Osiris is resurrected!

File Vimeo

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) – The death of Osiris was only the end of his brief earthly existence; He was reborn, resurrected to an unearthly, eternal life. In Egypt, the resurrection of Osiris was celebrated annually.

The Egyptians understood the revival of Osiris in a twofold sense: on the one hand, he, buried, departed into the underworld, becomes a god ruling over the shadows of all the dead, departed into the underworld; on the other hand, Osiris is being reborn in the face of a new god — his son Horus, born of Isis.

Close acquaintance of the Greeks with Egypt began in the VII century. BC Oe., when Psammetikh, the founder of Sais dynasty, established his power with the help of Greek mercenaries. From this time on, the fascination with Egyptian culture has been growing among the Greeks; two centuries later, in Herodotus, it takes the form of a real Egypt. A humorous remark about the Egyptians, that everything is different from other nations: women work in the fields, men sit at home, weave cloth, does not prevent Herodotus from bowing down before the greatness of the Egyptian religion. According to his conviction, the same gods were the same among the Egyptians and the Greeks, but they are ancestral from the Egyptians, borrowed from the Greeks of later origin. “The Egyptians avoided borrowing from the Hellenes, and not only, however, from the Greeks, but also from any Hapofla in general” (Herod., 11.91). In the chronology of Egyptian history the scale of Herodotus is the millennia, in the history of Greek — only centuries: the religion of the twelve main gods appeared in Egypt, as Herodot writes, “17 thousand years before the reign of Amasis” (in the 6th century BC); Homer and Hesiod, the creators of the Greek religion, he attributes just four centuries before his time. The Egyptian is called the supreme god by Zemon Ammon, but the main deities worshiped throughout Egypt, unlike the rest, having only local significance, Herodotus calls Isis and Osiris, which the Greeks correspond to Demeter and Bacchus (or Dionysus) among the Greeks.

In the second half of I century. BC er Diodorus of Sicilia repeats the idealization of the Egyptian religion given by Herodotus, but adds to the concept of his predecessor a new line: he has Isis and Osiris not only the rulers of the world, but also the oldest in Egypt, the rules and legislators. Osiris first stopped cannibalism on earth; in Egypt, he founded stovratnye Thebes, who later became the patron saint of Ammon. Osiris was full of energy and ambitious, Isis demanded order and justice in everything.

These are the first steps in the historization of the Egyptian gods in Greek literature. The pictures painted by Diodorus certainly do not constitute his inventions; they probably reflected the development of Egyptian theosophy of the time. An even greater degree is given to the method of the historization of the Egyptian gods Plutarch.

Plutarch proceeds to the presentation of the central myth of the Egyptian religion, to the fate of Isis and Osiris as earthly rulers. “At the birth of Osiris, the voice of the supreme god was heard, loudly announcing that the great king-benefactor was born. The beginning of the rule of Osiris was marked by the fact that he freed the Egyptians from their former miserable, bestial way of life, showed them ways to use the fruits of the earth, gave them laws, taught them how to worship the gods. After that, he began to travel around the world in order to incline other nations to intelligent life, and in this work he did not at all resort to arms, trying to use all means of persuasion and act on the imagination of people with all kinds of art ”.

As a historical event, it tells about the death of Osiris, interrupting his earthly life in the 28th year of his reign. His half-brother Typhon, pretending to be Osiris’ friend, conspires against him. With feigned courtesy, the conspirators bring to Osiris as a gift an artistically decorated sarcophagus; Osiris barely had time to lie in for a fitting, as Typhon and his accomplices slammed the lid, quickly sealed the coffin and threw it into the Nile, in the hope that the river would carry it to the sea. But the sea drove the box back and threw it in the area near Byblos; the coffin of Osiris was stuck in the reeds of the river, overgrown with shrubs, which soon turned into a large branching tree. The first to make this discovery, and river satires and gentlemen announced it noisily. Tsar Byblos, stunned by the beauty of the box, orders to chop off the undergrowth and get the sarcophagus with the roof of Osiris. He places it at the base of one of the columns supporting the vaults of his palace. In turn, Isis mysteriously finds out about this, dresses up as a simple woman and goes to the king as the wet-nurse of his newborn son. Isis bathes the infant in fire to make him immortal, but the parents interrupt this frightening magic. The goddess reveals her true nature and, saying goodbye to the king, begging him for the stone foundation of the column, takes the sarcophagus with her, opens it, wraps the body of Osiris in a shroud, embalms him, mourns and is about to bury him. Typhon manages to deceive the goddess. In her absence, he cuts the corpse into fourteen parts, scatters them far from one another. For Isis comes a new period of painful search. The goddess succeeds, however, in finding all the scattered pieces and putting them together.

