HOME
The Info List - Thoth


--- Advertisement ---



Thoth
Thoth
(/θoʊθ, toʊt/; from Greek Θώθ thṓth; derived from Egyptian ḏḥw.ty) was one of the deities of the Egyptian pantheon. 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.[3] Thoth's chief temple was located in the city of Khmun,[note 1][4] later called Hermopolis
Hermopolis
Magna during the Greco-Roman era[5] (in reference to him through the Greeks' interpretation that he was the same as their god Hermes) and ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛⲉⲓⲛ Shmounein in the Coptic rendering. Khmun was partially destroyed in 1826 CE.[6] In that city, he led the Ogdoad pantheon of eight principal deities. He also had numerous shrines within the cities of Abydos, Hesert, Urit, Per-Ab, Rekhui, Ta-ur, Sep, Hat, Pselket, Talmsis, Antcha-Mutet, Bah, Amen-heri-ab, and Ta-kens.[7] Thoth
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 boat.[8] In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth
Thoth
became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes,[9] the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science,[10] and the judgment of the dead.[11]

Contents

1 Name

1.1 Etymology 1.2 Further names and spellings

2 Depictions 3 Attributes 4 Mythology 5 History 6 Modern cultural references 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Bibliography 11 External links

Name[edit] Etymology[edit]

or

Common names for Thoth[12] in hieroglyphs

The Egyptian
The Egyptian
pronunciation of ḏḥwty is not fully known, but may be reconstructed as *ḏiḥautī, perhaps pronounced *[t͡ʃʼi.ˈħau.tʰiː] or *[ci.ˈħau.tʰiː]. This reconstruction is based on the Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
borrowing Thōth (Θώθ [tʰɔːtʰ]) or Theut and the fact that the name was transliterated into Sahidic Coptic variously as ⲑⲟⲟⲩⲧ Thoout, ⲑⲱⲑ Thōth, ⲑⲟⲟⲧ Thoot, ⲑⲁⲩⲧ Thaut, as well as Bohairic Coptic ⲑⲱⲟⲩⲧ Thōout. These spellings reflect known sound changes from earlier Egyptian such as the loss of ḏ palatalization and merger of ḥ with h i.e. initial ḏḥ > th > tʰ.[13] The loss of pre-Coptic final y/j is also common.[14] Following Egyptological convention, which eschews vowel reconstruction, the consonant skeleton ḏḥwty would be rendered "Djehuti" and the god is sometimes found under this name. However, the Greek form "Thoth" is more common. According to Theodor Hopfner,[15] Thoth's Egyptian name written as ḏḥwty originated from ḏḥw, claimed to be the oldest known name for the ibis, normally written as hbj. The addition of -ty denotes that he possessed the attributes of the ibis.[16] Hence Thoth's name would mean "He who is like the ibis", according to this interpretation.

Thoout, Thoth
Thoth
Deux fois Grand, le Second Hermés, N372.2A, Brooklyn Museum

Further names and spellings[edit] Other forms of the name ḏḥwty using older transcriptions include Jehuti, Jehuty, Tahuti, Tehuti, Zehuti, Techu, or Tetu. Multiple titles for Thoth, similar to the pharaonic titulary, are also known, including A, Sheps, Lord of Khemennu, Asten, Khenti, Mehi, Hab, and A'an.[17] In addition, Thoth
Thoth
was also known by specific aspects of himself, for instance the moon god Iah-Djehuty (j3ḥ-ḏḥw.ty), representing the Moon
Moon
for the entire month.[18] The Greeks related Thoth
Thoth
to their god Hermes
Hermes
due to his similar attributes and functions.[19] One of Thoth's titles, "Thrice great" (see Titles) was translated to the Greek τρισμέγιστος (trismégistos), making Hermes Trismegistus.[20] Depictions[edit]

Stela showing a male adorer standing before 2 Ibises of Thoth. Limestone, sunken relief. Early 19th Dynasty. From Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Depiction of Thoth
Thoth
as a baboon (c. 1400 BC), in the British Museum

