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The Interpretation of the Horus-Myth of Edfu Author(s): J. Gwyn Griffiths Source: The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 44 (Dec., 1958), pp. 75-85 Published by: Egypt Exploration Society Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3855067 . Accessed: 07/05/2011 11:01
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Kultlegende und Urgeschichte (Nachr. Although the captives depicted in Hierakonpolis. which Imhotep directs to be cut up. GWYN GRIFFITHS VERY divergent explanations have so far been offered of this version of the conflict of Horus and Seth. 3 AncientEgypt. i i. also to the late Professor A. I7. M. Mythe d'Horus. the reference to the original Imhotep is present only in so far as he had by this time become the half-deified type of sacred scribe. 40-46. and it is clear that a similar comparisonmight be made with episodes from the lives of a number of Egyptian kings.Newberry takes this as an era dating: 'It gives the number of years from the establishment of the monarchy by the Horus-king Menes to the time of the outbreakof the Set rebellion recorded in the text. Newberry compares the statement from the Edfu text. W. there is no inscription describing the conquest.' Meyer's restorationof a part of the Annals Stone is followed. Edfou. 1922. The correlationseems good enough as it stands. but hardly a symbol of Seth's country. argues Newberry. with the record on a fragment of a stela of Khasekhem. Naville takesit to refer to the architectof part or whole of the Edfu temple. Imhotep. pl. if it were presumed that the ancient annalists recorded the reign of Khasekhemui only from the time he united the whole country.II. 345. in front of Imhotep is a figure who is cutting up a hippopotamus. and Kees. 1930).2 Newberry3believed that the Edfu story is in essentials a record of the Seth-rebellion of Peryebsen in the Second Dynasty. and Newberry takes the animal to represent the 'country of Set'. Imhotep. 2 See especiallyKees. In Naville.5 The hippopotamus is doubtless a Sethian animal here. 5 Cf. he saw a representation of King Djoser's vizier. Sethe. Blackman. cit. Fairman for criticisms and suggestions. The inscription4above refers to him as 'the chief lector. On the whole. 9. . but even the small difference involved could be accounted for.(75) THE INTERPRETATION OF THE HORUS-MYTH OF EDFU' By J. But it is doubtful whether this is the Imhotep of Djoser's time. commemoratingthat king's conquest of Nubia. 'reading from a scroll as though he were actually reading a record of the war written in the lines of inscription in front of him'. G6ttingen. with whom I readthe texts. The Edfu rebellion is dated in the 363rd year of Harakhti. the tendency has been to reject the original view that the legend reflects a cult war in favour of the view that it incorporatesan early historical tradition. scribe of the god's book'. Again. 4 Chassinat. vi. This is altogether too ingenious. pl. that the rebellion arose when the Horus-king was with his army in Nubia. op. I I am indebted to Professor H. whereby 375 years are counted from the accession of Menes to the beginning of the reign of Khasekhemui -a difference of twelve years from the era date at Edfu. 58 are probably meant to be Nubians. 87.
. Kees8 marks out as the two chief features of the legend: (i) The driving out of Seth over the north-east boundary near Sile.. 2. and his subsequent association with the arch-enemy of Egypt. hunters of the hippopotamus. i. hated in the falcon-cities. suggests vaguely that historical reminiscences may be conserved in the legend of Mesen. 3rd edn. 2. Sethe's view that the Msntyw are 'harpooners'. and Fairman in JEA 2I. i. I'. Alt. Fairman. 7 H. claims that these legends have no historical value' is an exaggeration of that scholar's position. the god being connected with the hereditaryAsiatic enemy. Op. 10 This is already the case with Geb's second verdict in the Denkmal memphitischerTheologie. . This may be the result of his becoming the state-god of the Hyksos. 2. W. R. H. W. n.76 J. e. each with its special doctrine and festival calendar. egyptol. n. 355. he follows Brugschin claimingthe struggle to be a theological one in which the scenes of conflict are the nomes where Seth has a sanctuaryand partisans. 'Harpoon-City'. Blackman and Fairman in JEA 28. See Gardiner and Gunn. §§ 181.a much-needed study of the myth in the way of translationand commentary. An historical element is introduced by Maspero2 in the theory that the followers of Horus of Edfu. Both Meyer4 and Junker5claim that the myth reflects the original conflict between Horus and Seth which they place in predynastic times. (2) The conflict with the cults of the crocodile and the hippopotamus. 44. op. GWYN GRIFFITHS Brugsch' would base the legend on the polemics of the local priestly societies. Junker. Semitic Asia. der letzte Schlag in dem Kampf der Unteraigypter des Reiches von Damanhur gegen die Oberagypter des Reiches von Ombos gefallen sei . His temporary return to power in the Ramesside period was followed by a general persecution. Gesch. but reserveshis own opinion for a future statement. translated 'Smiths'. 313 ff. 2 I77. in Bibl.g. otherwise. . daB wirklich in Edfu. 6 H. am damaligen Siidende des Landes. the name frequently applied to Edfu in the legend. H. Ancient History of the Near East. He dwells on the early identification of Seth with the foreign land or the desert. inJEA 21. the Msntyw. which would have been very strong under the bigoted orthodoxy of the Ethiopic rule.9 but argues against connecting the legend generally with predynastic or early dynastic events.. cit. Meyer.' 4 E. I Abh. 8 3 9 It is doubtful whether Seth was the god of foreign countries as early as the Old Kingdom. Hall. is now generally accepted. Kees. 29. . In § i6i he states: 'Man k6nnte denken. Onurislegende. c'Ltudes de mythologie et d'archeologie egyptiennes'. His statement that 'Kees.. I4 (I868-9). 349. 28. JEA 5. R.3 on the other hand. Blackman. cit. Sethe. G6ttingen. which forms the kernel of the harpoon-myth and is skilfully interwoven with the destruction of all the Sethian cult-places in Egypt.20. 2. Fairman..e. He points out that in the early texts Horus and Seth are described as sharing Egypt between them. 5 H. 94. regardsNewberry's opinion as 'attractiveand plausible'. 'The Myth of Horus at Edfu.7who completed. Urgeschichte. M. 32-33 give prominence to Sethe's view. n. now Horus is given the wholeI0and Seth is driven out. Hall6 thinks that the myth is a late working-up of historical reminiscencesof the arrivalof the Upper Egyptians from Nubia and the south. §§ I55-62. II. I99. with A. are connected with an African people who became dominant through the discovery of the use of iron weapons.
