Composite image of Isis's most distinctive Egyptian iconography, based partly on images from the tomb of Nefertari
Sculpture of a woman, possibly Isis, in a pose of mourning; fifteenth or fourteenth century BCE
Isis nursing Horus, a sculpture from the 7th century BCE.
Isis holds the king, Seti I, in her lap, thirteenth century BCE
Philae as seen from Bigeh Island, painted by David Roberts in 1838
Isis, left, and Nephthys as kites near the bier of a mummy, thirteenth century BCE
The remains of the temple of Isis on Delos
The Temple of Isis in Pompeii
Cossura bronze coin showing a portrait of Isis with Punic legend
Roman statue of Isis, first or second century CE. She holds a sistrum and a pitcher of water, although these attributes were added in a seventeenth century renovation.
Isis welcoming Io to Egypt, from a fresco at Pompeii, first century CE
Fresco of an Isiac gathering, first century CE. One priest tends a fire while another holds up a vessel of sacred water at the door of a temple flanked by sphinxes.
Isis Lactans holding Harpocrates in an Egyptian fresco from the fourth century CE
Isis as a veiled "goddess of life" at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
alt=Relief of a woman in Egyptian clothing with an elaborate headdress|Isis with a combination of throne-glyph and cow horns, as well as a vulture headdress, Temple of Kalabsha, first century BCE or first century CE
alt=Relief of a woman kneeling on a stool and spreading her arms, to which wings are attached|Winged Isis at the foot of the sarcophagus of Ramesses III, twelfth century BCE
alt=Fresco of a mummy lying on a bier. Women stand at the head and foot of the bier, while a winged woman kneels in the register above|Isis, left, and Nephthys stand by as Anubis embalms the deceased, thirteenth century BCE. A winged Isis appears at top.
alt=Statue of a snake with the upper torso and head of a woman|Figurine of Isis-Thermuthis, second century CE
alt=Statue of a woman with a very tall headdress lifting her dress up to the hips|Figurine possibly of Isis-Aphrodite, second or first century BCE
alt=A red stone amulet shaped like a column with a looped top and two loops hanging at the sides|A tyet amulet, fifteenth or fourteenth century BCE
alt=Bust of a woman set in a niche|Bust of Isis-Sothis-Demeter from Hadrian's Villa, second century CE
alt=Life-size statue of a woman|Statue of Isis-Persephone with corkscrew locks of hair and a sistrum, from Gortyna, second century CE
Isis-Aphrodite, polychrome terracotta, Alexandria, first century CE
alt=Metal figurine of a woman|Bronze figurine of Isis-Fortuna with a cornucopia and a rudder, first century CE
alt=Fresco of a woman standing with her foot on a blue sphere|Fresco of Isis wearing a crescent headdress and resting her foot on a celestial sphere, first century CE
Anubis, Harpocrates, Isis and Serapis, fresco from Pompeii

Major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world.

- Isis

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One of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities who served many functions, most notably god of kingship and the sky.

