Cradle of Civilization

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Archive for April, 2017

The Armenian origin of Sumer, the myths in the Bible and the Abrahamic traditions

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 28, 2017

Relatert bilde

Kultura Halaf zasieg.jpg

https://landofgoddesses.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/ishtar_2.jpg

The myths of Lilith and Eva

Ararat

Portasar / Gobekli Tepe is the Craddle of the Civilization

Urartu, also known as Kingdom of Van, was an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. It corresponds to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat. The landscape corresponds to the mountainous plateau between Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the Iranian Plateau, and the Caucasus Mountains, later known as the Armenian Highlands.

Urartian, the language used in the cuneiform inscriptions of Urartu, was an ergative-agglutinative language, which belongs to neither the Semitic nor the Indo-European families but to the Hurro-Urartian family.

It is argued on linguistic evidence that proto-Armenian came in contact with Urartian at an early date (3rd-2nd millennium BC), before the formation of the Urartian kingdom. The kingdom rose to power in the mid-ninth century BC, but went in gradual decline and was eventually conquered by the Medes in the early sixth century BC.

The heirs of Urartu are the Armenians and their successive kingdoms. The present-day Armenians are an amalgam of the Indo-European groups with the Hurrians and Urartians.

In the early sixth century BC, Urartu was replaced by the Armenian Orontid Dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun Inscription, carved in 521 or 520 BC by the order of Darius I, the country referred to as Urartu in Assyrian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in the Elamite language.

The Halaf culture is a prehistoric period which lasted between about 6100 BCE and 5100 BCE. The period is a continuous development out of the earlier Pottery Neolithic and is located primarily in south-eastern Turkey, Syria, and northern Iraq, although Halaf-influenced material is found throughout Greater Mesopotamia.

Previously, the Syrian plains were not considered as the homeland of Halaf culture, and the Halafians were seen either as hill people who descended from the nearby mountains of southeastern Anatolia, or herdsmen from northern Iraq.

However, those views changed with the recent archaeology conducted since 1986 by Peter Akkermans, which have produced new insights and perspectives about the rise of Halaf culture.

A formerly unknown transitional culture between the pre-Halaf Neolithic’s era and Halaf’s era was uncovered in the Balikh valley, at Tell Sabi Abyad (the Mound of the White Boy).

Currently, eleven occupational layers have been unearthed in Sabi Abyad. Levels from 11 to 7 are considered pre-Halaf; from 6 to 4, transitional; and from 3 to 1, early Halaf. No hiatus in occupation is observed except between levels 11 and 10.

The new archaeology demonstrated that Halaf culture was not sudden and was not the result of foreign people, but rather a continuous process of indigenous cultural changes in northern Syria, that spread to the other regions.

The Halaf period was succeeded by the Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period which comprised the late Halaf (c. 5400-5000 BC), and then by the Ubaid period, a prehistoric period of both Northern and Southern Mesopotamia.

The Sumerians spoke a language isolate, but a number of linguists have claimed to be able to detect a substrate language of unknown classification beneath Sumerian because names of some of Sumer’s major cities are not Sumerian, revealing influences of earlier inhabitants.

However, the archaeological record shows clear uninterrupted cultural continuity from the time of the early Ubaid period (5300 – 4700 BC C-14) settlements in southern Mesopotamia.

Some archaeologists have speculated that the original speakers of ancient Sumerian may have been farmers, who moved down from the north of Mesopotamia after perfecting irrigation agriculture there.

The Ubaid period pottery of southern Mesopotamia has been connected via Choga Mami transitional ware to the pottery of the Samarra period culture (c. 5700 – 4900 BC C-14) in the north, who were the first to practice a primitive form of irrigation agriculture along the middle Tigris River and its tributaries.

According to this theory, farming peoples spread down into southern Mesopotamia because they had developed a temple-centered social organization for mobilizing labor and technology for water control, enabling them to survive and prosper in a difficult environment.

Others have suggested a continuity of Sumerians, from the indigenous hunter-fisherfolk traditions, associated with the bifacial assemblages found on the Arabian littoral. Juris Zarins believes the Sumerians may have been the people living in the Persian Gulf region before it flooded at the end of the last Ice Age.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a long Akkadian poem on the theme of human beings’ futile quest for immortality. A number of earlier Sumerian stories about Gilgamesh, the quasi-historical hero of the epic, seem to have been used as sources, but the Akkadian work was composed about 2000 BC. It exists in several different rescissions, none of them complete.

Mesopotamian myth tells of seven antediluvian sages (apkallu), who were sent by Enki, the wise god of Eridu, to bring the arts of civilisation to humankind. Apkallu (“sage”), comes from Sumerian AB.GAL (“great water”), a reference to Adapa the first sage’s association with water.

The sages are described in Mesopotamian literature as ‘pure parādu-fish, probably carp, whose bones are found associated with the earliest shrine, and still kept as a holy duty in the precincts of Near Eastern mosques and monasteries.

The first of these, Adapa, also known as Uan, the name given as Oannes by Berossus, introduced the practice of the correct rites of religious observance as priest of the E’Apsu temple at Eridu.

Adapa as a fisherman was iconographically portrayed as a fish-man composite. He was a mythical figure who unknowingly refused the gift of immortality. The story is first attested in the Kassite period (14th century BC), in fragmentary tablets from Tell el-Amarna, and from Assur, of the late second millennium BC.

In the Sumerian legend of “Adapa and the food of life”, which seems to explain the origin of death, Adapa, who has earned wisdom but not eternal life, is a son of and temple priest for Ea (Enki) in Eridu, and performs rituals with bread and water.

While Adapa is fishing in a calm sea, suddenly the South Wind rises up and overturns his boat, throwing him into the water. This reference to the ‘South Wind’ may refer to Ninlil (DNIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), wife of Enlil, who was identified as goddess of the South Wind. As “Lady Wind” Ninlil may be associated with the figure of the Akkadian demon “Lil-itu”, thought to have been the origin of the Hebrew Lilith legend.

