Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

  • Fredsvenn:

    The Fertile Crescent is a term for an old fertile area north, east and west of the Arabian Desert in Southwest Asia. The Mesopotamian valley and the Nile valley fall under this term even though the mountain zone around Mesopotamia is the natural zone for the transition in a historical sense.

    As a result of a number of unique geographical factors the Fertile Crescent have an impressive history of early human agricultural activity and culture. Besides the numerous archaeological sites with remains of skeletons and cultural relics the area is known primarily for its excavation sites linked to agricultural origins and development of the Neolithic era.

    It was here, in the forested mountain slopes of the periphery of this area, that agriculture originated in an ecologically restricted environment. The western zone and areas around the upper Euphrates gave growth to the first known Neolithic farming communities with small, round houses , also referred to as Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) cultures, which dates to just after 10,000 BC and include areas such as Jericho, the world’s oldest city.

    During the subsequent PPNB from 9000 BC these communities developed into larger villages with farming and animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood, with settlement in the two-story, rectangular house. Man now entered in symbiosis with grain and livestock species, with no opportunity to return to hunter – gatherer societies.

    The area west and north of the plains of the Euphrates and Tigris also saw the emergence of early complex societies in the much later Bronze Age (about 4000 BC). There is evidence of written culture and early state formation in this northern steppe area, although the written formation of the states relatively quickly shifted its center of gravity into the Mesopotamian valley and developed there. The area is therefore in very many writers been named “The Cradle of Civilization.”

    The area has experienced a series of upheavals and new formation of states. When Turkey was formed in the aftermath of the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians perpetrated by the Young Turks during the First World War it is estimated that two-thirds to three-quarters of all Armenians and Assyrians in the region died, and the Pontic Greeks was pushed to Greece.

    Israel was created out of the Ottoman Empire and the conquering of the Palestinian terretories. The existence of large Arab nation states from the Maghreb to the Levant has since represented a potential threat to Israel which should be neutralised when opportunities arise.

    This line of thinking was at the heart of David Ben Gurion’s policies in the 1950s which sought to exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims in the Lebanon for the fruits of acquiring regional influence by the dismembering the country and the possible acquisition of additional territory.

    The Christians are now being systematically targeted for genocide in Syria according to Vatican and other sources with contacts on the ground among the besieged Christian community.

    According to reports by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency collected by the Centre for the Study of Interventionism, the US-backed Free Syrian Army rebels and ever more radical spin-off factions are sacking Christian churches, shooting Christians dead in the street, broadcasting ultimatums that all Christians must be cleansed from the rebel-held villages, and even shooting priests.

    It is now time that the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians is being recognized, that the Israeli occupation, settlements and violence against the Palestinians stop, and that the various minorities in the area start to live their lifes in peace – without violence and threats from majority populations, or from the West, and then specificially from the US.

    War in the Fertile Crescent
    Everyone is free to use the text on this blog as they want. There is no copyright etc. This because knowledge is more important than rules and regulations.

    All the texts are published under Creative Common-license [ Navngivelse-DelPåSammeVilkår 3.0]

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    Sjur C. Papazian

    Sjur C. Papazian

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  • Transformasjon

  • Sumerian statues

  • Pendant from Mari (modern Tell Hariri, Syria)

  • Sørvest Asia – før og nå

    Den fruktbare halvmåne er en betegnelse på et gammelt fruktbart område nord, øst og vest for den arabiske ørken i Sørvest-Asia. Mesopotamia-dalen og Nil-dalen kommer inn under dette begrepet selv om det i fjellsonen rundt Mesopotamia en naturlig avgrensning i jordbrukshistorisk forstand.

    Som resultat av en rekke unike geografiske faktorer har Den fruktbare halvmåne en imponerende historie av tidlig menneskelig jordbruksaktivitet og kulturdanning. Foruten mange arkeologiske funnsteder med rester av skjeletter og kulturelle levninger så er området først og fremst kjent for dets funnsteder knyttet til jordbrukets opprinnelse og utvikling i den neolittiske tidsalder.

    Det var her, i de skogkledde fjellskråningene i randsonen av dette området, at jordbruket oppsto i et økologisk avgrenset miljø. Den vestlige sonen og områdene rundt øvre Eufrat ga vekst til de første kjente neolittiske jordbruks-samfunnene med små, runde hus, også referert til som førkeramisk neolittisk A, som dateres til like etter 10.000 f.vt. og omfatter steder som Jeriko, som er verdens eldste by.

    Under den påfølgende PPNB fra 9 000 f.vt. utviklet disse samfunnene seg til større landsbyer med dyrking og husdyrhold som viktigste levevei, med tett bebyggelse i to-etasjers, rektangulære hus. Mennesket inngikk nå i symbiose med korn- og husdyrartene, uten mulighet til å vende tilbake til jeger- og sankersamfunnet.

    Området vest og nord for slettelandet ved Eufrat og Tigris så også framveksten av tidlige komplekse samfunn i den langt senere bronsealderen (fra ca 4 000 f.vt.). Det er også tidlige bevis for skriftkultur og tidlige statsdannelser fra samme tid i dette nordlige steppeområdet, selv om de skriftlige statsdannelsene relativt raskt flyttet sitt tyngdepunkt ned i Mesopotamia-dalen og utviklet seg der. Området har derfor hos svært mange forfattere fått betegnelsen «sivilisasjonens vugge».

    Området har opplevd en rekke omveltninger, og nye stasdannelser. Nå sist da staten Tyrkia ble dannet i etterkant av ungtyrkernes folkemord på blant annet de pontiske grekere, armenere og assyrere under den første verdenskrig. Det antas at to tredeler til tre firedeler av alle armenere i regionen døde.

    Det er nå på tide at folkemordet mot de pontiske grekere, assyrere og armenere anerkjennes, at Israels okkupasjon, bosetting og vold palestinerne opphører, samt at de ulike minoritetene i området får leve sine livi fred - uten vold og trusler fra majoritetsbefolkninger eller fra Vesten, og da spesifikt USA.

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Nippur (E-kur/Duranki) : The omphalo of the Sumerians

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 4, 2015

An omphalos is a religious stone artifact, or baetylus. In Greek, the word omphalos means “navel”. In the ancient world of the Mediterranean, it was a powerful religious symbol. The omphalos was not only an object of Hellenic religious symbolism and world centrality; it was also considered an object of power. Its symbolic references included the uterus, the phallus, and a cup of red wine representing royal blood lines. The omphalos at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, represents, in Christian mediaeval tradition, the navel of the world (the spiritual and cosmological centre of the world).

Among the Ancient Greeks, it was a widespread belief that Delphi was the center of the world. According to the myth regarding the founding of the Delphic Oracle, Zeus, in his attempt to locate the center of the earth, launched two eagles from the two ends of the world, and the eagles, starting simultaneously and flying at equal speed, crossed their paths above the area of Delphi. From this point, Zeus threw a stone from the sky to see where it will fall.

The stone fell at Delphi, which since then was considered to be the center of the world, the omphalos – “navel of the earth”. Indeed, the same stone thrown by Zeus took the same name and became the symbol of Apollo, the sacred Oracle and more generally of the region of Delphi.

Ekur (É.KUR) is a Sumerian term meaning “mountain house”. It is the assembly of the gods in the Garden of the gods, parallel in Greek mythology to Mount Olympus and was the most revered and sacred building of ancient Sumer. There is a clear association of Ziggurats with mountain houses.

Duranki (Dur.An.Ki) was the Sumerian term for the people who were created by their Gods. Dur translates to Bond, An translates to Heaven or skies, Ki translates to Earth. According to creation myths of the Sumerian people, their Gods used genetic material from life existing on Earth and mixed it with divine genetic material from themselves to create Humans here on Earth.

Mountain houses play a certain role in Mesopotamian mythology and Assyro-Babylonian religion, associated with deities such as Anu (“sky, heaven”), Enlil (EN = Lord + LÍL = Wind, “Lord (of the) Storm”), Enki (EN.KI(G), “Lord of the Earth”) and Ninhursag, a mother goddess of the mountains, and one of the seven great deities of Sumer. She is principally a fertility goddess.

Temple hymn sources identify her as the ‘true and great lady of heaven’ (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were ‘nourished by Ninhursag’s milk’. Her hair is sometimes depicted in an omega shape, and she at times wears a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders, and not infrequently carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash.

The omega symbol is associated with the Egyptian cow goddess Hathor, and may represent a stylized womb. Hathor is at times depicted on a mountain, so it may be that the two goddesses are connected.

According to legend the name Ninhursag was changed from Ninmah (“Great Queen”) to Ninhursag by her son Ninurta, a Sumerian and the Akkadian god of hunting and war, in order to commemorate his creation of the mountains. As Ninmenna, according to a Babylonian investiture ritual, she placed the golden crown on the king in the E-anna temple.

Ninhursag (“lady of the sacred mountain”) from Sumerian NIN (“lady”) and ḪAR.SAG (“sacred mountain, foothill”) was a reference to the site of her temple, the E-Kur “House of mountain deeps” at Eridu. Her temple, the Esagila (from Sumerian E (“temple”) + SAG (“head”) + ILA (“lofty”) was located on the KUR of Eridu, although she also had a temple at Kish.

Ninhursag had many names including Ninmah (“Great Queen”); Nintu (“Lady of Birth”); Mamma or Mami (mother); Aruru, Belet-Ili (lady of the gods, Akkadian).

Mami is a goddess in the Babylonian epic Atra-Hasis and in other creation legends. She was probably synonymous with Ninhursag. She was involved in the creation of humankind from clay and blood.

As Nintu legends states she pinched off fourteen pieces of primordial clay which she formed into womb deities, seven on the left and seven on the right with a brick between them, who produced the first seven pairs of human embryos.

She may have become Belet Ili (“Mistress of the Gods”) when, at Enki’s suggestion, the gods slew one amongst themselves and used that god’s blood and flesh, mixed with clay, to create humankind.

In the text ‘Creator of the Hoe’, she completed the birth of mankind after the heads had been uncovered by Enki’s hoe. In creation texts, Ninmah (another name for Ninhursag) acts as a midwife whilst the mother goddess Nammu makes different kinds of human individuals from lumps of clay at a feast given by Enki to celebrate the creation of humankind.

As the wife and consort of Enki she was also referred to as Damgulanna (great wife of heaven) or Damkina (faithful wife). She had many epithets including shassuru or ‘womb goddess’, tabsut ili ‘midwife of the gods’, ‘mother of all children’ and ‘mother of the gods’. In this role she is identified with Ki in the Enuma Elish. She had shrines in both Eridu and Kish.

In the legend of Enki and Ninhursag, Ninhursag bore a daughter to Enki called Ninsar (“Lady Greenery”). Through Enki, Ninsar bore a daughter Ninkurra. Ninkurra, in turn, bore Enki a daughter named Uttu, the goddess of weaving and clothing. Uttu in Sumerian means “the woven” and she was illustrated as a spider in a web. In Hurrian mythology, the Hutena are goddesses of fate.

Enki then pursued Uttu, who was upset because he didn’t care for her. Uttu, on her ancestress Ninhursag’s advice buried Enki’s seed in the earth, whereupon eight plants (the very first) sprung up.

Enki, seeing the plants, ate them, and became ill in eight organs of his body. Ninhursag cured him, taking the plants into her body and giving birth to eight deities: Abu, Nintulla (Nintul), Ninsutu, Ninkasi, Nanshe (Nazi), Azimua, Ninti, and Enshag (Enshagag).

The eighth was Ninti or Ti (Lady Rib), a pun on Lady Life (the Tree of “Life”), a title of Ninhursag herself, is the Sumerian goddess of life. Her specific healing area was the rib. Some scholars suggest that this served as the basis for the story of Eve created from Adam’s rib in the Book of Genesis.

Ninti, the title of Ninhursag, also means “the mother of all living”, and was a title given to the later Hurrian goddess Kheba. This is also the title given in the Bible to Eve, the Hebrew and Aramaic Ḥawwah (חוה), who was made from the rib of Adam, in a strange reflection of the Sumerian myth, in which Adam — not Enki — walks in the Garden of Paradise.

The story thus symbolically reflects the way in which life is brought forth through the addition of water to the land, and once it grows, water is required to bring plants to fruit. It also counsels balance and responsibility, nothing to excess.

In older transliteration the name Ninurta is rendered Ninib and Ninip, and in early commentary he was sometimes portrayed as a solar deity. In Nippur (Sumerian: Nibru), Ninurta was worshiped as part of a triad of deities including his father, Enlil and his mother, Ninlil. In variant mythology, his mother is said to be the harvest goddess Ninhursag. The consort of Ninurta was Ugallu in Nippur and Bau when he was called Ningirsu.

Nippur never enjoyed political hegemony in its own right, but its control was crucial, as it was considered capable of conferring the overall “kingship” on monarchs from other city-states. It was distinctively a sacred city, important from the possession of the famous shrine of Enlil.

In the astral-theological system Ninurta was associated with the planet Saturn, or perhaps as offspring or an aspect of Saturn. In his capacity as a farmer-god, there are similarities between Ninurta and the Greek Titan Kronos, whom the Romans in turn identified with their Titan Saturn.

In the Hymn to Enlil, known as the inventor of the mattock (a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax or digging tool of the Sumerians) and helped plants to grow, the Ekur is closely linked to Enlil whilst in Enlil and Ninlil it is the abode of the Annanuki, from where Enlil is banished. The fall of Ekur is described in the Lament for Ur or Lamentation over the city of Ur is a Sumerian lament composed around the time of the fall of Ur to the Elamites and the end of the city’s third dynasty (c. 2000 BC).

The myth of Enlil and Ninlil discusses when Enlil was a young god, he was banished from Ekur in Nippur, home of the gods, to Kur, the underworld for seducing a goddess named Ninlil. Ninlil followed him to the underworld where she bore his first child, the moon god Sin (Sumerian Nanna/Suen). After fathering three more underworld-deities (substitutes for Sin), Enlil was allowed to return to the Ekur.

Enlil is associated with the ancient city of Nippur, sometimes referred to as the cult city of Enlil. His temple was named Ekur, “House of the Mountain.” Such was the sanctity acquired by this edifice that Babylonian and Assyrian rulers, down to the latest days, vied with one another to embellish and restore Enlil’s seat of worship. Eventually, the name Ekur became the designation of a temple in general.

Grouped around the main sanctuary, there arose temples and chapels to the gods and goddesses who formed his court, so that Ekur became the name for an entire sacred precinct in the city of Nippur. The name “mountain house” suggests a lofty structure and was perhaps the designation originally of the staged tower at Nippur, built in imitation of a mountain, with the sacred shrine of the god on the top.

Enlil was also known as the god of weather. According to the Sumerians, Enlil requested the creation of a slave race, but then got tired of their noise and tried to kill them by sending a flood. A mortal known as Utnapishtim survived the flood through the help of another god, Ea, and he was made immortal by Enlil after Enlil’s initial fury had subsided.

