On the other hand, Osiris with Isis and Horus was everywhere honoured and popular, and while the artificer Ptah, the god of the great native capital of Egypt, made no appeal to the imagination, the Apis bull, an incarnation of Ptah, threw Ptah himself altogether into the shade in the popular estimation.
About 80 B.C. Sulla founded an Isiac college in Rome, but their altars within the city were overthrown by the consuls no less than four times in the decade from 58 to 48 B.e., and the worship of Isis at Rome continued to be limited or suppressed by a succession of enactments which were enforced until the reign of Caligula.
For the story of Isis and Osiris we have indeed the late treatise ascribed to Plutarch, and a few fragments of other myths may be culled from earlier native sources.
Like Aphrodite and Adonis in Syria, Baal and Astarte at Sidon, and Isis and Osiris in Egypt, the Great Mother and Attis formed a duality which symbolized the relations between Mother Earth and her fruitage.
Plutarch in his treatise on Isis and Osiris well exemplifies this standpoint: for him every god and every rite is symbolic of some natural or moral truth.
Here were represented Isis and Serapis, Helios, the Mother of the Gods, the Fates, Demeter and Persephone; but no trace of these temples remains.
This ancient instrument was extensively used by the priests in the temple of Isis to attract the attention of worshippers to different parts of the ritual.
For information as to Ammon, Anubis, Apis, Bes, Bubastis, Buto, Isis and Thoth, reference must be made to the special articles on these gods.
The more ancient account survived, however, he myth that Osiris, Horus, Seth, Isis and Nephthys (a less who plays but a minor part in the Osiris cycle) were all Iren of the earth-god Keb and the sky-goddess Nut, born on five consecutive days added on at the end of the year (the flied epagomenal days).
They again gave birth to Keb and Nut, from whom ieir turn sprang Osiris and Seth, Isis and Nephthys.