Imhotep also served as chancellor to the pharaoh and high priest
of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis. He was said to be a son of Ptah.
He was revered as a genius and was showered with titles. His full
list is 'Chancellor of the King of Lower Egypt, First after the
King of Upper Egypt, Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary
nobleman, High Priest of Heliopolis, Builder, Sculptor and Maker
of Vases in Chief'. Imhotep is credited as the founder of Egyptian
medicine, and as author of the Edwin Smith Papyrus, detailing cures,
ailments and anatomical observations. The Papyrus Edwin Smith was
probably written around 1700 BC but may perhaps go back to texts
written around 1000 years earlier.
Imhotep Becomes The God of Medicine and Healing
Two thousand years after his death, his status was raised to
that of a god. Imhotep became the god of medicine and healing.
was linked to Asclepius by the Greeks. In artwork he is linked
with other gods (a common practice in Ancient Egypt) such as
Hathor, Maàt, and Amenhotep son of Hapu (another deified
Imhotep's most quoted saying is "Eat, drink, and be merry
for tomorrow we shall die."
Cultural Impact Today
Imhotep is also the name of a fictional character played by Boris
Karloff in the 1932 movie The Mummy, and of a similar character
played by Arnold Vosloo in the 1999 movie The Mummy and its sequel
The Mummy Returns. The architect Imhotep most likely provided
the name for the character.