Horus was often the ancient Egyptians' national tutelary deity. He was usually depicted as a falcon-headed man wearing the pschent, or a red and white crown, as a symbol of kingship over the entire kingdom of Egypt.
Eye of Horus or Wedjat
Horus, Louvre, Shen rings in his grasp
Figure of a Horus Falcon, between circa 300 and circa 250 BC (Greco-Roman). The Walters Art Museum.
Horus falcon, after 600 BCE. Original in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, British Museum
Her-em-akhet (Greek: Harmakhis), the wall relief of a hieracosphinx depicted at the Temple of Horus in Edfu
Her-iunmutef (Iunmutef), ('Horus, Pillar of His Mother'), depicted as a priest wearing a leopard-skin over torso in the Tomb of Nefertari, Valley of the Queens
Herui, the 5th nome god of Upper Egypt in Coptos besides the pharaoh Sahure
Her-sema-tawy ('Horus, Uniter of the Two Lands'), tying the papyrus and reed plants in the sema tawy symbol for the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt opposite with Set (Sutekh)
Falcon Horus, deity of Hierakonpolis, on a Naqada IIC jar, circa 3500 BCE, British Museum EA36328.<ref>{{cite web |title=British Museum notice |date=23 January 2020|url=}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Jar, British Museum |url= |website=The British Museum |language=en}}</ref>
God Horus as a falcon wearing the Double Crown of Egypt. 27th dynasty. State Museum of Egyptian Art, Munich
Horus, patron deity of Hierakonpolis (near Edfu), the predynastic capital of Upper Egypt. Its head was executed by means of beating the gold then connecting it with the copper body. A uraeus is fixed to the diadem which supports two tall openwork feathers. The eyes are inlaid with obsidian. Sixth Dynasty.
Horus represented in relief with Wadjet and wearing the double crown. Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut
Horus relief in the Temple of Edfu
Statue of Horus in the Temple of Edfu
Statue of Horus from the reign of Amenhotep II (Eighteenth Dynasty, ca. 1400 BCE) in the Musée royal de Mariemont, Belgium
Relief of Horus in the temple of Seti I in Abydos
A modern drawing of Har-em-akhet, a form of Horus in which he had the body of a lion, based on depictions from antiquity

The most commonly encountered family relationship describes Horus as the son of Isis and Osiris, and he plays a key role in the Osiris myth as Osiris's heir and the rival to Set, the murderer and brother of Osiris.


Graeco-Egyptian deity.

Marble bust of Serapis wearing a modius
This pendant bearing Serapis's likeness would have been worn by a member of elite Egyptian society. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Bronze votive tablet inscribed to Serapis (2nd century)
High Cleric in the Cult of Serapis, Altes Museum, Berlin
Head of Sarapis, 1st century BCE, 58.79.1 Brooklyn Museum
Head of Serapis, Carthage, Tunisia
Oil lamp with a bust of Serapis, flanked by a crescent moon and star (Roman-era Ephesus, 100–150)
Statuette possibly of Serapis (but note the herculean club) from Begram, Afghanistan
Head of Sarapis (150–200)
Head of Serapis, from a {{convert|12|ft|m|order=flip|adj=on}} statue found off the coast of Alexandria
Serapis on Roman Egypt, Alexandria, Billon Tetradrachm
Head of Serapis (Roman-era Hellenistic terracotta, Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, Munich)
thumb|Kushan ruler Huvishka with seated god Serapis ("Sarapo") wearing the modius, 2nd century CE.<ref name="AHH326">{{cite book |last1=Dani |first1=Ahmad Hasan |last2=Harmatta |first2=János |title=History of Civilizations of Central Asia |publisher=Motilal Banarsidass Publ. |isbn=978-81-208-1408-0 |page=326 |url= |language=en}}</ref>
Anubis, Harpocrates, Isis and Serapis, antique fresco in Pompeii, Italy

Serapis continued to increase in popularity during the Roman Empire, often replacing Osiris as the consort of Isis in temples outside Egypt.


Major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion who played a wide variety of roles.

Composite image of Hathor's most common iconography, based partly on images from the tomb of Nefertari
Drawing of the Narmer Palette, c. 31st century BC. The face of a woman with the horns and ears of a cow, representing Hathor or Bat, appears twice at the top of the palette and in a row below the belt of the king.
Banquet scene from the tomb chapel of Nebamun, 14th century BC. Its imagery of music and dancing alludes to Hathor.
Hathor as a cow suckling Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh, at Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahari, 15th century BC
Hathor, in bovine form, emerges from a hill representing the Theban necropolis, in a copy of the Book of the Dead from the 13th century BC
Copy of a statue of Hathor (center) with a goddess personifying the Fifteenth Nome of Upper Egypt (left) and the Fourth Dynasty king Menkaure (right); 26th century BC
Hypostyle hall of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, first century AD
Remains of the Hathor shrine in the Timna Valley
Ptolemaic plaque of a woman giving birth assisted by two figures of Hathor, fourth to first century BC
Hathor welcoming Seti I into the afterlife, 13th century BC
Statue of Hathor, fourteenth century BC
Amulet of Hathor as a uraeus wearing a naos headdress, early to mid-first millennium BC
Naos sistrum with Hathor's face, 305–282 BC
Mirror with a face of Hathor on the handle, fifteenth century BC
Head of Hathor with cats on her headdress, from a clapper, late second to early first millennium BC
The Malqata Menat necklace, fourteenth century BC
Hathoric capital from the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, fifteenth century BC

