Mesopotamian Gods & Goddesses (Gods and Goddesses of Mythology)

Mesopotamian Gods & Goddesses (Gods and Goddesses of Mythology)

Language: English

Pages: 110

ISBN: 1622751612

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Mesopotamian Gods & Goddesses (Gods and Goddesses of Mythology)

Language: English

Pages: 110

ISBN: 1622751612

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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but also of evil spirits and demons, most prominently the demoness Lamashtu, who preyed on infants. Anu was also the god of kings and of the yearly calendar. He was typically depicted in a headdress with horns, a sign of strength. His Sumerian counterpart, An, dates from the oldest Sumerian period, at least 3000 BCE. Originally he seems to have been envisaged as a great bull, a form later disassociated from the god as a separate mythological entity, the Bull of Heaven, which was owned by An. His

the gods and to the spirits of deceased charismatic human administrators. Third-millennium-BCE cylinder seal illustrating the farming communities of the Akkadian people. Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Getty Images The cycles of festivals celebrating the marriage and early death of Dumuzi and similar fertility figures in spring were structured according to the backgrounds of the various communities of farmers, herders, or date growers. The sacred wedding—sometimes a fertility rite,

thus ensured fertility for his land. All the rulers of the 3rd dynasty of Ur (c. 2112–c. 2004 BCE) and most of the rulers of the dynasty of Isin (c. 2020–c. 1800 BCE) were treated as embodiments of the dying god Damu and invoked in the ritual laments for him. As a vessel of sacred power the king was surrounded by strict ritual to protect that power, and he had to undergo elaborate rituals of purification if the power became threatened. The individual temples were usually administered by

officials called sangas (“bishops”), who headed staffs of accountants, overseers of agricultural and industrial works on the temple estate, and gudus (priests), who looked after the god as house servants. Among the priestesses, the highest-ranking was termed en (Akkadian: entu). They were usually princesses of royal blood and were considered the human spouses of the gods they served, participating as brides in the rites of the sacred marriage. Other ranks of priestesses are known, most of them to

forth, they disturbed the insides of Tiamat. Finally, Apsu’s patience was at an end, and he thought of doing away with the gods, but Tiamat, as a true mother, demurred at destroying her own offspring. Apsu, however, did not swerve from his decision, and he was encouraged in this by his page Mummu, “the original (watery) form.” When the youngest of the gods, the clever Ea (Sumerian: Enki), heard about the planned attack he forestalled it by means of a powerful spell with which he poured slumber on

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