Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

T for Tyr – S for the Sun – Tyr is a Sun god

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 26, 2017

Hieroglyphic Egyptian /Ṭ/ may be etymological */Ś/. The Egyptian hieroglyphic NṬR means “god”. Invoked as a plural (“nTrw”), all divine beings were intended, but the singular form is (“nTr”). T used to be a K and R used to be an L, so we could look for roots in those other languages like “NKL” and “NTR.”

Etymology of Deus

Letter S

S (named ess, plural esses) is the 19th letter in the Modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Northwest Semitic šîn represented a voiceless postalveolar fricative /ʃ/ (as in ‘ship’). It originated most likely as a pictogram of a tooth and represented the phoneme /ʃ/ via the acrophonic principle.

Greek did not have a /ʃ/ phoneme, so the derived Greek letter Sigma (Σ) came to represent the voiceless alveolar sibilant /s/. While the letter shape Σ continues Phoenician šîn, its name sigma and its position in the alphabet is taken from the letter samekh, while the shape of samekh but name and position of šîn is continued in the xi.

Within Greek, the name of sigma was influenced by its association with the Greek word σίζω (earlier *sigj-) “to hiss”. The original name of the letter “sigma” may have been san, but due to the complicated early history of the Greek epichoric alphabets, “san” came to be identified as a separate letter, Ϻ. Herodotus reports that “San” was the name given by the Dorians to the same letter called “Sigma” by the Ionians.

The Western Greek alphabet used in Cumae was adopted by the Etruscans and Latins in the 7th century BC, over the following centuries developing into a range of Old Italic alphabets including the Etruscan alphabet and the early Latin alphabet.

In Etruscan, the value /s/ of Greek sigma (𐌔) was maintained, while san (𐌑) represented a separate phoneme, most likely /ʃ/ (transliterated as ś). The early Latin alphabet adopted sigma, but not san, as Old Latin did not have a /ʃ/ phoneme.

The shape of Latin S arises from Greek Σ by dropping one out of the four strokes of that letter. The (angular) S-shape composed of three strokes existed as a variant of the four-stroke letter Σ already in the epigraphy in Western Greek alphabets, and the three and four strokes variants existed alongside one another in the classical Etruscan alphabet. In other Italic alphabets (Venetic, Lepontic), the letter could be represented as a zig-zagging line of any number between three and six strokes.

The familiar S-shape with three strokes is present in the earliest Latin inscriptions of the 6th century BC (Duenos Inscription, Praeneste fibula, but with four strokes on the Garigliano Bowl) rather than three. The familiar rounded S-shape is present regularly in the Old Latin inscriptions of the 2nd century BC (Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus).

The Italic letter was also adopted into Elder Futhark, as Sowilō (ᛊ), and appears with four to eight strokes in the earliest runic inscriptions, but is occasionally reduced to three strokes (ᛋ) from the later 5th century, and appears regularly with three strokes in Younger Futhark.

Shin

Shin (also spelled Šin (šīn) or Sheen) is the name of the twenty-first letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Shin Phoenician sin, Hebrew Shin‎, Aramaic Shin, Syriac Shin, and Arabic Shin (in abjadi order, 13th in modern order). Its sound value is a voiceless sibilant, [ʃ] or [s].

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Sigma (Σ) (which in turn gave Latin S and Cyrillic С), and the letter Sha in the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts. The South Arabian and Ethiopian letter Śawt is also cognate.

The Proto-Sinaitic glyph, according to William Albright, was based on a “Tooth” and with the phonemic value š “corresponds etymologically (in part, at least) to original Semitic ṯ (th), which was pronounced s in South Canaanite”.

The Phoenician šin letter expressed the continuants of two Proto-Semitic phonemes, and may have been based on a pictogram of a tooth (in modern Hebrew shen). The Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, records that it originally represented a composite bow.

The history of the letters expressing sibilants in the various Semitic alphabets is somewhat complicated, due to different mergers between Proto-Semitic phonemes. As usually reconstructed, there are five Proto-Semitic phonemes that evolved into various voiceless sibilants in daughter languages.

