ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian deities: Sedjem and Iru
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Sedjem and Iru


    Sedjem , (from sDm to listen) and Iru, (the power of seeing), should perhaps be looked upon as a forces rather than as gods in the conventional sense. In the Memphite Mythology Re used Sia (reason), Heka (magic) and Hu (mouth, lips and tongue and therefore also speech) to create the universe. Since the Late Period Sedjem and Iru formed part of these creative forces. Sedjem created the distinctions between the human races: the Egyptian, the Nubian, the Libyan and the Asiatic.

    Ptah was especially mindful of the people and through the power of Sedjem could react to their pleas. That Ptah could hear everything might not always be to the advantage of a person, for when a New Kingdom draughtsman swore a false oath, Ptah struck him blind.[1] Sedjem was also associated with Khonsu and Thoth.[2] At the temple of Edfu there is a Horus inscription:

Your two uraei belong to you, protecting your majesty, o Horus [crossing] the sky, from the seat nof the gods; the god of seeing, the god of hearing and your noble one (i. e. Maat) belong to your Ka, o king of the gods, who answers the pleas of millions; Hu, Sia and the living Ba are at your side, o mating ram, who begets the gods.
Inscription in the Edfu temple[3]

    Learning is to a large part dependent on hearing and seeing. In the Eulogy of a Teacher one of the teacher's virtues praised is his knowledge:

You are knowledgeable in everything, like (the god of) Seeing and (the god of) Hearing
Eulogy of a Teacher[4]

    Sedjem was depicted as an anthropomorph with a bovine ear on his head.

Dunand Françoise, Zivie-Coche Christiane, Gods and Men in Egypt: 3000 BCE to 395 CE, Cornell University Press, 2004
Tyldesley Joyce, The Penguin Book of Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt, Penguin UK, 2010, p.

[1] Tyldesley 2010 op. cit.
[2] Dunand, Zivie 2004, op. cit. p. 349
[3] After a transliteration and German translation of Edfou VII, Inschriftenband Fries, Edfu, Edfou VII, 20, 8-10 - 24, 6-7 on Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae website: Edfu-Projekt, Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen => Edfou VII => Inschriftenband Fries => Edfu, Edfou VII, 20, 8-10 - 24, 6-7
[4] After a transliteration and German translation of pLansing = pBM EA 9994, (Vso.) 13a,8-15,5: Eulogie auf den Lehrer on Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae website: Strukturen und Transformationen des Wortschatzes der ägyptischen Sprache, Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig => Literarische Texte => 4. Satiren, Miscellanies, Brieflehren => Late-Egyptian Miscellanies => pLansing = pBM EA 9994 => (Vso.) 13a,8-15,5: Eulogie auf den Lehrer

©  August 2016