BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Seven Days of Black heroes – Imhotep

Statuette of Imhotep, 664–30 BCE. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

This third iteration of Seven days of Black Heroes pulls back the veil of antiquity to give a peek at one of the most prolific and distinguished intellectual talents in known history. Ancient Egyptian high priest, scientist, and scholar, Imhotep.

Imhotep, who was known as Imouthes to the Greeks, was a luminary of ancient Egypt (known as Kemet), who graced the annals of history during the 27th century BCE.  Born in Memphis, Egypt, and renowned as the chief architect of the world’s first monumental building, the Step Pyramid, his legacy transcends mere construction prowess. Imhotep’s multifaceted genius encompassed the roles of architect, astrologer, physician, and chief minister to Pharaoh Djoser, illustrating his status as the epitome of a polymath.

In the realm of medicine, Imhotep’s contributions were nothing short of revolutionary. Developing medical texts that remained influential for centuries, he ventured into realms previously uncharted. Imhotep’s medical acumen reportedly extended to the treatment of various ailments, from the gout to appendicitis. Notably, his understanding of diseases as natural phenomena, rather than divine retribution, laid the groundwork for rational medical practice.

While Hippocrates often receives acclaim as the father of medicine, many scholars assert that Imhotep’s precedence predates the Greek physician. Sir William Osler, co-founder of Johns Hopkins Hospital, emphatically hailed Imhotep as the foremost figure in ancient medical history, dispelling the myth of Hippocratic exclusivity. While alive, his chief role was as hierophant of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis, and long after his death, his enduring influence culminated in his own deification in 525 BCE, as the esteemed God of wisdom and medicine in the ancient Egyptian (Kemetic) pantheon.

With his legacy immortalized for millennia to come, Imhotep’s indelible imprint on human history transcends the bounds of time and space, elevating him to a pedestal reserved for few.

As the architect of the Step Pyramid, the pioneer of rational medicine, and the paragon of ancient wisdom, Imhotep’s footprint continues to be a testament to the enduring power of intellect and innovation across the ages.

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  1. Tbadi
    April 5, 2024

    Imhotep was Joseph from the Bible too.

  2. We Know Better
    February 24, 2024

    Thanks for IMHOTEP in your series 👍. Even this basic account still proves Imhotep was the father of medicine. He preceeded Hippocritis by 2000+ years, deified in 525 BC, 100+ years before Hippo was born.

    So, Hippocrates must have plagiarized the works of Imhotep whom they placed in the 1st sentence of the medical oath as Aesculapius due to Greeks inability to decipher the hieroglyphs; “I SWEAR by Apollo the physician, and Aesclapius, and health, and All-heal….”, also as Mycenius. So Greeks invaded Egypt c 329 BC, suddenly became father of Medicine and everything else, Aristotle wrote 1000 books on everything, they became philosophers and soon as Romans defeated them; Greek philosophy suddenly ended. Hmm

    Comprehensive info on this ancestor are in the publications of another more recent ancestor(surpressed from us) Dr. Usef Ben Jochannan’s ‘Africa: Mother Of Western Civ..’ p316, also ‘Black Man Of The Nile’ that every African person must read by age 12 and have at home.

  3. Dr Pascal.ENT specialist
    February 24, 2024

    Thank you DNO.
    History will erase the mystery!
    Every Ting Bless.

  4. Bronzy
    February 23, 2024

    When comes to Black History Month I’m not Black, I’m Bronze. When I look around and see the lack of decency, the lack of love, the overwhelming level of corruption within the black society, it’s impossible for to be a black person. Many black peoples are ashamed of their race. Michael Jackson and many more names that I could call. Our women are wearing Blonde wigs and the men in jerry curls. They are blending with other races who are not so different. But that’s their only way of escape. Black history month is indicative to Charles Darwin theory of evolution. Since then, what has evolved? Or what has the black race invented since the washing machine? It’s just a waste of time. I’m a Bronze from the Bronze Age. My history is etched in stone. Call me Bronzy.

    • Long-term Results
      February 27, 2024

      You are predictably ashamed, result of too much main-stream tv, time to move on, switch to Youtube.

  5. Roger Burnett
    February 23, 2024

    It should be noted that Imhotep was a high priest, scientist, medical practitioner, architect and scholar. His revolutionary developments were the result of an all round knowledge.

    Today, students are encouraged to specialise on one subject and hence lack the rounded approach needed for innovation.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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