• Which Seth? Untangling some close homonyms from ancient Egypt and the Near East

    Author(s):
    Lloyd Graham (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Group(s):
    Ancient Near East, Assyriologists, Egyptology
    Subject(s):
    Egypt, History, Ancient, Gnosticism, Apocryphal books, Magic
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Suteans/Sutians, Sethian Gnosticism, Greek Magical Papyri, Seth, Sethianism, Ancient Egypt, Pseudepigrapha
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/j7tk-rh28
    Abstract:
    This paper aims to disambiguate the proper name “Seth” and its cognates or homonyms – perfect or imperfect – in texts from ancient Egypt, the Near East and the Mediterranean. It considers: (1) the Suteans, West Semitic Amorite/Aramean nomads who feature negatively in Mesopotamian records; (2) S(h)eth in the Hebrew bible, in which a disparaged southerly Sutean group (“sons of Sheth”) may have been recast as the virtuous lineage of the third son of Adam (“sons of Seth”); (3) Seth, the Egyptian god of tumult and confusion, who has some elements in common with the Judeo-Christian Satan; (4) Seth of the Jewish pseudepigrapha, a positive embellishment of the biblical figure; (5) the Gnostic Seth, a further embellishment of the biblical/pseudepigraphical figure; and (6) Seth as an agent invoked in magical texts. Accordingly, the paper provides an integrated review of six Sethian subject areas that are seldom considered together; they are examined here through an Egyptological lens. The survey reveals that the two principal Seths – the Egyptian god and the son of Adam – maintain almost entirely separate trajectories in the religious and magical literature of ancient Egypt and beyond.
    Notes:
    Full keyword list: Seth, son of Nut; Seth, son of Adam; Suteans/Sutians – pseudepigrapha – Sethian Gnosticism – Greek/Demotic Magical Papyri
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
    Share this:

    Downloads

    Item Name: pdf l.d.-graham-which-seth-pes-xxvii-60-96.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 80