But the difficulty of defining this substratum is great. more vividly. 84. 3 E. Save-Soderbergh' has pointed to earlier instances of hippopotamus-huntingbeing representedor alluded to. The Ptolemaic texts of Edfu and Denderah show that the Horus-cities led in this persecution. To these facts emphasized by Kees may be added the manifest difference in the conception of the kingship. 348. At least three Horuses are prominent in the Edfu account-Horus of Behdet. He wisely refrains from suggesting that the hippopotamus at this stage represents Seth. its connexions are other than prehistoric. cit. In the Pyramid Texts the king is sometimes represented as an incarnationof Horus and Seth. J. op. which is often followed by a vengeful sacrificialmeal. 13.' Cf. A referenceto the latter experience is found by him in the use of the word Mdy. There is no such fusion of the two gods in the Edfu legend. Horus of Behdet. is equally cautious. must be placed at least in the New Kingdom. It may be argued. cit. cit. op. i. Uppsala. Re' moors his barque there.and Horus of Behdet is his chief guardian god. brought 142 enemies before Re(: 'He slew them with his knife and gave their inner parts to those who were in his following and gave their flesh to every god and goddess who was in this barque of Re( on the bank of Hebenu.THE INTERPRETATION OF THE HORUS-MYTH OF EDFU 77 Kees must be granted to have demonstrated at least that if the legend is based on history. On p. Heliopolis and Pr-rh42 are no longer importantin the topographyof the conflict. vi. .4At the same time he sees in the whole myth the impress of two great historical experiences. 65. 7 if. but without the ancient details. and that the matter which conserves the early conflict is only a thin substratum or a bare outline. especially the Legend of the Winged Disk. which is so important an element. 4 s See Chassinat. The interpretationoffered by Kees is that parts of the myth. frequently appears in this legend as the representativeof Lower Egypt. which is never the case in the early literature. 121. is completely degraded in a manner which would not have been possible in any text originating from the Old Kingdom. 119. Seth. 2 According to Chassinat. Op. the expulsion of the Hyksos and. the expulsion of the Persians. according to Chassinat. The king is ReI-Harakhti. The mutilation of the eye of Horus does not figure in the action. I7 he cites an example which is probably prehistoric: it is on a schist palette (fig. VI. 12 and 215. 1953). VI.3paralleledin the Pyramid Texts only by the sacrificialeating of the bull. ibid. 65. 30. but not so Wainwright. E. 8 ff. 214. and the Edfu legend includes among the cities which supported such an attitude the cities of Osiris and Min. Edfou. 127. Horus the son of Isis. Seth. since it is not only the theology that is different. vi. Baumgartel. on the other hand. and Gehesti and Nedeyet are not mentioned. 68. The Sky-Religion in Egypt. 33-35. 8) now in the Egyptian Museum at Stockholm.g. i i6. of course. but no fighting takes place. The persecution of the cults of the hippopotamus and crocodile.5 which he translates 'Mede' I On Egyptian Representationsof Hippopotamus Hunting as a Religious Motive (Horae Soederblomianae. Ii. and this can be construed as a clue to the historical meaning of the political unity achieved after the predynastic conflict. and ii. 2.. reflect a cult feud ratherthan a political conflict. he says. The Cultures of Prehistoric Egypt. that all these differences are accretions contributed by a late theology. a personal combat between Seth and Horus of Behdet is described. but the topography of the quarrel and the main details of the action. generally there is only a mass attack on the crocodiles and the hippopotami. but a Sethian meaning is not clearly attested before the New Kingdom. and Horus the Elder.