Thoth
Thoth
has been depicted in many ways depending on the era and on the aspect the artist wished to convey. Usually, he is depicted in his human form with the head of an ibis.[21] In this form, he can be represented as the reckoner of times and seasons by a headdress of the lunar disk sitting on top of a crescent moon resting on his head. When depicted as a form of Shu or Ankher, he was depicted to be wearing the respective god's headdress. Sometimes he was also seen in art to be wearing the Atef
Atef
crown or the United Crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt.[16] When not depicted in this common form, he sometimes takes the form of the ibis directly.[21] He also appears as a dog-faced baboon or a man with the head of a baboon when he is A'an, the god of equilibrium.[22] In the form of A'ah-Djehuty he took a more human-looking form.[23] These forms are all symbolic and are metaphors for Thoth's attributes. The Egyptians did not believe these gods actually looked like humans with animal heads.[24] For example, Ma'at
Ma'at
is often depicted with an ostrich feather, "the feather of truth," on her head,[25] or with a feather for a head.[26] Attributes[edit]

Lee Lawrie, Thoth
Thoth
(1939). Library of Congress John Adams Building, Washington, D.C.

Thoth's roles in Egyptian mythology
Egyptian mythology
were many. He served as a mediating power, especially between good and evil, making sure neither had a decisive victory over the other.[27] He also served as scribe of the gods,[28] credited with the invention of writing and alphabets (i.e. hieroglyphs) themselves.[29] In the underworld, Duat, he appeared as an ape, A'an, the god of equilibrium, who reported when the scales weighing the deceased's heart against the feather, representing the principle of Ma'at, was exactly even.[30] The ancient Egyptians regarded Thoth
Thoth
as One, self-begotten, and self-produced.[21] He was the master of both physical and moral (i.e. divine) law,[21] making proper use of Ma'at.[31] He is credited with making the calculations for the establishment of the heavens, stars, Earth,[32] and everything in them.[31] Compare this to how his feminine counterpart, Ma'at
Ma'at
was the force which maintained the Universe.[33] He is said to direct the motions of the heavenly bodies. Without his words, the Egyptians believed, the gods would not exist.[28] His power was unlimited in the Underworld
Underworld
and rivalled that of Ra and Osiris.[21] The Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion, philosophy, and magic.[34] The Greeks further declared him the inventor of astronomy, astrology, the science of numbers, mathematics, geometry, land surveying, medicine, botany, theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading, writing, and oratory. They further claimed he was the true author of every work of every branch of knowledge, human and divine.[29] Mythology[edit]

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

This detail scene, from the Papyrus
Papyrus
of Hunefer
Hunefer
(c. 1275 BCE), shows the scribe Hunefer's heart being weighed on the scale of Maat
Maat
against the feather of truth, by the jackal-headed Anubis. The ibis-headed Thoth, scribe of the gods, records the result. If his heart equals exactly the weight of the feather, Hunefer
Hunefer
is allowed to pass into the afterlife. If not, he is eaten by the waiting chimeric devouring creature Ammit
Ammit
composed of the deadly crocodile, lion, and hippopotamus. Vignettes such as these were a common illustration in Egyptian books of the dead.

Thoth
Thoth
has played a prominent role in many of the Egyptian myths. Displaying his role as arbitrator, he had overseen the three epic battles between good and evil. All three battles are fundamentally the same and belong to different periods. The first battle took place between Ra and Apep, the second between Heru-Bekhutet and Set, and the third between Horus
Horus
and Set . In each instance, the former god represented order while the latter represented chaos. If one god was seriously injured, Thoth
Thoth
would heal them to prevent either from overtaking the other. Thoth
Thoth
was also prominent in the Asarian myth, being of great aid to Isis. After Isis/Aset gathered together the pieces of Asar's dismembered body, he gave her the words to resurrect him so she could be impregnated and bring forth Horus. After a battle between Horus
Horus
and Set in which the latter plucked out Horus' eye, Thoth's counsel provided him the wisdom he needed to recover it. Thoth
Thoth
was the god who always speaks the words that fulfill the wishes of Ra. This mythology also credits him with the creation of the 365-day calendar. Originally, according to the myth, the year was only 360 days long and Nut was sterile during these days, unable to bear children. Thoth
Thoth
gambled with the Moon
Moon
for 1/72nd of its light (360/72 = 5), or 5 days, and won. During these 5 days, Nut and Geb
Geb
gave birth to Ausar (Osiris), Set, Auset (Isis), and Nebt-Het (Nephthys). History[edit]

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Thoth, sitting on his throne

