Temple Of Isis Essay

1146 words - 5 pages

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|Title |Pompeii: Temple of Isis: reconstruction drawing with sacred enclosure and shrine for the sacred water of the Nile |
|Date |c.1st C. B.C |
|Location |Pompeii (Extinct city) |
| |Roman Italy |
|Subject |Pompeii (Extinct city)--Temple of Isis ...view middle of the document...

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|Width |3072 |
|Height |2840 |
|Image URL|http://library.artstor.org.libproxy.usc.edu/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8CJGczI9NzldLS1WEDhzTnkrX3oteFh9fyE%3D&userId=gDRDc|
| |Tc%3D&zoomparams= |

The Temple of Isis was a temple in the Roman Empire, dedicated to Isis, the Egyptian goddess. It was located in Pompeii (now an extinct city). This ancient temple is preserved in the best condition amongst all of the temples dedicated to different gods that are present in Pompeii, and perhaps the world.

The cult of Isis has a long history behind it. It arose in Egypt more than 5,000 years ago. Isis was a sister to, and also the wife of the great god Osiris who was a perfect ruler of Egypt. However, Osiris was killed by his own brother Seth, god of desert and foreigners. Isis gathered up the body parts of Osiris that were scattered all over the Nile Delta, and resurrected him. Osiris became the king of the dead as he could not be brought back into the world of living, while Isis in the living world became “Great Lady”, “Mistress of Shelter”, “Mistress of Heaven”, and “Mistress of the House of Life”, as directly translated. She was practically the most holy goddess in Egypt, as she was believed as the one who controls the weather and changes seasons, heals human bodies, and smoothen the flow of the holy river Nile.

We all know that she is an Egyptian goddess, yet many people do not know that she was in fact also worshipped by Greeks and Romans. In the ancient times, countries made fights and conquests with other countries, and either spread their religion to the others or absorbed the religions of others and made them into their own. The cult of Isis was first introduced to the Greeks when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. It did not flourish to a significant extent within Greece. And later, when the Romans conquered Greece and Egypt where the cult originated from, the worship of Isis gradually flew over to the Roman Empire as well. The Roman Empire is where the worship of Isis became and stayed significantly strong until it died out by the pressure of Christianity.

Of the many different gods the Romans worshipped in the ancient times, Apollo of Greece and Isis of Egypt were two gods that had great numbers of devotees who established significant mystery religions. The cult of Isis is thought to have arrived in Pompeii around 100 BCE. Its influence had not been too strong at the time and started to spread throughout the empire over the next three...

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