Cradle of Civilization

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Archive for February, 2014

Gudea, Urukagina, and the Mesopotamian Origin of the Concept of Liberty

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 28, 2014

The legal code was a common feature of the legal systems of the ancient Middle East. The Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu (c. 2100-2050 BC), then the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (c. 1760 BC), are amongst the earliest and best preserved legal codes, originating in the Fertile Crescent.

Legal Code

Code of Ur-Nammu

Code of Hammurabi

Urukagina

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Fragment of an inscription of Urukagina

Urukagina (reigned ca. 24th century BC?, short chronology), the king of Lagash, established the first known legal code to protect citizens from the rich and powerful. Known as a great reformer, Urukagina established laws that forbade compelling the sale of property and required the charges against the accused to be stated before any man accused of a crime could be punished. This is the first known example of any form of due process in the history of humanity. However, his laws were otherwise typically brutal for Mesopotamia, including the stoning of women for having multiple husbands.

In this important code is found the first written reference to the concept of liberty (amagi or amargi, literally, “return to the mother”), used in reference to the process of reform. The exact nature of this term is not clear, but the idea that the reforms were to be a return to the original social order decreed by the gods fits well with the translation.

The symbol appeared twice during the Sumerian civilization. In one instance, it referred to people who were freed from debt slavery. The early Sumerian monarchs used indebtedness to taxes to enslave people in service to the king. The amagi literally translates to “return to mother” meaning that when someone was freed from slavery, he would return to his family and mother.

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AMA-GI is the ancient Sumerian word believed to be the first written expression of the concept of freedom. The symbol is ancient Sumerian cuneiform writing called an amagi (also, ama-gi or amargi). Discovered in 1870 on a set of Sumerian stone tablets which dated back to 2350 BC, the symbol is considered to be the earliest written expression of liberty.

Urukagina

Gudea

Gudea

Gudea, Urukagina, and the Mesopotamian Origin of the Concept of Liberty

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The roots of the Liberty statue

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 28, 2014

Goddesses named for and representing the concept Liberty have existed in many cultures, including classical examples dating from the Roman Empire and some national symbols such as the British “Britannia” or the Irish “Kathleen Ni Houlihan”.

The ancient Roman goddess Libertas, the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty, was honored during the second Punic War (218 to 201 BC) by a temple erected on the Aventine Hill in Rome by the father of Tiberius Gracchus.

A statue in her honor was also raised by Clodius on the site of Marcus Tullius Cicero’s house after it had been razed. The figure also resembles Sol Invictus, the Roman god of sun.

Among the Romans the cap of felt was the emblem of liberty. When a slave obtained his freedom he had his head shaved, and wore instead of his hair an undyed pileus. The figure of Liberty on some of the coins of Antoninus Pius, struck A.D. 145, holds this cap in the right hand.

The Phrygian cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with the inhabitants of Phrygia, a region of central Anatolia.

In the western provinces of the Roman Empire it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty, perhaps through a confusion with the pileus, the felt cap of manumitted (emancipated) slaves of ancient Rome.

Accordingly, the Phrygian cap is sometimes called a liberty cap; in artistic representations it signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty.

Libertas, along with other Roman goddesses, has served as the inspiration for many modern-day symbols, including the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in the USA.

According to the National Park Service, the Statue’s Roman robe is the main feature that invokes Libertas and the symbol of Liberty from which the Statue derives its name.

The fictional characters Columbia of the USA and Marianne of France, the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and many other characters and concepts of the modern age were created as, and are seen, as embodiments of Libertas.

National embodiments of Liberty include Britannia in the United Kingdom, “Liberty Enlightening the World,” commonly known as the Statue of Liberty in the USA, and Marianne in France.

In 1793, during the French Revolution, the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral was turned into a “Cult of Reason” and for a time “Lady Liberty” replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars.

Embodiments of the goddess Liberty in the United States of America include Columbia, which is yet another personification of the goddess Liberty.

Liberty

Statue of Liberty

The Online Library of Liberty

Did the Statue of Liberty come from Iraq?

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Statue of Attis at the Shrine of Attis situated in the Campus of the Magna Mater in Ostia Antica

Attis was the consort of Cybele in Phrygian and Greek mythology. His priests were eunuchs, the Galli, as explained by origin myths pertaining to Attis and castration. Attis was also a Phrygian god of vegetation, and in his self-mutilation, death, and resurrection he represents the fruits of the earth, which die in winter only to rise again in the spring.

An Attis cult began around 1250 BC in Dindymon (today’s Murat Dağı of Gediz, Kütahya). He was originally a local semi-deity of Phrygia, associated with the great Phrygian trading city of Pessinos, which lay under the lee of Mount Agdistis. The mountain was personified as a daemon, whom foreigners associated with the Great Mother Cybele.

Mithra

Mitanni (Mi-ta-nni) – Mitra

Mithra: The Pagan Christ

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Investiture of Sassanid emperor Ardashir I or II (3rd century CE bas-relief at Taq-e Bostan, Iran. On the left stands the yazata Mithra with raised barsom, sanctifying the investiture.

Sixth panel of the Mithraeum at Ostia in Italy of the 6th degree of the Mithraic Mysteries, the Mystery religion of the Roman Empire, here we see a whip, a crown of seven spikes and a torch.

“Both Mithras and Christ were described variously as ‘the Way,’ ‘the Truth,’ ‘the Light,’ ‘the Life,’ ‘the Word,’ ‘the Son of God,’ ‘the Good Shepherd.’ The Christian litany to Jesus could easily be an allegorical litany to the sun-god.

Mithras is often represented as carrying a lamb on his shoulders, just as Jesus is. Midnight services were found in both religions. The virgin mother…was easily merged with the virgin mother Mary. Petra, the sacred rock of Mithraism, became Peter, the foundation of the Christian Church.”

“Mithra, or Mitra, is worshipped as Itu (Mitra-Mitu-Itu) in every house of the Hindus in India. Itu (derivative of Mitu or Mitra) is considered as the Vegetation-deity. This Mithra or Mitra (Sun-God) is believed to be a Mediator between God and man, between the Sky and the Earth.

It is said that Mithra or [the] Sun took birth in the Cave on December 25th. It is also the belief of the Christian world that Mithra or the Sun-God was born of [a] Virgin. He travelled far and wide. He has twelve satellites, which are taken as the Sun’s disciples…. [The Sun’s] great festivals are observed in the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox—Christmas and Easter. His symbol is the Lamb…”

Mithras is the god of a roman mystery-cult, which flourished from the 1th to 4th century of our era. Their rituals was performed in the mithraeum, either a natural cave or a building imitating one. Apart from representations of Mithras himself, other sculptures has been found.

The first extant record of Indo-Aryan Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor. There Mitra appears together with four other Indo-Aryan divinities as witnesses and keepers of the pact. R. D. Barnett has argued that the royal seal of King Saussatar of Mitanni from c. 1450 BC. depicts a tauroctonous Mithras.

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.

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.

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”, or “Hurrians”.

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.

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).

