The river NILE is the ICONOGRAPHIC IMAGE of the god OSIRIS

Texts referring to the god Osiris and the constellation Scorpio (with additional explanations)

Indications, references, and texts are listed in points 1 to 10 (in random sequence):

1) The land Egypt is his [Osiris’] mystic body. (De Geboorte van Horus, part V, Stricker, p. 690)

2) Plutarch, De Isis et Osiris, 32: “According to the Egyptians Osiris is the Nile, which […]”

3) Heliodorus: “The Nile is a God to the Egyptians and they consider it as the greatest transcendental (being) whilst solemnly assuring that the river is an imitation of the heaven.”

4) Porphyrius: “For the Egyptians, Osiris represents the power of fertility.” A little further down: “He is also considered to be the power of the river Nile. If they interpret the Earth down here, then Osiris is considered as the power of fertility; if they interpret the heavenly [Earth], then Osiris is the Nile which is believed to descend from heaven.”

5) The Nile is the god Osiris, citation 412, 413, 414, 415, 417 (see Plut., De Is.et Osir., 33, 36, 39; Idem, Quaest. Conviv., VIII 8, 2; Aelian., De Nat.Anim., X 46; Porphyr., apud Euseb., Praep. Evang., V 7, 5; Joann. Lyd., De Mensib., IV 45. Father Nile: Plut., Quaest. Conviv., VIII 8, 2; Tibull., Eleg., I 7, 23.), who is coming to his consort Isis, and impregnate the goddess of the Earth. (De Geboorte van Horus, part II, Stricker, p. 110 and 111)

6) In Myth and Symbol by Rundle Clark, p.102, or the Pyramid Text reads as follows, par. 1195 ff.: “I am [river Nile] the herald of the year, O Osiris, […]” Thus, Osiris as river Nile is mentioned as the herald of the year. This probably refers to the Osiris festival, after which the Nile returns to its bed.

7) The French Egyptologist Daressy starts his article L’Égypte Céleste with the words: “It is known that the Egyptian priests took great satisfaction in finding similarities between the heaven or domain of spirits [gods in the heaven] and our earth; the other world is only a copy thereof, and the Nile is a heavenly way, which descended.” (BIFAO XII, 1916)

8) On the plaquette of Denderah, on the edge and underneath the constellation Scorpio, Osiris is depicted in his characteristic bearing, with the Atef crown on his head and the typical posture of the arms, holding the familiar attributes in his hands This is an obvious iconographic resemblance. Sebshesen is the name of the neighbouring decade, but not the name of the figure Osiris, which is portrayed on the edge. Sebshesen is probably the star beta Scorpio (Graffias) which is located at “the entrance of the Netherworld” (Die Sterne von Babylon, Papke, p.140, 141). This offers further proof that the constellation Scorpio is in fact the Netherworld of Osiris.

9) In the ‘The Great Hymn to the Aten’, one reads: “You made a heavenly Hapi descend for them.” (Ancient Egyptian Science, Vol. I, Clagett, p.570)

10) In L’Égypte Céleste, Daressy divides the land of Egypt into two parts. It is the proverbial division of Egypt into ‘two Niles’. My investigations show that his approach is not foolproof. There is an iconographical similarity which is supported by the fact that Denderah is called the ‘Southern On’]. In his book The Triumph of Horus, p. 126, Fairman writes: “Two Outpourings, according to one Egyptian view there were two Niles, an Upper and a Lower Egyptian [Nile] whose sources were at Elephantine or in its neighbourhood and Heliopolis. Thus, the Outpouring of Seth (Kebeh Seth) was Upper Egypt and the Outpouring of Horus (Kebeh Hor) was Lower Egypt.”

I specify the area between Letopolis/Heliopolis and Abydos as the ‘first Nile’, and the area between Hiw/Denderah and Philaë as the ‘second Nile’.

The region of the ‘first Nile’
consists of:
 The region of the ‘second Nile’
consists of:
AssiutKom Ombo


The following is a schematic geographical description: draw a line between Letopolis and Heliopolis, and then from both places to Memphis; this produces a triangle. This triangle corresponds to the head of the constellation Scorpio. In the same way, a line can be drawn from Memphis, via Herakleopolis, Hermopolis and Assiut, to Abydos. This demarcates the first Nile and corresponds to the tail of the constellation Scorpio. The same can be done between Hiw and Denderah and from both places to Thebes, which results in a second triangle, also corresponding to the head of the constellation Scorpio. Now, draw a line from Thebe, via Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo, to Philae. This part marks out the second Nile and corresponds to the tail of the constellation Scorpio.

The similarity between the function which Memphis fulfilled during the Old Kingdom (Saqqara, city of the Dead) and the subsequent function of Thebe (Valley of the Kings and Queens) from the Middle Kingdom up to and including the Greco-Roman period, is evident. The similarities between Heliopolis and Denderah have already been mentioned. The similarities between the schematic geographical framework and the schematic astronomical framework of the constellation Scorpio are striking.