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Osiris - A real Pharaoh?

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TheCosmicMind
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« on: August 22, 2015, 01:21:27 am »

Does anyone think that Osiris might have been a real Pharaoh, and was eventually deified?  Is there any evidence to support this idea at all?  (I don't mean to say a real person who did the same things as Osiris of myth obviously).
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CortexUK
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2015, 01:24:22 am »

While possible, it's not likely, since Osiris is first attested around the late Vth early VIth dynasty and we have several names of Ancient Egyptian kings predating the Ist Dynasty. None of which are, or are associated with, Osiris.
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Ashotep
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2015, 01:26:20 am »

The Egyptians were ambiguous about these things sometimes, but there is a difference between their mythology and their royal annals. Osiris does not appear in the latter but is known in the former, suggesting that he belonged to the realm of religion and ritual. His mythology is already pretty well developed by the time he first appears late in Dynasty 5, but at that early point he was not quite yet the ruler of the underworld. The hierarchical structure of deities as depicted in private tombs late in Dynasty 5 suggests underworld deities like Anubis, and including the current reigning king, held primacy before Osiris. The situation is not entirely clear but Osiris probably did not secure his place as ruler of the underworld till some time in the First Intermediate Period.

All this is to say, while we can trace the development of Osiris as a god, we have no evidence to tell us he was an actual, living man at some point.
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Cleopatra
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2015, 01:28:14 am »

Well it's not unlikely - several scientists believe that Odin/wudin of Norse mythology might have been a king or chieftain whose legends slowly morphed into myth. And he then became a god. we have no records of such a king but it doesn't mean that he never existed - there are no written records of early Norse religion he could have lived long ago and people might have passed on the legends and his name by word of mouth for many years... And we all know what happens to stories when they're told over and over and time passes Smiley

So it could have happened in Egypt - just because we have no record of a resent king by that name around the time where Osiris started appearing as a god, doesn't mean it couldn't have originated from stories of a much earlier king.

But as with Odin - as long as we have no records with the name in connection with a king or ruler - we really can't say for sure - we can only make educated guesses from what we do know.
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Ian Nottingham
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2015, 01:30:02 am »

Well it's not unlikely - several scientists believe that Odin/wudin of Norse mythology might have been a king or chieftain whose legends slowly morphed into myth. And he then became a god. we have no records of such a king but it doesn't mean that he never existed - there are no written records of early Norse religion he could have lived long ago and people might have passed on the legends and his name by word of mouth for many years... And we all know what happens to stories when they're told over and over and time passes Smiley

So it could have happened in Egypt - just because we have no record of a resent king by that name around the time where Osiris started appearing as a god, doesn't mean it couldn't have originated from stories of a much earlier king.

But as with Odin - as long as we have no records with the name in connection with a king or ruler - we really can't say for sure - we can only make educated guesses from what we do know.


It's not a matter of a "recent" king since the first attestation of Osiris comes during late Dynasty 5, which is around 2400 BC while we actually have kings names going back to possibly as early as c.3250 BC. Again, none of these are associated with Osiris, as can be seen here:

Scorpion I...................................................Ska
Falcon........................................................H'yw
Lion............................................................Tyu
Pe-hor........................................................Tsh
Double Falcon............................................Nhb
Hat-Hor.......................................................Wadjha
Ny-Hor........................................................Mch
Hedjw-Hor
Horus Iry-Hor
Crocodile
Scorpion II
Horus Ka   

Names on the left are kings of Upper Egypt while those on the right are kings of Lower Egypt. Immediately noticeable is that they are more commonly associated with Horus.
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Bacardi
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2015, 01:32:50 am »

Whats your take on Manetho's list? 1 st dynasty would then be attributed to Ptah...........could Osiris have been born as a Grandson of Ptah? Not a pharoan but probably a living entity?
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Okane
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2015, 01:33:55 am »

Does anyone know if there are any examples of pharoahs who have been deified (I know they were all supposed to be divine) to the point where there were myths made up about them?
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Egyptian King
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2015, 01:35:45 am »

Whats your take on Manetho's list? 1 st dynasty would then be attributed to Ptah...........could Osiris have been born as a Grandson of Ptah? Not a pharoan but probably a living entity?


