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Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nemty reminds me of the Greek Charon Very Happy

That Heket thing is confusing-I think that Isis would have done the main resurecting of Osiris, but I've heard that Anubis and Nephtys also helped to raise him, so maybe Heket did as well.

How old exactly is Isis? I've seen some sites say she is very old indeed, while others said that she's merely a Greco Roman invention, a spin off of Hathor, or a minor goddess who was propelled to fame by the Greeks and Romans, but that kinda contradicts the older myths and Egyptian texts of isis and Osiris doesn't it?
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Charly
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isis is mentioned for the first time in the pyramid texts (end of the Fifth dynasty). It is believed she evolved from Hathor (and her sister Nephtys from Neith). Their origin is closely connected with Osiris who also became more important during the Fifth Dynasty.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charly wrote:
Isis is mentioned for the first time in the pyramid texts (end of the Fifth dynasty). It is believed she evolved from Hathor (and her sister Nephtys from Neith). Their origin is closely connected with Osiris who also became more important during the Fifth Dynasty.


I read somewhere that this is the first time Aset is mentioned, but there are some archeological finds that point to Aset existing before that.
Aset was associated with the so called Tjet knot (=knot of Isis=blood of Isis), and that appeared already during the 1st-3rd dynasties.

However, as yet there is no evidence of any shrine or temple to her that dates to the Predynastic, Early Dynastic or Old Kingdom periods.


Resembling an Ankh with bent arms, the Tyet, or Knot of Isis, is found in Egyptian funerary murals.

Neith is definitely an old goddess. Her name appears in the first dynasty.
I don't know when Hathor appears on the scene.
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Charly
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Identifying the origin of a deitie is a complicated matter; it's often a case of inscriptions versus iconographic material. The iconographic material that could suggest the existence of a certein deitie mostly if not always predates the written evidence. For example: The Tiyet-knot is a known symbol of Isis but existed long before Isis was mentioned in the Pyramid Texts. Most reseachers however believe that in the course of Fifth Dynasty the symbol became connected with Isis, but before it had another, independant function (or was connected with another deitie). There are similar problems with the Djed-Pillar and Osiris.

Hathor is mentioned for the first time on an ivory tablet from the reign of king Djer. But her origin is probably even older although most researchers believe that the goddess depicted on the Narmer-Palette isn't Hathor but Bat.

Neith is mentioned by name for the first time during the first dynasty but representations of her emblem (two crossed arrows mounted on a pole)date back to the Predynastic Period.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So maybe that thing about Isis being a spinoff of Hathor may be correct...but who was more popular?

More questions about Hathor...

1) Is Hathor the goddess of the sky? I've seen that mentioned that somewhere but I thought Nut was the sky goddess, and that Hathor was the goddess of love, happiness, drunkenness and so on...

2) A similar question-who's the real goddess of Sirius? Isis or Hathor???
You see, I watched this programme ages ago about the night sky in Egypt and it was very flawed, I think. The presenter told some very erroneuous versions of Egyptian myths including the Hathor myth, and he claimed that this was the origin of the Nile flood myth-he said that when Hathor (or Sekhmet) was slaughtering everyone, the gods poured blood coloured beer into the Nile to lure Hathor and this was what caused the nile flood. I have never ever heard that version of the myth, and I think that presenter invented it. Plus he also said that Hathor was Sirius, and I was actually yelling at the screen saying 'No!!! It's Isis! It's Isis!!!' Laughing

I'm actually suprised that Isis and Hathor didn't have a rivalry between them, as they are so similar and it seems they copy each other so much, like their attributes, their crowns, and don't even get me started on that 'mother of Horus' dilemma...or i'll get a migraine Laughing
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an interesting piece on touregypt:
http://touregypt.net/godsofegypt/hathor2.htm

Hathor was:
Quote:
* Celestial goddess: The Mistress of Heaven
* Goddess of love, music and beauty: the Goddess of Love, Cheerfulness, Music, and Dance,
* Goddess of women, firtility, children and childbirth: The Mother of Mothers, the Celestial Nurse,
* Goddess of destruction and drunkeness: The Vengeful Eye of Ra, the Lady of Drunkeness,
* Goddess of the dead: Lady of the West


She was also knnown as:
Quote:

the Mistress of Life,
the Great Wild Cow,
the Golden One,
the Mistress of Turquoise,
Lady of Dendera (her cult centre was located at Dendera),
Mistress of Qis,
Lady to the Limit (of the Universe),
Lady of Punt ,
the Powerful One,
the Mistress of the Desert,
Lady of the Southern Sycamore,
Lady of Malachite (eye makeup from Sinai was made from green malachite - Sinai was one of Hathor's domains)...


I don't know about Sirius...

