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One of the major goddesses of ancient Egypt, the wife of Osiris. When Osiris was killed by Seth, she gathered up the pieces of his body, mourned for him, and brought him back to life. She hid their son Horus from Seth until Horus was fully grown and could avenge his father. Worshiped as a goddess of protection, she had great magical powers and was invoked to heal the sick or protect the dead. By Greco-Roman times she was dominant among Egyptian goddesses, and her cult reached much of the Roman world as a mystery religion.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Isis, visit Britannica.com.