Uttu in Sumerian mythology is the goddess of weaving and clothing. Uttu in Sumerian means “the woven” and she was illustrated as a spider in a web. She is both the child of Enki and Ninkur, and she bears eight new child/trees from Enki. When Enki then ate Uttu’s children, Ninhursag cursed him with eight wounds and disappears.

Ninhursag relents and takes Enki’s Ab (water, or semen) into her body, and gives birth to gods of healing of each part of the body. Abu for the Jaw, Nintul for the Hip, Ninsutu for the tooth, Ninkasi for the mouth, Dazimua for the side, Enshagag for the Limbs. The last one, Ninti (“Lady Rib”), is also a pun on “Lady Life”, a title of Ninhursag herself.

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.

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 Eye, the Hebrew and Aramaic Ḥawwah, 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 name may be transliterated in different versions – Khepat with the feminine ending -t is primarily the Syrian and Ugaritic version. In the Hurrian language Ḫepa is the most likely pronunciation of the name of the goddess.

In modern literature the sound /h/ in cuneiform sometimes is transliterated as kh. During Aramaean times Hebat also appears to have become identified with the goddess Hawwah, or Eve.

Adapa is enraged, and proceeds to break the ‘wings’ of the South Wind, so for seven days she can not blow the freshness of the sea on the warm earth. Adapa is summoned before the court of Anu (in Akkadian; Sumerian: An, from An “sky, heaven”), the earliest attested Sky Father deity, in the heavens.

In Sumerian religion An was also “King of the Gods”, “Lord of the Constellations, Spirits and Demons”, and “Supreme Ruler of the Kingdom of Heaven”, where Anu himself wandered the highest Heavenly Regions. Anu existed in Sumerian cosmogony as a dome that covered the flat earth.

In the astral theology of Babylonia and Assyria, Anu, Enlil, and Ea became the three zones of the ecliptic, the northern, middle and southern zone respectively. The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun on the celestial sphere, and is the basis for the ecliptic coordinate system.

Enki, father of Adapa, advises him not to eat or drink anything placed before him, because he fears that this will be the food and water of death.

Anu, however, is impressed with Adapa and instead offers him the food and water of (eternal) life. However, Adapa follows the advice of Ea, and politely refuses to take any food or drink. This food and water of life offered by Anu would have made Adapa and his descendants immortal.

In Sumerian, the designation “An” was used interchangeably with “the heavens” so that in some cases it is doubtful whether, under the term, the god An or the heavens is being denoted.

The Akkadians inherited An as the god of heavens from the Sumerian as Anu-, and in Akkadian cuneiform, the DINGIR character may refer either to Anum or to the Akkadian word for god, ilu-, and consequently had two phonetic values an and il. Hittite cuneiform as adapted from the Old Assyrian kept the an value but abandoned il.

El, cognate to Akkadian: ilu, is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity”, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major Ancient Near East deities.

Elohim is a grammatically plural noun for “gods” or “deity” in Biblical Hebrew. In Modern Hebrew, it is often referred to in the singular despite the -im ending that denotes plural masculine nouns in Hebrew.

The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic archaic biliteral ʔ‑L, meaning “god” (possibly with a wider meaning of “strong”), which was extended to a regular triliteral by the addition of a h (as in Hebrew ʾelōah, ʾelōhim).

Specific deities known as El or Il include the supreme god of the Canaanite religion and the supreme god of the Mesopotamian Semites in the pre-Sargonic period.

Ilāh is an Arabic term meaning “deity” or “god”. The feminine is ilāhah (meaning “goddess”). It appears in the name of the monotheistic god of Islam as al-Lāh, translated, that is, “the god”.

Nuzi was a Hurrian administrative center not far from the Hurrian capital at Kirkuk in northern Iraq. The Hurrians are equivalent to the Horites in the Old Testament, also called Hivites and Jebusites.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Jebusites were a Canaanite tribe who inhabited Jerusalem prior to its conquest by Joshua (11:3 and 12:10) or King David (2 Samuel 5:6-10). The Books of Kings state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event. According to some biblical chronologies, the city was conquered by King David in 1003 BCE, or according to other sources 869 BCE.

The Nuzi tablets testify to the historical nature of our Old Testament. The Nuzi tablets have significant parallels with patriarchal customs. Abraham was from Haran, which was an important city in the Hurrian empire.

The story of the Garden of Eden and the Fall of Man represents a tradition among the Abrahamic peoples, with a presentation more or less symbolical of certain moral and religious truths.

Adam and Eve, according to the creation myth of the Abrahamic religions, were the first man and woman and the ancestors of all humans. The story of Adam and Eve is central to the belief that God created human beings in a Garden of Eden, although they fell away from that state into the present world full of death, evil, pain and suffering.

It provides the basis for the belief that humanity is in essence a single family, with everyone descended from a single pair of original ancestors. It also provides much of the scriptural basis for the doctrines of the fall of man and original sin that are important beliefs in Christianity, but which are not generally held in Judaism or Islam.

Christian theology holds that Adam and Eve lost physical immortality for themselves and all their descendants in the Fall of Man, although this initial “imperishability of the bodily frame of man” was “a preternatural condition”.

The fall of man, or the fall, is a term used in Christianity to describe the transition of the first man and woman from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience.

Although not named in the Bible, the doctrine of the fall comes from a biblical interpretation of Genesis chapter 3. At first, Adam and Eve lived with God in the Garden of Eden, but the serpent tempted them into eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which God had forbidden. After doing so, they became ashamed of their nakedness and God expelled them from the Garden to prevent them from eating from the tree of life and becoming immortal.

For many Christian denominations, the doctrine of the fall is closely related to that of original sin. They believe that the fall brought sin into the world, corrupting the entire natural world, including human nature, causing all humans to be born into original sin, a state from which they cannot attain eternal life without the grace of God.

The Eastern Orthodox Church accepts the concept of the fall but rejects the idea that the guilt of original sin is passed down through generations, based in part on the passage Ezekiel 18:20 that says a son is not guilty of the sins of his father.

