Alternate Names: Imhtp, Iemhotpe, Imhotpou, Imhotp, Ymhotep

Imhotep was among the first non-royal Egyptians to gain great power and respect. He was born in Ankhtow(?) a suburb of Memphis on our equivalent of May 31 circa 2850 B.C.; approximatly. He is believed to have lived between 4,852 - 4,596 years ago, and existed as a mythological figure in the minds of most scholars until the end of the nineteenth century when he was established as a real historical personage.

Imhotep was born a commoner during the 3rd dynasty by Kherdwankh, His Mother, and Kaneferw, His Father who was also an architect. He learned many skills and rose quickly through the ranks of court & temple. It is written, that after word of Imhotep's great medical knowledge spread, it is said he was called to the court of Pharaoh Khasekhem where he soon saved the life of Pharaoh's Great Royal Wife, who had a very difficult time giving birth to Prince Djoser. 

It is believed that Imhotep served under four pharaohs beginning with Pharaoh Khasekhem. He, is perhaps best known for his service to Pharaoh Netjerykhet (Djoser) of dynasty III, for whom he built the step pyramid at Saqqara (the worlds first known pyramid) and earned the distinction of being the first named architect in human history. Imhotep was known to have written many medical and instructional texts which were lost when the library at Alexandria was burned. We know the works of Imhotep through reference made by later Greek authors. As Imhotep served as vizier to Pharaoh, head architect, and high priest of Ptah ; He was also a gifted astrologist, skilled sculptor, scribe, poet, sage, and magician-physician. His plan for irrigation, food preservation and fishieries management ended a seven-year famine in Egypt. 

About 100 years after his death, he was elevated to a medical demigod. Imhotep is together with Amenhotep I, Amenhotep son of Hapu, and Ahmose Nefertari, the only mortal Egyptians that ever reached the position as full gods. About 2000 years after that again, he was elevated to a full deity. It was as a wise man and a scribe that Imhotep was honored as a god in the New Kingdom, He was venerated as the patron of scribes. During the Late Period, when the capital was Sais, He was fully deified, but not represented with divine insignias. He was called son of Ptah. His Mother was either Sekhmet or Nut and was named brother to Nefertem. Also, He is associated with Djehuty, and became a patron of wisdom and medicine. He was considered physician to both gods and men. He sends sleep to those who were suffering or in pain. During the Ptolmiac Period, there was a small temple to Imhotep built on the Island of Philae. Imhotep was reputed to have written the "book of temple foundations" along with the precepts of Ptah-hotep which have been attributed to his creation.

He was considered protector of all, who like himself, were occupied with the sciences and the occult arts. The innovative Imhotep introduced novelties to the fabric of the society of His day, thus almost breaking the stronghold of inhibiting tradition. Add to this that the god of His day, Ptah , was indeed a thinking god who conceptualized something before He created it. It is also said that if Imhotep had broken loose, he would have set the Egyptian intellect firmly on the same road which was followed some 2000 years later by the Greeks who identified Him with their god of medicine, Asclepius. Unlike other religions Imhotep did not banish the ancient gods but gave them a secondary importance. He transformed them and used them to show the people fundamental ideas such as: conscience, creative ingenuity and balance, to name a few.



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