Filed under the category of "stuff you just can't make up" is the legend of the penultimate contest between Horus
-- in the sage words of Wikipedia
Horus was told by his mother, Isis, to protect the people of Egypt from Set, the god of the desert, who had killed his father Osiris. Horus had many battles with Set, not only to avenge his father, but to choose the rightful ruler of Egypt. In these battles, Horus came to be associated with Lower Egypt, and became its patron.
Set is depicted as trying to prove his dominance by seducing Horus and then having intercourse with him. 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. Horus 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. The gods first listened to Set's claim of dominance over Horus, and called his semen forth, but it answered from the river, invalidating his claim. Then, the gods listened to Horus' claim of having dominated Set, and call his semen forth, and it answered from inside Set.
Now that is interesting on a number of levels, not the least of which being the observation of Horus and Set having been high amongst the mythical models for Jesus
, in the estimation of researchers such as Kersey Graves
in his 1875 The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors (or Christianity Before Christ)
(though Horus is not amongst Graves' sixteen, not having been mythically crucified
). The analogies at issue are many. Royal lineage ascribed to each (Jesus from Jewish kings, Horus from Egyptian ones), and each is the son of a god, by a miraculous impregnation (Jesus, because Mary was claimed to be a virgin -- though this claim is never made by Jesus himself or by any witness to such a claim being made -- and Horus because his father Osiris had been murdered, and Isis became pregnant by finding and frottaging Osiris' corpse). Various miracles
are claimed to have been worked by each and turns of divine wisdom have likewise been attributed to each.
Ah, and then there is the enemy. Each inherited their father's great enemy -- oddly, "Set" is even sometimes written as "Set-An" -- and each was subjected to the enemy's effort to defeat them by seduction
for Jesus, sexuality
for Horus). In the end, each tricked their enemy and prevailed over him (Horus, by sperming in the lettuce, Jesus, by allowing himself to be horribly tortured and painfully crucified, and then descending to Hell despite his innocence
.... hmmmm). But putting aside the question of which trick was better, it is fascinating to consider the aspects of the Horus/Set myth and its characters reflected in the story of Jesus and Satan.
The other fascinating element of this story is that Set's favorite food was lettuce
. Naturally, a great many people like some lettuce here and there, but favorite food
? Lettuce more typically seems to be a background element, a canvass which other tastier salad elements are painted upon, a food consumed for bulk and nutrition more than for love of its taste. Maybe in ancient Egypt, the options were more limited, so that it was comparatively a better option. But on top of that, it seems odd that Set would not notice that his salad had received a quite unorthodox dressing!!