Isis with Apis in Ancient Egypt Iconography.

Isis and Osiris were in the religion of Ancient Egypt the perfect couple. Despite the murder of Osiris, they could go on, Isis could revive her husband and both could have a boy. But Osiris was replaced by Apis.

Isis and Osiris. Relief from Abydos. XIX Dynasty. Ancient Egypt.

Isis and Osiris. Relief from Abydos. XIX Dynasty. Photo: fineartamerica.

In the mortuary iconography of Ancient Egypt the union of Osiris and Isis was constant, as symbol of resurrection. However from the Saite Period, this icon suffered a transformation. Apis, the bull god of Memphis, was asimilated with Osiris, becoming after his death Osiris-Apis. And Apis in sometimes occupied the place of Osiris.

That is the case of the stele dedicated to Apis from the Louvre Museum. It dates from the reign of Psametik I and was found in the Serapeum of Saqqara. The god is identified as Osiris-Apis (that is Serapis) Khentamentiu and, following the traditional icon of Ancient Egypt, behind him stands Isis. She is not identified by any inscription, but by the hieroglyph of her head.

Stele to Apis. Reign of Psametik I. Louvre Museum. Ancient Egypt.

Stele to Apis. Reign of Psametik I. Louvre Museum. Photo: wikimedia

It has some consequences…

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