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.
Osiris, Wesir, Ausar, Lord of the Duat, King of the Afterlife
Unnefer ("the beautiful being"), Foremost of Westerners, Green Machine, That Dead Egyptian Dude
The Duat (the place the sun goes when it sets)
King, judge, chief dead guy in the afterlife
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!
Nut (Mom), Geb (Dad), Ra (Stepdad)
Horus the Elder, Seth (my younger brothers); my little sister Nephthys, and my little sister Isis, who is also my wife (it's complicated)
Horus the Younger (with Isis), Anubis (with Nephthys…don't ask).
All the people who ever lived…and died
Married to Isis, though I was killed and had to leave her behind
Women (but don't tell my wife)
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?)
"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (You win or you die. You don't want to die, believe me.)
Go West by Pet Shop Boys (In ancient Egyptian, to "go west" means to be dead, and live with me!)
The Mummy (Those are MY warriors, not Anubis's. And I'm far better looking.)
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.
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.
The Four Sons of Horus
The Duat (the afterlife/land of the hidden sun)
The Hall of Two Truths (the hall of judgment in the afterlife)
Jan 1, 1970
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
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 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
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
The Orthodox Patriarch Theophilius of Alexandria leads a group to destroy Serapis' ancient temple in Alexandria, and bans Serapis' public worship.
Dec 20, 1791
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.
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?).
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.