That’s a lot of scrolls for an incident involving a goat. Sobek really needs to get his life together.

Thoth, the ancient Egyptian scribe god, was responsible for recording the actions of the gods and mortals. He is typically shown as an ibis-headed man or as a man with the head of a baboon, as both animals were considered to be sacred to him. As a god of words and records, Thoth is often seen as having many magical qualities and was long considered one of the most important deities, though there are obviously shifts in his popularity over the span of ancient Egyptian culture. There is quite often a bit of confusion regarding the spheres in which Thoth operated thanks to the ancient Greeks who identified this mysterious god as being akin to their Hermes. Thoth was not considered by his Egyptian worshipers to be a messenger though he is sometimes thought to be an intermediary between the forces of good and evil or order and chaos. Thoth appears as a mediator between Horus and Set and in most accounts, sides with Horus as his claim to the throne is legitimate where Set’s is more about acquiring power.

Though his role as mediator is an important one, it is his creation of writing that is one of his most defining attributes in both art and mythology. Thoth is often depicted with a reed pen and papyrus or chisel and stone. Writing was incredibly important to the ancient Egyptians, it was a boon to commerce and it has helped to preserve their civilization for us today. The importance of the scribe in Egyptian society is reflected in Thoth for without scribes, it was thought, there would be no records, no history, no tradition and these were of critical importance to the Egyptian people.

Alongside this tremendously important role, Thoth was also a god of the Moon and it is thought by many mythologists that the crescent shape of his Ibis bill in artwork is meant to be a reflection of the crescent of the moon. The moon, offering light in the darkness, had long been associated with wisdom and magic, qualities that Thoth took on as a moon-deity and that tied in well with his other duties. Because the cycles of the moon were used for tracking the timing of rituals and events in Egyptian society, Thoth also became thought of as a kind of time-keeper and an organizer of events.

Despite being so busy with so many activities in the land of the living, Thoth also took the form of an ape in Duat, the underworld of the ancient Egyptians. His duty there was to examine the scales as the heart of the dead person seeking entrance was weighed against the Feather of Truth and to report the results to Osiris.

That’s an awful lot of work for one guy!

I nominate Thoth for employee of the month every month.