Introduction - Goddess IsisOne of the most famous gods of ancient Egypt was Isis. This important goddess, who is prominent in the myths and legends of Egyptian Mythology, was one of their most important gods. This ancient civilization built numerous temples to honor her. Like many ancient gods of Egypt her role changed throughout the centuries and varied based on region. The below list of facts, written for both kids and adults, provides a short description of this goddess. This information includes where she was worshiped, what powers she was believed to have, and how she was depicted. Some of this information may only be relevant for certain times in ancient history or for particular regions of the ancient world.
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Interesting Egyptian Goddess Isis Facts
- Isis was associated with many different things. What she was most associated with was protection, healing, motherhood, children, fertility, and nature.
- The name (Isis) is the Greek version of her name; her ancient Egyptian name was either "Aset" or "Iset".
- Isis was seen by the Egyptians as both a protector and mother of the Pharaohs.
- It is believed that this deity evolved as early as predynastic Egypt.
- Isis was a member of a group of gods and goddesses called the Ennead. This group, which was worshipped at Heliopolis, consisted of the nine original gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. They are considered the most important deities of this ancient civilization.
- It is written that Isis was the daughter of Geb (Earth God) and Nut (goddess of the Sky).
- According to legend she had a sister named Nephthys and two brothers Osiris and Set.
- Isis was said to have married her brother Osiris and together they had a son named Horus.
- Like most of the gods, the ancient people of Egypt worshipped, Isis was believed to have supernatural powers. They believed she had the power to heal and in one myth is said to heal her son Horus from a scorpion sting.
- One of the most famous legends involving Isis is where her husband (and brother) Osiris is killed by their brother Set who was jealous of them. There are several versions of this myth but in one popular version Isis brings Osiris back to life.
- After ancient Egypt was absorbed, by ancient Rome, Isis continued to be worshiped extensively throughout the Roman Empire. Evidence, including temples and inscriptions, of her being worshipped throughout the ancient world have been discovered. These areas include Italy, Spain, Pannonia, Britain, Germany, Asia Minor, and Portugal.
Facts about how the Egyptian Goddess Isis was Depicted
- Early art depictions of Isis show her wearing a long dress and wearing a crown bearing the hieroglyphic symbol for a throne.
- This goddess is often shown holding a symbol called the Ankh; which looks like a key and represents the idea of eternal life.
- Isis is closely associated with a symbol called the Tyet. This symbol represented "welfare" or "life" to the ancient Egyptians. The Tyet is also referred to as the Buckle of Isis, Blood of Isis, and Girdle of Isis. It is sometimes spelled tiet, tet, and set. This symbol looks like the knot used to secure the Egyptian gods clothing.
- Together with her sister Nephthys; Isis is depicted on numerous ancient coffins. It was believed they would help protect the deceased against evil.