Osiris was the Egyptian god of vegetation and civilization. He was one of the children of Geb and Nut, and married to his sister Isis. Osiris represented the male productive force in nature.

Osiris was murdered by his evil brother Seth, who also tore his body to pieces and scattered them. Isis, however, found and enbalmed his scattered remains with help of the god Anubis. Her powerful charms resurrected Osiris. Their son Horus then killed Seth in revenge and became the king of Egypt.

Osiris became the ruler of the dead and the god of the underworld after his death. Even though he lived in the underworld beyond the western horizon, he was also regarded as the source of renewed life through his son Horus.

A myth tends to have a millions different versions. The following is a variation (which I've put together from a number of sources) on the story of Osiris. I've read a couple of versions which splinter off at the tearing up of Osiris' body, so I'll tell it in two parts from there.

Osiris, king of the land, marries Isis and rules well, introducing good farming techniques and proper reverence to the gods. Seth, jealous of his brother, plots to kill his brother and does so by tricking Osiris to get into a coffin Seth had received as a gift (something about offering it to whoever fit into the coffin which, naturally, Osiris did). Osiris gets into the coffin and Seth nails the coffin shut and puts it into the Nile where Osiris drowns and his body, in the coffin, drifts off.

Isis, in mourning over her husband's death, tracks down the coffin and brings it back to the palace, where Seth recognizes it and freaks out. He breaks the coffin open and scatters his body parts all over Egypt.

Post-Scattering (Take I)
Isis then comes to the rescue and tracks down every body part and puts it all back together (as well as anyone can put a body that has been torn apart can). She then cremates the body. As the body is burned, Osiris rises to heaven (and thus, immortality). While his body rises up to be with the gods he copulates with Isis, impregnates her and their son Horus is born. Horus goes on to avenge his fathers death and kills Seth and they all live happily ever after.

Post-Scattering (Take II)
Isis comes to the rescue (this sounds familiar) and tracks down every piece of the body. However, here she either buries the pieces as she finds them, or brings them together and embalms them (creating the first mummy). Horus, who Isis had previously tried to make immortal (and wasn't conceived by the dead Osiris) by burning in a fire made of his father in the coffin (the gods put that one to a stop), is already alive before the death of Osiris and he gets his revenge on Seth and kills him.

Some interesting side notes. If you look at certain aspects of this story, you'll notice some interesting parallels with Christian and Jewish Mythology. You have the idea of Cain and Abel (a "righteous" brother being killed by his jealous brother) which appears in the Torah/Old Testament. The idea of the resurrection as well as the trinity is also apparent (Osiris rises to be with the Gods and Osiris/Isis/Horus acting as the Holy Trinity in Egyptian Mythology). If you accept the first ending as the correct ending, you have an Immaculate Conception (if you think Isis being impregnated is by a dead, deified husband is any less "immaculate" than the Virgin Mary, you're insane :).

Yes, our world is inter-connected. That's what makes it fun!

O*si"ris (?), n. [L., fr. Gr. ; of Egyptian origin.] Myth.

One of the principal divinities of Egypt, the brother and husband of Isis. He was figured as a mummy wearing the royal cap of Upper Egypt, and was symbolized by the sacred bull, called Apis. Cf. Serapis.

-- O*sir"i*an (#), a.


© Webster 1913.

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