The God Thuth



Despite of his indispensable role in the ancient Egyptian mythology, Thuth has never occupied the position of one of the members of the divine family or as a Chief god in any myth. There are many sources and myths that present him one of the major gods who were accompanying the sun god in the solar boat and responsible for setting the daily course of the chief god. He attained more power in the declining years of Ra, when he occupied the position of Ra's assistant who was responsible for the moon and keeping the stability of the sun god. In the Pyramids Texts, Thuth is described as one of the prominent gods in the underworld who serve in many posts including carrying the recently dead souls on his wing to cross the "winding waterway" and on the other shore serving as the protector and messenger of the Chief god who uses his cutting knife to attack his enemies. There are also many depictions presenting Thuth as a member in the court standing next to the scale that was used for weighing the heart of the dead and writing down the judgment of the dead in a papyrus scroll. Some of the spells of the pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts present Thuth as a "Peacemaker" who reconciles between the conflicting gods like Horus and Seth. In other resources, he was in charge of monitoring the eye of Horus in its journey to wards the kind in order to give him eternity. Thuth was considered as the god of science due to his great knowledge of the celestial mathematics that made him responsible for maintaining the balance of earth. He is credited to naming the things that exist on the surface of earth and establishing the sciences of medicine, astronomy, music and others. It is registered in the Book of the Dead that he was responsible for writing letters on behalf of the gods of Annu.

 The Forms of God Thuth

The usual depiction of Thuth was as a baboon or an Ibis and the reason for involving the ibis in the depiction of Thuth, as mentioned in one of the old myths, is that Ra commanded Thuth, the Ibis to be his messenger who helps him in the weary burdens of mankind and the daily tiring journey. Moreover, the ancient Egyptians prohibited sacrificing the Ibises and regarded it as a sacred bird. The Ibises were presented as sacrifice for Thuth and there is a large necropolis that was dedicated to these mummified ibises nearby Menia or the ancient Hermopolis. On the wall paintings in the Temple of Ramsses II, Thuth is depicted as baboon worshipping the sun god. Other times, Thuth appears a dog-faced ape, since the apes are known for their wisdom. The gates of the shrine of Thuth in El-Ashuein nearby Menia were usually preceded by statues of giant apes. The Egyptian Museum displays many statues for Thuth as an ape in addition to his statue as an Ibis standing next to a scribe that is regarded as one of the rarest and most admired statues for him. The Book of the Dead highlights that in the underworld Thuth was usually standing next to the scale writing the judgment on the dead, and he is presented in this scene in two different shapes: the first as an Ibis, while the second as an Ibis-headed man. These two different shapes were sometimes supplied with the lunar disk over the head which is used as a symbol for Thuth as the deputy of Ra in his declining years and was responsible for the lunar eye. The statues of Thuth as an Ibis-headed man can be found in several places and temples throughout Egypt including the tomb Seti I and king Tutankhamun. There are some wall paintings in the temples of Luxor presenting Thuth while pouring libations over the heads of the king.






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