Ancient Egypt /
(Lived in 27th century BCE) Egyptian architect, chief magician at the Pharaoh's court, vizier, sage and astrologer.
Statue of Imhotep. From Louvre Museum, Paris.
Pyramid of Zhoser at Saqqara, Egypt. The famous structure for what Imhotep is always rememered.
The tiny temple dedicated to Imhotep as god at Philae, Egypt.
About 100 years after his death, he was elevated to a medical demigod. About 2000 years later, he was elevated to a full deity. Imhotep is together with Amenhotep the only Egyptian humans ever defined as full gods.
As the human being
Imhotep was a man of great skills in his time. He was the architect of the temple of Edfu, as well as the step pyramid at Saqqara necropolis near the city of Memphis.
There are no reports of his skills as a physician, but his position at the pharaoh's court clearly indicates that he was active in this field: We know that he was the chief magician, who often also was the chief physician. An even better indication is that people so well remembered him for special medical skills that fairly soon after his death he was elevated to a demigod.
As demigod and god
For about 2000 years, Imhotep was no more than a demigod, but his popularity and ascribed skills must have grown stronger.
In 525, he was elevated to a full god, and replaced Nefertum in the great triad in Memphis. Here he ruled together with his mythological parents, Ptah and Sekhmet.
His temples in Memphis and on the island of Philae were usually filled with people seeking cures for their diseases. Their belief was that the treatment and remedies would be revealed in their dreams, while they were at the shrines.
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