Serapis (Σέραπις) is a Graeco-Egyptian composite deity, blending the transformative powers of the Egyptian gods Osiris and Apis with the heavenly authority of the Greek god Zeus. His cult was developed under the Ptolemaic ruler Ptolemy I Soter (305-282 BC) as a means to unify his Greek and Egyptian subjects, and later gained popularity throughout the Roman Empire, until it was banned under Theodosius I (AD 379-395). Zeus Serapis became the tutelary divinity of the Severan imperial dynasty. The god’s association with the emperor enhanced the mystique of the position, imbuing the Roman ruler with his divine qualities as a giver of salvation and immortality.
To find out more about Roman gods, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Gods in Mythology.