' For Horus son of Isis. As this is the main point in Kees's 'Persian' interpretation. Mdy! It was said as a challenge. which was identified by Schaiferwith the word Mdy as used in the Nastesen inscription. Horus and Seth? And Thoth answered. The particularreference to the Persians is.'4 Now the foreign-land determinative supports the view that Mdy means 'Mede'.6 The opening. Griffith. It was formerly thought that the Coptic -t&Toi was derived from the Egyptian Md.' Wb. however. 3. perhaps. On the other hand. GWYN GRIFFITHS and which Sethe had connected with the Coptic s^tTol 'soldier'. to this section of the legend. it suggests. for one thing. suggesting that the meaning 'soldier' developed from the meaning 'Mede'. I09. 41-42. 7 ff. ii. See H. he would not be ridiculing Horus by calling him a 'Mede'. 177 (2i) knows Mdy. 214. It does not apparently record the present word. Seth said to Horus. Let us call the Mdyw with the names of the foreign countries. n. Spuren der Perserherrschaftin der spdteren dgyptischenSprache (Nachr. LI. Rylands Papyri. What is this they are speaking of. connects the Coptic iatoi with the Egyptian Mdy. It must be confessed that a number of places mentioned in the description of the drive northwards seem to owe their prominence to cult propagandaand conflict. Horus said to Seth. Io. 31 9. it probably denotes armed Egyptian soldiers. Applied as the term is to Horus and his followers. and results in the driving of the enemies into the sea. does not pretend to be mythological. at least. The struggle against Seth is led by the 'King of Upper and Lower Egypt.it cannot be said that his position is well founded. see vi. 128. cit. 'Re( said to Thoth. 47. 1916). 7 Ibid. 105. it would be no insult to give them foreign names. VI. if they did mean 'Medes'. Action in Nubia is also mentioned later on. Gottingen. further. JEA 3. 5.: 'And Horus of Behdet was in the barque of R<.7The campaign begins near Edfu.5Horus of Behdet and Horus son of Isis are only his assistants. Schaifer. as an epithet of Seth. 4 Chassinat. this meaning yields very poor sense. and for Md4y see F. 12-215. 124 ff. It is disconcerting. The Late Egyptian idiom of the section about the 'Red Hippopotamus' may be an argument for Kees's interpretationof that section.y. with its description of the king's return from Nubia. as a part of the general campaign against Seth and his confederates.78 J. The I Chassinat. 4 ff. 6 Ibid. however. that the term Mdy is applied to Horus and not to Seth.But in the passage quoted. it is true. at least originally.Die aethiopischeKonigsinschrift 2 des Berliner Museums. 214. 120. I2: 'Seth said. 3 Sethe. in company with other differences. 2 ff. the view here put forwardas to the meaning of Mdy in this context would involve giving a still later date. that the various parts of the myth may diverge greatly in origin and meaning. VI. Come. 2. Seth is not mentioned in connexion with the first reference to Nubia. The Mdyw are here clearly equated with the Egyptians. op.3 The present passage. and that Mdy here means 'soldier'. Edfou. Re(-Harakhti'.' even if the appellation is scornful. and Gardiner.2 Sethe. 9. A challenge to the name of the Egyptians from Seth. If Seth truly represents the Persian invader. The Winged Disk There are certain facts about the legend of 'The Winged Disk' which suggest that it may be historical. s Ibid. strongly suggests that this development has alreadytaken place. doubtful. written with the Seth-animal as a determinative. .
conventional writing of the dual: see Wb. 4 See Junker. 6. n. Kees. cit. as far as I know. 3I. therefore.7 is placed near Meret. 70.§ 49. but this is very doubtful. loc. Sethe. 12 " Chassinat. Ceremonial Slate Palettes. 6I : 'The Ritual of Repelling the Evil One.and 'The Houseof the Two Rivals' in casthimon the groundI" thistown. 4. There is no trace here of the alleged association of Seth with the Persians.bt. A prominent feature which is in favour of viewing the conflict as a cult feud is the theological etymologizing with which the story is constantly punctuated. 123. Urk. I07. for example. The occasional double j may be due to the thier.' 14 Chassinat.THE INTERPRETATION OF THE HORUS-MYTH OF EDFU 79 nome of Denderah' had a feather over the crocodile as its sign. I i6. Horus und Seth. 6. A great slaughter and sacrificeare said to take place in Trw. 6 See Kees. 2:'Re' said to Horus of Behdet. 119. VI. op. 2-3). takes it in that way. loc. I23. that we may drive the enemies as crocodiles and hippopotami from Egypt. op. cit.rw and Hnt-i. is known for the falcon over the gazelle in its nome-sign. I ff. vi. II8. 5 Chassinat. 31. the struggle near Meret contains the episode: his war ThenHorusof Behdet waged withthe enemyfora longtime. used of Denderah itself. see and p. 8. cit. op. 10 Accepting Fairman's plausible emendation. 6: 'He saw them to the north-east of the nome of Denderah. op. op. op. I3 Ibid. 128.He hurled spearat him. vi. op. op.' 16 . 5 ff. Dict. 7 ff. as the triumph of Osiris over Seth.37-38. VI.3 where a fight is staged. 127. 43. vi. 115.. cit. JEA 21. 30. 126. 2 Mariette. vi. 8-9. 14. i i8. cit. The same impression is given by the naming of festivals and their times. geog. cit. 'the beginning of the East'. II. I27. With the exception of T.'4 also called Hnt-aibt and this culminatesin the . i ff. 3. 78. VI. II. The name may occur on a predynastic palette. vi. One is the prominence of the nome of Sile in the account. although Fairman. JEA 21. 