3. Osiris “God of Justice” He was classically depicted as a green-skinned deity with a pharaoh’s beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive atef crown, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. He was one of the first to be associated with the mummy wrap. When his brother Set cut him up into pieces after killing him, Osiris’ wife Isis found all the pieces and wrapped his body up, enabling him to return to life. Osiris was widely worshipped until the decline of ancient Egyptian religion during the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire. Osiris was at times considered the eldest son of the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, and brother of Set, Nephthys, and Horus the Elder, with Horus the Younger being considered his posthumously begotten son. Through syncretism with Iah, he was also a god of the Moon. Osiris was the judge and lord of the dead and the underworld, the “Lord of Silence” and Khenti-Amentiu, meaning “Foremost of the Westerners”. In the Old Kingdom (2686–2181 BC) the pharaoh was considered a son of the sun god Ra who, after his death, ascended to join Ra in the sky. After the spread of the Osiris cult, however, the kings of Egypt were associated with Osiris in death – as Osiris rose from the dead, they would unite with him and inherit eternal life through imitative magic.

Etymology of the name Head of the God Osiris, c. 595–525 BC. Brooklyn Museum Osiris is a Latin transliteration of the Ancient Greek Ὄσιρις IPA: [ó.siː.ris], which in turn is the Greek adaptation of the original name in the Egyptian language. In Egyptian hieroglyphs the name appears as wsjr, which some Egyptologists instead choose to transliterate as ꜣsjr or jsjrj. Since hieroglyphic writing lacks vowels, Egyptologists have vocalized the name in various ways, such as Asar, Ausar, Ausir, Wesir, Usir, or Usire.

worship Annual ceremonies were performed in honor of Osiris in various places across Egypt. Evidence of which were discovered during underwater archaeological excavations of Franck Goddio and his team in the sunken city of Thonis-Heracleion. These ceremonies were fertility rites which symbolised the resurrection of Osiris. Recent scholars emphasize “the androgynous character of [Osiris’] fertility” clear from surviving material. For instance, Osiris’ fertility has to come both from being castrated/cut-into-pieces and the reassembly by female Isis, whose embrace of her reassembled Osiris produces the perfect king, Horus. Further, as attested by tomb-inscriptions, both women and men could syncretize (identify) with Osiris at their death, another set of evidence that underlines Osiris’ androgynous nature.

Death or transition and institution as God of the afterlife Osiris-Nepra, with wheat growing from his body. From a bas-relief at Philae. The sprouting wheat implied resurrection. Plutarch and others have noted that the sacrifices to Osiris were “gloomy, solemn, and mournful…” (Isis and Osiris, 69) and that the great mystery festival, celebrated in two phases, began at Abydos commemorating the death of the god, on the same day that grain was planted in the ground (Isis and Osiris, 13). The annual festival involved the construction of “Osiris Beds” formed in shape of Osiris, filled with soil and sown with seed. The germinating seed symbolized Osiris rising from the dead. An almost pristine example was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. The imiut emblem- an image of a stuffed, headless skin of an animal tied to a pole mounting a pot, was a symbol associated both with Osiris as God of the underworld and with Anubis, God of mummification, was sometimes included among a deceased person’s funerary equipment.