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Osiris


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Osiris, the principal deity of the Egyptians, who attributed to him their original laws. their instruction in agriculture, and all useful inventions.  According to the recitals which compose his mythologcal history, he married Isis, his sister, and lived with her in uninterrupted harmony; both applying themselves to the civilization and instruction of their subjects.  He was the founder of Thebes and extended his conquests far and wide.  From the most remote periods of antiquity, the Nile, which is the centre of the whole religion of the Egyption people, was represented under the image of Osiris, and worshipped as such in that country.  Osiris was also regarded by the same superstitious nation as a symbol of the sun, and figured sometimes with the head of a man, at others with that of a hawk.  Sometimes he has the horns of an ox, allusive to his union with the earth, which owed to him the blessings of fertilization.  His living representative was the bull Apis, and he often appears with the lotus flower on his head. - Osiris was afterwards replaced by Serapis.  The Roman Emperors placed his statue among the images of their own pantheon. - There is in Pedrusi's"Museum Farnese," a brass medallion of Commodus, which bears a very elegant group allusive to Osiris, who stands with the modius on his head, whilst the Emperor holds out his hand to him, over a lighted altar.  Behind the togated figure of Commodus is Victory holding a garland over his head; and by the side of Osiris is the Goddess Isis, with the sistrum in her right hand. - The legend of this fine reverse is P.M. TR. P. XVII. IMP. VIII. COS. VII. P.P.

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