Term Paper: Horus History of the Egyptian

Pages: 9 (2479 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] (ibid) Apep was an ancient spirit of evil and destruction who dwelled in eternal darkness. His primary function was to attempt to destroy the Sun Boat of Ra each day. The eyes of this form of Horus were the sun and the moon; during a new moon he was blind and was called Mekhenty-er-irty, which means "he who has no eyes."

Upon the return of his sight, he was called Khenty-irty - he who has eyes. Later Horus became absolutely aligned as a son of the dead body of Osiris and Isis. This is very often cited as the definitive Horus in many scholarly works. In truth, this Horus was called Har-sa-iset or Harsiesis. As Har-nedj-itef (Harendotes in Greek), Horus was Osiris' bodyguard in the underworld, Duat. An example of the vicissitudes and permutations of the myth of Horus can be seen in the following quotation.

In the 3rd Millennium BC, Set became the patron god of the pharaohs (replacing Horus in the form of Har-mau or Harsomtus) after overthrowing Seth in the form of Har-wer or Haroeris, but as the story of Set's murder of his brother became popular, Har-mau was switched back. A war between Set and Horus ensued, lasting for eighty years. Har-mau tore off one leg and the testicles of Set, who in turn took out Har-mau's left eye (hence he is referred to as "the one-eyed god"). His eye was later returned to him. Horus won the war (with the support of Neith) and became the ruler of Lower and Upper Egypt. Seth was castrated or killed or moved in with Re and became the voice of thunder.

Wikipedia: Horus)

The above are some of the most important manifestations of the god Horus. There are at least fifteen distinct forms of Horus. They can be divided into two groups, Solar and Osirian, based on the parentage of the particular form of Horus. If the god is identified as the son of Isis, he is Osirian. If not then he is seen as a solar deity. The solar Horus was called the son of Atum, or Re, or Geb and Nut variously.

One of the greatest and most important of all the forms of Horus is Heru-Behudeti, who typifies midday and therefore the greatest heat of the sun. "It was in this form that Horus waged war against Set. His principal shrines were at Edfu, Philae, Mesen, Aat-ab, and Tanis, where he was worshipped under the form of a lion trampling upon its enemies." (The Myth of Horus)

While all these variations can sometimes be confusing, the common denominator in understanding the Horus deity lies in the consistency of his qualities in most of the carious incarnations. Scholars agree that "the mythology took the general meaning of the struggle between good and evil and between truth and error." (The Myth of Horus)

Within the context of interpretations of the origins of Horus, there are many some who see this deity as a prototype of later Gods and religious

For example, there are some scholars who claim that Horus, while he predated the birth of Christ by centuries, has many aspects which are surprisingly concurrent with event in the Biblical life of Jesus Christ. This is course is a controversial approach which claims the Horus as a very ancient proto-god. A few of these characteristics are the following:

Horus was born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th in a cave/manger with his birth being announced by a star in the East and attended by three wise men.

His earthly father was named "Seb" ("Joseph"). Seb is also known as "Geb": "As Horus the Elder he was believed to be the son of Geb and Nut." Lewis Spence, Ancient Egyptian Myths and Legends, 84.

At age 12, he was a child teacher in the Temple, and at age 30 he was baptized, having disappeared for 18 years.

Horus was baptized in the river Eridanus or Iarutana (Jordan) by "Anup the Baptizer" ("John the Baptist"), who was decapitated.

Acharya, S.)

One of the reasons for the apparent confusion and overlapping of the Egyptian Gods and in particular the different forms of the god Horus, lies in the particular different conception of religion in ancient Egypt. Unlike our modern religions, the ancient Egyptian religion was not based on a recognized and standard set of religious or theological principles. There were no one set of canonical writing to which it subscribed. Egyptian religion was interactive and dynamic in that it depended on how people in different contexts interacted and had relationships with the Gods; therefore creating a much more dynamic theology. "...it evolved around how people interacted with their gods, and these actions are termed by Egyptologists as "cult," which is roughly synonymous with "ritual." In the ancient Egyptian language, there is no specific word for "ritual." They variously referred to these interactions with the gods as irt ht (doing things), irw (things done) or nt (regular procedures)." (Monet, J.)

Horus is often called 'the King of Egyptian Gods'. While the various manifestations and forms of this god are diverse and interweaving with one another, his central qualities as the manifestation of light and goodness remain true throughout. Horus was an essential element in ancient Egyptian religion in maintenance of ' maat' or the balance between good and evil in the world.


1911 Encyclopedia. Horus. May 23, 2004. http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/H/HO/HORUS.htm

Acharya, S. The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. 2004. Accessed May 23, 2004.

Egyptian Myths. Ancient Egypt: the Mythology. May 24, 2004. http://www.egyptianmyths.net/horus.htm

Horus: He who is above. May 24, 2004. http://members.aol.com/egyptart/hormyth.html

Monet, J. An Overview of the Ancient Egyptian


The Myth of Horus) 1977. Accessed: May 23, 2004. http://www.horuspublications.com/about/myths.html

Wikipedia: Horus. May 23, 2004. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus [END OF PREVIEW]

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