1550–1070 BC), goddesses such as Mut and Isis encroached on Hathor's position in royal ideology, but she remained one of the most widely worshipped deities.

Osiris myth

Most elaborate and influential story in ancient Egyptian mythology.

The family of Osiris, the protagonists of the Osiris myth. Osiris is depicted on a lapis lazuli pillar in the center, flanked by Horus on the left and Isis on the right in this Twenty-second Dynasty statuette
The Pyramid Texts in the Pyramid of Teti
Isis, in the form of a bird, copulates with the deceased Osiris. At either side are Horus, although he is as yet unborn, and Isis in human form.
Isis nursing Horus
Horus spears Set, who appears in the form of a hippopotamus, as Isis looks on
Horus and Set as supporters of the king
The opening of the mouth ceremony, a key funerary ritual, performed for Tutankhamun by his successor Ay. The deceased king takes on the role of Osiris, upon whom Horus was supposed to have performed the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Osiris's wife Isis restores her husband's body, allowing him to posthumously conceive their son, Horus.

Greco-Roman mysteries

Reserved to initiates .

Hydria by the Varrese Painter (c. 340 BC) depicting Eleusinian scenes
The central iconographical component of the mysteries depicts the slaying of a bull by Mithras

Some of the many divinities that the Romans nominally adopted from other cultures also came to be worshipped in Mysteries; for instance, Egyptian Isis, Persian Mithras from the Mithraic Mysteries, Thracian/Phrygian Sabazius, and Phrygian Cybele.

Egyptian mythology

Collection of myths from ancient Egypt, which describe the actions of the Egyptian gods as a means of understanding the world around them.

Nun, the embodiment of the primordial waters, lifts the barque of the sun god Ra into the sky at the moment of creation.
The sky depicted as a cow goddess supported by other deities. This image combines several coexisting visions of the sky: as a roof, as the surface of a sea, as a cow, and as a goddess in human form.
Temple decoration at Dendera, depicting the goddesses Isis and Nephthys watching over the corpse of their brother Osiris
The air god Shu, assisted by other gods, holds up Nut, the sky, as Geb, the earth, lies beneath.
The sun rises over the circular mound of creation as goddesses pour out the primeval waters around it
Statues of Osiris and of Isis nursing the infant Horus
Ra (at center) travels through the underworld in his barque, accompanied by other gods
Set and Horus support the pharaoh. The reconciled rival gods often stand for the unity of Egypt under the rule of its king.
Funerary amulet in the shape of a scarab

Amongst the most important episodes from the mythic past are the creation myths, in which the gods form the universe out of primordial chaos; the stories of the reign of the sun god Ra upon the earth; and the Osiris myth, concerning the struggles of the gods Osiris, Isis, and Horus against the disruptive god Set.


Island in the reservoir of the Aswan Low Dam, downstream of the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser, Egypt.

