March 14, 2012

Horus and Seth Battle Part 2/3

Horus and Seth Battle Episode 2/3
Later, when Horus God had matured, Seth God challenged him to single combat. Isis decorated her son’s boat with gold and prayed for his success (one is reminded of Achilles’ mother’s efforts on his behalf just before his great battle with Hector). Seth God took the form of a red hippopotamus and prepared for battle on Elephantine Island at Aswan. With his great voice like thunder he used his power over storms as a terrible weapon. The waves and wind tossed Horus’ boats about, but the young god stood fast at the prow and led his followers through the worst of the storm. At the point of blackest darkness, the foam of the waters made the golden boat shine like the rays of the sun.

Horus and Seth battle
As the storms lessened, the two gods began their long-due battle, which is said to have lasted three days. Somehow during the confusion Seth God wrested Horus’ left eye from his head, perhaps because he disguised himself as a black pig and tricked Horus God into letting him get close. Horus God redoubled his efforts and recaptured his eye, which later he was to feed to Osiris to ensure his eternal life. Horus God revenged himself upon Seth God for this injury by seizing the red god and pulling off his testicles.

At one point in the fighting Horus God gained the upper hand and tied up his adversary. He asked Isis to guard Seth God while he went in pursuit of the enemy army, but Seth God tricked Isis with sweet words about her duty to her brother. Finally, Isis felt so guilty she loosened Seth’s ropes and allowed him to escape. When Horus God discovered what had been done, he was so outraged that he cut his mother’s head from her body with one blow of his knife. Fortunately Thoth was nearby and quickly replaced her missing head with the horns and solar disk of Hathor, which explains why in some depictions Isis wears Hathor’s head and headdress.

With Seth God at large again, Horus God had to return to battle. A young god eight cubits tall (almost fourteen feet), he held a harpoon whose blade measured four cubits. He handled this mighty weapon as if it weighed no more than a reed. This time, when he sighted his long-time foe, he aimed with all his skill. The first cast caught the red hippopotamus full in the head and entered his brain. Finally, after years of battles, Horus God had avenged the humiliation of his father, and Isis could rest.

The Satiric Version
In the second version the action centers not on physical combat, but on a court trial. Battles do occur, surely, but they are intertwined with some of mythology’s more bizarre court scenes.

The gods assembled at Heliopolis as a court to hear the plea of young Horus God against his uncle, Seth God. Atum-Ra sat in the chair as chief judge, and Thoth was the main spokesman for the young god. The dilemma before the court was whether Horus God should receive Osiris’ position on earth because he was the blood heir, or whether Seth God should receive it because he was stronger, older, and fit to rule. Shu and others argued: “Justice should prevail over sheer strength. Deliver judgment saying ‘Give the office to Horus.’ ”

But Atum-Ra was not happy. Fearing Seth’s warlike character, and knowing that his retaliation if the case went against him would be more troublesome than anything Horus God could attempt, he wanted to appease the red god and was angry with the court for giving in to Horus God so easily. Seth God then proposed that he and Horus God resolve the issue through trial by combat, but Thoth asked the court if it would not be better to try to find out who was right and who was wrong rather than leaving the decision to a fight. The arguments before this court presented the classic case for civilization versus barbarism, a theme that runs throughout much of Egyptian mythology.

When Osiris asked if there were some approach other than combat, the gods decided that they were trying to settle the case with insufficient information, and that they would write to Neith, an ancient goddess renowned for her wisdom, to request her guidance. At once Thoth, as secretary of the gods, composed a letter that concluded: “What are we to do about these two fellows who have now been before the court for eighty years without our being able to decide between them? Please write and tell us what to do.” Neith replied that the court should give Osiris’ position to Horus, and mollify Seth God by offering him a couple of minor goddesses to dally with.

The court was pleased with this compromise and immediately decided Neith had great wisdom.

When Atum-Ra still refused to agree with the court, the other gods grew increasingly angry with him. Over the uproar, one god screamed at Atum-Ra:

Your shrine is empty!” Such an insult, of course, could not pass unnoticed, and Atum-Ra went sulking back to his house where he lay on his back without talking to anyone. Hathor, his daughter saw that something had to be done for the old god and decided to tease him out of his ill humor. She danced in front of him whipped up her gown, and suddenly bared her private parts before his startled eyes. Atum-Ra laughed out loud and returned to court in a better frame of mind.

He commanded the opponents to debate the matter in open court, where Seth God and Horus God repeated the old arguments. When the court agreed with Seth God , Isis became angry and the court assured her that Horus God would win the position. Seth God , furious with his sister, told Atum-Ra that he would have nothing more to do with the court as long as Isis was around to influence it. Atum-Ra decided that a change in venue was in order and moved the court to an island. The ferryman, Anty, was ordered not to take Isis or anyone who looked like her across the water.

Related Web Search :
  • Horus God
  • Horus God of War
  • Seth God
  • Egyptian God of Evil and Chaos
  • Ancient Egyptian Gods
  • Ancient Egyptian Gods And Goddesses
  • Ancient Egyptian Gods for Kids
  • List Of Ancient Egyptian Gods

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