Legends of the Gods
The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations
by E. A. Wallis Budge
London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Trübner & Co. Ltd.
THE HISTORY OF ISIS AND OSIRIS
WITH EXPLANATIONS OF THE SAME, COLLECTED BY PLUTARCH, AND SUPPLEMENTED BY HIS OWN VIEWS
FOURTH EXPLANATION OF THE STORY
Osiris is the Moon, and Typhon is the Sun; Typhon is therefore called Seth, 1 a word meaning "violence," "force," Herakles accompanies the Sun, and Hermes the Moon.
Plutarch connects the death-day of Osiris, the seventeenth of Hathor, with the seventeenth day of the Moon's revolution, when she begins to wane. The age of Osiris, twenty-eight years, suggests the comparison with the twenty-eight days of the Moon's revolution. The tree-trunk which is made into the shape of a crescent at the funeral of Osiris refers to the crescent moon when she wanes. The fourteen pieces into which Osiris was broken refer to the fourteen days in which the moon wanes.
The height of the Nile in flood at Elephantine is twenty-eight cubits, at Mendes and Xoïs low Nile is seven cubits, and at Memphis middle Nile is fourteen cubits; these figures are to be compared with the twenty-eight days of the Moon's revolution, the seven-day phase of the Moon, and the fourteen days' Moon, or full moon.
Apis was begotten by a ray of light from the Moon, and on the fourteenth day of the month Phamenoth 2 Osiris entered the Moon. Osiris is the power of the Moon, Isis the productive faculty in it.
1 In Egyptian, , or which Plutarch seems to connect with set,
2 Marked in the papyrus Sallier IV. as a particularly unlucky day.