Excerpt from Thoth the Hermes of Egypt: 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 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 which 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.
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