As Enlil was the only god who could reach An, the god of heaven, he held sway over the other gods who were assigned tasks by his agent and would travel to Nippur to draw in his power. He is thus seen as the model for kingship. Enlil was assimilated to the north “Pole of the Ecliptic”. His sacred number name was 50.

At a very early period prior to 3000 BC, Nippur had become the centre of a political district of considerable extent. Inscriptions found at Nippur, where extensive excavations were carried on during 1888–1900 by John P. Peters and John Henry Haynes, under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania, show that Enlil was the head of an extensive pantheon. Among the titles accorded to him are “king of lands”, “king of heaven and earth”, and “father of the gods”.

In mythology, the Ekur was the centre of the earth and location where heaven and earth were united. It is also known as Duranki and one of its structures is known as the Kiur (“great place”). Enamtila (É.NAM.TI.LA, “house of life” or possibly “house of creation”), a sanctuary dedicated to Enlil, has also been suggested to have been located within the Ekur at Nippur.

Enamtila was likely another name for Ehursag (É.HUR.SAG, “house of the mountains”), commonly associated with a temple of Enlil. Ehursag is also the name or epithet of Ninhursag’s temple at Hiza and has been suggested to have been an interchangeable word with Enamtila.

A hymn to Nanna illustrates the close relationship between temples, houses and mountains. “In your house on high, in your beloved house, I will come to live, O Nanna, up above in your cedar perfumed mountain”. This was carried-on into later tradition in the Bible by the prophet Micah who envisions “the mountain of the temple of Yahweh”.

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Meaning of Number 6

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 4, 2015

Sexagesimal (base 60) is a numeral system with sixty as its base. It originated with the ancient Sumerians in the 3rd millennium BC, it was passed down to the ancient Babylonians, and it is still used—in a modified form—for measuring time, angles, and geographic coordinates.

A hexagram (Greek) or sexagram (Latin) is a six-pointed geometric star figure with the Schläfli symbol {6/2}, 2{3}, or {{3}}. It is the compound of two equilateral triangles. The intersection is a regular hexagon. It is used in historical, religious and cultural contexts, for example in Hanafism, Raelianism, Jewish identity, Hinduism and occultism.

The Shatkona is a symbol used in Hindu yantra that represents the union of both the male and feminine form. More specifically it is supposed to represent Purusha (the supreme being), and Prakriti (mother nature, or causal matter). Often this is represented as Shiva / Shakti. The Shatkona is a hexagram and is associated with the son of Siva-Sakthi, Lord Murugan. Stylistically, it is almost identical to the Jewish Star of David and the Japanese Kagome crest.

6 (number)

Meaning of Number 6


Sumerian/Babylonian Mathematics

Sumerian metrological numeration systems

Meaning of the Number 6 in the Bible





Star of David

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Coiling of the snake – Chakra – Kundalini – Shakti

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 4, 2015

Coiling of the snake – Chakra – Kundalini – Shakti
Kuṇḍalinī (“coiled one”), in yogic theory, is a primal energy, or shakti, located at the base of the spine. Different spiritual traditions teach methods of “awakening” kundalini for the purpose of reaching spiritual enlightenment.
The Yoga Upanishads describe Kundalini as lying “coiled” at the base of the spine, represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened. In modern commentaries, Kundalini has been called an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force, or “mother energy or intelligence of complete maturation”.
Kundalini awakening is said to result in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss. This awakening involves the Kundalini physically moving up the central channel to reach within the Sahasrara Chakra at the top of the head.
Many systems of yoga focus on the awakening of Kundalini through meditation, pranayama breathing, the practice of asana and chanting of mantras. In physical terms, one commonly reports the Kundalini experience to be a feeling of electric current running along the spine.
Chakra (Sanskrit cakra, “wheel”) is an energy point or node in the subtle body. Various scriptural texts and teachings present a different number of chakras. There are many chakras in the subtle human body according to the tantric texts, but there are seven chakras that are considered to be the most important ones.
Chakras are part of the subtle body, not the physical body, and as such are the meeting points of the subtle (non-physical) energy channels called nadi (nerve, blood vessel, pulse). Nadi are channels in the subtle body through which the life force (prana) (non-physical) or vital energy (non-physical) moves.
Shakti (from Sanskrit shak, “to be able”, meaning “Power” or “empowerment”), also spelt as Sakthi or Shakthi, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism.
Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as ‘The Great Divine Mother’ in Hinduism.
Not only is Shakti responsible for creation, it is also the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force. Shakti exists in a state of svātantrya, dependence on no one, being interdependent with the entire universe.

In Shaktism and Shaivism, Shakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being. Shakti embodies the active feminine energy of Shiva, the destroyer, recycler and regenerator of universe and all life, and is identified as Tripura Sundari or Parvati, the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and devotion.

Parvati is the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and devotion. She is the goddess of divine strength and power. She is the gentle and nurturing aspect of Hindu goddess Shakti. She is the mother goddess in Hinduism and has many attributes and aspects.
Along with Lakshmi (goddess of wealth and prosperity) and Saraswati (goddess of knowledge and learning), she forms the trinity of Hindu goddesses.
With Śiva, Pārvatī is a central deity in Saivism sect of Hinduism. In Hindu belief, she is the recreative energy and power of Śiva, and she is the cause of bond that connects all beings and a means of their spiritual release. In Hindu temples dedicated to her and Śiva, she is symbolically represented as argha or yoni.
Parvati is the mother of Hindu deities Ganesha and Karttikeya (“son of Kṛttikā”), the Hindu god of war. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the devas and the son of Shiva and Parvati.
The first elaborate account of Kartikeya’s origin occurs in the Mahabharata. In a complicated story, he is said to have been born from Agni and Svaha, after the latter impersonated the six of the seven wives of the Saptarishi (Seven Sages). The actual wives then become the Pleiades.
Kartikeya is said to have been born to destroy a buffalo demon (mahishasura). In later mythology, the buffalo demon became the adversary of Durga (“Invincible”), the principal form of the Goddess, also known as Devi and Shakti.
Durga the mahashakti, the form and formless, is the root cause of creation, preservation and annihilation. She is the intelligence in all beings and is referred to as Chamundhaye.
According to legend, Durga was created for the slaying of the buffalo demon Mahisasura by Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and the lesser gods, who were otherwise powerless to overcome him. Embodying their collective energy (shakti), she is both derivative from the male divinities and the manifested representation of their power.
For Vaishnavas Durga is another name/form of Uma or Parvati. This is especially prevalent in the Shakta denomination within Hinduism, which worships the Goddess Devi in all her manifestations. She is Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati in her mild form; Goddess Kali and Goddess Chandi in her wrathful form.
Durga is also called Padmanabha-Sahodari and Narayani, the sister of Lord Vishnu. For Shaivas and Shaktas Durga is the wife of Shiva.
To bring back lord Shiva in Sansar, she was reborn in human form (Sati and Parvati) to marry Shiva. Durga gave birth to his first child Kartikeya. Durga Puja, held annually in her honour, is one of the great festivals of eastern India.
Durga Shakti is the original cause of all the present or past worldly occurrences. The delusion of the supreme soul is otherwise called Shakti (power). From this power, generates all forms of knowledge of the world and it is accepted as vital cause of creation, existence and destruction.
Kālī, also known as Kālikā, is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, or shakti. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga. The name of Kali means black one and force of time; she is therefore called the Goddess of Time, Change, Power, Creation, Preservation and Destruction.
Her earliest appearance is that of a destroyer principally of evil forces. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shākta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman; and recent devotional movements re-imagine Kāli as a benevolent mother goddess. She is often portrayed standing or dancing on her husband, the god Shiva, who lies prostrate beneath her.
According to David Kinsley, Kāli is first mentioned in Hinduism as a distinct goddess around 600 CE, and these texts “usually place her on the periphery of Hindu society or on the battlefield.”
She is often regarded as the Shakti of Shiva, and is closely associated with him in various Puranas. The Kalika Purana depicts her as the “Adi Shakti” (Fundamental Power) and “Para Prakriti” or beyond nature.
In Norse mythology, Hel is a being who presides over a realm of the same name, where she receives a portion of the dead. Literally “concealed place” (compare Old Norse hellir “cave, cavern”), from PIE *kel- “to cover, conceal”.
She may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali.
Ḫaldi (Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk, also known as Haik Nahapet, Hayk the Tribal Chief, the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation) was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini or Artinis of Tushpa.
His shrine was at Ardini (likely from Armenian Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”), known as Muṣaṣir (Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake), in Assyrian.
Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. His wife was the goddess Arubani. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion.
Khaldi was a warrior god whom the kings of Urartu would pray to for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons, such as swords, spears, bow and arrows, and shields hung off the walls and were sometimes known as ‘the house of weapons’.
Caelus or Coelus was a primal god of the sky in Roman myth and theology, iconography, and literature (compare caelum, the Latin word for “sky” or “the heavens”, hence English “celestial”).
The deity’s name usually appears in masculine grammatical form when he is conceived of as a male generative force, but the neuter form Caelum is also found as a divine personification.
The name of Caelus indicates that he was the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Uranus, who was of major importance in the theogonies of the Greeks.
Caelus substituted for Uranus in Latin versions of the myth of Saturn (Cronus) castrating his heavenly father, from whose severed genitals, cast upon the sea, the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) was born.

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Posted by Fredsvenn on September 3, 2015

Caelus or Coelus was a primal god of the sky in Roman myth and theology, iconography, and literature (compare caelum, the Latin word for “sky” or “the heavens”, hence English “celestial”).

The deity’s name usually appears in masculine grammatical form when he is conceived of as a male generative force, but the neuter form Caelum is also found as a divine personification.

The name of Caelus indicates that he was the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Uranus (Οὐρανός, Ouranos), who was of major importance in the theogonies of the Greeks.

Varro couples him with Terra (Earth) as pater and mater (father and mother), and says that they are “great deities” (dei magni) in the theology of the mysteries at Samothrace.

Although Caelus is not known to have had a cult at Rome, not all scholars consider him a Greek import given a Latin name; he has been associated with Summanus, the god of nocturnal thunder, as “purely Roman.”

Caelus begins to appear regularly in Augustan art and in connection with the cult of Mithras during the Imperial era.

Vitruvius includes him among celestial gods whose temple-buildings (aedes) should be built open to the sky. As a sky god, he became identified with Jupiter, as indicated by an inscription that reads Optimus Maximus Caelus Aeternus Iup<pi>ter.

Some Roman writers used Caelus or Caelum as a way to express the monotheistic god of Judaism. Juvenal identifies the Jewish god with Caelus as the highest heaven (summum caelum), saying that Jews worship the numen of Caelus; Petronius uses similar language.

Florus has a rather odd passage describing the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Jerusalem as housing a “sky” (caelum) under a golden vine, which has been taken as an uncomprehending attempt to grasp the presence of the Jewish god.

A golden vine, perhaps the one mentioned, was sent by the Hasmonean king Aristobulus to Pompeius Magnus after his defeat of Jerusalem, and was later displayed in the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus.

Ḫaldi (dḪaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk, Հայկ Նահապետ, Hayk the Tribal Chief, the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation) was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). His shrine was at Ardini. The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa.

Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him.[citation needed] His wife was the goddess Arubani. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion.

Khaldi was a warrior god whom the kings of Urartu would pray to for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons, such as swords, spears, bow and arrows, and shields hung off the walls and were sometimes known as ‘the house of weapons’.

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Birth of our civilization

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 2, 2015

The March equinox or Northward equinox is the equinox on the earth when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading northward. The March equinox is the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere. The equinox can be as early as March 19 or as late as March 21.

The point where the horizon crosses the sun’s disk at the celestial equator northwards is called the first point of Aries (♈) (meaning “ram”). Aries is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30º).

Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this sign between March 21 and April 19 each year. Under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits Aries from 15 April to 15 May (approximately). However, due to the precession of the equinoxes, this point is no longer in the constellation Aries, but rather in Pisces (♓), the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the Pisces constellation.

Pisces spans the 330° to 360° of the zodiac, between 332.75° and 360° of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac the sun transits this area on average between February 19 and March 20, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits this area between approximately March 13 and April 13.

By the year 2600 the first point of Aries will be in Aquarius (some Archeoastronomers and Astrologers believe that will be the start of the approximate 2,150 years of “the Age of Aquarius”, while others think it may have already started, and varying calculations in between).

Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac established among the ancient Mesopotamians—who knew it as the Bull of Heaven—because it was the sign through which the sun rose on the vernal equinox, was the constellation of the Northern Hemisphere’s Spring Equinox from about 3,200 BC. Due to the procession of the equinox, it now follows Aries.

The equinox was considered the Sumerian New Year, Akitu, an important event in their religion. Taurus marked the point of vernal (spring) equinox in the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age, from about 4000 BC to 1700 BC, after which it moved into the neighboring constellation Aries. The Pleiades were closest to the Sun at vernal equinox around the 23rd century BC.

In Babylonian astronomy, the constellation was listed in the MUL.APIN as Gugalanna (Sumerian: GU.GAL.AN.NA, “the Great Bull of Heaven”), better known as the Bull of Heaven (Sumerian: GU.AN.NA), “The Bull of Heaven”. As this constellation marked the vernal equinox, it was also the first constellation in the Babylonian zodiac and they described it as “The Bull in Front”. The Akkadian name was Alu.

Gugalanna was the first husband of the Goddess Ereshkigal, the Goddess of the Realm of the Dead, a gloomy place devoid of light. It was to share the sorrow with her sister that Inanna later descends to the Underworld. In the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest works of literature, the goddess Ishtar sends Taurus, the Bull of Heaven, to kill Gilgamesh for spurning her advances.

Some locate Gilgamesh as the neighboring constellation of Orion, facing Taurus as if in combat, while others identify him with the sun whose rising on the equinox vanquishes the constellation. The story of the death of Gugalanna has been considered to represent the sun’s obscuring of the constellation as it rose on the morning of the equinox.

In early Mesopotamian art, the Bull of Heaven was closely associated with Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare. One of the oldest depictions shows the bull standing before the goddess’ standard; since it has 3 stars depicted on its back (the cuneiform sign for “star-constellation”), there is good reason to regard this as the constellation later known as Taurus.

“Between the period of the earliest female figurines circa 4500 B.C. … a span of a thousand years elapsed, during which the archaeological signs constantly increase of a cult of the tilled earth fertilised by that noblest and most powerful beast of the recently developed holy barnyard, the bull – who not only sired the milk yielding cows, but also drew the plow, which in that early period simultaneously broke and seeded the earth. Moreover by analogy, the horned moon, lord of the rhythm of the womb and of the rains and dews, was equated with the bull; so that the animal became a cosmological symbol, uniting the fields and the laws of sky and earth.”

The seven most prominent stars in this cluster are at least visual magnitude six, and so the cluster is also named the “Seven Sisters”. The name of the Pleiades comes from Ancient Greek. It probably derives from plein (‘to sail’) because of the cluster’s importance in delimiting the sailing season in the Mediterranean Sea: ‘the season of navigation began with their heliacal rising’. However, the name was later mythologised as the name of seven divine sisters, whose name was imagined to derive from that of their mother Pleione, effectively meaning ‘daughters of Pleione’. However, in reality the name of the star-cluster almost certainly came first, and Pleione was invented to explain it.

The Apkallu (Akkadian) or Abgal (Sumerian), are seven Sumerian sages, demigods who are said to have been created by the god Enki (Akkadian: Ea) to establish culture and give civilization to mankind. They served as priests of Enki and as advisors or sages to the earliest kings of Sumer before the flood. They are credited with giving mankind the Me (moral code), the crafts, and the arts. They were seen as fish-like men who emerged from the sweet water Abzu. They are commonly represented as having the lower torso of a fish, or dressed as a fish.

Apkallu reliefs also appear in Assyrian palaces as guardians against evil spirits. They are one of the more prominent supernatural creatures that appear in the art of Ashurnasirpal II of the 9th century BC. They appear in one of three forms, bird-headed, human-headed or dressed in fish-skin cloaks. In the court of Assyria, special physicians trained in the ancient lore of Eridu, far to the south, foretold the course of sickness from signs and portents on the patient’s body, and offered the appropriate incantations and magical resources as cures.

Eridu (Cuneiform: NUN.KI; modern Arabic: Tell Abu Shahrain), also transliterated as Eridug, could mean “mighty place” or “guidance place”, is considered the earliest city in southern Mesopotamia. In the Sumerian king list, Eridu is named as the city of the first kings. The king list continues: “”After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridug (Eridu). In Eridu, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28800 years. Alalngar ruled for 36000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64800 years. Then Eridu fell and the kingship was taken to Bad-tibira.”

The king list gave particularly long rules to the kings who ruled before a great flood occurred, and shows how the center of power progressively moved from the south to the north of the country. Adapa, a man of Eridu, is depicted as an early culture hero. Identified with U-an, a half-human creature from the sea (Abgallu from ab = water, gal = big, lu = man), he was considered to have brought civilization to the city during the time of King Alulim.

In a chart of antediluvian generations in Babylonian and Biblical traditions, Professor William Wolfgang Hallo associates Alulim with the composite half-man, half-fish counselor or culture hero (Apkallu) Uanna-Adapa (Oannes), and suggests an equivalence between Alulim and Enosh in the Sethite genealogy given in Genesis chapter 5. Hallo notes that Alulim’s name means “Stag”.

Oannes was the name given by the Babylonian writer Berossus in the 3rd century BC to a mythical being who taught mankind wisdom. Berossus describes Oannes as having the body of a fish but underneath the figure of a man. He is described as dwelling in the Persian Gulf, and rising out of the waters in the daytime and furnishing mankind instruction in writing, the arts and the various sciences. Oannes and the Semitic god Dagon were considered identical.

The name “Oannes” was once conjectured to be derived from that of the ancient Babylonian god Ea, but it is now known that the name is the Greek form of the Babylonian Uanna (or Uan) a name used for Adapa in texts from the Library of Ashurbanipal. The Assyrian texts attempt to connect the word to the Akkadian for a craftsman ummanu but this is merely a pun.

Jonah or Jonas is the name given in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh/Old Testament) to a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel in about the 8th century BC. He is the eponymous central character in the Book of Jonah, famous for being swallowed by a fish or a whale, depending on translation. The biblical story of Jonah is repeated, with a few notable differences, in the Qur’an.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus makes a reference to Jonah when he is asked for a miraculous sign by the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. Jesus says that the sign will be the sign of Jonah. Jesus implies that Jonah’s restoration after three days inside the great whale prefigures His own resurrection.

John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá’í Faith, and Mandaeism. He is described as having the unique practice of baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Most scholars agree that John baptized Jesus. Scholars generally believe Jesus was a follower or disciple of John and several New Testament accounts report that some of Jesus’ early followers had previously been followers of John. John the Baptist is also mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus.

According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself, and Jesus was the one whose coming John foretold. Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus’ coming. John is also identified with the prophet Elijah.

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A newly emerging perspective by Ernest G. McClain

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 2, 2015

Gods of Sumeria symbolize Ancient Music of 22 Srutis

Speculations on Sumerian tuning, by Joe Monzo – Tonalsoft

List of Mesopotamian deities

Music and mathematics

Music theorists sometimes use mathematics to understand music, and although music has no axiomatic foundation in modern mathematics, mathematics is “the basis of sound” and sound itself “in its musical aspects… exhibits a remarkable array of number properties”, simply because nature itself “is amazingly mathematical”.

The attempt to structure and communicate new ways of composing and hearing music has led to musical applications of set theory, abstract algebra and number theory. Some composers have incorporated the golden ratio and Fibonacci numbers into their work.

Music and mathematics

Today’s physicists enjoy speculating about Theories of Everything, but they really don’t nean everything! They just mean physics and cosmology. Some 5,000 years ago, the Sumerians constructed a remarkable Theory of Everything based upon music, a base-60 number system, and symmetry concepts. These Sumerians didn’t have supercomputers but they were able to incorporate into their theory much more than physics and cosmology. Below, E.G. McClain provides some insight into ancient Sumerian thinking:

“In ancient Mesopotania,music, mathematics, art, science, religion, and poetic fantasy were fused. Around 3000 B.C., the Sumerians simultaneously developed cuneiform writing, in which they recorded their pantheon, and a base-60 number system. Their gods were assigned numbers that encoded the primary ratios of music, with the gods’ functions corresponding to their numbers in acoustical theory. Thus the Sumerians created an extensive tonal/arithmetical model for the cosmos. In this far-reaching allegory, the physical world is known by analogy, and the gods give divinity not only to natural forces but also to a ‘supernatural,’ intuitive understanding of mathematical patterns and psychological forces.”

To understand the role of musical theory in modeling the cosmos, one must realize that it involves: “the definition of intervals, the distance between pitches, by ratios of integers or counting numbers.” For the ancient Sumerians music was a tool that helped them describe the cosmos.

(McClain, Ernest G.; “Musical Theory and Ancient Cosmology,” The World and I, p. 371, February 1994. Cr. L. Ellenberger)

Music And Theories Of Everything

Musical Theory and Ancient Cosmology

A newly emerging perspective

Ernest G. McClain

In ancient Mesopotamia, music, mathematics, art, science, religion, and poetic fantasy were fused. Around 3000 B.C., the Sumerians simultaneously developed cuneiform writing, in which they recorded their pantheon, and a base-60 number system. Their gods were assigned numbers that encoded the primary ratios of music, with the gods’ functions corresponding to their numbers in acoustical theory. Thus the Sumerians created an extensive tonal/arithmetical model for the cosmos. In this far-reaching allegory, the physical world is known by analogy, and the gods give divinity not only to natural forces but also to a “supernatural,” intuitive understanding of mathematical patterns and psychological forces.

The cuneiform mathematical notation, invented by Sumer, was fully exploited by the virtuoso arithmetical calculations of Babylon, politically ascendant in the second millennium. The notation employs few symbols, which are distributed in patterns easily understood by the eye. Thus, few demands are made on memory. In Mesopotamia, mythology took concrete form; for example, important activities of the gods can be read as “events” in a multiplication table notated as a matrix of Sumerian bricks. Classical Greece abstracted all of the rational tonal concepts embedded in this Sumerian/Babylonian allegory for two thousand years, simply waiting to be demythologized. Moreover, because the religious mythologies of India, China, Babylon, Greece, Israel, and Europe use Sumerian sources and numerology, theology needs to be studied from a musicological perspective.

. . .

If science is conceived of as knowledge and philosophy as love of wisdom, then the invention of musical theory clearly is one of the greatest scientific and philosophical achievements of the ancient world. When, where, and how did it happen?

Assuming that Cro-Magnon man processed sound with the same biology we possess, humans have shared some fifty thousand years of similar auditory experiences. Musical theory as an acoustical science begins with the definition of intervals, the distance between pitches, by ratios of integers, or counting numbers, a discovery traditionally credited to Pythagoras in the sixth century B.C.

Not until the sixteenth century A.D., when Vincenzo Galilei (Galileo’s father, an accomplished musician) tried to repeat some of the experiments attributed to Pythagoras, was it learned that they were apocryphal, giving either the wrong answers or none at all. Today, as the gift of modem archaeological and linguistic studies, our awareness of cultures much older than that of Greece has been phenomenally increased; this permits us to set aside the tired inventions about Pythagoras and tell a more likely story, involving anonymous heroes in other lands.

My story is centered in Mesopotamia. It demonstrates how every element of Pythagorean tuning theory was implicit in the mathematics and mythology of that land for at least a thousand years, and perhaps two thousand, before Greek rationalists finally abstracted what we are willing to recognize as science from its long incubation within mythology.

What seems most astounding in ancient Mesopotamia is the total fusion of what we separate into subjects: music, mathematics, art, science, religion, and poetic fantasy. Such a fusion has never been equaled except by Plato, who inherited its forms. Socrates’ statement about the general principles of scientific studies in book 7 of Plato’s Republic, with the harmonical allegories that follow directly in books 8 and 9, guides my exposition here. The Mesopotamian prototypes to which they lead us fully justify Socrates’ treatment of his own tale as an “ancient Muses’ jest,” inherited from a glorious, lost civilization. Scholars who have become too unmusical to understand mankind’s share in divinity, as Plato feared might happen, still can lean on him for understanding, for all of his many writings about harmonics and music have survived. (I must suppress here, for reasons of space, the extensive harmonical allegories of the Jews, whose parallel forms infuse the Bible with related musical implication from the first page of Genesis to the last page of Revelation.)

Music was as important in ancient India, Egypt, and China as it was in Mesopotamia and Greece. All these cultures had similar mythic imagery emphasizing the same numbers, which are so important in defining musical intervals; this raises doubts about whether any people ever “invented” acoustical theory. For instance, in any culture that knows the harp as intimately as it was known in Egypt and Mesopotamia, its visible variety of string lengths and economy of materials (strings require careful and often onerous preparation) encourage builders, as a sheer survival strategy, to notice the correlation between a string’s length and its intended pitch.

Similarly, in China, where by 5000 B.C. the leg bones of large birds, equipped with tone holes appropriate for a scale, appear as paired flutes in ritual burials, the importance of suitable materials conditioned pipemakers to be alert to lengths. The basic ratios could have been discovered many times in many places, more likely by loving craftsmen and practitioners than by philosophers. Certainly, the discovery came no later than the fourth millennium B.C., before even the first Egyptian dynasty was founded or the Greeks had reached the Mediterranean shore.


In the fourth millennium B.C., the Sumerians, a non-Semitic people of uncertain origin, developed a high civilization in Mesopotamia, now the southern part of Iraq. For reasons that have been vigorously argued but remain unclear, they developed a base-60 number system. Waiting to be recognized within it–and in ways obvious to any scribal adept, although invisible to the illiterate–were the main patterns of harmonical theory that appear later in India, Babylon, and Greece. Sumerian tombs of this early period yield a harvest of harps, lyres, and pipes, and the literature surviving on clay tablets abounds in elaborate hymns.

In the cuneiform writing of the Sumerians, which was invented concurrently with the base-60 number system, the pantheon of deities is rationalized by assigning to the high gods the base-60 numbers that, as we shall see, encode the primary ratios of music. The glyph, or symbol, for heaven or star, followed by the appropriate number, functions as a “god nickname.” (See fig. 1. The numerical values of the deities are given in Budge 1992.) The numbers reveal their significance in triangular arrays of pebble counters.

Furthermore, in the mythology of their religion, the responsibilities and behavior of the gods correspond with the functions of the god numbers in base-60 acoustics. Sumerian cosmology is grounded in the metaphorical copulation of the male A and female V numerical arrays, from which the Greek “holy tetraktys” is abstracted.

For example, the head of the pantheon and father of the gods is the sky god An (the than Anu), god 60, written in cuneiform as an oversize 1 sign (see fig. 5). Because base-60 numbers enjoy potentially endless place value meanings as multiples or submultiples of 60 (like the unit, 1, in decimal arithmetic), An = 60 (written as 1) functions as the center of the whole field of rational numbers. In mathematical language, An is its geometric mean, being the mean between any number and its reciprocal.

Anu/An, therefore, is essentially a do-nothing deity, as he was later accused of being-, a reference point, perfectly suited to represent simultaneously the middle band of the sky, the center of the number field, and the middle, reference tone (the Greek mese) in a tuning system. He was fated to be deposed by more active leaders among his children, as harmonical logic focused more clearly on structure and sheer virtuosity in computation became subordinated to deeper mathematical insight.

Theology, from its birth as “rational discourse about the gods” and in many later cultures influenced by Sumer, is mathematical allegory with a deeply musical logic. Tuning theory today remains a fossil science with no change at all in its basic parameters–structured by the gods themselves in numerical guise–since it premiered in Sumer about 3300 B.C.

To glimpse this new vision requires that we lay aside our algebra, our computers, and our pride in rational superiority and represent numbers to ourselves as the ancients did: concretely. We must learn to do musical arithmetic with a handful of pebbles in a triangular matrix, as the Pythagoreans teach us, imitating the pattern of bricks in the Sumerian glyph for mountain.

Then, like Socrates, we must show ourselves the harmonical implications of that arithmetic with a circle in the sand, for that circle is the cosmos, viewed as endlessly cyclical, like the tones of the musical scale (fig. 2).

In what follows I am presenting Mesopotamian arithmetic as Plato still practiced it in the fourth century B.C., studying his mathematical allegories for clues to earlier examples. Plato is the last great harmonical mythographer of the European world; never again did a major philosopher so thoroughly ground his thinking in music.

In retrospect, decoding Sumerian-Platonic harmonics proves astonishingly simple. Anyone, even a child, who can count to ten and sing or play the scale can make self-evident the scale constructions that once modeled the cosmos.

Because 60 is integrally divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30, base-60 arithmetic can correlate many subsystems, allowing fluent manipulation of fractions. This very early mastery of fractions ensured adequate arithmetical definition of pitch ratios–presumably as string-length ratios on early harps, approximate length ratios on the flutelike panpipes, or tone-hole ratios on the aulos–no matter how many tones are involved and whether pitch patterns rise or fall.

About 1800 B.C., the Babylonians became politically ascendant and reorganized the Sumerian pantheon, keeping its god numbers and related mathematical terminology. They developed base-60 computation to a level of arithmetical virtuosity not equaled in Europe until about A.D. 1600 and not understood in modern times until the middle of our own century (see Neugebauer 1957). Not until 1945, when Neugebauer and A. Sachs published the translation of cuneiform tablet YBC 7289 from the Yale collection, did the world learn that ancient Babylon (1800-1600 B.C.) possessed a base-60 formula for the square root of 2 accurate to five decimal places (1.41421+), or the formula for generating all Pythagorean triples (a triangle with sides of 3, 4, and 5 units is merely an example) a thousand years before Pythagoras explicated the first one.

