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Osiris, Isis, and Horus

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Lauren Dunlap

on 19 September 2012

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Transcript of Osiris, Isis, and Horus

Osiris, Isis, and Horus The Egyptian Myth of Family Tree Similarities to other creation myths The Story Differences from other creation myths -Female goddess of the sky -Starts after humans and the world were created The myth starts out describing the births of the Gods and Goddesses and, essentially, their family tree. IN THE BEGINNING -Creator deity: Re
-Morals and taboos are derived from it: burial techniques
-Dynamic dualities: good and evil, Osiris and Set
-Fall from grace: the eventual revelation of Set's lies
-Sacred figures and objects: Osiris' sarcophagus
-Symbols: the Nile River
-Relationships between Gods and Goddesses, who are often siblings
- Matricide and fratricide
-Women's maternal instincts DIFFERENCES Analysis Cultural Relevance -Begins after humans and the world were created
-Features a female goddess of the sky (Nut)
-Contains gods that were initially human and then resurrected as gods
-Some of the gods are depicted as having human and animal features Two major
parts of Egyptian
culture in particular were significant in the myth Osiris, Isis, and Horus. As in any myth, many cultural aspects of Egypt are revealed in "Osiris, Isis, and Horus." First, the emphasis on the Nile shows how important and sacred the river was to the Egyptians. And, of course, the box Set imprisons Osiris in and the bandages Isis wraps her husband in are parallel to Egyptian burial practices (mummification and the storing of the mummies in sarcophagi) Osiris soon becomes the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, and his rule is a Golden Age. He makes his people more civilized and teaches them much.

But his brother, Set, wants to rule. Secretly, Set measures Osiris' body and has a beautiful wooden box built in the right size.

Set gathers many fellow conspirators to his side, and, one night, invites his followers and Osiris to a feast.... The family of Gods is very dysfunctional and incestuous. Nut conceives five children with her brother, Geb, and Thoth, the lord of divine words. Enraged, her husband, Re, curses her, saying that she will not give birth to her children in any month of the year.

However, she approaches Thoth for help, and with some extra light from Moon, he adds five days to the year, navigating around Re's curse.

On each of the five days, Nut gives birth to a child. Re is the father of Osiris and Horus the Elder, and Geb the father of Set (who cut his way out of his mother the third day) and Nephthys, Set's future wife. And Thoth is the father of Isis, and passed on his ability to compel people to listen to and obey his words. Isis will soon marry Osiris. At the feast, Set announces that the person to fit perfectly in his box can keep it. When it is Osiris' turn to lie in the box, Set seals it. He then dumps the box into the Nile River.

Isis is grief-stricken when she hears of Osiris' demise. She immediately goes to search for the box.

The box grows into the branches of a tamarisk bush, which grows into a tree. This tree is cut down by King Melcarthus, who unwittingly makes Osiris' tomb into a column in his palace. But Isis, disguised as a very mysterious human, gets an invitation into the palace and, in time, gets permission to reclaim her husband and his box. Isis takes the box away and opens it. Using her father's knowledge, she brings Osiris back to life for a short time! They enjoy one more night together. And much later, after Osiris has returned to the dead once more, Isis bears a son and names him Horus.

She and Thoth, her father, keep Horus hidden from Set, and when Set manages to find Horus and set a scorpion on him, Isis brings him back to life with words Thoth taught her. They want him to avenge his father. Meanwhile, Set found Osiris' body again and tore him into fourteen pieces, which he scattered throughout the land. But Even this could not keep the King dead, for Isis found each piece, rejoined them with wax and the help of her sister Nephthys (Set's wife). They wrapped the body in treated linen and, with Horus, traveled to the world of the dead to bring back Osiris. Soon, the dead god was alive once more! When Osiris thinks his son is ready, Horus sets out to take vengeance on Set. They fight for three days and three nights, but eventually Horus wins and takes Set prisoner. But Isis takes pity on the captive and forces Horus to release him.

Furious, Horus chases Isis and cuts her head from her body. Thoth quickly turns her head into a cow's head and replaces it on her neck, and Horus knows Set has to remain free. But Set doesn't give up until he has challenged Horus twice more. Finally, he accepts Horus' right to rule. Horus is chosen as lord of all the earth, as Osiris was, and, born of a dead father and live mother, he also becomes an intermediary between the living and dead.

Isis and Osiris live in the Other World, happy. Egypt is in good hands. Some Egyptian Art The Egyptian Sphinx was often thought of as a guardian, flanking the entrances of temples. Hieroglyphics Comparisons This myth shares many common elements with other creation myths that we have read, but it also has some key differences. In particular, the myth's emphasis on individual gods and goddesses rather than the creation of humans and the world, and the inclusion of Egyptian cultural features make this myth unique.
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