Seth (Oriental Institute Museum)
New Kingdom, ca. 1500 BC)
The Egyptian god Seth was the brother of Isis and Osiris, and like them he was the son of the sky goddess Mut and the earth god Geb. Seth is the dark side of his brother and sister - Isis makes the crops grow, and Osiris is the god of the Pharaohs who maintain order, but Seth is the god of chaos. In some stories, Seth showed his bad side by ripping his way out of his mother's side to be born instead of being born the normal way.
In paintings, Seth usually has red hair and red eyes, to show that he is weird and different. He also has an animal head, and sometimes takes the form of a crocodile, a hippopotamus, or a black pig - all dangerous animals.
In one story, Seth drowned his brother Osiris in the Nile River and cut his body into pieces. Osiris' son Horus found his uncle Seth and fought him to avenge his father. In the battle, Horus lost his left eye, and Seth lost the ability to have children. (Does this story remind you of the Disney movie "Lion King"? Also compare it to the West African story of Sundiata.)
In other stories, however, Seth and Horus are sometimes different sides of the same god, and people prayed to them together.
To find out more about the Egyptian god Seth, check out these books from Amazon or from your library:
Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, by Leonard Fisher (1999). For younger kids.
Isis and Osiris, by Geraldine Harris (1997). A retelling of the story for kids.
The Egypt Game (Yearling Newbery), by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (reprinted 1985). A great kids' story about kids who pretend to be Egyptian gods and goddesses.
Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice, by John Baines, David Silverman, and Leonard Lesko (1991). Pretty hard going, but it will tell you everything you need to know about Egyptian religion.
Isis in the Ancient World, by R.E. Witt (1997). Mostly about the spread of Isis worship to Greece and the Roman Empire.