Introduction - ThothThe Egyptian god Thoth is considered to be one of the most important of the ancient Egyptian gods. He had many roles in Egyptian mythology including maintaining the universe, arbitration of disputes among the other Egyptian gods, and the judgment of those who die. The ancient Egyptians associated this powerful deity with many things including the mind, science, logic, intelligence, knowledge, writing, and reason. The list of facts below provides a short description with information that will help both kids and adults better understand who Thoth was and why he was important to the ancient Egyptians.
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How the Ancient Egyptians Depicted Thoth
- Thoth is usually depicted as human with the head of an ibis, which is a long slender bird with a curved beak. The curved beak is said to represent the curve of the moon.
- He is sometimes depicted as half baboon and half human or as a dog-headed baboon because the baboon was seen as a night animal just as Thoth was god of the moon.
- Thoth is often depicted wearing a crown; often this is the Atef crown which was a tall hat with ostrich feathers and a gold disk on top. He is also often depicted wearing the United Crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt (also called the Pschent crown).
Interesting Facts about the Egyptian God Thoth
- The ancient Egyptians believed Thoth had no parents but was rather self-produced.
- He was said to have made the calculations for the creation of the heavens and Earth and all that are in them.
- Thoth was originally regarded as a moon god but overtime the Egyptians placed even more importance on him.
- He has a prominent role in numerous ancient Egyptian myths.
- His main temple was in the city of Khmun later the Greeks would call this city Hermopolis Magna.
- According to Egyptian mythology this ancient deity was suppose to have written numerous texts collectively called the Book of Thoth; which contained all of the secrets of the universe. Whoever read it would obtain incredible magical powers but would also be cursed and live a life of tragedy.
- Thoth was said to be the inventor of hieroglyphic writing and the Egyptians believed he gave them this writing system as a gift.
- The ancient Egyptians believed Thoth was the secretary and counselor of the most powerful god; Ra.
- In Egyptian mythology Thoth stood next to Ra, on Ra's boat, on Ra's nightly trip across the sky.
- Pharaoh Djehuty who ruled upper Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period around 1650 BC was named after Thoth (Djehuty is one of the many names associated with this god).
- Many ancient Greeks noticed that Thoth had several things in common with their god Hermes; both gods were gods involved with writing and magic. This led some ancient Greeks to combine the two gods into one deity they called Hermes Trismegistus.
Thoth's Many NamesThe name Thoth is actually the Greek version of this gods named derived from the letters dhwty. This deity had many different names throughout the centuries in which ancient Egypt flourished. These names are listed below:
- Lord of the Khemenu