Apis is (one of) the sacred bull(s) of the Egyptians who concerning its substance is equal to Osiris representing the god’s most ancient form of manifestation. About its power Cambyses, Persian king could tell us a lot, who perished by the revenge of Apis. :-) King Cambyses conquered Egypt in 525 BC but he was forced to interrupt his military campaign since his army had been lost in a sandstorm on its way to Siwa Oasis. Cambyses himself survived and after having returned to Memphis, he bumped into the festival of Apis. The sovereign – famous of his fits of fury – seeing that the people celebrate “his misfortune” became enraged so much that he stack his lance into the thigh of Apis. (It was very hard to select a new Apis bull because this animal had to fulfil very strict requirements about its appearance).

A few years later, on his way back to Persia, Cambyses stack his own thigh accidentally and bled to death. According to the legends, he was wounded exactly where he wounded the Apis bull. Well… believe it or not.

The perished army of Cambyses has lately been found in the sand of Sahara. Within the dry circumstances the whole army – soldiers, animals, weapons, even their dinner – had been spontaneously mummified and survived the millenniums in almost perfect condition.

An unknown king worships the Apis bull - © British Museum, London

Apis-bull from Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

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