(Merwel, Merul) Mandulis is a Nubian God depicted anthropomorphically wearing the hemhem crown, consisting of three atef crowns or ‘bundles’ mounted on ram’s horns with a uraeus (cobra) on either side, each surmounted by a solar disk, or as a human-headed bird like the symbol for the ba or ‘soul’, wearing the same crown; he can also be depicted as a child. A devotional inscription in Greek on the portico of the temple of Mandulis at Talmis testifies to one Roman pilgrim’s experience of the God. The author, one Maximus, recounts that, “having beheld some radiant signs of thy [Mandulis’] power,” he meditated on them, “wishing to know with confidence whether thou [Mandulis] art the Sun,” (Nock, p. 366). Meditation, ascesis and incense offerings resulted in a vision of Mandulis: “Thou didst … show me thyself going through the heavenly vault; then washing thyself in the holy water of immortality thou appearedst again.” This vision was apparently followed by other manifestations: “Thou didst come at due season to thy shrine, making thy rising, and giving to thy image and to thy shrine divine breath and great power.” Noteworthy is the epithet Maximus applies to Mandulis, Aiôn pantokrator, “All-powerful Eternity”.

Nock, Arthur Darby. 1972. “A Vision of Mandulis Aion.” Pp. 357-400 in Essays on Religion and the Ancient World, Vol. I. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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