List of knowledge deities

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A statue of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom
Odin sacrificing himself to gain knowledge of the runes.

A knowledge deity is a deity in mythology associated with knowledge, wisdom, or intelligence.

African mythology[edit]

Ancient Egyptian[edit]

  • Neith, goddess sometimes associated with wisdom
  • Thoth, originally a moon deity, later became the god of knowledge and wisdom and the scribe of the gods
  • Sia, the deification of wisdom
  • Isis, goddess of wisdom, magic and kingship. She was said to be "more clever than a million gods".
  • Seshat, goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. Scribe of the gods. Credited with the invention of writing and the alphabet. Later demoted to consort of Thoth.[1]

West African[edit]

  • Anansi, the spider trickster and spirit of all stories, best known from Akan and Ashanti folklore; according to some tales, also creator of the sun, moon and stars, and teacher of agriculture to humans[2]
  • Orunmila, god of wisdom, knowledge, and divination[3]

Armenian mythology[edit]

  • Anahit, goddess of wisdom[4]
  • Tir, the god of written language, schooling, rhetoric, wisdom, and the arts[5]

Caribbean mythology[edit]

  • Papa Legba, loa of speech, communication, understanding, and guardian of crossroads[6]

Celtic mythology[edit]

  • Ogma, a figure from Irish and Scottish mythology, said to have invented the Ogham alphabet[7]

Chinese mythology[edit]

Etruscan mythology[edit]

  • Menrva, goddess of wisdom, war, weaving, and medicine[10]

Greek mythology[edit]

  • Apollo, god of artistic knowledge, music, education and youth
  • Athena, Olympian goddess of wisdom, weaving, and war strategy
  • Coeus, Titan of the inquisitive mind, his name meaning "query" or "questioning". He is the grandfather of Apollo.
  • Metis, the Titan associated most closely with wisdom and the mother of Athena, whose name in Ancient Greek described a combination of wisdom and cunning.[11][12]
  • Hecate, goddess of magic, crossroads, and safe passage after death
  • Hermes, god of eloquence, cunning and cleverness.
  • Peitho, goddess of rhetorical speech and political persuasion
  • Aphrodite, goddess of love, precreation, pleasure, desire, beauty. Also known as Venus.

Hindu mythology[edit]

A Saraswati statue in a park.
  • Saraswati, goddess of knowledge, creativity and speech
  • Ganesha, god of knowledge, intellect and wisdom and patron of arts and sciences
  • Brihaspati, Guru of the gods, bestower of knowledge and eloquence
  • Shukra, Guru of the demons, bestower of knowledge
  • Chitragupta, god of justice, knowledge and the scribe of the gods
  • Dakshinamurthy, aspect of the god Shiva as a guru and bestower of knowledge
  • Hayagriva, god of knowledge and wisdom
  • Gayatri, form of Saraswati and the goddess of hymns
  • Savitri, another form of Saraswati and goddess of wisdom[13][14]

Hittite mythology[edit]

Japanese mythology[edit]

Middle Eastern mythology[edit]

Muisca mythology[edit]

Lakota mythology[edit]

  • Hnašká, Lakota frog spirit of pezuota (sacred medicine)
  • Hunúŋpa, Lakota bear spirit of wóksape (Lakota concept of sacred knowledge), lesser spirit of knowledge
  • Iktómi, Lakota spider spirit of wóksape and trickery, greater knowledge spirit
  • Kssa, Oglala spirit of knowledge, sometimes considered Iktómi before being stripped of his title
  • Matȟó, Lakota mischievous healer spirit, taught the Lakota to fish
  • Ptesáŋwiŋ/White buffalo calf woman, Lakota prophetess, often conflated with Wohpe
  • Wiyóhiyaŋpa, Lakota wind spirit of the east, oversees new beginnings and knowledge
  • Whapiya/Wóhpe, Lakota spirit of knowledge, wishes, dreams, visons, prophecy and the wife of Okaga the south wind
  • Zuzéča, Lakota snake spirit of hidden knowledge and lies

Norse mythology[edit]

