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Sister-wife of Osiʹris. The cow was sacred to her; and she is represented with two long horns from one stem at the top of her head. She is said to have invented spinning and weaving. (Egyptian mythology.)

“Inventress of the woof, fair Lina [flax] flings

The flying shuttle throʹ the dancing strings.

Taught by her labours, from the fertile soil

Immortal Isis clothed the banks of Nile.”

Darwin: Loves of the Plants, c. ii.

Milton, in Paradise Lost, names Osiris, Isis, and Orus amongst the fallen angels (book i. 478).

Isis, Herodotos thinks, is Demeʹter (Ceʹrēs).

Diodoʹros confounds her with the Moon, Demeter, and Juno.

Plutarch confounds her with Atheʹna (Minerva), Perseph onē (Proserpine), the Moon, and Teʹthys.

Apuleʹius calls her the mother of the gods Minerva, Venus, Diana, Proserpine, Cerēs, Juno, Belloʹna, Hecate, and Rhamnuʹsia [Nemʹesis].

Lockyer says, “Isis represents the idea of rising or becoming visible, Osīris of disappearing.” Thus the rising moon, a rising planet, the coming dawn, etc., is Isis; but the setting sun, the waning moon, a setting planet, evening, etc., is Osiris.

“Now the bright moon beams kissed the water, … . and now the mountain and valley, river and plain, were flooded with white light, for mother Isis was arisen.”—Rider Haggard: Cleopatra, chap. iii.

⁂ Isis was the mother of Horus (the rising sun), and is represented as nursing him.

Isis. Some maintain that Isis was at one time the protectress of Paris, and that the word Paris is a contraction of the Greek Para Isĭdos (near the temple of Isis), the temple referred to being the Panthéon or church of St. Geneviève. We are told, moreover, that a statue of Isis was for a long time preserved in the church of St. Germain des Prés, but was broken to pieces by Cardinal Briçonnet because he saw certain women offering candles to it as to the Virgin.

The Young Isis. Cleopatra (69–30 B.C.).

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Isenbras or Sir Isumbras
Isengrin or Sir Isgrim
Isiac Tablet
Isidorian Decretals
Islam or Islamism
Island of Saints
Island of St. Brandan
Island of the Seven Cities
Islands of the Blessed
Isle of Dogs
Isle of Lanterns (The)
Isle of Mist (The)
Islington (The Marquis of)

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