Statue of Horus

Who was Horus?

Horus was the god of the sky, and took the shape of a falcon, or a man with a falcon's head. Horus was also the son of Osiris and Isis, and in some pictures and statues he is shown as a child, often suckling at Isis' breast (see the picture here).

By the way, if you see a falcon- headed god with a sun on his head, that is Re, not Horus.

And Pharaoh too

The pharaoh was supposed to be Horus on earth. This is why the statue above is wearing the double crown of Egypt. This shows that the Egyptians believed the kingship was divine. The king wasn't exactly one of the gods, but he was very close to them. 'Son of Re' and 'Golden Horus' are common titles the kings had.

A Magic Eye

According to a myth, Horus had a fight with his uncle Seth (who had killed his father Osiris). Seth tore out his left eye, but the god Thoth restored it. The Eye of Horus, or wedjat, came to stand for making whole, or healing. This is why it was used as amulets, for protection and strength. It was even painted on boats to protect them. Today, in places like Egypt and Greece, boats still have Horus eyes on them.


The Temple of Horus

Horus was worshipped all over Egypt, but his main temple was at a place called Edfu, which is south of Luxor.

In the Ptolemaic period (332-30BC) the temple was rebuilt, and today it is the best-preserved ancient temple in Egypt. You can still see the statues of Horus staring angrily ahead (he's still angry at Seth!)

Edfu, Temple of Horus

Left is a photo of a Lanner falcon, the bird Horus was based on. Can you see the markings around its eye?