Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

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  • The Fertile Crescent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    War in the Fertile Crescent
    https://aratta.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/war-in-the-fertile-crescent

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

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D/T – the name of the god in Eurasia

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on April 26, 2019

Dingir (𒀭, usually transliterated DIĜIR) is a Sumerian word for “god.” Its cuneiform sign is most commonly employed as the determinative for religious names and related concepts, in which case it is not pronounced and is conventionally transliterated as a superscript “D” as in e.g. DInanna.

The cuneiform sign by itself was originally an ideogram for the Sumerian word an (“sky” or “heaven”); its use was then extended to a logogram for the word diĝir (“god” or goddess) and the supreme deity of the Sumerian pantheon An, and a phonogram for the syllable /an/.

Anu or An is the divine personification of the sky, supreme God, and ancestor of all the deities in ancient Mesopotamian religion. Anu was believed to be the supreme source of all authority, for the other gods and for all mortal rulers, and he is described in one text as the one “who contains the entire universe”.

The Sumerian sign DIĜIR Cuneiform sumer originated as a star-shaped ideogram indicating a god in general, or the Sumerian god An, the supreme father of the gods. Dingir also meant sky or heaven in contrast with ki which meant earth. Its emesal pronunciation was dimer.

The concept of “divinity” in Sumerian is closely associated with the heavens, as is evident from the fact that the cuneiform sign doubles as the ideogram for “sky”, and that its original shape is the picture of a star. The original association of “divinity” is thus with “bright” or “shining” hierophanies in the sky.

According to one interpretation, DINGIR could also refer to a priest or priestess although there are other Akkadian words ēnu and ēntu that are also translated priest and priestess. For example, nin-dingir (lady divine) meant a priestess who received foodstuffs at the temple of Enki in the city of Eridu.

Dyēus or Dyēus Phter (Proto-Indo-European: *dyḗws ph₂tḗr, also *Dyḗus Ph2tḗr or Dyēus Pətḗr, alternatively spelled dyēws) is believed to have been the chief deity in Proto-Indo-European mythology. Part of a larger pantheon, he was the god of the daylit sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in Proto-Indo-European society.

This deity is not directly attested; rather, scholars have reconstructed this deity from the languages and cultures of later Indo-European peoples such as the Greeks, Latins, and Indo-Aryans. According to this scholarly reconstruction, Dyeus was known as Dyḗus Ph2tḗr, literally “sky father” or “shining father”, as reflected in Latin Iūpiter, Diēspiter, possibly Dis Pater and deus pater, Greek Zeus Pater, Vedic Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́.

Rooted in the related but distinct Indo-European word *deiwos is the Latin word for deity, deus. The Latin word is also continued in English “divine” and “deity”. The Old English word for Tuesday, “Tiwesdæg”, means “Tiw’s Day”, while in Old Norse tívar’ may be continued in the toponym Tiveden (“Wood of the Gods”, or of Týr).

As the pantheons of the individual mythologies related to Proto-Indo-European religion evolved, attributes of Dyeus seem to have been redistributed to other deities.

Demeter’s character as mother-goddess is identified in the second element of her name meter (μήτηρ) derived from Proto-Indo-European *méh₂tēr (mother). In antiquity, different explanations were already proffered for the first element of her name.

It is possible that Da (Δᾶ), a word which corresponds to Ge (Γῆ) in Attic, is the Doric form of De (Δῆ), “earth”, the old name of the chthonic earth-goddess, and that Demeter is “Mother-Earth”.

Wanax (wa-na-ka) was her male companion (Greek: Paredros) in Mycenaean cult. The Arcadian cult links her to the god Poseidon, who probably substituted the male companion of the Great Goddess ; Demeter may therefore be related to a Minoan Great Goddess (Cybele).

Anax (from earlier wánax) is an ancient Greek word for “tribal chief, lord, (military) leader”. It is one of the two Greek titles traditionally translated as “king”, the other being basileus, and is inherited from Mycenaean Greece, and is notably used in Homeric Greek, e.g. of Agamemnon. The feminine form is anassa, “queen” (from wánassa, itself from *wánakt-ja).

Cybele (Phrygian: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya “Kubileya/Kubeleya Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible forerunner in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük in Anatolia, where statues of plump women dated to the 6th millennium BC sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations and identified by some as a mother goddess.