I have no idea who was more popular: Isis or Hathor.
I get the impression that Hathor's cult worship was more vibrant and widely spread. It's hard to find cult centers for Isis outside of Philae, and those are from a later period.
But I don't know for sure about these things.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's another article on touregypt with a lot of info
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/hathorbeauty.htm

I found this rather interesting:
Quote:
The ancient Egyptians were insular, not overly interested in importing or exporting deities. Eventually Isis would become the great exception, with temples in Rome, and throughout Europe, Africa and Asia, as far away as the British Isles. Hathor was her trailblazing predecessor. Beyond the traditional borders of Egypt and Nubia, Hathor was worshipped throughout Semitic West Asia, beloved particularly in the city of Byblos. She was also adored as far afield as what is modern Ethiopia, Somalia and Libya. The seed of what would be universally beloved within Isis also existed within Hathor. Their appeal transcends national or ethnic boundaries: Hathor perhaps embodies the wishes of those who long for life to be generously benevolent and abundant, while Isis embodies the hopes of those who wish for mercy and kindness.


The article made it sound as though Hathor was replaced in some sense by Isis. Or maybe a better way to say it is that they represent different time periods.

I also found it interesting that Hathor's "egyptian name" Het-Hrt means "house of Horus"
Given the importance of Horus in the very early dynastic period, I wonder what the role of Hathor was at that point?
The Ra-Hathor-Sekhmet myth seems to indicate a more violent nature than the later "Lady of Malachite" who embodies beauty.
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Charly
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
Quote:
It's hard to find cult centers for Isis outside of Philae, and those are from a later period.
But I don't know for sure about these things.


About Temples of Isis:

From Wilkinson, R. "The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt", London, 2003, p. 149.
Quote:
For a good part of Egyptian history it seems that Isis was not actually associated with any particular locality or worshipped in her own temples. Rather she was incorporated into the temples of other deities with whom she was associated. There are minor exceptions such as the chapel of Isis 'Mistress of the Pyramid' constructed at Giza in the 21st dynasty. However the first important temple known to have been dedicated to the goddess, the Iseion - her temple at Behbeit el-Hagar in the eastern Delta - was not begun until the reign of Nectanebo II in the 30th dynasty, and only completed under Ptolemy III. Even here, as in her other sanctuaries, Isis was venerated along with Osiris and Horus as was probably the case in earlier shrines which existed on the site...her most famous temple on the island of Philae was begun under Nectanebo I and grew under a series of Ptolomaic rulers and roman emperors...
...There was a temple of Isis at Byblos, where the goddess was equated with the local form of Astarte, from quite early times...
...Later, the worship of Isis became widespread in the Graeco-Roman worlds as one of the Eastern 'mystery religions'...
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info Charly Smile

I had not heard of the chapel of Isis 'Mistress of the Pyramid' constructed at Giza from the 21st dynasty.
That would be part of the Northern kingdom under the Smendes family right?

Had not heard of the Iseion in the Delta either.
I looked up Nectanebo II. One of his names refer to Hathor, while another refers to Osiris, husband of Isis. (Might as well appeal to all of 'em I guess Very Happy)
His birth name, Nakhthorheb and epithet, mery-hathor, means "strong is His Lord, Beloved of Hathor".
His throne name was Snedjem-ib-re Setep-en-inhur, meaning "Pleasing to the Heart of Re, Chosen of Onuris (Osiris)".

This king was described as very pious and under the protection of the gods. He did start the construction of an enormous temple of Isis at Behbeit el-Hagar. He also dedicated temples to Isis at Philae.

I can't find any evidence of Women having Isis or Hathor related names though.
Nectanebo II's mother was named Udjashu. Other royal ladies were named Ptolmais.

DOn't know if this info is useful, but thought it interesting. Cool
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Charly
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome anneke!

The chapel of Isis is in fact the rebuilt mortuary chapel of pyramid G I-c, belonging to a queen of Khufu. The chapel was enlarge in the 26th dyn. and the 'Inventory stela' was placed in it. This stela claims (amongst other things) there was a Isis temple on the plateau before the pyramids were built; modern scholars don't accept this because there isn't any contemporary evidence for a 4th dyn. Isis cult.
I don't have any info on the kings who build and rebuild the chapel but this info can undoubtly be found in the monography (in French) dedicated to this temple:

Zivie-Coche, C. "Giza au premier millenaire autour du temple d'Isis dame des pyramides", Boston, 1991.

anneke wrote:
Quote:
Had not heard of the Iseion in the Delta either.
Hadn't heard of it either until this aftenoon! Smile


Analysis of names is very useful, it often provides a clue regarding the popularity of a particular god or goddess during a certain period.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have heard of queens (I think they were connected with Ramses, not sure which one though) who have the name Isis. And of course that was before the Greek/Roman periods.

