Lion-Worship was particularly prevalent in the city of Leontopolis, Egypt. The lion was the symbol of strength, and therefore typical of the Egyptian Hercules. The lion was also sacred to the Egyptian Minerva. In southern Ethiopia, in the vicinity of the modern town of Shendy, the lion-headed deity seems to have been the chief object of worship. He holds a conspicuous place in the great temple of wady Owateb, and on the sculptured remains at wady Benat, at the former of which he is the first in a procession of deities, consisting of Re, Neph, and Ptah, to whom a monarch is making offerings. According to Plutarch, "the lion was worshipped by the Egyptians, who ornamented the doors of their temples with the gaping mouth of that animal, because the Nile began to rise when the sun was in the constellation Leo." Mithras, which is a solar god, was represented with a lion's head. In his mysteries the second degree was that of the lion. Adad, the god of the Syrians, was seated on the back of a lion, which represents his solar nature. In South America the first discoverers found at Tabasco an image of an lion, to which the natives offered human sacrifices. Dr. Livingstone, in his Travels in Africa, mentions a tribe vwho believe that the souls of their chiefs enter into lions, and therefore they never attempt to kill them; they even believe that a chief may metamorphose himself into a lion, kill any one he chooses, and then return to the human form; therefore when they see one they commence clapping their hands, which is their usual mode of salutation. SEE LION.

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