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Imhotep

Imhotep

Imhotep (fl. c. 3000 B.C.) was one of world history's most versatile geniuses. Inventor of the pyramid, author of ancient wisdom, architect, high priest, physician, astronomer, and scribe, Imhotep's prodigious talents and vast acquired knowledge had such an effect on his Egyptian contemporaries that he became one of only a handful of individuals of nonroyal birth to be promoted to godhood.

Until the late-nineteenth century Egyptologists knew Imhotep, who lived around 3,000 B.C., as a demigod (a mortal with almost divine powers) and then a full deity (or god) of medicine, with numerous temples and a well-organized cult devoted to him between 525 B.C. and 550 A.D. His name was inscribed alongside such powerful deities as Isis and Thoth, but they were purely religious and legendary figures. Until the 1926 discovery at Sakkara of a statue base describing Imhotep as a sculptor and carpenter, a human contemporary of King Zoser of the Third Dynasty, scholars did not believe that a man could achieve such a powerful position among the Egyptian gods.

Second in a Long Line of Architects

Imhotep, or "he who cometh in peace," was born in Ankhtowe, a suburb of Memphis. The month and day of his birth are noted precisely as the sixteenth day of Epiphi, third month of the Egyptian harvest, (corresponding to May 31), but the year is not definitely recorded. It is known that Imhotep was a contemporary of the Pharaoh Zoser (a.k.a. Neterikhet) of the Third Dynasty, but estimates of the era of his reign vary by as much as 300 years, falling between 2980 and 2600 B.C. Imhotep's father, Kanofer, was a distinguished architect who later became known as the beginning of a long line of master builders who contributed to Egyptian works through the reign of King Darius the First in 490 B.C. His mother, Khreduonkh, who probably came from the province of Mendes, is known today for having been deified alongside her son in accordance with Egyptian custom.

Vizier under King Zoser

The office of the vizier in politics was literally described as "supervisor of everything in this entire land," and only the best educated and multifaceted citizen could handle the range of duties associated with serving the Pharaoh so closely. As vizier, Imhotep was chief counsel to Zoser in both religious and practical matters, and he controlled the departments of the Judiciary, Treasury, War, Interior, Agriculture, and the General Executive. The vizier was also believed to have powers beyond those of a mere political figure, and the office was also described as "supervisor of that which Heaven brings, the Earth creates and the Nile brings."

There are no historical records of Imhotep's acts as a political figure, but his wisdom as a religious counsel was widely hailed for ending a terrible famine that afflicted Egypt during seven years of Zoser's reign. It was told that the king was failing in his responsibility to appease the god Khnum, and that his negligence was causing the Nile to fall short of a flood level sufficient to irrigate Egyptian farms. Imhotep, having a vast knowledge of the proper traditions and methods of worship, was able to counsel Zoser on placating the god of the cataract, allowing the Nile to return to its usual flood level. The image of Imhotep as the "bringer of the Nile inundation," found at his temple at Philae, relates directly to those at Memphis, where as a God of Medicine, Imhotep was especially known for the miracle of bringing fertility to the barren.

Architect of the Famous Pyramid at Sakkara

The Step Pyramid at Sakkara is the only of Imhotep's achievements that can still be seen and appreciated today, and its reputation is largely based on his accomplishments as the pyramid's inventor and builder. By far the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World, this first pyramid— actually only part of a large complex of buildings—was the first structure ever built of cut stone. It took 20 years to complete, and given the newness of the idea and the state of structural science in the Bronze Age, the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architecture concludes that its construction must have required "all of the initiative and courage of a genius."

The design of the pyramid was inspired by the Egyptian belief that the tomb should "allow the deceased to mingle with the circumpolar stars, thus fulfilling his stellar destiny." Imhotep wanted the tomb to accommodate the Pharaoh's ascent into the heavens. To do this, he planned to improve upon the flat, rectangular mastabas, or built-in benches, which were the traditional tombal structures. About 600 feet north of the original mastaba, where the inner organs of the mummy were kept, Imhotep began the pyramid with another mastaba structure twice the traditional size, approximately 350 feet on the north and south walls by 400 feet on the east and west. The pyramid was raised on top of this structure in five successively smaller steps, or accretion layers, with a passageway on the north side issuing upward within the structure from a sarcophagus chamber (where the stone coffin holding the mummy is kept) 75 feet below ground. The total height of the pyramid and base is just under 200 feet, unimaginably large for a single structure before Imhotep's design.

