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Bronze statue of Osiris, Egypt, 1000-400 BCE

Osiris was one of the most popular ancient Egyptian gods and was connected with male fertility. He was said to be the first Pharaoh of Egypt and was murdered by his brother Seth for his crown. Osiris was revived by Isis, his wife and sister, to conceive Horus, the son who would avenge his death. After death, Osiris became ruler of the underworld and god of the dead, which is why he is shown with the crook and flail, the symbols of authority for Egyptian rulers. The ancient Egyptians believed that while illness and disease were natural events, they also had supernatural causes, which were controlled by the gods. Prevention and treatment of illness and disease therefore included prayers at home to statues of gods like this one.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: fertility

The natural capacity to give birth.