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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The Main God in Mythology and Religion

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on January 9, 2020

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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 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.

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/.

Akkadian took over all these uses and added to them a logographic reading for the native ilum and from that a syllabic reading of /il/. ʼĒl (or ʼIl, Ugaritic: 𐎛𐎍; Phoenician: 𐤀𐤋;[1]‎; cognate to Akkadian: 𒀭, romanized: ilu) is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity”. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic archaic biliteral ʼ‑l, meaning “god”.

Anu (Sumerian) or Anu (Akkadian) 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”. Anu’s primary role in myths is as the ancestor of the Anunnaki, the major deities of Sumerian religion.

He is identified with the north ecliptic pole centered in the constellation Draco and, along with his sons Enlil and Enki, constitutes the highest divine triad personifying the three bands of constellations of the vault of the sky.

By the time of the earliest written records, Anu was rarely worshipped, and veneration was instead devoted to his son Enlil, but, throughout Mesopotamian history, the highest deity in the pantheon was always said to possess the anûtu, meaning “Heavenly power”.

Anu’s consort in the earliest Sumerian texts is the goddess Uraš, but she is later the goddess Ki and, in Akkadian texts, the goddess Antu, whose name is a feminine form of Anu.

His primary cult center was the Eanna temple in the city of Uruk, but, by the Akkadian Period (c. 2334 – 2154 BC), his authority in Uruk had largely been ceded to the goddess Inanna, an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power.

Inanna was originally worshipped in Sumer and was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar. She was known as the “Queen of Heaven” and was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center. She was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the eight-pointed star.

In Uruk, Inanna was usually regarded as the daughter of the sky god An, but, in the Isin tradition, she is usually described as the daughter of the moon god Nanna (who was later known as Sin). In literary texts, she is sometimes described as the daughter of Enlil or the daughter of Enki.

Utu, later worshipped by East Semitic peoples as Shamash, was the ancient Mesopotamian Sun god – god of justice, morality, and truth, and the twin of the goddess Inanna, In Sumerian texts, Inanna and Utu are shown as extremely close; in fact, their relationship frequently borders on incestuous.

The authors of the Hebrew Bible generally attempt to portray the sun in a non-anthropomorphic manner, sometimes using it as a symbol of Yahweh’s power. The Hebrew word for “sun”, šapaš or šemeš, is often substituted for euphemisms, such as the word or, meaning “light”. These authors appear to have made a conscious effort to avoid implications of sun worship, even of a Yahwistic variety, at all costs. Specifically, God creates the “greater light,” the “lesser light,” and the stars.

According to Victor Hamilton, most scholars agree that the choice of “greater light” and “lesser light”, rather than the more explicit “Sun” and “Moon”, is anti-mythological rhetoric intended to contradict widespread contemporary beliefs that the Sun and the Moon were deities themselves. However, the Woman of the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation, may directly allude to ancient Near Eastern sun goddesses.

In ancient Hittite religion, Anu is a former ruler of the gods, who was overthrown by his son Kumarbi, who bit off his father’s genitals and gave birth to the storm god Teshub. Teshub overthrew Kumarbi, avenged Anu’s mutilation, and became the new king of the gods. This story was the later basis for the castration of Ouranos in Hesiod’s Theogony.

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

Enlil, later known as Elil, is an ancient Mesopotamian god associated with wind, air, earth, and storms. He is first attested as the chief deity of the Sumerian pantheon, but he was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Hurrians. Enlil’s name comes from ancient Sumerian EN (𒀭𒂗𒆤), meaning “lord” and LÍL meaning “wind”. His name therefore literally translates as “Lord Wind”.

The Babylonian god Bel (from Akkadian bēlu, signifying “lord” or “master”) was a syncretic deity of Enlil, Marduk, and the shepherd deity Dumuzid. It is a title rather than a genuine name, applied to various gods in the Mesopotamian religion of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia. The feminine form is Belit (“Lady, Mistress”). Bel is represented in Greek as Belos and in Latin as Belus. Linguistically Bel is an East Semitic form cognate with Northwest Semitic Baal with the same meaning.