Thoth
Thoth
was originally a moon god. The moon not only provides light at night, allowing time to still be measured without the sun, but its phases and prominence gave it a significant importance in early astrology/astronomy. The cycles of the moon also organized much of Egyptian society's rituals and events, both civil and religious. Consequently, Thoth
Thoth
gradually became seen as a god of wisdom, magic, and the measurement and regulation of events and of time.[35] He was thus said to be the secretary and counselor of the sun god Ra, and with Ma'at
Ma'at
(truth/order) stood next to Ra on the nightly voyage across the sky. Thoth
Thoth
became credited by the ancient Egyptians as the inventor of writing, and was also considered to have been the scribe of the underworld; and the Moon
Moon
became occasionally considered a separate entity, now that Thoth
Thoth
had less association with it and more with wisdom. For this reason Thoth
Thoth
was universally worshipped by ancient Egyptian scribes. Many scribes had a painting or a picture of Thoth
Thoth
in their "office". Likewise, one of the symbols for scribes was that of the ibis. In art, Thoth
Thoth
was usually depicted with the head of an ibis, possibly because the Egyptians saw curve of the ibis' beak as a symbol of the crescent moon.[36] Sometimes, he was depicted as a baboon holding up a crescent moon, as the baboon was seen as a nocturnal and intelligent creature. The association with baboons led to him occasionally being said to have as a consort Astennu, one of the (male) baboons at the place of judgment in the underworld. On other occasions, Astennu was said to be Thoth
Thoth
himself. During the late period of Egyptian history, a cult of Thoth
Thoth
gained prominence due to its main centre, Khmun ( Hermopolis
Hermopolis
Magna), also becoming the capital. Millions of dead ibis were mummified and buried in his honour. The rise of his cult also led to his cult seeking to adjust mythology to give Thoth
Thoth
a greater role. Thoth
Thoth
was inserted in many tales as the wise counselor and persuader, and his association with learning and measurement led him to be connected with Seshat, the earlier deification of wisdom, who was said to be his daughter, or variably his wife. Thoth's qualities also led to him being identified by the Greeks with their closest matching god Hermes, with whom Thoth
Thoth
was eventually combined as Hermes Trismegistus, also leading to the Greeks' naming Thoth's cult centre as Hermopolis, meaning city of Hermes. It is also considered that Thoth
Thoth
was the scribe of the gods rather than a messenger. Anpu
Anpu
(or Hermanubis) was viewed as the messenger of the gods, as he travelled in and out of the Underworld
Underworld
and presented himself to the gods and to humans. It is more widely accepted that Thoth
Thoth
was a record keeper, not a divine messenger. In the Papyrus
Papyrus
of Ani copy of the Egyptian Book of the Dead
Egyptian Book of the Dead
the scribe proclaims "I am thy writing palette, O Thoth, and I have brought unto thee thine ink-jar. I am not of those who work iniquity in their secret places; let not evil happen unto me."[37] Chapter XXXb (Budge) of the Book
Book
of the Dead is by the oldest tradition said to be the work of Thoth himself.[38] There was also an Egyptian pharaoh of the Sixteenth dynasty named Djehuty (Thoth) after him, and who reigned for three years. Modern cultural references[edit] See also: Ancient Egyptian deities
Ancient Egyptian deities
in popular culture § Thoth Thoth
Thoth
has been seen as a god of wisdom and has been used in modern literature, especially since the early 20th century when ancient Egyptian ideas were quite popular.

Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley
named his Egyptian style Tarot deck "The Book
Book
of Thoth", in reference to the theory that Tarot cards were the Egyptian book of Thoth. H. P. Lovecraft
H. P. Lovecraft
also used the word "Thoth" as the basis for his god, "Yog-Sothoth", a god of knowledge.[39] In Mika Waltari's The Egyptian, the illegitimate son of Sinuhe is named after Thoth, much to the surprise of his father. Thoth
Thoth
is mentioned as one of the pantheon in the 1831 issue of The Wicked + The Divine. Thoth
Thoth
appears as Mr. Ibis
Ibis
in Neil Gaiman's American Gods. The principle mecha in Zone of the Enders
Zone of the Enders
is named Jehuty. Thoth
Thoth
is a playable character in the battle arena game Smite. In the 2016 film Gods of Egypt, Thoth
Thoth
is played by Chadwick Boseman.[40] Thoth
Thoth
is the name of a psychically generated entity in the series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. He manifests in the form of a comic book whose illustrations predict the future.

See also[edit]

Eye of Horus The Book
Book
of Thoth The Book of Thoth
The Book of Thoth
(Crowley)

Thoth
Thoth
tarot deck

Thout, the first month of the Coptic calendar

Notes[edit]

^ Not to be confused with the deity Khnum.

