Serapis to Set Off

Serapis The Ptolemaic form of the Egyptian Osiris. The word is a corruption of osorapis (dead apis, or rather “osirified apis”), a deity which had so many things in common with Osiris that it is not at all easy to distinguish them.
   Serapis. Symbol of the Nile and of fertility.

Serat (Al). The ordeal bridge over which everyone will have to pass at the resurrection. It is not wider than the edge of a scimitar, and is thrown across the gulf of hell. The faithful, says the Koran, will pass over in safety, but sinners will fall headlong into the dreary realm beneath.

Serbonian Bog or Serbonis. A mess from which there is no way of extricating oneself. The Serbonian bog was between Egypt and Palestine. Strabo calls it a lake, and says it was 200 stadia long, and 50 broad; Pliny makes it 150 miles in length. Hume says that whole armies have been lost therein. Typhon lay at the bottom of this bog, which was therefore called Typhon's Breathing Hole. It received its name from Sebaket-Bardoil, a king of Jerusalem, who died there on his return from an expedition into Egypt.

“Now, sir, I must say I know of no Serbonian bog deeper than a £5 rating would prove to be.”- B. Disraeli (Chanc. of the Exch.). Times, March 19, 1867

“A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog,
Betwixt Damiata and Mount Cassius old,
Where armies whole have sunk.”
Milton: Paradise Lost, ii. 592.
Seremenes (4 syl.). Brother-in-law of King Sardanapalus, to whom he entrusts his signet-ring to put down a rebellion headed by Arbaces the Mede and Belesis, the Chaldean soothsayer. He is slain in a battle with the insurgents. (Byron: Sardanapalus.)

Serenade (3 syl.). Music performed in the serene- i.e. in the open air at eventide (Latin, serenum whence the French sérénade and Italian serenata).

“Or serenate which the starved lover sings
To his proud fair.”
Milton: Paradise Lost, iii. 769.
Serene (2 syl.). A title given to certain German princes. Those princes who used to hold under the empire were entitled Serene or Most Serene Highnesses.
   It's all serene. All right (Spanish, sereno, “all right”- the sentinel's countersign). Sereno, the night-watch.

“ `Let us clearly understand each other.' `All serene,' responded Foster.”- Watson; The Web of the Spider chap. viii.
Serif and Sanserif. The former is a letter in typography with the “wings” or finishing-strokes (as T); the latter is without the finishing-strokes (as T).

Serjeants-at-Law French, frères-serjens, a corruption of fratres-servientes of the Templars.

Sermon Lane (Doctors Commons, London). A corruption of Shere-moniers Lane (the lane of the money- shearers or clippers, whose office it was to cut and round the metal to be stamped into money). The Mint was in the street now called Old Change. (Maitland: London, ii. 880.)

Serpent An attribute of St. Cecilia, St. Euphemia, and many other saints, either because they trampled on Satan, or because they miraculously cleared some country of such reptiles. (See Dagon .)
   Serpent, in Christian art, figures in Paradise as the tempter.
   The brazen serpent gave newness of life to those who were bitten by the fiery dragons and raised their eyes to this symbol. (Numb. xxi. 8.)
   It is generally placed under the feet of the Virgin, in allusion to the promise made to Eve after the fall. (Gen. iii. 15.)
   Satan is called the great serpent because under the form of a serpent he tempted Eve. (Rev. xii. 9.)
    It is rather strange that, in Hindu mythology, hell is called Narac (the region of serpents). (Sir W. Jones.)
   Serpent metamorphoses. Cadmos and his wife Harmonia were by Zeus converted into serpents and removed to Elysium. Esculapius, god of Epidauros, assumed the form of a serpent when he appeared at Rome during a pestilence. Therefore is it that the goddess of Health bears in her hand a serpent.

“O wave, Hygeia, o'er Britannia's throne
Thy serpent-wand, and mark it for thine own.”
Darwin: Economy of Vegetation, iv.
   Jupiter Ammon appeared to Olympia in the form of a serpent, and became the father

  By PanEris using Melati.

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