Wodan and Frea by Emil Doepler.
  • Odin, god of wisdom who nevertheless relentlessly keeps searching for more knowledge; associated with the runes
  • Frigg, she is said to know the future, but never tells. The three following goddesses may be hypostases of her.
  • Gefjon, goddess associated with plowing, foreknowledge, and virginity.
  • Sága, goddess of wisdom
  • Snotra, goddess associated with wisdom
  • Vör, goddess associated with wisdom[21][22]
  • Numerous minor characters in Norse mythology are said to be very wise, though there's often no instance of them demonstrating this supposed wisdom:
    • Dwarfs, particularly Alviss, whose name means "all-wise". Thor keeps him from marrying his daughter by challenging him to a wisdom contest that lasts all night. He's turned to stone by the rising sun.
    • Elfs possibly
    • Heimdallr
    • Kvasir
    • Mimir
    • Tyr
    • Utgard-Loki, while not outright stated to be wise, he's notable for being the only giant to be cleverer than the gods and getting to escape with his life
    • Vafthrudnir, a wise jotunn Odin seeks out to challenge to a wisdom contest[23]
    • the Vanir in general[24]

Persian mythology[edit]

  • Anahita, goddess of wisdom
  • Ahura Mazda, Zoroastrian god of light, benevolence, creation, truth, and perfect wisdom
  • Chista, goddess of wisdom and knowledge, she leads the mortals to the right way in life and the afterlife; she is also the goddess of religion in Zoroastrian mythology.[25]
Anahita Vessel, 300-500 AD, Sasanian, Iran, silver and gilt – Cleveland Museum of Art – DSC08130

Polynesian mythology[edit]

Roman mythology[edit]

  • Egeria, a water nymph who gives wisdom and prophecy in return for libations of water or milk at her sacred grove
  • Fabulinus, the God who teaches children to speak
  • Minerva, goddess of wisdom and crafts, the Roman equivalent of Athena
  • Providentia, goddess of forethought
  • Neptune, the god of the sea and freshwater, is said to have all the knowledge of water.[27]

Slavic mythology[edit]

Turco-Mongol mythology[edit]

  • Mergen, deity of abundance and wisdom. Mergen symbolizes intelligence and thought.[29]


  1. ^ "Ancient Gods of Egypt".
  2. ^ Courlander, Harold (1996). A Treasury of African Folklore. New York: Marlowe & Company. p. 136. ISBN 1-56924-816-8.
  3. ^ Bascom, William (1991). Ifa Divination: Communication Between Gods and Men in West Africa. Indiana University Press. p. ix. ISBN 9780253206381. Retrieved 1 April 2019. Qrunmila is another name for Ifa, the deity
  4. ^ "the-goddess-of-love-and-fertility-anahit".
  5. ^ Herouni, Paris (2004). Armenians and Old Armenia. Yerevan. pp. 8, 133.
  6. ^ Herskovits, Melville J. (1937). "African Gods and Catholic Saints in New World Negro Belief". American Anthropologist. 39 (4): 635–643. doi:10.1525/aa.1937.39.4.02a00080.
  7. ^ Jones, Mary. "The Ogham Tract". Celtic Literature Collective. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  8. ^ 民間信仰的神明概念 [Hierarchic organisation of the spiritual world].
  9. ^ Hackin, J. (1932). Asiatic Mythology: A Detailed Description and Explanation of the Mythologies of All the Great Nations of Asia. Asian Educational Services.
  10. ^ de Grummond, Etruscan Myth, Sacred History and Legend
  11. ^ "Volume: Hellas, Article: Greek Mythology". Encyclopaedia The Helios. 1952.
  12. ^ Homer, Iliad, 8. An epic poem about the Battle of Troy. 366–369
  13. ^ Arthur Anthony Macdonell (1978). Vedic Mythology. Motilal Banarsidass (Reprint). ISBN 978-81-208-1113-3.
  14. ^ Yves Bonnefoy (1993). Asian Mythologies. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-06456-7.
  15. ^ J. G. Macqueen, '"Hattian Mythology and Hittite Monarchy'", Anatolian Studies (1959).
  16. ^ R.Lebrun, "Le zoomorphisme dans la religion hittite," L'Animal, l'homme, le dieu dans le Proche-Orient ancien, (Leuven) 1985:95-103, noted in Beckman 1989.
  17. ^ Chamberlain 2008
  18. ^ Kelsey, W. Michael (1983). "Untitled", Asian Folklore Studies Vol 42
  19. ^ Bertman, Stephen (2005). Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia (Paperback ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 122. ISBN 9780195183641. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  20. ^ Hermann & Bullock, 1954
  21. ^ "Most important Gods of Norse Mythology".
  22. ^ "The Children of Odin".
  23. ^ Orchard (1997:170).
  24. ^ Du Chaillu, P. B. (1889).
  25. ^ "The Library of the world's myths and legends" (PDF).
  26. ^ "Handbook of Polynesian Mythology".
  27. ^ "Roman Gods and Goddesses" (PDF).
  28. ^ "Alkonost and Gamayun - Slavic Folklore".
  29. ^ "The Gods of Turks".