LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Terracotta sculpture of Isis with Serpent Tail, Egypt, 2nd century AD. Isis is a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the downtrodden, and she listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats, and rulers. Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children. Isis was a fertility goddess, the sister and wife of Osiris, mother of Horus, sister of Set, and Nephthys, and daughter of Geb and Nut. She searched for her husband's body, retrieved and reassembled Osiris, taking on the role of goddess of the dead. She was sometimes equated with the snake goddess Renenutet, a goddess of harvest.
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