The death of Osiris was only the end of his brief earthly existence; He was reborn, resurrected to an unearthly, eternal life. In Egypt, the resurrection of Osiris was celebrated annually. The Egyptians understood the revival of Osiris in a twofold sense: on the one hand, he, buried, departed into the underworld, becomes a god ruling over the shadows of all the dead, departed into the underworld; on the other hand, Osiris is being reborn in the face of a new god — his son Horus, born of Isis. Gore must avenge his father’s sufferings; Osiris for some time leaves the underground kingdom to instruct his son in military affairs; Horus defeats Typhon three times, but he cannot completely destroy him.

Having told the Egyptian version of the suffering, death and rebirth of God, Plutarch is aware of the need to consider the issue from the point of view of Greek science. He claims to be the enemy of such a cold, critical mind, as Evgemer, who considered the gods to be men, kings, generals, deified after death. According to Plutarch, it is correct to consider everything that is told about Isis, Osiris and Typhon, as actions and experiences of people and not gods, but demons (Ch. 25). Among these minor deities are good and evil. Isis and Osiris for the sake of their high virtues were elevated to the rank of gods in exactly the same way as it did with Bacchus and Hercules, and now they are justly honored as gods and demons: as gods, they belong to the host of the world’s highest rulers; as demons, they have a special power on the earth and under the earth.

The natural philosophy of the Egyptians, naturally, reflects the impression of the nature of the Nile Valley, which directly borders the desert. The tropical sun causes not so much love as fear, as a luminary that drains the soil and, therefore, is under Typhon’s suggestion. Another thing is the soft light of the moon, which, according to Egyptian theologians, is closely connected with the spread of soil moisture and therefore belongs to the kingdom of Osiris. The difference between the two opposing forces in the distribution of colors visually stands out. Typhon must be seen as pale red, it is the color of the desert; Osiris – black, according to the color of chernozem, fertile land, irrigated by the Nile.

The myth of the death and resurrection of Osiris has the closest relation to the periodic descending and coming of the water of the Nile, the breadwinner of the country. If there are years when the beneficent flood is delayed, it is delayed, then this should be seen [169] the evil machinations of Typhon, who are stopping the thunderclouds, ready to pour out over the upper reaches of the Nile and give it a new power.

For the first time in Greek, Plutarch gave a sample of the “biography” of God, embodied in the personality of the benefactor of the human race.

It is impossible not to notice the shade of aristocracy in the depiction of the embodied god of Plutarch. His remark that the path to true knowledge of God goes through the study of philosophy shows that he turned to the slave-owning intelligentsia of Greco-Roman society. At the same time, in the face of Osiris, he painted the image of a monarch with unlimited power.

By the method of the historization of God, applied by Plutarch, the subsequent writers reacted with the greatest attention. For compilers of the Gospels, Plutarch was an authoritative teacher and inspirer: they diligently read and reread it, used his images and comparisons. I will give just one example – the motive of “voice from above,” announcing the appearance on earth of a god – benefactor of mankind. In the biography of Osiris, the voice of Zeus, as we have seen, is timed to the time of the birth of God. Three weather forecasters (the gospel of Matthew, III, 17; from Mark, I, 11; from Luke, III, 22) reproduce an episode of “voice from above,” coinciding with the moment of the baptism of Jesus Christ by John. In the Gospel of Matthew, “a voice from heaven says: Behold, my son, my beloved, by whom I am glorified.”

Thus, Plutarch collected and confronted legends about a dying and resurrection god from different nations and provided material for syncretism, the merging of beliefs, which was in the interests of the imperial government of the 2nd c.