2 ff. I14.I2 and by the ritual emphasis of such a comment as this on the victory of Horus: He has acted accordingto the book of repellingthe hippopotamus. The text itself is suggestive of a cult quarrel: 'They reached the water of the nome of Meret.4 The latter has well-attested associations with Meret5 in the Oxyrhynchite nome. II. vi. would read it. I2I. vi. Ibid. explained with reference to Horus and Seth. 3 ff.andit is called (Pr-rhwy)to I this day. such as Naref8 and St-i. 8 Chassinat.6 Pr-rhwy. and Fairman. Cf. It is probably to be read Pr-rhwy and not Pr-rhhwy as GauII. 123. The sacred marriage between Horus of Edfu and Hathor of Denderah ensured local hostility to Seth and the crocodile. cit. and Fairman. 9 Chassinat. 7 Chassinat.I5 Hnt-ibt. cit. n.2 Hebenu. and vi. 441 and 442. Cf. and that confederacy of Seth which is in this town' (Chassinat. 119. Let us sail to the sea. 23.b-i. where a great slaughter is said to take place. Ibid. I9 I4. 6. VI. Cf. § 6i. 3 Chassinat. Schott. I i8. Sethe. vi. Urgeschichte. op. op. which figure in the final phases of the struggle. Kees. the other places mentioned. 3. cit. cit. at least in late times. and this was interpreted. and Fairman. such as the 'festival of rowing' in Pr-rhwy. II. cit. 33. 121. op. Is Ibid. in following Brugsch's belief that the conflict represented in this section of the legend is in the main a cult conflict. III. vi. Denderah. op. but there are some reasons for claiming that the expulsion of the Hyksos has left a subsidiary impression on the legend. complete expulsion of the enemies from Egypt. 2. 7 ff. The sign appears thus in Chassinat.9 are associated with Osiris and Horus. cit. G Petrie.' The writing is not. cit. Onurislegende.'6 I I Ibid. 44-45.13 One must agree with Kees. JEA 21. cit.
cf. I100. 10. had gained general recognition. Montet. in spite of the proximity of cities which supported the cult of Horus. and its presence in the Edfu account can hardly be explained on the lines of cult propaganda. lord of heaven. ruler of the mh-s-crown.. io-i . I. cf. who protects the cities. I73*5* seems a little more hesitant about their identification. 72. i. I take hold of the crook and the flail as the lord of this land.. protector who protects the cities and the nomes. In the more avowedlyritualistic section on 'The Triumph of Horus' there is a suggestion of the same idea. Urgeschichte. Kees in Das alte Agypten. who has driven Seth from Lower Egypt. and ibid. vi. . defender who defends Egypt against the Northerners. which the Horus-myth demands. in its reference to a subjugation of Lower Egypt and the subsequent unification of the whole country-corresponding broadly to the achievement of the Upper Egyptian regime which drove out the Hyksos-is the statement that Horus is 'the lion who presides in T. wall of copper A monument of Ramesses II at Tanis is explained thus. and Budge.rw was formerly taken to be Tanis.3 The ejection of Seth via T.. whose arms are stretched around Upper and Lower Egypt. 65. 5.5 Politically more precise. goodly defender of the Two Lands and of the Banks. King of the Kings of Upper and Lower Egypt. PiRacmesse and Tanis are mentioned separately in the Onomasticon of Amenope.80 J.4 He is 'the goodly watchman in the Two Lands and the Banks. In the same nome was Tanis. I seize the Two Lands with the Double Crown. in ZAS 43. cf. 7-8: 'Horus of Behdet. T?rw is placed near Ismailia by Steindorff. Kees. 72. 2-3.§ 78. excellent ruler. Urgeschichte. 84. 244. and other places in the North-east Delta is exhaustively discussed by GardinerinJEA that Avaris. Edfou. Urgeschichte. . 6.rw. the lion who presides in T. Sile near ElKantara. 242 ff. Tanis or San-el-Hagar. 73.since certain centres of the cult of Seth must have remained unaffected by the persecution inculcated in the myth. Sethe.. I overthrow the enemy of my father Osiris as King of Upper and Lower Egypt for ever and ever. 71. the falcon. and Dja(net were successive names of the same place.was the place where the caravan-routeleft Egypt for Palestine and which was naturallythe point of influx for invaders and the point for an Egyptian frontier fortress against Asia. Die dgyptischen Gaue. 361. Pi-ra'messe. GWYN GRIFFITHS was the name of the i4th Lower Egyptian nome. but with a difference: here the expulsion is seen in triumphant retrospect. and 19. who defends the nomes. n. II.. where he comes eventually to the conclusion lawing of crocodile and hippopotamus. I22 ff. great in might in Pe and Mesen. Geographiedel'Jgypte ancienne.' Avaris was probably on or near the site of Tanis. Ibid. 193 if. Lord of Upper and Lower Egypt..rw may be said to be the culminating point of the legend of 'The Winged Disk'. The Suchos-cult especially was secure in the Upper Thebaid. lord of the fm<-s-crown. Cf. ibid.2 The Expulsion of Seth from Egypt It is hard to avoid the conclusion that in the references to the triumphant ejection of Seth from the country there are embodied reminiscences of the expulsion of the Hyksos. 2 The geography of Tanis. ruler of rulers.rw'. Horus und Seth. great god. and its capital Trw. 864 ff. his Mesen-city being their leader'. where it is stated that there is no clear evidence that the out- 3. falcon great in might.99 ff. Erman. Avaris. Horus of Behdet is'the lion who presides in Hnt-ibt. 1-3: 'Horus of Behdet . and Gardiner in AEO II. Sethe. Kultlegende u. 94ff. The Gods of the Egyptians. 127ff.' This exclusive kingship of Horus is very different from the reconciliatory double kingship portrayed sometimes in the Pyramid Texts. T. 4 Chassinat. No such ejection occurs in the early accounts of the quarrel. the protector who protects Egypt'. 187. o109expresses the view that Pi-Ra'messe was in Tanis and that Avaris was closely adjacent to Tanis. which is known to have been a centre of government of the Hyksos. For its location at Sile see Kees. 3 Cf. see Gardiner's survey in JEA 5.
