Study Guide

Horus the Elder Sightings

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Jan 1, 1970

Horus versus Seth, Version 1

Whose god can beat up your god? The people of northern (Lower) Egypt, who worshipped the desert god Seth, found out the hard way, when the people of southern (Upper) Egypt followed their god, Horus the Elder, to victory over the north. After this victory, both north and south were united as Tawy, the "Two Lands." Even modern Egypt, more than 6,000 years later, talks about Lower and Upper Egypt, and its two crowns and two lands.

Jan 1, 1970

Hierakonpolis (Egyptian: Nekhen), the City of the Hawk

Horus the Elder's ancient city was home to King Scorpion, thought to be one of the kings who united the Two Lands. (You probably remember the Scorpion King from the movie where The Rock got to play him.) The City of the Hawk got started as early as 2,000 years before it was the capital of the Two Lands: lots of time to get ready for that big war.

Dec 21, 2019

Pyramid Texts

The ancient Egyptians wrote about their king being a form of Horus the Elder, the "living falcon" on earth. Parts of these texts end up inside pyramids, so their spirits can read them in the afterlife, in case they forget, or in case they need to create wings so they can fly with the sun-god Ra.

Dec 20, 2019

Horus versus Seth, Version 2

This time it's Horus versus Seth: The Revenge. Seth's still the bad guy, but this time the good guy is Horus the Elder's nephew, the son of Isis and Osiris that we call Horus the Younger. Horus the Younger and Seth battle for more than 80 years, while other gods try to help either side. But just like the first time: Horus always wins.

Dec 20, 2019

Horus the Elder and Seth make up (kind of)

Horus the Younger and Seth are eternal enemies because of Seth's killing of Osiris. That's never going to change. But sometimes, Horus the Elder and Seth actually get along. Horus the Elder becomes half of Bawy, the "Two Powers," a god who is a mash-up of Horus the Elder and Seth as twins and complimentary opposites. Sometimes, Bawy is actually drawn as one body with both gods' heads.

Dec 20, 2019

Metal God (for real)

Images of Horus the Elder made out of bronze or stone were very popular with the Late Period pharaohs.

Dec 20, 2019

Edfu (Behdet) Temple

A giant temple to Horus the Elder was started by the Ptolemaic kings, who kept adding to it up until 57 BCE. It was built atop older versions of the temple, but this version still stands today and is a major tourist attraction. It is also the best-preserved of all ancient Egyptian temple ruins, and still has most of its roof and walls. If you go there, you can see the entire battle of Horus and Seth carved into its stone walls.

Dec 20, 2019

The Book of the Law

Horus the Elder is a very powerful god, but did you ever think of him as a magician? Aleister Crowley, a famous magician and philosopher, did. In his Book of the Law, Crowley created a new composite god out of Horus the Elder, called "Heru-ra-Ha" for his new religious philosophy called Thelema.

Flying to Egypt

The head of Horus is in the logo for EgyptAir (Egypt's national airline), and even used to decorate its planes. If you ever fly to Cairo from the U.S., they'll give you a cute pair of socks with Horus's face on them!

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