The Greeks, still thinking in terms of Egyptian unit fractions (so that a descending whole tone of 8:9, for instance, was constructed by laboriously adding to the reference length 1/8 of itself), would have been astonished to learn that the Egyptians, whom they revered, had like themselves been far surpassed in computational facility by an ancient neighbor.

The paucity of surviving Sumerian mathematical texts requires scholars to make many inferences from later Babylonian survivals, and much Sumerian literature remains untranslated or inaccessible. Thus, as further linguistic evidence becomes available, the story I tell here will require revision, becoming more certain in dating, clearer in meaning, and richer in detail.

To look ahead in history and see the persistence of Sumerian/Babylonian methods, Ptolemy, in the second century A.D., in the Harmonica, recorded all of the some twenty Greek tunings known to him with sexagesimal (base-60) fractions. Between about 500 B.C. and A.D. 150, Babylonian and Greek astronomy thrived on base-60 computation. It was still used by Copernicus in the fifteenth century and endures in modern astronomy The Chinese calendar is still reckoned by 60s. Astronomy, however, as the science of precise measurement that it later became, “was practically unknown in ancient Sumer; at least as of today we have only a list of about twenty-five stars and nothing more” (Kramer 1963).


Analog clocks and watches equipped with rotating hands for hours, minutes, and seconds are living fossils of the Sumerian arithmetical mind-set (fig. 3).

a. Numbers have visible and tangible markers on the dial (representing the fixity of the recurring temporal cycle), restricting burdens on memory and permitting operations to be reduced to counting and adding.

b. Sixty can be conceived of, when we please, as a large unit (one rotation of the second or minute hand), conversely giving the small unit the implication of 1/60.

c. The large unit, alternately, can be conceived of as a higher power of 60 (correlating the simultaneous rotations of both second and minute hands), for 602 = 3,600 seconds is also one hour, conversely giving our small unit the implication of 1/3,600.

d. Twelve hours constitutes a still larger unit (one rotation of the hour hand) of 12 x 60 = 720 minutes, and 12 x 3,600 = 43,200 seconds, conversely giving the smallest unit the implication of 1/720 or 1/43,200.

e. We avoid confusion between these alternate arithmetical meanings the same way the Sumerians did, namely, by remembering the context of the questions we are trying to answer.

f. The existence of alternative ways of expressing a unit, as in the examples above, indicates and emphasizes the importance of reciprocals.

Musicians, following Plato, still project their tones into a circle that eliminates cyclic octave repetitions (Plato, in the Timaeus, insists that God makes only one model of anything). Thus today, using our modern, equal-tempered scale, we can identify any musical interval as some multiple of a standard semitone, to the envy of calendarmakers, who, having to deal with the irregularities of days, months, and years, are jealous of our perfect twelve-tone symmetry. But the nearest approximation of our twelve-tone, equal-tempered scale in small integers remains that provided by ancient base-60 arithmetic.


Sumerian numbers were impressed on small clay tablets with a stylus, at first round, later triangular, held slanted for some numbers and vertically for others (fig. 4). Numbers from 2 to 9 were built up by repetitions of the unit, made with the edge of the stylus. A 10 was imprinted with the end; a 60 was made as a large 1 by pressing the stylus more firmly into the clay. The equation 602 = 3,600 was scratched in as a circle (see van der Waerden 1963). Only a few symbols were needed, and repetition made them easy to decode, minimizing burdens on memory. The idea of a number was actually embodied in the strokes required to notate it (fig. 5).

Computation was made easy by tables of “reciprocals, multiplications, squares and square roots, cubes and cube roots, …exponential functions, coefficients giving numbers for practical computation,…and numerous metrological calculations giving areas of rectangles, circles” (Kramer 1963). Many copies of these tables have come down to us.

The standard multiplication tables pair each number with its reciprocal and give special prominence to the favored subset of “regular” numbers, whose prime factors are limited to 2, 3, and 5 (larger prime factors necessarily lead to approximations in the reciprocals). “Regular numbers” up to 60 are shown (fig. 6) with their reciprocals, transcribed, for instance, so that the reciprocal of 40/60 = 2/3 reads 1,30, meaning 90/60 = 3/2. Notice that only the most important fractions of 60 are deified (1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, and 5/6). The tone names are nearest equivalents in modern notation. Several values require three sexagesimal “places” (indicated by commas); auxiliary tables freely employ six, seven, and even more places.

A telling clue to the psyche–of Sumerians, of Plato, and of ourselves–is affection for the symmetry of opposites. Inverse, or bilateral, symmetry conditions base-60 computation, as it conditioned Platonic dialectics. (“Some things are provocative of thought and some are not…Provocative things…impinge upon the senses together with their opposites.” Republic 524d) When facing a mirror we exhibit to ourselves, with varying degrees of perfection, this symmetry of left/right opposites across an imaginary “plane of reflection.”

The old-fashioned scale, or balance beam, epitomizes this notion (fig. 7). The balance owes its functioning to gravity, but its appeal to us, its attractiveness, is due to our ear, which in addition to being the organ of hearing is also the personal organ of balance. Our empathic human feelings for the balance beam affect the inverse, or bilateral, physical symmetry because of the experience of balancing our own bodies, an activity dependent on the ear, not the eye. All of the computations presented later will be aligned in this basic symmetry, with Anu/An = 60 (meaning 1) on the balance point. Sumerian art greatly elaborates this symmetry of opposites (fig. 8).

The deified Sumerian numbers, taken over by Babylon, are 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 40, and 50, all fractional parts of “father” Anu/An = 60, head of the pantheon. Their fractional values and god names are indicated here with a brief description of their mythological functions.

Anu/An, 60, written as a large 1, “father of the gods” and earliest head of the pantheon, is any reference unit. He is equivalent in our notation to 60/60 = 1, where he functions, according to modern concepts, as “geometric mean in the field of rational numbers.”

Enlil, 50 (5/6), “god on the mountain” possessing fifty names, is mankind’s special guardian and was promoted to head the pantheon circa 2500 B.C. Enlil deities in base 60 what the Greeks knew as the human prime number, 5, in their base-1O harmonics. By generating major thirds of 4:5 and minor thirds of 5:6, he saved Sumerians tremendous arithmetical labor, as we shall note in due course.

Ea/Enki, 40 (2/3), “god of the sweet waters” and perhaps the busiest deity in Sumer, “organizes the earth,” including the musical scale. He deities the divine prime number, 3, in the ratio of the musical fifth 2:3, the most powerful shaping force in music after the octave. (Notice that the trio of highest gods (40, 50, 60) defines the basic musical triad of 4:5:6 (do, mi, sol, rising, and mi, do, la, falling). The ratio 4:5 defines a major third and the ratio 5:6 defines a minor third, taken either upward or downward within the matrix of the musical octave.)

Sin, 30 (1/2), the Moon, establishes the basic Sumerian octave matrix as 1:2 30:60.

Shamash, 20 (1/3), the Sun, judges the gods.

Ishtar, 15 (1/4), is the epitome of the feminine as virgin, wife, and everybody’s mistress.

Nergal, 12 (1/5), is god of the underworld.

Bel/Marduk, 10 (1/6), the biblical Baal, originally was a minor deity but eventually became head of the Babylonian pantheon in the second millennium B.C. He inherited all the powers of the other gods, including Enlil’s fifty names, in a giant step toward a “Pythagorized” monotheism built on the first ten numbers.


Here are the principal arithmetical symmetries of base-60 Sumerian harmonics, summarized in the inverse “heraldic” symmetry displayed above but expressed as modern fractions. Every tone in the scale will be found to participate in numerous god ratios, and all other ratios are their derivatives via multiplication (which is what Plato means by “marriage” in his elaborate metaphor in the Republic). All of the harmonical concepts in my analysis, however, are Greek. Plato’s formula for this particular construction can be found in the Republic, book 8; his discussion of general harmonical principles is in the Timeus.

All pitch classes generated by the prime numbers 2, 3, and 5, up to the index of 60, are represented here (fig. 9). Remember that all doubles are equivalent, so that 3, 6, 12, and 24 define the same pitch as 48, for example.

a. Tones are defined by numbers.

b. The significance of a number lies only in its ratio with other numbers.

c. Numerosity is governed by strict arithmetic economy. Because Sumerian double meanings were assumed, the numbers 30, 32, 36,… are in smallest integers for this context. This economy is obscured somewhat by writing ratios as fractions; mentally eliminate the superfluous reference 60s.

d. Every number is employed in two senses, as great and small, displayed here as reciprocal fractions.

e. The double meanings of great and small require the basic model octave to be extended across a double octave from 30/60 = 1/2 to 60/30 = 2.

f. Tones are grouped by tetrachords (that is, in groups of fours) whose fixed boundaries always show the musical proportion 6:8 = 9:12, defining the octave (6:12 = 1:2), the fifth (2:3, that is, 6:9 and 8:12), and the fourth (3:4 or 6:8 and 9:12).

Notice how the arithmetic mean 9 and the harmonic mean 8 establish perfect inverse symmetry (see fig. 10) and define the standard whole tone as 8:9. These ratios define the only fixed tones in Pythagorean tuning theory, and they are invariant. Pythagoras reputedly and plausibly brought this proportion home from Babylon in the sixth century B.C. In base 60, these “framing” numbers necessarily are multiplied by 5 into 30:40 = 45:60.

Notice that Ea/Enki, god 40, defines these frames (DA falling and G:D rising) in his double role as 40:60 and 60:40 and thus literally “organizes the earth” (as represented by the string) into do, fa, sol, do, harmonic foundations of the modern scale.

g. The Enlil = 50 tones of pitch classes b and f always belong to the opposite scale, for the god shares these tones with 36 (that is, 30:36 = 50:60 and 30 and 60, “beginning and end,” coincide); thus, Enlil is free to supervise the system by reminding us of the symmetry of opposites.

Enlil’s promotion to head the pantheon possibly symbolizes this insight. He plays a very active role, also generating several intervals that actually reduce numerosity, whereas the primal procreator, Anu/An = 60, a do-nothing deity of little account in Sumer and Babylon, remains purely passive.

Platonic dialectics, however, emphasize anew the importance of an invariant t4 seat in the mean,” thus turning Anu/An’s passiveness as geometric mean into the greatest possible Socratic virtue as “the One Itself.”

h. The falling or descending version of this scale, as notated [in Figure 9], is in our own familiar major mode. It is more commonly notated one tone lower, on the white keys of the C octave. The rising scale on the right, its symmetric opposite, is the basic scale of ancient Greece, India, and Babylon. It is more simply notated one tone higher, on the white keys in the E octave.

My choice of D as reference pitch is dictated by the necessity of showing opposites simultaneously, in the Sumerian normative arithmetical habit that Plato later required of his students in dialectic. Future philosopher-guardians in idealized cities needed to become expert in weighing the merits of contradictory claims, requiring the ability to see opposites simultaneously. Music provided the opportunity to do this, par excellence, and so childhood training began with it.


To coalesce the musical opposites shown above into one Sumerian/Platonic overview, eliminating all octave replication and laying bare the irreducible structure (“God’s only model”), we need only project these tones into the same tone circle.

From Plato’s mythology (in the Critias) come “Poseidon and his five pairs of twin sons” (see fig. 11), aligned in perfect inverse Sumerian symmetry across the central vertical plane of reflection. (Poseidon, at twelve o’clock, Greek successor to the water god Ea/Enki, is self-symmetric, being both beginning and end of the octave no matter whether we traverse it upward or downward.) These eleven tones constitute the only pitch class symmetries up to an index of 60.

But to coalesce opposite fractions so that the numbers–like the tones–show the same ratios when read in either direction, we must expand the numerical double 1:2 into 360:720 (see fig. 12). If we confine ourselves to three-digit numbers, there is, in addition to Poseidon’s ten sons, only one other pair of symmetric numbers, namely, 405 and 640 (since 405:720 = 360:640). These are notated here as C and E to indicate their very slight and melodically insignificant difference from c and e. This microtonal “comma” difference of 80:81, barely perceptible in the laboratory and then only by a good ear, was taken by the Greeks as the smallest theoretically useful unit of pitch measure and is approximately 1/9 of their standard whole tone of 8:9. The whole-tone interval between A and G (in figs. 11 and 12) invites similar subdivision, and symmetry requires a point directly opposite our reference, D. This locus is defined by the square root of 2, lying beyond the ancient concept of number, and so we must search for an approximation.

A musically acceptable candidate (its error is actually less than a comma) now appears at a-flat = 512, or, alternately, g-sharp = 512, only slightly askew our ideal value and with the “god ratio” of 4:5 with C or E.

Plato’s Poseidon and his ten sons are shown again (in fig. 12), together with the new symmetry pair C/E and the alternate a-flat/g-sharp pair (one of which is always missing in the 360:720 octave). My vertical pendulum now swings gently back and forth to either side of six o’clock as the numbers are read alternately in rising and falling scale order (that is, as great and small).

At 512, where a-flat is not quite equivalent to g-sharp, the ancients had little choice but to accept this arithmetical compromise with perfect inverse symmetry.

How did they rationalize such a complicated, inverse symmetry, one ultimately defeated because of the compromise? Remembering the quite ancient correlations of scale and calendar, let us apply imagination to their problem.

This base-60 model can be imagined as an appropriate correlate to the lunar calendar of Sumer and Babylon, as it later became the map of an idealized circular city in Plato’s Laws, calendar and musical scale being assumed to have a similar cosmogony. Notice the following correspondences:

a. The basic seven-tone scale requires the thirty digits in the 30:60 octave, and 30 is deified as Sin, the Moon, and the basic octave limit.

b. The two opposite seven-tone scales and the symmetrically divided tone circle correspond with Sumer’s two agricultural seasons, in which irrigation during the dry summer complemented the rainy winter harvest.

c. In the octave double between 360 and 720, which coalesces opposites, there are 360 units to correspond with the schematic calendar count of 12 x 30 = 360 days. (Eventually, astronomers in India and Babylon defined these units as tithis, meaning 1/360 of a mean lunar year of 354 days, hence slightly less than a solar day. Greek astronomers eventually defined the same 360 units geometrically as degrees. Neither development is relevant to ancient Sumer.)

d. Tonally acceptable but acoustically inaccurate semitones, alternately small (24:25) and large (15:16), correspond with the lunar months embodied in ritual, alternating between 29 and 30 days.

e. Between a-flat = 512 and g-sharp 512 (in the opposite sense), a gap corresponds with the excess of a solar year over 360 and the defect of a lunar year of 354 days from 360. (Five and a quarter extra solar days are about a 1/69 of 360, while the gap in the reduced comma is actually about 1/60 of an octave, a remarkable near-correspondence.)

