Study Guide

Osiris

  • Profile

    Osiris, the firstborn son of Nut (the sky) and Geb (the earth), gets to rule Egypt with his gorgeous wife, Isis. Together, they were the world's first power couple. When Death came into the world, the land of the dead was a dark and gloomy place, without anyone to keep all those dead people company. Talk about disappointing. And after Osiris' brother Seth murdered him, he felt so bad for them that he decided to stay in the land of the dead so they could have their own king. His son Horus became king of the living world in his place. He might be dead, but Osiris is still moving. In fact, he makes things grow. Yep, everything that grows out of the ground demonstrates his power.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Osiris, Wesir, Ausar, Lord of the Duat, King of the Afterlife

    Nickname

    Unnefer ("the beautiful being"), Foremost of Westerners, Green Machine, That Dead Egyptian Dude

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    The Duat (the place the sun goes when it sets)

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    King, judge, chief dead guy in the afterlife

    Education

    At the feet of my father, Geb, and my stepfather, Ra. They taught me all about being king, but neither of them knew anything about being dead!

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Monarchist

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Nut (Mom), Geb (Dad), Ra (Stepdad)

    Siblings

    Horus the Elder, Seth (my younger brothers); my little sister Nephthys, and my little sister Isis, who is also my wife (it's complicated)

    Children

    Horus the Younger (with Isis), Anubis (with Nephthys…don't ask).

    Friends

    All the people who ever lived…and died

    Enemies

    Seth

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married to Isis, though I was killed and had to leave her behind

    Interested in

    Women (but don't tell my wife)

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Stargate SG-1 (So I took over a girl's body in this show, but at least I'm a cute girl! Wait…Isis didn't hear me say that, did she?) 
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (and all the spinoffs). Let's say I have a soft spot for finding justice for murder victims. 
    The Tudors (Proving that old saying that it's good to be the king.) 
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Everybody deserves to be protected.) 
    Bones (Do you know they even solved a mummy-related murder?) 

    Quotations

    "Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."
    – Isaac Asimov

    "The dead cannot cry out for justice; it is a duty of the living to do so for them."
    – Lois McMaster Bujold

    "The report of my death was an exaggeration."
    – Mark Twain

    "I will accept this burden with all that I am!"
    – Optimus Prime

    "You can't be creative when you're completely happy."
    – Pink

    Books

    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (You win or you die. You don't want to die, believe me.) 
    Gardening for Dummies by The National Gardening Association (I love it when things grow.) 
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (I like dead people, and I live with them. Graveyards are nice.) 
    Mummy (DK Eyewitness Books) by James Putnam (Everything about making a mummy. I was the very first one!) 
    Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R. L. LaFevers (Theodosia's had lots of adventures, but I like this one the best…) 
    Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris by Emily Sands (This is Miss Emily's diary of her search for a long lost tomb. Fascinating and full of interesting games and puzzles.) 
    Death, Be Not Proud (Holy Sonnet 10) by John Donne (Death's not so bad, but then I've had a long time to get used to it.) 
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (Like me, Frankenstein was put together from lots of parts. I think Isis did a better job, though.) 
    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (What's it like once you pass the end of the world? It's a great adventure!) 

    Music

    Go West by Pet Shop Boys (In ancient Egyptian, to "go west" means to be dead, and live with me!) 
    Cross Road Blues by Robert Johnson (Crossroads are special places where the living and the dead can meet. Plus, this cross road is full of the blues. What's not to love?) 
    Hotel California by the Eagles (Death is a little like the Hotel California. You can check in any time you like, but you can never leave…) 
    Another One Bites the Dust by Queen (And another one's gone… and gets to come see me…) 
    The Farmer in the Dell (Yes, the old nursery rhyme song. Hey, it's catchy. When you're dead, you get bored easily. Don't be too hard on me. I could've picked "The Green Grass Grows All Around"…) 
    Pray by Justin Bieber (Helping and caring about other people warms my heart.)  
    Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds by the Beatles (Somehow this reminds me of my wife.)