Shin, as a prefix, bears the same meaning as the relative pronouns “that”, “which” and “who” in English. In colloquial Hebrew, Kaph and Shin together have the meaning of “when”. Shin is also one of the seven letters which receive special crowns (called tagin) when written in a Sefer Torah.

Shin also stands for the word Shaddai, a name for God. Because of this, a kohen (priest) forms the letter Shin with his hands as he recites the Priestly Blessing. El Shaddai or just Shaddai is one of the names of the God of Israel.

El Shaddai is conventionally translated as God Almighty but the construction of the phrase fits the pattern of the divine appellations in the Ancient Near East and as such can convey various types of semantic relations between these two words:

El of a place known as Shaddai, El possessing the quality of shaddai or El who is also known as Shaddai – exactly as is the case with the names like “’El Olam”, “’El Elyon” or “’El Betel”. Moreover, while the translation of El as “god” or “lord” in the Ugarit/Canaanite language is straightforward, the literal meaning of Shaddai is the subject of debate.

The name appears 48 times in the Bible, seven times as “El Shaddai” (five times in Genesis, once in Exodus, and once in Ezekiel). It has been conjectured that El Shaddai was therefore the “god of Shaddai”.

The letter Shin is often inscribed on the case containing a mezuzah, a scroll of parchment with Biblical text written on it. The text contained in the mezuzah is the Shema Yisrael prayer, which calls the Israelites to love their God with all their heart, soul and strength. The mezuzah is situated upon all the doorframes in a home or establishment. Sometimes the whole word Shaddai will be written.

The Shema Yisrael prayer also commands the Israelites to write God’s commandments on their hearts (Deut. 6:6); the shape of the letter Shin mimics the structure of the human heart: the lower, larger left ventricle (which supplies the full body) and the smaller right ventricle (which supplies the lungs) are positioned like the lines of the letter Shin.

A religious significance has been applied to the fact that there are three valleys that comprise the city of Jerusalem’s geography: the Valley of Ben Hinnom, Tyropoeon Valley, and Kidron Valley, and that these valleys converge to also form the shape of the letter shin, and that the Temple in Jerusalem is located where the dagesh (horizontal line) is.

This is seen as a fulfillment of passages such as Deuteronomy 16:2 that instructs Jews to celebrate the Pasach at “the place the LORD will choose as a dwelling for his Name” (NIV).

In the Sefer Yetzirah the letter Shin is King over Fire, Formed Heaven in the Universe, Hot in the Year, and the Head in the Soul. Sefer Yetzirah is the Book of Formation, or Book of Creation) is the title of the earliest extant book on Jewish esotericism, although some early commentators treated it as a treatise on mathematical and linguistic theory as opposed to Kabbalah.

The 13th-century Kabbalistic text Sefer HaTemunah, holds that a single letter of unknown pronunciation, held by some to be the four-pronged shin on one side of the teffilin box, is missing from the current alphabet. The world’s flaws, the book teaches, are related to the absence of this letter, the eventual revelation of which will repair the universe.

Sin – Chi

In the Arabic alphabet, šīn is at the original (21st) position in Abjadi order. A letter variant sīn takes the place of Samekh at 15th position. The Arabic letter šīn was an acronym for “something” (šayʾ(un)) meaning the unknown in algebraic equations. In the transcription into Spanish, the Greek letter chi (χ) was used which was later transcribed into Latin x.

According to some sources, this is the origin of x used for the unknown in the equations. However, according to other sources, there is no historical evidence for this. In Modern Arabic mathematical notation sīn, i.e. šīn without its dots, often corresponds to Latin x. In gematria, Shin represents the number 300.

Chi (uppercase Χ, lowercase χ; Greek: χῖ) is the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet. In Koine Greek and later dialects it became a fricative ([x]/[ç]) along with Θ and Φ. In ancient times, some local forms of the Greek alphabet used the chi instead of xi to represent the /ks/ sound. This was borrowed into the early Latin language, which led to the use of the letter X for the same sound in Latin, and many modern languages that use the Latin alphabet.

