Egyptian Heroes by Phil Foy

The Basis of Mythological Heroes 

In Egyptian Mythology, gods are considered heroes in the same ways that some Men were considered heroes in Greek Mythology. Most Gods had a main significance, but, most Gods also had a main feature, or preformed an action, that left them considered heroes. No men that were heroic stayed man for long, most become gods, or idolized as a god for what they accomplished. Another key idea to note was that pharaohs (royalty for Egyptians) were considered gods in a sense. The Egyptian culture believed that royal blood was godliness (divine, etc.) The Pharaohs were respected and regarded as gods for this very reason. In any presentation, the information given can speak about the society in which they were created. This particular set of information speaks about the regard they hold their pharaohs and important figures at. All of the pharaohs were considered to be gods, or at least divine. After a pharaohs death, they believed that they were brought back to a godly state and were deemed in charge of certain aspects of all life. This also speaks to their cultural values and worship practices, their cultural values were that of treating important figures with a high level of divinity; and the worship practices are demonstrated through the prayers that are given towards pharaohs. The pharaohs, aside from being idolized as a god, were in charge of leading the nation of Egypt which was unified. The people of Egypt followed the relatively normal style of living, except by adapting to the fact that they were in a desert. The Egyptians actually used the flow of the Nile, which the village was built around) to tell the differences of seasons, and also to farm. This is similar to the early Indians telling seasons by the Monsoon directions. The Ancient Egyptian culture was neutral to others inside their own culture, much like ours today, in which we aren't cold and indifferent to other, but we can go about our business without involving everyone else. As far as superstition goes, i don't believe there was much of it seeing as how they were "in touch" with the god that they believed in, the Pharaoh. To finish summing up the culture of the Ancient Egyptians, all you need to understand is that all of the citizens of Ancient Egypt believed that the current god was the pharaoh and that they believed important people and pharaohs were gods after they died and dealt with a certain aspect of life, death, or culture. These next myths are stories of men or gods that have become revered due to their stories.

Horus, Isis, Set and Osiris

Osiris began as a very popular ruler, however, he had a very jealous brother named Set. Set was jealous of the popularity that Osiris was getting, and plotted against him. Set measured Osiris and
crafted a magnificent coffin. He brought the coffin to a banquet honoring Osiris and claimed that whoever could fit inside of the coffin could have it. Everyone at the banquet lined up to try it, when
Osiris got in Set slammed the coffin shut and sealed it with molten led. Set then
threw the coffin into the Nile. Isis, Osiris' wife, searched for the coffin until she found it inside of a tree far down the Nile. Isis brought the coffin home for a proper burial. Upon

Osiris, Isis, and Horus
Osiris, Isis, and Horus

hearing this information, Set found the coffin and cut the body up into pieces, he then scattered the pieces throughout Egypt. Isis then set out, again, to find her husband. She recovered everything but his head. Isis put Osiris put him back together and wrapped him in bandages. Isis then breathed life back into Osiris and they conceived Horus. This event is much more unique and magical than it seems, seeing as how Osiris did not have a head. Young Horus then set out to battle his uncle Set and avenge his father's death (As detailed in The Contendings of Horus and Set) Eventually, neither god was able to claim victory. Osiris was claimed King of the Underworld, Horus was claimed King of the Living, and Set was claimed ruler of the Deserts as the King of Chaos and Evil.
Symbols commonly associated with Horus are a hawk/falcon, bull, Double Crown, Winged Disk, Sphinx, weapons, iron, and a blacksmith
Symbols commonly associated with Isis are a throne, kite, and a scorpion
Symbols commonly associated with Osiris are a crook and flail, White and Atef Crowns, bull, mummified form, and a throne


Thoth is the god of wisdom and learning. It is believed that he and Ma'at, the goddess of truth, were "self-created". Thoth is depicted as an ibis or a baboon, it is generally believed that this is thoth.jpgbecause of the grave facial expressions that could mean thoughtfulness. Thoth ended up being the god that created their way of writing and actually wrote a major book for the Egyptians, "The Book of the Dead". In addition, he was the vizier and scribe for most in the underworld. Thoth can be seen in most scenes involving decisions, the is most apparent at scenes where a dead man's heart is being judged. He can be seen sitting on top of the balance that weighs the man's heart to see if he is like Ma'at, showing the concept of truth and justice. He then brings his report to the gods.

The Four Sons of Horus

"Horus (the elder) had numerous wives and children, and his 'four sons' were grouped together and generally said to be born of Isis. Qebehsenuef was one. The other three were Imsety, Hapy and
Four Sons of Horus

Duamutef. They were born from a lotus flower and were solar gods associated with the creation. They were retrieved from the waters of Nun by Sobek on the orders of Re. It was believed that Anubis gave them the funerary duties of mummification, the Opening of the Mouth, the burial of Osiris and all men. Horus later made them protectors of the four cardinal points (north, south, east and west). In the Hall of Ma'at they sat on a lotus flower in front of Osiris. Most commonly, however, they were remembered as the protectors of the internal organs of the deceased. Each son protected an organ, and each son was protected by a goddess." [3]

Qebehsenuef's role was to protect the intestines and to protect the west. Imsety's role was to protect the liver and protect the south. Duamutef's role was to protect the stomach and to be the guardian of the East. And finally, Hapy's role was to protect the lungs and to be the guardian of the North.


Anubis is portrayed as a man with the head of a jackal and is the god of Embalming. Anubis is considered the one who invented the act of embalming and was the one who performed it on Osiris
to make sure he could come back to life. Anubis also was responsible for helping the rituals that sent a man into the underworld. Anubis had three jobs mainly, the first was that he would supervise the embalming rituals. Osirs, Horace's father and Isis' husband, is Anubis' father and Nephthys is his mother. There are two theories on how that came to be, the first is that Nephthys disguised herself as Isis and seduced Osirs, which is how Anubis was conceived. The other is that Nephthys got Osiris drunk and seduced him. Both theories end up the with the same result. Anubis was only the god of the dead for a short time until Osiris grew in popularity and took over that role. It is believed that Anubis is commonly associated with a Jackal because of the way Jackals lurked around tombs, since Anubis was the god of Embalming, he would often be inside of tombs. The early Egyptians actually had the idea of making tombs more intricate so that the bodies wouldn't be eaten by the Jackals.

Symbols that are commonly associated with Anubis are jackals and embalming equipment.