The Osirian legend, as we have already seen, was early accepted as symbolizing the conflict between good and evil.
Even in the oldest texts these beliefs are blended inextricably with the Osirian doctrines.
When Plutarch examined the Osirian myth (De Isid.
Herodotus constantly alludes to the most famous Egyptian myth,that of Osiris, and he recognizes the analogies between the Osirian myth and mysteries and those of Dionysus.
But we apply no such explanation to similar savage legends, and our theory is that the Osirian myth is only one of these retained to the time of Plutarch by the religious conservatism of a__race which, to the time of Plutarch, preserved in full vigour most of the practices of totemism.
That the Osirian myth (much as it was elaborated and allegorized) originated in the same sort of fancy as the Tacullie story of the dismembered beaver out of whose body things were made is a conclusion not devoid of plausibility.