The project at Sakkara was designed in its entirety as a medium for the deceased to perform the rituals of the jubilee festival, or Hebsed. The complex consisted of many other buildings, as well as ornamental posts some 37 feet high sculpted into drooping leaves, blooms of papyrus, and sedge flower. These carved stone imitations of the images of Hebsed, which was traditionally carried out in buildings made of plant stems, were finished with a bright green ceramic to make them more colorful and lifelike. The Egyptians believed that a sufficient approximation of the real thing would respond by magic for the deceased to the various incantations of the festival.

The protection of the king and his endowment of burial gifts—about 36,000 vessels of alabaster, dolomite, aragonite, and other precious materials—was the other primary function of the burial site. The entire complex, about one-quarter by one-half mile in area, was enclosed within a stone wall about 35 feet high. Of 14 entrance towers projecting from the wall, the doors of 13 were carved imitations, complete with effects for door leaves and a lock. Only two of the buildings, the royal pavilion and the funerary temple where the spirit could perform the liturgies of Hebsed, were actually designed to be entered by the deceased. These were surrounded by dummy buildings filled with sand, gravel and other rubble, also included solely to confuse would-be invaders. As a final measure, the king's treasure was lowered through vertical shafts around the tomb into a long corridor 100 feet below ground. The digging of just this corridor without earth-moving machines of any kind is a phenomenal accomplishment by modern standards.

It is likely that Imhotep was the architect and master builder of many other projects completed during a 40-year period of the Third Dynasty, though none of them compare in size or stylistic influence to the burial site at Sakkara. A graffito, or ink-marking, in the unfinished temple of Zoser's successor, King Sekhemkhet, mentions the "seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt, Imhotep." The estimates of Imhotep's death date generally coincide with the fifth year of Sekhemkhet's reign, so it is possible that the abandonment of the project coincided with the death of the master builder. It would not be surprising that no other builder in Egypt could continue a work begun by the incomparable genius. Imhotep was also the author of an encyclopedia of architecture that was consulted by Egyptian builders for thousands of years after his death. A temple of Imhotep as god of medicine, constructed at Edfu under Ptolemy IX (r. 107-88 B.C.), was recorded to have been built "as specified by the Book of the Order of a Temple, which the chief lector priest Imhotep the Great, son of Ptah, had redacted."

Physician-Magician, God of Medicine

As a god of medicine, Imhotep was beloved as a mediator of everyday problems who could "provide remedies for all diseases," and "give sons to the childless." Members of the cult of Imhotep in the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Dynasties would pay tribute to the God at his temple just outside Memphis, which also contained halls devoted to the teaching of clinical methods, and to the preservation of the materia medica, papyri detailing the entirety of Egyptian medical knowledge which may actually have originated with Imhotep. His name was often grouped in with such powerful deities as Thoth, God of Wisdom; Isis, the wonder-worker; and Ptah, a healer and the ancient God of Memphis. Although other mortals were deified by the Egyptians, Imhotep is unique for being known by his own name as a god inferior in power only to the chief Sun-God, Re. Imhotep was also a member of the great triad of Memphis, with Ptah, Imhotep's father among the gods, and Sekhmet, a goddess associated with procreation and childbirth.

Science historians do not have the surviving examples of Egyptian medical practices that the pyramids provide the student of architecture. It is a matter of debate today how much of Imhotep's reputation as a curer of disease stems from medical prowess and how much comes from his sage's command of magic and healing rituals. The renowned writer and historian of science, Isaac Asimov, referred to Imhotep as "the first historic equivalent, known by name, of what we would today call a scientist," while the Oxford Companion to Medicine takes the more conservative position that "there is no contemporary evidence of his being a physician." Unfortunately, the papyri of the materia medica have not been recovered, but other medical documents such as the Ebers refer to them as a rich source of scientific knowledge.

Further Reading

Breasted, James Henry, A History of Egypt from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912.

Placzek, Adolf K., Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects, Macmillan, 1982, pp. 454-464.

Hurry, Jamieson Boyd, Imhotep, the Vizier and Physician of King Zoser, and Afterwards the Egyptian God of Medicine, AMS Press, 1928, 1978.

