'Osiris... begetting a son by Isis, who hovers over him in the form of a hawk.'(Budge, On the Future Life: Egyptian Religion, 80)
As is often the case with mythical figures, despite the way she is impregnated, Isis remained the "GreatVirgin," as she is called in a number of pre-Christian Egyptian writings.As stated by Egyptologist Dr.
Reginald E. Witt
, inIsis in the Ancient World:The Egyptian goddess who was equally "the Great Virgin" (hwnt) and "Mother of the God"was the object of the very same praise bestowed upon her successor [Mary, Virgin Mother of
century BCE.As stated by professor of Old Testament and Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn Dr.
, in the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament:
...ThePyramid Textsspeak of "the great virgin" (hwn.t wr.t) three times (682c, 728a,2002a...); she is anonymous, appears as the protectress of the king, and is explicitly calledhis mother once (809c). It is interesting that Isis is addressed as hwn.t in a sarcophagusoracle that deals with her mysterious pregnancy.
In a text in the Abydos Temple of Seti I, Isis herself declares:"I am the great virgin"...It should be noted that the king or pharaoh, whose mother is called "the great virgin," is also the livingHorus; hence, his great virgin mother would be Isis.
Also, in the temple of Neith and Isis at Sais was an ancient inscription that depicted the virgin birth of thesun:The present and the future and the past, I am. My undergarment no one has uncovered.The fruit I brought forth, the sun came into being.As Dr. Botterweckalso writes:In the Late Period [712-332 BCE] in particular, goddesses are frequently called "(beautiful)virgins," especially Hathor, Isis, and Nephthys.During the Greco-Roman period, Isis was equated with the constellation of Virgo, the Virgin, as I relate in
in Egypt:...The identification of Isis with the Virgin...is made in an ancient Greek text called TheKatasterismoi, or Catasterismi, allegedly written by the astronomer Eratosthenes (276-194BCE), who was for some 50 years the head librarian of the massive Library of Alexandria.Although the original of this text has been lost, an "epitome" credited to Eratosthenes inancient times has been attributed by modern scholars to an anonymous "Pseudo-Eratosthenes" of the 1
centuries AD/CE. In this book, the title of which translates as"Placing Among the Stars," appear discussions of the signs of the zodiac.
In his essay on the zodiacal sign of Virgo (ch. 9), under the heading of "Parthenos," theauthor includes the goddess Isis, among others, such as Demeter, Atagartis and Tyche, as