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Osiris is the god of the dead and the underworld, resurrection, and civil laws. He is often depicted with green skin, a pharaoh’s beard, and the crook and flail of a pharaoh.

Osiris was the son of Geb (earth) and Nut (sky). He inherited the throne of the pharaoh and brought law, order, and civility to the people of Egypt. He took the goddess Isis as his queen, and together the two deities brought much prosperity to the kingdom. His brother, Set, was jealous of his success on the throne, and he was jealous that his wife Nephthys had disguised herself as Isis and gotten herself pregnant by Osiris. Set sought to get rid of him by drowning him in the Nile River, which is how the Egyptians account for the annual flooding of the Nile that occurs each year. In order to prevent Isis from working any magic to reanimate his brother, Set cut Osiris into little pieces and scattered them all over the earth.

Isis, with the help of Thoth, recovered the pieces of Osiris’ body and with a little magic, brought him back to life long enough for Isis to become pregnant with Horus. She hid Horus away from his uncle Set until he was old enough to come back and battle rightly for the throne. Horus ultimately triumphed over Set and united the Lower and Upper kingdoms of Egypt. The child Nephthys bore was called Anubis, and he took over Duat (the underworld) after his father’s death. The Egyptian pharaohs are thought to rise with Osiris after their deaths and ascend into a heavenly afterlife in Aaru.


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

Osiris Quick Reference

Parents

Geb and Nut


Power / Domain

  • Underworld and the Dead
  • Resurrection
  • Civil Laws

Symbols / Attributes

  • green skin
  • pharaoh's beard
  • crook and flail

Notable Myths

  • Seduction by Nephthys
  • Murder in the Nile
  • Resurrection

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