Al-Kutbay

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Al-Kutbay (Arabic: القطبي‎) was a Nabataean god of knowledge, commerce, writing, and prophecy. The name means, roughly, "the scribe"; it comes from the Arabic root ktb which means 'to write.' A carving at the foot of Jebal Rumm, discovered in 1959 by J. Strugell, is dedicated to al-Kutbay. Another inscription in Wadi Es Siyyagh, on the way to the main spring of Petra, contains the phrase "in front of Kutbay, this very god." Other sites around Arabia contain inscriptions dedicated to him.

Nabataeans and other mercantile Arab tribes brought the worship of al-Kutbay to Egypt. A temple to the god has been discovered at Qasr Gheit, built in characteristic Egyptian style. An altar-base in this temple, is inscribed with the Nabataean dedication: "from Hawyru son of Geram to al-Kutbay."

In the Hellenistic era, al-Kutbay was associated with Hermes and Mercury.

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