One gets the notion from Genesis’s narrator that by “eating a fruit” one can “obtain knowledge.” This concept appears in Sumerian myths. Kramer has noted that Enki, the god of Wisdom, desires “to know” about several plants in his wife’s garden. Enki’s youngest son, Ningizzida, was Lord of the Tree of Truth, in Mesopotamia and had obtained the secret knowledge of creation.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is one of two trees in the story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2-3, along with the tree of life. A cylinder seal, known as the temptation seal, from post-Akkadian periods in Mesopotamia (c. 23rd-22nd century BCE), has been linked to the Adam and Eve story.

Assyriologist George Smith (1840-1876) describes the seal as having two facing figures (male and female) seated on each side of a tree, holding out their hands to the fruit, while between their backs is a serpent, giving evidence that the fall of man account was known in early times of Babylonia.

 

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The magic carpet

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 26, 2017

Hratch Kozibeyokian sitt bilde.

Fundamental laws of life recorded in the iconography of an Armenian Khentsoresk rug. 

The reading is:

For the SEED to bloom into ETERNAL life, four essential elements EARTH, WIND, WATER, and FIRE must be present at the same time and place. Each element must contribute it’s POSITIVE (MALE) and NEGATIVE (FEMALE) energy force harmoniously. “SEED” then grows into A TREE OF LIFE. This is true in FOUR CORNERS of THIS WORLD, EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN, Surrounded with many SUNS, PLANETS, and STARS.

These laws of life are protected and Fortified by three layers of barricades, each with it’s own flanking guard bands.

Truthfully yours,
Hratch Kozibeyokian

Uttu in Sumerian mythology is the goddess of weaving and clothing. She is both the child of Enki and Ninkur. Uttu in Sumerian means “the woven” and she was illustrated as a spider in a web.

The cosmogenic myth common in Sumer was that of the hieros gamos, a sacred marriage where divine principles in the form of dualistic opposites came together as male and female to give birth to the cosmos.

In the epic Enki and Ninhursag, Enki, as lord of Ab or fresh water (also the Sumerian word for semen), is living with his wife in the paradise of Dilmun. Despite being a place where “the raven uttered no cries” and “the lion killed not, the wolf snatched not the lamb, unknown was the kid-killing dog, unknown was the grain devouring boar”, Dilmun had no water and Enki heard the cries of its Goddess, Ninsikil, and orders the sun-God Utu to bring fresh water from the Earth for Dilmun.

The subsequent tale, with similarities to the Biblical story of the forbidden fruit, repeats the story of how fresh water brings life to a barren land. Enki, the Water-Lord then “caused to flow the ‘water of the heart” and having fertilised his consort Ninhursag, also known as Ki or Earth, after “Nine days being her nine months, the months of ‘womanhood’… like good butter, Nintu, the mother of the land, …like good butter, gave birth to Ninsar (“Lady Greenery”)”.

When Ninhursag left him, as Water-Lord he came upon Ninsar (Lady Greenery). Not knowing her to be his daughter, and because she reminds him of his absent consort, Enki then seduces and has intercourse with her.

Ninsar then gave birth to Ninkurra (Lady Fruitfulness or Lady Pasture), and leaves Enki alone again. A second time, Enki, in his loneliness finds and seduces Ninkurra, and from the union Ninkurra gave birth to Uttu (weaver or spider, the weaver of the web of life).

A third time Enki succumbs to temptation, and attempts seduction of Uttu. Upset about Enki’s reputation, Uttu consults Ninhursag, who, upset at the promiscuous wayward nature of her spouse, advises Uttu to avoid the riverbanks, the places likely to be affected by flooding, the home of Enki. In another version of this myth Ninhursag takes Enki’s semen from Uttu’s womb and plants it in the earth where eight plants rapidly germinate.

With his two-faced servant and steward Isimud, “Enki, in the swampland, in the swampland lies stretched out, ‘What is this (plant), what is this (plant). His messenger Isimud, answers him; ‘My king, this is the tree-plant’, he says to him. He cuts it off for him and he (Enki) eats it”.

And so, despite warnings, Enki consumes the other seven fruit. Consuming his own semen, he falls pregnant (ill with swellings) in his jaw, his teeth, his mouth, his hip, his throat, his limbs, his side and his rib.

The gods are at a loss to know what to do, chagrinned they “sit in the dust”. As Enki lacks a womb with which to give birth, he seems to be dying with swellings. The fox then asks Enlil King of the Gods, “If I bring Ninhursag before thee, what shall be my reward?” Ninhursag’s sacred fox then fetches the goddess.

Ninhursag relents and takes Enki’s Ab (water, or semen) into her body, and gives birth to gods of healing of each part of the body. Abu for the Jaw, Nintul for the Hip, Ninsutu for the tooth, Ninkasi for the mouth, Dazimua for the side, Enshagag for the Limbs. The last one, Ninti (Lady Rib), is also a pun on Lady Life, a title of Ninhursag herself.

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.

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 Eye, the Hebrew and Aramaic Ḥawwah, 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.

Ḫannaḫanna (from Hittite ḫanna- “grandmother”) is a Hurrian Mother Goddess related to or influenced by the pre-Sumerian goddess Inanna. Ḫannaḫanna was also identified with the Hurrian goddess Hebat.

Hannahanna is connected with the Hutena, the goddesses of fate in Hurrian mythology. They are similar to the Norns of Norse mythology or the Moirai of ancient Greece. They are called the Gul Ses (Gul-Shesh; Gulshesh; Gul-ashshesh) in Hittite mythology.

The asterism Orion’s Belt was known as “Frigg’s Distaff” or “Frigg’s spinning wheel”. Some have pointed out that the constellation is on the celestial equator and have suggested that the stars rotating in the night sky may have been associated with Frigg’s spinning wheel.

It is said that she enjoyed sitting at her spinning wheel, in the heavenly realm of Asgard, in a magnificent palace called “Fensalir”, where she would spin golden thread or weave coloured clouds. In this role Frigg is linked to fate as spinning is employed by the Norns to dispense destiny to mankind.

The spindle is a powerful symbol representing female wisdom, virtue and industry. Viking age housewives spun and wove cloth which was often the major source of income for their families, emphasising the power of women in pagan tradition.

