Ancient Egypt had by tradition a variety of gods by what is referred to today as spirits. Although there were many stories of Ancient Egypt, here's one from our guide we remember:

The Legend of Osiris (as told by our guide, Ahmed)
This legend is about Nut (the sky Godess) and Geb (the earth God) who had 4 children; brothers Osiris and Seth and sisters Isis and Nephthys. Both Osiris and Seth were in love with Isis and wanted to marry her... (note: the concept of brother and sister marriages is commonplace during this time). Geb, the father joined Osiris and Isis in marriage, which angered Seth.

As the story goes, Seth tricked Osiris into getting into a chest which he nails and throws into the Nile, drowning Osiris. He then cuts Osiris into 42 pieces and spreads this throughout Egypt 42 provinces. When Isis heard of her huband's death, set out to find the scattered parts of her husband's body - she was able to reunit all but one, which is believed to be eaten by fishes in the Nile. Isis and Osiris did have an offspring, Horus who grew up to avenge his father's murder by killing his uncle, Seth with a harpoon. Horus in fect, spent his life avenging his fathers' killer.

As I understand, there are many versions of the story including one that says that Isis pretended to bury the many pieces of Osiris' body where she found it - explaining the many shrines to Osiris all over Egypt.

One version of this story has Osiris' coffin floating in the Nile become stuck among the reeds. It was found by Isis and her sister Nephthys. Egyptian legend tells that the goddesses breathed life and warmth into the body of Osiris enough for him to be able to impregnate Isis with their son, Horus, who she hid for protection in the northern papyrus marshes until he was grown. In fear that Osiris might cause him more problems, Seth cuts Osiris into 42 pieces ....

Seth is known as the God of Chaos and is often associated with thunder, the desert and infertility. Osiris is the Egyptian God of the Underworld who bears the responsibility to judge the souls of the dead. Isis, wife of Osiris is the Goddess of Magic and patron saint of women and was also considered to be the goddess of fertility. Their son Horus came to be known as the Egyptian Falcon God. FInally, the 4th sibling Nephthys is married to Seth, but has a son Anubis which is fathered by Osiris. It was believed that Nephthys has the ability to transform herself to look like Isis, thereby tricking Osiris to father a child. Anubis has the role as the gatekeeper of the underworld and God of Death. He held the important role of overseeing the embalming and mummification of the dead.

The Pharoah
The Pharoah is the most powerful person in Ancient Egypt - he is the political and religious leader. Many Pharoah's have stories of their battles told in hieroglyphics on the walls of their tombs so it's been an interesting time having someone interpret what the pictures mean in the form of a story.

Some more famous Pharoah's are

  • Ahmose was the Pharoah which united upper and lower Egypt at about 1550 BC. Upper actually means the upper reaches of the Nile river which commences south of Egypt and is symbolised by the Lotus. Lower Egypt is in the northern part of Egypt and is symbolised by the Papyrus plant.
  • Hatshepsut became Pharoah because her step-son Tutmoses III was too young to rule but she stayed on for 15 years. She built Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor in honour of herself.
  • Tutankhamun was a pharaoh who ruled ancient Egypt for only nine years. He became famous in 1992 when his wealthy tomb was discovered complete.

 

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