and Cermy on the still earlier cult of the god in the Delta. see Schott's note ad loc. 6. 3. More significant for the interpretationof 'The Winged Disk' and 'The Triumph of Horus' is the fact that the struggle between the Hyksos and the Egyptians who expelled them seems to have been regarded partly as a struggle between Rec and Seth. and in the story of the 'Red Donkey' the fight occurs in the ioth Upper Egyptian nome (op.. the heart of Re. 12.3 Seth was worshipped from early times in the North-east Delta. 11-12. 5. vi. as in early times. 55. translates 'qui regnaient sans connaitre Re<'. I3. Horus of Behdet is himself but 'the image of Re in Upper Egypt'. 29. I. 390.2 By a process of syncretism the Hyksos made the Seth-religion the religion of the state. II. I I-12. Les^Hyksos et le monde de la Bible. III. § 148. I I3. 2. VI. 2. Gunn inJ EA 5. VI. cit. the story of the 'Red Hippo2 potamus' has its centre in Edfu and Elephantine. Dendara. cit. I op. I-2. cf. Urk. Mayani. but 'connaitre'.64 describes both this statement and that in P. 7 and Chassinat. vi. cit.' Cf. and did not serve any god which was in the entire land except Setekh. 71. Kultlegende u. The story of the quarrel of Apophis and Seknenredillustrates this. 9..Sallier I as 'a propagandist exaggeration'. Kees. op. op. O10 Chassinat. in this system of theology. see Chassinat. This is my image in Upper Egypt. 220. Serv. 43 ff. 322. 6 Gardiner. P. Kultlegende u. 358. I. from a much later period. 86.40: 'Then King Apophis took Setekh to himself 2-3. op. 9. so that the invaders may have only renewed the cult in that region and joined it with one of their own. For the falcon as the ba of Re'. On Egyptian Representations of HippopotamusHunting etc.4 An example of the identification of Seth and Baal occurs in the Edfu myth. Ann. VII. Dendara. I0. Save-Soderbergh inJEA 37. 135. B 6533 . It is stressed that Seth or Sutekh is the god of Apophis. 111. 120. 19. cit. both at Edfu and at Philae. Urgeschichte. Its position as the Lower Egyptian counterpartof Edfu is explained in relationto a victory over Seth. Urgeschichte. II. Gunn suggests that the meaning implies their refusal to act by means of a divine oracle. 42 ff. 295 ff. 353. II. Kees. The and name of SeknenreT the mention of Re-Harakhti6 and Amenre7 indicate that Rec in some form is regardedas the rival deity.9 Re'-Harakhtidescribes him as 'the son of Re(. vi. 92. 5-6..I2 In the narrative of 'The Winged Disk'. M lam indebted to Blackman for the references to Chassinat. VI. 7 Ibid. 2). describingher reconstructionafter the havoc wrought by the Hyksos. as Blackman pointed out to me.' 4 See Junker in ZAS 75. 87.. Junker. For a new interpretation of the story see Save-Soderbergh.1 Sile is now a frontier fort against Asia. in spite of the prominence of Horus of Behdet and the other Horuses in the Edfu myth. iv.28. it is Rec who is its theological mainspring. See Kees. which Breasted suggested. III. VI. WZKM 26. III. on the cult at Sethroe. 170. cit. watchman of his Lower Egyptian Mesen'.10 According to a text edited by Schott. 44. 12 Chassinat. trans.8 It is indeed clear that.' See also Fairman's note. 8 Urk. 9 Chassinat. Late-Egyptian Stories. 3 Cf.THE INTERPRETATION OF THE HORUS-MYTH OF EDFU round his Upper Egyptian Mesen. of course. 5-6). 12. 221. 13: 'Thoth . 67. 77 ff. III. 52. 64. The fight between Horus son of Isis and Seth takes place to the east of Edfu. ibid. 5 Chassinat. 75. In the context it is used syncretistically of the ram of Mendes. with Shashetep as well (ibid. 1. complains about the Asiatics who had lived in Avaris that they 'ruled without Re(.Sallier I. It should be noted that Sile does not figure in the other sections of the myth. should be deleted. 3." the Horus-falcon is 'the living ba of Re'. 72. In the same way Thoth. 2-3: 'Then Re<-Harakhtisaid to Horus of Behdet. Horus und Seth. HIatshepsut. cit. See Gardiner inJEA 32. I-2. VI.. which has a more historical I Ibid.5 but this could derive. as Edfu is in the south against Nubia. Seth being connected. 9-12. 9. n.. op. Gardinerand as lord. 75. I7. Sethe. Urgeschichte. JEA 21. is 'the heart of Re('. exalted one who came forth from me'.
