Study Guide

Ptah Gossip

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The modern name of Egypt comes from the ancient name of Ptah's home town. It was called Hut-ka-Ptah or Hikuptah, "the house of Ptah's soul" or "the temple of Ptah." The Greeks spelled this word Aiguptos, the Romans Aegyptus, and an easier spelling of that Roman version is what we use today. Just to make it more confusing, modern Egyptians call their country by the Arabic name "Misr." (Source)

Myths talk about Ptah rising out of the primeval water (the Nun) on a piece of rock or land called Ta-tenen, or "the first earth." In ancient Egypt, Ta-tenen was symbolized in temples and monuments with a stone called a benben, a tall square pillar with a pyramid on top. The Greeks called these benben stones obelisks, and dozens of them still exist, in Egypt and also in other countries who took obelisks home from Egypt after they visited. There's even an obelisk in New York City! (Source)

When Egypt's 25th Dynasty pharaoh, Taharqa, was fighting the Assyrians who were trying to take over Egypt, the city of Pelusium (Per-Amun) in the Egyptian Delta was saved by a swarm of rats, who were said to rise up out of nowhere and eat the bowstrings and shield handles of Assyrian soldiers. It was said that Ptah sent the rats, after the people of Pelusium prayed for someone to save them from invasion. This story of Ptah's miracle rats even made it into the Old Testament of the Bible, as part of the fourth book of Kings. (Source)

Ptah is the stage name of Genard Blair, a famous bone-breaking dancer from Brooklyn. Unlike the god, he moves around all the time, and some of these movements look a little uncomfortable….ouch!

Jazz harpist Alice Coltrane made some beautiful music in Ptah's honor on an album named Ptah, the El Daoud (Arabic for "beloved.") Listen to her build harmonies for the Great Architect!

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