ii MAGIC HEALING IN THE PRE-CHRISTIAN ERA 49
and mathematics ; in the myth of Osiris he played the part of ' physician of the eye of Horus \
Another, Sekhmet, was from remotest days a patroness of medicine and the sender of healing herbs.
I sis enjoyed great fame as a sorceress, mainly on account of the charms which she devised to protect her infant son, Horus. She was called the ' Divine Mother \ Both Thoth and Isis retained their vogue right into the classical period. During the time of Ptolemies, Isis was associated with Serapis ; and the Isis-Serapic cult was widely spread both in Egypt and abroad. In his sacred orations Aristides Aelius mentions forty-two sanctuaries to them in Greece alone. Other temples were consecrated to them in Italy and in Asia Minor.
Gardiner79 (vol. i, p. 209) has defined Egyptian magical actions as ' those which men perform on their own behalf or on behalf of other living persons ; and which involve as a necessary and inseparable element, a certain quantum of belief, though the attainment of their object is not thought to depend on any other will than that of the agent \ The only word used to denote this was hike (Coptic 3ik), and this was the same term used for religion. The language possessed no means of differentiating between magic and religion, the priests of the Old Kingdom being spoken of as the ministers of hike. Both magic and religion were on the same footing, being products of the same Weltanschauung, and having the same psychological bases and methods. In theory its domain was as wide as man's desires. Its purpose was defensive and prophylactic ; there was a spell for the cure of scorpion sting, another to drive away the headache, and a book to dispel fear. Magic spells were often recommended on account of their proven efficacy : ' a true remedy on many occasions ' is a formula found extremely frequently in magical