In the hands of Frigg and the Norns, the spindle becomes a powerful weapon of magic. Spinning is not only a means to provide wealth and work magic, it is a creative power. The fertility of a woman producing children, and her exclusive role in the production of cloth was compared across Europe.

The fates of Classical, Teutonic and Baltic mythology all spin to produce life, thus life and fate are in the hands of women. Frigg’s control over nature is clearly shown when she asks all of creation to swear not to harm Baldur.

The knotted pile carpet probably originated in the 3rd or 2nd millennium BC in West Asia, perhaps the Caspian Sea area (Northern Iran) or the Armenian Highland, although there is evidence of goats and sheep being sheared for wool and hair which was spun and woven as far back at the 7th millennium.

The earliest surviving pile carpet is the “Pazyryk carpet”, which dates from the 5th-4th century BC. It was excavated by Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko in 1949 from a Pazyryk burial mound in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. This richly coloured carpet is 200 x 183 cm (6’6″ x 6’0″) and framed by a border of griffins.

Although claimed by many cultures, this square tufted carpet, almost perfectly intact, is considered by many experts to be of Caucasian, specifically Armenian, origin. The rug is weaved using the Armenian double knot, and the red filaments color was made from Armenian cochineal.

The eminent authority of ancient carpets, Ulrich Schurmann, says of it, “From all the evidence available I am convinced that the Pazyryk rug was a funeral accessory and most likely a masterpiece of Armenian workmanship”.

Gantzhorn concurs with this thesis. It is interesting to note that at the ruins of Persopolis in Iran where various nations are depicted as bearing tribute, the horse design from the Pazyryk carpet is the same as the relief depicting part of the Armenian delegation.

The historian Herodotus writing in the 5th century BC also informs us that the inhabitants of the Caucasus wove beautiful rugs with brilliant colors which would never fade.

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Sha, ri and kin

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 23, 2017

Sha

Šarruma or Sharruma was a Hurrian mountain god, who was also worshipped by the Hittites and Luwians. The original source and meaning of the name is unknown.

In Hittite and Hurrian texts, his name was linked with the Akkadian šarri (“King”) and could be written with the Sumerogram for King, LUGAL-ma. In Hieroglyphic Luwian, his name was written with a pair of walking legs, which is trancribed as SARMA.

Shah (“king”) is a title given to the emperors, kings, princes and lords of Iran (historically also known as Persia). The full, Old Persian title of the Achaemenid rulers of the First Persian Empire was Xšāyathiya Xšāyathiyānām or Šāhe Šāhān, “King of Kings” or “Emperor”.

The word descends from Old Persian xšāyaθiya “king”, which (for reasons of historical phonology) must be a borrowing from Median, and is derived from the same root as Avestan xšaϑra-, “power” and “command”, corresponding to Sanskrit (Old Indic) kṣatra- (same meaning), from which kṣatriya-, “warrior”, is derived.

Tsar, also spelled tzar, csar, or czar, is a title used to designate certain Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism.

The term is derived from the Latin word Caesar, which was intended to mean “Emperor” in the European medieval sense of the term – a ruler with the same rank as a Roman emperor, holding it by the approval of another emperor or a supreme ecclesiastical official (the Pope or the Ecumenical Patriarch) – but was usually considered by western Europeans to be equivalent to king, or to be somewhat in between a royal and imperial rank.

Sargon of Akkad (Akkadian Šarru-ukīn or Šarru-kēn; sometimes known as “Sargon the Great”) was the first ruler of the Semitic-speaking Akkadian Empire, known for his conquests of the Sumerian city-states in the 24th to 23rd centuries BC.

The Akkadian name is normalized as either Šarru-ukīn or Šarru-kēn. The name’s cuneiform spelling is variously LUGAL-ú-kin, šar-ru-gen, šar-ru-ki-in, šar-ru-um-ki-in.

In Late Assyrian references, the name is mostly spelled as LUGAL-GI.NA or LUGAL-GIN, i.e. identical to the name of the Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II. The spelling Sargon is derived from the single mention of the name in the Hebrew Bible, as סַרְגוֹן, in Isaiah 20:1 (the reference is to Sargon II).

The first element in the name is šarru, the Akkadian (East Semitic) for “king”ַׂ. The second element derived from the root kūnּּ “to confirm, establish”.

A possible interpretation of the reading Šarru-ukīn is “the king has established stability”, or alternatively “he [the god] has established the king”. Such a name would however be unusual; other names in -ukīn always include both a subject and an object, as in Šamaš-šuma-ukīn “Shamash has established an heir”.

There is some debate over whether the name was an adopted regnal name or a birth name. The reading Šarru-kēn has been interpreted adjectivally, as “the king is established; legitimate”, expanded as a phrase šarrum ki(e)num.

In the Akkadian epic Enuma Elish, Kishar is the daughter of Lahmu and Lahamu, the first children of Tiamat and Abzu. She is the female principle, sister and wife of Anshar, the male principle, and the mother of Anu.

Kishar may represent the earth as a counterpart to Anshar, the sky, and can be seen as an earth mother goddess. Her name also means “Whole Earth”. They, in turn, are the parents of Anu, the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of gods, spirits and demons.

Lugal is the Sumerian term for “king, ruler”. In its transliteration would be “LU” meaning “Man” and “GAL” meaning “Big”, “Giant”, or of “big stature”. It share the same root with Semitic words like “GALIT” (popularly knows as Goliath).

Lugal is used extensively in the Amarna letters, for addressing the kings or pharaohs, and elsewhere in speaking about the various kings. One common address, in the introduction of many letters, from the vassals writing to the pharaoh was to use: Šàr-ri, (for šarrum); they used Lugal + ri = Šàr-ri, (i.e. Pharaoh, or King of, Ancient Egypt).

Ri

Ri (cuneiform) is one of the more commonly used hieroglyphs, in many cases for the use of the “r”. The cuneiform Ri sign, or Re, is found in both the 14th century BC Amarna letters and the Epic of Gilgamesh; it is in the top 25 most used cuneiform signs for ri, or re, but has other syllabic or alphabetic uses, as well as the sumerogram usage for RI (Epic of Gilgamesh).

