Imhotep - Master of ancient Egyptian knowledge

Arch. Dawoud Khalil Messiha M.S.

Imhotep means literally “he who comes in peace”; he was a defied sage who lived in the reign of King Zoser of the IIIrd dynasty (about 2800 B.C.); a vizier of that king and the originator of the magnificent step pyramid complex at Saqqara. He was one of Zoser’s chief advisers. In priestly wisdom, in magic, in the formulation of wise proverbs, in medicine and architecture. He is the oldest medical figure in history, although his books have disappeared. Later scribes used to pour few drops of water before starting to write as an act of respect to his soul. The people sang of his proverbs centuries later, and two thousand five hundred years after his death he had become a god of medicine. He was worshipped in later periods as the God of healing, and his chapel at Saqqara, which was called Asklepion by the Greeks became a sanatorium for the crippled. Buildings were dedicated to him in temples in the Theban region. The Greeks called him Imuthes. Imhotep titles were found on the base of king’s Zoser statue; he was the counselor of Lower Egypt king, chief of Upper Egypt king’s noble men, director of the great house, noble man and chief of priests of Heliopolis or Anu. He was Upper and Lower Egypt engineer, chief of all the king’s affairs for Lower and Upper Egypt. His record reaches from the Pyramid age (C. 2800 B.C.) through the Middle and New kingdom and far into the period of foreign reign of Egypt, almost indeed until the subjugation of the country by the Arabs in A.D. 640.