It's a mythical account of how kingship originated. Similar accounts can be found in Sumer, China, etc. It's just a way to validate a king by claiming he's a living descendant of the gods, nothing more.
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Egyptian King
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2015, 01:36:14 am »

Does anyone know if there are any examples of pharoahs who have been deified (I know they were all supposed to be divine) to the point where there were myths made up about them?


No, but I know that Imhotep was worshipped as a diety for a while, though he was never king.
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Heartmonger
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2015, 01:38:13 am »

Does anyone know if there are any examples of pharoahs who have been deified (I know they were all supposed to be divine) to the point where there were myths made up about them?


This happened to a number of very prominent kings, and usually a long time after they had been dead. A good example is Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid in Dynasty 4. Probably as early as Dynasty 12 a number of stories grew around him, and some are preserved in the Westcar Papyrus.
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Waldron
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2015, 01:41:00 am »

In egyptian mythology wasn't Ra considered the first pharoah?  Not saying Ra was a real person, just don't remember the mythology that well
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Waldron
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2015, 01:41:49 am »

Logically Osiris would have to actually exist before Re' could could turn over kingship.
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Josie Linde
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2015, 01:44:24 am »

Ra is the sun god.
When comparative religion is done,osiris and Isis,are the equivalents of shiva and parvati ,in the Hindu religion .
Ergo ,ganesh is equivalent to horus.
It's been postulated ,the story of Isis ,osiris and Horus ,are the basis of many religions,including Christianity.
Horus= Christ .
I have only ever heard this put forth directly ,except from egyptologists ,but horus was actually a carpenter .
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Josie Linde
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2015, 01:45:08 am »

Ra is the god who grew weary of mankind and handed over kingship to Osiris. It can be confusing and ambiguous, but even though Osiris was the son of a god, he was considered the first mortal king in mythology. Then jealous Set came along and mucked things up. Only when Osiris was resurrected and died once again, did he become a full deity.

There are numerous versions of such tales that were embellished or created down through time, so in essence there is not one, single Osiris myth. Nor is there one, single myth for Horus—who is not only a much older deity in the pantheon, but much more complicated. An aspect of Re, the king on earth, Horus the Avenger, Horus the Child, usually held to be the son of Isis but in other myths the son of Hathor, whose name in ancient Egyptian (Hwt-Hr) literally means "House of Horus."
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Pax Unum
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2015, 02:03:40 am »

Logically Osiris would have to actually exist before Re' could could turn over kingship.

When Osiris first existed in dynasty five there is no attestation that Re' turned over any-
thing.  To put it another way there's no evidence this occurred before the fifth dynasty and
Osiris would have had to be king before this time unless an unknown king assumed the
name.

A better answer is that both king's lists are interpreted to exclude apparent (obvious) fac-
tual errors so neither can be trusted.  Even if these lists could be trusted we don't know
all the kings or perhaps any of them in far antiquity.

The proper noun that we translate "Osiris" quite possibly was known as an object or an
individual before it was first used for a God but there is a virtual vacuum of evidence from
such early times or anything before the 5th dynasty.

My personal speculation is that there was an individual who loosely formed the basis of
this God.  That he was a king is hardly a certainty. Gods are by definitions concepts on one
level or another.  We know exactly when the concept of "Anubis" or "Min" arose but the
onset of "Osiris" appears to be lost.  Like everything about the iconography, symbolism,
deities, and magic sceptres of the ancients there is no agreed upon definition or meaning.
Even though we know when Min was born we have no real information about him and few
of his characteristics for centuries after his birth.  It is merely assumed that later aspects of
the religion can be projected back into time.  It is not logical to make such assumptions if
there is so little evidence.  Perhaps what you see is what you get.
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"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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