Serapis In Egyptian mythology, Greek name for the composite god made up of the god Osiris, called Ser in Egyptian, and the sacred bull of Memphis, Apis. The date of the introduction of the cult of Serapis is disputed by scholars. Some believe it was the artificial creation of either Ptolemy I or Ptolemy II, who used the cult of Serapis in an attempt to blend the existing Egyptian concepts with those of the Greeks who settled in Egypt after the conquest by Alexander the Great. It was an attempt to give both segments of the population a common religious heritage. Serapis was worshipped by Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians at a common shrine. In the Roman Empire his worship, along with that of Isis, rivaled all other Mediterranean cults. In art Serapis was portrayed as a bull-headed man wearing a solar disk and the uraeus between his horns and holding symbols associated with Osiris.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow – Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante