Egyptian God

Osiris (Greek language, also Usiris; the Egyptian language name is variously transliterated Asar, Aser, Ausar, or Ausare) is the Egyptian God of the dead and the underworld. At the height of the ancient Nile civilization, Osiris was regarded as the primary deity of a henotheism. Osiris was not only the merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife, but also the underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. Beginning at about 2000 B.C. all men, not just dead pharaohs, were believed to be associated with Osiris at death. The origin of Osiris’ name is a mystery, which forms an obstacle to knowing the pronunciation of its hieroglyphic form. The majority of current thinking is that the Egyptian name is pronounced aser where the a is the letter ayin (i.e. a short ‘a’ pronounced from the back of the throat as if swallowing). Osiris is first mentioned in the 4th Dynasty, though it is regarded as highly plausible that he may have evolved from the god Andjety. In the first mentions of Osiris, he was regarded the god of the underworld and the dead in the Ennead version of Egyptian mythology, in which he was one of the four children of the earth (Geb) and the sky (Nut), and was the husband of Isis (Aset), who represented life. Every Khu, an aspect of the soul, seeking admission to Aaru, the Egyptian paradise, was referred to as an Osiris. As god of the dead, Babi, the god who devoured unworthy souls, was described as his first-born son. In art, since he was representative of death, Osiris was usually depicted as a mummified man, with a beard, and, as ruler of the underworld, was also given the symbols of kingship – the crown, flail, and crozier. Usually, he also was depicted as having green skin, a reference to rotting flesh, and thus to death. Alternatively, the green color could also recall the color of new vegetation in Osiris’ capacity of renewing life, similar to his nightly resurrection by Re. In the Book of the Dead there are a series of funerary formulas addressed almost exclusively to Osiris, to be learned by a man when living or inscribed on his coffin so he might enter the blessed abodes after death. Only those initiated into the Osirian cult would know its doctrines and ceremonials, for these were, according to the Book of the Dead, an exceedingly great mysteryin the handwriting of the god himself. And these things shall be done secretly (in the rubric ac.panying Ch. CXXXVIIa). The Greeks, who also copied these sacred writings, declared it a sacrilege to reveal the rites or doctrines of the mysteries. Herodotus, Plutarch and Pausanias all noted that they were not allowed to repeat what they had learned from Egyptian religious rituals. The Osirian Myth is, however, fully retold by Plutarch (Isis and Osiris, 12-20) and elaborated and reinforced by Diodorus Siculus (Library of History I, 11-27). The main visible source of de.position, of rotting flesh, is its consumption by insects, beetles, and other small animals. Since these animals are the prey of centipedes, centipedes became seen by the Egyptians as protecting the dead, and consequently, in Heliopolis, became thought of as an aspect of Osiris, the lord of the dead. In this form, he was known as Sepa (also spelt Sep), meaning centipede, being depicted either as a normal centipede or as a mummified figure with two horns, reflecting both Osiris’ role as lord of the dead, and the prominent horn-like Antennae exhibited by centipedes. Since centipedes are venomous, Sepa was seen as having authority over snake bites and scorpion stings, and so was invoked for protection against these things. The presence of earthworms improves the fertility of soil, and such simple observations were known in ancient times, although it was often associated with other creatures usually present in healthy soil as well. Since centipedes prey on such animals, they would usually be found in the same locations, and thus also became associated with soil fertility. Because centipedes usually roam around soil, Sepa was also associated with the Earth, and his actions seen to improve its fertility. In consequence, Sepa was sometimes depicted with the head of a donkey, a major symbol of soil fertility due to the beneficial effects, to soil, of manure from donkeys in particular (horse manure would be more notable, but horses were not present in Egypt then) Father of Anubis Later, when the Ennead and