Because any successful agricultural society must find some way to accommodate lunar, solar, ritual, and schematic cycles with the growing cycle, we need not suppose that Sumerians or anyone else ever really believed the year contained 360 days. Only a musicology dedicated to numerical precision and economy finds 720 days and nights (that is, 360 days and 360 nights) cosmogonically correct.


All of the tonal, arithmetical, and calendrical relations discussed above are coincidences. They exist among base-60 numbers whether or not anyone is aware of them, mainly because 60 is divisible by three prime numbers, 2, 3, and 5, and no others, and 60 is being used in the way we use a floating-point decimal system.

If Sumerian mythology did not offer persuasive evidence that Sumerians were conscious of tonal implications, then their establishment of a base-60 system, which included such perfect models for a lunar-oriented culture and for Pythagorean harmonics two thousand years later, would be pure serendipity, meaning that it resulted from “the gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.” But the most interesting evidence for Sumerian harmonical self-consciousness is yet to be shown via Plato’s kind of triangular matrices, functioning as “mothers” in harmonical arithmetic.

In Plato’s Greece, the harmonical wisdom of Babylon and India was transformed into political theory. Men now acted out the roles once assigned to gods. Plato’s four model cities–Callipolis (in the Republic), Ancient Athens and Atlantis (both in the Critias), and Magnesia (in the Laws)–were each associated with a specific musical-mathematical model, all generated from the first ten integers. All are reducible to a study of four primes: 2, 3, 5, and 7.

In the Republic and Laws, idealized citizens–represented as number–generate only in the prime of life. For Plato, this means that 2 never really generates anything beyond the model octave 1:2, for this “virgin, female” even number–with all of its higher powers–designates the same pitch class as any reference 1. (Multiplication by 4, 8, 16,… generates only cyclic identities, different octaves of tones we already possess. They are Plato’s “nursemaids,” carrying tone children until they are old enough to “walk” as integers; hence, as he says, his “nurses” require exceptional physical strength.)

The multiplication table for the 3 x 5 male odd numbers, however, generates endless spirals of musical fifths (or fourths) and thirds; within the female octave 1:2, new pitches are generated at the same invariant ratios. The Greek meaning of symmetry is to be in the same proportion. Thus, a “continued geometric proportion” (like 1, 3, 9, 27,…or 1, 5, 25,…) constitutes “the world’s best bonds,” maximizing symmetry, which is obscured by mere appearances when these values are doubled to put them into some preferred scale order. The multiplication table for 3 x 5 graphs multiple sets of geometric tonal symmetries (Plato’s only reality) as far as imagination pleases.

Greece inherited its arithmetical habits from Egypt, including an affection for unit fractions in defining tunings (the ratio 9:8 was thought of as “eight plus one- eighth of itself,” and so on). It awoke to number theory only when it became acquainted with Mesopotamian methods. Thus, the travels of Pythagoras, whether legendary or not, played an important role. Those methods apparently were new enough in Plato’s fourth century B.C. to invite his extensive commentary, yet old enough so any novelty on Plato’s part was absolutely denied by Aristoxenus (fl. circa 330 B.C.) within fifty years.

Plato is responsible for an astonishing musical generalization of the base-60 tuning formula as 4:3 mated with the 5. His 3, 4, and 5 correspond with Sin = 30, Ea = 40, and Enlil = 50 and remind us that all tones are linked by perfect fourths, 4:3, which define possible tetrachord frames, or by perfect thirds, 4:5. The last Pythagorean who really understood Platonic “marriages” may have been Nicomachus in the second century A.D.; he promised an exposition but none survives.


In the second millennium B.C., the Babylonians reorganized the inherited Sumerian pantheon in a way that very strongly points toward its Pythagorean future. To avoid destruction by Enlil, who is disturbed by their confusion and noise, the gods reorganize under the leadership of Marduk, god 10, the biblical Baal, to whom all the other gods cede their powers.

Herein lies a beautiful reduction of Sumerian expertise with reciprocal fractions to a more philosophical overview of harmonics as being generated exclusively by the first ten integers (Socrates’ “children up to ten,” in the Republic, beyond which age he doubted citizens were really fitted for ideal communities).

To celebrate their survival after Marduk defeats the female serpent Tiamat, sent to destroy them, the gods decree him a temple; the bricks require two years (2 x 360 = 720) to fabricate. This mythologizes 720, the Sumerian unit of brick measure, and the smallest tonal index able to correlate seven-tone opposites into a twelve-tone calendrical octave. When Marduk’s tonal/arithmetical bricks are aligned in matrix order, we see that the general shape of his temple (with an index of 720) is an enlarged form of Enlil’s temple (with an index of 60); Enlil now confers his fifty names on Marduk. This temple makes Marduk’s face shine with pleasure, we are told.

Let me conclude our discussion of Marduk’s victory over the dragon, Tiamat.


It is now a normal part of a child’s musical education to learn to view the scale as a spiral of musical fifths and fourths, as they are actually tuned–for the convenience of the ear–and to be shown those tones in a tone circle. That up-and-down, alternating cycle of pitches inspires, I propose, the dragon and great serpent lore of ancient mythology (fig. 13).

Serpentine undulations are visible to any harpist in the lengths of successive strings when taken in tuning order (as they still necessarily are), and the undulations can be seen in any set of pitch pipes when similarly aligned, as in China. Because the same tone numbers function reciprocally as multiples of frequency and of wavelength, they have the same double meanings today that they enjoyed in Sumerian times. It is entirely appropriate, therefore, to represent this spiral both forward and backward, simultaneously, with intertwined serpents.

In the mythological account, Marduk slays the dragon (which is presumably the continuum of possible pitches represented by the undivided string) by first cutting it in half to establish the octave 1:2. Further cutting presumably “sections” the other pitches. No numbers larger than Marduk’s–meaning 10–play any role in geometrical sectioning of the string.

This “serpentine” double meaning–rising and falling musical fifths and fourths–lies at the very heart of our consciousness of musical structure. Sumer did not hesitate to make the double serpent the center of symmetry, as on this steatite vase of Gudea (fig. 14), priest-king of Lagash circa 2450 B.C., where they are flanked symmetrically by gryphons.

Large and unwieldy numbers can be avoided if the 4:5 and 5:6 ratios introduced by Enlil are used to define the seven-tone scale (in which case all the numbers are of two digits). Used for the twelve-tone scale, his numbers need only three digits. Thus, in Sumer, Enlil = 50, base-60 deification of the human, male prime number 5, grossly reduces our computational labors from six-digit Pythagorean numerosity (in which a twelfth tone requires 311 = 177,147) to no more than three, and without noticeably diminishing melodic usefulness (fig. 15). Only the five central tones (CGDAE) from the Great Serpent appear in figure 12, where they are indicated by solid radial lines. All other tones are owed to Enlil.

Historically, European music reintroduced this Just tuning system in the fifteenth century A.D. to secure perfect 4:5:6 triads for its new harmonies without exceeding twelve tones. The ancients probably loved it more for its arithmetical economy than for its triadic purity. Microtonalists today, equipped with a powerful new technology, are again searching for an effective employment of these ancient Sumerian god ratios.

The ultimate origins of music theory, as opposed to the Sumerian codification that I deduce here, remain lost in the far more distant past, like the origin of our sense for number. They are grounded in a common aural biological heritage, some of which we share with other animals, and are by no means dependent, as Aristotle noted, on precise numerical definition. As eminent contemporary musicologist William Thompson explained in our correspondence,

In adapting to our complex environment, our sensory ingestive systems have become…forgiving filters, enabling us to generalize….This, I’m convinced, is a product of very early adaptive behavior, a part of our survival good fortune…in that our neural system has developed myriads of networks which are overachievers when it comes to doing some simple jobs.

Socrates never believed in the possibility of perfect justice. The great aim of Plato’s Republic was to help readers become more “forgiving filters” for alternative cultural norms. There remains a certain fuzziness about a scientific definition of musical intervals, as there is about the Republic’s days and nights and months and years, and art has turned that into something for which we all can be grateful. Sumerian “overachievers”–and these “black-headed people,” as they called themselves, proved historically to be as aggressive as the great heroes they knew or invented–achieved a tremendous synthesis of cultural values. They challenge us to do as well.

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How religion spread across the world

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 1, 2015

Timeline: Myth Religion

Portasar (Armenian), also known as Gobekli Tepe (Turkish) in the Armenian Highland is the omphalo of our civilization and represent the place where our civilization was created 12000 years ago. From Portasar our civilization spread in all directions 7000 BC.

The people were Proto-Indoeuropean, and connected to haplogroups like E (Afro-Asiatic), G (NW Caucasian and Georgian), R1b (W European), J1 (Semitic), and J2 (NE Caucasian). The Urartian (Armenian) culture, also known as the Hurrians, is the nuclear of this civilization, but local variations was being created. However, all of them carried with them, the Neolithic package, our civilization.

We left what we knew as the garden of eden and spread our civilization to Mesopotamia in the south, to Canaan and further to North Africa, including Egypt, in the southwest, to Balkan and Europe in the west, to Caucasus and the Pontic stepes in the north, to China and Southeast Asia in the east, to India and South Asia and to Central Asia and Iran in the southeast.

In Greek, the word omphalos means “navel”. In Greek lore, Zeus sent two eagles across the world to meet at its center, the “navel” of the world. In the ancient world of the Mediterranean, it was a powerful religious symbol.

Portasar, meaning umbilical cord in Armenian, is a channel between the worlds. This cord serves as a portal between the two worlds that form a human. It is connected to the gods Haia, Janus and Portunus – the “door-keeper”, the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings – the god of oportunities.

Armenia has a rich culture and history and prides itself as one of the oldest civilizations of the world, dating back to Biblical Noah and his Ark. It is the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion in AD 301. Since then, the Armenian people have identified strongly with their Christian faith.

This animated map shows how religion spread across the world

Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are five of the biggest religions in the world. Over the last few thousand years, these religious groups have shaped the course of history and had a profound influence on the trajectory of the human race. Through countless conflicts, conquests, missions abroad, and simple word of mouth, these religions spread around the globe and forever molded the huge geographic regions in their paths.

Produced by Alex Kuzoian

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Posted by Fredsvenn on September 1, 2015

Når alt kommer til alt så er vi en del av en helhet som har blitt gjort oppmerksom/bevisst på seg selv – vi observerer og har dermed mulighet til å endre – men i stedet for å hele og dyrke ser det ut til at vi vil komme til å utrydde oss selv – og dermed slukke lyset – muligvis kun for en kortere periode da det kan tenkes at andre former for liv kommer til å føre vår misjon videre.

Når det kommer til vår historie så er denne såpass sammenknyttet med vår mytologi at det er ytterst usikkert hva som egentlig har funnet sted – skriftlige kilder må derfor tas med en klype salt. Vår mytologi er myntet på vår forståelse av universet og hvordan dette fungerer noe som har ført til at vår historie og resten av universet har sklidd sammen til noe som kan bli ansett som en verdensvev – vår historie står nedtegnet i stjernene.

Hadde man kun forholdt seg til norsk uten å sammenligne norsk med andre språk ville man ha tenkt at norsk ikke hadde noen forbindelse med andre språk, men ettersom man valgte å studere språk komperativt fant man rimelig raskt ut at det var noe som kan bli ansett som indo-europeisk, og dermed også proto-indoeuropeisk – slik er det også med våre mytologier og religioner.

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Hvor ble det av magien?

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 27, 2015

Hvor ble det av magien, vesnene vi møtte i eventyrene, sies det. Svaret er at vi sluttet å tro på dem. Eventyrene er lite annet enn vår mytologi, religionen vi hadde før kristendommen kom inn i bildet og vi begynte å tro på den i stedet.

Stedmoren er Hel, som er stygg som høsten og døden, mens Frigg/Frøyja er vakker som våren og livet. Kongen er Odin/Odr. Hel er som Ereshkigal i sumerisk mytologi storesøsteren til Frigg/Frøyja. Mens Hel utgjør helheten, som inkluderer både liv og død, vår og høst, utgjør Frigg/Frøyja den vakre våren, og kan best sammenlignes med Pandora.

Hel kom med andre ord til å dele samme skjebne som Lilith i Bibelen, som ikke ville lystre Adam, og som derfor ble skiftet ut med Eva. Hun ble delt i to mellom Hel, som kom til å herske i underverden, også kjent som Helvete, og Frigg/Frøyja, som kom til å herske over livet her på Jorda.

Det var ikke «helvete» i den forstand uttrykket forstås i dagligtale i dag – man ble ikke straffet for sine tidligere misgjerninger der. Helheimen ligger under jorden, et sted langt mot nord. For å komme dit må en passere Gjallarbroen, som går over den halvt underjordiske elva Gjoll. Helheimen består av i alt ni verdener. Hel hersker ho over de døde som ikke kommer til Åsgard.

De som dør i kamp og ikke på sotteseng, kommer til Valhall, festhallen til Odin der asene og einherjane holder sine gilder, eller til Folkvang, Frøyas bosted i Åsgard.

Til Folkvang kommer halvparten av de krigerne som valkyriene henter når krigerne har dødd i strid. Den andre halvparten kommer til Valhall for å bli einherjer. Frøya har rett til å velge selv hvem som skal komme til henne, og de er som oftest mer ærbare og mindre blodtørstige enn de som blir ført til Valhall.

Odin er den samme som Enki og er tilknyttet Merkur. Han er herre over livet på Jorda. Han ble både regnet som gudenes høvding og høvdingenes gud. Foreldrene hans er Bor og Bestla, og han er bror til Vilje og Ve. Hustruen hans er Frigg, den mektigste gudinnen i Åsgard, og med henne fikk han Balder, Hod og Hermod. Med Jord (Fjorgyn) fikk han Tor. Med Rind fikk han Våle, og med Grid fikk han Vidar.

En teori går ut på at Odin opprinnelig var en nattens gud, som senere ble forfremmet til hovedgud. Samtidig heter det seg at Tyr tidligere var hovedgud, men kom til å bli forbigått av både Odin og Tor. En annen teori går ut på at Odin er en videreføring av en gammel indo-europeisk fars- eller dødsgud, men klare sjamanistiske trekk. Han er senere også sett som krigsgud, samt guden for visdom, trolldom (seid), diktning, m.m.

Odr er i den norrøne mytologien gift med Frøya. Han er en skikkelse som det vites lite om, og han tolkes i mange sammenhenger som Odin selv, eller som hans dobbeltgjenger. Noe av bakgrunnen for usikkerheten rundt Odr er at Frøya og Frigg i noen sammenhenger tolkes som samme gudinne, eller at de har samme opphav. Frigg var gift med Odin, og Frøya med Odr. Noe som taler imot at Frøya og Frigg er samme gudinne er at Frøya er av vane-ætt (Venus/fruktbarhet), mens Frigg er en åsynje (sol/hest).