Dyēus (PIE: *Dyḗws, *Dyḗus, or Dyēus ; litt. “Daylight-Sky-God”), also Dyēus Ph₂ter (PIE: *Dyḗws Ph₂tḗr, *Dyḗus Pḥatḗr, or Dyēus Pətḗr ; litt. “Daylight-Sky-God Father”) is the reconstructed name of the Daylight-Sky-God in Proto-Indo-European mythology. Dyēus was the Sky or Day conceived as a divine entity, and thus the dwelling of the gods, the Heaven.

There is some disagreement on the exact reconstruction (*Dyēus, *Dyḗws, *Dyḗus), the matter being further complicated by the multiplicity of connotations associated with the root (the sky, brightness, day, and divinity), all of which playing a part in the original meaning. Despite this, cognates stemming from the word are among the most widely attested in Indo-European languages.

While its existence is not directly attested by archaeological or written materials, Dyēus is considered by scholars the most securely reconstructed deity from the Indo-European pantheon, and identical formulas that referred to him can be found in later Indo-European languages and myths of the Greeks, Latins, Illyrians, Indo-Aryans and Hittites.

As the gateway to the deities and the father of both the Divine Twins and the goddess of the dawn, Hausōs, Dyēus was a prominent deity in the Proto-Indo-European pantheon. He was however likely not their ruler or the holder of the supreme power like Zeus and Jupiter.

Dyēus was the daylight sky imagined as a deity and the seat of the gods, the *deiwós. Associated with the bright sky and the fertile rain, he was often paired with *Dhéǵhōm, the Earth Mother or Mother Earth, who represents, or is a personification of nature, motherhood, fertility, creation, destruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth.

Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́ (Vedic Sanskrit: Dyáuṣpitṛ́, literally ‘Sky Father’) is the ‘Father Heaven’ deity of the Vedic pantheon related to and possibly from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European Sky father god, Dyeus. He is also referred to under different theonyms: Dyavaprithvi, for example, is a dvandva compound combining ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ as Dyaus Pitr and Prithvi Mata.

Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́ appears in hymns with Prithvi Mata ‘Mother Earth’ in the ancient scriptures of Hinduism. The noun dyaús (when used without the pitā́ ‘father’) refers to the daylit sky, and occurs frequently in the Rigveda, as an entity. The sky in Vedic writing was described as rising in three tiers, avamá, madhyamá, and uttamá or tṛtī́ya.

He is significant in comparative philology scholarship of Proto-Indo-European religion as similar vocative and nominative concepts share a similar derivation from the Indo-European language, such as Dies Pater and Jupiter (Latin), Zeus Patér (Ancient Greek), Dievas, Tius or Zio (Old High German) and Toutiks dipater (South Picene), all of which like Dyáuṣ Pitṛ́ mean ‘sky father’.

This, and many other parallels such as the similarity of Vedic rain god Parjanya to Slavic Perun, Lithuanian Perkūnas, and Norse Thor and Fjörgyn, led 19th-century scholars to comparative mythology studies and a conjecture that Vedic, post-Vedic, Greek, and Roman rituals likely had more ancient Proto-Indo-European roots.

In Egyptian mythology, Ptah (Ancient Egyptian: ptḥ, reconstructed [piˈtaħ]; Ancient Greek: ⲡⲧⲁϩ) is the demiurge of Memphis, god of craftsmen and architects. In the triad of Memphis, he is the husband of Sekhmet and the father of Nefertum. He was also regarded as the father of the sage Imhotep.

Ptah is an Egyptian creator god who existed before all other things and, by his will, thought the world into existence. It was first conceived by Thought, and realized by the Word: Ptah conceives the world by the thought of his heart and gives life through the magic of his Word. That which Ptah commanded was created, with which the constituents of nature, fauna, and flora, are contained. He also plays a role in the preservation of the world and the permanence of the royal function.

