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Ancient Egypt /
Religion
1. Introduction
2. Gods
3. Concepts
4. Cult
5. Cult centres
6. Necropolises
7. Structures

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Religion / Gods /
Seth



Seth.
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Seth.

Seth.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

In Acient Egyptian religion, god who was first venerated in northern Egypt, at Nubt, about 40 km north of modern Cairo.
Seth is presented in many different ways, in most cases as a dog-like figure, but also as antelope, ass, camel, fennec, jackal, mouse or pig.
According to Heliopolitan myths, Seth was son of Geb and Nut, and brother of Osiris and Isis.
In the myths, Seth undergoes an interesting development, which is strongly influenced by political incidents of Egypt. At first Seth was a god of normal qualities, a god of the sky, the desert, protector against storms and of warfare. For almost 2 millenniums he was a god of positive qualities, and many of the Pharaohs identified themselves with him, even naming themselves after him, as is the case of Seti 1.
But all through this period, we see the seed of what was to become: At the establishment of a unified Egypt around 3050 BCE, two gods representing different regions, Seth of northern Egypt, and Horus of southern Egypt, had to be reconciled. The solution to this could be to present the different gods together, something which didn't always happen.
But eventually negative qualities of Seth came to be accentuated, and more and more he was presented as a troublemaker. Not only did he break his own way out of the womb of his mother, but he soon came to be the murderer of his brother Osiris — thereby giving birth to the most famous of all Egyptian myths.
The result was that through the last millennium BCE, he was thrown out of the cult image, as well graphical representations around Egypt. He came to be the god of foreign parts, and since this was a world which became more and more threatening to Egypt, Seth became equally more and more evil. In this respect, Seth came to displace Apopis from Egypt's cult image.





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By Tore Kjeilen