Ancient Egypt

The Egyptian God Seth


Ancient Egypt Online Navigation

Seth, the god of chaos

Seth, the god of chaos

Seth the Egyptian God is also known as the god of chaos. According to popular Egyptian mythology it would certainly seem that he created plenty of mayhem and chaos. Seth was believed to have been born as a second son to Geb and Nut, grandchildren of the ancient Egyptian god Ra.

Seth, god of chaos is also often associated with thunder, the desert and infertility. Paintings and drawings of him usually depict him as having red hair. Tales differ in regards to whether Seth was evil from birth or became evil at some later point in history. It would appear that regardless of when it occurred, some of the ancient Egyptian people considered Seth the Egyptian god to be none other than evil incarnate.

Perhaps the most well renowned tale concerning Seth the Egyptian god and his evil deeds involves the murder of his brother, Osiris. The beginnings of this tale of treachery, deceit and murder vary, depending upon the folklore. Whatever the reason for the feud; there appears to be no doubt as to the outcome. After first drowning his brother in a coffin in the Nile River, Seth then hacked up Osiris' body and stashed the dismembered body parts all over the Egyptian desert. It appears unclear how she managed this, but Osiris' wife Isis managed to find most of her husband's body parts and bring him back to life long enough to conceive a son, Horus.

Later, Horus would seek to avenge the murderer of his father; Seth the Egyptian god. The two ancient Egyptian gods became embroiled in a battle resulting in injuries to both parties. Horus lost his left eye, however he managed to cut way Seth's testicles. The loss of his testicles is considered to be part of the reason why Seth is so often associated with infertility.

From this point, the final history of Seth the Egyptian god seems to have become a bit unclear. Some versions of Seth's story state that in a final act of vengeance, Horus is said to have exiled Seth to the desert for eternity. Other tales instead content that this decision was left up the ancient Egyptian gods and while there was some indecision among them; particularly in the case of Re who was Seth's grandfather, they finally chose to send Seth into exile.

Records also indicate, however; that according to popular Egyptian mythology Seth was known to protect Re's barge in the underworld, so perhaps he didn't spend all of eternity in the desert after all. In later Egyptian dynasties, some of the god chaos linked to Seth seems to have been forgotten and he gained some popularity. Surprisingly enough, some records even suggest that the number and variety of convoluted stories involving variances between the histories of Osiris, Seth and Horus may have been due to warring battles between cults seeking to establish their chosen deity as superior to others.

Copyright  2007 Ancient Egypt Online