Horus, an Egyptian god of heaven, war, and protection, is one of the Egyptian pantheon’s significant and probably most important deities. His image appears in ancient Egyptian art, tomb paintings, and the Book of the Dead. As one of the most complex and ancient Egyptian deities, Horus took many different forms in history. Like many Egyptian gods, he underwent many transformations as Egyptian culture evolved, so there is no way to cover every aspect of Horus in all its different forms over time.
Horus’ divine position in ancient Egyptian religion
Origins and history
Horus is believed to have come from Upper Egypt around 3100 and was associated with pharaohs and kings. Although in early incarnations, ancients credited him with the role of brother Isis and Osiris. Eventually, the dynasties of the pharaohs claimed to be direct descendants of Horus himself, creating the connection between royalty and the divine. Some cults later describe Horus as the son of Isis after the death of Osiris.
Several sites have spent a lot of time evaluating the parallels between Horus and Jesus. Although there are certainly similarities, there is a lot of information based on false assumptions, errors and non-academic evidence. Jon Sorenson, who writes a blog for Catholic Apologetics, has an excellent breakdown of why Jesus’ comparison to Horus is inaccurate. Sorenson knows the Bible, but he also understands scholarships and academics.
Ancient Egyptians frequently depicted Horus with the head of a hawk. In some portraits, he appears as a naked child, sitting (sometimes with his mother) on a lotus petal, representing the birth of Isis. Some images show that the child Horus exercises control over dangerous animals such as crocodiles and snakes.
Interestingly, although Horus is almost always associated with the hawk, several statues from the Ptolemaic period show that he has the head of a lion.
In Egyptian myth and legend, Horus is one of the most important deities in the pantheon. After the death of Osiris, in the hands of the god Set, Isis conceived a son, Horus. With help from other goddesses, including Hathor, Isis raised Horus until she was old enough to challenge Set. Horus and Seth went before the sun-god Ra and pleaded their case as to who was king. Ra found it in Horus’s favour, thanks in no way to the story of Set’s betrayal, and told Horus that he was king. Like a god of heaven, magic and power inflamed the eyes of Horus. The right eye is associated with the moon, and the left with the sun. The eye of Horus frequently appears in Egyptian works of art.
Some Egyptologists see the battle between Seth and Horus as representative of the fighting between Upper and Lower Egypt. Horus was more popular in the south and north. The defeat of Horus of Set may symbolize the unification of the two halves of Egypt.
In addition to his associations with heaven, ancient Egyptians regarded Horus as a deity of war and hunting. As the protector of royal families who claimed to be divine ancestors, he is associated with battles by kings to maintain the monarchy.
The coffin texts describe Horus in his own words: “No other god could do what I did. I took the paths of eternity into the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My anger will turn against the enemy of my father Osiris and him. In my name, I will put under my feet the “Cloak Wheel.”
Worship and celebration
The cults of honour of Horus have appeared in many places in ancient Egypt, although he seems to have enjoyed more significant popularity in the southern part of the region than in the north. He was the patron god of the city of Nekhen in south Egypt, the City of the Falcon. Horus also dominated the Ptolemaic temples at Kom Ombo and Edfu, along with his wife, Hathor.
Ancient Egyptians held a festival annually at Edfu called the Coronation of the Holy Sacrament, in which the priests crowned a true king to represent Horus on the throne. Priests carried a falcon statue of Horus and statues of the mythical kings of the ancestors in procession from the temple. Then, they chose to crown the hawk. Both Horus, the divine ruler of all Egypt, and the ruling pharaoh melted the two rituals. They linked the festival to the religious ideology of the state, one of the many indications that the ancient ideal of integrating royalty into temple worship was still important under Ptolemy. Romans.
Horus’ dedicated Temples
Temple of God Horus at Edfu
The Temple of Horus in Edfu is one of Egypt’s most impressive and well-preserved temples. This temple exists on the west bank of the Nile in Edfu, Aswan Governorate. Ancient Egyptians dedicated this largest temple to Horus and Hathor of Dendera.
History of the Temple of God Horus at Edfu
The construction of the present temple started on 23 August 237 BC during the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes. However, in 57 BC, Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos, known as Auletes, completed it. The Ptolemies built this temple on an earlier, smaller temple dedicated to Horus. However, the Ancient Egyptian builders oriented the previous structure east-west rather than north-south as in the present site. The Ancient Egyptians built this older temple during the New Kingdom by Ramses I, Seti I and Ramses II. A ruined pylon lies just to the east of the current temple.
Later, Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos, Cleopatra VII’s father, completed this sandstone temple some 180 years.