicted on coffins carrying the mummy of the deceased at a trot to his grave. The Apis cult grew in importance during the Graeco-Roman Period, but being very hellenized, it was more popular with the Greeks than the native Egyptians. The Romans depicted him at times as a human with a bull's head.
Fanatical Christians destroyed the Serapium at Alexandria in the year 385 and Emperor Theodosius outlawed the cult of the Apis.
Other bull deities: Mnevis, Buchis
J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Chicago 1906
Lurker 1998, p.45
Shaw & Nicholson 1995
K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter Willem van der Horst (eds.), Dictionary of deities and demons in the Bible Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999.
 Breasted 1906, Part Four, § 780
 van der Toorn et al., 1999, pp.68ff.
 Courtesy Simon Hayter
 Breasted 1906, Part Four, § 1009-1012
 Wb 2, 429.10
 Wb 2, 178.14
 Kossuth Lajos Tudományegyetem, Acta classica Universitatis scientiarum debreceniensis, Volumes 26-27, 1991; Christian Leitz (ed.), Lexikon der ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen, Volume 4 Orientalia Lovaniensia analecta ; 110-116, 129, Peeters Publishers, 2002, p.678