Palmyra, Syria

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Aglibol, Baalshamin (center), and Malakbel (1st century; found near Palmyra, Syria)

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Bel of Palmyra, Syria, depicted on the far left alongside Ba’alshamin, Yarhibol and Aglibol on a relief from Palmyra

Palmyra (Tadmur) was an ancient city in central Syria. The city was first mentioned in the archives of Mari in the second millennium BC. It was a trading city in the extensive trade network that linked Mesopotamia and northern Syria.

Palmyrans bore Aramaic names, and worshipped a variety of deities from Mesopotamia (Marduk and Ruda), Syria (Hadad, Baʿal, Astarte), Arabia (Allāt) and Greece (Athena).

Palmyrans were originally speakers of Aramaic but later shifted to the Greek language. At the time of the Islamic conquests Palmyra was inhabited by several Arab tribes, primarily the Qada’ah and Kalb.

Bel (from Akkadian bēlu), signifying “lord” or “master”, is a title rather than a genuine name, applied to various gods in the Mesopotamian religion of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia.

The feminine form is Belit ‘Lady, Mistress’. Bel is represented in Greek as Belos and in Latin as Belus. Linguistically Bel is an East Semitic form cognate with Northwest Semitic Ba‘al with the same meaning.

Baalshamin or Ba’al Šamem (lit. ‘Lord of Heaven(s)’) is a Northwest Semitic god and a title applied to different gods at different places or times in ancient Middle Eastern inscriptions, especially in Canaan/Phoenicia and Syria.

This name was originally a title of Baal Hadad, in the second millennium BC, but came to designate a distinct god circa 1000 BC.The title was most often applied to Hadad, who is also often titled just Ba‘al.

Baalshamin was one of the two supreme gods and the sky god of pre-Islamic Palmyra in ancient Syria. (Bel was the other supreme god.)

There his attributes were the eagle and the lightning bolt, and he perhaps formed a triad with the lunar god Aglibol and the sun god Malakbel.

Aglibôl means “Calf of Bel” (“Calf of the Lord”). He Aglibôl is depicted with a lunar halo decorating his head and sometimes his shoulders, and one of his attributes is the sickle moon.

Aglibôl is also associated with the Syrian versions of Astarte “Venus” and with Arṣu “Evening Star”. His cult continued into Hellenic times and was later extended to Rome.

Malakbêl was a sun deity of the city of Palmyra in pre-Islamic Syria. The meaning, in Aramaic, is “Messenger of Baal” or “Messenger, or Angel, of the Lord”.

The Greek identified Malakbel with Hermes, and the Romans with Sol. He was also similar to the Babylonian sun god Shamash.

Yarhibol is an Aramean god who was worshiped mainly in ancient Palmyra. He was depicted with a solar nimbus and styled “lord of the spring”. He normally appears alongside Bel, who was a co-supreme god of Palmyra, and Aglibol, one of the other top Palmyrene gods.

Hekate

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Hecate or Hekate was a goddess in Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding two torches or a key and in later periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, fire, light, the Moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy, and sorcery.

She had rulership over earth, sea and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul. She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family.

Hecate may have originated among the Carians of Anatolia, where variants of her name are found as names given to children. William Berg observes, “Since children are not called after spooks, it is safe to assume that Carian theophoric names involving hekat- refer to a major deity free from the dark and unsavoury ties to the underworld and to witchcraft associated with the Hecate of classical Athens.” She also closely parallels the Roman goddess Trivia, with whom she was identified in Rome.

The spikes sticking from the head are sculptural representations of Rays of Light emanating from the Head… as in the force of the power of Reason to build a better, more equitable government and society… which is what the American Revolution and Constitution represented to the French.

Taurobolium and criobolium

In the Roman Empire of the 2nd to 4th centuries, taurobolium referred to practices involving the sacrifice of a bull, which after mid-2nd century became connected with the worship of the Great Mother of the Gods; though not previously limited to her cultus, after 159 CE all private taurobolia inscriptions mention Magna Mater. Originating in Asia Minor, its earliest attested performance in Italy occurred in 134 CE, at Puteoli, in honor of Venus Caelestis, documented by an inscription.

The earliest inscriptions, of the 2nd century in Asia Minor, point to a bull chase in which the animal was overcome, linked with a panegyris in honour of a deity or deities, but not an essentially religious ceremony, though a bull was sacrificed and its flesh distributed.

Criobolium is the ritual sacrifice of a ram in the cult of Attis and the Great Mother of the Gods. It seems to have been a special ceremony instituted after the rise, and on the analogy of the taurobolium, which was performed in honor of the Great Mother, for the purpose of giving fuller recognition to Attis in the duality which he formed with the Mother. There is no evidence of its existence either in Asia or in Italy before the taurobolium came into prominence (after AD 134).

When the criobolium was performed in conjunction with the taurobolium, the altar was almost invariably inscribed to both the Mother and Attis, while the inscription was to the Mother alone when the taurobolium only was performed. The celebration of the criobolium was widespread, and its importance such that it was sometimes performed in place of the taurobolium (Corp. Inscr. Lat. vi. 505, 506). The details and effect of the ceremony were no doubt similar to those of the taurobolium.

Helios and Solar Apollo

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Helios in his chariot, early 4th century BC, Athena’s temple, Ilion.

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Solar Apollo with the radiant halo of Helios in a Roman floor mosaic, El Djem, Tunisia, late 2nd century.

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Dedication made by a priest of Jupiter Dolichenus on behalf of the wellbeing (salus) of the emperors, to Sol Invictus and the Genius of the miitary unit equites singulares.

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Roman Imperial repoussé silver disc of Sol Invictus (3rd century), found at Pessinus.

Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod (Theogony 371) and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia (Hesiod) or Euryphaessa (Homeric Hymn) and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn. Ovid also calls him Titan.

Helios was described as a handsome god crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric hymn to Helios Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds (HH 31.14-15); and Pindar speaks of Helios’s “fire-darting steeds” (Olympian Ode 7.71). Still later, the horses were given fiery names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon.

As time passed, Helios was increasingly identified with the god of light, Apollo. However, in spite of their syncretism, they were also often viewed as two distinct gods (Helios was a Titan, whereas Apollo was an Olympian). The equivalent of Helios in Roman mythology was Sol, specifically Sol Invictus (“Unconquered Sun”), the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers.

In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Sol Invictus played a prominent role in the Mithraic mysteries, and was equated with Mithras himself.

The Colossus of Rhodes

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The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios. The statue was erected in the city of Rhodes, on the Greek island of the same name, by Chares of Lindos in 280 BC. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, whose son unsuccessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 BC.

The statue stood for 56 years until Rhodes was hit by the 226 BC Rhodes earthquake, when significant damage was also done to large portions of the city, including the harbour and commercial buildings, which were destroyed. The statue snapped at the knees and fell over on to the land. Ptolemy III offered to pay for the reconstruction of the statue, but the oracle of Delphi made the Rhodians afraid that they had offended Helios, and they declined to rebuild it.

Before its destruction in the earthquake of 226 BC, the Colossus of Rhodes stood over 30 meters (98 feet) high, making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world.

Christus

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Mosaic of Christ as Sol or Apollo-Helios in Mausoleum M in the pre-4th-century necropolis beneath[35] St. Peter’s in the Vatican, which many interpret as representing Christ.

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Mosaic in the Beth Alpha synagogue, with the sun in the centre, surrounded by the twelve zodiac constellations and with the four seasons associated inaccurately with the constellations.