Chi was also included in the Cyrillic script as the letter Х, with the phonetic value /x/ or /h/. Chi or X is often used to abbreviate the name Christ, as in the holiday Christmas (Xmas). When fused within a single typespace with the Greek letter Rho, it is called the labarum and used to represent the person of Jesus Christ.

In Plato’s Timaeus, it is explained that the two bands that form the soul of the world cross each other like the letter Χ. The world soul is, according to several systems of thought, an intrinsic connection between all living things on the planet, which relates to our world in much the same way as the soul is connected to the human body.

Plato adhered to this idea and it was an important component of most Neoplatonic systems: Therefore, we may consequently state that: this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence … a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related.

The Stoics believed it to be the only vital force in the universe. Similar concepts also hold in systems of eastern philosophy in the Brahman-Atman of Hinduism, the Buddha-Nature in Mahayana Buddhism, and in the School of Yin-Yang, Taoism, and Neo-Confucianism as qi.

Other resemblances can be found in the thoughts of hermetic philosophers like Paracelsus, and by Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz, Friedrich Schelling and in Hegel’s Geist (“Spirit”/”Mind”). Ralph Waldo Emerson published “The Over-Soul” in 1841, which was influenced by the Hindu conception of a universal soul. There are also similarities with ideas developed since the 1960s by Gaia theorists such as James Lovelock.

Kha or Ha (Х х; italics: Х х) is a letter of the Cyrillic script. It looks the same as the Latin letter X (X x X x), in both uppercase and lowercase, both roman and italic forms, and was derived from the Greek letter Chi, which also bears a resemblance to both the Latin X and Kha.

It commonly represents the voiceless velar fricative /x/, similar to the pronunciation of ⟨ch⟩ in “loch”. Kha is usually romanized as ⟨kh⟩ when romanizing East Slavic languages and romanized as ⟨h⟩ when romanizing South Slavic languages.

Samekh – Sigma – Xi

Samekh or Simketh is the fifteenth letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Ṣāmek, Hebrew ˈSamekh, Aramaic Semkath, Syriac Semkaṯ, representing /s/. The Arabic alphabet, however, uses a letter based on Phoenician Šīn to represent /s/; however, that glyph takes Samekh’s place in the traditional Abjadi order of the Arabic alphabet.

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Xi. Xi is the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 60. In the system of Roman numerals, it has a value of 11. Xi is not to be confused with the letter chi, which gave its form to the Latin letter X.

Sigma is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 200. The shape and alphabetic position of sigma is derived from Phoenician shin. The name of sigma, according to one hypothesis, may continue that of Phoenician Samekh.

According to a different theory, its original name may have been san (the name today associated with another, obsolete letter), while sigma was a Greek innovation that simply meant “hissing”, based on a nominalization of a verb sízō, from earlier *sig-jō, meaning ‘I hiss’.

Samekh in gematria has the value 60. Gematria originated as an Assyro-Babylonian-Greek system of alphanumeric code/cipher later adopted into Jewish culture that assigns numerical value to a word/name/phrase in the belief that words or phrases with identical numerical values bear some relation to each other or bear some relation to the number itself as it may apply to Nature, a person’s age, the calendar year, or the like.

Samekh and Mem form the abbreviation for the Angel of Death, whose name in Hebrew is Samael. It also stands for centimetre.

In some legends, samekh is said to have been a miracle of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 32:15 records that the tablets “were written on both their sides.” The Jerusalem Talmud interprets this as meaning that the inscription went through the full thickness of the tablets. The stone in the center parts of the letters ayin and teth should have fallen out, as it was not connected to the rest of the tablet, but it miraculously remained in place.

The Babylonian Talmud (tractate Shabbat 104a), on the other hand, attributes this instead to samekh, but samekh did not have such a hollow form in the sacred Paleo-Hebrew alphabet that would presumably have been used for the tablets. However, this would be appropriate for the Rabbis who maintained that the Torah or the Ten Commandments were given in the later Hebrew “Assyrian” script.

