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Origin of the name SET.
Etymology of the name SET.
Meaning of the baby name SET.


SET.  Or Sutekh.  An ass-headed deity, the national god of the Semitic Hykshos, who on their invasion of Egypt in the interval between the XIIIth and XVIIIth dynasties, forced his sole worship upon the Egyptians.  Set was already one of the cosmical deities of the country; but after the expulsion of the Hykshos his worship was annulled, his statues defaced, and his name everywhere erased.  He was represented as an ass-headed man, holding the usual crux ansata or staff of life and the cucufa staff of divine power.  The Egyptians were accustomed to regard Set as a personification of the evil principle.  "The worship of this god passed through two historical phases.  At one time he was held in honour and accounted as one of the greater gods of Abydos.  He appears to have had a position analogous to that of the Theban deity Mentu, in which he was the adversary of the serpent Apophis, the symbol of wickedness and darkness.  Some time later on, in consequence of political changes, the worship of Set was abolished, and his statues destroyed.  It is difficult to state at what period Set was introduced into the Osirian mythos as a personification of evil, and thus became identified with Typhon as the murderer of Osiris.  The contests of Horus, the avenger of his father Osiris, are related at considerable detail in the inscriptions of the temple of Edfu which have been published by M. Ed. Naville in Textes relatifs au Mythe d'Horus, 1870.  The treatise (by Plutarch) De Iside et Osiride makes Nephthys the companion of Set, and she is represented united with him in a group in the Museum of the Louvre, in the Hall of the Gods.  The animal symbolical of Set was a carnivorous quadruped, at one time confounded with the ass-god of Josephus and Apion, having a long curved snout and upright square topped ears, which characters are often exaggerated to distinguish him from the jackal of Anubis." (Pierret.)  After the second restoration of the old mythology in the period of the XIXth dynasty, Set was identified with the Hykshos Sutekh, who was properly an Asiatic divinity, and whose worship was maintained even by Seti I. and Rameses II.  Both gods, however, were treated as impious, and their worship as heretical, and it is at the present time impossible to distinguish exactly between them, owing to the complete destruction by the Egyptians of all those parts of the monuments whereon their names occur. (An Archaic Dictionary, Cooper, 1876).


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