A brief history centrality of kingship and the mytho-poetic lessons we gain from the Nile Valley traditions.
Horus & the King
Having conquered Set and restored order, Horus became known as Horu-Sema-Tawy, The Horus, Uniter of the Two Lands. He reinstated the policies of his parents, rejuvenating the land, and ruled wisely. It is for this reason that kings of Egypt, from the First Dynastic Period on, aligned themselves with Horus and chose a “Horus Name” to rule under at their coronation. Osiris had been the first king of Egypt who established order and then passed on to the underworld while Horus was the king who restored that order after it was overturned by Set and who raised Egypt up from chaos to harmony. Egyptian kings, therefore, identified themselves with Horus in life and Osiris in death. During their reign, they were the physical manifestation of Horus under the protection of Isis (a notable departure from this custom being the king Peribsen, sixth king of the Second Dynasty, who aligned himself clearly with Set). Ramesses II famously invokes the protection of Isis and Horus in his Poem of Pentaur following the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BCE as do many other kings and pharaohs of Egypt. Wilkinson writes:
Horus was directly linked with the kingship of Egypt in both his falcon form aspect and as son of Isis. From the earliest Dynastic Period the king’s name was written in the rectangular device known as the serekh which depicted the Horus falcon perched on a stylized palace enclosure and which seems to indicate the king as mediator between the heavenly and earthly realms, if not the god manifest within the palace as the king himself. To this “Horus Name” of the monarch, other titles were later added, including the “Golden Horus” name in which a divine falcon is depicted upon the hieroglyphic sign for gold (201).
Since the king of Egypt was the `great house’ who protected his people, all the citizens of Egypt were under the protection of Horus. He was worshipped in many forms and in many different sites. Wilkinson notes that, “Horus was worshipped along with other deities in many Egyptian temples and imporant sites of his worship are known from one end of Egypt to the other” (203). His importance as the uniter of the two lands and maintainer of order made him a representation of the concept of balance which was highly valued by the Egyptians.