The Gods of Egypt Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein 5 - Horus and Thoth (Click on pictures to see larger images.) After his murder by Set, Osiris went to the underworld where he became King of the Living and the Dead, so Egypt was without a king. Thus, Horus was left to rule in his place. But he had to best Set several more times before he was finally allowed to rule, and at one point Set turned himself into a snake and hid in the ground, so Horus turned himself into a hawk. He is therefore often pictured as a hawk-headed man. In another portion of the myth, he loses an eye in battle with Set, but Thoth restores the eye. Later, representations of the eye of Horus were used as amulets. As god of wisdom and god of the moon, Thoth was one of the most important gods in the Egyptian pantheon. He supposedly created art, language, the alphabet, writing, religion, liturgical works, and the sciences, including numbers, astrology, astronomy, mathematics, geometry, surveying, medicine, and botany.  He was also known as the “scribe of the gods.”  In the Judgment Hall of the underworld after the deceased had spoken his negative confession (consisting of 42 things the person did not do in life), it was Thoth who gave the gods a final verdict on whether the soul should be blessed. Thoth is sometimes represented as a baboon and sometimes with the head of an ibis, a bird sacred to him.  He later became associated with Hermes Trismegistus, the “thrice-great,” who supposedly gave human beings all the same arts and sciences and who is credited with being the father of alchemy and hermetic magick. The Greeks associated Thoth with their god Hermes, the “messenger of the gods,” called Mercury among the Romans. For some interesting informational links: British Optical Association Museum The Myth of Horus and Set The Legend of Horus of Behutet  and the Winged Disk The Eye of Horus symbol and the Rx symbol of pharmacology Byzant Symbols - Symbol, Fractions and Legend A selection from the lore associated with Hermes Trismegistus known as the “Emerald Tablet of Hermes can be found in the literature selections on this website. For more information on the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, see the following: Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, The Hermetica: The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1999. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily