However, there is evidence which implies that the cult of Serapis existed before the Ptolemies came to power in Alexandria – a temple of Sarapis (or Roman Serapis) in Egypt is mentioned in 323. The common assertion that Ptolemy "created" the deity is derived from sources which describe him erecting a statue of Sarapis in Alexandria: this statue enriched the texture of the Sarapis conception by portraying him in both Egyptian and Greek style. Sarapis was a syncretistic deity derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis, and also gained attributes from other deities, such as chthonic powers linked to the Greek Hades and Demeter, and benevolence linked to Dionysus.
Serapis continued to increase in popularity during the Roman period, often replacing Osiris as the consort of Isis in temples outside Egypt. In 389, a Christian mob led by the Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria destroyed the Alexandrian serapeum, but the cult survived until all forms of pagan religion were suppressed under Theodosius I in 391. More