Thoth, the Hermes of Egypt PDF-ebook
|Thoth - the Hermes of Egypt by Patrick Boylan|
A study of some aspects of theological thought in ancient Egypt
The purpose of this essay is to indicate the chief tendencies of ancient Egyptian speculation in regard to the god Thoth. Taking as the basis of his work a fairly complete examination of the chief references to the god in Egyptian literature and ritual, the author has tried to distinguish the more important phases of Thoth's character as they were conceived by the Egyptians, and to show how these aspects, or phases, of his being a help to explain the various activities which are assigned to him in the Egyptian legends of the gods, and in the ritual of tombs and temples.
An attempt has been made, in many instances, to discover the simple concrete meaning which often underlies characteristic epithets of the god, and the need of seeking groupings among epithets that can in any way be associated with well-defined activities or aspects of the god has been emphasised. The author has not aimed at anything like a full analysis of the individuality of the god.
That would have demanded a much closer and more detailed study of Egyptian religious literature, and a more extensive recording of results, than Egyptological scholarship has hitherto attempted in regard to any problem of ancient Egyptian religion. It will be noticed that texts derived from the Egyptian literature of the Graeco-Roman period have been freely used throughout this essay.
Every student of Ptolemaic texts becomes rapidly convinced that those texts contain a considerable amount of theology, which, though it cannot perhaps be always paralleled from the older texts, seems to be fully in line with genuine Egyptian thought of the early — some- times of the very early — period. Hence, whenever the Ptolemaic texts seemed to promise any assistance in explain- ing aspects of Thoth, they have been used as authentic documents of Egyptian speculation and belief.
For the theological thought of the early period, the Pyramid texts have, of course, been minutely examined. Considerations of space and expense have excluded the printing of quotations from the Pyramid Texts, but frequent references to the numbered Spriiche of Sethe's Pyramidentexte will enable the reader to follow and control the writer's use of the Pyramid literature. Passages from the Book of the Dead, in like fashion, have been, for the most part, referred to, rather than quoted. The references are generally to Naville's Totenbiich (in the text of which, however, certain slight emendations based on Worterbuch material, have sometimes been incorporated).
„1. The name of Thoth i
„ II. Thoth in the legends of Osiris and Horus II
„ in. Thoth and the Enneads of Heliopolis 4g
„ IV. Thoth and Re in the Solar, barque 58
„ V. Thoth as lunar deity 62
„ VI. The symbols of Thoth 76
„ VII. Thoth as the representative of Re 81
„ VIII. The special functions of Thoth as lunar divinity 83
„ IX. Thoth as the founder of social order and of sacred ritual .... 88
„ X. Thoth as the author of the "Divine Words" 92
„ XL Thoth the all-knowing 98
„ XII. Thoth as Creator 107
„ XIII. Thoth in magic 124
„ XIV. Thoth as the god of the dead-i36
„ XV. Thoth in Egyptian Ritual 142
„ XVI. The chief temples and shrines of Thoth 147
Appendix A. List of proper names in which the name of Thoth appears. 173
„ B. Epithets of Thoth 180
„ C. Some divine associates of Thoth 201
Additional notes 2l3
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