Walton, John, Paul B. Beeson, and Ronald M. Scott, eds., The Oxford Companion to Medicine, Oxford University Press, 1986.

Asimov, Isaac, Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, Doubleday, 1982, p. 1.

Great Engineers and Pioneers in Technology, St. Martin's Press, 1981, pp. 9-10. □

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Imhotep

Imhotep

Born: c. 3000 b.c.e.
Ankhtowe, Egypt
Died: c. 2950 b.c.e.
Memphis, Egypt

Egyptian magician, physician, scribe, sage, architect, astronomer, vizier, and priest

I mhotep was an ancient Egyptian genius who achieved great success in a wide variety of fields. Inventor of the pyramid, author of ancient wisdom, architect, high priest, physician, astronomer, and writer, Imhotep's many talents and vast acquired knowledge had such an effect on the Egyptian people that he became one of only a handful of individuals of nonroyal birth to be deified, or promoted to the status of a god.

Second in a long line of architects

Imhotep, or "he who cometh in peace," was born in Ankhtowe, a suburb of Memphis, Egypt. The month and day of his birth are noted precisely as the sixteenth day of Epiphi, third month of the Egyptian harvest (corresponding to May 31) but the year is not definitely recorded. It is known that Imhotep was a contemporary (living in the same time period) of the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt, Zoser (also known as Neterikhet) of the Third Dynasty. But estimates of the era of his reign vary by as much as three hundred years, falling between 2980 and 2600 b.c.e.

Imhotep's father, Kanofer, a celebrated architect, was later known to be the first of a long line of master builders who contributed to Egyptian works through the reign of King Darius the First (522486 b.c.e.). His mother, Khreduonkh, who probably came from the province of Mendes, is known today for having been deified alongside her son, an Egyptian custom.

Vizier under King Zoser

The office of the vizier in politics was literally described as "supervisor of everything in this entire land." Only the best educated citizen could handle the range of duties of this position that worked closely with the Pharaoh, or king of Egypt. As vizier, Imhotep was chief advisor to Zoser in both religious and practical matters, and he controlled the departments of the Judiciary (court system), Treasury, War, Agriculture, and the General Executive.

There are no historical records of Imhotep's acts as a political figure, but his wisdom as a religious advisor was widely recognized after he ended a terrible famine (a severe shortage of food) that dominated Egypt during seven years of Zoser's reign. It is said that the king was failing in his responsibility to please the god Khnum, and his neglect was causing the Nile to fall short of a flood level which would support Egyptian farms. Imhotep, having a vast knowledge of the proper traditions and methods of worship, was able to counsel Zoser on pleasing the god of the cataract (heavy rain), allowing the Nile to return to its usual flood level.

Architect of the famous pyramid at Sakkara

The Step Pyramid at Sakkara is the only of Imhotep's achievements that can still be seen and appreciated today. Its reputation is largely based on Imhotep's accomplishments as the pyramid's inventor and builder. This pyramid was the first structure ever built of cut stone, and is by far the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World, the seven structures of the ancient world that were astonishing accomplishments for their time. It took twenty years to completenot very long, given the newness of the idea and the state of structural science in the Bronze Age (between 3000 b.c.e. and 1100 C. E.), the period of development where metals, particularly bronze, were used for the first time.

Imhotep wanted the tomb to accommodate the Pharaoh's rise into the heavens. To do this, he planned to improve upon the flat, rectangular mastabas, or built-in benches, which were the traditional tombal structures. The pyramid was raised on top of the base mastabas in five smaller steps, one on top of the other. He added a passageway on the north side issuing upward within the structure from a sarcophagus chamber (where the stone coffin holding the mummy is kept) seventy-five feet below ground. The total height of the pyramid and base is just under two hundred feet, unimaginably large for a single structure before Imhotep's design.

The project at Sakkara was designed in its entirety as a way for the deceased to perform the rituals of the jubilee festival, or Hebsed. The complex consisted of many other buildings, as well as ornamental posts some thirty-seven feet high. The protection of the king and his burial giftsabout thirty-six thousand vessels (containers) of alabaster, dolomite, aragonite, and other precious materialswas the other primary function of the burial site. The entire complex, about one-quarter by one-half mile in area, was enclosed within a stone wall about thirty-five feet high. Imhotep added several false entrances to throw off possible tomb raiders. As a final measure, the king's treasure was lowered through vertical shafts around the tomb into a long corridor one hundred feet below ground. The digging of just this corridor without machines of any kind is an amazing accomplishment by modern standards.