All this may be referred with some reason to the later Asiatic invasions. however. the wretched one. So far Kees8 may be right. In the former text. Re-Harakhti is entreated to remember that he had commanded 'to give Egypt to Horus. Kraelinglohas been able to show. Rec-Harakhti.' 8 Kees. of Manetho's Twentyeighth Dynasty.9 Concerning the end of the Persian domination we know more since the publication by Kraeling of the important Aramaic papyri in the Brooklyn Museum."' The renaissance of the Saite period.6 His vile deeds in attacking Egypt are then described. 10 E. 8I says that we must not press the Hatshepsut inscription when it says that the Hyksos did not know Re (sic). that the national revival in Egypt at that time was not comparableto the attitude prevalent in the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. 17-19. . For it shall be forbidden him (to stay there). Kraeling. I am indebted to Fairman for calling my " Breasted.3 the myth of Edfu contains no reference to the return of Seth after his first expulsion. cit. he has returned in order to seize with his hand. 7 Schott. and it was only owing to the difficulties of his foreign masters that he paved the way for Egypt's comparativefreedom in the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. he approaches Egypt when thou knowest not. ZAS 75. is the leader of the campaign against Seth. ibid.C. It is the opinion of Labib2 that the fight between Apophis and Seknenrecis. the desert (?) to Seth' . . G. Junker. But it is very probable that the names. op.. were adopted by them and did not originally belong to them: see Engberg. and there is some evidence supporting a detailed application of the idea. Against this must be noted the remarkablefact that many of the Hyksos kings had their names compounded with Re(. cit. Unlike 'The Book of the Victory over Seth'. 2 Op. History of Egypt. houses). Labib.as we have already observed. . 595. 4 Ibid.5 in the meantime the enemy has returned: 'Behold. 31-32. 36. Urgeschichte. Kultlegende u. or the threat of them. 23. in religion. Seth. 358. 3 Edited by Schott in Urk. 26 translates nn is wd tw n-f 'denn es ist ihm nicht befohlen'. 9 Breasted. that Artaxerxes II las t Persian king to rule over Egypt. 13. But it is to be noted that the absence of any mention of the second coming of Seth in the Edfu myth. it was (404-36I B. Psammetichus I was favoured by the Assyrians. Gunn pointed out in lectures at Oxford that n wd is the regular Egyptian equivalent for 'to forbid'. 17. 5 Ibid. was the the rebellion of his brother Cyrus. .46. On p.'7 Spells follow which are intended for the protection of Egypt against the invader. It appears. the fight between Sutekh and Amuin. attention to this work. 6 Ibid. he has planned to seize violently (?). He points out that their kings generally have the s. GWYN GRIFFITHS appearancethan any other section of the myth. Seth is said to be driven out of Egypt 'to the land of the Asiatics'. 17. as he formerly destroyed places (var. is an argumentfor seeing in the ejection of Seth in that myth a reminiscenceof the expulsion of the Hyksos. vi.4 Later. 6. is come upon his way. and Rec eventually renews his banishment from Egypt: 'Seth shall not stay in Egypt. In the case of the Assyrians there was indeed no forcible expulsion.82 J. however. that weakened his position and enabled the revolt led by Amyrtaeus. aided by the Greek expedition of Xenophon. The Hyksos Reconsidered.). 24 one should therefore translate similarly: 'He knows not the fear of Thy Majesty. and of course the titles. 24. The Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri. on the basis of this new evidence. 565 ff. taken in conjunction with other facts. although it has been forbidden to him. to be fully successful. I3.and not Darius II. which probably witnessed a religious I See Pahor C.-Rc title. Die Herrschaft der Hyksos in Agypten und ihr Sturz.