Det nordiske gudenavnet Tyr stammer kanskje opprinnelig fra det indoeuropeiske ordet *deyewos, som er relatert til den indoeuropeiske himmelguds navn *Dyews, og er det samme ordet som ordet Dyaus i Sanskrit og det greske Zevs. Zevs er det eneste gudenavnet i gresk mytologi vi vet med sikkerhet har en indoeuropeisk rot, nemlig *Dyews, også *Dyews pHter, som kan sammenliknes med Dyaus Pitar på sanskrit, og Jup(p)iter, opprinnelig Deus Pater, «Himmelfaren» eller «Gudefaren» på latin.

Tyr het Týr på norrønt, og navnet kom fra det germanske Tiwaz. Tyr er det eneste norrøne gudenavnet som representerer et opprinnelig indoeuropeisk grunnord som kan bety «gud», «dag» eller «himmel». Tyr er derfor sannsynligvis en yngre variant av indoeuropeisk himmelgud, selv om mange av hans funksjoner og betydning ble overtatt av Tor (Þórr), som tordengud, og Odin, som fryktinngytende krigsgud, i jernalderen.

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Is “Urartian” Language Armenian or North Caucasian?

Posted by Fredsvenn on August 27, 2015

Kura Araxes culture

The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from 3400 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end, but it may have disappeared as early as 2600 or 2700 BC.

The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain; thence it spread northward in Caucasus by 3000 BC (but never reaching Colchis), and during the next millennium it proceeded westward to the Erzurum plain, southwest to Cilicia, and to the southeast into an area below the Urmia basin and Lake Van, and finally down to the borders of present-day Syria.

Altogether, the early Trans-Caucasian culture, at its greatest spread, enveloped a vast area approximately 1,000 km by 500 km, and mostly encompassed, on modern-day territories, the Southern Caucasus (except western Georgia), Northwestern Iran, the Northeastern Caucasus, and Eastern Turkey.

The name of the culture is derived from the Kura and Araxes river valleys. Its territory corresponds to parts of modern Armenia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Dagestan, Georgia, Ingushetia, Iran, North Ossetia, and Turkey. It may have given rise to the later Khirbet Kerak ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire.

Their pottery was distinctive; in fact, the spread of their pottery along trade routes into surrounding cultures was much more impressive than any of their achievements domestically. It was painted black and red, using geometric designs for ornamentation. Examples have been found as far south as Syria and Israel, and as far north as Dagestan and Chechnya.

The spread of this pottery, along with archaeological evidence of invasions, suggests that the Kura-Araxes people may have spread outward from their original homes, and most certainly, had extensive trade contacts. Jaimoukha believes that its southern expanse is attributable primarily to Mitanni and the Hurrians.

Trialeti culture

The Trialeti culture, named after Trialeti region of Georgia, is attributed to the first part of the 2nd millennium BC. In the late 3rd millennium BC, settlements of the Kura-Araxes culture began to be replaced by early Trialeti culture sites.

The Trialeti culture was the second culture to appear in Georgia, after the Shulaveri-Shomu culture, a Late Neolithic/Eneolithic culture that existed on the territory of present-day Georgia, Azerbaijan and the Armenian Highlands dated to mid-6th or early-5th millennia BC.

The Trialeti culture shows close ties with the highly developed cultures of the ancient world, particularly with the Aegean, but also with cultures to the south, such as probably the Sumerians and their Akkadian conquerors.

The site at Trialeti was originally excavated in 1936–1940 in advance of a hydroelectric scheme, when forty-six barrows were uncovered. A further six barrows were uncovered in 1959–1962.

The Trialeti culture was known for its particular form of burial. The elite were interred in large, very rich burials under earth and stone mounds, which sometimes contained four-wheeled carts. Also there were many gold objects found in the graves. These gold objects were similar to those found in Iran and Iraq. They also worked tin and arsenic.

This form of burial in a tumulus or “kurgan”, along with wheeled vehicles, is the same as that of the Kurgan culture which has been associated with the speakers of Proto-Indo-European. In fact, the black burnished pottery of especially early Trialeti kurgans is similar to Kura-Araxes pottery.

In a historical context, their impressive accumulation of wealth in burial kurgans, like that of other associated and nearby cultures with similar burial practices, is particularly noteworthy. This practice was probably a result of influence from the older civilizations to the south in the Fertile Crescent.


Graeco-(Armeno)-Aryan is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family, ancestral to the Greek language, the Armenian language, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid 3rd millennium BC.

Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been located between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, consistent with the fact that Armenian shares certain features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

Graeco-Aryan has comparatively wide support among Indo-Europeanists for the Indo-European Homeland to be located in the Armenian Highland. Early and strong evidence was given by Euler’s 1979 examination on shared features in Greek and Sanskrit nominal flection.

Used in tandem with the Graeco-Armenian hypothesis, the Armenian language would also be included under the label Aryano-Greco-Armenic, splitting into proto-Greek/Phrygian and “Armeno-Aryan” (ancestor of Armenian and Indo-Iranian).


The loans from Iranian languages initially led linguists to erroneously classify Armenian as an Iranian language. The distinctness of Armenian was only recognized when Hübschmann (1875) used the comparative method to distinguish two layers of Iranian loans from the older Armenian vocabulary.

I. M. Austin (1942) concluded that there was an early contact between Armenian and Anatolian languages, based on what he considered common archaisms, such as the lack of a feminine and the absence of inherited long vowels. However, unlike shared innovations (or synapomorphies), the common retention of archaisms (or symplesiomorphy) is not necessarily considered evidence of a period of common isolated development.

Soviet linguist Igor Diakonov (1985) noted the presence in Old Armenian of what he calls a Caucasian substratum, identified by earlier scholars, consisting of loans from the Kartvelian and Northeast Caucasian languages.

Noting that the Hurro-Urartian peoples inhabited the Armenian homeland in the second millennium b.c., Diakonov identifies in Armenian a Hurro-Urartian substratum of social, cultural, and animal and plant terms such as ałaxin “slave girl” ( ← Hurr. al(l)a(e)ḫḫenne), cov “sea” ( ← Urart. ṣûǝ “(inland) sea”), ułt “camel” ( ← Hurr. uḷtu), and xnjor “apple(tree)” ( ← Hurr. ḫinzuri).

Some of the terms he gives admittedly have an Akkadian or Sumerian provenance, but he suggests they were borrowed through Hurrian or Urartian. Given that these borrowings don’t undergo sound changes characteristic of the development of Armenian from Proto-Indo-European, he dates their borrowing to a time before the written record but after the Proto-Armenian language stage.

Decem and Taihun

The Glottalic Theory holds that Proto-Indo-European had ejective stops, *pʼ *tʼ *kʼ, instead of plain voiced ones, *b *d *ɡ, of traditional Proto-Indo-European phonological reconstructions. In 1981 Hopper proposed to divide all Indo-European languages into Decem and Taihun groups, according to the pronunciation of the numeral ’10’, by analogy with the Centum-Satem isogloss, which is based on the pronunciation of the numeral ‘100’.

The Armenian, Germanic, Anatolian, and Tocharian subfamilies belong to the Taihun group because the numeral ’10’ begins with a voiceless t there. All other Indo-European languages belong to the Decem group because the numeral 10 begins with a voiced d in them. The question then can be framed as which, if either, of these groups reflects the original state of things, and which is an innovation.

The Armenian hypothesis

The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European Urheimat, based on the Glottalic theory, suggests that the Proto-Indo-European language was spoken during the 4th millennium BC in the Armenian Highland.

It is an Indo-Hittite model and does not include the Anatolian languages in its scenario. The phonological peculiarities proposed in the Glottalic theory would be best preserved in the Armenian language and the Germanic languages, the former assuming the role of the dialect which remained in situ, implied to be particularly archaic in spite of its late attestation.

The Proto-Greek language would be practically equivalent to Mycenaean Greek and date to the 17th century BC, closely associating Greek migration to Greece with the Indo-Aryan migration to India at about the same time (viz., Indo-European expansion at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, including the possibility of Indo-European Kassites).

The Armenian hypothesis was proposed by Russian linguists T. V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov in 1985, presenting it first in two articles in Vestnik drevnej istorii and then in a much larger work.

Gamkrelidze and Ivanov argue that IE spread out from Armenia into the Pontic steppe, from which it expanded – as per the Kurgan hypothesis – into Western Europe. The Hittite, Indo-Iranian, Greek and Armenian branches split from the Armenian homeland.

The Armenian hypothesis argues for the latest possible date of Proto-Indo-European (sans Anatolian), roughly a millennium later than the mainstream Kurgan hypothesis. In this, it figures as an opposite to the Anatolian hypothesis, in spite of the geographical proximity of the respective suggested Urheimaten, diverging from the timeframe suggested there by as much as three millennia.

Robert Drews, commenting on the hypothesis, says that “most of the chronological and historical arguments seem fragile at best, and of those that I am able to judge, some are evidently wrong”. However, he argues that it is far more powerful as a linguistic model, providing insights into the relationship between Indo-European and the Semitic and Kartvelian languages.

He continues to say “It is certain that the inhabitants of the forested areas of Armenia very early became accomplished woodworkers, and it now appears that in the second millennium they produced spoked-wheel vehicles that served as models as far away as China. And we have long known that from the second millennium onward, Armenia was important for the breeding of horses. It is thus not surprising to find that what clues we have suggest that chariot warfare was pioneered in eastern Anatolia. Finally, our picture of what the PIE speakers did, and when, owes much to the recently proposed hypothesis that the homeland of the PIE speakers was Armenia.”

I. Grepin, reviewing Gamkrelidze and Ivanov’s book, wrote that their model of linguistic relationships is “the most complex, far reaching and fully supported of this century.”


Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list. The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc.

Aratta is described in Sumerian literature as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach. It is home to the goddess Inanna, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk. It is conquered by Enmerkar of Uruk.


There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources. The earliest is from an inscription which mentions Armânum together with Ibla (Ebla) as territories conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad in ca. 2250 BC. It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî.

Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria (Armenian: Շուպրիա; Akkadian: Armani-Subartu from the 3rd millennium BC) was a Proto-Armenian Hurrian-speaking kingdom, known from Assyrian sources beginning in the 13th century BC, located in the Armenian Highland, to the southwest of Lake Van, bordering on Ararat proper. Scholars have linked the district in the area called Arme or Armani, to the name Armenia. It was part of the Urartu confederation.

Together with Armani-Subartu (Hurri-Mitanni), Hayasa-Azzi and other populations of the region such as the Nairi fell under Urartian (Kingdom of Ararat) rule in the 9th century BC, and their descendants, according to most scholars, later contributed to the ethnogenesis of the Armenians.


Asha is the Avestan language term (corresponding to Vedic language ṛta) for a concept of cardinal importance to Zoroastrian theology and doctrine. In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism.” Its Old Persian equivalent is arta-. In Middle Iranian languages the term appears as ard-.

The significance of the term is complex, with a highly nuanced range of meaning. It is commonly summarized in accord with its contextual implications of ‘truth’ and ‘right(eousness)’, ‘order’ and ‘right working’.

The word is also the proper name of the divinity Asha, the Amesha Spenta that is the hypostasis or “genius” of “Truth” or “Righteousness”. In the Younger Avesta, this figure is more commonly referred to as Asha Vahishta (Aša Vahišta, Arta Vahišta), “Best Truth”.

Avestan aša and its Vedic equivalent rta both derive from Proto-Indo-Iranian *ṛtá- “truth”, which in turn continues Proto-Indo-European *h2r-to- “properly joined, right, true”, from the root *h2ar. The word is attested in Old Persian as arta.

It is unclear whether the Avestan variation between aša and arta is merely orthographical. Benveniste suggested š was only a convenient way of writing rt and should not be considered phonetically relevant.

According to Gray, š is a misreading, representing – not /ʃ/ – but /rr/, of uncertain phonetic value but “probably” representing a voiceless r. Miller suggested that rt was restored when a scribe was aware of the morpheme boundary between the /r/ and /t/ (that is, whether the writer maintained the –ta suffix).


The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, an Avestan feminine noun defining lie. In Avestan druj- also has a secondary derivation, the adjective drəguuaṇt- (Younger Av. druuaṇt-) “partisan of deception, deceiver,” of which the superlative draojišta- and perhaps also the comparative draoj(ii)ah- are attested.

Avestan druj, like its Vedic Sanskrit cousin druh, appears to derive from the PIE root *dhreugh, also continued in Persian دروغ / d[o]rūġ “lie”, German Trug “fraud, deception”. Old Norse draugr and Middle Irish airddrach mean “spectre, spook”. The Sanskrit cognate druh means “affliction, afflicting demon”.


Inanna (Old Babylonian or Neo-Assyrian MUŠ; Sumerian: Inanna; Akkadian: Ištar) was the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare, and goddess of the E-Anna temple at the city of Uruk, her main centre. She was the most prominent female deity in ancient Mesopotamia. As early as the Uruk period (ca. 4000–3100 BC), Inanna was associated with the city of Uruk.

Inanna’s name derives from Lady of Heaven (Sumerian: nin-an-ak). The cuneiform sign of Inanna; however, is not a ligature of the signs lady (Sumerian: nin; Cuneiform: SAL.TUG) and sky (Sumerian: an; Cuneiform: AN).

These difficulties have led some early Assyriologists to suggest that originally Inanna may have been a Proto-Euphratean goddess, possibly related to the Hurrian mother goddess Hannahannah, accepted only latterly into the Sumerian pantheon, an idea supported by her youthfulness, and that, unlike the other Sumerian divinities, at first she had no sphere of responsibilities.

The view that there was a Proto-Euphratean substrate language in Southern Iraq before Sumerian is not widely accepted by modern Assyriologists.


Inara, in Hittite–Hurrian mythology, was the goddess of the wild animals of the steppe and daughter of the Storm-god Teshub/Tarhunt. She corresponds to the “potnia theron” of Greek mythology, better known as Artemis. Inara’s mother is probably Hebat and her brother is Sarruma.

The mother goddess Hannahannah promises Inara land and a man during a consultation by Inara. Inara then disappears. Her father looks for her, joined by Hannahannah with a bee. The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth.


Ishara (išḫara) is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. She first appeared in Ebla and was incorporated to the Hurrian pantheon from which she found her way to the Hittite pantheon.

Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath. In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love goddess, often identified with Ishtar.

Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deities, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. From the Hurrian Pantheon, Ishara entered the Hittite pantheon and had her main shrine in Kizzuwatna, the name of an ancient Anatolian kingdom in the 2nd millennium BC.


Kizzuwatna, is the name of an ancient Anatolian kingdom in the 2nd millennium BC. It was situated in the highlands of southeastern Anatolia, near the Gulf of İskenderun in modern-day Turkey. It encircled the Taurus Mountains and the Ceyhan river. The center of the kingdom was the city of Kummanni, situated in the highlands. In a later era, the same region was known as Cilicia.