In the Amarna letters, ri also has a special usage when coupled with the naming of the Pharaoh, as “LUGAL-Ri”. Lugal is the sumerogram translated in the Akkadian language to ‘King’, Sarru.

Thus in the Amarna letters, Lugal is used as a stand-alone, but sometimes supplemented with Ri, and specifically used as sumerogram SÀR (an equivalent sumerogram to mean LUGAL) to be combined with RI to make sarru for king. ‘The King, as an appellation is sometimes created by adding ma (cuneiform), suffix to the end of a name (Lugal-ma.

Rí, or very commonly ríg (genitive), is an ancient Gaelic word meaning “king”. It is used in historical texts referring to the Irish and Scottish kings, and those of similar rank. While the Modern Irish word is exactly the same, in modern Scottish Gaelic it is rìgh, apparently derived from the genitive. Cognates include Gaulish Rix, Latin rex/regis, Sanskrit raja, and German Reich.

Rígsþula or Rígsmál (“Lay of Ríg”) is an Eddic poem in which a Norse god named Ríg or Rígr, described as “old and wise, mighty and strong”, fathers the classes of mankind. The prose introduction states that Rígr is another name for Heimdall, who is also called the father of mankind in Völuspá.

In Rígsþula, Rig wanders through the world and fathers the progenitors of the three classes of human beings as conceived by the poet. The youngest of these sons inherits the name or title “Ríg” and so in turn does his youngest son, Kon the Young or Kon ungr (Old Norse: konungr, king).

This third Ríg was the first true king and the ultimate founder of the state of royalty as appears in the Rígsþula and in two other associated works. In all three sources he is connected with two primordial Danish rulers named Dan and Danþír.

The poem Rígsþula is preserved incomplete on the last surviving sheet in the 14th-century Codex Wormianus, following Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda. A short prose introduction explains that the god in question was Heimdall, who wandered along the seashore until he came to a farm where he called himself Ríg.

The name Rígr appears to be the oblique case of Old Irish rí, ríg “king”, cognate to Latin rex, Sanskrit rajan, and Gothic reiks.

Raja (also spelled Rajah, from Sanskrit राजन् rājan-), is a title for a Monarch or princely ruler in South and Southeast Asia. The female form Rani (sometimes spelled ranee) applies equally to the wife of a Raja (or of an equivalent style such as Rana), usually as queen consort and occasionally as regent.

The title has a long history in the Indian subcontinent and South East Asia, being attested from the Rigveda, where a rājan- is a ruler, see for example the dāśarājñá, the “battle of ten kings”.

Sanskrit rājan- is cognate to Latin rēx (genitive rēgis) ‘King’ (as in pre-republican Rome), Gaulish rīx, Gaelic rí (genitive ríg), etc., originally denoting heads of petty kingdoms and city states.

It is believed to be ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European *hrēǵs, a vrddhi formation to the root *hreǵ- “to straighten, to order, to rule”.

The Sanskrit n-stem is secondary in the male title, apparently adapted from the female counterpart rājñī which also has an -n- suffix in related languages, compare Old Irish rígain and Latin regina.

Cognates of the word Raja in other Indo-European languages include English reign and German reich.

Reich is a German word literally meaning “realm”. The terms Kaiserreich (literally “realm of an emperor”) and Königreich (literally “realm of a king”) are used in German to refer to empires and kingdoms respectively.

The Latin equivalent of Reich is imperium or rather with a king regnum. Both terms translate to “rule, sovereignty, government”, usually of monarchs (kings or emperors), but also of gods, and of the Christian God.

The German version of the Lord’s Prayer uses the words Dein Reich komme for “ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου” (usually translated as “thy kingdom come” in English). Himmelreich is the German term for the concept of “kingdom of heaven”.

The German noun Reich is derived from Old High German rīhhi, which together with its cognates in Old English rīce Old Norse rîki (modern Scandinavian rike/rige) and Gothic reiki is from a Common Germanic *rīkijan. The English noun is extinct, but persists in composition, in bishopric.

The German adjective reich, on the other hand, has an exact cognate in English rich. Both the noun (*rīkijan) and the adjective (*rīkijaz) are derivations based on a Common Germanic *rīks “ruler, king”, reflected in Gothic as reiks, glossing ἄρχων “leader, ruler, chieftain”.

It is probable that the Germanic word was not inherited from pre-Proto-Germanic, but rather loaned from Celtic (i.e. Gaulish rīx) at an early time.

The word has many cognates outside of Germanic and Celtic, notably Latin rex and Sanskrit raja “king”. It is ultimately from a Proto-Indo-European root *reg-, meaning “to straighten out or rule”.

 

Kin

The English term king is derived from the Anglo-Saxon cyning, which in turn is derived from the Common Germanic *kuningaz. The Common Germanic term was borrowed into Estonian and Finnish at an early time, surviving in these languages as kuningas.

The English term “king” translates, and is considered equivalent to, Latin rēx and its equivalents in the various European languages. The Germanic term is notably different from the word for “king” in other Indo-European languages (*rēks “ruler”; Latin rēx, Sanskrit rājan and Irish ríg, but see Gothic reiks and, e.g., modern German Reich and modern Dutch rijk).

It is a derivation from the term *kunjom “kin” (Old English cynn) by the -inga- suffix. The literal meaning is that of a “scion of the [noble] kin”, or perhaps “son or descendant of one of noble birth” (OED).

Kingu, also spelled Qingu, meaning “unskilled laborer,” was a god in Babylonian mythology, and — after the murder of his father Abzu — the consort of the goddess Tiamat, his mother, who wanted to establish him as ruler and leader of all gods before she was killed by Marduk.

Tiamat gave Kingu the 3 Tablets of Destiny, which he wore as a breastplate and which gave him great power. She placed him as the general of her army. However, like Tiamat, Kingu was eventually killed by Marduk.

Marduk mixed Kingu’s blood with earth and used the clay to mold the first human beings, while Tiamat’s body created the earth and the skies. Kingu then went to live in the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, along with the other deities who had sided with Tiamat.