Ptah is generally represented in the guise of a man with green skin, contained in a shroud sticking to the skin, wearing the divine beard, and holding a sceptre combining three powerful symbols of ancient Egyptian religion: The Was sceptre, the sign of life, Ankh, and the Djed pillar. These three combined symbols indicate the three creative powers of the god: power (was), life (ankh) and stability (djed).

Sekhmet is a warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath formed the desert. She was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. Upon death, Sekhmet continued to protect them, bearing them to the afterlife.

Sekhmet is also a solar deity, sometimes called the daughter of Ra and often associated with the goddesses Hathor and Bastet. She bears the Uraeus, which associates her with Wadjet and royalty, and the solar disk.

Nefertem (possibly “beautiful one who closes” or “one who does not close”; also spelled Nefertum or Nefer-temu) was, in Egyptian mythology, originally a lotus flower at the creation of the world, who had arisen from the primal waters. He represented both the first sunlight and the delightful smell of the Egyptian blue lotus flower, having arisen from the primal waters within an Egyptian blue water-lily, Nymphaea caerulea.

Bastet or Bast (Ancient Egyptian: bꜣstjt “She of the Ointment Jar”) was a goddess of ancient Egyptian religion, worshiped as early as the Second Dynasty (2890 BCE). She was originally worshiped throughout most of ancient Egyptian history in Bubastis in Lower Egypt as a fierce lioness warrior goddess of the sun, a role shared by other deities such as Sekhmet.

As protector of Lower Egypt, she was seen as defender of the king, and consequently of the sun god, Ra. Along with other deities such as Hathor, Sekhmet, and Isis, Bastet was associated with the Eye of Ra. She has been depicted as fighting the evil snake named Apep, an enemy of Ra.

In addition to her solar connections, sometimes she was called “eye of the moon”. Bastet was also a goddess of pregnancy and childbirth, possibly because of the fertility of the domestic cat.

She was later she was changed into the cat goddess that is familiar today, becoming Bastet. Eventually Bastet and Sekhmet were characterized as two aspects of the same goddess, with Sekhmet representing the powerful warrior and protector aspect and Bastet, who increasingly was depicted as a cat, representing a gentler aspect.

Her name also is rendered as B’sst, Baast, Ubaste, and Baset. In ancient Greek religion, she was known as Ailuros (“cat”). She then was depicted as the daughter of Ra and Isis, and the consort of Ptah, with whom she had a son Maahes.

Maahes (also spelled Mihos, Miysis, Mios, Maihes, or Mahes) was an ancient Egyptian lion-headed god of war, whose name means “he who is true beside her”. He was seen as the son of the Creator god Ptah, as well as the feline goddess (Bast in Lower Egypt or Sekhmet in Upper Egypt) whose nature he shared. Maahes was a deity associated with war, protection, and weather, as well as that of knives, lotuses, and devouring captives. His cult was centred in Taremu and Per-Bast, the cult centres of Sekhmet and Bast respectively.

The name of Maahes begins with the hieroglyphs for the male lion, although in isolation it also means (one who can) see in front. Some of the titles of Maahes were Lord of Slaughter, Wielder of the Knife, and The Scarlet Lord. He was pictured as a man with the head of a male lion, sometimes holding a knife and a bouquet of lotus flowers, referring to his connection with Nefertum, who was symbolized by the lotus.

Maahes was considered the son of Ra with the feline goddess Bastet, or of another feline goddess, Sekhmet. He was sometimes identified with another son of Sekhmet, Nefertum. Maahes was said to fight Ra’s archenemy, the serpent Apep, during Ra’s nightly voyage. Considered to have powerful attributes, feline deities were associated with the pharaohs, and became patrons of Egypt. The male lion hieroglyphic was used in words such as “prince”, “mashead”, “strength”, and “power”.

One Response to “The Main God in Mythology and Religion”

  1. gunst01 said

    Reblogged this on Die Goldene Landschaft.

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