"The Victory of Horus"
Act I, "The Harpoon Ritual"
Scene 4: The Eighth Harpoon Strikes Seth

N.B., column numbers in the drawing reflect verse numbers in Fairman's transcription of the text.

Scene 4: 'The Eighth Harpoon Strikes Seth'

Description: As in the previous scenes, Horus of Behdet and Horus of Mesen attack Seth, thrusting two more harpoons into various parts of his flesh. King Ptolemy IX stands on the podium left (down stage right) wearing a short wig tied with medjeh-headband. He raises his arms in adoration, as the two gods strike at Seth.

Horus of Mesen, on the right (stage center left), has lassoed Seth and turned him on his back. Whereupon, he stabs the hippo in the belly and testicles with the seventh harpoon. As Horus strikes, Isis (not depicted) cries out encouragement to him, and the chorus (not depicted) chants praises. Horus is assisted by a lion-headed deity with glowing red eyes, named His-Speech-is-Fire, who carries a spare harpoon and butcher's knife.


After the Mesenite's attack, an interlude in the action occurs, which is not depicted in the vignette. Isis silently cuts off the heads of several snakes which symbolize the enemies of Horus, and the cast ritually eats and drinks the flesh and blood of these. The play-action then resumes.

Apparently, Seth is now out of the water and on land, and he rampages through the falcon-nest of Horus. However, Isis uses her magic to surround Seth with water and immerse him again, so that Horus can attack from his boat.

Horus of Behdet, on the left in the vignette (stage center right), plunges the eighth harpoon into the hippo, specifically in its hind quarters. As he does so, he screams loudly in triumph, and the chorus jubilates. He is assisted by a lion-headed deity who is named He-who-Comes-Forth-with-Mouth-Aflame.

Seth has now been struck on the forehead and snout, the neck and back of head, on the back and side, and in the testicles and hind parts. While two hippos are depicted, only one actually exists in the scene.

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