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Article

Plut. Mor. 151a-d: опыт египтологического комментария

Ладынин И. А.

The article deals with a plot in Plutarch’s Septem Sapientium Convivium: the sage Bias answers to the Egyptian king Amasis, to whom an Ethiopian king sent “an extraordinary and awful demand… to drink up the ocean”, that he had to “tell the Ethiopian to stop the rivers which are now emptying into the ocean depths, while he himself is engaged in drinking up the ocean that now is; for this is the ocean with which the demand is concerned, and not the one which is to be”. An interpretation of the plot is founded on the seeming parallel in the Ancient Egyptian Book of Repulsing the Evil: its passage (Urk. VI. 125.21—127.2) means to contradict to Seth’s intention to make the sea water sweet (probably, with the flow of rivers) in order to drink them eventually. It seems that the Ethiopian king not only set an unfeasible task to Amasis but also actually forces on him this deed of Seth; contrary to that, Bias helps to supply this task with a reservation, at which Seth’s aim to achieve disappearing both the sea and the sweet water will not be accomplished.