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In Egyptian mythology, Ptah
Ptah
(/pəˈtɑː/;[1] Ancient Egyptian: ptḥ, probably vocalized as Pitaḥ in ancient Egyptian)[2] is the demiurge of Memphis, god of craftsmen and architects. In the triad of Memphis, he is the spouse of Sekhmet
Sekhmet
and the father of Nefertum. He was also regarded as the father of the sage Imhotep.

Contents

1 Origin and symbolism 2 Representations and hypostases 3 Development of the cult 4 Main places of worship 5 Photographs 6 Legacy 7 See also 8 References 9 Literature

Origin and symbolism[edit]

Statue of Ptah
Ptah
- Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum
of Turin

Ptah
Ptah
is an Egyptian deity and considered the demiurge who existed before all other things and, by his will, thought the world into existence. It was first conceived by Thought, and realized by the Word: Ptah
Ptah
conceives the world by the thought of his heart and gives life through the magic of his Word. That which Ptah
Ptah
commanded was created, with which the constituents of nature, fauna, and flora, are contained. He also plays a role in the preservation of the world and the permanence of the royal function. In the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty, the Nubian pharaoh Shabaka
Shabaka
would transcribe on a stela known as the Shabaka
Shabaka
Stone, an old theological document found in the archives of the library of the temple of the god at Memphis. This document has been known as the Memphite Theology, and shows the god Ptah, the deity responsible for the creation of the universe by thought and by the word. Ptah
Ptah
is the patron of craftsmanship, metalworking, carpenters, shipbuilders, and sculpture. From the Middle Kingdom onwards, he was one of five major Egyptian deities with Ra, Isis, Osiris
Osiris
and Amun. He bears many epithets that describe his role in ancient Egyptian religion and its importance in society at the time:

Ptah
Ptah
the beautiful face Ptah
Ptah
lord of truth Ptah
Ptah
master of justice Ptah
Ptah
who listens to prayers Ptah
Ptah
master of ceremonies Ptah
Ptah
lord of eternity

Representations and hypostases[edit] Like many deities of ancient Egypt
Egypt
he takes many forms, through one of his particular aspects or through syncretism of ancient deities of the Memphite region. Sometimes represented as a dwarf, naked and deformed, his popularity would continue to grow during the Late Period. Frequently associated with the god Bes, his worship then exceeded the borders of the country and was exported throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Through dissemination by the Phoenicians, we find figures of Ptah
Ptah
in Carthage. Ptah
Ptah
is generally represented in the guise of a man with green skin, contained in a shroud sticking to the skin, wearing the divine beard, and holding a sceptre combining three powerful symbols of ancient Egyptian religion:

The Was sceptre The sign of life, Ankh The Djed
Djed
pillar

These three combined symbols indicate the three creative powers of the god: power (was), life (ankh) and stability (djed).

Stucco
Stucco
relief of Ptah
Ptah
holding a staff that bears the combined ankh and djed symbols, Late Period or Ptolemaic Dynasty, 4th to 3rd century BC

From the Old Kingdom, he quickly absorbs the appearance of Sokar and Tatenen, ancient deities of the Memphite region. His form of Sokar is found contained in its white shroud wearing the Atef
Atef
crown, an attribute of Osiris. In this capacity, he represents the patron deity of the necropolis of Saqqara
Saqqara
and other famous sites where the royal pyramids were built. Gradually he formed with Osiris
Osiris
a new deity called Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. Systematically, statuettes representing the human form, half-human, half-hawk, or simply in its falcon form of the new deity, began to be placed in tombs to accompany and protect the dead on their journey to the West. His Tatenen
Tatenen
form is represented by a young and vigorous man wearing a crown with two tall plumes that surround the solar disk. He thus embodies the underground fire that rumbles and raises the earth. As such, he was particularly revered by metalworkers and blacksmiths, but he was equally feared because it was he who caused earthquakes and tremors of the earth's crust. In this form also, Ptah
Ptah
is the master of ceremonies for Heb Sed, a ceremony traditionally attesting to the first thirty years of the pharaoh's reign. The god Ptah
Ptah
could correspond with the sun deities Re or Aten
Aten
during the Amarna period, where he embodied the divine essence with which the sun god was fed to come into existence, that is to say to be born, according to the Memphite mythological/theological texts. In the holy of holies of his temple in Memphis, as well as in his great sacred boat, he drove in procession to regularly visit the region during major holidays. Ptah
Ptah
was also symbolized by two birds with human heads adorned with solar disks, symbols of the souls of the god Re: the Ba. The two Ba are identified as the twin gods Shu and Tefnut
Tefnut
and are associated with the djed pillar of Memphis.[3] Finally, Ptah
Ptah
is embodied in the sacred bull, Apis. Frequently referred to as a herald of Re, the sacred animal is the link with the god Re from the New Kingdom. He even received worship in Memphis, probably at the heart of the great temple of Ptah, and upon the death of the animal, was buried with all the honours due to a living deity in the Serapeum of Saqqara.

