Egyptian god Seth, his characteristic and photo
Each culture has its own personifications of evil forces. They have a variety of guises and play an important role in the fate of people. And if there is no way to resist them, then you have to somehow get along with them and get along. The ancient Egyptian god Seth, one of the most powerful lords of the desert, was such a purely negative character of mythology.
Youth and power struggles
Unfortunately, since time immemorial, it so happened that worthy children are not always born to respectable parents. So, a highly respected couple - Hebe - the god of the earth and his wife, the beautiful Nuth - the mistresses of the sky - had a son who caused them a lot of trouble in childhood, and with age he finally put them to sorrow. As soon as he reached his youthful age, he was inflamed with a passion for Isis, the wife of his elder brother Osiris. In addition, he set out to remove him from the earthly throne, where he sat legally.To this end, the cunning god Seth took the following steps.
By his order, a wondrous beauty was made of a golden sarcophagus, the dimensions of which exactly corresponded to the growth and build of Osiris. Then one day a young intriguer gave a dinner party, to which, among other guests, he invited his brother. When the fun was in full swing, the servants brought the sarcophagus into the hall, and the owner of the house announced that he would give it to the person present who would fit in it with the greatest convenience.
Treachery under the guise of generosity
Such a valuable gift brought everyone to the excitement, and the guests began to fit in turn in the golden bowels. But, as we know, Seth was carrying on insidious plans, and when Osiris found himself inside a sarcophagus made according to his standards, he closed the heavy lid. Immediately the servants arrived and threw the unfortunate brother in his ill-fated ark into the Nile, where he was immediately caught by the current and carried to the shores of Phenicia.
Further events, as the ancient Egyptian mythology narrates, are like a poem about devotion, love and treachery. Beautiful Isis rejected the harassment of Seth and went in search of her husband. She found him in the coastal reeds, freed him from the sarcophagus and brought him home.But the cunning brother brought to the end his dirty deed - by drawing his sword, he cut the hapless Osiris into fourteen parts (no more and no less). In this criminal way, Seth seized the indivisible power over Egypt.
Court and the happy end of the story
But his joy was premature. It turned out that the brother he had killed had a son, also a god, named Gore. And now the nephew decides to take revenge on his uncle for the death of his parent, and at the same time to obtain the right to reign. Realizing that he alone can not cope, he takes the help of his friend - the solar Ra. Together they overcome the despicable fratricide, but, despite many wounds, he remains alive. Scoundrels are generally tenacious people ...
Then they (all three of them) appealed to the divine court so that he would decide whom to rule the world. It cannot be said that in those times justice would be accomplished faster than today. Their litigation lasted for eighty years and probably would have lasted even longer if, unexpectedly, the whole story did not come to a happy end. Miraculously, Osiris himself came alive from the dead. He became the owner and the supreme power, and the beautiful wife - the faithful Isis. Evil was punished.God Ra took his friend to heaven, but there he was prepared for a very unenviable role - to inspire fear in everyone. However, with this he did an excellent job.
Symbol of evil start
For all of what God has done, Seth has become the personification of chaos and disorder among the ancient Egyptians. The famous "Book of the Dead" to him ascribes all the troubles caused by hurricanes and storms. They were afraid of him and tried to appease him whenever possible. It is not surprising that in the vast celestial pantheon of one of the central figures was precisely the god Seth. The photo given at the beginning of the article represents one of the figures that have come down to us. There are quite a few such monuments. In different historical periods, the appearance of the deity changed, but it was always attached to the features of a certain animal.
Archaeological excavations carried out on the territory of Egypt show that worship began in prehistoric times. This is evidenced by sculptures and amulets found in various parts of the country, depicting Seth, the god of the desert. The earliest of these is the mace of one of the first pharaohs who lived in the fourth millennium BC.On it are clearly visible symbols, personifying the formidable master of evil forces.
Speaking about this character, it should be noted that such negative features were not always attached to him. In the early stages of his story, his image was much more attractive, and only over time he took on such a negative color. Historians tend to see the cause of such a metamorphosis in a series of political and social disasters, reflected in mythology, and, as a result, Seth - the god of Egypt - became their personification.
But it would be unfair to reduce his role solely to the manifestation of evil. When on the banks of the Nile they learned how to smelt iron, which at that time was the hardest of all known materials, it was given a name, which means “bone of Set”. The reason lies in the fact that this deity was attributed to the protection of all those who work with metals.
Assistant in military affairs
And one more important detail. As we already mentioned, Seth was one of the most formidable gods, but this quality impressed the bellicose Egyptian pharaohs in many ways. They saw in him the personification of strength and military power.From the myths that have come down to us, it is known that he possessed an excellent spear, and his main weapon was a giant mace. Before the start of hostilities, the rulers of the country have always tried to enlist his support. To this end, the priests developed an extensive range of ritual activities, including sacrifices.
It has long been observed that anyone, even the most bloodthirsty inhabitant of the heavenly pantheon, always had positive sides. Actually, the very concept of evil was considered as a necessary element for the expression of good - its antipode, and therefore carried a positive load. Seth - the Egyptian god, the symbol of chaos - was no exception. He was assigned an important role - to hit with a spear the terrible serpent Aropa, who attacked the boat of Ra, when he made his nightly voyages in the underworld. But on the whole, the bad reputation followed him relentlessly. No wonder, for example, it was considered extremely unwise to start a business on the day of his birth.
It is quite clear that they tried to live in peace with such a strong and unpredictable person. Seth and Horus - the Egyptian gods, equally distributed their influence on Upper and Lower Egypt.Therefore, each of them received honors in his part of the country. Nowadays, archaeological finds testify to the prevalence in the upper reaches of the Nile religious centers dedicated to Seth. The largest of them was in his homeland, in the city of Nubte. Also known is the place of worship in the ancient capital of the pharaohs Pi-Ramses.
Desert Lord's Visual Image
Seth, the god of ancient Egypt, in his images, as a rule, had the appearance of a creature with a human body and the head of some fantastic animal, similar to a donkey or anteater. The similarity was broken only by excessively large rectangular ears. However, there are other options. For example, the body of a predator with a long branched tail. In addition, he often appeared in the form of animals, the attitude to which was at that time in two ways. Among them are hippo, crocodile, hyena and even a pig. Obviously, the ancient artists were not constrained by a rigid canonical framework, and when creating an image, much depended on their imagination.
Egyptian myths say that Seth had red eyes and hair. This is not by chance. This color in the minds of people was associated with the hot sand of the desert, the master of which he was.It is curious that subsequently animals whose fur had a reddish tint, and even red-haired people were considered to be, to one degree or another, followers of this god. They were treated with caution and certainly tried to avoid quarrels with them.
Double Crown on the Lord's Brow
In order to protect themselves from the negative influence of the hostile forces, they made amulets depicting Set. The Egyptian god has always taken under the protection of their owners. In order to achieve its greatest possible position, a double crown was placed on the patron’s head - this symbolized the supreme power over the whole country and, of course, flattered him. There are not many such medallions, you can see them in various museums of the world.