Statue of Liberty

There is a famous reference to the Colossus in the sonnet “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–87), written in 1883 and inscribed on a plaque located inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbour that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The poem was written as a donation to an auction of art and literary works conducted by the “Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty” to raise money for the pedestal’s construction. In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

Lazarus’s contribution was solicited by fundraiser William Maxwell Evarts. Initially she refused but Constance Cary Harrison convinced her that the statue would be of great significance to immigrants sailing into the harbor.

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Samsara

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 28, 2014

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Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Shot in 70mm film, over a period of almost five years, in twenty-five countries.

Samsara transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. Without dialogue or descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

In popular use, Samsara [a westernized spelling] may refer to the world (in the sense of the various worldly activities which occupy ordinary human beings), the various sufferings thereof; or the unsettled and agitated mind through which reality is perceived.

Saṃsāra or Sangsāra (Sanskrit: संसार) (in Tibetan called ‘khor ba, meaning “continuous flow”), is the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (reincarnation) within Hinduism, Buddhism, Bön, Jainism, Taoism, and Yârsân. In Sikhism this concept is slightly different and looks at one’s actions in the present and consequences in the present.

The origins of the notion of reincarnation are obscure. They apparently date to the Iron Age (around 1200 BCE). Discussion of the subject appears in the philosophical traditions of India (including the Indus Valley) and Greece (including Asia Minor) from about the 6th century BCE. Also during the Iron Age, the Greek Pre-Socratics discussed reincarnation, and the Celtic Druids are also reported to have taught a doctrine of reincarnation.

The ideas associated with reincarnation may have arisen independently in different regions, or they might have spread as a result of cultural contact. Proponents of cultural transmission have looked for links between Iron Age Celtic, Greek and Vedic philosophy and religion, some even suggesting that belief in reincarnation was present in Proto-Indo-European religion.

In ancient European, Iranian and Indian agricultural cultures, the life cycles of birth, death, and rebirth were recognized as a replica of natural agricultural cycles.

Patrick Olivelle asserts that the origin of the concept of the cycle of birth and death, the concept of samsara, and the concept of liberation in the Indian tradition, were in part the creation of the non-Vedic Shramana (Sanskrit: श्रमण Śramaṇa; Pali: समण samaṇa) tradition.

Sramana was a non-Vedic Indian religious movement parallel to but separate from the historical Vedic religion. The Śramaṇa tradition gave rise to Yoga, Jainism, Buddhism, and some nāstika schools of Hinduism such as Cārvāka and Ājīvika, and also popular concepts in all major Indian religions such as saṃsāra (the cycle of birth and death) and moksha (liberation from that cycle).

The Pāli samaṇa and the Sanskrit Śramaṇa refer to renunciate ascetic traditions from the middle of the 1st millennium BCE. They were individual, experiential and free-form traditions, independent of society; and in religious competition with Brahmin priests, who as opposed to Śramaṇas, stressed mastery of texts and performing rituals.

The Pāli samaṇa and the Sanskrit Śramaṇa are postulated to be derived from the verbal root śram, meaning “to exert effort, labor or to perform austerity”. “Śramaṇa” thus means “one who strives” or “laborer” in Sanskrit and Pali. The term was applied to those who wholeheartedly practiced toward enlightenment, and was used for monks.

The Śramaṇa traditions are best captured in the term parivrajaka, meaning a homeless wanderer. The history of wandering monks in ancient India is partly untraceable. The term ‘parivrajaka’ was perhaps applicable to all the peripatetic monks of India.

Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s actions. This doctrine is a central tenet of the Indian religions.

It is also a common belief of various ancient and modern religions such as Spiritism, Theosophy, and Eckankar and is found in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Siberia, West Africa, North America, and Australia.

Although the majority of sects within the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; these groups include the mainstream historical and contemporary followers of Kabbalah, the Cathars, the Druze and the Rosicrucians.

The historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of Neoplatonism, Orphism, Hermeticism, Manicheanism and Gnosticism of the Roman era, as well as the Indian religions, has been the subject of recent scholarly research.

In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have developed an interest in reincarnation. Contemporary films, books, and popular songs frequently mention reincarnation. In the last decades, academic researchers have begun to explore reincarnation and published reports of children’s memories of earlier lives in peer-reviewed journals and books.

The historical origins of a concept of a cycle of repeated reincarnation are obscure but the idea appears frequently in religious and philosophical texts in both India and ancient Greece during the middle of the first millennium BC. Orphism, Platonism, Jainism and Buddhism all discuss the transmigration of beings from one life to another.

The concept of reincarnation is present even in the early Vedic texts such as the Rig Veda, but the concise idea of it is said to have originated from the Shramana traditions. Several scholars believe that reincarnation was adopted from this religious culture by Brahmin orthodoxy, and Brahmins first wrote down scriptures containing these ideas in the early (Aitereya) Upanishads.

According to the view of these Asian religions a person’s current life is only one of many -stretching back before birth into past existences and reaching forward beyond death into future incarnations. During the course of each life the quality of the actions (karma) performed determine the future destiny of each person.

The Buddha taught that there is no beginning or end to this cycle. The goal of these Asian religions is to realize this truth, the achievement of which (like ripening of a fruit) is moksha.

 

 

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Cannabis og hakekors – her er Oseberg-funnene du neppe visste om

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 28, 2014

Vår vugge

Det nye Osebergskipet - Det nye Osebergskipet ble sjøsatt med kongen og dronningen til stede. - Foto: Yngve Tørrestad / NRK

Dyr og planter i Oseberg-funnet skal DNA-testes de neste årene. Men i en av kistene i gravkammeret lå det også en lærpung med cannabisfrø. Det er veldokumentert at rus var en viktig del av skandinavenes kultur og vikingene kjente nok til cannabisens virkninger.

Vikingene dyrket hamp til tau og tekstiler, men man må ikke være spesielt begavet for å få til en annen virkning av frøene. Det er derfor uklart om cannabisfrøene var ment til rus selv.

Arkeologene er skjønt enig at gravleggingen på Oseberg er av rituell art. Mange dyr er ofret i haugen, og den var full av gravgaver. I forbindelse med slike gravlegginger, var det ikke uvanlig at man bedrev seid, magi, gjerne i ruset tilstand. I transe eller ved hjelp av suggesjon.

Også hakekors ble funnet i sammenheng med Oseberg-funnet. Hakekorset, eller svastikaen, er et symbol som ble brukt i Asia og Europa i flere tusen år. Det er et mange tusenårig solsymbol som er brukt i mange kulturer.

Noen blir litt sjokkert over antallet svastikaer i Osebergfunnet. Det er massevis av dem. Men det overraskende er at noen klarte å ta det symbolet og gjøre det til sitt i løpet av noen få år i det forrige århundret.

Osebergskipet

Osebergskipets gåte løst

Cannabis og hakekors – her er Oseberg-funnene du neppe visste om

Oseberg Vikingskip – Saga Oseberg

Vikingskipshuset – Kulturhistorisk museum

Rikt vikingfunn i Larvik

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Spor av tidligere religion

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 27, 2014

Hurriere, også kjent som ariere, eller armenere, er preindoeuropeisk, og grunnlaget for de kaukasiske, samt semittiske og indoeuropeiske språkene. Gresk-indoarisk, eller gresk-armensk-indoarisk er også det siste leddet av den indoeuropeiske språkfamilien.

