Sunday, December 14, 2014

Diodorus Siculus - The Sacrifice of Redheads

Finally found something genuinely cool about red hair in these ancient works. This one comes from the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus and concerns the customs of the ancient Egyptians. I found it in a book titled The Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian. It was published in London in 1814.
[I]t is lawful to sacrifice red oxen, because Typhon seemed to be of that colour, who treacherously murdered Osiris, and was himself put to death by Isis, for the murder of her husband. They report likewise, that antiently men that had red hair, like Typhon, were sacrificed by the kings at the sepulchre of Osiris. And indeed, there are very few Egyptians that are red, but many that are strangers: and hence arose the fable of Busiris's cruelty towards strangers amongst the Greeks, not that there ever was any king called Busiris; but Osiris's sepulchre was so called in the Egyptian language.
I guess this is where the information in James Frazer's The Golden Bough comes from.

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