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Seshat
 
In Egyptian mythology, Seshat (also spelt Sesat, Sesheta, and Seshata) was originally the deification of the concept of wisdom, and so became a goddess of writing, astronomy/astrology, architecture, and mathematics. As goddess of writing, she was seen as a scribe, and record keeper, and her name itself means (she who) scrivens (i.e. she who is a scribe). When Thoth also became a god of wisdom, Seshat was identified as Thoth's daughter, or variably as his wife.     

In art, she was depicted as a woman, with a stylised papyrus plant above her head, symbolising writing, since the egyptians wrote on a material derived from papyrus. The plant, her symbol, was shown having 6 spurs from the tip of the central stem, making it resemble a 7 pointed star. After the association with Thoth, who had originally been a moon god, the stylised papyrus was shown surmounted by a crescent moon, which, over time, degenerated into being shown as two horns arranged to form a crescent shape between them. When the crescent symbol had degenerated into the horns, she was sometimes known as Safekh-Aubi, meaning (she who) wears the two horns.

Usually, she is also shown holding a palm stem, carrying notches to denote the recording of the passage of time. She is frequently dressed in a leopard-skin, a symbol of funerary priests, because the pattern of the skin represents the stars, both a symbol of eternity, and associated with the moon.

As the divine measurer, and scribe, she was believed to appear to assist the pharaoh in both these practices. It was she who recorded, by notching her palm, the time allotted to him by the gods for his stay on earth, and during the New Kingdom, she was involved in the pharaoh's jubilee festival - the Sed festival. She also assisted the pharaoh in the stretching the cord ritual, as well as recording the speeches the pharaoh made during crowning, and the inventory of foreign captives and goods gained in militay campaigns.     

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This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.

 

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