Phoenix (mythology)

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Article 1


The Phoenix.

The phoenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, and Phoenicians. A Phoenix is a mythical bird that is a fire spirit with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple,blue,and green according to some legends).It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites;both nest and bird fiercely and are reduced to ashes,from a new,young phoenix or phoenix egg arises,reborn anew to live again.The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self.In some stories,the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in a egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of {Heliopolis}(literally sun-city in Greek).It is said that the bird's cry is that of a beautiful song.The Phoenix's ability to be reborn from its own ashes implies that is immortal, though in some stories the new Phoenix is merely the offspring of the older one.In very few stories they are able to change into people.

Article 2

Another sacred bird is called the Phoenix.Now,I have not actually seen a phoenix,except in a painting,because they are quite infrequent visitors to the country;In fact, I was told in Heliopolis that they appear only at 500-year intervals.They say that it is the death of a phoenix's father which prompts its visit to Egypt.Anyway, if the painting was reliable,I can tell you something about the phoenix's size and qualities, namely that its feathers are partly gold but mostly red,and that appearance and size it is most like an eagle.There is a particular feat they say the phoenix performs;I do not believe it myself, but they say the bird sets out from its homeland in Arabia on a journey to the sanctuary of the Sun, bringing its father sealed in myrrh, and buries its father there.

Article 3

Most beings spring from other individuals;but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself.The Assyrians call it the Phoenix.It does not live on fruit or flowers,but on frankincense and odoriferous gums.When it has lived five hundred years,it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak,or on the top of a palm tree.In this collects cinnamon,and spikenard,and myrrh, and of those materials builds a pile on which deposits itself,and dying,breathes out its last breath amidst odors.From the body of the parent bird,young Phoenix issues forth,destined to live as long a life as its predecessor.When this has grown up and gained


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