It is likely that Imhotep was the architect and master builder of many other projects completed during a forty-year period of the Third Dynasty, though none of them compare in size or stylistic influence to the burial site at Sakkara. Imhotep was also the author of an encyclopedia of architecture that was used as a reference tool by Egyptian builders for thousands of years.

Physician-magician, god of medicine

As a god of medicine, Imhotep was beloved as a curer of everyday problems who could "provide remedies for all diseases," and "give sons to the childless." Members of the cult of Imhotep in the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Dynasties (between 525 b.c.e. and 550 C. E.) would pay tribute to the God at his temple just outside Memphis. The temple also contained halls devoted to the teaching of medical methods, and to the preservation of the materia medica, which details the entirety of Egyptian medical knowledge which may actually have originated with Imhotep.

Imhotep's name was often grouped with such powerful deities as Thoth, God of Wisdom, Isis, the wonder-worker, and Ptah, a healer and the ancient God of Memphis. Although other humans were deified by the Egyptians, Imhotep is unique for being known by his own name as a god inferior in power only to Re (chief Sun-God). Imhotep was also a member of the great triad of Memphis, with Ptah, Imhotep's father among the gods, and Sekhmet, a goddess associated with childbirth.

It is a matter of debate today how much of Imhotep's reputation as a curer of disease stems from medical skill and how much comes from his command of magic and healing rituals.

For More Information

Asante, Molefe K. The Egyptian Philosophers. Chicago: African American Images, 2000.

Cormack, Maribelle. Imhotep, Builder in Stone. New York: Franklin Watts, 1965.

Hurry, Jamieson Boyd. Imhotep, the Vizier and Physician of King Zoser, and Afterwards the Egyptian God of Medicine. 2nd ed. New York: AMS Press, 1978.

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Imhotep

Imhotep (fl. c.2600 bc). Ancient Egyptian courtier, priest, and architect to King Zoser (Djoser). He was deified later as Architect of the Universe, and one of the Trinity, with Horus and Isis. He was ‘son of Ptah’, and identified with Asclepius. As designer of the huge and sophisticated step-pyramid and complex at Saqqara, he must be regarded as one of the greatest architects of all time, and an important innovator in the development of masonry construction.

Bibliography

J. Curl (2002, 2005);
Hurry (1928);
Sethe (1902);
W. S. Smith (1998);
Wildung (1977)

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Imhotep

Imhotep

(Also spelled "Imhetep.") An ancient Egyptian deity, son of Ptah and Nut, to whom great powers of exorcism were attributed. Imhotep was often appealed to in cases of demonic possession.

Sources:

Doumato, Lamia. Imhotep. Monticello, Ill.: Vance Bibliographies, 1981.

Shorter, Alan W. The Egyptian Gods. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1937. Reprint. 1981.

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Imhotep

Imhotep (fl. 27th century bc), Egyptian architect and scholar. He probably designed the step pyramid built at Saqqara for the 3rd-dynasty pharaoh Djoser. Later deified, he was worshipped as the patron of architects, scribes, and doctors, while in Greece he was identified with the god Asclepius.

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Imhotep

Imhotep

Died Circa 2600 b.c.e.

Vizier, high priest, astrologer, and architect

Sources

Divinity . The Egyptian term for god, netjer, could be applied to a range of entities. In addition to gods properly speaking, the word could be applied to the king, certain animals, and the dead. Egyptians venerated their deceased ancestors as being divine. There are a few individuals in Egyptian history whose divinity grew to exceed the bounds of their own families, and who eventually came to have a place in the pantheon of Egyptian gods. One such individual was Imhotep.

Offices . Imhotep served as a vizier and architect under King Djoser of Dynasty 3 (circa 2675-2625 b.c.e.). He also held the offices of high priest of Re at Heliopolis and the chief of sculptors and makers of stone vessels. He is credited with designing the king’s step pyramid complex at Saqqara, and therefore with inventing monumental construction in stone. He outlived his patron, and his name is found in a graffito on the enclosure wall of an unfinished pyramid started during the reign of Sekhemket, the successor of Djoser. Imhotep died around 2600 b.c.e.

