Dying Fertility Gods

Many ancient Near Eastern religions have gods born of virgins who die and are resurrected annually. Richard Shand has a page on Egyptian and Pagan themes in Christian Tradition.

Osiris [Oziris]

Egyptian god who represented the dead Pharaoh. He was the god of dying and resurrecting nature, the judge of the dead, and was represented as a mummy. Product of a virgin birth.

For more on Osiris see the University of Colorado page.

The official Egyptian tourism page also has Osiris materials.

Tammuz [Fammuz]

A Sumerian/Akkadian god of fertility who died and was resurrected. Mentioned in Ezekiel 8:14. The Phoenecians lived in what is today Lebanon. Product of a virgin birth.

More on Tammuz at Richard Shand's page.


The central god in the Babylonian pantheon, patron of the city, which is today located in Iraq. Marduk was god of air, earth, and fertility.


A Phoenecian/Syrian god who was adopted by the Greeks as well. A vegetative resurrecting god.



A Phrygian god adopted by the Greeks. He was tied with a fertility cult through his mother. Product of a virgin birth.

Mithras [Mitra]

From Avestan/Old Iranian. A Persian god whose cult flourished through the Roman Empire from about 50 AD. He was on the side of Ahuramazda in the Persian pantheon against Ahriman. Product of a virgin birth.

2nd Century limestone relief, Rome (Cincinnati Art Museum)

David Ulansey's Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras