This relief from the funerary temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu depicts the festival of Min. As Set ejaculates, Horus places his hands between his thighs and catches his semen, which is then thrown into the Nile. The next day, Horus (or his mother Isis) plots to inseminate Set. You can read the myth.). Then she fetched some fragrant ointment and applied it to Horus’s phallus. Its cute and its fun and occasionally crude in good-spirit.) The trial had been going on for some time, almost eighty years!. SET God of Chaos Later Egyptians interpreted the myth of the conflict between Set and Osiris/Horus as an analogy for the struggle between the desert (represented by Set) and the fertilizing floods of the Nile (Osiris/Horus). I warned you the story would get real really quickly. Isis retaliates by putting Horus's semen on lettuce-leaves that Set eats. The Ptolemaic king stands before Min, the ithyphallic god of fertility, and offers him the eye of Horus. Lettuce’s scientific classification lactuca sativa, is derived from the Latin word for milk and shares the same root as lactose, the sugar enzyme found in dairy products. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. Thereupon he became pregnant with the semen of Horus. Set was born of the sky goddess Nut and the earth god Geb. Horus then deliberately spreads his own semen on lettuce which was Set’s favorite food. Set then asked the gods to bring the semen forth from the ‘impregnated’ one, to humiliate Osiris’ son. K. Annabelle Smith is a writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico who covers a wide variety of topics for Smithsonian.com. Note: 1.3.04 is the standard version of English 1.3.04L is the Localization version which need you to do translation by yourselves. Ancient Egyptians used the lettuce differently than those who would come later. He was told: "You are a … Whoa whoa whoa, wait a second. He's also accepted a homemade pizza and a package of Hostess "HoHos..." (*Rolls eyes* He's like that. Smithsonian Institution. in the The White Chapel of Senusret I, though there may be earlier examples, Ikram says. Horus proceeded to steal Set's testicles, causing Set to lose virility and strength. In fact, the Eye of Horus is a symbol that represents divine protection in the ancient Egyptian religion. Another theory suggests that there was a battle between the followers of Set and those of Horus at some point in time. Furthermore, lettuce is replete with vitamin A which bolsters both the male and female reproductive systems. Because Set has performed a “labor of a male against him,” Horus cannot rule over anyone. Overnight, they grew into lotuses. Unbeknownst to Set, he ate lettuce along with Horus’ semen, where it was held in his body as in a woman’s body for conception. 11) Isis takes semen of Horus and impregnates the lettuce that Seth loves to eat. In this scene, we can extrapolate that virility is synonymous with dominance. By Coptic times, the name became Hōr. Horus spends most of his time as a hawk eating roadkill. What 'Bridgerton' Gets Wrong About Corsets, A Tombstone Inscribed in Ancient Greek Is Found in Southern Israel, The Way Americans Remember the Blackwell Sisters Shortchanges Their Legacy, Why Robert McCurdy's Photo-Realist Portraits Stop Viewers in Their Tracks, Archaeologists in Turkey Unearth 2,500-Year-Old Temple of Aphrodite, The True Story of the Reichstag Fire and the Nazi Rise to Power, Medieval Effigy Found Hidden Beneath English Church's Pipe Organ, Freed of 1,000 Years of Grime, Anglo-Saxon Cross Emerges in Stunning Detail, Scientists Report First Instances of Dwarf Giraffes, The 'Last' Female Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle Died in 2019. Set became exceeding furious and extended his hand(s) to seize the golden solar disk. Image courtesy of KerrisdaleGallery.com. Set… After Set had eaten the lettuce, they went to the gods to try to settle the argument over the rule of Egypt. Tired from decapitating his mother, Horus went to sleep on the mountaintop. Lettuce has been harvested for millenia—it was depicted by ancient Egyptians on the walls of tombs dating back to at least 2,700 B.C. Keep up-to-date on: © 2021 Smithsonian Magazine. Another interesting lettuce-related story in Ancient Egypt, not for the faint-of-stomach: In Egyptian history there are many battles between the Egyptian deity Horus and Set, the god of the desert. For women, the vitamin stimulates our cycles and for the men, it assists with sperm production, and  of course, virility. Fixed the bug that the MinRSSI is set to zero when selecting clear telemetry data; 3. (Ed. 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. The gods first listened to Set’s claim of dominance over Horus, and call his semen forth, but it answered from the river, invalidating his claim. At the center is a statue of Min. Set tries to insert himself into Horus’ thighs, similar to how a man would ease into a woman, in order to assert his superiority by mounting Horus. Salima Ikram, Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo who specializes in Ancient Egyptian food explains Min’s part in lettuce history. The Greeks and Romans later popularized the leafy veggie as an appetizer during the 81-96 A.D. reign of Domitian. Advertising Notice It was still considered a medicinal goldmine by the Greeks and Romans, but for a different reason than the Egyptians—they believed it helped people sleep. Your email address will not be published. When Seth unwittingly ate the seed of Horus God in a salad, he became pregnant by his nephew. Set, on the other hand, was the god of the desert, disorder, and violence. Through his phallus, Horus was able to give Set his comeuppance but it was by food that the plan was carried to completion. This relief, from the funerary temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu, for example, depicts Min’s harvest festival. Fall 2020: A Special Issue on Persecution. Lettuce oil was a standard in the Egyptian materia medica and even today is used as a traditional remedy for hair regrowth. After Set had eaten the lettuce, they went to the gods to try to settle the argument over the rule of Egypt. 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. Under Domitian’s reign, as the story goes, the ruler would force his guests to eat lettuce before the meal so as to make them struggle to remain awake for the remainder of the visit. His mother spreads powerful unguents on Horus' penis, after which he ejaculated into a jar, and they spread it on some lettuce, a favourite aphrodisiac to the ancient Egyptians. When Horus has Set’s semen in his hands, it demonstrates that he has been defiled by another man’s essence, so much in fact that his mother has to cut off the hands altogether. This was achieved by having Horus’s semen spread over some lettuce, which was supposed to be Set’s favorite vegetable. Seth snuck up and gouged out his nephew’s eyes, burying them in the ground. Horus places his hand between his legs, catches Set’s semen and throws it into the river. Continue In this myth, lettuce, an ancient aphrodisiac, is the tool used to submit Set to Horus’s power. Main Office: (734) 764-9265 Then Horus placed his hands between his thighs and received Set’s semen. mqr@umich.edu. “Botanical No. He is the son of Geb and Nut, and is the brother of Osiris, Isis, Her-ur, and Nephthys. Set then eats the semen-covered lettuce, and so Horus (rather than Set with his first ‘attack’) becomes sexually dominant over his uncle. (Case in point: a young god getting buggered by the uncle who killed his father, and then sneakily feeding him his sperm on lettuce leaves — aww, you just have to read it to believe it.) Let Horus, son of Isis, be summoned and be awarded the office of his father Osiris." She caused it to become stiff and inserted it into a pot, and he caused his semen to flow down into it. The judicial power of the court was the Sun God Re and the contenders Horus and Seth were there to contest who had the rightful claim to the throne of Egypt after the death of Osiris. 12) Seth eats the lettuce; in magic ordeal, each to summon his semen. Because Set eats the semen-covered lettuce, in the eyes of the gods, Horus was dominant—at least until the next battle. So without further ado, let’s go back thousands upon thousands of years ago to the great civilization of ancient Egypt. 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. The god, often pictured with an erect penis in wall paintings and reliefs was also known as the “great of love” as he is called in a text from Edfu Temple. Both Horus and Set left the Funeral Parlorin Cairo behind with Set last being heard from in San Francisco in 1906 before the earthquake. Lettuce and Kings: The Power Struggle Between Horus and Set Horus places his hand between his legs, catches Set’s semen and throws it into the river. Though the argument was usually over which of the two had the rightful claim to rule Egypt, one rather odd battle involves lettuce. Set then asked the gods to bring the semen forth from the ‘impregnated’ one, to humiliate Osiris’ son. For this post, I will be discussing the royal intrigue between two gods, Horus and Set. Set then ate the semen-covered lettuce, and so Horus (rather than Set with his first ‘attack’) bacame sexually dominant over his uncle. Search the archive for over fifty years of fiction, poetry, essays, and more. Don’t worry, Horus was able to regain his eyes with the help of a mistress named Hathor. Horus and Isis's next plan was to 'impregnate' Set with Horus' semen. It is not through might or political acumen that Horus regains the throne, but rather, through his loins. Horus came over to America with Mr. Ibis, Bast, Set, and Mr. Jacquel. 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… (It is unclear whether the lettuce’s development in Egypt predates its appearance on the island of Kos.) A golden disk appeared on Set's forehead, signaling his impregnation with Horus’ seed and ultimate defeat. Min is also sometimes depicted wearing a long, red ribbon around his forehead that some say represents sexual energy. In fact, if one were to cut a lettuce leaf in half, a whitish, milky substance would ooze out of it. *See K. Annabelle Smith’s piece, “When Lettuce was a Sacred Sex Symbol,” at Smithsonian.com. Because Set eats the semen-covered lettuce, in the eyes of the gods, Horus was dominant—at least until the next battle. After Set had eaten the lettuce, they went to the gods to try to settle the argument over the rule of Egypt. 10) Seth assaults Horus ‘between his thighs’, H catches the semen, Isis cuts off his hand. The gods first listened to Set's claim of dominance over Horus, and call his semen forth, but it answered from the river, invalidating his claim. Thoth calls, "Come out, you semen of Horus." Once Horus came of age, Isis admonished him to protect the people of Egypt from Set’s avarice. 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. There is an urge that needs to be met and through with either one–or more–of our orifices, we are able to become full. Thereupon he became pregnant with the semen of Horus. Later, the reason that the Moon was not as bright as the Sun was explained by a tale, known as The Contendings of Horus and Seth. The plant was believed to help the god “perform the sexual act untiringly.”. 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. He is also the "Evil God" of the Egyptian Pantheon, and Ra's left-hand-man and leader of his personal army. Now, Researchers Found Another, Renewing Hope for the Species, Medieval Chinese Coin Found in England Suggests a Vast Medieval Trade Route, Ancient Humans May Have Tossed Meaty Scraps to Wild Wolves, Boosting Domestication, Meet Joseph Rainey, the First Black Congressman, The State of American Craft Has Never Been Stronger. It was adopted into Greek as Ὡρος Hōros. The Egyptian god of fertility, Min, was said to have had an extreme love for lettuce. Horus went to tell his mother Isis: “Help me, Isis, my mother, come and see what Set has done to me.” And he opened his hand(s) and let her see Set’s semen. 0576 Rackham Building Horus then deliberately spreads his own semen on some lettuce, which was Set's favorite food. Horus is recorded in Hieroglyphs as ḥr.w and is reconstructed to have been pronounced *Ḥāru, meaning "Falcon". Search the archive for over fifty years of fiction, poetry, essays, and more. The semen comes out of Set himself, and he becomes the laughing stock of the gods! MQR receives support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, “Lettuce and Kings: The Power Struggle Between Horus and Set”. Thoth removed the disk and placed it on his own head. 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). The opponents were the Ancient Egyptian God Horus and the Ancient Egypttian God Seth. And Isis added the semen of Horus onto it. With his sister-wife Nephthys, he fathered the gods Anubis and Wepwawet. Horus then deliberately spreads his own semen on some lettuce, which was Set's favorite food. Horus is recorded in Egyptian hieroglyphs as ḥr.w and is reconstructed to have been pronounced *Ḥāru, meaning "Falcon". Pleasure. The semen comes out of Set himself, and he becomes the laughing stock of the gods! “But if you broke off a leaf it oozed a sort of white-ish, milky substance—basically it looked like semen.”. When they first introduced a set order of courses, the meal included a salad at the beginning to stimulate the appetite and also at the end to encourage digestion, according to author Gil Marks. The original name also survives in later Egyptian names such as Har-Si-Ese literally "Horus, son of Isis". Set is an Egyptian god of deserts, storms, disorder, war, violence, and foreigners. He is part of the Ennead. The followers of Horus triumphed over those of Set, thus resulting in Set’s demonization. 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. Instead of being part of a meal, the seeds from the bud of the flowers were harvested and pressed for their natural oils which were used for cooking, medication—even mummification. Thoth took it away from him and placed it as a crown upon his (own) head […], And so Set took a great oath by [the] god as follows: “He shall not be awarded the office.”. 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. “ Sobek is known as “the raging one” who “takes women from their husbands whenever he … According to a text on the Edfu Temple, the lettuce was able to help Min relentlessly perform. Therefore, when Set ate the lettuce, he unknowingly ingested Horus’s semen as … According to Papyrus Chester Beatty I, the conflict between Horus and Set happened to be a series of bouts, such as when they transformed into hippopotamuses and submerged themselves into the water to see who could last the longest, to Set removing Horus’s eyeballs as he slept. “One of the reasons why associated the lettuce with Min was because it grows straight and tall—an obvious phallic symbol,” Ikram says. 2. But during the night, Set caused his phallus to become stiff and inserted it between Horus’s thighs. The only way to remedy the situation is for part of his essence–his liquescent power–to come out as well. 10, 1859: Cucumber Asparagus Turnip Pepper Potato Lettuce.” Vilmorin Seed Co. Lithograph. In other words, Horus cannot be ruler of Egypt because he had been covered in sperm like a woman. He’s often depicted with a long snout, as you can see from the image to the right. She let out a loud shriek, seized the copper (knife), cut off his hand(s) that were equivalent. It was adopted into Greek as Ὡρος Hōros. 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. The encounter puts Horus in danger, because in Egyptian tradition semen is a potent and dangerous substance, akin to poison. 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. THE TRIAL. Required fields are marked *. He had already been ruled. [Horus wins the kingship and Seth is compensated] Horus, son of Isis, was brought, and the White Crown was set upon his head and he was installed in the position of his father Osiris. “Horus tricks Set by basically spurting his sperm and throwing it into a lettuce plant, ” Ikram says. Set returned according to his daily habit and ate the lettuce, which he regularly ate. 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. Learn how your comment data is processed. * On the relief of his funerary temple, Ramses III partakes in a harvest festival in honor of Min. — corrected thanks to feedback from reader joelfinkle) (While we’re talking etymology, raw lettuce dishes known as herba salata (“salted greens”) gave rise to the English word “salad.”) Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book provides further options for what the lettuce milk of the “ithyphallic god of increase” may represent: Lettuce was sacred to him because of the “straight vertical surge” of their growth, milky juice they exude which could be taken as a symbol of mothers milk or semen. Horus and Set binding the plants of Upper and Lower Egypt. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The leaves had a greenish blue color and were often removed from the plant due to their bitter taste. 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Orifices, we can extrapolate that virility is synonymous with dominance claim to rule Egypt, one rather odd involves!