"Hemphta - Numen Triforme" the greek portion reads "παντόλιoφoν"

I think it says something like the "holy trinity" or "godhead trinity" but thats just based on googling around.

enter image description here

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    I would not characterize this image as "ancient", Kircher's work was published in 1652–54. Jul 12, 2022 at 16:03
  • 1
    The image is much older than the publication.
    – Hemphta
    Jul 19, 2022 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


Hemphta is the name of the deity.

The Latin Numen triforme means “threefold deity,” or “god having three forms.”

The Greek actually appears to say παντόμορφον (pantómorphon), which I take to mean “all-formed” or something to that effect.

The image (specifically the right version) is from Athanasius Kircher's Oedipus Aegyptiacus, a treatise on Egyptology, volume 2, part 2, p. 160 (1653 edition). I am not sure what Kircher's idea of this Egyptian religious concept was exactly, but he writes a little more about it in part 1, p. 101, and if I understand him right, the deity is known as Hemphta, Phta and Amun, and he believes that it is an obscured, imperfect representation of the Holy Trinity of Christian doctrine («Sacrosanctam & ter benedictam Triadem, fidei Christianae mysterium uti maximum, sic sublimissimum, nullo non tempore etiam sub obscuris fabularum figmentis adumbratum esse»).

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    According to LSJ, παντόμορφος is either an alternate form of πάμμορφος meaning ‘assuming all forms’ (that fits with a god); or an adjective or noun meaning ‘(relating to) the Universe’, which also fits fairly well with a good. Jul 12, 2022 at 10:51
  • @JanusBahsJacquet It doesn't mean "relating to the Universe," but it is an adjective that is applied to the universe, which contains within it all forms...or something like that.
    – cmw
    Jul 13, 2022 at 2:32
  • Yes, Kircher tried to translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs; here is his translation of the Minervan obelisk (in Rome), starting with: "Hemphta Numen supremum..." Jul 13, 2022 at 7:47
  • Yes, I found it! The rest of the page reads, "Are you afraid of the zodiac hieroglyphics of Hermes? Indeed, neither have I until now, met or imagined anyone of my own genius, would bring into this place a hieroglyphic fragment from Gazus, outside the phylactery [a small leather box] of Francis Cardinal Barberinus [the The nephew of Pope Urban VIII], in which whatsoever things concerning the twelve Genius of the Zodiac are discernible, as if looking at a mirror."
    – Hemphta
    Jul 19, 2022 at 21:26

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