Letter writer: The name of Isis goes back to ancient Egypt

Graphic by Lori Deaton

This letter is in response to Kent Purser’s letter in the March 25 Xpress regarding the ISIS Theater on Haywood Road in West Asheville [“Citizens of Asheville, It’s Time to Connect the Dots”]. I, too, grew up in West Asheville and saw many movies at the ISIS in the 1950s.

The name is not something new, nor is it related to the terrorist group. The name Isis goes back to ancient Egypt. Isis was an Egyptian goddess and was worshiped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic.

Mr. Purser, have you seen a doctor about your paranoia? I don’t think moving to South Carolina will solve your problems.

— Brenda C. Webber
Asheville

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One thought on “Letter writer: The name of Isis goes back to ancient Egypt

  1. Francoise

    The name Isis is a Greek approximation of the ancient Egyptian name of Iset, Aset or AST. Nearly everyone who has studied ancient Egyptian history or religion knows well enough that the Greeks approximated what they learned from the actual Egyptians into their own language and had this really annoying tendency to overlay some of their own deities onto those of the Egyptians in a sort of synchretization.

    In the early days of Egyptology, since most educated people studied Greek and Latin, it was the Greek approximations were what were used when talking about the gods and goddesses. Aset and Wasir became Isis and Osiris. Heru became Horus. Even though we know a lot more about the language and transliterations than we did in Champollion’s day and even the days of Sir E.A. Wallis Budge, it would seem that we are absolutely stuck with linguistic and religious hack job given to us by the early Greeks.

    Also, it should be stated that most people, especially Americans, don’t even know how to say the name Isis correctly. The letter “I” is pronounced “EE” in Greek. It is not EYE-suhs. It is EEES-ees.

    Your comparison is like saying that many of the Anglicanized words that came from Indigenous languages that were pre-existing before European settlers is the same. It isn’t

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