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Nestekjærlighet i mytologi og religion – vår verdenssivilisasjon

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 23, 2017

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Nestekjærlighet er omsorg for andre mennesker og det å føle seg ansvarlig for ethvert medmenneskes velferd uten hensyn til religion, kjønn eller politisk standpunkt. Mens noen betrakter det som et element i sosial kontroll, ser andre på det kun som en form for altruisme.

I mytologien er nestekjærlighet det vi forsøker å oppnå gjennom utviklingen av en høyere bevissthet – det dreier seg om frigjøringen av morgenrødens, demringens eller daggryens, gudinne – i Norge kjent som Ostara, hvis navn er roten til det moderne engelske ordet påske, og på indisk Usha.

Begge har de, som med mange andre lignende gudinner i ulike kulturer, sin bakgrunn i den protoindoeuropeiske gudinnen Hausha, som på romersk er kjent som Venus. På sumerisk var hun kjent som Inanna og var en sumerisk gudinne for fysisk kjærlighet, fruktbarhet og krig.

Tammuz (sumerisk Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D)) i betydningen «trofast» eller «sanne sønn») var navnet på en gud i sumerisk mytologi. Han var en gud for fruktbarhet og for gjenfødelse. Fortellingene gjenspeiler vegetasjonens død i tørketiden og oppblomstring under vårregnet.

Summeriske myter forteller om hans død og besøk i underverden. Inanna sørget over han til den grad at hun bega seg til underverden for å finne han. I ritualene æret man ham under den varmeste tiden på året, da det var tørke. Man benyttet Taukorset, en forgjenger for det kristne kors, som symbol.

Tilfangetagelsen og fengslingen, samt hennes frigjøring av en heroisk gud som dreper en drage som holder henne fanget er en sentral myte i vår mytologi. Hun representerer våren og er involvert i nyttårsfeiringer. Det nye året startet tidligere med vårjevndøgnet i mars måned.

Ushas er sanskrit for daggry og er en vedisk gudinne. Hun er portrettert som å avverge onde ånder om natten, og som en vakkert utsmykket ung kvinne som rider i en gylden vogn på sin vei over himmelen.

I en nylig hinduistisk tolkning blir Ushas beskrevet som mediumet for oppvåkningen, aktiviteten og veksten til de andre gudene. Hun er den første betingelsen innen vedisk tenkning og realisering. Ved hennes økende belysning blir menneskenes natur forstått og gjennom henne kommer vi til sannheten og salighet.

Astraia (den skinnende; «stjernejomfruen») er i henhold til gresk mytologi en datter av enten Zevs og Temis eller av Eos og Astraios, avhengig av den antikke tradisjonen. Hun er assosiert med Justitia i latinsk kultur.

Hun ble i tillegg til rettferdighet, også assosiert med uskyld og renhet, og ble således delvis eller helt identifisert med Dike, rettferdighetens gudinne, og med Nemesis, gudinne for rettferdig indignasjon. Rettferdighetens vektskål som hun holder i hendene ble det nærliggende stjernebildet Libra (Vekten).

I løpet av den mytologiske gullalderen var hun den siste av gudene som levde sammen med menneskene, men hun ble fordrevet av lovløsheten i den senere jernalderen. Hun ble deretter plassert i stjernene som stjernebildet Virgo (Jomfruen).

I henhold til legenden vil Astraia en dag komme tilbake til jorden og bringe med seg den utopiske gullalderen. Hun kan på mangt og meget sees på som forløperen til jomfru Maria, som også symboliseres gjennom sin tilknytning til stjernebildet Jomfruen.

Saligprisningene er åpningen av Bergprekenen, gjengitt i Evangeliet etter Matteus 5:3–12 i Bibelen. Jesus beskriver her egenskapene til forskjellige mennesker, og hvordan de skal bli belønnet i Himmelriket. Deler av bergprekenen er også gjengitt i Evangeliet etter Lukas.

Den amerikanske filosofen John Rawls har blitt betegnet som en av de viktigste filosofer i nyere tid. Hans hovedverk “A Theory of Justice” som ble utgitt i 1971 er helt sentralt i nyere moralfilosofiske debatter, særlig innen politisk filosofi.

For å konstruere prinsipper for rettferdighet som inkorporerer forestillingen om mennesker som frie og likeverdige foreslår Rawls at vi benytter det han kaller for en utgangsposisjon, eller uvitenhetens slør.

Man forsøker så man å forestille seg hvilke politiske institusjoner og prinsipper man ville ha blitt enige om i en situasjon der ingen av deltagerne vet hvor de hører til i samfunnet de skal utforme prinsipper for.

Denne idéen er Rawls’ kanskje mest velkjente, og er ment å sikre at ingen av partene og deres avgjørelser styres av egne særinteresser. I en slik situasjon mener Rawls at det vil være rasjonelt for alle parter å slutte seg opp om forskjellsprinsippet.

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The turn of the year – the base of natural religion

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 11, 2017

Januar (Capricorn; Janus) – Juni (Cancer; Juni) / Sagittarius – Gemini
 
Capricorn: December 21 – January 20
Juni: June 21 – July 22
 
Sagittarius: November 22 – December
Gemini: May 20 – June 21
 
Scorpio: October 23 – November 22
Taurus: April 19 – May 20
 
 
Mars (Aries; Mars) – September (Libra; Venus) / Pisces (Jesus) – Virgo (Maria)
 
Aries: March 20 – April 19
Libra: September 22 – October 23
 
Pisces: February 18 – March 20
Virgo: August 22 – September 22
 
Aquarius: January 19 – February 18
Leo: July 22 – August 22
Year – Jeran

Cultures can vary widely in terms of their conceptualisation of time. Simply put, there are many different ways of thinking about time. We can picture time in different ways, drawing on different sets of imagery, or using different metaphors.

We can understand time in relation to ourselves or in relation to some external frame of reference. We can divide time up in different ways, and have different beliefs about how time affects us. And how we think about time can be intimately related to a host of broader cultural values or beliefs.

In modern western cultures, for instance, we tend to think of time in terms of a three-part structure of past, present, and future, with time moving in one direction without repetition. Though events can repeat themselves, tomorrow is fundamentally different and separate from yesterday.