    Movies

    The Mummy (Those are MY warriors, not Anubis's. And I'm far better looking.)
    Final Flight of the Osiris (I was totally on the edge of my throne while I watched this.)
    Titanic (We like sad movies here, too.) 
    Judge Dredd (In the afterlife, I am the law.) 
    The Lorax (Before anybody else, I spoke for the trees.) 
    Inception (The afterlife is kind of like the dream world, but not as confusing…) 
    Final Destination (Where else do you think you're going to go?) 
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Magic, destroying a really bad guy? Yes, please!) 

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Beer
    Plants
    Dead People
    The Blues
    Farmville
    Being king

    Interests

    Ornamental trees
    Law
    Agriculture
    Kingship
    Mock trials

    Groups

    Royalty
    Ancient Egyptian Gods 
    Omnipotent deities
    BEER!  
    Judges of Egypt  
    Death gods

  • Spotter's Guide

    There are a lot of pharaohs and gods with weird beards running around ancient Egypt. How will you know which one is Osiris? Keep an eye out for the good-looking guy with green or black skin.

    Sex: Male
    Age: Adult
    Build: Physically fit, but dead
    Complexion: Some say dark, some say fair. In paintings and sculptures, he often has green or black skin.
    Hair Color: Unknown (always hidden under a wig and/or crown)
    Facial Hair: A very sexy pharaoh's beard
    Scars/marks/tattoos: Scars where Seth once cut him into 14 pieces
    Jewelry and accessories: Royal necklaces and a crown with tall plumes; two special scepters (called a crook and a flail) as marks of his pharaonic office
    Clothing: White royal robes, white mummy wrappings, and sometimes both
    Armor: None except his mummy wrappings.
    Type of Weapon: Osiris has people for that.

    Typical Companions

    Anubis
    Nephthys
    Ammit
    The Four Sons of Horus
    Dead people

    Known Hangouts

    The Duat (the afterlife/land of the hidden sun)
    The Hall of Two Truths (the hall of judgment in the afterlife)
    Night time

  • Sightings

    Jan 1, 1970

    Fifth Dynasty Egypt

    The first time we see the name of Osiris, written inside a pyramid, happens during the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt. One of his titles, "Foremost of Westerners," dates back a few hundred years earlier. Osiris gets a lot of titles, and shares them, too. All dead people are allowed to call themselves Osiris in his honor.

    Jan 1, 1970

    Twelfth Dynasty Egypt

    The world's first party plan: the priest Ikhernofret writes down all the things he had to do for the Osiris Mysteries, and leaves us a very detailed stela (a carved stone tablet) with the five-day festival schedule. It probably took him a while to fold 3,000 origami crocodile hats!

    Dec 20, 2019

    Osiris becomes Serapis

    Osiris wants to go visit Greece, so he asks for a Greek name that everybody up there can pronounce. King Ptolemy decides to call him Serapis, or "Osiris the Bull," and asks him to wear some of Zeus's clothes to the temple so he'll fit in better.

    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 Osiris. Even though he was a Greek-speaking Roman, Plutarch loved the stories he heard about Isis and Osiris so much that he made sure they were written down for everyone.

    Dec 20, 0391

    Destruction of the Serapeum

    The Orthodox Patriarch Theophilius of Alexandria leads a group to destroy Serapis' ancient temple in Alexandria, and bans Serapis' public worship.

    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 and Osiris, the first gods who were separated against their will. Mozart's fantasy opera includes prayers to Isis and Osiris.

    Nile Flooding: Death of Osiris and the "Night of the Drop"

    Each summer in Egypt, when the sandstorms come out of the Sahara and it gets super hot and dry, the Nile starts to recede, and the green land dies and becomes brown and sandy. This is when Seth (the god of the desert) "kills" his brother Osiris. Around mid-September, when the weather shifts and the Nile rises again, Egyptians celebrate the "Night of the Drop," "Leilat al-Nuktah." The drop comes from Isis' tears falling in the river (how sad is that?).

    Rising of the constellation Orion

    The ancient Egyptians knew the constellation Orion as Sah, or "the Strider," and considered it a form of Osiris in the sky. It rises above Egypt around November, at the time when the ancients celebrated the Osiris Mysteries in the god's honor. Orion's belt has three stars in a diagonal, just like the rows made by the Three Great Pyramids at Giza.