Study Guide

Isis Sightings

Sightings

Jan 1, 1970

Fifth Dynasty Egypt

This is when we see the first mention of Isis as the wife of Osiris, written inside a pyramid. She didn't waste any time getting started. She's already the boss of kings, the Lady of the Throne, and Queen of Heaven.

Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

Late Period Egypt

Isis just takes over. She goes from being the goddess of kings and thrones to the goddess of everybody—mothers, wives, family, you name it. Isis also starts taking over other goddesses' jobs and temples, and even convinces non-Egyptians to start building temples in her honor.

Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

Cleopatra VII

During this Ptolemaic Queen's reign, Isis goes to Rome and even further. Cleo was so impressed with the goddess that she referred to herself as Thea Neatara, "the new born goddess" and Nea Isis ("the New Isis"), and dressed like Isis in public. At her suicide in 30 BCE, Cleopatra used one of the goddess' cobras to deliver the fatal bite.

Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 0099

Isis and Osiris (De Iside et Osiride) by Plutarch (Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus)

This essay, from Plutarch's fifth book of the Moralia, is one of the only full versions of Egyptian myth about Isis. Even though he was a Greek-speaking Roman citizen, Plutarch was so impressed with the stories he heard about Isis that he made sure they were written down for everyone.

Dec 20, 0099 - Dec 20, 0199

The Golden Ass (The Metamorphoses of Apuleius) by Apuleius

In this story, Lucius really wants to be a magician. Unfortunately, he's not very good at it. While trying to copy a witch, who transformed herself into a bird with a magic spell, he messes up the spell and ends up turning himself into a donkey. After many adventures, Lucius-the-donkey falls asleep on a beach and dreams of Isis, who tells him to go eat one of the roses being carried to the sea as part of the Navigium Isidis festival. Lucius eats a rose, turns back into a man, and joins Isis' priesthood.

Dec 20, 2019

L'Asino by Niccolò Machiavelli

The author of The Prince, a book about power and how to use it, started translating Apuleius' The Golden Ass (see above, 2nd Century CE) into Italian, and made it into a poem. Sadly, he died before he could finish.

Dec 20, 1791

The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

A boy and a girl who can't be together…who do they pray to? Isis, the goddess who lost her husband, of course. Mozart's fantasy opera includes prayers to Isis.

Dec 20, 1975 - Dec 20, 1977

Isis (Mighty Isis and Shazam Hour, The Secrets of Isis)

A cool Saturday morning TV show, where Isis became a superhero in tall white boots, through a magic necklace that a high school science teacher found in the Egyptian desert.

Dec 20, 2019

The Legend of Isis

In this comic book by Bluewater Productions, a 21st Century Los Angeles detective asks for help in his work, and ends up with a teenage super-hero version of Isis to help.

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