“The Praises of Isis, Mistress of the Universe and Creator of Civilization.”
by Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez
Demetrios, the son of Artemidoros, who is also called Thraseas, a Magnesian from Magnesia on the Meander, an offering in fulfillment of a vow to Isis. He transcribed the following from the stele in Memphis which stands by the temple of Hephaistos:
“I am Isis, the tyrant of every land; and I was educated by Hermes, and together with Hermes I invented letters, both the hieroglyphic and the demotic, in order that the same script should not be used to write everything.
I imposed laws on men, and the laws which I laid down no one may change. I am the eldest daughter of Kronos. I am the wife and sister of King Osiris. I am she who discovered the cultivation of grain for men. I am the mother of King Horos (Horus).
I am she who rises in the Dog Star. I am she who is called goddess by women. By me the city of Bubastis was built. I separated earth from sky. I designated the paths of the stars. The sun and the moon’s course I laid out. I invented navigation. I caused the just to be strong.
Woman and man I brought together. For woman I determined that in the tenth month she shall deliver a baby into the light. I ordained that parents be cherished by their children. For parents who are cruelly treated I imposed retribution.
Together with my brother Osiris I stopped cannibalism. I revealed initiations to men. I taught men to honor the images of the gods. I established precincts for the gods. The governments of tyrants I suppressed.
I stopped murders. I compelled women to be loved by men. I caused the just to be stronger than gold and silver. I ordained that the true be considered beautiful. I invented marriage contracts. Languages I assigned to Greeks and barbarians.
I caused the honorable and the shameful to be distinguished by Nature. I caused nothing to be more fearful than an oath. He who unjustly plotted against others I gave into the hands of his victim. On those who commit unjust acts I imposed retribution.
I ordained that suppliants be pitied. I honor those who justly defend themselves. With me the just prevails. Of rivers and winds and the sea I am mistress. No one becomes famous without my knowledge. I am the mistress of war. Of the thunderbolt am I mistress. I calm and stir up the sea. I am the rays of the sun. I sit beside the course of the sun. Whatever I decide, this also is accomplished. For me everything is right.
I free those who are in bonds. I am the mistress of sailing. The navigable I make unnavigable when I choose. I established the boundaries of cities. I am she who is called Lawgiver. The island from the depths I brought up into the light. I conquer Fate. Fate heeds me. Hail Egypt who reared me.”
—From Stanley M. Burstein, The Reign of Cleopatra (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004), p. 154.
–From Stanley M. Burnstein, The Hellenistic Age from the Battle of Ipsos to the Death of Kleopatra VII (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), pg. 147.