These conceptualisations are not universal across all cultures, and can also change over time. It should also be said that any given culture may have more than one way of looking at time too.

The general Western notion of the nature of time is that time is linear and progressive. The three major monotheistic religions of the world today (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) view the concept of time as being linear.

They believe in an absolute beginning to Creation (which I will refer to as ‘Point A’) and an absolute end to Creation (‘Point C’) with a definite middle lying in-between those two extremities (‘Point B’) and can be depicted as a straight, forward-travelling line like this: A (beginning)—–>B (middle)—–>C (end).

This conception of time is, naturally, limited and finite. However, the conception of time in the East is quite different to that in the West. In the religion of Hinduism and its offshoot religion Buddhism, the nature of time is non-linear and cyclical.

Cyclical and Linear Time

Linear Time vs Cyclical Time

The stars appear to be creeping backwards out of line with the Earth’s seasons and year in a process known as the Precession of the Equinox.

The zodiac is an area of the sky centered upon the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and visible planets also remain close to the ecliptic, within the belt of the zodiac, which extends 8-9° north or south of the ecliptic, as measured in celestial latitude.

In western astrology and (formerly) astronomy, the zodiac is divided into twelve signs, each sign occupying 30° of celestial longitude. Because the signs are regular, they do not correspond exactly to the boundaries of the twelve constellations after which they are named.

The twelve signs form a celestial coordinate system, or more specifically an ecliptic coordinate system, which takes the ecliptic as the origin of latitude, and the position of the Sun at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude.

The zodiacal signs are distinct from the constellations associated with them, not only because of their drifting apart due to the precession of equinoxes but also because the physical constellations take up varying widths of the ecliptic, so the Sun is not in each constellation for the same amount of time. Thus, Virgo takes up five times as much ecliptic longitude as Scorpius.

The zodiacal signs are an abstraction from the physical constellations, and each represent exactly one twelfth of the full circle, or the longitude traversed by the Sun in about 30.4 days.

For identical reasons, the apparent position of the Sun relative to the backdrop of the stars at some seasonally fixed time slowly regresses a full 360° through all twelve traditional constellations of the zodiac, at the rate of about 50.3 seconds of arc per year, or 1 degree every 71.6 years.

At present, the rate of precession corresponds to a period of 25 772 years, but the rate itself varies somewhat with time (see Values below), so one cannot say that in exactly 25 772 years the earth’s axis will be back to where it is now.

Astrologers maintain that an astrological age is a product of the earth’s slow precessional rotation and lasts for 2,160 years, on average (26,000-year period of precession / 12 zodiac signs = 2,160 years).

There are various methods of calculating the length of an astrological age. In sun-sign astrology, the first sign is Aries, followed by Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, whereupon the cycle returns to Aries and through the zodiacal signs again.

Astrological ages exist as a result of precession of the equinoxes. The slow wobble of the earth’s spin axis on the celestial sphere is independent of the diurnal rotation of the Earth on its own axis and the annual revolution of the earth around the sun.

Astrological ages, however, proceed in the opposite direction (“retrograde” in astronomy). Therefore, the Age of Aquarius follows the Age of Pisces. “Age of Aquarius” is an astrological term denoting either the current or forthcoming astrological age, depending on the method of calculation.

The approximate 2,150 years for each age corresponds to the average time it takes for the vernal equinox to move from one constellation of the zodiac into the next.

This can be computed by dividing the earth’s 25,800-year gyroscopic precession period by twelve, the number of zodiac constellations used by astrologers.

According to different astrologers’ calculations, approximate dates for entering the Age of Aquarius range from AD 1447 (Terry MacKinnell) to AD 3597 (John Addey).

 
 
 

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Happy Easter!

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 6, 2017

An equinox is the moment in which the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun, which occurs twice each year, around 20 March and 23 September. The subsolar point crosses the equator moving northward at the March equinox and southward at the September equinox.

The equinoxes, along with solstices, are directly related to the seasons of the year. In the northern hemisphere, the vernal equinox (March) conventionally marks the beginning of spring in most cultures, while the autumnal equinox (September) marks the beginning of autumn. In the southern hemisphere, the vernal equinox occurs in September and the autumnal equinox in March.

The point where the Sun crosses the celestial equator northwards is called the First Point of Aries. However, due to the precession of the equinoxes, this point is no longer in the constellation Aries, but rather in Pisces. By the year 2600 it will be in Aquarius.

Based on the modern constellation boundaries, the northward equinox passed from Taurus into Aries in the year −1865 (1866 BC), passed into Pisces in the year −67 (68 BC), will pass into Aquarius in the year 2597, and will pass into Capricornus in the year 4312.

The age of Pisces began c. 1 AD and will end c. 2150 AD. With the story of the birth of Christ coinciding with this date, many Christian symbols for Christ use the astrological symbol for Pisces, the fishes.

The figure Christ himself bears many of the temperaments and personality traits of a Pisces, and is thus considered an archetype of the Piscean. Pisces has been called the “dying god,” where its sign opposite in the night sky is Virgo, or, the Virgin Mary.

The name of March comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars, the Roman god of war, who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus.

His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these activities came to a close. The zodiac signs for the month of March are Pisces (until March 20) and Aries (March 21 onwards). Aries is ruled by Mars.

Aries (meaning “ram”) is the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30°). Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this sign mostly between March 21 and April 19 each year. The symbol of the ram is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

The Babylonian calendar began with the first full moon after the vernal equinox, the day after the Sumerian goddess Inanna’s return from the underworld (later known as Ishtar), in the Akitu ceremony, with parades through the Ishtar Gate to the Eanna temple, and the ritual re-enactment of the marriage to Tammuz, or Sumerian Dummuzi.

Inanna, was the Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sexual desire, fertility, knowledge, wisdom, war, and combat, was associated with the eastern fish of the last of the zodiacal constellations, Pisces. Her consort Dumuzi was associated with the contiguous first constellation, Aries.

Easter, also called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as “Holy Week”—it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.

In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the fiftieth day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the fortieth day, the Feast of the Ascension.

Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb). The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide.

Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades.