Fra det armenske høylandet, sivilisasjonens vugge, kom også frygerne, eller nærmere bestemt mushkiene, som ga opphav til byen ved samme navn i dagens Armenia. Armenerne er ifølge lingvistikkeren Diakonoff et amalgam av hurriere (og urartiere), luviere og proto-armenske mushki, eller armeno-frygere), som bar deres indoeuropeiske språk østover i Anatolia.

Den romerske Mithra bar en frygisk lue, også kjent som frihetslua. På gresk blir det referert til armenerne på rundt same tid. Gresk ikonografi identifiserer den trojanske Paris som ikke-gresk gjennom hans frygiske lue, som ble båret av Mithra og som overlevde i moderne billedbruk som frgjøringsluen i den franske og den amerikanske revolusjonen.

Mithra, eller nærmere sagt Mitra, er først kjent fra staten Mitanni (Mita-nni, eller Me-ta-ni), et kongedømme referert til som Maryannu (Maria-nnu), Nahrin, fra det assyro-akkadiske ordet for elv, eller Mitanni, av egypterne, Hurri (Ḫu-ur-ri) av hettittene og Hanigalbat av assyrerne.

Det etniske grunnlaget i staten var hurriere og indo-ariere, som på same tidspunkt ankom India. Aristokratiet i Mitanni bærer bade hurriske og indo-ariske navn, og deres guder bærer indo-ariske navn,inkludertMitra, Varuna, IndraogNasatya.

Hovedguden på den arabiske halvøya var Hubal (Hu-bal), et navn som kan ha same røtter som Hu-ur-ri. En statue av Hubal befant seg i nærheten av Kaaba er beskrevet som formet som en menneskelignende figur med høyre hånd skiftet ut med en gylden hånd.

Kong Mita fikk sitt navn fra Mitanni. Midaser navnet på minst tre medlemmer av Frygia. Den mest kjente av dem er husket i gresk mytologi for hans evne til å gjøre alt han tok på med sin hånd om til gull, noe som kom til å bli kjent som det gyldene berøring, eller rett og slett Midas berøring.

Dionysos som takk for en tjeneste tilbyr Midas å ønske seg hva han vil. Midas ønsker seg da at alt han rører ved skal bli til gull. Han får sitt ønske oppfylt og Midas er til å begynne med lykkelig over gaven han har fått. Alt han rører blir til gull, f.eks. en stor stein, men han oppdager etterhvert at det også fører til problemer.

Da han vil anrette en festmiddag for å feire sin nye kraft, merker han at maten og drikken forvandles til gull i hans munn. Ulykkelig ber han Dionysos om å bli fri fra sitt ønske.

Dionysos forteller så Midas, hvordan han kan kvitte seg med sin gave, nemlig ved å vaske seg i floden Paktalos. Midas gjør dette, og gjennom vannet forlater kraften ham og forvandler sandet på flodbunden til gull. Siden den dagen er floden kjent for sitt gullsand på bunnen.

En annen kong Midas hersket over Frygia på 800-tallet f.vt. Dette er den samme personen som blir kalt kongMita avMushki i assyriske tekster, som gikk til krig mot Assyria og dets anatoliske provinser under den samme perioden.

Både ar og mesh betyr lys og det å skape. Shamash var den sumeriske solguden, mens den gamle armenske solguden Ara fikk navn etter byen Armi, i dag kjent som Aleppo. Arev betyr sol på armensk, mens Masis er det armenske navnet på fjellet Ararat.

Adonis

Guden Ara deler en rekke likheter med guden Adonis, som er et gresk lån fra det semittiske ordet adon, som har betydningen «herre». Ordet var lånt fra fønikisk. Det er beslektet med Adonai, et av navnene som er benyttet til å referere til Gud i Den hebraiske Bibelen (Det gamle testamente) og er fortsatt benyttet i jødedommen den dag i dag.

Adana er Tyrkias femte største by, og hovedstad i provinsen Adana. Byen ligger ved elven Seyhans bredd i det sørlige Tyrkia. Det er dette som er paradis, eller Eden.

Adonis hadde flere roller, og det har vært mye forskning i århundrenes løp angående hans mening og hensikt i de greske religiøse trosforestillinger i antikken. Han var en årlig plantegud, alltid ung, en liv-død-gjenfødelse-guddom hvis vesen var knyttet til kalenderen, særlig dyrket av kvinner. Hans navn er i moderne tid benyttet som betegnelse på kjekke unge menn som han har blitt arketypen for. Han er blitt jevnlig beskrevet som den dødelige skjønnhetsguden.

Den sentrale myten i dens greske fortelling er at Afrodite blir forelsket med den vakre ynglingen (muligens grunnet at hun var blitt rammet av Eros’ pil). Afrodite beskyttet Adonis som nyfødt og overdro ham til Persefone, som ble så forhekset av Adonis’ skjønnhet at hun nektet å gi ham tilbake til Afrodite.

Striden mellom gudinnene ble avgjort av Zevs (eller av Kalliope på vegne av Zevs): Adonis skulle tilbringe en tredjedel av hvert år hos hver av gudinnene, og den siste tredjedelen hvor han måtte ønske. Han valgte å tilbringe to tredjedeler av året hos Afrodite.

Adonis var sønn av Myrrha og hennes far Kinyras. Myrrha ble forvandlet til et myrratre og den romerske fødselsgudinnen Lucina hjalp treet å føde Adonis. Stedet hvor Adonis døde lot hun bli overrislet av blod med nektar. Herfra sprang det opp den kortvarige røde blomsten anemone som har sitt navn fra vinden ettersom den så lett får dens kronblad til å falle av.

Kvinnene i Athen kunne plante «Adonishager» med hurtigvoksende grønnsaker som sprang opp fra frø og visnet. Adonisfestivalen ble feiret av kvinner ved midtsommer ved å så fennikel og salat, og hvete og bygg. Plantene vokste opp hurtig, visnet tilsvarende hurtig, og kvinnene sørget over den altfor tidlige døden til planteguden.

Syriske Adonis er Gauas, eller Aos, beslektet med den egyptiske Osiris, semittiske Dumuzi og Baal Hadad, etruskiske Atunis og frygiske Attis, alle disse var guddommer av liv-død-gjenfødelse og vegetasjon.

Adonis var i stor grad basert på Dumuzi, en guddom i sumerisk mytologi, på akkadisk kalt for Tammuz og hvor hans semittisk navn hadde betydningen «trofast» eller «ekte sønn». Han ble dyrket som en mat- og vegetasjonsgud, også i de senere mesopotamiske statene Akkad, Assyria og Babylonia.

Attis eller Atys i gresk mytologi er en frygisk helt som forbindes med Adonis og den mesopotamiske Tammuz. Han var guddom for fødsel-død-gjenfødsel, og var både sønnen og elskeren til modergudinnen Kybele. Han var også hennes sjefsevnukk og fører av hennes løvedrevne vogn.

Hans prester var evnukker, Galli, menn som har testikler som siden barndommen ikke produserer hormoner, eller en kastrert mann eller gutt.