The origin of Samekh is unclear. The Phoenician letter may continue a glyph from the Middle Bronze Age alphabets, either based on a hieroglyph for a tent peg / some kind of prop (s’mikhah or t’mikhah, in modern Hebrew it means to support), and thus may be derived from the Egyptian hieroglyph djed.

The djed (Egyptian ḏd, Coptic jōt “pillar”) is one of the more ancient and commonly found symbols in Egyptian mythology. It is a pillar-like symbol in hieroglyphics representing stability.

It is associated with the creator god Ptah and Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead. It is commonly understood to represent his spine. The Djed pillar, an ancient Egyptian symbol meaning ‘stability’, is the symbolic backbone of the god Osiris.

The djed hieroglyph was a pillar-like symbol that represented stability. It was also sometimes used to represent Osiris himself, often combined “with a pair of eyes between the crossbars and holding the crook and flail.”

The djed hieroglyph is often found together with the tyet (also known as Isis knot) hieroglyph, which is translated as life or welfare. The djed and the tiet used together may depict the duality of life. The tyet hieroglyph may have become associated with Isis because of its frequent pairing with the djed.

Sowilo

Greek did not have a /ʃ/ phoneme, so the derived Greek letter Sigma (Σ) came to represent the voiceless alveolar sibilant /s/. While the letter shape Σ continues Phoenician šîn, its name sigma and its position in the alphabet is taken from the letter samekh, while the shape of samekh but name and position of šîn is continued in the xi.
Within Greek, the name of sigma was influenced by its association with the Greek word σίζω (earlier *sigj-) “to hiss”. The original name of the letter “sigma” may have been san, but due to the complicated early history of the Greek epichoric alphabets, “san” came to be identified as a separate letter, Ϻ. Herodotus reports that “San” was the name given by the Dorians to the same letter called “Sigma” by the Ionians.
The Western Greek alphabet used in Cumae was adopted by the Etruscans and Latins in the 7th century BC, over the following centuries developing into a range of Old Italic alphabets including the Etruscan alphabet and the early Latin alphabet. In Etruscan, the value /s/ of Greek sigma (𐌔) was maintained, while san (𐌑) represented a separate phoneme, most likely /ʃ/ (transliterated as ś). The early Latin alphabet adopted sigma, but not san, as Old Latin did not have a /ʃ/ phoneme.
The shape of Latin S arises from Greek Σ by dropping one out of the four strokes of that letter. The (angular) S-shape composed of three strokes existed as a variant of the four-stroke letter Σ already in the epigraphy in Western Greek alphabets, and the three and four strokes variants existed alongside one another in the classical Etruscan alphabet. In other Italic alphabets (Venetic, Lepontic), the letter could be represented as a zig-zagging line of any number between three and six strokes.
The familiar S-shape with three strokes is present in the earliest Latin inscriptions of the 6th century BC (Duenos Inscription, Praeneste fibula, but with four strokes on the Garigliano Bowl) rather than three. The familiar rounded S-shape is present regularly in the Old Latin inscriptions of the 2nd century BC (Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus).
The Italic letter was also adopted into Elder Futhark, as Sowilō (ᛊ), and appears with four to eight strokes in the earliest runic inscriptions, but is occasionally reduced to three strokes (ᛋ) from the later 5th century, and appears regularly with three strokes in Younger Futhark.

 

*Sowilō or *sæwelō is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic language name of the s-rune, meaning “sun”. The name is attested for the same rune in all three Rune Poems. It appears as Old Norse sól, Old English sigel, and Gothic sugil.

The Germanic words for “Sun” have the peculiarity of alternating between -l- and -n- stems, Proto-Germanic *sunnon (Old English sunne, Old Norse, Old Saxon and Old High German sunna) vs. *sôwilô or *saewelô (Old Norse sól, Gothic sauil, also Old High German forms such as suhil).

