16 February 2019
John J Johnston 'Seth, Lord of Chaos, Defender of Re: The Chequered Career of a Deity.'
Recognised as one of Egypt's most enduring deities, the god Seth has enacted a number of startlingly different roles in the religion, mythology, and power politics of ancient Egypt from his first appearances in prehistoric petroglyphs. Portrayed as everything from rapacious fratricide to royal tutelary deity, Seth has been both worshipped and reviled across the millennia. Drawing upon textual and archaeological sources, this lecture will consider Seth's continually fluctuating fortunes in order to examine his importance in the culture of the Nile valley during the Pharaonic period and beyond.
John J Johnston is a freelance Egyptologist, Classicist, and cultural historian. A former Vice-Chair of the Egypt Exploration Society (2010 - 2015), he has lectured extensively at institutions such as the British Museum, the British Film Institute, the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. His research interests encompass mortuary belief and practice, gender and sexuality, Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, the history of Egyptology, and the reception of ancient Egypt in the modern world. In addition to contributing numerous articles to both academic and general publications, John sits on the Editorial Board of the bi-annual journal Egyptian Archaeology and has co-edited the books, Narratives of Egypt and the Ancient Near East: Literary Linguistic Approaches (Peeters, 2011), A Good Scribe and an Exceedingly Wise Man (Golden House, 2014), and a collection of classic mummy fiction, Unearthed (Jurassic London, 2013). His introductory essay for the anthology was shortlisted for a prestigious British Science Fiction Association Award in 2014. John has also contributed substantially to the documentary extras on a number of recent Blu-Ray releases of gloriously restored Hammer Films.