Was The Historical Egyptian Osiris Perhaps Sargon Of Akkad?

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Image of Osiris (Adobe Stock) and bust of Sargon (CC BY-SA 2.0) (Deriv)

Was The Historical Egyptian Osiris Perhaps Sargon Of Akkad?

In many respects the narrative of the Egyptian god, Osiris, seems to be all too human. Is it possible that his origin goes back to a real historical king? Could the historical Osiris have been none other than the great Akkadian emperor, Sargon of Akkad? Osiris was one of the most popular and enduring gods in the long history of Egypt.  Although it is often assumed that Osiris existed from the earliest of recorded times, in actual fact he only made his appearance during the Fifth Dynasty. Depictions of Osiris first appear in private tombs and the earliest reference to him is found in the Pyramid Texts. This provides a timeframe in which a quest for a possible historical Osiris might be pursued.

Bronze head of an Akkadian ruler, discovered in Nineveh in 1931, presumably depicting Sargon (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Bronze head of an Akkadian ruler, discovered in Nineveh in 1931, presumably depicting Sargon (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As there is no Egyptian king from that period who could have given rise to Osiris, the search for the historical Osiris could be taken beyond the boundaries of Egypt. A good candidate presents itself, namely Sargon the Great of Akkad, whose legends correspond to a remarkable extent with the stories told about Osiris. Among many other similarities, both Osiris and Sargon were great rulers who reached the ends of the world and who were also intimately linked with the Sumerian god, Dumuzi. Osiris is sometimes even described as the Egyptian Dumuzi.


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