The temple of Isis from Philae at its current location on Agilkia Island in Lake Nasser
Panoramic view of the Philae Temple from south, at its current location on Agilkia Island
A sphinx in Philae
Christian altar in the first hypostyle hall at Philae temple complex
Philae flooded by the Aswan Low Dam in 1906.
Kiosk of Emperor Trajan on Phylae Island before relocation
The temple of Philae by Théodore Frère
1856 photo
Map of Philae with floor plan of the Temple of Isis
Agilkia Island, where the temple complex was moved in the 20th century.
Temple hieroglyphs on stone at Philae
Temple of Isis from the west
Trajan's Kiosk of Philae
Lantern Slide Collection: Views, Objects: Egypt - Philae. Temple of Isis. Capitals of east colonnade., n.d., Joseph Hawkes. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Mammisi <ref name="madainmammisi">{{cite web |title=Mammisi (Philae Temple Complex) |url= |archive-url= |archive-date=13 April 2020 |url-status=live}}</ref> (Birth-house). Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection
Eastern colonnade in the outer or the forecourt <ref name="madainisistemple">{{cite web |title=Temple of Isis |url= |archive-url= |archive-date=13 April 2020 |url-status=live}}</ref>
General view of Temple of Philae during flood, 1908, Brooklyn Museum Archives
Sanctuary of Isis, flood (2 January 1969)
Pavillon of Trajan, 1960

The most ancient was a temple for Isis, built in the reign of Nectanebo I during 380-362 BC, which was approached from the river through a double colonnade.

Religion in ancient Rome

Religion in ancient Rome consisted of varying imperial and provincial religious practices, which were followed both by the people of Rome as well as those who were brought under its rule.

Defaced Dea Roma holding Victory and regarding an altar with a cornucopia and other offerings, copy of a relief panel from an altar or statue base
Augustus as Pontifex Maximus (Via Labicana Augustus)
Cybele enthroned, with lion, cornucopia and Mural crown. Roman marble, c. 50 AD (Getty Museum)
Relief panel from an altar to Venus and Mars depicting Romulus and Remus suckling the she-wolf, and gods representing Roman topography such as the Tiber and Palatine Hill
Pompeian fresco; Iapyx removing an arrowhead from Aeneas' thigh, watched by Venus Velificans (veiled)
Aeneas urged by the Penates to continue his journey to found Rome (4th century AD illustration)
Twelve principal deities (Di Consentes) corresponding to those honored at the lectisternium of 217 BC, represented on a 1st-century altar from Gabii that is rimmed by the zodiac.
Three goddesses on a panel of the Augustan Ara Pacis, consecrated in 9 BC; the iconography is open to multiple interpretations
Bacchus, or Liber, and Ceres, mounted on a leopard. Fresco in Stabiae, 1st century
This fresco from outside Pompeii shows Roman men celebrating a religious festival, probably the Compitalia.
Portico of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, later incorporated into a church
Roman relief depicting a scene of sacrifice, with libations at a flaming altar and the victimarius carrying the sacrificial axe
Denarius issued under Augustus, with a bust of Venus on the obverse, and ritual implements on the reverse: clockwise from top right, the augur's staff (lituus), libation bowl (patera), tripod, and ladle (simpulum)
Small bronze statues of gods for a lararium (1st to 3rd century AD, Vindobona)
Female figure, veiled and iseemingly alarmed, from a wall-painting usually described as a narrative from Dionysiac/Bacchic mystery cult, which might also involve Ariadne and a marriage. There is "almost no agreement about how it works in detail". From Pompeii's "Villa of the Mysteries"
Portrait of the emperor Antoninus Pius (reigned 138–161 AD) in ritual attire as an Arval Brother
Flamines wearing their distinctive pointed headgear (grouped to the left), in a panel from the Ara Pacis
A Roman sculpture depicting a Vestal
The bronze Liver of Piacenza is an Etruscan artifact that probably served as an instructional model for the haruspex
This funerary stele, one of the earliest Christian inscriptions (3rd century), combines the traditional abbreviation D. M., for Dis Manibus, "to the Manes," with the Christian motto Ikhthus zōntōn ("fish of the living") in Greek; the deceased's name is in Latin.
A genius of the legion (2nd–3rd century CE)
Panel from Trajan's Column depicting the lustral procession of the suovetaurilia victims under military standards
A votive statue of Jupiter Dolichenus dedicated by a centurion for the wellbeing of the emperor (Carnuntum, 3rd century)
Mosaic from Pompeii depicting masked characters in a scene from a play: two women consult a witch
Bound tablets with magic inscriptions from late antiquity
Dionysus (Bacchus) with long torch sitting on a throne, with Helios (Sol), Aphrodite (Venus) and other gods. Wall-painting from Pompeii, Italy
Temple of Bacchus ("Temple of the Sun"), c. 150 AD
A fresco from Pompeii depicting Hercules, Hyllus, Deianira, and the centaur Nessus from Greco-Roman mythology, 30-45 AD
Wedding of Jupiter King of the Gods, and Juno, Queen of Heaven and goddess of marriage, and women. Fresco in Pompeii
Mars caresses Venus enthroned. Wall-painting in Pompeii, c. 20 BC – 50s AD
Fresco of Salacia) and Neptune), Pompeii
Bellerophon, Pegasus, and Athena (Minerva), fresco of the 3rd style from Pompeii, first half of the 1st century
Mithras in a Roman wall painting
The Maison Carrée in Nîmes, one of the best-preserved Roman temples. It is a mid-sized Augustan provincial temple of the Imperial cult.
Jewish ritual objects in 2nd-century gold glass from Rome
The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)
Nero's Torches, by Henryk Siemiradzki (1876). According to Tacitus, Nero used Christians as human torches
The Victory of Faith, by Saint George Hare, depicts two Christians in the eve of their damnatio ad bestias
The Aula Palatina of Trier, Germany (then part of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica), built during the reign of Constantine I (r. 306-337 AD)
Monogramme of Christ (the Chi Rho) on a plaque of a marble sarcophagus, 4th century CE (Musei Vaticani, here in a temporary exhibition at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy)