Pooh, Phoh, Loh (Lunus, le dieu-Lune, Sélène), N372.2, Brooklyn Museum

Development of the cult[edit]

Colossal statue of the god Ptah- Tatenen
Tatenen
holding hands with Ramses II found at Memphis - Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

As god of craftsmen, the cult of the god Ptah
Ptah
quickly spread throughout Egypt. With the major royal projects of the Old Kingdom, the high priests of Ptah
Ptah
were particularly sought after and worked in concert with the vizier, filling the role of chief architect and master craftsman, responsible for the decoration of the royal funerary complexes. In the New Kingdom, the cult of the god would develop in different ways, especially in Memphis, his homeland, but also in Thebes, where the workers of the royal tomb honoured him as patron of craftsmen. For this reason, the oratory of Ptah
Ptah
who listens to prayers was built near the site of Deir el-Medina, the village where the workers and craftsmen were housed. At Memphis, the role of intercessor with humans was particularly visible in the appearance of the enclosure that protected the sanctuary of the god. Large ears were carved on the walls, symbolizing his role as god who listens to prayers. With the Nineteenth Dynasty, his cult grew and he became one of the four great deities of the empire of Ramses. He was worshipped at Pi-Ramesses
Pi-Ramesses
as master of ceremonies and coronations. With the Third Intermediate Period, Ptah
Ptah
returned to the centre of the monarchy where the coronation of the Pharaoh
Pharaoh
was held again in his temple. The Ptolemies
Ptolemies
continued this tradition, and the high priests of Ptah
Ptah
were then increasingly associated with the royal family, with some even marrying princesses of royal blood, clearly indicating the prominent role they played in the Ptolemaic court. Main places of worship[edit]

Temple dedicated to Location

Ptah Pi-Ramses

Ptah Memphis

Ptah
Ptah
who listens to prayers Memphis

Ptah
Ptah
who is south of his Wall Memphis

Ptah-Sokar Abydos

Ptah-Sokar Kom el-Hettan
Kom el-Hettan
(Thebes)

Ptah
Ptah
who listens to prayers Deir el-Medina
Deir el-Medina
(Thebes)

Ptah Karnak
Karnak
(Thebes)

Ptah Gerf Hussein
Gerf Hussein
(Nubia)

Ptah
Ptah
lord of truth Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel
(Nubia)

Photographs[edit]

Crenelated model tower depicting god Ptah
Ptah
holding a was-sceptre before an offering tabel, on the reverse is a woman (? high priestess) in adoration before ears symbolizing the deity, 18th Dynasty, from Harageh, Egypt, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Stela
Stela
of Irinefer, Servant in the Place of Truth. 19th Dynasty. From Tomb 290 at Deir el-Medina, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Profile of the god Ptah
Ptah
- Relief of the small temple of Hathor
Hathor
at Memphis

Colossal triad representing Ptah-Ramses II- Sekhmet
Sekhmet
– Gardens of the Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum
of Cairo

Pectoral of Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun
representing the young king between the goddess Sekhmet
Sekhmet
and Ptah
Ptah
Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum
of Cairo

Statuette of Ptah-Sokar- Osiris
Osiris
– The Louvre

Votive stele dedicated to the god Ptah
Ptah
in the temple of Deir el-Medina. New Kingdom, XX Dynasty, c. 1150 B.C.