Attis var vegetasjonens gud, og representerer via hans selvlemlestelse, død, og gjenoppstandelse fruktene av jorden, som dør om vinteren kun for så å gjenoppstå om våren. Attis ble feiret med en stor vårfest omkring temaet sorg og gjenfødsel.

I mytologien beskrives Cybeles kjærlighetsforhold til Attis. I en fortelling blir det beskrevet hvordan Attis kastrerer seg selv og forblør under et pinjetre for til slutt selv å forvandles til et eviggrønt pinjetre.

Enki

En, eller an, betyr herre, mens Ki, som senere har blitt til Kia og Gaya,  betyr jorden eller eksistens. Hos både hurrierne, slik som i Urkesh, og sumererne ble lederne kalt for Ensi, som ble skrevet som PA.TE.SI på sumerisk kileskrift, og som er det litterære grunnlaget for både far (pater) og patriarki. Ensi kommer fra ploglandets herre. Mens sumererne skrev Ki skriver armenerne Ik.

Enki, og senere Ea, er sivilisasjonens, visdommens og kulturens gud. Han både skapte og forsvarer menneskene, og verden generelt. Han blir avbildet som en mann dekket med fiskeskinn, noe som sammen med navnet på hans temple, E-apsu, som betyr Det dype vanns tempel, peker på hans karakter som vannets gud.

Dette synes også å bli implisert i historien om hieros gamos, eller det hellige ekteskapet mellom Enki og Ninhursag, som synes som en etiologisk myte om fruktbarhet av tørr jord via irrigasjonsvann, som på sumerisk er a, ab, som vil si vann eller sæd.

Abzu, eller vannkilden foran hans tempel, ble senere innført ved tempelet til måneguden Nanna, eller Sin, ved Ur, hvor fra det spredde seg gjennom hele regionen og eksisterer i dag i form av den hellige kilden ved moskeer og som hellige vannfontener i katolske eller østtlig ortodokse kirker.

Ved utgravningene på stedet har man funnet flere tusen karpebein, trolig konsumert under en fest holdt til ære for ham. Det kristne ursymbolet er fisken. Av symbolene som ble brukt av de tidlige kristne, ser fisken ut til å ha vært den viktigste.

Blant vest semittene ble EA likestilt med termen hyy, som betyr liv, noe som refererer til Enkis vann som livgivende. Han blir ansett som livets og fornyelsens gud, og blir ofte avbildet med to strømmer av vann rennende ned fra sine skuldre, hvor av den ene er Tigris og den andre Eufrat.

Sammen med ham var trær som symboliserer de feminine og maskuline aspektene av naturen, hvor av hver holder de feminine og maskuline aspektene av livskraften, som han, som gudenes alkymist, blander for på den måten å skape flere vesener.

Enki hadde som EA stor innflytelse utenfor Sumer, og ble likestilt med El i Ugarit og med Yah i Ebla, men blir også funnet i hurrisk og hettittisk mytologi, som en gud for kontrakter, pakten, og er spesielt gunstig mot menneskene.

En kobling mellom Ea og Yah med hebreernes YHWH har blitt foreslått. Yah har også blitt sammenlignet med den ugarittiske Yamm, som betyr sjø, også kjent som Dommer Nahar, eller Dommer elv, viss tidligere navn var Yaw, eller Ya’a.

Allah, en betegnelse brukt av både muslimer og kristne, er det arabiske ordet for Gud, eller guden, ettersom “Al-” er en bestemt artikkel. Termen stammer fra en sammenbinding av al- og ilāh, som betyr gud. Kognater av Allāh eksister også i andre semittiske språk, inkludert hebrew og arameisk, og den korresponderende arameiske formen er Elaha og den syriske Alaha.

Navnet Allah, eller Alla, brukes i legenden om Atrahasis, som er fra Babylon omkring 1700 f.vt., og er forløperen til Bibelens Noa, noe som viser at han ble dyrket som en gud allerede den gangen.

Gjeteren Dumuzid, en konge fra det første dynastiet i Uruk nevnt i den sumeriske kongelisten, som er forløperen til Gamletestamentets kongeliste, ble senere dyrket slik at folk startet å assosiere ham med “Alla” og den babylonske guden Tammuz.

Kybele

Grekerne overtok den anatoliske modergudinnen Kybele, som lite er kjent om, annet enn hennes tilknytning fjellene, hauker og løver. Kyble kan ha utviklet seg fra anatolisk modergudinne i henhold til en type funnet ved Çatal Höyük, datert til rundt 5000-tallet f.vt.

Denne korpulente, fruktbare modergudinnen synes å føde sittende på en trone med to armlener bestående av kattehoder. I frygisk kunst på 700-tallet f.vt. var Kybelekultens attributter ledsagende løver, en rovfugl, og en liten vase for hennes drikkeoffer eller andre offergaver.

Den tidligste referansen til en gudinne dyrket som en kube-formet stein er fra det neolittiske Anatolia. Alternativt kan Kubaba bety en hul vase eller hule, som også ville ha vært et overført bilde av guddinnen.

Ideogrammene for Kubaba i det hettittiske alfabetet er en hul vase, eller en kube, en labrys, en due, en vase og en dør eller port, hvor av alle gjenspeiler modergudinner i det neolittiske Europa.

Den tidligste referansen til Kybeles navn kan ha vært Kubaba, eller Kumbaba, noe som henviser til Humbaba, som var vokter av skogen i legenden om Gilgamesh, som er verdens eldste nedskrevne myte fra Sumer 2500 f.vt.

Arabisk mytologi er arabernes opprinnelige preislamske religion. Kaabaen var før Islam dekket med symboler som representerte en myriade av demoner, djinner, demiguder, eller stammeguder og andre guddommer som representerte den polyteistiske kulturen i det pre-islamiske Arabia.

Den svarte polerte steinen, som er representerer Cybele og hennes vagina, eller vulva, er en muslimsk relik, som ifølge islamsk tradisjon kan dateres tilbake til tiden med Adam og Eva. Historisk forskning viser at den svarte steinen markerte Kaaba som et plass for tilbedelse under pre-islamske tider. Det er den østlige hjørnesteinen av Kaabaen.

Ifølge Koranen og islamsk tradisjon er Kaaba, eller Kuben, også kjent som det hellige huset og det gamle huset, bygget av Abraham og blitt fortalt om at det var det første huset som ble bygget til menneskehetens dyrkelse av Allah (Enki, EA, Yah, Gud).

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Woody Harrelson ‘Ethos’ Epic Documentary! Time to Unslave Humanity

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 25, 2014

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Østenfor Eden

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 25, 2014

En høyreist mann og kvinne, vakre å se på, går gjennom et nydelig landskap. Med seg har de to halvstore gutter og flere andre små barn. Noen av barna leier små lam. De bærer med seg ved, og nærmer seg et stort alter i horisonten. Alteret står så nær det kan inngangen til et enda vakrere sted. På begge sider vokter levende kjeruber inngangen, slik at ingen kan komme inn. Følget stopper opp ved alteret. De bøyer seg og ber, ikke til kjerubene, men de henvender seg til sin sin Skaper som en gang ga dem liv og plasserte dem i denne hagen.

Østenfor Eden

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The Best of George Carlin: Exposing our government and fall of humanity

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 25, 2014

George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, actor, and writer/author who won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums. He was noted for his black humor as well as his thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects.