By the height of the Empire, numerous international deities were cultivated at Rome and had been carried to even the most remote provinces, among them Cybele, Isis, Epona, and gods of solar monism such as Mithras and Sol Invictus, found as far north as Roman Britain.

Set (deity)

God of deserts, storms, disorder, violence, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion.

Set and Nephthys, 1279–1213 BCE, stone, Louvre
The set-animal, Sha, after an original by E. A. Wallis Budge.
Horus spears Set, who appears in the form of a hippopotamus, as Isis looks on
Set spears Apep.
Set and Horus adore Ramesses in the small temple at Abu Simbel.
Set on a late New Kingdom relief from Karnak: his figure was erased during his demonization.

Osiris's sister-wife, Isis, reassembled his corpse and resurrected her dead brother-husband with the help of the goddess Nephthys.


God of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation in ancient Egyptian religion.

Osiris, lord of the dead and rebirth. His green skin symbolizes rebirth.
Head of the God Osiris, ca. 595–525 B.C.E. Brooklyn Museum
Osiris with an Atef-crown made of bronze in the Naturhistorisches Museum (Vienna)
Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, composite deity
The gods Osiris, Anubis, and Horus. Wall painting in the tomb of Horemheb (KV57).
The family of Osiris. Osiris on a lapis lazuli pillar in the middle, flanked by Horus on the left and Isis on the right (Twenty-second Dynasty, Louvre, Paris)
Osiris-Nepra, with wheat growing from his body. From a bas-relief at Philae. The sprouting wheat implied resurrection.
A rare sample of Egyptian terra cotta sculpture which may depict Isis mourning Osiris. The sculpture portrays a woman raising her right arm over her head, a typical gesture of mourning. Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Judgment scene from the Book of the Dead. In the three scenes from the Book of the Dead (version from ~1375 BC) the dead man (Hunefer) is taken into the judgement hall by the jackal-headed Anubis. The next scene is the weighing of his heart against the feather of Ma'at, with Ammut waiting the result, and Thoth recording. Next, the triumphant Hunefer, having passed the test, is presented by the falcon-headed Horus to Osiris, seated in his shrine with Isis and Nephthys. (British Museum)
Bust of Serapis.
The Philae temple on Agilkia Island as seen from the Nile

When his brother, Set, cut him up into pieces after killing him, Isis, his wife, found all the pieces and wrapped his body up, enabling him to return to life.