6 7 Kees. tr.) No allusion of this kind occurs in the Edfu myth. Urk. to Kees an African land in the south-east. 45. op. 7. Urk. 99. o10ff. which Labib Habachi discovered in 1954 in front of the second pylon of Karnak. The former relateshis position in the well-known CarnarvonTablet No. he enters into the holy place of Memphis. 69. I9. not without the suggestion that it is part of Rec-Harakhti's kingdom. Edfou. Gardiner and Gunn in JEA 5. Hammad in Chron. It seems that Seth was not merely tolerated by them at a distance.THE INTERPRETATION OF THE HORUS-MYTH OF EDFU 83 revival involving the persecution of Sethian cults. In spite of the paucity of the records dealing with the expulsion of the Hyksos. and Rec has given thee his king(Chassinat. Nubia figures in the actions of both Kamose and Amosis.3 (Schott.anotherin Kush. as Kees suggests. he has given forth a roaring in the presence of the gods in Menset (1 M - ' '). I955). The stela of Kamose. the sacred falcon who came out of Weten6 to unite himself with Edfu as the lord of the throne'.' A work referring to Seth in this spirit and referring to an Asiatic invasion after the expulsion of the Hyksos would be more likely for these reasons to emanate from the Saite period. 2 Breasted. cit. Thou sittest in thy temple. his role in the Dakhlah Stela which derives from the Twenty-second Dynasty. He quotes too7 from a building-block in Cairo: 'Erecting a temple for Horus of Nubia in the nome of Wtst-Hr. the text begins with a mention of the king's returnfrom Nubia. cit. Blackman.9 But it was Amosis. Keess quoted a text from Edfu which describes Horus as 'Horus of Edfu. 19 ff.354.357. 1:8 Let me understandwhat this strengthof mine is for! (One) prince is in Avaris. see Gardiner in JEA 19. 9 See Labib Habachi in Ann. VI. it is said of Seth: 'He has devised conflict. 88 gives in or near Heliopolis. reveals that the Hyksos king Apophis (rc-wsr-Rr) sought to effect an alliance with the King of Nubia against Kamose and that the latter's soldiers intercepted a dispatch which Apophis hoped to send to Nubia. who captured Memphis. 195-202 (Cairo. It is just possible that a section of 'The Book of Victory over Seth' refers in some detail to the invasion of the Assyrian Esarhaddon. and (here) I sit associated with an Asiatic and a Nubian. thou art a Nubian in Khenfet. Nubia figures twice in 'The Winged Disk'. Siegfried Horn in Bibl. but the Libyan Dynasty which followed the Ramesside kings did not persecute Seth. I4. In 'The Triumph of Horus' it is said of Horus:4 Behold. The Culture of Ancient Egypt. and a campaignthere against Seth and his followers is described afterwards.) ship that thou mayest overthrow the hippopotamus. 30. 20 ff. Urgeschichte. 3 Schott: 'das Serapeum'. iI. 555. In the Ramesside era Seth had new power as a state god. 9-io. In Schott. According 8 Cf. as a place M. the first Spiegelberg. I64 and Gardiner in JEA 3.' Further. d'Eg. Urgeschichte. and in Les Grandes Decouvertes archdologiquesde 1954 53. I98-208. as we have alreadynoted. 19. 52-58. That 'The Winged Disk' and 'The Triumph of Horus' are to be connected rather with the expulsion of the Hyksos is suggested by the Nubian associations of Horus of Behdet.2 The misdeeds of Seth are said in this section to concern Memphis especially: He has inflicted misery in Tjenent [a sanctuary at Memphis]. Kultlegendeu. 4 Or of his harpoon? s Kultlegende u. Lo. Wilson. was not paralleled afterwards. loc. and cf. . Wb. vi. The Credibility of Herodotus'Account of Egypt. Orient. Cf. 216-17. but was held in honour. vi. in 'The Winged Disk'. he has devised rebellion in Memphis. Serv.
it stands to reason. 4. and the first of these phrases refers to the damage done by Egyptians who were helping the Hyksos. him I of me ken.-S.84 J. Labib Habachi and S.is pressing frommy domains. see Gardiner. 37. 8 A Papyrus of the Late Middle Kingdom.givenlife. who. is a striking resemblance. the final victory was achieved by Amosis. In the same stela we find the phrases 'within Egypt' (i8). He relegates them. as Save-Soderbergh2has pointed out. a present tense is more consonant with the hr thm that follows. 54-61.' For the sense of nonne. Still. won victories in Lower Nubia and recapturedthe territoryup to Buhen. I Save-Soderbergh. landandyours. It is true that the Karnak stela of Kamose makes it clear. 57: 'Do(n't) you see . It might be argued that his generalization('If. and his exploits were therefore more likely to be remembered. Save-Soderbergh. Kush. however. Grammar3. set in the North-east Delta and in Nubia. But his instance is the more cogent for being located in Upper Egypt. a negative would be expected in Egyptian. as seems likely. (lines 20-22. 7I. Asiatic influence would be more easily felt. and afterwards the Hyksos positions in Lower Egypt. Eg. Hayes8 makes a just comment to this effect in considering the significanceof a list of forty-five Asiatic persons attached to the household of an Upper Egyptian official. 4. GWYN GRIFFITHS king of the Eighteenth Dynasty. but not about the past tense of 'he has devastatedthem'. the expression irt-nf nbt r'k (2I-22) favours the other rendering.§ 491. 53-7I ('The Hyksos Rule in Egypt'). 6 JEA 7 JEA 37.) There is doubt about the referenceof some of the tenses in this stela. Agypten und Nubien. hadnotattacked in the fashion allhe did thesetwo landsto torment. 57. 