Serapis, originally linked to Osiris by the Ancient Greeks, identified the new god with Hades, god of the dead. The cult of Serapis developed largely in the 3rd century BC, under the Hellenistic ruler Ptolemy I Soter. The establishment of a new cult was essentially political policy to try and unite both the Greek and Egyptian population. The name Serapis is a culmination of Osiris-Apis, formed from the Coptic rendering. Alexander the Great, wishing to establish a unifying cult figure needed a new deity that would resonate with both his Egyptian and Greek subjects. Iconographically they portrayed him with the modus, a grain-measure that represented the land of the dead. Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the underworld, was also placed at his feet.

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