Thoth

Thoth (/θθ, tt/; from Koinē Greek: Θώθ thṓth, borrowed from Coptic: Ⲑⲱⲟⲩⲧ, the reflex of Ancient Egyptian: ḏḥwtj "[He] is like the Ibis") is an ancient Egyptian deity. In art, he was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred to him. His feminine counterpart was Seshat, and his wife was Ma'at.[1] He was the god of the moon, wisdom, writing, hieroglyphs, science, magic, art, and judgment. His Greek equivalent is Hermes.

ḏḥwtj
Thoth
Thoth, in one of his forms as an ibis-headed man
Major cult centerHermopolis
SymbolIbis, moon disk, papyrus scroll, reed pens, writing palette, stylus, baboon, scales
ConsortMaat
OffspringSeshat[lower-alpha 1]
Greek equivalentHermes

Thoth's chief temple was located in the city of Hermopolis (Ancient Egyptian: ḫmnw /χaˈmaːnaw/, Egyptological pronunciation: "Khemenu", Coptic: Ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Shmun). Later known as el-Ashmunein in Egyptian Arabic, the Temple of Thoth was mostly destroyed before the beginning of the Christian era, but its very large pronaos was still standing in 1826.[2]

In Hermopolis, Thoth led "the Ogdoad", a pantheon of eight principal deities, and his spouse was Nehmetawy. He also had numerous shrines in other cities.[3]

Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (the other being Ma'at) who stood on either side of Ra's solar barque.[4] In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes,[5] the arts of magic, the system of writing, and the judgment of the dead.[6]


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