The Queen Mother of the West, known by various local names, is a goddess in Chinese religion and mythology, also worshipped in neighbouring Asian countries, and attested from ancient times. The first mentions of the Queen Mother date back to the oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang dynasty (1766 – 1122 BC).

The first historical information on her can be traced back to oracle bone inscriptions of the fifteenth century BC that record sacrifices to a “Western Mother”. She is also known in contemporary sources as the Lady Queen Mother. In the Maternist current of Chinese salvationist religions she is the main deity and is called upon as the Eternal Venerable Mother.

Tang writers called her “Golden Mother the First Ruler”, the “Golden Mother of Tortoise Mountain”, “She of the Nine Numina and the Grand Marvel”, and the “Perfected Marvel of the Western Florescence and Ultimate Worthy of the Cavernous Darkness”. Commoners and poets of the era referred to her more simply as the “Queen Mother”, the “Divine Mother”, or simply “Nanny” (Amah).

Even though these inscriptions illustrate that she predates organized Taoism, she is most often associated with Taoism. From her name alone some of her most important characteristics are revealed: she is royal, female, and is associated with the west.

The growing popularity of the Queen Mother of the West, as well as the beliefs that she was the dispenser of prosperity, longevity, and eternal bliss took place during the second century BC when the northern and western parts of China were able to be better known because of the opening of the Silk Road.

Tiān (天) is one of the oldest Chinese terms for heaven and a key concept in Chinese mythology, philosophy, and religion.

The Shang dynasty (Chinese: 商朝; pinyin: Shāngcháo) or Yin dynasty (殷代; Yīndài), according to traditional historiography, ruled in the Yellow River valley in the second millennium BC, succeeding the Xia dynasty and followed by the Zhou dynasty. It is the earliest dynasty of traditional Chinese history supported by archaeological evidence.

Excavation at the Ruins of Yin (near modern-day Anyang), which has been identified as the last Shang capital, uncovered eleven major royal tombs and the foundations of palaces and ritual sites, containing weapons of war and remains from both animal and human sacrifices. Tens of thousands of bronze, jade, stone, bone, and ceramic artifacts have been found.

The Anyang site has yielded the earliest known body of Chinese writing, mostly divinations inscribed on oracle bones – turtle shells, ox scapulae, or other bones. More than 20,000 were discovered in the initial scientific excavations during the 1920s and 1930s, and over four times as many have been found since. The inscriptions provide critical insight into many topics from the politics, economy, and religious practices to the art and medicine of this early stage of Chinese civilization.

Around 2000 BC, the legendary sage-kings Zhuanxu and Emperor Ku are said to have established their capitals in the area around Anyang from where they ruled their kingdoms. Their mausoleums are today situated in Sanyang village south of Neihuang County.

At the beginning of the 14th century BC, King Pangeng of the Shang Dynasty established his capital 2 km (1.2 mi) north of the modern city on the banks of the Huan River. The city, known as Yin, was the first stable capital in Chinese history and from that point on the dynasty that founded it would also become known as the Yin Dynasty.

The capital served 12 kings in 8 generations including Wu Ding, under whom the dynasty reached the zenith of its power, until it was wiped out along with the dynasty that was founded by King Wu of the Zhou in 1046 BC.

Kù (simplified Chinese: 喾; traditional Chinese: 嚳), usually referred to as Dì Kù (simplified Chinese: 帝喾; traditional Chinese: 帝嚳), also known as Gaoxin or Gāoxīn Shì (Chinese: 高辛氏), was a descendant of Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor. He is considered the ancestor of the ruling families of certain subsequent dynasties.

The Yellow Emperor, also known as the Yellow Thearch, the Yellow God or the Yellow Lord, or simply by his Chinese name Huangdi, is a deity (shen) in Chinese religion, one of the legendary Chinese sovereigns and culture heroes included among the mytho-historical Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors and cosmological Five Forms of the Highest Deity (五方上帝 Wǔfāng Shàngdì).

Huangdi’s cult became prominent in the late Warring States and early Han dynasty, when he was portrayed as the originator of the centralized state, as a cosmic ruler, and as a patron of esoteric arts. A large number of texts – such as the Huangdi Neijing, a medical classic, and the Huangdi Sijing, a group of political treatises – were thus attributed to him.