Cult . Imhotep disappears from view until the New Kingdom (circa 1539-1075 b.c.e.). Texts from this period credit him as one of the great sages of Egypt, who authored a collection of proverbs (now lost) that were revered for their wisdom. Imhotep was considered to be a patron of scribes and intellectuals. Scribes would frequently pour out a water libation to him from their water pots before beginning to write. By Dynasty 26 (664-525 b.c.e.) Imhotep was considered to be the son of Ptah and Khereduankh, his natural mother. Later on, Imhotep was given a wife, Renpet-neferet. Eventually, a sanctuary in honor of Imhotep was built at Saqqara. Here in the area of Memphis, Imhotep was considered to be a god with special powers of healing. He was thought to be able to grant requests for wives and children. By the time of Roman domination of Egypt, the cult of Imhotep had spread throughout Egypt. In addition to being a god of healing and wisdom, Imhotep acquired a reputation as a famous astrologer and was thought to have the power to bring fertility to the earth.

Sources

Ann Rosalie and Antony E. David, A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (London: Seaby, 1992).

Nigel Strudwick, The Administration of Egypt in the Old Kingdom: The Highest Titles and Their Holders (London & Boston: Kegan Paul International, 1985).

Dietrich Wildung, Egyptian Saints: Deification in Pharaonic Egypt (New York: New York University Press, 1977).

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Imhotep

Imhotep

2667?-2648? b.c.

Egyptian Vizier, Chief Priest, and Architect

Imhotep was an Egyptian official who served the third-dynasty pharaoh Djoser (r. 2630-2611 b.c.) as vizier, chief priest of the sun god, and chief architect. A commoner, Imhotep rose through the ranks at court to become so respected as a sage, architect, and healer that he was later deified and worshipped as a god. Today he is best known for building the Step Pyramid, one of the world's earliest stone monuments and the first pyramid in Egypt.

As Djoser's chief advisor, Imhotep was assigned the important task of building the pharaoh's tomb at Saqqara. At first Imhotep planned to build the traditional square mastaba tomb, but through a series of changes his plan evolved into Egypt's first pyramid, which he built in stages like stairs. Not only did Imhotep build his pharaoh a symbolic "stairway to heaven," but he built it to last forever, from stone instead of the more traditional mud brick. Because working with stone is much different than working with mud brick, Imhotep had to develop new building techniques so that the pyramid would not collapse under its own weight. When it was finished, the pyramid rose in six stages to a height of about 200 feet (60 m). The chamber for the pharaoh's body was dug deep into the rock under the pyramid, along with 3.5 miles (5.5 km)of shafts, tunnels, galleries, and storage rooms.

Imhotep's vision for Djoser's tomb did not end with the Step Pyramid, but extended to a huge, complex surrounding the pyramid-chapels, tombs, shrines, terraces, courtyards, life-size statues, and subterranean passageways, all built of stone. When it was finished, a stone wall 34-feet (10 m) high surrounded the complex of buildings, covering an area of about 37 acres (1.5 sq km). All the stone surfaces in the complex displayed various hand-carved decorations, including buttresses and recesses, fluted columns, papyrus-shaped capitols, and pictorial wall reliefs. Imhotep's achievement at Saqqara involved more than architecture. The whole complex was constructed to express Imhotep's vision of king and country. Egyptologists think that the complex was as large as a large town of the time.

It is clear that by building the pyramid complex, Imhotep was attempting to give material expression to the spiritual ideals of the Egyptians while providing Djoser with a model city to rule in the afterlife. Nothing on this scale had ever been attempted before, and the political implications of Imhotep's achievement are almost as important as the work itself. Only a very strong central authority could hope to muster, organize, support, and finance the labor involved in such an undertaking. Although the step pyramid was adopted as the standard type of tomb for hundreds of years, the vast complexity of the Step Pyramid complex was not repeated. The incredible organization necessary to build Djoser's complex anticipated the political structures required to build the great pyramids of the fourth dynasty (c. 2597-2475 b.c.).