'The Nubian Kingdom of the Second Intermediate Period'. then the Asiatic inhabitants of the country at this period must have been many times more numerous than has previously been supposed') is too confident. The Hyksos king was of course in possession of a part of the country. 5 Rather than 'the': Kamose was not the only one. similar groups of these outlanders were to be found in well-to-do households throughout the whole of Egypt.. 3 and § 492. Save-Soderbergh6has argued against such a conception having prevailed from the beginning among the Egyptians. then. but there is evidence to suggest that Asiatic infiltrationon a larger scale had taken place previously. their mistress'.: 'what Egypt has done against me'. 143. especially p. Hammad: 'what Egypt has done to me'.. On the other hand. Further. Such a bold personification of 'Egypt' as an agent seems unlikely in spite of the earlier sentence 'they have abandoned Egypt. and in JEA 37. Certainly the double activity of the two accounts. the The thesis which finds in the Horus-mythmpress the impress of the Hyksos invaHorus-myth of Edfu of sion and of their eventual ejection must clearlyrest to some extent on the conception of the Hyksos as hated foreign invaders. The interpretation of the phrase seems still an open question.' If there is. 56. The relevant allusion may be translated thus: Do youbehold3 is beingdoneto Egypt4 opposition me?A5ruler is within Kamosein to who what it. in Kush. 2 3 . 148-9. Indeed.sincehe has devastated my against you. that Kamose also attacked both Lower Egypt and Nubia. 'in Egypt' (23) and 'the towns of Egypt'. zhk suits the Hyksos ruler as well in a special way. Kamose clearly attackedNubia first. a correlationhere with the story of the Edfu myth. the exploits of Amosis will provide it. so that Kamose can hardly be equated with Egypt here. He suggests7 that the term hklw h4swt 'gives us the impression that the Hyksos were only a little group of foreign dynasts rather than a numerous people with a special civilization'. after driving the Hyksos from the Delta. in for example the Eastern Delta..
Save-Soderbergh would agree. as the following excerpt from Waddell's translation(p.//os is well attested and is on the whole preferable. overpowered rulers the land. 79.THE INTERPRETATION OF THE HORUS-MYTH OF EDFU 85 Save-Soderbergh' states further that 'according to Manetho's version it also seems as if the Hyksos rule only meant a change of political leaders in Egypt. 37. Manetho suggests just the opposite. 'The Book of Victory over Seth'.andhaving the of all witha cruelhostility. translates 'a people of ignoble origin'. 69. This derogatory sense of acr. Another late text. and their foreig n is again stressed by the allusion to their treatment of the natives. Their overwhelming number is suggested by Kara Kpa'oS'. probably mirrors the ejection of the Hyksos. 68): 'I will grapple with him and rip open his belly. can perhaps be related in some detail to certain episodes in 'The Winged Disk' and in 'The Triumph of Horus'. so that it could have coloured-if the hypothesis is in other ways acceptable-allusions to the Hyksos as Sethian enemies in the Edfu myth. Save-Soderbergh well translates one sentence thus (p. of course. Engberg. and unexpectedly. There is. I 2 . in so far as it reflects a historical-political rather than a cult feud. 56. which Kees finds reflectedin the myth (as well as those against the Assyrians and Persians). presumably.' But one is justified also in noting the trenchant attitude of Kamose himself. . invadersof obscureracemarchedin confidence of victoryagainst land. on the other hand. contain a referenceto the overthrow of Memphis by the Assyrian Esarhaddon. for my desire is to deliver Egypt and to smite the Asiatics. There are no clear allusions in it to the expulsion of either the Assyrians or the Persians. The campaignsagainst the Hyksos. At the same time much of 'The Winged Disk' concerns struggles between different cults and most of 'The Triumph of Horus' has a ritual purport. . and not a massinvasion of a numerically important foreign ethnic element'. since these episodes invite correlation with the Egyptian victories in the North-east Delta and in Nubia. .they. that the attitude of hostility was in any case very evident in later times.4. tht Discussing the text of the Carnarvontablet. This explanation is hard to understand. .' This ist nationalismof the native leader facing alien domination. Save-Soderbergh3rightly stresses the mild interpretation given by the king's grandees to the Hyksos domination: 'The Hyksos are not regarded only as cruel and oppressive godless barbarians-the usual a deal with them and to live in peace o picture in the later sourcesit is possibl te with them.2 but the eastern provenanceof the invaders is emphasized. quoted also by Save-S6derbergh)shows: . JEA 37.By mainforcetheyeasilyseizedit without our a striking blow. may. since the invaders' origin is clearly not imagined as 3 JEA unknown. Conclusion The Horus-myth of Edfu. no necessary contradictionbetween a sudden military and political take-over and a previous gradual infusion of Asiatic elements into the population. and it follows that a the feeling of hostile hatred towards the Hyksos is attested from one part of a contemporary source. The Hyksos Reconsidered. treated the natives Here the phrase -royevos ar-tc[ot is admittedly vague.fromthe regionsof the East.
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