Originally posted on LJ on Dec 23, 2009
I’ve just finished reading Seth, God of Confusion by Te Velde, which you can find on scribd.com. The book itself is somewhat dated (I believe it’s from the 70’s), but considering it’s age, Te Velde treats the Egyptian religion with quite a bit of respect, as compared to many other authors I’ve read. Some of the things he’s talked about conflicts with other books I’ve read, and it makes it hard to tell which is correct, and which isn’t. For the most part, it seems that we’ll never fully know what happened, and what caused the mythology to form as it did. Many people theorize that the contendings of Set and Heru are based off of wars btwn Upper and Lower Egypt, however he says this theory isn’t well supported or grounded.
Overall, the book really hit home to be sure and question what I read. It also made me sad in knowing that we’ll probably never know what happened. And fighting about it seems pretty dumb (yet lots of people do it).
Another reason why I particularly liked the book is because it talked about a lot of things that I have never gotten the chance to read elsewhere. He talks about a Heru-Set deity, where the two are merged, he talks about how Heru and Setekh came to an understanding and reconciliation after the contendings, how we really don’t know how Asar was killed (the story we know is from Plutarch) and multiple other things that no one else seems to divulge. It’s like people want to make a scapegoat, and don’t want us to know the full extent of things. But who knows, maybe it’s just not interesting content to the avg. egyptologist.
There were two big downfalls to me. One was that, when he’d quote an author, it was left in the original language. So often times, I’d be missing out on whole paragraphs of information, because it was in French or German. The other thing was the chapter about Setekh killing Asar. To me, he didn’t go overly in depth with this chapter, which makes me sad, because I was interested to see things from another perspective. Esp. when he mentioned that Djehuty could have played a part in the murder/death of Asar. He also didn’t go into the mythology that predates the version that we know- of Setekh killing Asar, and overall, I feel it was the weakest chapter out of the whole book.
So if you’re interested in learning more about Setekh, I’d recommend the book. It covers a pretty decent span of knowledge, and can offer different perspectives to the stories we think we know. It’s a shame that there aren’t more books written on this content in particular, because I’d love to learn more about it.