Stylised horus .

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  • 1. Horus is one of the oldest and most significant deities in ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Predynastic period through to Greco-Roman times. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists. He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner or peregrine, or as a man with a
  • 2. falcon head. Horus, (Louvre Museum), 'Shen rings' in his grasp
  • 3. Horus was often the ancient Egyptians' national patron god. He was usually depicted as a falcon- headed man wearing the pschent, or a red and white crown, as a symbol of kingship over the entire kingdom of Egypt.
  • 4. Horus served many functions in the Egyptian pantheon, most notably being the god of the Sky, god of War and god of Protection. Since Horus was said to be the sky, he was considered to also contain the sun and moon. It became said that the sun was his right eye and the moon his left, and that they traversed the sky when he, a falcon, flew across it. Later, the reason that the moon was not as bright as the sun was explained by a tale, known as the contestings of Horus and Set, originating as a metaphor for the conquest of Upper Egypt by Lower Egypt in about 3000 BC. In this tale, it was said that Set, the patron of Upper Egypt, and Horus, the patron of Lower Egypt, had battled for Egypt brutally, with neither side victorious, until eventually the gods sided with Horus (see below). As Horus was the ultimate victor he became known as Harsiesis, Heru-ur or Har-Wer(ḥr.w wr 'Horus the Great'), but more usually
  • 5. translated as Horus the Elder. In the struggle Set had lost a testicle, explaining why the desert, which Set represented, is infertile. Horus' left eye had also been gouged out, which explained why the moon, which it represented, was so weak compared to the sun. The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities, in this case from Horus or Ra. The symbol is seen on images of Horus' mother, Isis, and on other deities associated with her. More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus
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