And here was me under the impression Isis was the greatest goddess in Egypt! I seriously cannot believe she was unpopular or not worshipped much as these sources seem to state, or just a 'Hathor copycat' as seems to be the impression here. Sorry if I sound a bit ranty with these comments...but I do have a sort of affinity with Isis, more so than Hathor, that's just me. I just was under the impression that she was the supreme goddess of Egypt, because that's what many books and websites say.

How did she become so famous then if she was minor??? And what about the Osiris myths? they are very old and they are one of the most well known myths from Egypt...

I personally don't think Hathor was Horus's mother-the house of Horus name apparently refers to her as being a 'protector' of Horus but not necessarily his mother. I've seen wet nurse, midwife, consort or wife given as her roles relating to Horus.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ack! I posted too soon...another thing.

Quote:
This stela claims (amongst other things) there was a Isis temple on the plateau before the pyramids were built; modern scholars don't accept this because there isn't any contemporary evidence for a 4th dyn. Isis cult.


But if the stela says the name of Isis, then maybe this is the evidence that isis was worshipped back then...why doesn't anyone accept it? (I ain't an Egyptologist so I don't know the whole system of how these things work LOL)
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charly wrote:

The chapel of Isis is in fact the rebuilt mortuary chapel of pyramid G I-c, belonging to a queen of Khufu. The chapel was enlarge in the 26th dyn. and the 'Inventory stela' was placed in it. This stela claims (amongst other things) there was a Isis temple on the plateau before the pyramids were built; modern scholars don't accept this because there isn't any contemporary evidence for a 4th dyn. Isis cult.


On touregypt it says:
Quote:
The southernmost of the three pyramids is G 1c, which is thought to have been the tomb of Queen Henutsen.


Quote:
Interestingly, it appears that pyramid G 1c was not a part of the original plan of Khufu's complex. Its southern side does not follow the model of the Great Pyramid, as one would expect in a unified concept, but that of the south side of the neighboring double mastaba (G 7130-7140). Stadelmann believes that this double mastaba belonged to Prince Khafkhufu I, who we know better by his name after becoming King Khafre. He may have also been the builder of G 1c. If so, he must have had it built before he ascended the throne, since his mother, Henutsen, on of Khufu's wives, had risen to the level of Queen Mother.


This is interesting, because if true it would predate the great pyramid.

About the chapel they say:
Quote:
The original structure probably lay in ruins at the end of the Middle Kingdom, but was reconstructed and enlarge during the 18th Dynasty. Additional reconstruction probably occurred during the 21st and 26th Dynasties, when the temple served as a religious site for the cult of Isis as goddess of the Pyramids. At that time, the cult area extended from the east face of G 1c to the west face of mastaba 7130-71400. It received pilgrims who came here to worship the goddess and partake of her magical powers of fertility.


Isis did become more important during the 18th dynasty and later:
Isis = mother of Thutmosis III
Isis = daughter-wife of Amenhotep III
Iset-Nofret I, II and III = wife, daughter, grand daughter of Ramses II, wife of Merneptah
Isis-ta-Hamdjilat = wife of Ramses III and mother of later King(s)

Is Isetemkheb also an Isis related name? If so, there are at least 4 of those present in the 21st dynasty royal family I believe.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a site here about temples of Isis:
http://www.per-aset.org/temples_dedicated_to_aset.htm

Part of a description by Richard Pococke of the temple in the Delta in 1743:
Quote:
...the walls of the temple seem to have been ten feet thick, and to be built on the outside with grey granite....the Inside was built of fine red granite...what commanded our attention still more, was the exquisite sculpture of the hieroglyphics; and tho' the figures, about four feet high, was the exquisite Egyptian taste...


The list of other temples to Isis show that she was worshipped in:

Busiris--Herodotus in his Book II said Isis had a temple here in the Delta.

Coptos, in ancient times also known as Quft or Qift, Flinders Petrie found a temple to Min, Isis and Horus, built in the New Kingdom by Tutmosis III.

Seti I’s temple of Abydos: There are seven vaulted chapels arranged in a row at the western end of the Second Hypostyle Hall. These chapels were intended for the daily cult ceremonies of the gods. One of these is for Aset.

Aswan: The temple of Isis at Aswan dates from the reigns of Ptolemy III and IV
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the entrance hall of the museum in Leiden (Netherlands) is a small temple from Taffeh.


Quote:
The temple was built about 2000 years ago, by order of the Roman emperor Augustus. After the Romans had submitted Egypt to their rule, they built a series of fortresses along the southern border. This temple was once part of one of those fortresses. Initially, it was devoted to the goddess Isis and later served as a Christian church.


This temple would have been flooded after the construction of the Aswan dam in 1960. Instead it was dismanteled and shipped to Holland.
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