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W9bThoth (Djehuty) was a god of the moon, writing and magic. At times he could take the form of an ibis and at other times a baboon.

As a baboon Thoth was most closely associated with hedj-wer (‘the great white one’), an Early Dynastic god. However, it is not clear why Thoth should be associated with this god. It is also sometimes said that the ancients believed that the phases of the moon could be identified with the behaviour of baboons. By the end of the Old Kingdom he was more associated with the ibis. It has been suggested that the beak of the ibis was identified with both the scribal pen and the crescent moon.

Thoth was a scribe of the gods and thus often appears on scribal palettes such as EC2018 and W216. Scribes would often choose Thoth as their primary deity. He often appears in scenes of the weighing of the heart recording the results for the gods. He also records the names of the kings on a persea tree.

With his power of magic Thoth gave Geb and Nut the extra days of the year in which they produced their offspring. The magic of Thoth was concerned so great that the Egyptians had stories of a ‘Book of Thoth’, a great book of wisdom. Thoth was linked with the moon the second Eye of Re, the left eye (the right Eye is often considered the Eye of Re but the two were often confused in ancient Egypt), and often wore a headrest with a disc and crescent.  

His cult centre was Khmun (Hermopolis Magna). 

In the Pyramid Texts Thoth is very much associated with Seth.

In the Ptolemaic Period he was associated with the Greek god Hermes.


Futher Reading:

Bleeker, C.J. 1973. Hathor and Thoth. Two Key Figures of Ancient Egyptian Religion. 

A selection of items in the Egypt Centre associated with Thoth include:

W1326 Ostracon showing Thoth in baboon form

Amulet on a collar showing Thoth

W216 Thoth on a writing palette

Thoth as a judge (coffin scene)