The country possessed valuable resources, such as silver mines in the Taurus Mountains. The slopes of the mountain range are still partly covered by woods. Annual winter rains made agriculture possible in the area at a very early date. The plains at the lower course of the Ceyhan river provided rich cultivated fields.

Several ethnic groups coexisted in the Kingdom of Kizzuwatna. The Hurrians inhabited this area at least since the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. The Hittite expansion in the early Old Kingdom period (under Hattusili I and Mursili I) was likely to bring the Hittites and the Luwians to southeastern Anatolia.

The Luwian language was part of the Indo-European language group, with close ties to the Hittite language. Both the local Hittites and the Luwians were likely to contribute to the formation of independent Kizzuwatna after the weakening of the Hittite Old Kingdom.

The toponym Kizzuwatna is possibly a Luwian adaptation of Hittite *kez-udne ‘country on this side (of the mountains)’, while the name Isputahsu is definitely Hittite and not Luwian (Yakubovich 2010, pp. 273–4). Hurrian culture became more prominent in Kizzuwatna once it entered the sphere of influence of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni.


Kummanni was the name of the main center the Anatolian kingdom of Kizzuwatna. Its location is uncertain, but is believed to be near the classical settlement of Comana in Cappadocia. It was the major cult center of the Hurrian chief deity, Tešup. Its Hurrian name Kummeni simply translates as “The Shrine.”

The city persisted into the Early Iron Age, and appears as Kumme in Assyrian records. It was located on the edge of Assyrian influence in the far northeastern corner of Mesopotamia, separating Assyria from Urartu and the highlands of southeastern Anatolia.

Kumme was still considered a holy city in Assyrian times, both in Assyria and in Urartu. Adad-nirari II, after re-conquering the city, made sacrifices to “Adad of Kumme.” The three chief deities in the Urartian pantheon were “the god of Ardini, the god of Kumenu, and the god of Tushpa.”


Isuwa (transcribed Išuwa and sometimes rendered Ishuwa, meaning “horse-land”) was the ancient Hittite name for one of its neighboring Anatolian kingdoms to the east, in an area which later became the Luwian Neo-Hittite state of Kammanu. The Khabur Valley had a central position in the metal trade, and copper, silver and even tin were accessible from the Hurrian-dominated countries Kizzuwatna and Ishuwa situated in the Anatolian highland.

The land of Isuwa was situated in the upper Euphrates river region. The river valley was here surrounded by the Anti-Taurus Mountains. To the northeast of the river lay a vast plain stretching up to the Black Sea mountain range. The name Isuwa is not known until the literate Hittite period of the second millennium BC. Few literate sources from within Isuwa have been discovered and the primary source material comes from Hittite texts.

The plain had favourable climatic conditions due to the abundance of water from springs and rainfall. Irrigation of fields was possible without the need to build complex canals. The river valley was well suited for intensive agriculture, while livestock could be kept at the higher altitudes. The mountains possessed rich deposits of copper which were mined in antiquity.

The Isuwans left no written record of their own, and it is not clear which of the Anatolian peoples inhabited the land of Isuwa prior to the Luwians. They could have been Indo-Europeans like the Luwians, related to the Hittites to the west, Hattians, Hurrians from the south, or Urartians who lived east of Isuwa in the first millennium BC.

The area was one of the places where agriculture developed very early in the Neolithic period. Urban centres emerged in the upper Euphrates river valley around 3000 BC. The first states may have followed in the third millennium BC.


Ishvara is a concept in Hinduism, with a wide range of meanings that depend on the era and the school of Hinduism. In ancient texts of Indian philosophy, Ishvara means supreme soul, Brahman (Highest Reality), ruler, king or husband depending on the context. In medieval era texts, Ishvara means God, Supreme Being, personal god, or special Self depending on the school of Hinduism.

In Shaivism, Ishvara is synonymous with “Shiva”, as the “Supreme lord over other Gods” in the pluralistic sense, or as an Ishta-deva in pluralistic thought. In Vaishnavism, it is synonymous with Vishnu. In traditional Bhakti movements, Ishvara is one or more deities of an individual’s preference from Hinduism’s polytheistic canon of deities. In modern sectarian movements such as Arya Samaj and Brahmoism, Ishvara takes the form of a monotheistic God.

In Yoga school of Hinduism, it is any “personal deity” or “spiritual inspiration”. In Advaita Vedanta school, Ishvara is a monistic Universal Absolute that connects and is the Oneness in everyone and everything.


Mitanni (Hittite cuneiform Mi-ta-an-ni; Mittani Mi-it-ta-ni), also called Hanigalbat (Hanigalbat, Khanigalbat cuneiform Ḫa-ni-gal-bat) in Assyrian or Naharin in Egyptian texts was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia from ca. 1500 BC–1300 BC. Pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt mention in the 33rd year of his reign (1446 BC) the people of Ermenen, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”.

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. The different names seem to have referred to the same kingdom and were used interchangeably, according to Michael C. Astour.

Hittite annals mention a people called Hurri (Ḫu-ur-ri), located in northeastern Syria. A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a “King of the Hurri”. The Assyro-Akkadian version of the text renders “Hurri” as Hanigalbat. Tushratta, who styles himself “king of Mitanni” in his Akkadian Amarna letters, refers to his kingdom as Hanigalbat.

Egyptian sources call Mitanni “nhrn”, which is usually pronounced as Naharin/Naharina from the Assyro-Akkadian word for “river”, cf. Aram-Naharaim. The name Mitanni is first found in the “memoirs” of the Syrian wars (ca. 1480 BC) of the official astronomer and clockmaker Amememhet, who returned from the “foreign country called Me-ta-ni” at the time of Thutmose I.

The expedition to the Naharina announced by Thutmosis I at the beginning of his reign may have actually taken place during the long previous reign of Amenhotep I. Helck believes that this was the expedition mentioned by Amenhotep II.

As early as Akkadian times, Hurrians are known to have lived east of the river Tigris on the northern rim of Mesopotamia, and in the Khabur Valley. The group which became Mitanni gradually moved south into Mesopotamia before the 17th century BC.

Hurrians are mentioned in the private Nuzi texts, in Ugarit, and the Hittite archives in Hattushsha (Boğazköy). Cuneiform texts from Mari mention rulers of city-states in upper Mesopotamia with both Amurru (Amorite) and Hurrian names. Rulers with Hurrian names are also attested for Urshum and Hashshum, and tablets from Alalakh (layer VII, from the later part of the old-Babylonian period) mention people with Hurrian names at the mouth of the Orontes. There is no evidence for any invasion from the North-east. Generally, these onomastic sources have been taken as evidence for a Hurrian expansion to the South and the West.

A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a “King of the Hurrians” (LUGAL ERÍN.MEŠ Hurri). This terminology was last used for King Tushratta of Mitanni, in a letter in the Amarna archives. The normal title of the king was ‘King of the Hurri-men’ (without the determinative KUR indicating a country).

It is believed that the warring Hurrian tribes and city states became united under one dynasty after the collapse of Babylon due to the Hittite sack by Mursili I and the Kassite invasion. The Hittite conquest of Aleppo (Yamkhad), the weak middle Assyrian kings, and the internal strifes of the Hittites had created a power vacuum in upper Mesopotamia. This led to the formation of the kingdom of Mitanni. The legendary founder of the Mitannian dynasty was a king called Kirta, who was followed by a king Shuttarna. Nothing is known about these early kings.

The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni is difficult to ascertain. A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses. Kammenhuber (1968) suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language, but Mayrhofer (1974) has shown that specifically Indo-Aryan features are present.

The names of the Mitanni aristocracy frequently are of Indo-Aryan origin, but it is specifically their deities which show Indo-Aryan roots (Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Nasatya), though some think that they are more immediately related to the Kassites, an ancient Near Eastern people who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire ca. 1531 BC and until ca. 1155 BC (short chronology).

The Kassite language has not been classified. What is known is that their language was not related to either the Indo-European language group, nor to Semitic or other Afro-Asiatic languages, and is most likely to have been a language isolate (a stand-alone language unrelated to any other), although some linguists have proposed a link to the Hurro-Urartian languages of Asia Minor. However, several Kassite leaders bore Indo-European names, and they might have had an Indo-European elite similar to the Mitanni, who ruled over the Hurro-Urartian-speaking Hurrians of Asia Minor.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age.The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

Robert Drews writes that the name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

The common people’s language, the Hurrian language, is neither Indo-European nor Semitic. Hurrian is related to Urartian, the language of Urartu, both belonging to the Hurro-Urartian language family. It had been held that nothing more can be deduced from current evidence. A Hurrian passage in the Amarna letters – usually composed in Akkadian, the lingua franca of the day – indicates that the royal family of Mitanni was by then speaking Hurrian as well.


Urartian, Vannic, and (in older literature) Chaldean (Khaldian, or Haldian) are conventional names for the language spoken by the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Urartu that was located in the region of Lake Van, with its capital near the site of the modern town of Van, in the Armenian Highland, modern-day Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. It was probably spoken by the majority of the population around Lake Van and in the areas along the upper Zab valley.

The name Urartu comes from Assyrian sources: the Assyrian King Shalmaneser I (1263–1234 BC) recorded a campaign in which he subdued the entire territory of “Uruatri.” The name used by the local population as a toponym was Biainili (or Biaineli), which forms the root of the Armenian Վան (“Van”), hence the names “Kingdom of Van (Bianili)” or “Vannic Kingdom.”

The Shalmaneser text uses the name Urartu to refer to a geographical region, not a kingdom, and names eight “lands” contained within Urartu ( which at the time of the campaign were still disunited ) . “Urartu” is cognate with the Biblical “Ararat,” Akkadian “Urashtu,” and Armenian “Ayrarat.”

Strictly speaking, Urartu is the Assyrian term for a geographical region, while “kingdom of Urartu” or “Biainili lands” are terms used in modern historiography for the Urartian-speaking Iron Age state that arose in that region. This language appears in inscriptions.

That a distinction should be made between the geographical and the political entity was already pointed out by König (1955). The landscape corresponds to the mountainous plateau between Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, the Iranian Plateau, and the Caucasus mountains, later known as the Armenian Highlands.

The kingdom rose to power in the mid-9th century BC, but was conquered by Media in the early 6th century BC. The heirs of Urartu are the Armenians and their successive kingdoms. Though there is no written evidence of any other language being spoken in this kingdom, it is argued on linguistic evidence that Proto-Armenian came in contact with Urartian at an early date.

Boris Piotrovsky wrote that “the Urartians first appear in history in the 13th century BC as a league of tribes or countries which did not yet constitute a unitary state. In the Assyrian annals the term Uruatri (Urartu) as a name for this league was superseded during a considerable period of years by the term “land of Nairi””.

Scholars believe that Urartu is an Akkadian variation of Ararat of the Old Testament. Indeed, Mount Ararat is located in ancient Urartian territory, approximately 120 km north of its former capital. In addition to referring to the famous Biblical mountain, Ararat also appears as the name of a kingdom in Jeremiah 51:27, mentioned together with Minni and Ashkenaz.

In the early 6th century BC, the Urartian Kingdom was replaced by the Armenian Orontid dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius the Great of Persia, the country referred to as Urartu in Assyrian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in Elamite.


Scholars such as Carl Ferdinand Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt (1910) believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after their god Khaldi, also known as Ḫaldi, Hayk or Hayg, also known as Haik Nahapet (Hayk the Tribal Chief), the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation.

Khaldi was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa. Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. His wife was the goddess Arubani. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion.

His shrine was at the ancient Urartian city of Ardini attested in Assyrian sources of the 9th and 8th centuries BC. The present form of the name is Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”, and it persists in Armenian names to this day. It was known as Muṣaṣir (Mu-ṣa-ṣir and variants, including Mutsatsir), meaning Exit of the Serpent/Snake in Akkadian. It was acquired by the Urartian King Ishpuini ca. 800 BC.

The mušḫuššu (formerly also read as sirrušu, sirrush) is a creature depicted on the reconstructed Ishtar Gate of the city of Babylon, dating to the 6th century BC. As depicted, it is a mythological hybrid: a scaly dragon with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, feline forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest.

The form mušḫuššu is the Akkadian nominative of the Sumerian MUŠ.ḪUS, lit. “reddish snake” sometimes also translated as “fierce snake”. One author, possibly following others, translates it as “splendor serpent” (MUŠ is the Sumerian term for “serpent”. The reading sir-ruššu is due to a mistransliteration in early Assyriology).

The mušḫuššu is the sacred animal of Marduk and his son Nabu during the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It was taken over by Marduk from the Akkadian god Tishpak, the tutelary deity of the city of Esnumma (Eshnunna), likely identical with the Hurrian god “Teshup”.

The constellation Hydra was known in Babylonian astronomical texts as Bashmu, “the Serpent” (MUŠ). It was depicted as a snake drawn out long with the forepaws of a lion, no hind-legs, with wings, and with a head comparable to the mušḫuššu dragon. This monstrous serpent may have inspired the Greek Hydra.


Hittite inscriptions deciphered in the 1920s by the Swiss scholar Emil Forrer testify to the existence of a mountain country, the Hayasa and/or the Azzi, lying around Lake Van. Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Armenian Highlands, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located north of the Euphrates and to the south of Hayasa. The Hayasa-Azzi confederation was in conflict with the Hittite Empire in the 14th century BC, leading up to the collapse of Hatti around 1190 BC.

Several prominent authorities agree in placing Azzi to the north of Ishuwa, the ancient Hittite name for one of its neighboring Anatolian kingdoms to the east, in an area which later became the Luwian Neo-Hittite state of Kammanu, a Luwian – Proto-Armenian speaking Neo-Hittite state in Armenian Highlands in the late 2nd millennium BC, formed from part of Kizzuwatna after the collapse of the Hittite Empire. Others see Hayasa and Azzi as identical.

The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis.

The term Hayastan bears resemblance to the ancient Mesopotamian god Haya (ha-ià) and another western deity called Ebla Hayya, related to the god Ea (Enki or Enkil in Sumerian, Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian). Thus, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia of 1962 posited that the Armenians derive from a migration of Hayasa into Shupria in the 12th century BC.

The name Armenia enters English via Latin, from Ancient Greek Ἀρμενία. The Armenian endonym for the Armenian people and country is hayer and hayk’, respectively. The exact etymology of the name is unknown, and there are various speculative attempts to connect it to older toponyms or ethnonyms.


Haya is known both as a “door-keeper” and associated with the scribal arts. Haya’s functions are two-fold: he appears to have served as a door-keeper but was also associated with the scribal arts, and may have had an association with grain.

There is a divine name Haia(-)amma in a bilingual Hattic-Hittite text from Anatolia which is used as an equivalent for the Hattic grain-goddess Kait in an invocation to the Hittite grain-god Halki, although it is unclear whether this appellation can be related to Haia.

