Isis & the French Connection


In honor of Notre Dame de Paris (“Our Lady of Paris”), and in the expectation that She will indeed rise again in beauty, I offer this post on Our Lady’s extensive connections with the ancient city of Paris.

If you’ve read Isiac lore broadly, you’ve probably come across the idea that the city of Paris is named for Isis, presumably from Per- (the Egyptian word for “house” or “temple”) or Par- (French for “with”) and Her name, Isis. We find that notion in places like Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code and before him in David Wood’s 1986 book GenIsis: First Book of Revelations and before that in the musings of 17th century amateur “orientalists.”

Unfortunately, it ain’t so.

A Gallo-Roman Isis & Harpocrates

The name of France’s capital city comes from the Gaulish Parisii clan who had a settlement on what would become the Isle de la Cité, and along…

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