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    Abstract

    THE GOD SETEKH.—Some interesting deductions bearing upon the development of religious beliefs in ancient Egypt are made by Mr. R. O. Faulkner in the March number of Ancient Egypt from references to the god Setekh in the Pyramid Texts. The centre of the worship of this little-known deity appears to have been Ombos in Upper Egypt, and he appears to have been to some extent the embodiment of the destructive powers of Nature. In the Osiris and Horus myths of the later texts stress is laid upon his malevolent activities; but the Pyramid Texts, the oldest beliefs concerning him which have come down to us, present contradictory ideas which probably represent different stages in his history. Originally he ranked as equal with the other gods. Thus his relations with Horus and Osiris vary in three ways: (i) Setekh is without either friendliness or hostility, but stands over against them as representing a different tract of the country; (2) Horus and Setekh co-operate for the benefit of the deceased; (3) Setekh is the mortal foe of Horus. As the Osiris cult gained ground Setekh became hostile to him also. It is not always clear whether Horus is the old tribal Horus or the son of Isis. Probably the tribal myth was transferred bodily into the Osirian legend, the original cause of hostility being the feud for the supremacy of Egypt settled in the lawsuit which was brought before the court of the gods at Heliopolis. The reversal which converted Setekh from one of the principal gods of the Egyptian pantheon to an outcast was no doubt due to political causes, and the frequency with which he appears as the enemy of Osiris is to be attributed to the comparatively late rise of the cult of that deity when the evil character of Setekh had been fully established.

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