BLACK, HISTORY, Amun, Amaunet, Heh, Hehet, Kek, Keket, Nun, Naunet







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Memphis, Memphite Theology, Ptah, Shabaka, Myth, Egypt

Shabaka Stone

The myth of the Greek god Hephaistos (Hephaestus the divine blacksmith), was based on Ptah. The Memphis theology is based around Ptah above on the left), who himself becomes the primordial fire and gives it substance.


This cosmological system was developed at Memphis, when it became the capital city of the kings of Egypt. Ptah is the creator-god of Memphis, and during the long period the city served as the capital of Egypt it was known as Het-ka-Ptah or "House of the Soul of Ptah". Ptah is one of several Egyptian deities attributed with a myth about fashioning creation. Ptah, as the god Ta-tenen (the primordial mound), creates in the so-called "Memphite Theology" the world, its inhabitants, and the kas of the other gods. Reference is again made to the Ennead, this time with Ptah at its head. The whole Memphite theology is preserved on a slab of basalt now exhibited in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery. It was composed at a very early date, and committed to stone during the Twenty-fifth Dynasty by the order of the Pharaoh Shabaka.




The Shabaka Text (c. 710 BCE) which was intended to preserve "a work of the ancestors," this text is alternatively known as The Memphite Theology, and based upon the generative power of God's thought and speech. The Shabaka Text is perhaps the earliest record of theistic creation in existence. Unfortunately, this Shabaka Stone was subsequently used as a nether mill-stone and much of the text has been lost.

Atum, Ennead, Ogdoad, Heliopolitan, Hermopolitan, Solar


The document known as the Bremner-Rhind Papyrus includes, among other religious texts, two monologues of the sun-god describing how he created all things.


As with all the Egyptian theologies, the Memphite religion was also political, justifying the primary status of the new capital. Ptah, the principal god of Memphis, had to be shown to be the great creator-god, and a new legend about creation was coined.


But it was also important to organize the new cosmogony so that a direct breach with the priests of Heliopolis might be avoided. Ptah was the great creator-god, but eight other gods were held to be contained within him, including some of the Heliopolitan Ennead and the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. The Heliopolitan Atum held a central position, and the Hermopolitan Nun and Naunet were also included.


The Shabaka Text enumerates Ptah's eight hypostases or qualities as "the Neterw who have come into existence in Ptah". Ptah himself incarnates the primordial Eight, and then becomes Tatenenn, 'the earth which rises up', an evocation of the primordial hill. "He who manifested himself as heart, he who manifested himself as tongue, in the likeness of Atum, is Ptah, the very ancient, who gave life to all the Neterw."


Atum, Deities, Ra, Ptah, Creator

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Tongue means speech, or in later philosophical idiom the logos. Ptah conceived the world intellectually before creating it 'by his own word'.


The heart and the tongue 'have power over' all the other members, since the tongue describes what the heart conceives.


Thus Ptah re-creates the Great Ennead, and gives rise to all the qualities of things, through the Desire of his heart and the Word of his tongue.


Ptah's name means "Creator". He is depicted as a mummified man with only his hands free to grasp a sceptre composed of the symbols of life (ankh), power (was), and stability (djed).


He is also typically shown wearing a skullcap and standing on the plinth-shaped hieroglyph that is part of the name for Ma'at, the goddess of fundamental truth



History of Science by Sedgwick and Tyler page 141 and 153 C. IX. History of Philosophy by Zeller Introduction page 31. Europe in the Middle Ages by Ault page 216-219.

History of the Arabs by Hitti page 370, 629, 665 and 572. Esoteric Christianity by Annie Besant page 107, 128-129. Ancient Mysteries by C.H. Vail page 59, 61, 74-75 and 109.