2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
The Cult of Isis
The Cult of Isis, recorded in Egypt as early as the second millennium BCE, worshiped the Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis. Spreading northward to Asia Minor, some of the Aegean Islands, and mainland Greece by way of Egyptian merchants and traders, the cult eventually made its way to Rome. The Roman author, Apuleius, explains the mysteries of the cult of Isis in the last book of The Golden Ass. The cult, a forerunner of Christianity, practiced confession and baptism, and had an ascetic priesthood. In addition, Isis, who was also known as "the goddess of many names and mother of tenderness" appears like an Egyptian Madonna and is often associated with the Virgin Mary. The Cult of Isis succeeded as a religion that promised salvation, especially under the rule of Emperor Caligula (37-41 CE).
Elise M. Bender
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