Study Guide

Nefertem Gossip

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The "Egyptian lotus" that Nefertem is so closely related to is actually a blue water lily. But somehow, "Egyptian water lily" just doesn't sound as cool. Real lotuses weren't introduced into ancient Egypt until the Late Period (and not before 300BCE).

Imhotep, the vizier (a kind of vice president or assistant) to the pharaoh Djoser, was a pretty perfect guy in life. He was the first architect, engineer, and doctor in ancient Egyptian history, and legend says he designed the first pyramids. Some say he was also a powerful magician. When he died, Ptah and Sekhmet adopted him as a stepson, and he became Egypt's first demigod. Imhotep and Nefertem are sometimes confused with each other as time goes by, and they help each other out with their various divine duties. Does Nefertem mind sharing the limelight? Not at all, with such a cool guy like Imhotep to hang out with. Despite what you might have heard from the Mummy movies, Imhotep's not a bad guy, though like those movies, he's said to be pretty handsome.

There's a creepy black metal band from Italy named Nefertum (with a "u"). Their album Revered Lames shows a Middle Age European plague doctor on the cover. These guys were known for stuffing their beaked masks with rags soaked in perfume so they wouldn't catch the plague from their patients. Way to connect to the god of perfume, maybe?

And wait a second—there's another band. This one is a prog rock band from Argentina, named Nefertem with an "e."

Hexen II, a video game, has a temple of Nefertem inside. It's not too badly rendered, either, and seems to be patterned off a real Egyptian temple.

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