Carlin and his “Seven Dirty Words” comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a decision by the justices affirmed the government’s power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves.

The first of his 14 stand-up comedy specials for HBO was filmed in 1977. From the late 1980s, Carlin’s routines focused on socio-cultural criticism of modern American society. He often commented on contemporary political issues in the United States and satirized the excesses of American culture. His final HBO special, It’s Bad for Ya, was filmed less than four months before his death.

In 2004, Carlin placed second on the Comedy Central list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time, ahead of Lenny Bruce and behind Richard Pryor. He was a frequent performer and guest host on The Tonight Show during the three-decade Johnny Carson era, and hosted the first episode of Saturday Night Live. In 2008, he was posthumously awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

 

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The Story of Your Enslavement

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 25, 2014

Molyneux

Stefan Basil Molyneux (born 24 September 1966) is a Canadian blogger and essayist and host of the Freedomain Radio series of podcasts on political philosophy, atheism, personal and relationship issues, and related topics. He is an anarcho-capitalist and atheist.

Molyneux has written numerous articles and smaller essays which have been published on libertarian websites including LewRockwell.com, antiwar.com, and Strike The Root, and has recorded numerous podcasts and videos, and self-published several books. In 2013, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, from which he has successfully recovered.

The Six Steps To Achieving Absolute Financial Enslavement of the People

(1) Indoctrinate the young through “government” education. To understand this fully, please visit this link and read Charlotte Iserbyt’s “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” before this website is removed. Charlotte Iserbyt was a former Senior Policy Advisor at the US Department of Education turned whistleblower.

(2) Turn citizens against each other through the creation of “livestock” dependent upon their masters. Keep the livestock happy by presenting to them charades like fake illusions of choice in the form of national elections every 4-6 years. Use these fake illusions of choice to foster as much animosity among the livestock as possible. Foster fake concepts of freedom and pride like “nationalism” to divide and conquer. See the second video at the bottom of this page for more explanation.

(3) Get the cows to attack each other whenever anyone brings up the reality of their situation. See point (2) to understand how to turn the livestock against one another. Divide and conquer. Divide and conquer. Divide and conquer. Convince people to bicker amongst each other about inconsequential matters such as fake divisions of polticial parties, loyalty to governments and nations instead of loyalty to morality and truth, and so on and so on. Accomplish this, and it will become unnecessary to spend significant money to control the cows and livestock.

(4) Ensure that the cows that have become dependent upon the stolen largesse of the farmers (Presidents, Prime Ministers, Parliaments, Congress, and at the top, world bankers and Central Bankers) will violently oppose any questioning of the virtue of human ownership. Dupe the intellectual and artistic classes, always and forever dependent upon the farmers, to admonish anyone that demands freedom from ownership, with the mantra: “You will harm your fellow cows!” to shame those that fight for freedom back into the feed line to keep eating their GMO foods and internalizing force-fed propaganda.

(5) Keep the livestock enclosed in the cages and unable to challenge the power of the farmers by shifting the moral responsibility for the destructiveness of the violent system to those that demand real freedom. See points (2) and (3) to understand why the cows will never ever unite to fight the farmers.

(6) Invent continual external threats to ensure that the frightened livestock cling to the protection of their farmers (i.e. the never-ending, poltically and financially, but not morally, motivated War on Drugs and War on Terror) and will continue to oppose any of their fellow cows that demand freedom from the farmers.

From sovereign to surf

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The yoni of the Arabian goddess

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 25, 2014

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Pre-Islam

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Arabian mythology is the ancient, pre-Islamic beliefs of the Arab people. Prior to Islam the Kaaba of Mecca was covered in symbols representing the myriad demons, djinn, demigods, or simply tribal gods and other assorted deities which represented the polytheistic culture of pre-Islamic Arabia.

The Black Stone is a Muslim relic, which according to Islamic tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve. Historical research claims that the Black Stone marked the Kaaba as a place of worship during pre-Islamic pagan times.

It is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The Stone is a dark rock, polished smooth by the hands of millions of pilgrims that has been broken into a number of fragments cemented into a silver frame in the side of the Kaaba.

Enki is a god in Sumerian mythology, later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology. He was originally patron god of the city of Eridu, but later the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and Hurrians.

Enki was the deity of crafts (gašam); mischief; water, seawater, lakewater (a, aba, ab), intelligence (gestú, literally “ear”) and creation (Nudimmud: nu, likeness, dim mud, make beer).

The main temple to Enki is called E-abzu, meaning “abzu temple” (also E-en-gur-a, meaning “house of the subterranean waters””), a ziggurat temple surrounded by Euphratean marshlands near the ancient Persian Gulf coastline at Eridu. He was the keeper of the divine powers called Me, the gifts of civilization. His image is a double-helix snake, or the Caduceus, very similar to the Rod of Asclepius used to symbolize medicine. He is often shown with the horned crown of divinity dressed in the skin of a carp.

The pool of the Abzu at the front of his temple was adopted also at the temple to Nanna (Akkadian Sin) the Moon, at Ur, and spread from there throughout the Middle East. It is believed to remain today as the sacred pool at Mosques, or as the holy water font in Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches.

As Ea, Enki had a wide influence outside of Sumer, being equated with El (at Ugarit) and possibly Yah (at Ebla) in the Canaanite ‘ilhm pantheon, he is also found in Hurrian and Hittite mythology, as a god of contracts, and is particularly favourable to humankind. Amongst the Western Semites, it is thought that Ea was equated to the term hyy (life), referring to Enki’s waters as life giving.

In 1964, a team of Italian archaeologists under the direction of Paolo Matthiae of the University of Rome La Sapienza performed a series of excavations of material from the third-millennium BCE city of Ebla. Much of the written material found in these digs was later translated by Giovanni Pettinato.

Among other conclusions, he found a tendency among the inhabitants of Ebla to replace the name of El, king of the gods of the Canaanite pantheon (found in names such as Mikael), with Ia.

Jean Bottero (1952) and others suggested that Ia in this case is a West Semitic (Canaanite) way of saying Ea, Enki’s Akkadian name, associating the Canaanite theonym Yahu, and ultimately Hebrew YHWH.

This hypothesis is dismissed by some scholars as erroneous, based on a mistaken cuneiform reading, but academic debate continues. Ia has also been compared by William Hallo with the Ugaritic Yamm (sea), (also called Judge Nahar, or Judge River) whose earlier name in at least one ancient source was Yaw, or Ya’a.

Allah is the Arabic word for God (literally ‘the God’, as the initial “Al-” is the definite article). It is used mainly by Muslims to refer to God in Islam, Arab Christians, and often, albeit not exclusively, by Bahá’ís, Arabic-speakers, Indonesian and Maltese Christians, and Mizrahi Jews. Christians and Sikhs in Malaysia also use and have used the word to refer to God.

The term Allāh is derived from a contraction of the Arabic definite article al- “the” and ilāh “deity, god” to al-lāh meaning “the [sole] deity, God”. Cognates of the name “Allāh” exist in other Semitic languages, including Hebrew and Aramaic.

