Egyptian Theory of Nature; their Amulets.
For the monad, therefore, as being beneficent, they assert that there are consequently [287] names ascending, and beneficent, and masculine, and carefully observed, terminating in an uneven number; [288] whereas that those terminating in the even number have been supposed to be both descending, and feminine and malicious. For they affirm that nature is made up of contraries, namely bad and good, as right and left, light and darkness, night and day, life and death. And moreover they make this assertion, that they have calculated the word "Deity," (and found that it reverts into a pentad with an ennead subtracted). Now this name is an even number, and when it is written down (on some material) they attach it to the body, and accomplish cures [289] by it. In this manner, likewise, a certain herb, terminating in this number, being similarly fastened around (the frame), operates by reason of a similar calculation of the number. Nay, even a doctor cures sickly people by a similar calculation. If, however, the calculation is contrary, it does not heal with facility. [290] Persons attending to these numbers reckon as many as are homogeneous according to this principle; some, however, according to vowels alone; whereas others according to the entire number. Such also is the wisdom of the Egyptians, by which, as they boast, they suppose that they cognise the divine nature.

[287] Or, "names have been allocated," or "distributed."

[288] Miller thinks it should be "even number" (peritton). The Abbe Cruice would retain "uneven" (aperizugon), on the ground that the duad being a perizux arithmos, the monad will be aperizugos.

[289] Servius on the Eclogues of Virgil (viii. 75) and Pliny (Hist. Nat., xxxviii. 2) make similar statements.

[290] This is Miller and Schneidewin's emendation for "uneven" in the ms.

chapter xliii recapitulation of theologies and
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