Picture Encyclopedia of Mythology

Horus is the god of the hunt, the sky, and war. He is also the protector of the pharaohs. He is most often represented with a falcon’s head, Horus’ Eye, and a red-and-white crown.

Horus’ father Osiris was murdered by Set. In her grief, Isis had the pieces of Osiris reassembled, and using magic, he was “reanimated” for a short time. During this time, Isis became pregnant with Horus before Osiris went to Duat (the underworld) for his judgment by Anubis. She hid him from Set until he was old enough to return and fight his uncle for the throne.

As Horus grew older, he vowed revenge for his father’s death, and he and Set became bitter enemies. Horus ruled Lower Egypt and Set ruled Upper Egypt. Their many battles against one another became legends for the Egyptians throughout the years. In one battle, Set badly injures Horus’ eye. While it is repaired by Thoth, the god of wisdom, the Egyptians associated this injury with the phases of the moon. The eye Thoth replaces it with becomes known as Horus’ Eye, which is all-seeing and all-knowing, and protector of the world. Pharaohs and commoners alike used the Eye as a symbol of protection. Eventually, Horus triumphed over Set, and this became one of the greatest war myths of ancient Egypt. The red-and-white crown that Horus is often depicted wearing represents the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt after Set’s defeat. All subsequent human pharaohs were thought to be incarnations of Horus. After their deaths, they were thought to travel to Duat where Horus would move into the next form of the new pharaoh, making each pharaoh divine.

Be sure to look at our lesson plans on the Egyptian myths!

Horus Quick Reference


Isis and Osiris

Power / Domain

War, hunt, sky, and protector of the pharaohs


  • falcon
  • Wadjet - Horus' Eye
  • red and white crown

Notable Myths

  • Birth through dead Osiris
  • Battle with Set
  • Phases of the Moon

How Do I Use This?

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