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Osiris is the Greek name of a god of Egyptian mythology. The translation of that name presents difficulties and several hypotheses are proposed. Thus "Ousir" or "Iousiris" as an old spelling, has been translated as "Head of the Eye" (the sun?), "Strong eye", "He who makes his throne" (an allusion to headquarters), "The head of the powerful" (with reference to the Crown), "He gave it to function" (referring to his resurrection and his new creative power through the magic of Isis) .

Its Egyptian name is Ousir or Asir; he was also called Unen-Nefer ( "The eternally beautiful"), Khenty-Imentyou ( "He who is the head of the West, that is to say, dead) or Ousir Kem-Our (Grand Black).

Osiris is part of the great Ennead of Iunu (Heliopolis). This is the god of the dead and the guarantor of the survival of the deceased in the underworld. Its symbol is the pillar Djed, its attributes are the false beard, lacrosse Heka, the flagellum Nékhekh and Atef crown.

In the Pyramid Texts, the deceased king is identified with Osiris. In the Middle Kingdom, immortality is no longer the privilege of sovereig:n each deceased could enter the eternal life, making himself like Osiris.

The myth of Osiris

There are several versions of the myth of Osiris, the latest of which was sent us by Plutarch. Osiris was the Son of Geb and Nut, and brother and husband of Isis. His father, Geb, in the evening of his life, would have shared the world with his two sons, Osiris and Seth. To Osiris was given the Black Earth of Egypt, to Seth, the barren, red earth, the deserts surrounding the Two Lands.

According to the legend Osirus and Isis were benefactors of mankind. He is said to have taught humans the rudiments of agriculture and fisheries, while Isis taught them weaving and medicine. Meanwhile, Seth reigned over the desert and hostile countries and on foreign lands. Jealous of his brother, he planned his assassination. During a banquet in honor of Osiris, Seth offered to give away a wonderful chest, vowing to give it to the person who could fill perfectly. The contest was a trick meant to trap Osiris. When Osiris got inside the box, Seth closed it, while his accomplices drove the guests and took Isis away. Seth then threw the chest into the Nile, which carried it to the Mediterranean Sea. Osiris died drowned and therefore he is often represented with a blue or green face.

After the assassination of her husband, Isis went in search of his body. She found him in Byblos, present day Lebanon, where, after many ploys, she brought him back to Egypt to bury and mourn. Seth finally discovered the tomb, took the body from the vault and cut it up into fourteen pieces which he scattered into the Nile. Isis, the faithful wife and widow, found the tattered body of his beloved, except the phallus, which had been swallowed by a fish. She reconstituted the missing phallus with clay, then she began to gather the bruised body of her deceased husband, with the help of her sister Nephtys. Isis embalmed the body, assisted by Anubis, giving it one last spark of force. When it was temporarily revived by Isis, who breathed life into the body, Osiris fertilized Isis. She gave him a son, Horus, the avenger of his father, who fought his uncle Seth in endless games. The court of the gods eventually decided the contest: Horus came into his inheritance and occupied the throne of Egypt as Pharaoh after Osiris.

Reconstituted by the rites of embalming, Osiris became the first mummy, Unen-Nefer ( "The eternally beautiful") as protected from rotting, and returned to life as the land of Egypt itself after each flood. Osiris also became the god of the dead and the Lord of the Hereafter, he transformed his kingdom into fertile fields, the fields of lalu. Since then, he chairs the divine tribunal during weighing of the heart. As the Supreme Judge of souls, the dead Osiris gives eternal life or otherwise refuses to admit them to the land of the dead and condemns them to nothingness, depending on whether the deceased had done good or bad in their lifetime.

The heart is placed on one pan of a balance, a sacred feather, symbol of Maat in the other plate. If the heart is lighter (in the moral and not physical), the deceased will live forever in the next life but if the heart is heavier than the feather, it means that it has not been pure heart during his life and so "the great devourer" will eat heart and destroy the wicked.

At the origin of the myth, Osiris was probably a god of fertility, the personification of the revival plant, as opposed to the sterile Seth. His funeral aspect probably derives from a local deity worshipped at Busiris.

Osiris is the god of renewal, that eternally reborn. It is also the personification of the fertile delta and arable fields, the guarantor of the balance of the world - Maat - and natural cycles: death and rebirth, fertility and drought, disappearance and reappearance of the star Sothis.

Sixteen prefectures claimed possession of a relic, and where sites of places of worship of the god. His name is especially associated with Abydos, Upper Egypt, and Busiris in the delta. At Abydos, which should be kept a fetish shrine to embody the god's head, the tomb of King Djer, pharaoh of the First Dynasty, was likened to the tomb of Osiris. Seti I built a cenotaph which incorporated the architecture of the tomb and the temple attached to the dedication that built on the pilgrimage route to the holy city. Abydos was the door connecting the underworld to the world of the living and the rise of the annual "Great Procession".

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