References[edit]

^ Wilkison, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, p. 166 ^ Bleeker, C. J. (1973). Hathor
Hathor
and Thoth: Two Key Figures of the Ancient Egyptian Religion, pp. 121–123 ^ Thutmose III: A New Biography By Eric H Cline, David O'Connor University of Michigan Press (January 5, 2006)p. 127 ^ National Geographic Society: Egypt's Nile Valley Supplement Map. (Produced by the Cartographic Division) ^ National Geographic Society: Egypt's Nile Valley Supplement Map: Western Desert portion. (Produced by the Cartographic Division) ^ Miroslav Verner, Temple of the World: Sanctuaries, Cults, and Mysteries of Ancient Egypt (2013) 149 ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Thoth
Thoth
was said to be born from the skull of set also said to be born from the heart of Ra.p. 401) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 400) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 405) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 414) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians p. 403) ^ Hieroglyphs
Hieroglyphs
verified, in part, in (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 402) and (Collier and Manley p. 161) ^ Allen, James P. (2013-07-11). The Ancient Egyptian Language: An Historical Study. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107032460.  ^ Allen, James P. (2013-07-11). The Ancient Egyptian Language: An Historical Study. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107032460.  ^ Hopfner, Theodor, b. 1886. Der tierkult der alten Agypter nach den griechisch-romischen berichten und den wichtigeren denkmalern. Wien, In kommission bei A. Holder, 1913. Call#= 060 VPD v.57 ^ a b (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 402) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 pp. 402–3) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 pp. 412–3) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians p. 402) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 415) ^ a b c d e (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 401) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 403) ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 plate between pp. 408–9) ^ Allen, James P. (2000). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, p. 44. ^ Allen, op. cit., p. 115 ^ (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 416) ^ (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 405) ^ a b (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 408) ^ a b (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 414) ^ (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 403) ^ a b (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 407) ^ (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 p. 401) ^ (Budge Gods of the Egyptians Vol. 1 pp. 407–8) ^ (Hall The Hermetic Marriage p. 224) ^ Assmann, Jan, The Search for God in Ancient Egypt, 2001, pp. 80–81 ^ Wilkinson, Richard H., The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, 2003, p. 217 ^ The Book of the Dead
Book of the Dead
by E. A. Wallis Budge, 1895, Gramercy, 1999, p. 562, ISBN 0-517-12283-9 ^ The Book of the Dead
Book of the Dead
by E. A. Wallis Budge, 1895, Gramercy, 1999, p. 282, ISBN 0-517-12283-9 ^ Steadman, John L. (2015-09-01). H. P. Lovecraft
H. P. Lovecraft
and the Black Magickal Tradition: The Master of Horror's Influence on Modern Occultism. Weiser Books. ISBN 9781633410008.  ^ Lee, Benjamin (November 13, 2015). "Gods of Egypt posters spark anger with 'whitewashed' cast". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 January 2017. 

Bibliography[edit]

Bleeker, Claas Jouco. 1973. Hathor
Hathor
and Thoth: Two Key Figures of the Ancient Egyptian Religion. Studies in the History of Religions 26. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Boylan, Patrick. 1922. Thoth, the Hermes
Hermes
of Egypt: A Study of Some Aspects of Theological Thought in Ancient Egypt. London: Oxford University Press. (Reprinted Chicago: Ares Publishers inc., 1979). Budge, E. A. Wallis. Egyptian Religion. Kessinger Publishing, 1900. Budge, E. A. Wallis. The Gods of the Egyptians Volume 1 of 2. New York: Dover Publications, 1969 (original in 1904). Jaroslav Černý. 1948. " Thoth
Thoth
as Creator of Languages." Journal of Egyptian Archæology 34:121–122. Collier, Mark and Manley, Bill. How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: Revised Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. Fowden, Garth. 1986. The Egyptian
The Egyptian
Hermes: A Historical Approach to the Late Mind. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. (Reprinted Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993). ISBN 0-691-02498-7. The Book
Book
of Thoth, by Aleister Crowley. (200 signed copies, 1944) Reprinted by Samuel Wiser, Inc 1969, first paperback edition, 1974 (accompanied by The Thoth
Thoth
Tarot Deck, by Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley
& Lady Fred Harris)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thoth.

Stadler, Martin (2012). "Thoth". In Dieleman, Jacco; Wendrich, Willeke. UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology. Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UC Los Angeles. 

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
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 portal

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 5726

.