Good posts. The typical ignoramus pretending to be an expert - what else is new? As we know, we have already PROVED that Isis was considered the "Great Virgin,"
a concept that dates back many thousands of years and was earlier applied to the goddess Neith. Neith is the original Goddess who brings forth parthenogenetically or autogenetically, without any male consort. Anyone who doesn't know this very ancient concept of the Virgin Mother Goddess
has no business calling herself a "priestess" of any goddess. Herodotus on Reincarnation
In the meantime, Herodotus discusses Egyptian reincarnation, metempsychosis or transmigration at Histories
The Egyptians say that Demeter and Dionysus are the chief powers in the underworld; and they were also the first people to put forward the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and to maintain that after death it enters another creature at the moment of that creature's birth. It then makes the round of all living things--animals, birds, and fish--until it finally passes once again, at birth, into the body of a man. The whole period of transmigration occupies three thousand years. This theory has been adopted by certain Greek writers, some earlier, some later, who have put it forward as their own. Their names are known to me, but I refrain from mentioning them. (Herodotus/de Selincourt, 131)
Herodotus editor John Marincola here notes that the "unnamed writers are the Pythagoreans and the Orphics, who probably did not owe their doctrine of the transmigration of souls to the Egyptians." (Herodotus/de Selincourt, 566)
Here's another translation:
The Egyptians say that Demeter and Dionysos are rulers of the world below; and the Egyptians are also the first who reported the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal, and that when the body dies, the soul enters into another creature which chances then to be coming to the birth, and when it has gone the round of all the creatures of land and sea and of the air, it enters again into a human body as it comes to the birth; and that it makes this round in a period of three thousand years. This doctrine certain Hellenes adopted, some earlier and some later, as if it were of their own invention, and of these men I know the names but I abstain from recording them. (The History of Herodotus,
parallel English/Greek, tr. G. C. Macaulay, )
Here's the original Greek:
ἀρχηγετέειν δὲ τῶν κάτω Αἰγύπτιοι λέγουσι Δήμητρα καὶ Διόνυσον. πρῶτοι δὲ καὶ τόνδε τὸν λόγον Αἰγύπτιοι εἰσὶ οἱ εἰπόντες, ὡς ἀνθρώπου ψυχὴ ἀθάνατος ἐστί, τοῦ σώματος δὲ καταφθίνοντος ἐς ἄλλο ζῷον αἰεὶ γινόμενον ἐσδύεται, ἐπεὰν δὲ πάντα περιέλθῃ τὰ χερσαῖα καὶ τὰ θαλάσσια καὶ τὰ πετεινά, αὖτις ἐς ἀνθρώπου σῶμα γινόμενον ἐσδύνει· τὴν περιήλυσιν δὲ αὐτῇ γίνεσθαι ἐν τρισχιλίοισι ἔτεσι. τούτῳ τῷ λόγῳ εἰσὶ οἳ Ἑλλήνων ἐχρήσαντο, οἳ μὲν πρότερον οἳ δὲ ὕστερον, ὡς ἰδίῳ ἑωυτῶν ἐόντι· τῶν ἐγὼ εἰδὼς τὰ οὐνόματα οὐ γράφω.
The word for "transmigration" here is περιήλυσις or perielusis
, which means "coming around" or "revolution."
And another English translation of the Herodotus passage:
The Egyptians are the first who propounded the theory that the human soul is imperishable, and that where the body of any one dies it enters into some other body that may be ready to receive it; and that when it has gone the round of all created forms on land, in water, and in air, then it once more enters the human body born for it; and that this cycle of existence for the soul takes place in three thousand years.
This description of transmigration is very similar to the Indian concept, especially as has been proselytized most publicly by the Hare Krishnas, who hold that we will all come back as insects if we don't follow their doctrines, of course.
In any event, we would not be surprised if the Egyptians were influenced by the Indians. Such influence goes back much further than is suspected. Let us not forget the Mitanni kingdom with its Indian gods in Turkey some 1,500 years before the common era. Also recall that the Persians are Indians who left the motherland at least 3,000 years ago. It would not be surprising if the bulk of the Indian reincarnation concept had already been developed by then, five or more centuries before Herodotus, and was passed along either through the Persians or otherwise. Jews are ancient Indian philosophers
Let us also recall the following fascinating tidbit by Josephus, which explains much, including the Brahma-Abraham relationship. According to Josephus (Apion
, 1.22/1.179), the Greek philosopher Aristotle related of the Jews from "Celesyria
" (Κοίλη Συρία "Hollow Syria," referring to the southern valley area, including Judea):
...these Jews are derived from the Indian philosophers; they are named by the Indians Calami, and by the Syrians Judaei, and took their name from the country they inhabit, which is called Judea...
This revealing quote is much overlooked, but it seems Josephus was accurately reporting a true development, whether or not Aristotle originally recounted it. Another transliteration of this name "Calami" is "Calani." I have written much about this subject of Indian influence on the Levant for my book The Christ Myth Anthology
, which is unfortunately on the back burner at the moment.