mythological figure Osiris lived in the fabled underworld
as the ruler of the dead. He is shown here, center,
with the jackal-headed Anubis, another god of the
dead. This depiction dates from the 18th dynasty
in Egypt (1550-1307 BC) and is in the Museo Egizio
in Turin, Italy.
Osiris, in Egyptian mythology, one of the principal deities.
Originally the local god of Abydos and Busiris, Osiris,
who represented the male productive force in nature, became
identified with the setting sun.
Thus he was regarded as the ruler of the realm of the
dead in the mysterious region below the western horizon.
was the brother and husband of Isis,
goddess of the earth
and moon, who represented
the female productive force in nature.
According to legend, Osiris, as king of Egypt, found his
people plunged in barbarism and taught them law, agriculture,
religion, and other blessings of civilization. He was
murdered by his evil brother, Set,
who tore the body to pieces and scattered the fragments.
Isis found and buried his scattered remains, however,
and each burial place was thereafter revered as sacred
ground. Their son Horus, sired
by a temporarily regenerated Osiris, avenged his father's
death by killing Set and then ascended the throne. Osiris
lived on in the underworld as the ruler of the dead, but
he was also, through Horus, regarded as the source of
"Osiris," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2001 http://encarta.msn.com
© 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
© 1993-2001 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
return to Egypt Index