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Lecture 6

CLAA05 - Lecture 6.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Jonathan Tracy

CLAA05 – Lecture 6 – Dying Gods Osiris Myth: Most likely originated during the Ptolemaic period Focus should be on resurrection and not on death & betrayal Story is most complete in … Great Hymn to Osiris  18 dynasty (~1500 BC) Isis and Osiris  Plutrach (AD 120) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Geb and Nut created Osiris, Seth, Isis, & Nephthys Seth was always a troublemaker but was very smart. Isis and Osiris ruled Egypt and Seth was very jealous. With the help of 72 conspirators he devised a plan He set up a party and got everyone drunk Seth brought out a decorated chest and offered it to anyone who could fit Only Osiris fit (he was secretly measured) Seth closed the lid and locked the chest He threw the chest into the Nile Seth became king of Egypt ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Isis searched for the chest She heard a rumor that the chest was in Byblos A tree had grown around the chest The chest became buried in the trunk of the tree King of Babylos cut the tree to make pillars for his palace Isis became the nursemaid to the baby prince She grew fond of him and decided to make him immortal Consisted of putting him on fire and circling around him as a bird The queen heard of this strange behaviour and went to see When she witnessed the immortality process she screamed This disrupted the immortality process Isis told the Queen what she had been trying to do, the queen was grateful and allowed her to cut the chest out of the pillar. When she saw Osiris’ body she yelled and killed the baby prince She returned to Egypt with the chest and an older Babylon prince When she wept over he husband she was so hideous that the prince died Isis hid Osiris’ coffin ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Seth found Osiris’ coffin when he was hunting boar He was furious and dismembered the body into 14 pieces He spread the pieces across the land Isis and Nephthys searched for the pieces They found all the pieces but the phallus/penis (eaten by a fish) Isis was a divine healer She put the pieces together She turned into a bird and hovered over him CLAA05 – Lecture 6 – Dying Gods In nine months she bore him a son: Horus Osiris was alive but not completely --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Isis hid with Horus until he was old enough to claim the throne Osiris became the king of the Underworld *Note that Osiris dies twice. This is considered the worst possible fate for Egyptians. Osiris Gives people afterlife Mummy god God of fertility (plants grow from his body) God of rejuvenation *note – in Egypt feral hungry dogs would feast at the poorly guarded cemeteries. The god of mummification, Anubis (jackal-headed god) gave people comfort Alternatives  Seth & Thoth both killed Osiris  Seth drowned Osiris in the Nile (common for Egyptian to drown)  Osiris died by falling onto his side (position of mummies)  Seth placed Osiris’ remained in Nedyt 3 spiritual entities (reading) The ba – soul/personality of the deceased Takes the form of a bird with a human head Lives in the tomb but could visit the land of the living The Ka – could only survive if the corpse is recognizable It is a life-form created when the body is formed Must stay close to the body Requires offerings of food and water The akh – Represents immortality of the deceased Can venture away from the corps
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