In addition to his talents as an architect, Imhotep was famous in antiquity for his wisdom and his skill as a doctor. Ancient Egyptians attributed the earliest "wisdom texts" to him, although none of them has survived. Although there is no contemporary evidence that Imhotep was a doctor, he was invoked as a healer in twelfth dynasty (1938-c. 1756 b.c.) inscriptions and was worshipped as a god of medicine, possibly as early as the nineteenth dynasty (1292-c. 1190 b.c.). Later in the Ptolemaic period (310-330 b.c.), the Greeks equated Imhotep with their god of healing, Asclepios, and Ptolemy VIII built a shrine to him. The cult was still active during the first century a.d. when two Roman emperors, Tiberius and Claudius, praised Imhotep in the inscriptions on the walls of their Egyptian temples.

SARAH C. MELVILLE

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Imhotep

Imhotep

fl. Dynasty 3 (2675–2625 b.c.e.)

High Priest of Heliopolis
Architect

Architect and Priest.

Little is recorded of Imhotep's personal life. Even the date of his birth and death remain unknown, though he lived during the Third-dynasty reign of King Djoser (2675–2654 b.c.e.). He certainly reached the highest stratum of society, acting as both High Priest of Re at Heliopolis and the architect for King Djoser's Step Pyramid Complex at Saqqara. Even these facts come from much later sources. According to Manetho, the third-century b.c.e. historian, Imhotep built the first stone building—the Step Pyramid complex. The inscription that mentions his name on a statue of Djoser confirms his high position. The next information about Imhotep after the statue inscription comes 1,000 years later from a papyrus now in the Turin Museum, which calls Imhotep a patron of scribes. In addition, he was already described as son of the god Ptah, the god of the capital city, Memphis. After 664 b.c.e., Egyptians made numerous bronze statuettes of Imhotep. They described him as a teacher, physician, and god. The Greek rulers of Egypt after 332 b.c.e. associated Imhotep with Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine.

sources

Erik Hornung, Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt (Ithica, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1982).

Dietrich Wildung, Egyptian Saints: Deification in Pharaonic Egypt (New York: New York University Press, 1977).

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Imhotep

Imhotep

Unknown–c. 2600 b.c.e.

Vizier

Divinity.

The Egyptian term netjer could be applied to a range of entities. In addition to gods, the word could be applied to the king, certain animals, and the dead. Egyptians venerated their deceased ancestors as in some sense divine. There are a few individuals in Egyptian history whose divinity grew to exceed the bounds of their own families, and who eventually came to have a place in the pantheon of Egyptian gods. Two such individuals are Imhotep and Amenhotep, son of Hapu, who both gained the title of netjer in Egyptian writing.

Offices.

Imhotep served as a vizier (high government official) and architect under King Djoser of the Third Dynasty. He also held the offices of high priest of Re at Heliopolis, and the chief of sculptors and makers of stone vessels. He is credited with designing the king's step pyramid complex at Saqqara, and therefore with inventing monumental construction in stone. He outlived his patron, and his name is found in a graffito on the enclosure wall of an unfinished pyramid started during the reign of Sekhemkhet, the successor of Djoser. Imhotep perhaps died around 2600 b.c.e.

Cult.

Imhotep disappears from view until the New Kingdom. Texts from this period credit him as one of the great sages of Egypt, who authored a collection of proverbs, unfortunately now lost, but revered for their wisdom. Imhotep was considered to be a patron of scribes and intellectuals. Scribes would frequently pour out a water libation to him from their water-pots before beginning to write. By the Twenty-sixth Dynasty (664–525 b.c.e.), Imhotep was considered to be the son of the god Ptah and Khereduankh, his natural mother. Later on, Imhotep was given a wife, Renpet-neferet. Eventually a sanctuary in honor of Imhotep was built at Saqqara. Here in the area of Memphis, Imhotep was considered to be a god with special powers of healing. He was thought to be able to grant requests for wives and children. By the time of Roman domination of Egypt (30 b.c.e.–395 c.e.), the cult of Imhotep had spread throughout Egypt. In addition to being a god of healing and wisdom, Imhotep acquired a reputation as a famous astrologer, and was thought to have the power to bring fertility to the earth.

sources

Rosalie and Antony E. David, A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992).

Nigel Strudwick, The Administration of Egypt in the Old Kingdom: The Highest Titles and Their Holders (London; Boston: Kegan Paul International, 1985).

Dietrich Wildung, Egyptian Saints: Deification in Pharaonic Egypt (New York: New York University Press, 1977).

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