This continues a Proto-Indo-European alternation *suwen- vs. *sewol- (Avestan xweng vs. Latin sōl, Greek helios, Sanskrit surya, Welsh haul, Breton heol, Old Irish suil “eye”), a remnant of an archaic, so-called “heteroclitic”, declension pattern that remained productive only in the Anatolian languages.

The Old English name of the rune, written sigel is most often explained as a remnant of an otherwise extinct l-stem variant of the word for “Sun” (meaning that the spelling with g is unetymological), but alternative suggestions have been put forward.

Sól (Old Norse “Sun”) or Sunna (Old High German, and existing as an Old Norse and Icelandic synonym: see Wiktionary sunna, “Sun”) is the Sun personified in Germanic mythology. One of the two Old High German Merseburg Incantations, written in the 9th or 10th century CE, attests that Sunna is the sister of Sinthgunt.

In Norse mythology, Sól is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson.

The Sun gods

Tiwaz (Stem: Tiwad-) was the Luwian Sun-god. He was among the most important gods of the Luwians. Tiwaz was the descendant of the male Sun god of the Indo-European religion, Dyeus, who was superseded among the Hittites by the Hattian Sun goddess of Arinna.

The name of the Proto-Anatolian Sun god can be reconstructed as *Diuod-, which derives from the Proto-Indo-European word *dei- (“shine”, “glow”). This name is cognate with the Greek Zeus, Latin Jupiter, and Norse Tyr.

While Tiwaz (and the related Palaic god Tiyaz) retained a promenant role in the pantheon, the Hittite cognate deity, Šiwat (de) was largely eclipsed by the Sun goddess of Arinna, becoming a god of the day, especially the day of death.

Shivini which is Utu in Sumeria, Shivini in Hinduism, Mithra in Mithraism, Ra in Egypt while the Armenians called him Artinis was a solar god in the mythology of the Armenian kingdom of Urartu. He is the third god in a triad with Khaldi and Theispas.

The Assyrian god Shamash is a counterpart to Shivini. He was depicted as a man on his knees, holding up a solar disc. His wife was most likely a goddess called Tushpuea who is listed as the third goddess on the Mheri-Dur inscription. In the Hurrian mythology Shimegi was the sun god.

Utu (Akkadian rendition of Sumerian dUD “Sun”, Assyro-Babylonian Shamash “Sun”) is the Sun god in Sumerian mythology, the son of the moon god Nanna and the goddess Ningal.

His brother and sisters are Ishkur, Ereshkigal, and his twin sister Inanna. His center cult was located in the city of Larsa. Marduk is spelled dAMAR.UTU in Sumerian, literally, “the calf of Utu” or “the young bull of the Sun”.

Utu is the god of the sun, justice, application of law, and the lord of truth. He is usually depicted as wearing a horned helmet and carrying a saw-edged weapon not unlike a pruning saw. He is also depicted as carrying a mace, and standing with one foot on a mountain. Its symbol is “sun rays from the shoulders, and or sun disk or a saw”.

It is thought that every day, Utu emerges from a mountain in the east, symbolizing dawn, and travels either via chariot or boat across the Earth, returning to a hole in a mountain in the west, symbolizing sunset. Every night, Utu descends into the underworld to decide the fate of the dead.

The sun god is only modestly mentioned in Sumerian mythology with one of the notable exceptions being the Epic of Gilgamesh. In the myth, Gilgamesh seeks to establish his name with the assistance of Utu, because of his connection with the cedar mountain.

Gilgamesh and his father, Lugalbanda, another name of Nergal, were kings of the first dynasty of Uruk, a lineage that Jeffrey H. Tigay suggested could be traced back to Utu himself.

He further suggested that Lugalbanda’s association with the sun-god in the Old Babylonian version of the epic strengthened “the impression that at one point in the history of the tradition the sun-god was also invoked as an ancestor”.

Shamash (Akkadian: Šamaš dUD; cognate to Syriac: šemša, Hebrew: semeš and Arabic: šams.) was the solar deity in ancient Semitic religion, corresponding to the Sumerian god Utu. Shamash was also the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria.

