The Adventures of Osiris and Isis Facts
At that time Isis Goddess was visiting the village of Chemmis not far from Thebes in Upper Egypt. The fauns and satyrs in that area were the first to know of their king’s assassination, and they quickly spread word of the horror. Isis Goddess , however, knew immediately of her husband’s death without having to be told and went into mourning- She cut off a lock of hair and put on mourning robes without moving from the spot on which she stood. Ever since, the town has been known as Koptos (modern Qift), or the City of Mourning.
Isis' Hunt for the Body
|The Goddess Isis, wall painting, c. 1360 BCE|
During her mourning Isis Goddess was told that her sister Nephthys had fallen in love with Osiris God and tricked him into her bed. A garland he had left behind after the event was proof of the truth of the stoty- Rumor said that Nephthys had become pregnant from the occasion, but fearing the reaction of her husband, Seth, she had left the baby boy to be exposed immediately after his birth. Wild dogs found the child and saved him, and Isis Goddess soon located the pack and rescued her nephew.
She took the young god to be reared as her own son and gave him the name of Anubis. From this time onward he watched over Isis Goddess the way mortal dogs watch over humans. Isis Goddess was quick to forgive Nephthys, and the two females shared their grief for Osiris God . Even though Nephthys was married to Seth, she soon left him and devoted herself to the search for Osiris God ’ body. The songs of lamentation sung by the sisters were described by the scholar James Breasted as “the most sacred expression of sorrow known to the heart of the Egyptian.”
Eventually Isis Goddess heard that the body had been washed ashore at a place called Byblos, but there is disagreement over just where this was. Some accept the Greek notion that it was on the coast of Syria; others believe that it was a corruption of the name for a Papyrus swamp in the Delta of Egypt. Whichever it was, Isis Goddess went there in search of the chest. The waves had carried it ashore and lifted it into the branches of a tamarisk tree growing nearby. When the tree grew to encompass and hide the chest, its gigantic Slze and beautiful flowers made it widely known, and eventually King Malkander and his wife Queen Athenais came from the Palace to see the marvelous sight. He ordered the tree to be cut down and used as a pillar to support the roof of his palace, but no one suspected that this piece of wood contained the body of a king and god.
Following the information from the children, Isis Goddess traced the passage of the chest to Byblos where she came ashore and sat without speaking. The queen’s handmaidens, coming to bathe in the waters, were struck by the sight of this beautiful woman who sat so quietly. Fascinated, they began a conversation with the stranger who was dressed in white with her breasts exposed after the fashion of the Egyptians. She showed them how to braid their hair and wear their jewels, and her breath perfumed the women and their clothes with a wonderful fragrance. On their return to the palace the queen inquired about the fragrance, and they told her of the beautiful stranger. When she went to the shore, the two women immediately became companions and Isis Goddess was invited to attend Athenais at court.
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