Want to learn more about the Egyptian god Thoth? Read on for historical overview of the role of Thoth in ancient Egyptian mythology…
Thoth is the name of an ancient Egyptian god who was considered to be one of the most important deities in ancient Egyptian mythology. As a male God, Thot was depicted with the head of an Ibis. Thoth was also believed to have a female counterpart by the name of Seshat. The center of his cult was at Khemennu. Thot was regarded as the leader of the pantheon in this region.
The shrines of Thoth were distributed across Egypt in a number of different areas including Pselket, Hat, Ta-ur, Ab, Rekhui, Ta-kens, Bah, Talmsis and Antcha-Mutet. According to ancient Egyptian mythology this particular deity was supposed to be the heart and tongue of the mightiest of all the Egyptian deities, Ra. He was also considered to be the interpreter of the will of Ra into actual speech that could be understood by other gods as well as the priests of Egypt. The Egyptians also associated Thoth with the mind of god as well and Logos.
Thoth Over Time
Over the course of history Thoth has been made to play a number of different yet extremely prominent roles. He is also credited as being one of the only two deities that had the honor of standing on the side of the boat of Ra. The other deity to have stood along with Thoth at this location was Ma’at. He was also considered as being the arbiter in matters of disputes and also played a role in the judgment of souls.
The original name used by the Egyptians for Thoth was “dhwty”. This is considered to be the first ever official name for the animal Ibis which represented this Egyptian God. The name actually translates as “he who is like the Ibis”. Egyptologists have not been able to decipher how the name of this ancient deity was pronounced but certain analogies have been drawn from the way the Greeks would pronounce the name of the animal. Thoth was also known by a number of different alternate names including Techu, Tehuti, Tahuti Zehuti and Jehuti.
Egyptian God Thoth Depiction
The depiction of this particular deity has varied according to the era. Furthermore it was also dependent on the particular aspect of Thoth that the artist wanted to depict. A large majority of the hieroglyphics show Thoth in the form of a human being having the head of an Ibis. This physical description was meant to represent him as “the reckoner of times”. He could also be considered as being a symbolic representation of the seasons. This would be done by adding a lunar disk above his head on the hieroglyphic.
Thoth was also depicted in the form of other Egyptian gods namely Ankher and Shu. Whenever he was depicted in the form of these gods he was made to wear the headdress of that particular god. Some hieroglyphics also depict Thoth sporting the ancient atef crown as well as the special “United Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt”. Furthermore some hieroglyphics show him in the form of the baboon with the head of a dog.