Osiris, god of Egypt

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses for kids - Osiris

The Mythology & History of ancient Egypt surrounding Osiris, the god of death

Osiris, god of Egypt
Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Osiris, the Egyptian god of death, the Underworld and Rebirth. He was murdered by his jealous brother Set and became the lord of the Underworld. He was distinguished by green colored skin, the symbol of rebirth and regeneration with white clothing reflecting the white of mummification together with a tall white, conical headdress called the Atef crown. Closely associated with the Pharaohs of Egypt, he carried the flail and the crook which were the symbols of power and kingship.

Additional, interesting facts and information about ancient Egypt, and its mysterious gods and goddesses, is also available via:

The Gods of Ancient Egypt Index

A - Z of Egyptian Gods & Goddesses

Who was Osiris?
Osiris was the Egyptian god of death, the Underworld and Rebirth. He was the consort of Isis, who was also his sister. His famous sons were
Horus by Isis and Anubis by his other sister, Nephthys. Osiris is one of the most iconic and easily recognised of all the ancient Egyptian gods. He was depicted as a 'human' god without the head of an animal. His image also included an “osird” or “the divine beard, a false plaited beard that was tightly knotted, plaited and hooked behind the ears.

Facts about Osiris
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Osiris:

Osiris Profile & Fact File

Egyptian Name: Osiris

Role & Function: The function of Osiris is described as being the god of death,  the Underworld and Rebirth

Status: Osiris was a member of the Ennead, the name given to the nine original, most important, Egyptian Gods and Goddesses of the cosmogony of Heliopolis (the birthplace of the Gods)

Symbols: He was depicted as a Pharaoh wearing a crown with a crook, flail and beard. Distinguished by his green face

Alternative Names: Usiris

Gender: Male

Name of Wife: Isis

Name of Father: Geb, the Earth God

Name of Mother: Nut, the Sky Goddess

Names of Children: Horus by Isis
Anubis by his sister Nephthys

The Divine Osiris
Throughout their history the ancient Egyptians all believed that Osiris was of divine origin. The ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris suffered death and mutilation at the hands of the powers of evil (Apep), and that after a great struggle with these powers of evil he rose again and became the king of the underworld and the judge of the dead. Osiris was placed in an exalted position amongst the gods and was equal to and, in certain cases, the superior of the Sun-god Ra.

Osiris in Egyptian Mythology
Osiris, the Egyptian god of death, featured in the stories, myths and legends in Egyptian Mythology. The most famous legend about Osiris relates to his death at the hands of his rival and brother Set. Osiris was the oldest son of Geb and Nut who were the first king and queen of Egypt. Osiris succeeded Geb as pharaoh and he married his sister Isis. Set was always jealous of Osiris and of his position of king of Egypt. The evil Set tricked Osiris inducing him to lie in a magnificent coffin as part of a game and murdered him. Set cut the body to pieces, and threw the coffin into the Nile. It travelled down the Nile and across the sea to the Phoenician coast, where it was deposited at the foot of a tamarisk tree. As the tree grew it enclosed Osiris and the coffin within its trunk. The tree was later cut down by the king of Byblos and used as a pillar in his palace. Isis retrieved the pillar, and the body it contained, to Egypt. Anubis, the son of Osiris, helped Isis and her sister Nephthys to rebuild his body and Anubis presided over the first mummification. This ancient Egyptian mythology explains why Osiris adopted the role as a god of the dead and ruler of the Egyptian underworld. The 'Raising the Djed Pillar' ceremony symbolized the rebirth of Osiris. The god of the dead is also associated with the myths relating to the Tree of Life.

Depictions of Osiris
The Atef crown was worn by the god Osiris. It is made up of the tall, conical, white crown of Upper Egypt with ostrich feathers on each side. The red feathers symbolized Busiris, the cult center of Osiris in the Delta. He was depicted as a man with green skin,  a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, holding a symbolic crook and flail and wearing an “osird” or “the divine beard” that was distinguished with an upward pointed curl.

Egyptian gods - Isis, Osiris, Atum and Horus

Egyptian gods - Isis, Osiris, Atum and Horus

Facts about Osiris in Egyptian Mythology
Discover interesting information and research facts about Osiris, the Egyptian god of death. The facts about Osiris provides a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about Osiris in Egyptian Mythology.

Mythology and Facts about Osiris

Fact 1 about Osiris: He was the eldest son of the Earth God, Geb, and the Sky Goddess, Nut

Fact 2 about Osiris: He married his sister Isis and they had their son Horus together

Fact 3 about Osiris: He also fathered his Anubis by his sister Nephthys. Incest was seen as acceptable in the lives of the Egyptian Gods as it retained the sacred bloodline

Fact 4 about Osiris: Prayers of the bereaved and offerings were sacrificed to him

Fact 5 about Osiris: One of his roles was as judge of the dead in the afterlife, he was referred to as the 'lord of Maat' (meaning of divine law). The ceremony of justification, in the Hall of the Two Truths, was witnessed by Osiris and 42 judge deities.

Fact 6 about Osiris: The Djed pillar, or column, derives its name from the cult of Osiris which was based in the city of Djedet

Fact 7 about Osiris: He was imprisoned by Set in a tree which became a pillar in a king’s palace. The tree symbolized the Tree of Life which was connected with fertility and conserved the fruitfulness of the grain

Fact 8 about Osiris: He was associated with both the growth and the decay of vegetation

Fact 9 about Osiris: The ancient Egyptians believed that he disappeared in the winter taking the crops into the Underworld with him

Fact 10 about Osiris: His green face reflected the life he brought to the ancient Egyptian people

Fact 11 about Osiris: He was also depicted in human form but wrapped up as a mummy, holding the crook and flail

Fact 12 about Osiris: He wore a crown known as the 'atef', composed of the tall conical white crown of Upper Egypt with red or ostrich feathers on each side

Fact 13 about Osiris: The pharaoh was believed to become Osiris after his death

Fact 14 about Osiris: He was the focus of a famous myth in which he was killed by the rival god Set

Fact 15 about Osiris: The centre for the worship of Osiris in Egypt under the early dynasties was Abydos, where the head of the god was said to be buried

Fact 16 about Osiris: Epithets used for Osiris were "Lord of the West, Lord of Eternity", "Lord of Busiris," "Great God," and "Lord of Abydos"

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