Ēostre or Ostara is a Germanic goddess who, by way of the Germanic month bearing her name (Northumbrian: Ēosturmōnaþ; West Saxon: Ēastermōnaþ; Old High German: Ôstarmânoth ), is the namesake of the festival of Easter in some languages.

Ēostre is attested solely by Bede in his 8th-century work The Reckoning of Time, where Bede states that during Ēosturmōnaþ (the equivalent of April), pagan Anglo-Saxons had held feasts in Ēostre’s honor, but that this tradition had died out by his time, replaced by the Christian Paschal month, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

As the Germanic languages descend from Proto-Indo-European (PIE), historical linguists have traced the name to a Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn *Hewsṓs (→ *Ausṓs), from which descends the common Germanic divinity from whom Ēostre and Ostara are held to descend.

Theories connecting Ēostre with records of Germanic Easter customs, including hares and eggs, have been proposed. Ēostre and Ostara are sometimes referenced in modern popular culture and are venerated in some forms of Germanic neopaganism.

One of the most important goddesses of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is the personification of dawn as a beautiful young woman. Her name is reconstructed as Hausōs or Ausōs (PIE *h₂ewsṓs- or *h₂ausōs-, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.

Derivatives of *h₂ewsṓs in the historical mythologies of Indo-European peoples include Indian Uṣas, Greek Ēōs, Latin Aurōra, and Baltic Aušra (“dawn”, c.f. Lithuanian Aušrinė). Germanic *Austrōn- is from an extended stem *hews-tro-.

The name *hewsṓs is derived from a root *hwes / *au̯es “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *aws-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *awso-.

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction, *h₂ewsṓs, a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wenos- (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas “loveliness; desire”, used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir.

The love goddess aspect was separated from the personification of dawn in a number of traditions, including Roman Venus vs. Aurora, and Greek Aphrodite vs. Eos. The name of Aphrodite may still preserve her role as a dawn goddess, etymologized as “she who shines from the foam [ocean]” (from aphros “foam” and deato “to shine”).

The name indicates that the goddess was imagined as a beautiful nubile woman, who also had aspects of a love goddess. The abduction and imprisonment of the dawn goddess, and her liberation by a heroic god slaying the dragon who imprisons her, is a central myth of Indo-European religion, reflected in numerous traditions.

The name for “spring season”, *wes-r- is also from the same root. The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god.

Tammuz (Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”) is a Sumerian god of food and vegetation, also worshiped in the later Mesopotamian states of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia.

In Babylonia, the month Tammuz was established in honor of the eponymous god Tammuz, who originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna and, in his Akkadian form, the parallel consort of Ishtar.

The Levantine (“lord”) Adonis, who was drawn into the Greek pantheon, was considered by Joseph Campbell among others to be another counterpart of Tammuz, son and consort.

Recent discoveries reconfirm him as an annual life-death-rebirth deity: tablets discovered in 1963 show that Dumuzi was in fact consigned to the Underworld himself, in order to secure Inanna’s release, though the recovered final line reveals that he is to revive for six months of each year.

Isis (original Egyptian pronunciation more likely “Aset” or “Iset”) is a goddess from the polytheistic pantheon of Egypt. She was first worshiped in ancient Egyptian religion, and later her worship spread throughout the Roman Empire and the greater Greco-Roman world.

Isis was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers.

Isis is often depicted as the mother of Horus, the falcon-headed deity associated with king and kingship (although in some traditions Horus’s mother was Hathor). Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children.

She married her brother, Osiris, and she conceived Horus with him. Isis was instrumental in the resurrection of Osiris when he was murdered by Set. Using her magical skills, she restored his body to life after having gathered the body parts that had been strewn about the earth by Set.

This myth became very important during the Greco-Roman period. For example, it was believed that the Nile River flooded every year because of the tears of sorrow which Isis wept for Osiris. Osiris’s death and rebirth was relived each year through rituals.

The worship of Isis eventually spread throughout the Greco-Roman world, continuing until the suppression of paganism in the Christian era. The popular motif of Isis suckling her son Horus, however, lived on in a Christianized context as the popular image of Mary suckling her infant son Jesus from the fifth century onward.

The name Isis means “Throne”. Her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh’s power. The pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided.

Isis’ name was originally written with the signs of a throne seat (Gardiner sign Q1, pronounced “as” or “is”), a bread loaf (Gardiner sign X1, pronounced “t” or “tj”) and with an unpronounced determinative of a sitting woman.

A second version of the original was also written with the throne seat and the bread loaf, but ended with an egg symbol (Gardiner sign H8) which was normally read “set”, but here it was used as a determinative to promote the correct reading. The egg-symbol always represented motherhood, implying a maternal role of Isis.

The planet Mars is named after the Roman god of war Mars. In Babylonian astronomy, the planet was named after Nergal, their deity of fire, war, and destruction, most likely due to the planet’s reddish appearance. Whether the Greeks equated Nergal with their god of war, Ares, or whether both drew from a more ancient association is unclear.

In the Skanda Purana, a Hindu religious text, Mars is known as the deity Mangala and was born from the sweat of Shiva. The planet is called Angaraka in Sanskrit, after the celibate god of war who possesses the signs of Aries and Scorpio, and teaches the occult sciences.

The planet was known by the ancient Egyptians as “Horus of the Horizon”, then later Her Deshur (“Ḥr Dšr”[citation needed]), or “Horus the Red”. The Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures refer to the planet as the fire star, a name based on the ancient Chinese mythological cycle of Five elements. In ancient China, the advent of Mars was taken as a portent for “bane, grief, war and murder”.

Its symbol, derived from Roman mythology, is a circle with a small arrow pointing out from behind. It is a stylized representation of a shield and spear used by the Roman God Mars. This symbol is also used in biology to describe the male sex.

Týr is a Germanic god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”. Mars represented military power as a way to secure peace, and was a father (pater) of the Roman people.

In the mythic genealogy and founding myths of Rome, Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus with Rhea Silvia. His love affair with Venus symbolically reconciled the two different traditions of Rome’s founding; Venus was the divine mother of the hero Aeneas, celebrated as the Trojan refugee who “founded” Rome several generations before Romulus laid out the city walls.

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