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The god of justice, oath and judgement

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 17, 2018

The Phrygian cap or liberty cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with several peoples in Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia, Dacia, and the Balkans. In early modern Europe it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty.

It is used in the coat of arms of certain Republics or of republican State institutions in the place where otherwise a Crown would be used (in the heraldry of monarchies). It thus came to be identified as a symbol of the republican form of government. A number of national personifications, in particular France’s Marianne, are commonly depicted wearing the Phrygian cap.

The Phrygian cap reappears in figures related to the first to fourth century religion Mithraism. The first extant record of Mitra, in the form mi-it-ra-, is in the inscribed peace treaty of c. 1400 BC between Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of the Mitanni in the area southeast of Lake Van in Asia Minor.

Thutmose III of Egypt, mention the people of Ermenen in 1446 BC, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”. Thutmose was the first Pharaoh to cross the Euphrates to reach the Armenian Highlands. To this day Kurds and Turks refer to Armenians by Ermeni.

Both Vedic Mitra and Avestan Mithra derive from an Indo-Iranian common noun *mitra-, generally reconstructed to have meant “covenant, treaty, agreement, promise.” This meaning is preserved in Avestan miθra “covenant.” In Sanskrit and modern Indo-Aryan languages, mitra means “friend,” one of the aspects of bonding and alliance.

It is suggested to be a derivation from the Proto-Indo-European root *mei “to exchange.” A suggested alternative derivation was *meh “to measure” or *mei as “to bind.” Combining the root *mei with the “tool suffix” -tra- “that which [causes] …”, then literally means “that which binds,” and thus “covenant, treaty, agreement, promise, oath” etc.

It is also suggested to mean “to fasten, strengthen”, which may be found in Latin moenia “city wall, fortification”, and in an antonymic form, Old English (ge)maere “border, boundary-post”.

Mithra is the Zoroastrian angelic divinity (yazata) of Covenant, Light, and Oath. In addition to being the Divinity of Contracts, Mithra is also a judicial figure, an all-seeing Protector of Truth, and the Guardian of Cattle, the Harvest, and of the Waters.

In Zoroastrianism, Mithra is a member of the trinity of ahuras, protectors of asha/arta, “truth” or “[that which is] right”. It is a concept of cardinal importance. In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism”. The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “deceit, falsehood”.

Together with Rashnu “Justice” and Sraosha “Obedience”, Mithra is one of the three judges at the Chinvat Bridge, the “Bridge of Separation” that all Souls must cross. Unlike Sraosha, Mithra is not, however, a Psychopomp, a guide of souls to the place of the dead. Should the Good Thoughts, Words and Deeds outweigh the Bad, Sraosha alone conveys the Soul across the Bridge.

The Romans attributed their Mithraic mysteries (the mystery religion known as Mithraism) to “Persian” (i.e. Zoroastrian) sources relating to Mithra. The religion was inspired by Persian worship of the god Mithra (proto-Indo-Iranian Mitra), though the Greek Mithras was linked to a new and distinctive imagery.

Tiwaz (Stem: Tiwad-) was the Luwian Sun-god. He was among the most important gods of the Luwians. The name of the Proto-Anatolian Sun god can be reconstructed as *Diuod-, which derives from the Proto-Indo-European word *dei- (“shine”, “glow”).

In Bronze Age texts, Tiwaz is often referred to as “Father” and as “Great Tiwaz”, and invoked along with the “Father gods”. His Bronze Age epithet, “Tiwaz of the Oath” (cuneiform Luwian: ḫirutalla- dUTU-az), indicates that he was an oath-god.

In the Hittite and Hurrian religions the Sun goddess of the Earth played an important role in the death cult and was understood to be the ruler of the world of the dead. For the Luwians there is a Bronze Age source which refers to the “Sun god of the Earth”: “If he is alive, may Tiwaz release him, if he is dead, may the Sun god of the Earth release him”.

The Sun god of Heaven was a Hittite solar deity. The Sun god of Heaven was identified with the Hurrian solar deity, Šimige. The Sun god of Heaven was the protector of the Hittite king, indicated by a winged solar disc on the royal seals, and was the god of the kingdom par excellence.

The god played an important role as the foremost oath god in interstate treaties. As a result of the influence of the Mesopotamian Sun god Šamaš, the Sun god of Heaven also gained an important role as the god of law, legality, and truth.

He was the second-most worshipped solar deity of the Hittites, after the Sun goddess of Arinna, who protected the Hittite kingdom and was called the “Queen of all lands.” From the Hittite Old Kingdom, she was the chief goddess of the Hittite state.

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

She is Phrygia’s only known goddess, and was probably its state deity. Many of her Greek cults included rites to a divine Phrygian castrate shepherd-consort Attis, who was probably a Greek invention. In Greece, Cybele is associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions.

Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas, a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite (Venus). Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgil’s Aeneid, where he is an ancestor of Romulus and Remus. He became the first true hero of Rome.

Tiwaz was the descendant of the male Sun god of the Indo-European religion, Dyeus. This name is cognate with the Norse Tyr. Utu, later worshipped by East Semitic peoples as Shamash, was the ancient Mesopotamian god of the sun, justice, morality, and truth.

The t-rune ᛏ is named after Týr, and was identified with this god. The reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is *Tîwaz or *Teiwaz. Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”.

Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome.

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.

Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming. Astrologically, Aries has been associated with Mars, both the planet and the god.

