Born the son of Geb (the earth) and Nut (the sky), Osiris was the twin brother of Isis
and became the first pharoah. He taught mankind the secrets of farming and agriculture, and according to Egyptian myth and legend, brought civilization itself to the world. Ultimately, the reign of Osiris was brought about by his death at the hands of his brother Set (or Seth).
The death of Osiris is a major event in Egyptian legend.
In one variation, Set became jealous of Isis’ love for Osiris, and plotted to take the throne. Set ordered that a beautiful chest be built and painted, and announced that it would be a gift for whoever could fit inside it. Naturally, Osiris hopped in and saw that it was a perfect fit for him. Set promptly shut the chest and sealed it, preventing Osiris’ escape, and dropped it into the Nile, where it floated out to sea. Isis, heartbroken at the loss of her beloved husband, searched the world over to find Osiris. Finally, she located the chest and resurrected her lover with her magic, long enough to allow for the conception of Horus, who later exacted revenge upon Set.
In other versions of the tale of Osiris
, the chest washes up on a shore, where it is enveloped in the trunk of a giant tree. The tree is later chopped down to be used as a pillar in a king’s palace. Isis goes to the palace, where she begs the king’s wife to allow her to free Osiris from the pillar. This she does, fanning breath back into him with her wings of magic.
Following Horus’ conception
, Anubis embalmed the body of Osiris, thus creating the first mummification process. Later, Set found the body, tore it to pieces, and sent the various body parts to be buried in different locations around Egypt. After his death, Osiris became a guardian of the underworld, or Duat. He became known as the judge of the dead, and it was his job to determine if a traveler’s soul was worthy of entering the kingdom of paradise.
In some parts of Egypt, Osiris came to be known as a harvest god, as the cutting and dismemberment of his body was associated with the cutting and threshing of grain.
The Twelve Tasks of Hercules
- Slaying the Nemean Lion.
- Slay the Hydra.
- Capture a sacred stag alive with horns of gold. (sacred to Artemis, goddess of the hunt)
- Capture a ferocious, wild boar in the mountains.
- Clean the Augean stables. there were thousands of cattle and their stalls hadn’t been cleaned in many, many years and Hercules needed help from the river naiads.
- Drive away birds from the town of Stymphalus. They brought disease and plague to the people, and hercules needed help from the goddess of wisdom and battle, Athena.
- Go to the island of Crete and fetch a savage bull that Poseidon, god of the sea, had given King Minos
- To fetch the man-eating mares of King Diomedes.
- Bring back the girdle of Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons.
- Get the cattle of Geryon, who was a monster.
- Fetch the golden apples of the Heperides.
- To bring Cerberus, the three headed guard dog, up from Hades.
After Hercules had completed his 12 tasks, he arrived at one of his friend’s house, he ran to meet and gladly accepted Hercules into his house. Hercules was treated very well in his friend’s home.
Atalanta is the very first heroine known in the ancient legends. She was abandoned at birth by her father, and raised by a she-bear. She was not the stereotypical girl of that time. She was very athletic and tough. The legends say that she took part in the Calydonian Boar Hunt. There savage beast was sent to destroy the land by Artemis. Some of the men felt it was beneath them to hunt with a woman, but Atalanta did not care. She continued to help with the hunt. There is also a rumor that Atalanta went aboard the Argo with Jason on his quest for the Golden Fleece. Atalanta eventually married, and was very happy. Atalanta’s story is quite unique, and the best part is, it has a happy ending, despite the hardships in the middle.
To Be Continued…