Both in early and in late inscriptions Shamash is designated as the “offspring of Nannar”; i.e. of the Moon-god, and in an enumeration of the pantheon, Sin (Akkadian: Su’en, Sîn) or Nanna (Sumerian: DŠEŠ.KI, DNANNA) generally takes precedence of Shamash. Nanna is a Sumerian deity, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and became identified with Semitic Sin.

He was also the father of Ishkur. Hadad (Ugaritic: Haddu), Adad, Haddad (Akkadian) or Iškur (Sumerian) was the storm and rain god in the Northwest Semitic and ancient Mesopotamian religions. The bull was the symbolic animal of Hadad.

He appeared bearded, often holding a club and thunderbolt while wearing a bull-horned headdress. Adad and Iškur are usually written with the logogram dIM. Hadad was also called “Pidar”, “Rapiu”, “Baal-Zephon”, or often simply Baʿal (Lord), but this title was also used for other gods.

Hadad was equated with the Indo-European Nasite Hittite storm-god Teshub; the Egyptian god Set; the Rigvedic god Indra; the Greek god Zeus; the Roman god Jupiter, as Jupiter Dolichenus.

Adad/Iškur’s special animal is the bull. He is naturally identified with the Anatolian storm-god Teshub. Occasionally Adad/Iškur is identified with the god Amurru, the god of the Amorites.

In Assyro-Babylonian ecclesiastical art the great lion-headed colossi serving as guardians to the temples and palaces seem to symbolise Nergal, just as the bull-headed colossi probably typify Ninurta.

In religious texts, Ba‘al/Hadad is the lord of the sky who governs the rain and thus the germination of plants with the power of his desire that they be fertile. He is the protector of life and growth to the agricultural people of the region. The absence of Ba‘al causes dry spells, starvation, death, and chaos. Also refers to the mountain of the west wind.

The Biblical reference occurs at a time when Yahweh has provided a strong east wind (cf. Exodus 14:21,22) to push back the waters of the Red or Erythrian Sea, so that the sons of Israel might cross over.

In Akkadian, Adad is also known as Ramman (“Thunderer”) cognate with Aramaic Rimmon, which was a byname of Hadad. Ramman was formerly incorrectly taken by many scholars to be an independent Assyrian-Babylonian god later identified with the Hadad.

The form Iškur appears in the list of gods found at Shuruppak but was of far less importance, probably partly because storms and rain were scarce in Sumer and agriculture there depended on irrigation instead. The gods Enlil and Ninurta also had storm god features that decreased Iškur’s distinctiveness. He sometimes appears as the assistant or companion of one or the other of the two.

When Enki distributed the destinies, he made Iškur inspector of the cosmos. In one litany, Iškur is proclaimed again and again as “great radiant bull, your name is heaven” and also called son of Anu, lord of Karkara; twin-brother of Enki, lord of abundance, lord who rides the storm, lion of heaven.

In other texts Adad/Iškur is sometimes son of the moon god Nanna/Sin by Ningal and brother of Utu/Shamash and Inanna/Ishtar. He is also occasionally son of Enlil.

Adad/Iškur’s consort (both in early Sumerian and the much later Assyrian texts) was Shala, a goddess of grain, who is also sometimes associated with the god Dagan. Traditions identify Shala as wife of the fertility god Dagon, or consort of the storm god Adad also called Ishkur.

Shala was an ancient Sumerian goddess of grain and the emotion of compassion. The symbols of grain and compassion combine to reflect the importance of agriculture in the mythology of Sumer, and the belief that an abundant harvest was an act of compassion from the Gods.

In ancient depictions, she carries a double-headed mace-scimitar embellished with lion heads. She was also called Gubarra in the earliest texts. The fire god Gibil (named Gerra in Akkadian) is sometimes the son of Iškur and Shala.