The corresponding Aramaic form is ʼĔlāhā in Biblical Aramaic and ʼAlâhâ in Syriac as used by the Assyrian Church, both meaning simply ‘God’. Biblical Hebrew mostly uses the plural form (but functional singular) Elohim. In the Sikh scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib, the term Allah is used 37 times.

Many inscriptions containing the name Allah have been discovered in Northern and Southern Arabia as early as the 5th century B.C., including Lihyanitic, Thamudic and South Arabian inscriptions.

The name Allah or Alla was found in the Epic of Atrahasis engraved on several tablets dating back to around 1700 BC in Babylon, which showed that he was being worshipped as a high deity among other gods who were considered to be his brothers but taking orders from him.

Dumuzid the Shepherd, a king of the 1st Dynasty of Uruk named on the Sumerian King List, was later over-venerated so that people started associating him with “Alla” and the Babylonian god Tammuz.

The name Allah was used by Nabataeans in compound names, such as “Abd Allah” (The Servant/Slave of Allah), “Aush Allah” (The Faith of Allah), “Amat Allah” (The She-Servant of Allah), “Hab Allah” (Beloved of Allah), “Han Allah” (Allah is gracious), “Shalm Allah” (Peace of Allah), while the name “Wahab Allah” (The Gift of Allah) was found throughout the entire region of the Nabataean kingdom.

From Nabataean inscriptions, Allah seems to have been regarded as a “High and Main God”, while other deities were considered to be mediators before Allah and of a second status, which was the same case of the worshipers at the Kaaba temple at Mecca.

As Hebrew and Arabic are closely related Semitic languages, it is commonly accepted that Allah (root, ilāh) and the Biblical Elohim are cognate derivations of same origin, as in Eloah a Hebrew word which is used (e.g. in the Book of Job) to mean ‘(the) God’ and also ‘god or gods’ as in the case of Elohim, ultimately deriving from the root El, ‘strong’, possibly genericized from El (deity), as in the Ugaritic ’lhm “children of El” (the ancient Near Eastern creator god in pre-Abrahamic tradition). In Jewish scripture Elohim is used as a descriptive title for the God of the scriptures whose name is YHWH, as well as for pagan gods.

The Aramaic word for “God” in the language of Assyrian Christians is ʼĔlāhā, or Alaha. Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, use the word “Allah” to mean “God”. The Christian Arabs of today have no other word for “God” than “Allah”.

(Even the Arabic-descended Maltese language of Malta, whose population is almost entirely Roman Catholic, uses Alla for “God”.) Arab Christians for example use terms Allāh al-ab meaning God the Father, Allāh al-ibn mean God the Son, and Allāh al-rūḥ al-quds meaning God the Holy Spirit.

According to Islamic belief, Allah is the proper name of God, and humble submission to his will, divine ordinances and commandments is the pivot of the Muslim faith. “He is the only God, creator of the universe, and the judge of humankind.” “He is unique (wāḥid) and inherently one (aḥad), all-merciful and omnipotent.” The Qur’an declares “the reality of Allah, His inaccessible mystery, His various names, and His actions on behalf of His creatures.”

The main god in the Arabian peninsula was Hubal, who is regarded as the most notable and chief of the gods. An idol of Hubal said to have been near the Kaaba is described as shaped like a human with the right hand severed and replaced with a golden hand.

There may be some foundation of truth in the story that Amr travelled in Syria and had brought back from there the cults of the goddesses ʻUzzāʼ and Manat, and had combined it with that of Hubal, the idol of the Khuza’a. According to Al-Azraqi, the image was brought to Mecca “from the land of Hit in Mesopotamia” (Hīt in modern Iraq).

Philip K. Hitti, who relates the name Hubal to an Aramaic word for spirit, suggests that the worship of Hubal was imported to Mecca from the north of Arabia, possibly from Moab or Mesopotamia.

Hubal may have been the combination of Hu, meaning “spirit” or “god”, and the Moab god Baal meaning “master” or “lord”. Outside South Arabia, Hubal’s name appears just once, in a Nabataean inscription; there hbl is mentioned along with the gods Dushara and Manawatu — the latter, as Manat, was also popular in Mecca.

On the basis of such slender evidence, it has been suggested that Hubal “may actually have been a Nabataean”. There are also inscriptions in which the word Hubal appears to be part of personal names, translatable as “Son of Hubal” or “made by Hubal”.

Mircea Eliade and Charles J. Adams assert that he was “a god of rain and a warrior god. Towards the end of the pre-Islamic era he emerged as an intertribal warrior god worshipped by the Quraysh and the allied tribes of the Kinana and Tihama.” The view that he was a warrior rain god is repeated by David Adams Leeming.

Hubal was a god worshipped in pre-Islamic Arabia, notably at the Kaaba in Mecca. His idol was a human figure, believed to control acts of divination, which was in the form of tossin arrows before the statue. The direction in which the arrows pointed answered questions asked of the idol.

The origins of the cult of Hubal are uncertain, but the name is found in inscriptions from Nabataea in northern Arabia (across the territory of modern Syria and Iraq). The specific powers and identity attributed to Hubal are equally unclear.

Access to the idol was controlled by the Quraysh tribe. The god’s devotees fought against followers of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad during the Battle of Badr in 624 CE. After Muhammad entered Mecca in 630 CE, he removed the statue of Hubal from the Kaaba along with the idols of all the other pagan gods.

According to Quran and Islamic tradition the Kaaba, or The Cube, also known as the Sacred House and the Ancient House, was built by Ibrahim (Abraham). It is stated in the Qur’an that this was the first house that was built for humanity to worship Allah (God).

The earliest reference we have to a goddess worshipped as a cube-shaped stone is from Neolithic Anatolia. Alternatively, ‘Kubaba’ may mean a hollow vessel or cave, which would still be a supreme image of the goddess. The ideograms for Kubaba in the Hittite alphabet are a lozenge or cube, a double-headed axe, a dove, a vase and a door or gate—all images of the goddess in Neolithic Europe.

Deities of other cultures known to have been associated with black stones include Aphrodite at Paphos, Cybele at Pessinus and later Rome, Astarte at Byblos and the famous Artemis/Diana of Ephesus. The latter’s most ancient sculpture was, it is said, carved from a black meteorite.

The earliest form of Cybele’s name may have been Kubaba or Kumbaba, which suggests Humbaba, who was the guardian of the forest in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the world’s oldest recorded myth from Assyria of circa 2500 BCE of the ‘Sumerites Literature’ and as scholars reveal more of the text as the source of most of the major mythological themes of later civilizations.

The origin of Kubaba may have been kube or kuba meaning ‘cube’. The earliest reference we have to a goddess worshipped as a cube-shaped stone is from Neolithic Anatolia.

The stone associated with Cybele’s worship was, originally, probably at Pessinus but perhaps at Pergamum or on Mount Ida. What is certain is that in 204 BCE, it was taken to Rome, where Cybele became ‘Mother’ to the Romans. The ecstatic rites of her worship were alien to the Roman temperament, but nevertheless animated the streets of their city during the annual procession of the goddess’s statue.

Alongside Isis (god of the Egyptians), Cybele retained prominence in the heart of the Empire until the fifth century BCE, when the stone was then lost. Her cult prospered throughout the Empire and it is said that every town or village remained true to the worship of Cybele. Various Classical writers describe the rituals, which went on her in her honor, in which a tapering black stone, the object of veneration at her temple, was used.

