HOIRIIS (Lat., from Gk. `l1 at, Egyptian Hcir). An Egyptian deity. His name nor (u) is by some scholars explained as meaning 'the su perior, highest,' but this is an improbable etv mology, not more probable. perhaps. than the earlier comparison with Hebrew or, 'light,' which is generally ridiculed at present. It is question able where Horns had his original local cult; usually Edfu. where a large temple is still stand ing, is considered to have been the locality, al though the god was worshiped at a great many other places. He was patron of L'pper Egypt. On the very earliest monuments we find llorus as the chief god and type of the King; from the first the hawk is his symbol, and there are allu sions to his antagonism to Set, so that the later theological ideas seem to be traceable to the time of the First Dynasty. The original dominating position of Horns within the pantheon is shown by the fact that his hawk stands as hieroglyph for 'god' in general. He personifies the sun, origi nally thought to fly over the sky in form of a hawk, and is usually represented as a young warrior with the head of a hawk, wearing the crown of Egypt. More specially he personifies the young sun, rising victoriously in the morning out of the hostile darkness. Therefore, he is connected with Osiris, the sun dying in the west. and as his son he takes vengeance for his father on the powers of darkness. More rarely he is called the son of Re, the midday sun. He is frequently called a posthumous son of Osiris; his mother, Isis, is even said to have formed him from the mutilated members of her murdered husband. Rising gloriously, Horns begins the fight with Set-Typhon, his wicked uncle, every morning—although later (partly euheineristie) views consider the great fight, between the gods as a single event. occurring at the beginning of the world. Avenging his murdered father. Horns overthrows and emasculates Set: but he loses one eye in the contest. Possibly this refers to the moon, which loses its light every month; or else the sun may be the single eye in the face of the god, i.e. the sky. The wounded eye is healed by the moon-god (Dhouti, Thoth), which means that the second eye appears in the night. The blood of the wounded eye drips down and creates plants, animals, and all good and useful things on earth. It is curious to note how Horns is
differentiated in regard to his various functions and phases. We find, for example. Harpoerates Mortis as a child) distinguished from Haroeris (the adult Horns) ; Harondotes (Egyptian: Ilar nez-iotef) 'the avenger of his father;' Horns in Khemnis, as a babe hidden by his mother in the marshes of the Delta from the persecutions of Set ; Harmachis (q.v.) ; 'Horns uniting both lands;' and various other forms became local ized and had their special cults. Many details of the Horns myth are obscure; for example, the legend that he once cut off the head of his mother, which may have been borrowed from an Asiatic eosmogonic myth. The later theology explained this story by the statement that Isis had set free the wicked Set after Horns had delivered him to her in fetters, and that Horis mutilated her in his indignation at her act. The moon-god (see above) replaced the head of Isis by a cow's hI ad. The story of the fight against Set-Typhon is told with a great many variations, and the wicked adversary and his many helpers resist Donis in many forms and at many places. Later, the serpent Apap. as the personification of night and the hostile ocean. became confounded with Set (q.v.). The later Egyptians, under Greek influence. made strange attempts to harmonize these hundreds of different, contradictory myths. (See especially Plutarch's De ;side et Osiride, and the accounts given byDiociorus.) Like Osiris, Ilorus was explained as typifying everything good in nature, although the solar meaning of most of the mythological facts was too manifest, to be entirely overlooked. The planets Stars, Jupiter, and Saturn were also considered as manifestations of Horns ('the red blur us,' brilliant llorus,"Ilorus. the hull'). In the mythical accounts of the early history of Egypt, Horns was counted as the last of the divine rulers of the land. The principal temples of Horns were at in Loner Egypt. at Kus (ApoNimmons Narva), and at Edfu (Apol linupolis Ilrecks identified Horns with their Apollo) ; he was Nvor,hiped also at ()mhos. Denderah (Tentyra). Damanhur I Ilermo polis Parva), etc. in Imperial Nome he became as popular as Isis and the other members of the Osirian family. See Plate of EGYPTIAN DEITIES, in the article EGYPT.