Legacy[edit] The English name Egypt
Egypt
derives from an ancient Egyptian name for Memphis, Hikuptah, which means "Home of the Soul of Ptah". This word entered Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
as Αἴγυπτος (Aiguptos), which entered Latin
Latin
as Aegyptus, and which developed into English as, Egypt. See also[edit]

Osiris Apis Nefertem Sokar Kothar-wa-Khasis

References[edit]

^ "Ptah" in the American Heritage Dictionary Archived 2012-10-25 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Ancient Egyptian, a linguistic introduction, pg 34 ^ Cf. J. Berlandini, Contribution à l'étude du pilier-djed memphite, p.23-33 et pl. 1 A & pl. 2 A

Literature[edit]

Battiscombe G. Gunn, Instruction of Ptah-Hotep and the Instruction of Ke'Gemni: The Oldest Books in the World. 1998 Google books Benedikt Rothöhler, Neue Gedanken zum Denkmal memphitischer Theologie. Heidelberg, 2006 www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/archiv/7030 Maj Sandman Holmberg, The God Ptah. Lund, 1946. Dorothy J. Thompson, Memphis Under the Ptolemies, Second Edition. Princeton, 2012. Alain-Pierre Zivie, Memphis et ses nécropoles au Nouvel Empire. Éditions du CNRS, 1988

v t e

Ancient Egyptian religion

Beliefs

Emanationism Isfet Maat Maa Kheru Mythology Numerology Paganism Pantheism Philosophy Polytheism Soul

Practices

Funerals Heku Mortuary temples Offering formula Temples Veneration of the dead

Deities

Ogdoad

Amun Amunet Heh Hauhet Kek Kauket Nu Naunet

Ennead

Atum Shu Tefnut Geb Nut Osiris Isis Set Nephthys

Aker Akhty Ammit Am-heh Anat Andjety Anhur Anput Anubis Anuket Apedemak Apep Apis Apt Aqen Arensnuphis Ash Astarte Aten Astennu Babi Banebdjedet Bastet Bat Bata Ba-Pef Bes Buchis Dedun Four sons of Horus

Duamutef Hapi Imset Qebehsenuef

Ha Hapi Hathor Hatmehit Hedetet Hedjhotep Heka Hemen Hemsut Heqet Hermanubis Hesat Horus Heryshaf Hu Iabet Iah Iat Ihy Imentet Imhotep Iunit Iusaaset Kebechet Khensit Khenti-Amentiu Khenti-kheti Khepri Kherty Khnum Khonsu Kothar-wa-Khasis Maahes Ma'at Mandulis Matit Medjed Mafdet Mehen Mehet-Weret Mehit Menhit Meret Meretseger Meskhenet Min Mnevis Montu Mut Nebethetepet Nebtuwi Nefertem Nehebkau Nehmetawy Neith Nemty Nekhbet Neper Pakhet Petbe Ptah Qebui Qetesh Ra Raet-Tawy Rem Renenutet Renpet Repyt Resheph Sah Satis Sekhmet Seker Serapis Serket Seshat Shai Shed Shesmetet Shezmu Sia Sobek Sopdet Sopdu Souls of Pe and Nekhen Tatenen Taweret Tayt Ta-Bitjet Tenenet Thoth

Hermes Trismegistus

Tjenenyet Tutu Unut Wadjet Wadj-wer Weneg Wepset Wepwawet Werethekau Wosret

Creatures

Aani Abtu Bennu Griffin Hieracosphinx Medjed Serpopard Sha Sphinx Uraeus

Characters

Dedi Djadjaemankh Rededjet Ubaoner

Locations

Neter-khertet Aaru Benben Duat Land of Manu The Indestructibles

Symbols and Objects

Ankh Atef Atet Book
Book
of Thoth Cartouche Crook and flail Deshret Djed Egyptian obelisk Egyptian pool Eye of Horus Eye of Ra Hedjet Hemhem crown Hennu Imiut fetish Khepresh Kneph Matet boat Menat Nebu Nemes Neshmet Ouroboros Pschent Scarab Seqtet boat Serekh Shen ring Tyet Ushabti Was-sceptre Winged sun

Writings

Amduat Books of Breathing Book
Book
of Caverns Book
Book
of the Dead Book
Book
of the Earth Book
Book
of Gates Book
Book
of the Heavenly Cow Book
Book
of Traversing Eternity Coffin Texts The Contendings of Horus
Horus
and Seth Enigmatic Book
Book
of the Netherworld Great Hymn to the Aten Litany of the Eye of Horus Litany of Re Pyramid Texts

Related religions

Atenism Gnosticism Hermeticism Kemetism Temple of Set

Book Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
portal

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 15571

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