The Babylonian center of Adad/Iškur’s cult was Karkara in the south, his chief temple being É.Kar.kar.a; his spouse Shala was worshipped in a temple named É.Dur.ku. In Assyria, Adad was developed along with his warrior aspect.

During the Middle Assyrian Empire, from the reign of Tiglath-Pileser I (1115–1077 BCE), Adad had a double sanctuary in Assur which he shared with Anu. Anu is often associated with Adad in invocations. The name Adad and various alternate forms and bynames (Dadu, Bir, Dadda) are often found in the names of the Assyrian kings.

Adad/Iškur presents two aspects in the hymns, incantations, and votive inscriptions. On the one hand he is the god who, through bringing on the rain in due season, causes the land to become fertile, and, on the other hand, the storms that he sends out bring havoc and destruction.

He is pictured on monuments and cylinder seals (sometimes with a horned helmet) with the lightning and the thunderbolt (sometimes in the form of a spear), and in the hymns the sombre aspects of the god on the whole predominate.

His association with the sun-god, Shamash, due to the natural combination of the two deities who alternate in the control of nature, leads to imbuing him with some of the traits belonging to a solar deity.

Shamash and Adad became in combination the gods of oracles and of divination in general. Whether the will of the gods is determined through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal, through observing the action of oil bubbles in a basin of water or through the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, it is Shamash and Adad who, in the ritual connected with divination, are invariably invoked.

Similarly in the annals and votive inscriptions of the kings, when oracles are referred to, Shamash and Adad are always named as the gods addressed, and their ordinary designation in such instances is bele biri (“lords of divination”).

Shamash is frequently associated with the lion, both in mythology and artistic depictions. In the ancient Canaanite religion, a “son of Baal Shamash”, is known for slaying a lion (the son himself possibly an aspect of the god), and Shamash himself is depicted as a lion in religious iconography.

According to the 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica the Shamash cults at Sippar and Larsa so overshadowed local Sun-deities elsewhere as to lead to an absorption of the minor deities by the predominating one, in the systematized pantheon these minor Sun-gods become attendants that do his service.

Such are Bunene, spoken of as his chariot driver and whose consort is Atgi-makh, Kettu (“justice”) and Mesharu (“right”), who were then introduced as attendants of Shamash. In the wake of such syncretism Shamash was usually viewed as the Sun-god in general.

Other Sun-deities such as Ninurta and Nergal, the patron deities of other important centers, retained their independent existences as certain phases of the Sun, with Ninurta becoming the Sun-god of the morning and spring time and Nergal the Sun-god of the noon and the summer solstice.

The attribute most commonly associated with Shamash is justice. Just as the Sun disperses darkness, so Shamash brings wrong and injustice to light. Several centuries before Hammurabi, Ur-Engur of the Ur dynasty (c. 2600 BC) declared that he rendered decisions “according to the just laws of Shamash.”

Hammurabi attributes to Shamash the inspiration that led him to gather the existing laws and legal procedures into code, and in the design accompanying the code the king represents himself in an attitude of adoration before Shamash as the embodiment of the idea of justice.

It was a logical consequence of this conception of the Sun-god that he was regarded also as the one who released the sufferer from the grasp of the demons. The sick man, therefore, appeals to Shamash as the god who can be depended upon to help those who are suffering unjustly.

The consort of Shamash was known as Aya. She is, however, rarely mentioned in the inscriptions except in combination with Shamash. Aya (or Aja) in Akkadian mythology was a mother goddess, consort of the sun god Shamash. She developed from the Sumerian goddess Sherida, consort of Utu.

Sherida is one of the oldest Mesopotamian gods, attested in inscriptions from pre-Sargonic times, her name (as “Aya”) was a popular personal name during the Ur III period (21st-20th century BCE), making her among the oldest Semitic deities known in the region.

When the Semitic Akkadians moved into Mesopotamia, their pantheon became syncretized to the Sumerian. Inanna to Ishtar, Nanna to Sin, Utu to Shamash, etc. The minor Mesopotamian sun goddess Aya became syncretized into Sherida during this process.

As the Sumerian pantheon formalized, Utu became the primary sun god, and Sherida was syncretized into a subordinate role as an aspect of the sun alongside other less powerful solar deities (c.f. Ninurta) and took on the role of Utu’s consort.

Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth. The Babylonians sometimes referred to her as kallatu (the bride), and as such she was known as the wife of Shamash. In fact, she was worshiped as part of a separate-but-attached cult in Shamash’s e-babbar temples in Larsa and Sippar.

By the Neo-Babylonian period at the latest (and possibly much earlier), Shamash and Aya were associated with a practice known as Hasadu, which is loosely translated as a “sacred marriage.”

A room would be set aside with a bed, and on certain occasions the temple statues of Shamash and Aya would be brought together and laid on the bed to ceremonially renew their vows. This ceremony was also practiced by the cults of Marduk with Sarpanitum, Nabu with Tashmetum, and Anu with Antu.

Ishara (išḫara) is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deities, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. She first appeared in Ebla and was incorporated to the Hurrian pantheon from which she found her way to the Hittite pantheon.

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

Her main epithet was belet rame, lady of love, which was also applied to Ishtar. In the Epic of Gilgamesh (Tablet II, col. v.28) it says: ‘For Ishara the bed is made’ and in Atra-hasis (I 301-304) she is called upon to bless the couple on the honeymoon.”

Variants of the name appear as Ašḫara (in a treaty of Naram-Sin of Akkad with Hita of Elam) and Ušḫara (in Ugarite texts). In Ebla, there were various logographic spellings involving the sign AMA “mother”. In Alalah, her name was written with the Akkadogram IŠTAR plus a phonetic complement -ra, as IŠTAR-ra.

She was associated with the underworld. Her astrological embodiment is the constellation Scorpio and she is called the mother of the Sebitti (the Seven Stars). As a goddess, Ishara could inflict severe bodily penalties to oathbreakers. In this context, she came to be seen as a “goddess of medicine” whose pity was invoked in case of illness.

Uraš or Urash, in Sumerian mythology, is a goddess of earth, and one of the consorts of the sky god Anu. She is the mother of the goddess Ninsun and a grandmother of the hero Gilgamesh. However, Uras may only have been another name for Antum, Anu’s wife. The name Uras even became applied to Anu himself, and acquired the meaning “heaven”.

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 *h₂éwsōs, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.

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

The name *héwsōs is derived from a root *hews- “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *hews-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *hews-o-m.

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction, *héwsōs, a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wénhos (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 name indicates that the goddess was imagined as a beautiful nubile woman, who also had aspects of a love goddess.

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 Άφροδίτη 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”).

J.P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams (1997) have also proposed an etymology based on the connection with the Indo-European dawn goddess, from *h₂ebʰor- “very” and *dʰey- “to shine”. Other epithets include Ἠριγόνη Erigone “early-born” in Greek.

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 (reflected in the Rigveda as Indra, in Greek mythology as Dionysus and Cronus).

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. Most notably, it is the central myth of the Rigveda, a collection of hymns surrounding the Soma rituals dedicated to Indra in the new year celebrations of the early Indo-Aryans.

Ushas, Sanskrit for “dawn”, is a Vedic deity, and consequently a Hindu deity as well. Ushas is an exalted goddess in the Rig Veda but less prominent in post-Rigvedic texts. She is often spoken of in the plural, “the Dawns.”

She is portrayed as warding off evil spirits of the night, and as a beautifully adorned young woman riding in a golden chariot on her path across the sky. Due to her color she is often identified with the reddish cows, and both are released by Indra from the Vala cave at the beginning of time.

Sanskrit uṣas is an s-stem, i.e. the genitive case is uṣásas. Ushas is derived from the Proto-Indo-European goddess *hausos-. Her cognates in other Indo-European pantheons include the Greek goddess Eos, the Roman goddess Aurora, the Lithuanian goddess Austrine, and the English goddess Ēostre, whose name is probably the root of the modern English word “Easter.”

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