The Ancient Egyptian God Osiris.

It's a dirty job but someone had to do it. The ancient Egyptian God Osiris was the ruler of the underworld; king of the dead.

It's sounds like a morbid position, and the unfortunate circumstances that landed him in that role would make it seem that he would have found it hard to get up to work in the morning.

But in ancient Egypt the afterlife was what everyone was preparing for. So, after passing the vigorous testing process to get there (such as the weighing of the heart) it would seem he would have been greeted everyday by many smiling faces.

What did he look like?

Osiris was green. Not with envy, but possibly in relation to his other godly role - God of vegetation.

Many pictures show Osiris as a mummified pharaoh. He wears a crown (known as an atef crown) and holds a flail and crook. He is quite often shown sitting on the throne and has a regal appearance.

Family History.

Osiris was of the first family of Gods. He was a direct descendant of Atum - the first in the family tree of ancient Egyptian Gods.

His parents were Nut and Geb who represented sky and earth respectively. His siblings were Set, Nepthys and Isis.

Eventually he married his sister Isis and together they ruled over Egypt.

Sibling Rivalry

His brother's position did not sit well with Set and he set out to claim the throne for himself.

He wasn't playing fair though, and with a little cunning trickery he managed to clear a path for himself.

After convincing Osiris to step into an empty coffin Set promptly slammed the lid shut trapping his unsuspecting brother inside. The coffin was then nailed shut, weighed down with molten lead and dumped in the depths of the Nile.

The devoted wife

Isis was not going to take Set's treachery lying down. Isis tracked down the coffin to find it embedded in a tree trunk, which was holding up the roof of a palace in Byblos on the Phoenician coast.

Opening the chest, she used a spell she learned from her father and bought Osiris back to like so he could impregnate her. After they finished he died again.

Months later she gave birth to Horus.

The persistence of Set.

By chance, while hunting, Set came across Osiris's body. Obviously not content that Osiris was permanently out of the picture he decided to make certain his brother would not return. He proceeded to tear him up in 14 pieces and scattered the parts around Egypt.

But once again Isis showed her dedication to her husband/brother. She tracked and gathered all the pieces Set had hidden.

The return of the ancient Egyptian God Osiris

The Gods were impressed by the devotion of Isis and restored Osiris to life.

He was not re-instated as King of Egypt, but rather, as the god of the underworld.

It is because of Osiris's death and resurrection, that he is associated with the flooding and retreating of the Nile.

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