Bronze figure of
after 600 BC
Horus the child
The name Harpokrates is the Hellenized version
of the Egyptian phrase meaning 'Horus the child'.
Harpokrates was a form of the god
He was represented as a naked child, with a sidelock of youth and
his finger to his mouth. He is often shown on the lap of his
enthroned mother, in bronze statue groups of the Late Period
(661-332 BC), when these deities were particularly popular. They
were seen as members of the ideal family, consisting of Osiris,
myth, Isis revived her murdered husband Osiris to conceive a child.
She fled to the Delta to give birth, hiding from her brother
who was intent on seizing the throne of Egypt. When her son,
Harpokrates, was born he was attacked by snakes, crocodiles and
scorpions sent by his uncle. He was protected by the gods, and
given power over dangerous creatures. This figure of Harpokrates
was originally seated on a throne, or perhaps on the lap of his
mother. Isis was revered for her magical abilities, and the power
that Harpokrates had over dangerous animals meant that both were
regarded as protective deities.
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