Ogdoad cosmogenies became merged, with the identification of Ra as Atum (Atum-Ra), gradually Anubis, the god of the underworld in the Ogdoad system, was replaced by Osiris, whose cult had be.e more significant. In order to explain this, Anubis was said to have given way to Osiris out of respect, and, as an underworld deity, was subsequently identified as being Osiris’ son. Abydos, which had been a strong centre of the cult of Anubis, became a centre of the cult of Osiris. However, as Isis, Osiris’ wife, represented life, in the Ennead, it was considered somewhat inappropriate for her to be the mother of a god associated with death, and so instead, it was usually said that Nephthys, the other of the two female children of Geb and Nut, was his mother. To explain the apparent infidelity of Osiris, it was said that a sexually frustrated Nephthys had disguised herself as Isis to get more attention from her husband, Set, but did not succeed, although Osiris then mistook her for Isis, and they procreated, resulting in Anubis’ birth. Father of Horus Later, when Hathor’s identity (from the Ogdoad) was assimilated into that of Isis, Horus, who had been Isis’ husband (in the Ogdoad), became considered her son, and thus, since Osiris was Isis’ husband (in the Ennead), Osiris also became considered Horus’ father. Attempts to explain how Osiris, a god of the dead, could give rise to someone so definitely alive as Horus, lead to the development of the Legend of Osiris and Isis, which became the greatest myth in Egyptian mythology. The myth described Osiris as having been killed by his brother Set who wanted Osiris’ throne. Osiris was subsequently resurrected by Anubis. Osiris and Isis gave birth to Horus. As such, since Horus was born after Osiris’ resurection, Horus became thought of as representing new beginnings. This .bination, Osiris-Horus, was therefore a life-death-rebirth deity, and thus associated with the new harvest each year. Ptah-Seker (who resulted from the identification of Ptah as Seker), who was god of re-incarnation, thus gradually became identified with Osiris, the two Ptah-Seker-Osiris (rarely known as Ptah-Seker-Atum, although this was just the name, and involved Osiris rather than Atum). As the sun was thought to spend the night in the underworld, and subsequently be re-incarnated, as both king of the underworld, and god of reincarnation, Ptah-Seker-Osiris was identified as the sun during the night. Since Osiris was considered dead, as lord of the dead, Osiris’ soul, or rather his Ba, was occasionally worshipped in its own right, almost as if it were a distinct god, especially so in the Delta city of Mendes. This aspect of Osiris was referred to as Banebdjed (also spelt Banebded or Banebdjedet, which is technically feminine) which literally means The ba of the lord of the djed, which roughly means The soul of the lord of the pillar of stability. The djed, a type of pillar, was usually understood as the backbone of Osiris, since the Egyptians had associated death, and the dead, as symbolic of stability. As Banebdjed, Osiris was given epithets such as Lord of the Sky and Life of the (sun god) Ra, since Ra, when he had be.e identified with Atum, was considered Osiris’ ancestor, from whom his regal authority was inherited. Ba does not, however, quite mean soul in the western sense, and also has a lot to do with power, reputation, force of character, especially in the case of a god. Since the ba was associated with power, and also happened to be a word for ram in Egyptian, Banebdjed was depicted as a ram, or as Ram-headed. A living, sacred ram, was even kept at Mendes and worshipped as the incarnation of the god, and upon death, the rams were mummified and buried in a ram-specific necropolis. In Mendes, they had considered Hatmehit, a local fish-goddess, as the most important god/goddess, and so when the cult of Osiris became more significant, Banebdjed was identified in Mendes as deriving his authority from being married to Hatmehit. Later, when Horus became identified as the child of Osiris (in this form Horus is known as Harpocrates in greek and Har-pa-khered in Egyptian), Banebdjed was consequently said to be Horus’ father, as Banebdjed is an aspect of Osiris. In contemporary occult fiction, Banebdjed is often called the goat of Mendes, and identifed with Baphomet; the fact that Banebdjed was a ram (sheep), not a goat, is apparently overlooked. 相关的主题文章: