Horus (or Isis herself in some versions) then deliberately spreads his own semen on some lettuce, which was Set's favorite food. After Set had eaten the lettuce, they went to the gods to try to settle the argument over the rule of Egypt. It was adopted into Greek as Ὡρος Hōros. Horus places his hand between his legs, catches Set’s semen and throws it into the river. The semen comes out of Set himself, and he becomes the laughing stock of the gods! Since Horus was said to be the sky, he was considered to also contain the Sun and Moon. Horus then took an oath by god as follows: “All that Set has said is false. Set became exceeding furious and extended his hand(s) to seize the golden solar disk. The opponents were the Ancient Egyptian God Horus and the Ancient Egypttian God Seth. The semen comes out of Set himself, and he becomes the laughing stock of the gods! He is also the "Evil God" of the Egyptian Pantheon, and Ra's left-hand-man and leader of his personal army. As experimentation on my part, I will be starting a blog series on food and sexuality in literature beginning in chronological order (as best as I can). Thoth put his hand on Set’s shoulder and said: “Come out, you semen of Horus.”, Then it said to him: “Where shall I come from?”, Thoth said to it: “Come out from his ear.”, Thereupon it said to him: “Is it from his ear that I should issue forth, seeing that I am divine seed?”, Then Thoth said to it:”Come out from the top of his head.”, And it emerged as a golden solar disk upon Set’s head. Set… As Set ejaculates, Horus places his hands between his thighs and catches his semen, which is then thrown into the Nile. Image courtesy of Flickr user kairoinfor4u. A procession of priests carry large stalks of lettuce–phallic symbols, tall and erect. Search the archive for over fifty years of fiction, poetry, essays, and more. As a description it has also typically been thought of as having the meaning "the distant one" or "one who is above, over". But in Ancient Egypt around 2,000 B.C., lettuce was not a popular appetizer, it was an aphrodisiac, a phallic symbol that represented the celebrated food of the Egyptian god of fertility, Min. However, Horus places his hand between his thighs and catches Set's semen, then subsequently cut the hand off, throwing it in the river, so that he may not be said to have been inseminated by Set. After Set had eaten the lettuce, they went to the gods to try to settle the argument over the rule of Egypt. Lettuce and Kings: The Power Struggle Between Horus and Set * On the relief of his funerary temple, Ramses III partakes in a harvest festival in honor of Min. It was adopted into Greek as Ὡρος Hōros. Thereupon he became pregnant with the semen of Horus. Though the argument was usually over which of the two had the rightful claim to rule Egypt, one rather odd battle involves lettuce. However, Horus places his hand between his thighs and catches Set's semen, then subsequently throws it in the river, so that he may not be said to have been inseminated by Set. “But if you broke off a leaf it oozed a sort of white-ish, milky substance—basically it looked like semen.”. Lettuce. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. H’s Sun disk emerges above Seth’s head. According to legend, when the goddess Isis was pregnant with Horus, she had to hide from her brother Set because he was hungry for the throne, even killing her husband Osiris to usurp it. K. Annabelle Smith is a writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico who covers a wide variety of topics for Smithsonian.com. When you think about food and sex, it may seem bit a bizarre to link these two together but their end goal is the same: satiation. According to some texts, Set's semen enters Horus's body and makes him ill, but in "Contendings", Horus thwarts Set by catching Set's semen in his hands. Set then ate the semen-covered lettuce, and so Horus (rather than Set with his first ‘attack’) bacame sexually dominant over his uncle. He then secretly spread some of his own seed on a plate of lettuce, which he fed to Set, who was still a guest in his home. Pleasure. From this tale, we see how food and sexuality are two sides of the same coin, working alongside one another to bring out a certain purpose–in this case, political ascendancy. Keep up-to-date on: © 2021 Smithsonian Magazine. Isis at morning time went carrying the semen of Horus to the garden of Set and said to Set’s gardener: “What sort of vegetable is it that Set eats here in your company?”  So the gardener told her: “He doesn’t eat any vegetable here in my company except lettuce.” And Isis added the semen of Horus onto it. Horus places his hand between his legs, catches Set’s semen and throws it into the river. Learn how your comment data is processed. She let out a loud shriek, seized the copper (knife), cut off his hand(s) that were equivalent. In this tale, it was said that Set, the patron of Upper Egypt, and Horus, the patron of Lower Egypt, had battled for Egypt brutally, with neither side victorious, until ev… Smithsonian Institution. Set laid with Horus in sexual intercourse, thus proving his dominance, but Horus managed to twist about and catch his semen before it entered him, throwing it into the river. Let Set’s semen be summoned that we may see from where it answers, and my own be summoned that we may see from where it answers.”, Then Thoth, lord of script and scribe of truth for the Ennead, put his hand on Horus’s shoulder and said: “Come out, you semen of Set.”, And it answered him from the water in the interior of the marsh. Through his phallus, Horus was able to give Set his comeuppance but it was by food that the plan was carried to completion. Out of all foods, why would it be lettuce instead of chocolate or oysters, which are said to stir sexual arousal? Your email address will not be published. Horus then deliberately spreads his own semen on some lettuce, which was Set's favorite food. By Coptic times, the name became Hōr. The only way to remedy the situation is for part of his essence–his liquescent power–to come out as well. So without further ado, let’s go back thousands upon thousands of years ago to the great civilization of ancient Egypt. Set returned according to his daily habit and ate the lettuce, which he regularly ate. (Ed. Overnight, they grew into lotuses. 1.3.04SC is the version of Simplified Chinese . 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