Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Hurrian religion

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 17, 2014

Armenians

Armenian mythology

Beliefs of the ancient Armenians were associated with the worship of many cults, mainly the cult of ancestors, the worship of heavenly bodies (the cult of the Sun, the Moon cult, the cult of Heaven) and the worship of certain creatures (lions, eagles, bulls).

The main cult, however, was the worship of gods of the Armenian pantheon. The supreme god was the common Indo-European god Ar (as the starting point) followed by Vanatur. Later, due to the influence of Armenian-Persian relations, God the Creator was identified as Aramazd, and during the era of Hellenistic influence, he was identified with Zeus.

Hayk is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. In Moses of Chorene’s account, after the arrogant Titanid Bel asserts himself as king, Hayk left Babylon to emigrate with his extended household of at least 300 to settle in the Ararat region, founding a village he names Haykashen.

The figure slain by Hayk’s arrow is variously given as Bel or Nimrod. Hayk is also the name of the Orion constellation in the Armenian translation of the Bible. Hayk’s flight from Babylon and his eventual defeat of Bel, was historically compared to Zeus’s escape to the Caucasus and eventual defeat of the titans.

Theispas (also known as Teisheba or Teišeba) of Kumenu was the Araratian (Urartian) weather-god, notably the god of storms and thunder. He was also sometimes the god of war. He formed part of a triad along with Khaldi and Shivini.

He is a counterpart to the Assyrian god Adad, and the Hurrian god, Teshub. He was often depicted as a man standing on a bull, holding a handful of thunderbolts. His wife was the goddess Huba, who was the counterpart of the Hurrian goddess Hebat.

Tir or Tiur is the Armenian god of wisdom, culture, science and studies. He also was an interpreter of dreams. He was the messenger of the gods and was associated with Apollo. Tir’s temple was located near Artashat.

Khaldi

Ḫaldi (Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk) 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. He seem to be the same as the god Haya/Janus.

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’.

Kumarbi

El was identified by the Hurrians with Sumerian Enlil, and by the Ugaritians with Kumarbi, the chief god of the Hurrians. He is the son of Anu (the sky), and father of the storm-god Teshub.

The Song of Kumarbi or Kingship in Heaven is the title given to a Hittite version of the Hurrian Kumarbi myth, dating to the 14th or 13th century BC. It is preserved in three tablets, but only a small fraction of the text is legible.

The song relates that Alalu, considered to have housed “the Hosts of Sky”, the divine family, because he was a progenitor of the gods, and possibly the father of Earth, was overthrown by Anu who was in turn overthrown by Kumarbi.

The word “Alalu” borrowed from Semitic mythology and is a compound word made up of the Semitic definite article “Al” and the Semitic supreme deity “Alu.” The “u” at the end of the word is a termination to denote a grammatical inflection. Thus, “Alalu” may also occur as “Alali” or “Alala” depending on the position of the word in the sentence. He was identified by the Greeks as Hypsistos. He was also called Alalus.

Alalu was a primeval deity of the Hurrian mythology. After nine years of reign, Alalu was defeated by his son Anu. Anuʻs son Kumarbi also defeated his father, and his son Teshub defeated him, too. Alalu fled to the underworld.

Scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian creation myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

When Anu tried to escape, Kumarbi bit off his genitals and spat out three new gods. In the text Anu tells his son that he is now pregnant with the Teshub, Tigris, and Tašmišu. Upon hearing this Kumarbi spit the semen upon the ground and it became impregnated with two children. Kumarbi is cut open to deliver Tešub. Together, Anu and Teshub depose Kumarbi.

In another version of the Kingship in Heaven, the three gods, Alalu, Anu, and Kumarbi, rule heaven, each serving the one who precedes him in the nine-year reign. It is Kumarbi’s son Tešub, the Weather-God, who begins to conspire to overthrow his father.

From the first publication of the Kingship in Heaven tablets scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian creation myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

Teshub/Taru

Teshub (also written Teshup or Tešup) was the Hurrian god of sky and storm. He was related to the Hattian Taru. His Hittite and Luwian name was Tarhun (with variant stem forms Tarhunt, Tarhuwant, Tarhunta), although this name is from the Hittite root *tarh- “to defeat, conquer”.

