Thoth, a Greek name derived from the Egyptian *ḏiḥautī (djih-how-tee) (written by Egyptians as ḏḥwty) was considered one of the most important deities of the Egyptian pantheon. His feminine counterpart was Ma'at. His chief shrine was at Khemennu, where he was the head of the local company of gods, later renamed Hermopolis by the Greeks (in reference to him through the Greeks' interpretation that he was the same as Hermes) and Eshmûnên by the Arabs. He also had shrines in Abydos, Hesert, Urit, Per-Ab, Rekhui, Ta-ur, Sep, Hat, Pselket, Talmsis, Antcha-Mutet, Bah, Amen-heri-ab, and Ta-kens.
He was considered the heart and tongue of Ra as well as the means by which Ra's will was translated into speech. He has also been likened to the Logos of Plato and the mind of God. In the Egyptian mythology, he has played many vital and prominent roles, including being one of the two gods, the other being his feminine counterpart Ma'at, who stood on either side of Ra's boat. He has further been involved in arbitration, magic, writing, science, and the judging of the dead.
The funerary complex of King Djoser at Saqqara, with its Step Pyramid, is the most extraordinary architectural complex of the Old Kingdom. Its architect was worlds first genius, the Great Imhotep who would be deified by the Greeks 2,500 years later. Hippocrates would study in Memphis at the Temple of Imhotep. The Greeks in turn saw in him their healing god Asclepius. In the third century B.C.E. the Egyptian historian Manetho repeated the traditional belief that Imhotep had invented the art of building in stone during Djoser's reign. In 1926, in a dump south of the entrance colonnade at the complex, the Antiquities Service found a statue base and fragments of a statue of King Djoser on which is engraved, next to the king's Horus name, that of Imhotep with the following titles: "Seal Bearer of the king of Lower Egypt, first after the king of Upper Egypt, Administrator of the Grand Palace, hereditary noble, high priest of Heliopolis, Imhotep, builder and sculptor. ..." The dedication allows this godlike man to step out of legend and assume his place in history.