of the most popular goddesses in Egypt.
belongs to the Ennead of Heliopolis,
and according to the Heliopolitan genealogy is a daughter
of Seb and Nut,
sister and wife of Osiris. Possibly
she was originally the personification of the throne (her
name is written with the hieroglyph for throne), and as
such she was an important source of the pharaoh's power.
In the Hellenistic time Isis was the protrectress of sailors.
Egyptian mythology, Isis is the goddess of motherhood
and fertility. She is shown in this relief sculpture
at the Chapel of Osiris in the temple of King Seti
I at Abydos. Isis worship lasted until the 6th century
AD, when the last temples were closed following the
widespread adoption of Christianity. (Encarta)
the Osiris myths
she searched for her husband's body, who was killed by
her brother Seth. She retrieved
and reassembled the body, and in this connection she took
on the role of a goddess of the dead and of the funeral
rights. Isis impregnated herself from the Osiris' body
and gave birth to Horus in the
swamps of Khemnis in the Nile Delta. Here she raised her
son in secret and kept him far away from Seth. Horus later
defeated Seth and became the first ruler of a united Egypt.
Isis, as mother of Horus, was by extension regarded as
the mother and protectress of the pharaoh's. She was worshipped
as the divine mother-goddess, faithful consort of Osiris,
and dedicated mother of Horus.
was depicted as a woman with the solar disk between the
cow horns on her head (an analogy with the goddess Hathor)
or crowned with a thrown, but also with the child Horus
sitting on her lap. A vulture was sometimes seen incorporated
in her crown. Also she was sometimes depicted as a kite
above the mummified body of Osiris. Isis' popularity lasted
far into the Roman era. She had her own priests and many
temples were erected in her honor. On the island of Philae
in the Nile delta her largest temple was situated (it
was transferred to the island Agilkia in 1975-1980).
name of Isis in hieroglyphs:
van de Mythologie.
(mythology), in Egyptian mythology,
goddess of fertility and motherhood. According to the
Egyptian belief, she was the daughter of the god Keb
(“Earth”) and the goddess Nut (“Sky”),
the sister-wife of Osiris, judge
of the dead, and mother of Horus,
god of day.
the end of the Late Period in the 4th century bcBC the
center of Isis worship, which was then reaching its greatest
peak, was on Philae, an island in the Nile, where a great
temple was built to her during the 30th Dynasty. Ancient
stories described Isis as having great magical skill,
and she was represented as human in form though she was
frequently described as wearing the horns of a cow. Her
personality was believed to resemble that of Athor, or
Hathor, the goddess of love and
cult of Isis spread from Alexandria throughout the Hellenistic
world after the 4th century BC. It appeared in Greece
in combination with the cults of Horus, her son, and Serapis,
the Greek name for Osiris. The Greek historian Herodotus
identified Isis with Demeter, the Greek goddess of earth,
agriculture, and fertility. The tripartite cult of Isis,
Horus, and Serapis was later introduced (86 BC) into Rome
in the consulship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla and became
one of the most popular branches of Roman religion. It
later received a bad reputation through the licentiousness
of some of its priestly rites, and subsequent consuls
made efforts to suppress or limit Isis worship. The cult
died out in Rome after the institution of Christianity,
and the last remaining Egyptian temples to Isis were closed
in the middle of the 6th century AD.
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