Teshub is depicted holding a triple thunderbolt and a weapon, usually an axe (often double-headed) or mace. The sacred bull common throughout Anatolia was his signature animal, represented by his horned crown or by his steeds Seri and Hurri, who drew his chariot or carried him on their backs.

The Hurrian myth of Teshub’s origin—he was conceived when the god Kumarbi bit off and swallowed his father Anu’s genitals, as such it most likely shares a Proto-Indo-European cognate with the Greek story of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus, which is recounted in Hesiod’s Theogony. Teshub’s brothers are Aranzah (personification of the river Tigris), Ullikummi (stone giant) and Tashmishu.

In the Hurrian schema, Teshub was paired with Hebat the mother goddess; in the Hittite, with the sun goddess Arinniti of Arinna – a cultus of great antiquity which has similarities with the venerated bulls and mothers at Çatalhöyük in the Neolithic era. His son was called Sarruma, the mountain god.

According to Hittite myths, one of Teshub’s greatest acts was the slaying of the dragon Illuyanka. Myths also exist of his conflict with the sea creature (possibly a snake or serpent) Hedammu.

lluyanka is probably a compound, consisting of two words for “snake”, Proto-Indo-European *h₁illu- and *h₂eng(w)eh₂-. The same compound members, inverted, appear in Latin anguilla “eel”. The *h₁illu- word is cognate to English eel, the anka- word to Sanskrit ahi. Also this dragon is known as Illujanka and Illuyankas.

The Hittite texts were introduced in 1930 by W. Porzig, who first made the comparison of Teshub’s battle with Illuyankas with the sky-god Zeus’ battle with serpent-like Typhon, told in Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke (I.6.3); the Hittite-Greek parallels found few adherents at the time, the Hittite myth of the castration of the god of heaven by Kumarbi, with its clearer parallels to Greek myth, not having yet been deciphered and edited.

In the early Vedic religion, Vritra (Vṛtra वृत्र “the enveloper”), is an Asura and also a serpent or dragon, the personification of drought and adversary of Indra. Vritra was also known in the Vedas as Ahi (“snake”). He appears as a dragon blocking the course of the rivers and is heroically slain by Indra.

Tork Angegh

In Armenian Tor has two meanings 1. grandson, q is the plural form, so torq is grandsons or heirs, 2. rain. In Armenian Artsax Dialect Tor means rain, tora kyalis (galis) means it rains.

Tork Angegh (Armenian: Տորք Անգեղ) was an ancient Armenian masculine deity of strength, courage, of manufacturing and the arts, also called Torq and Durq/Turq. A creature of unnatural strength and power, Tork was considered one of Hayk’s great-grandsons and reportedly represented as an unattractive male figure.

He is mentioned by Armenian 4th Century historian Movses Khorenatsi and considered one of the significant deities of the Armenian pantheon prior to the time when it came under influence by Iranian and Hellenic religion and mythology.

According to the Armenian legend,  Torq (Turq) Angegh was a deity, the son of Angegh and the Grandson of Hayk. Moreover, in historical Armenia there is a place (region) known as Ang'(e)gh, probably named after the father of Torq. Their symbol was ang'(e)gh (a vulture) and they were called – Ang'(e)gh tohmi jarangnere, the heirs of the house of vultures. To(u)rq Angegh has a lot to do with rain and storm,  but at the same time he was described as a man living in ancient Armenia, Armenian deity. 

Only after christianity Torq Angegh got negative meaning and became ugly.  Everything predating 301 AD is ugly,  this way they made the Armenians be ashamed of thier heritage but anyway, the historical memory never forgets the  past, the Armenians call Torq Angeg to the ones who are bigger, who may have had exaggerated features.

Torq was worshipped in historical Armenian territory known as Tegarama or Togorma. The word angel derives from angegh, which is the same as the Sumerian gal, meaning great.

Angels came to the people as birds,  angels are with wings. The angels are the derivation of the bird angegh which means vulture. This bird was worshipped among Armenians and considered to be sacred.

Torq was a deity of storm, rain and thunder.  They believe, he threw a huge stone in the sea and the ships of the enemies of his people got drowned. The Armenians have an expression փոթորիկ անել  “potorik anel” which means to make storms.

Taken in the context of Proto-Indo-European religions, it is conceivable that an etymological connection with Norse god Thor/Tyr is more than a simple coincidence. An analogy is frequently made with the Middle-Eastern god Nergal, also represented as an unattractive male.

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