Horus is one of the oldest gods of ancient Egypt. He appears as a youthful man with a falcons head, or as a falcon. His name means "the high" or "the far-off," and his title is "Lord of the Sky." In pre-dynastic Egypt the kings were worshipers of Horus, but after 3000 b.c., the kings were actually considered to be godly, manifestations of the "living Horus." One of the five names of a king was his Horus name. Horus is also represented as a falcon, often depicted with his wings wrapped protectively around the king.
The story of Horus has many variations. Initially Horus was ruler of Lower Egypt, and his brother Seth, the God of Chaos, was ruler of upper Egypt. By 3000 b.c. Egypt was unified under the kings who followed Horus. The conflicts of the brothers becomes part of a larger mythology, in which the conflict has to be settled by many trials and judged by all the gods. Horus is declared victor. In a later version, Seth is the brother of Osiris, and Horus becomes the son of Osiris and Isis. In this version, Seth kills Osiris, and Horus avenges his fathers death, becoming known as "Horus the Avenger."
In addition to the symbol of the falcon, the Eye of Horus is also important. The Eye of Horus is painted on coffins or carved as an amulet and placed in the wrappings of the mummy.It is a symbol of protection, and was one of the most popular amulets worn in ancient Egypt.
Horus, when depicted as the child of Isis, sitting on her lap nursing, represents the continuance of the kings through legitimate family bloodlines. The king is associated with the nursing Horus, and as the child of the gods is receiving divine nourishment. As the myth evolved, the "living" king was Horus, and after death, the king was transformed by elaborate funeral rites into a manifestation of Osiris, the King of the Underworld.
Isis nursing Horus, Late Period (664 - 332 b.c.), Bronze, 36.6 (unmounted) x 10 cm (14 3/8 x 4 in.), University of Pennsylvania