Thoth (/ˈθoʊθ/ or /ˈtoʊt/; from Greek Θώθ thṓth, from Egyptian ḏḥwty, perhaps pronounced */tʃʼiħautiː/ or */ɟiħautiː/, depending on phonological interpretation of Egyptian's emphatic consonants) was one of the deities of the Egyptian pantheon, a god of writing and wisdom. He was also associated with the moon in early times; the crescent moon was symbolized by his ibis beak. In art, he was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred to him. His feminine counterpart was Seshat, and his wife was Ma'at.

Thoth's chief temple was located in the city of Khmun, later called Hermopolis Magna during the Greco-Roman era (in reference to him through the Greeks' interpretation that he was the same as their god Hermes) and Shmounein in the Copticrendering, and was partially destroyed in 1826. In that city, he led the Ogdoad pantheon of eight principal deities. He also had numerous shrines within the cities of Abydos, Hesert, Urit, Per-Ab, Rekhui, Ta-ur, Sep, Hat, Pselket, Talmsis, Antcha-Mutet, Bah, Amen-heri-ab, and Ta-kens.

Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (the other being Ma'at) who stood on either side of Ra's boat. In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.

In Mythology[]

Thoth had many stories associated with him in Egyptian mythology. In one story, Ra had angrily banned Nut from giving birth on any day of the year, afraid of being replaced one day. Thoth helped Nut by gambling with the moon god Khonsu, eventually winning enough moonlight from him to add five new days to the year, on which Nut's four children were born.

In another myth, Ra became angry at the people of the world, and transformed Hathor into Sekhmet, commanding the lion goddess to kill off humanity. Ra saw how mortals were suffering and soon regretted his decision, sending Thoth to try and calm Sekhmet. Thoth did this at first by transforming into his baboon form and telling fables to her; but eventually Sekhmet realized she was speaking to Thoth and continued her slaughter. Next, he tricked her into drinking a pool of wine that looked like blood. Sekhmet became drunk, and transformed back into Hathor, and humanity was saved.