Thoth; from “Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt” (Margaret R.Bunson)


The ancient god of learning and wisdom, also called Djehuti, he was created from the seed of Horus or sprang from the head of Set, depending upon which cultic tradition was preferred. He was called “the Master of the Healing Arts,” “the Beautiful of Night,” “the Lord of Heavens,” and “the Silent Being” and was also worshiped as “the Excellent Scribe” and “Great of Magic.”
Thoth was usually depicted as a man with the head of an ibis, and his theophanies were the ibis and the baboon. He was also considered a moon deity and was sometimes shown carrying a scepter and an ankh.
Thoth was also honored as a scribe deity at Hermopolis Magna and then assigned greater prominence, assuming the head of a dog-headed ape. As the patron of the dead, Thoth wears an Atef crown; as the new moon, A’ah, he is depicted in mummified form. Thoth is credited with inventing the number and the orbits of celestial bodies as the secretary of the gods Osiris and Ré. In his astronomical role he was addressed as “the Governor of the Years,” “the White Disk,” and “the Bull Among the Stars of Heaven.”
Thoth was also a protector of priest-physicians and was associated in some temples with the inundation of the Nile. His great cultic festival was celebrated on the New Year, and he was considered skilled in magic and became the patron of all scribes throughout the nation. Thoth appears in the Horus legends and was depicted in every age as the god who “loved truth and hated abomination.”
He is credited with providing the epagomenal days in the Egyptian calendar and with the healing of the eye of Horus. Many cultic centers honored Thoth, and he was particularly well served by the Tuthmossid rulers of the Eighteenth Dynasty (1550–1307 B.C.E)

Quoted from: Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Margaret R.Bunson © 2002, 1991

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