At Mecca, the Goddess was ‘Shaybah’ or’ Sheba’, the Old Woman, which was worshipped as a black aniconic stone like the Goddess of the Scythian Amazons. The sacred Black Stone that now enshrines in the Kaaba was her feminine symbol, marked by the sign of the yoni (vagina), and covered like the ancient Mother by a veil. No one seems to know exactly what it is supposed to represent today?

The Black Stone rests in the Haram, “Sanctuary”, cognate of “harem,” which used to mean a Temple of Women, in Babylon, a shrine of the Goddess Har, mother of harlots! Hereditary guardians of the Haram were the Koreshites, “children of Kore”, Mohammed’s own tribe. The holy office was originally held by women, before it was taken over by male priests calling themselves ‘Beni Shayban’ (“Sons of the Old Woman”).

In her book, Islam: A Short History, Karen Armstrong asserts that the Kaaba was at some point dedicated to Hubal, a Nabatean deity, and contained 360 idols that probably represented the days of the year, or were effigies of the Arabian pantheon. But by Muhammad’s day, the Kaaba was venerated as the shrine of Allah, the High God.

The Black Stone is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building toward which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic which, according to Muslim tradition, dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.

The Black Stone was revered well before the preaching of Islam by Muhammad. By the time of Muhammad, it was already associated with the Kaaba, a pre-Islamic shrine that was revered as a sacred sanctuary and a site of pilgrimage.

The Semitic cultures of the Middle East had a tradition of using unusual stones to mark places of worship, a phenomenon which is reflected in the Hebrew Bible as well as the Qur’an.

Once a year, tribes from all around the Arabian peninsula, whether Christian or pagan, would converge on Mecca to perform the Hajj, marking the widespread conviction that Allah was the same deity worshiped by monotheists.

The three daughters of Hubal, and chief goddesses of Meccan Arabian mythology, were Al-lāt, Al-‘Uzzá, and Manāt. Each is associated with certain domains and had shrines with idols located near Taif which have been destroyed.

Allat, or Al-lāt, is the goddess associated with the underworld. She is frequently called “the Great Goddess” in Greek in multi-lingual inscriptions. According to Wellhausen, the Nabataeans believed al-Lāt was the mother of Hubal (and hence the mother-in-law of Manāt).

Especially in older sources, Allat is an alternative name of the Mesopotamian goddess of the underworld, now usually known as Ereshkigal. She was reportedly also venerated in Carthage under the name Allatu.

The goddess occurs in early Safaitic graffiti (Safaitic han-‘Ilāt “the Goddess”) and the Nabataeans of Petra and the people of Hatra also worshipped her, equating her with the Greek Athena and Tyche and the Roman Minerva.

This passage is linguistically significant as the first clear attestation of an Arabic word, with the diagnostically Arabic article al-. The Persian and Indian deities were developed from the Proto-Indo-Iranian deity known as Mitra.

According to Herodotus, the ancient Arabians believed in only two gods: They believe in no other gods except Dionysus and the Heavenly Aphrodite; and they say that they wear their hair as Dionysus does his, cutting it round the head and shaving the temples. They call Dionysus, Orotalt; and Aphrodite, Alilat.

In the 6th century the city of Tā’if was dominated by the Banu Thaqif tribe (Thaqif tribe still lives in and around the city of Taif today). The town is about 100 km (62 mi) southeast of Mecca. The walled city was a religious centre as it housed the idol of the goddess Allāt, who was then known as “the lady of Tā’if.”

The shrine and temple dedicated to al-Lat in Taif was demolished on the orders of Muhammad, during the Expedition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, in the same year as the Battle of Tabuk (which occurred in October 630 AD). The destruction of the idol was a demand by Muhammad before any reconciliation could take place with the citizens of Taif who were under constant attack.

Manāt was the goddess of fate, the Book of Idols describes her as the most ancient of all these idols. She was known by the cognate name Manawat to the Nabataeans of Petra, who equated her with the Graeco-Roman goddess Nemesis, and she was considered the wife of Hubal, a god worshipped in pre-Islamic Arabia, notably at the Kaaba in Mecca.

Access to the idol was controlled by the Quraysh tribe. The god’s devotees fought against followers of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad during the Battle of Badr in 624 CE. After Muhammad entered Mecca in 630 CE, he removed the statue of Hubal from the Kaaba along with the idols of all the other pagan gods.

According to Grunebaum in Classical Islam, the Arabic name of Manat is the linguistic counterpart of the Hellenistic Tyche, Dahr, fateful ‘Time’ who snatches men away and robs their existence of purpose and value. There are also connections with Chronos of Mithraism and Zurvan mythology.

The temple of Manat was raided and the idol was destroyed on the orders of Muhammad, in the Raid of Sa’d ibn Zaid al-Ashhali, in January 630 AD (8AH, 9th month, of the Islamic Calendar), in the vicinity of al-Mushallal.

Al-‘Uzzá, “The Mightiest One” or “The Strong”, was an Arabian fertility goddess. She was called upon for protection and victory before war. She was also worshipped by the Nabataeans, who equated her with the Greek goddess Aphrodite Ourania (Roman Venus Caelestis). A stone cube at aṭ-Ṭā’if (near Mecca) was held sacred as part of her cult.

The first known mention of al-‘Uzzá is from the inscriptions at Dedan, the capital of the Lihyanite Kingdom, in the fourth or third century BC. She had been adopted alongside Dushara as the presiding goddess at Petra, the Nabataen capital, where she assimilated with Isis, Tyche, and Aphrodite attributes and superseded her sisters. During the 5th century Christianity became the prominent religion of the region following conquest by Barsauma.

Al-‘Uzzá, like Hubal, was called upon for protection by the pre-Islamic Quraysh. “In 624 at the ‘battle called Uhud’, the war cry of the Qurayshites was, “O people of Uzzā, people of Hubal!”

The temple dedicated to al-ʻUzzá and the statue itself was destroyed by Khalid ibn al Walid in Nakhla. Shortly after the Conquest of Mecca, Muhammad began to despatch platoons and errands aiming at eliminating the last symbols reminiscent of pre-Islamic practices.

He sent Khalid ibn Al-Walid in Ramadan 8 A.H. to a place called Nakhlah, where there was a goddess called Al-‘Uzza worshipped by Quraish and Kinanah tribes. It had custodians from Banu Shaiban. Khalid, at the head of 30 horsemen arrived at the spot and exterminated it.

On his return, Muhammad asked him if he had seen anything there, to which Khalid replied, “No”. Here, he was told that it had not been destroyed and he had to go there again and fulfill the task. He went back again and there he saw a black Abyssinian (Ethiopian) woman, naked with torn hair. Khalid struck her with his sword and tore her into “two parts” according to the Muslim scholar Safi ur Rahman al Mubarakpuri. He returned and narrated the story to Muhammad, who then confirmed the fulfillment of the task.

Arabian mythology

Islam’s Sacred Stone of Mecca…

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About The Kaaba

Pre-Islamic Goddess Manat, Al-Manat or Manawayat

Ba’al, Hubal, and Allah

The Yoni of the Arabian Goddess

Islam and the Divine Feminine: A Brief Look

Origins of Islam

Daughters of Allah


 

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