Attempts have also been made to connect the remote origins of Haia with those of the god Ea (Ebla Ḥayya), although there remain serious doubts concerning this hypothesis. How or whether both are related to a further western deity called Ḥayya is also unclear.

Haya is characterised, beyond being the spouse of the grain-goddess Nidaba/Nissaba, who is also the patroness of the scribal art, as an “agrig”-official of the god Enlil. He is designated as “the Nissaba of wealth”, as opposed to his wife, who is the “Nissaba of Wisdom”.


In some cases Haia was identified as father of the Sumerian goddess Ninlil (NIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), also called Sud, in Assyrian called Mulliltu, the consort goddess of Enlil.

In Sumerian religion, Ninlil is called the daughter of Haia (god of stores) and Nunbarsegunu (or Ninshebargunnu [a goddess of barley] or Nisaba). Another Akkadian source says she is the daughter of Anu (aka An) and Antu (Sumerian Ki). Other sources call her a daughter of Anu and Nammu.

She lived in Dilmun with her family. Raped and ravaged by her husband Enlil, who impregnated her with water, she conceived a boy, Nanna/Suen, the future moon god. As punishment Enlil was dispatched to the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, where Ninlil joined him.

Enlil impregnated her disguised as the gatekeeper, where upon she gave birth to their son Nergal, god of death. In a similar manner she conceived the underworld god Ninazu when Enlil impregnated her disguised as the man of the river of the nether world, a man-devouring river.

Later Enlil disguised himself as the man of the boat, impregnating her with a fourth deity Enbilulu, god of rivers and canals. All of these act as substitutes for Nanna/Suen to ascend. In some texts Ninlil is also the mother of Ninurta, the heroic god who slew Asag the demon with his mace, Sharur.

After her death, she became the goddess of the wind, like Enlil. She may be the Goddess of the South Wind referred to in the story of Adapa, as her husband Enlil was associated with northerly winter storms. As “Lady Wind” she may be associated with the figure of the Akkadian demon “Lil-itu”, thought to have been the origin of the Hebrew Lilith legend.


First attested in the 9th century BCE, Urartian ceased to be written after the fall of the Urartian state in 585 BCE, and presumably it became extinct due to the fall of Urartu. It must have been replaced by an early form of Armenian, perhaps during the period of Achaemenid Persian rule, although it is only in the fifth century CE that the first written examples of Armenian appear.

Urartian was an ergative, agglutinative language, which belongs to neither the Semitic nor the Indo-European families but to the Hurro-Urartian family (whose only other known member is Hurrian). It survives in many inscriptions found in the area of the Urartu kingdom, written in the Assyrian cuneiform script. There have been claims of a separate autochthonous script of “Urartian hieroglyphs” but these remain unsubstantiated.

Urartian was also rarely written in the “Anatolian hieroglyphs” used for the Luwian language. Evidence for this is restricted to Altıntepe.There are suggestions that besides the Luwian hieroglyphic inscriptions, Urartu also had a native hieroglyphic script. The inscription corpus is too sparse to substantiate the hypothesis.

It remains unclear whether the symbols in question form a coherent writing system, or represent just a multiplicity of uncoordinated expressions of proto-writing or ad-hoc drawings. What can be identified with a certain confidence are two symbols or “hieroglyphs” found on vessels, representing certain units of measurement. This is known because some vessels were labelled both in cuneiform and with these symbols.

Urartian cuneiform is a standardized simplification of Neo-Assyrian cuneiform. Unlike in Assyrian, each sign only expresses a single sound value. The sign “gi” has the special function of expressing a hiatus, e.g. u-gi-iš-ti for Uīšdi. A variant script with non-overlapping wedges was in use for rock inscriptions.

The oldest delivered texts originate from the reign of Sarduri I, from the late 9th century BCE, and were produced until the fall of the realm of Urartu approximately 200 years later. Approximately two hundred inscriptions written in the Urartian language, which adopted and modified the cuneiform script, have been discovered to date.

Urartian is closely related to Hurrian, a somewhat better documented language attested for an earlier, non-overlapping period, approximately from 2000 BCE to 1200 BCE (written by native speakers until about 1350 BCE). The two languages must have developed quite independently from approximately 2000 BCE onwards. The poorly attested Kassite language may have been related to Hurrian.

Although Urartian is not a direct continuation of any of the attested dialects of Hurrian, many of its features are best explained as innovative developments with respect to Hurrian as we know it from the preceding millennium. The closeness holds especially true of the so-called Old Hurrian dialect, known above all from Hurro-Hittite bilingual texts.

Hurrian was the language of the Hurrians (occasionally called “Hurrites”), and was spoken in the northern parts of Mesopotamia and Syria and the southeastern parts of Anatolia between at least last quarter of the third millennium BC and its extinction towards the end of the second millennium BC.

There have been various Hurrian-speaking states, of which the most prominent one was the kingdom of Mitanni (1450–1270 BC). Furthermore, the Kassite language was possibly related to Hurro-Urartian. There was also a strong Hurrian influence on Hittite culture in ancient times, so many Hurrian texts are preserved from Hittite political centres.

The Mitanni variety is chiefly known from the so-called “Mitanni letter” from Hurrian Tushratta to pharaoh Amenhotep III surviving in the Amarna archives. The “Old Hurrian” variety is known from some early royal inscriptions and from religious and literary texts, especially from Hittite centres.

Urartian is closer to the so-called Old Hurrian variety (mostly attested in Hittite documents) than to the Hurrian of the Mitanni letter. For example, both use -o-/-u- (rather than -i-) as the marker of transitive valency and both display the plural suffix -it-, expressing the number of the ergative subject and occupying a position before the valency marker.

Proponents of linguistic macrofamilies have suggested that Hurro-Urartian and Northeast Caucasian form an “Alarodian” family, but this is without support in mainstream linguistics. Cambridge University encyclopedia of ancient languages describes: “A genetic relation between (reconstructed) Proto-Urarto-Hurrian and (reconstructed) Northeast Caucasian has been argued for, but it is not generally accepted. If the connection could be demonstrated, it would be a rather distant one.”

Igor Diakonoff and others have suggested ties between the Hurro-Urartian languages and the Northeastern Caucasian languages. The theory of so called “Urartian” language having affinity with North Caucasian was put forward by Diakonof who in his turn based his theory on Starostin’s propositions.

Soviet propaganda deliberately hid from wide public that Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin (March 24, 1953 – September 30, 2005), a Russian historical linguist, perhaps best known for his reconstructions of hypothetical proto-languages, including his work on the controversial Altaic theory, the formulation of the Dené–Caucasian hypothesis, and the proposal of a Borean language of still earlier date, connects everything to North Caucasian languages. From Yeniseian, Altaic, Sino-Tibetan, Japanese, Na-Dene to Austric languages and claimed they altogether form a single, higher-order language family.

The Dené–Caucasian hypothesis proposes that Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian, Yeniseian, Sino-Tibetan, and Na-Dené form a single, higher-order language family. According to Starostin, the Dené–Caucasian and Austric macrofamilies, together with the Nostratic macrofamily (as envisaged by Vladislav Illich-Svitych, with some modifications), can further be linked at an earlier stage, which Starostin called the Borean (i.e. ‘Northern’) languages.

The Yeniseian languages are a language family whose languages are and were spoken in the Yenisei River region of central Siberia. The Sino-Tibetan languages are a family of more than 400 languages spoken in East Asia, Southeast Asia and parts of South Asia, including the Chinese and Tibeto-Burman languages. Na-Dene is a Native American language family. All these languages were connected to North Caucasian according to Starostin, thus to “Urartian”. His theories never enjoyed serious attention in scientific world due to the blatant absurdness.

Very few know that Starostin developed the theory, originated by Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur Khan (August 24, 1603 – 1663), a khan of the Khanate of Khiva from 1643 to 1663, in the 17th century, that Japanese is an Altaic language. Abu al-Ghazi Bahadur was of Uzbek origin of Turkic race whose historical work is “Genealogy of the Turkmen” Shajare-i Tarakime finished in 1661 and “Genealogy of the Türks” Shajare-i Türk finished in 1665.

Starostin’s theory of so called “Urartian”- North Caucasian affinity was singled out and propagated by Diakonof because he due to small salary he accepted offer accepted an offer by Azerbaijan to falsify history and to make Azerbaijanis descendants of Medians which although is not specifically mentioned in memoirs implied also falsifying Armenian history and separating Armenians from their heritage.

Diakonof’s memoirs also will be of a great interest to Persians where he tells how Azerbaijanis tried to usurp the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi (1141 to 1209), considered the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, who brought a colloquial and realistic style to the Persian epic. His heritage is widely appreciated and shared by Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kurdistan region and Tajikistan. His formal name was Jamal ad-Dīn Abū Muḥammad Ilyās ibn-Yūsuf ibn-Zakkī.

Nezami was orphaned early and was raised by his maternal uncle Khwaja Umar who took responsibility for him and afforded him an excellent education. His mother, named Ra’isa, was of Kurdish background. His father, whose name was Yusuf is mentioned once by Nezami in his poetry.

In the same verse, Nezami mentions his grandfather’s name as Zakki. In part of the same verse, some have taken the word Mu’ayyad as a title for Zakki while others have interpreted it as the name of his great grandfather. Some sources have stated that his father might be possibly from Qom. Nezami is variously mentioned as a Persian and/or Iranian.

In Diakonof’s words he failed to make Azerbaijanis descendants of Medians because it was just so not true. But together with Starostin they falsified both Armenian and thus world heritage. Neither Diakonof, nor Starostin knew Armenian.

Works of Starostin-Diakonov’s criminal tandem was criticized by many scholars but they were never published for wider public and never made known in Soviet Union due to Diakonof being main Orientalist from Moscow. Diakonov got his PhD due to nepotism via Bobojan Gafurov (18 December 1908 – 12 July 1977), a prominent party leader and the former first secretary of the Tajik SSR.

Gafurov was a Tajik historian, academician, and the author of several books published in Russian and Tajik, including History of Tajikistan and The Tajiks. He received his PhD from the Institute of History of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow in 1941 with a dissertation on “History of the Isma’ili Sect”.

Many Soviet Assyriologists headed by Anatoly Kifishin accused Dyakonof in translating Epic of Gilgamesh not from Akkadian but from German. Later Kifishin gave interview saying Diakonov harassed him trying to “kill his career.”

In this controversial work, Kifishin compared the petroglyphs of Kamenna Mohyla (literally: “stone tomb”), an archaeological site in the Molochna River (literally “Milk river”) valley, about a mile from the village of Terpinnya, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine, to those of Çatalhöyük and concluded that both were related to the Sumerian cuneiform script. Shortly before his death, Igor Diakonov lashed out against Kifishin’s hypothesis (the two openly feuded since the 1960s).

In his book Diakonov is said to use works of Vladimir Kazimirovich Shileiko (February 14, 1891 — October 5, 1930), a Russian orientalist (assyriologist, hebraist) poet (acmeist) and translator, without mentioning it. Diakonov himself confessed working with Shileiko. Shileiko’s relatives insisted that only with the help of police they managed to take back Shileiko’s writings from Diakonof.

Vasily Vasilievich Struve (February 2 [O.S. January 21] 1889 in Petersburg – September 15, 1965 in Leningrad), a Soviet orientalist from the Struve family, the founder of the Soviet scientific school of researchers on Ancient Near East history, who in 1950s was the main Soviet Orientalist, also accused Diakonof of using others’ works without credits. Wikipedia says “In the late 1950s controversy between Struve and Diakonov became more personal. It should be noted that Diakonov displayed a glaring violations of scientific etiquette”.

Meanwhile Soviet propaganda never allowed wider public to know that according to the German Orientalist Andreas David Mordtmann (11. Februar 1811 in Hamburg; † 30. Dezember 1879), Vannic language was not only Aryan but specifically Armenian, and that it was only necessary to turn to an Armenian dictionary to discover the meaning of every word in the inscriptions.

Dr. Mordtmann deciphered Vannic (Araratian, Urartian) cuneiform inscriptions which in his words were written in one of early Armenian dialects. He also deciphered some Mesopotamian inscriptions using Armenian.

The Anglo-Irish clergyman Edward Hincks (19 August 1792 – 3 December 1866) M.A., D.D., best remembered as an Assyriologist and one of the decipherers of Mesopotamian cuneiform, perceived that the language of Vannic cuneiform inscriptions was inflectional and that it was Indo-European, or Aryan, as he called it. He read the names of the kings as Niriduris, Skuina, Kinuas, and Arrasnis, but very shortly corrected them into Milidduris, Ishpuinish, Minuas, and Argistis.

According to the Orientalist Rawlinson, sometimes described as the Father of Assyriology, well known, a series of inscriptions found at Van and in the vicinity. He called these inscriptions Armenian. They are written in the same alphabet that was used in Assyria, but are composed in a different language – a language, indeed, which, although it has adopted numerous words from the Assyrian, belong radically to another family. There are six kings of the Armenian line following in a line of direct descent. He named these as: 1. Alti-bari; 2. Ari-mena; 3. Isbuin; 4. Manua; 5. Artsen; 6. Ariduri.”

Edward Hincks called attention to the fact that, though Assyrian was a Semitic tongue, yet was its script totally unlike that used by any of the related languages. He suggested that the script was related to the Egyptian, and put forth the hypothesis that it was invented by an Indo-European people, who had been in contact with Egyptians and had borrowed something from their method of writing.

Of the 230-250 Urartian words identified to date, 156 have their parallels in Armenian, thus comprising 62-68 percent of the established Urartian lexicon. Of the 156 parallel words, 95, almost 61 percent, are native and, therefore, cannot have been borrowed from Urartian (if, indeed, such a separate language ever existed). A large percentage of the parallel words are such that rarely infiltrate from one language to another (for instance, pronouns, basic (ad)verbs, subsidiary words, etc.)

Now days the only book which gives thorough explanation on Vanic language is the book by Sargis Ayvazyan. The book is devoted to the issue of the language of the Van cuneiform inscriptions: Urartian, and its interrelationship with Armenian. The common word roots are thoroughly discussed and the Urartian grammatical and phonetic systems are compared to those of Armenian. An attempt is made to present the historical-comparative grammar of these languages proceeding from the assumption that Urartian has, as its base, the Armenian language.

The typical Armenian of to-day is, on the physical side, what his ancestors were in the age of the Vannic kingdom. Broad-skulled, with black hair and eyes, large and protrusive nose and somewhat retreating chin, he represents that ‘Armenoid ‘ type which extends throughout Asia Minor, embraces a section of the Jews, and is characteristic of the Hittite monuments. It is evident that the invaders who introduced the Armenian language of to-day could have been but a small caste of conquerors who have long since been absorbed by the older population of the country. Languages change readily; racial types are extraordinarily permanent.

The decipherment of Sumerian and of Vannic

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