In the pantheon of ancient Egyptian gods, Horus occupies a place of prominence. Revered as the sky god with the head of a falcon, Horus was deeply woven into the cultural and religious tapestry of ancient Egypt, symbolizing kingship, protection, and healing.
Horus: The Sky God
Horus, often depicted as a falcon or a man with the head of a falcon, was a sky god. His right eye was considered to be the sun, symbolizing power and quintessence, and his left eye was the moon, representing healing and regeneration. As a sky god, Horus was believed to encompass the entire celestial sphere.
Horus and the Osiris Myth
Horus is perhaps best known from the myth of Osiris, where he plays a central role. According to this myth, Osiris, the king of Egypt, was murdered by his jealous brother Set. Osiris’ wife, Isis, managed to resurrect him temporarily and conceived a son, Horus. Raised in secret to protect him from Set, Horus eventually challenged and defeated Set to become the rightful king of Egypt. This story symbolizes the eternal struggle between order (Ma’at) and chaos (Isfet).
Symbol of Kingship
Horus was intimately connected with the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The pharaoh was seen as the living embodiment of Horus, a god-king who maintained Ma’at (order) and vanquished Isfet (chaos). The Eye of Horus, a powerful protective symbol, was frequently used in jewelry to denote royal power and divine favor.
Horus in Ancient Egyptian Art
In ancient Egyptian art, Horus is often depicted as a falcon or as a falcon-headed man wearing the Pschent, the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, symbolizing his dominion over the whole country. This depiction not only signifies his protective nature but also reinforces his association with kingship.
The influence of Horus in ancient Egypt spans the realms of religion, mythology, and kingship. His story and the symbolism surrounding him offer insights into the values and beliefs of ancient Egyptian society, particularly their concepts of order, justice, and the divine right of kings. As such, Horus stands as a significant figure in our understanding of this remarkable ancient civilization.
Wikipedia: Ancient Egypt
History Channel: Ancient Egypt
Live Science: Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt for Kids
British Museum: Ancient Egypt