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Memphis: Harpocrates Terracottas

Harporcates is the Greek form of Egyptian Hr-pA-Xrd - Horus the child. He was often represented as a naked boy with his finger to his mouth, but other forms of depictions are also found. His cult, often combined with that of Isis and Serapis, was popular in the whole Roman Empire.

Not all depictions of child deities refer to Harpocrates. Dionysos was one of the deities shown in a similar way, and in each city across Egypt the main temple supported the cult of a different child deity, alongside that of the main deity; for example, the child deity of Ihnasya was Sematawy 'uniter of the two lands', and that at Thebes was Khons, a lunar deity. These figures of child gods are extremely common and show the popularity of these gods. The function of the following figures is not always certain, but some of them might have been placed in house shrines. There are attestations of such shrines with a painted figure of Harpocrates.

(click on the images for a larger picture)

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Harprocrates on a horse/mule

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Harpocrates with a pot

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Harpocrates with a cornucopia

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'Indian' style?

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Harpocrates with a statue of himself

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painted figure of a child god at Karanis


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