Mythos 46 – Osiris and Horus

 

A story similar to the Maytsu and Adapa stories of the Indus and Sumeria is described in Egypt, where the god of Osiris, originally believed to have been called Usir, was described as a teacher of humanity before he was killed by Set. Osiris was also described as sleeping in water, and therefore the Osireion, or Temple of Osiris in Abydos, was built below the water level and flooded most of the time.(1)Margaret A. Murray (1904) “The Osirion at Abydos” British School of Egyptian Archeology, Number 1 As the ancient Greek historian and biographer Plutarch described the live and death of Osiris 1,900 years ago:

Osiris was a wise king in Egypt who set himself to civilize the people and redeem them from their former states of barbarism. He taught them the cultivation of the earth, gave them a body of laws, and instructed them in the worship of the gods. Having made his own land prosperous, he set out in like manner to teach the other nations of the world. During his absence, the land of Egypt was so well ruled by his wife Isis, that his jealous brother Typhon (Set), the personification of evil, as Osiris was the personification of good, could do no harm in his kingdom; but on the return of Osiris to Egypt, Typhon made a conspiracy against him, persuading 72 other persons to join him, together with a certain Queen of Ethiopia named Aso, who chanced to be in Egypt at the time (74 altogether)…- Plutarch (2)Plutarch (circa 100 AD) "On Isis and Osiris" Moralia, Chapter 12

The correspondences between the Egyptian and Indus religions seem as noticeable as the important dates between the two cultures, the death of Krishna and the destruction of Dvārakā circa 3,102 BC, and the unification of Egypt circa 3,100 BC. Given that the Egyptians had a legend that the founders of their unified kingdom had migrated from a land in the Indian Ocean, it does seem plausible that the unifiers of Egypt were from the Indus civilization like the Sumerian colonists.

As in the Indus Epics of Celestials living in cities that floated around in the sky in great circles, the Egyptians had the stories of Ra’s Solar Barges that crossed the sky each day and night, quite literally orbiting the Earth. While these barges certainly did merge into one, becoming the Sun in later Egyptian mythology, they clearly weren’t the Sun in the earliest versions of the story, where they were depicted in aerial combat against Apep (Apophis). Ra was accompanied in his Solar Barges by a number of other gods, including Set and Babi who helped him to defeat Apep,(3)Donald B. Redford (2001) Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 3, Page 269 which seems incongruent with the idea that his solar barges were originally the Sun.

The Osireion in Abydos, either designed to sit below water level, or predating the current water level.

The Osireion in Abydos, either designed to sit below water level, or predating the current water level.

A conflict between Set and Osiris was also described in the ancient Egyptian text The Contendings of Horus and Set, in which Set killed Osiris in order to become the ruler of the Earth.(4)H. te Velde (1967) “Seth, God of Confusion: A Study of His Role in Egyptian Mythology and Religion,” Probleme der Ägyptologie, Volume 6 Osiris was considered by the ancient Egyptians as an aquatic deity, and as such temples dedicated to him were generally full of water, like the Osirion at Abydos, and like the sacred ponds at the Temples of Enki in Sumeria. In The Contendings of Horus and Set, Set trapped Osiris in a metal sarcophagus, and then set the air-tight sarcophagus adrift in the Nile River. Osiris’ wife Isis, went looking for the metal sarcophagus, and apparently didn’t find it for many centuries. In the interim, the sarcophagus had floated down the Nile River into the Mediterranean Sea and had washed ashore in Lebanon. Over what must have been many centuries, the sea level had dropped, and the sarcophagus found itself inland. A cedar tree grew around the sarcophagus, that was so large that when it was cut down to be used in a temple, no one realized there was a metal sarcophagus with a trapped god inside the tree. When Isis found the sarcophagus the tree was being used as a pillar for a palace in Byblos, Lebanon. Once Isis had removed the sarcophagus from the pillar, she opened it and was shocked to find Osiris dead. Given the length of time involved between when he’d been locked in the air-tight metal sarcophagus, and when it was reopened, this seems like an odd reaction, unless the sarcophagus was some kind of life preserving device. Given that Isis was surprised to find Osiris dead, it seems unlikely Set expected him to die. The sarcophagus had preserved enough of Osiris’ DNA for Isis to impregnate herself, which ultimately lead to the birth of Horus several months later.(5)Plutarch (circa 100 AD) “On Isis and Osiris” Moralia, Chapter 12

Earth's Continents During the Last Glacial Maximum Circa 18,500 Years Ago

Earth’s Continents During the Last Glacial Maximum Circa 18,500 Years Ago

Eventually when Horus was old enough, he challenged Set in the name of Osiris, claiming to be the rightful ruler of Earth. The two fought for eighty years; a battle ultimately settled when the Ennead, the council of the gods, decide in Horus favor, and Set acquiesced. In the Turin King List the Pre-Dynastic kings that preceded King Memes, the unifier of Egypt, were called the Dynasty of Disciples of Horus.(6)Walter B. Emery (1961) Archaic Egypt: Culture and Civilization in Egypt Five Thousand Years Ago While the Turin King List is extremely damaged in the texts dealing with Pre-Dynastic times, it does list the Dynasty of the Disciples of Horus lasted for 13,420 years, and the dynasties before Horus lasted for 23,200 years, totaling 36,620 years of forgotten history.(7)Schwaller R. A. de Lubicz (1988) Sacred Science: the King of Pharaonic Theocracy Using the Turin King List, the indication is that the battle between Horus and Set happened sometime between 19,000 and 18,500 years ago, right at the end of the last glacial maximum.(8)Peter U. Clark, et al. (2009) “The Last Glacial Maximum,” Science, Volume 325 Number 5941, Page 710–714 This timing would also explain why the sea level had dropped so low while Osiris was trapped in the sarcophagus; at the height of the Last Glacial Maximum the sea level was 125 meters (410 feet) lower than it is today,(9)Joe Breman (2002) Marine Geography: GIS for the Oceans and Seas, Page 134 exposing continental shelves around the world.(10)Steven Mithen (2004) After the Ice: a global human history, 20.000–5.000 BC, Page 3

References   [ + ]

1. Margaret A. Murray (1904) “The Osirion at Abydos” British School of Egyptian Archeology, Number 1
2. Plutarch (circa 100 AD) "On Isis and Osiris" Moralia, Chapter 12
3. Donald B. Redford (2001) Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 3, Page 269
4. H. te Velde (1967) “Seth, God of Confusion: A Study of His Role in Egyptian Mythology and Religion,” Probleme der Ägyptologie, Volume 6
5. Plutarch (circa 100 AD) “On Isis and Osiris” Moralia, Chapter 12
6. Walter B. Emery (1961) Archaic Egypt: Culture and Civilization in Egypt Five Thousand Years Ago
7. Schwaller R. A. de Lubicz (1988) Sacred Science: the King of Pharaonic Theocracy
8. Peter U. Clark, et al. (2009) “The Last Glacial Maximum,” Science, Volume 325 Number 5941, Page 710–714
9. Joe Breman (2002) Marine Geography: GIS for the Oceans and Seas, Page 134
10. Steven Mithen (2004) After the Ice: a global human history, 20.000–5.000 BC, Page 3