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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Archive : Roman Period Terracotta Bust of Thoth Depicted as a Baboon
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Roman Period Terracotta Bust of Thoth Depicted as a Baboon - PF.2390
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 100 AD to 200 AD
Dimensions: 2" (5.1cm) high x 1" (2.5cm) wide
Collection: Egyptian
Medium: Terracotta


Additional Information: Sold

Location: United States
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Description
Thoth was the Egyptian lord of wisdom and sacred writings. He was the moon and the messenger of the gods and, as such, was equated by the Greeks with Hermes. He was worshiped in the form of an ibis, a man with the head of an ibis, or as a baboon, as seen in this terra-cotta sculpture. Thoth's consort was the goddess Maat, the daughter of the sun god Re. She was the goddess of truth, justice and social and cosmic order. Thoth actualized this order when he daily wrote the word Maat, which means "divine order", for the god Re. Hence Thoth, scribe of the gods, and Maat were often shown together in the boat of the sun god. Thoth had several roles, each associated with a different myth and reflected in the various forms in which he is represented. One of his portrayals was that of a baboon because the ancient Egyptians observed that the rising sun was greeted each morning by baboons, their loud early dawn shrieking heard for miles. This sculpture of a baboon's head evokes images of these long lost beliefs, its powerful spirit belying the small size of the terracotta image. With a bit of imagination we can almost hear the early morning incantations of the ancient baboons as they reverently greet the age-old golden orb. - (PF.2390)

 

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