Having waned in influence during most of the imperial period, in the early twentieth century Huangdi became a rallying figure for Han Chinese attempts to overthrow the rule of the Qing dynasty, which they considered foreign because its emperors were Manchu people. To this day the Yellow Emperor remains a powerful symbol within Chinese nationalism.

Traditionally credited with numerous inventions and innovations – ranging from the Chinese calendar to an ancestor of football – the Yellow Emperor is now regarded as the initiator of Chinese culture, and said to be the ancestor of all Chinese.

Most scholars now agree that the Yellow Emperor originated as a god who was later represented as a historical person. Historian of ancient China, Mark Edward Lewis speaks of the Yellow Emperor’s “earlier nature as a god”, whereas Roel Sterckx, a professor at University of Cambridge, calls Huangdi a “legendary cultural hero”.

According to Yang Kuan the Yellow Emperor started to be described as the first ruler of China only in the Warring States period and thus argue that Huangdi was a later transformation of Shangdi, the supreme god of the Shang dynasty’s pantheon.

K. C. Chang sees Huangdi and other cultural heroes as “ancient religious figures” who were “euhemerized” in the late Warring States, an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation.

It followed the Spring and Autumn period and concluded with the Qin wars of conquest that saw the annexation of all other contender states, which ultimately led to the Qin state’s victory in 221 BC as the first unified Chinese empire, known as the Qin dynasty.

Some sources treat Ku as a semi-historical figure, while others make fantastic mythological or religious claims about him. Besides varying in their degree of historicizing Ku, the various sources also differ in what specific stories about him they focus on, so that putting together the various elements of what is known regarding Ku results in a multifaceted story.

Di Ku was (according to many versions of the list) one of the Five Emperors of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors of Chinese mythology. Ku, or Gaoxin, is also known as the “White Emperor”. Although Ku held the title Di, it is unclear what territory, if any, his empire might have consisted of.

He went by the name Gaoxin until receiving imperial authority, when he took the name Ku and the title Di, thus being known as Di Ku. The same title Di was later assumed by the King of Qin, upon conquering his neighboring kingdoms and forging them into the first historically-known empire of China.

During the Shang dynasty (17–11th centuries BCE), the Chinese referred to their supreme god as Shàngdì (上帝, “Lord on High”; Wade–Giles: Shang Ti) also written simply, “Emperor” (Chinese: 帝; pinyin: Dì) is the Chinese term for “Supreme Deity” or “Highest Deity” in the theology of the classical texts, especially deriving from Shang theology.

It is finding an equivalent in the later Tian (“Heaven” or “Great Whole”) of Zhou theology. During the following Zhou dynasty, Tiān became synonymous with this figure. Heaven worship was, before the 20th century, an orthodox state religion of China.

Although in Chinese religion the usage of “Tian” to refer to the absolute God of the universe is predominant, “Shangdi” continues to be used in a variety of traditions, including certain philosophical schools, certain strains of Confucianism, some Chinese salvationist religions (notably Yiguandao) and Chinese Protestant Christianity.

In Taoism and Confucianism, Tiān (the celestial aspect of the cosmos, often translated as “Heaven”) is mentioned in relationship to its complementary aspect of Dì (地, often translated as “Earth”). These two aspects of Daoist cosmology are representative of the dualistic nature of Taoism.

They are thought to maintain the two poles of the Three Realms (三界) of reality, with the middle realm occupied by Humanity (人, Rén), and the lower world occupied by demons (魔, Mó) as false gods or idols and ghosts (鬼, Guǐ) as disembodied souls, spirits of the deceased of faint shadowy semblance to only reveal an image not clearly substantial.

For the etymology of tiān, Schuessler (2007:495) links it with the Mongolian word tengri “sky, heaven, heavenly deity” or the Tibeto-Burman words taleŋ (Adi) and tǎ-lyaŋ (Lepcha), both meaning “sky”.

Schuessler (2007:211) also suggests a likely connection between Chinese tiān 天, diān 巔 “summit, mountaintop”, and diān 顛 “summit, top of the head, forehead”, which have cognates such as Naga tiŋ “sky”.

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