Aries 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 from approximately March 20 to April 21 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. It figures in the tale of the hero Jason and his crew of Argonauts, who set out on a quest for the fleece by order of King Pelias, in order to place Jason rightfully on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly. Through the help of Medea, they acquire the Golden Fleece.

The First Point of Aries, the location of the vernal equinox, is named for the constellation. This is because the Sun crossed the celestial equator from south to north in Aries more than two millennia ago.

Hipparchus defined it in 130 BC. as a point south of Gamma Arietis. Because of the precession of the equinoxes, the First Point of Aries has since moved into Pisces and will move into Aquarius by around 2600 AD.

In ancient Egyptian astronomy, Aries was associated with the god Amon-Ra, who was depicted as a man with a ram’s head and represented fertility and creativity. Because it was the location of the vernal equinox, it was called the “Indicator of the Reborn Sun”.

Libra is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 180°–210° celestial longitude. Libra was known in Babylonian astronomy as MUL Zibanu (the “scales” or “balance”), or alternatively as the Claws of the Scorpion. The scales were held sacred to the sun god Shamash, who was also the patron of truth and justice.

It only became a constellation in ancient Rome, when it began to represent the scales held by Astraea, the goddess of justice, associated with Virgo in the Greek mythology. Since these times, Libra has been associated with law, fairness and civility.

It has been suggested that the scales are an allusion to the fact that when the sun entered this part of the ecliptic at the autumnal equinox, the days and nights are equal. According to the Romans in the First Century, Libra was a constellation they idolized. The moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded.

Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. The Roman writer Manilius once said that Libra was the sign “in which the seasons are balanced”. Both the hours of the day and the hours of the night match each other. Thus why the Romans put so much trust in the “balanced sign”.

Libra’s status as the location of the equinox earned the equinox the name “First Point of Libra”, though this location ceased to coincide with the constellation in 730 because of the precession of the equinoxes.

The ruling planet of Libra is Venus, however some may consider Eris (“Strife”), the Greek goddess of strife and discord, as its ruler as well. Hausos is the reconstructed name for the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn.

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-.

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

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction 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.

Aya in Akkadian mythology was a mother goddess, consort of the sun god Shamash. She developed from the Sumerian goddess Sherida, consort of Utu. Aya is Akkadian for “dawn”, and by the Akkadian period she was firmly associated with the rising sun and with sexual love and youth.

Maat or Ma’at (“truth, justice”) refers to the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also the goddess who personified these concepts, and regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals and the deities who had brought order from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological opposite was Isfet, meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil.

After her role in creation and continuously preventing the universe from returning to chaos, her primary role in Egyptian mythology dealt with the weighing of souls (also called the weighing of the heart) that took place in the underworld, Duat. Her feather was the measure that determined whether the souls (considered to reside in the heart) of the departed would reach the paradise of afterlife successfully.

The earliest surviving records indicating that Maat is the norm for nature and society, in this world and the next, were recorded during the Old Kingdom. Later, as a goddess in other traditions of the Egyptian pantheon, where most goddesses were paired with a male aspect, her masculine counterpart was Thoth, as their attributes are similar.

In other accounts, Thoth was paired off with Seshat, goddess of wisdom, knowledge, writing and measure, who is a lesser known deity. Spell 10 of the Coffin Texts states “Seshat opens the door of heaven for you.” She was seen as a scribe and record keeper, and her name means she who scrivens (i.e. she who is the scribe), and is credited with inventing writing.

Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (the other being Ma’at) who stood on either side of Ra’s boat. In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.

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Hvorfor feirer vi 17. mai?

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 16, 2018

Bilderesultat for 17 mai

Bilderesultat for 17 mai

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Den 17. mai er Norges nasjonaldag. På denne dagen i 1814 ble Norges Grunnlov datert og undertegnet av presidentskapet i Riksforsamlingen på Eidsvoll.

Vi feirer trikoloren, den franske revolusjon og den videre utvikling – vi feirer prinsippene og idealene fra opplysningstiden: Liberté, égalité, fraternité – «Frihet, likhet, brorskap». Norge er på mange måter tuftet på dette grunnlaget.

Det som inspirerte dem som møtte opp for å skrive grunnloven, som dannet grunnlaget for utviklingen av folkestyret, var den franske revolusjonen og den franske grunnloven fra 1791, samt den amerikanske uavhengighetserklæringen fra 1776 og amerikanske konstitusjonen fra 1787.

Frihet, likhet, brorskap var budskapet i den franske revolusjonen. Det var radikale, liberale og sosiale verdier som innebar et tidsskifte. Sentrale prinsipper var politisk frihet, ytringsfrihet og maktfordeling. Dette dannet de nye forestillingene om menneskerettigheter.

Hovedprinsippene i Grunnloven bygde stort sett på de samme ideene. Det var en seier for folkesuverenitet, maktfordeling og borgerrettighetene. Folkesuvereniteten innebar at makten skulle ligge hos folket, som dermed hadde rett til å styre seg selv. Maktfordelingen skulle sikre at maktutøvelsen ble delt på tre uavhengige myndigheter. Dette for å hindre maktkonsentrasjon og maktmisbruk.

Borgerrettighetene skulle sikre borgernes «medfødte og umistelige» rettigheter. Grunnloven slo fast borgernes rett til ytringsfrihet, næringsfrihet og rettssikkerhet, selv om den manglet mye av det vi i dag ser på som selvsagte menneskerettigheter.

Menneskerettighetserklæringen ble vedtatt av De forente nasjoners tredje generalforsamling den 10. desember 1948 ved Palais de Chaillot i Paris. Noen av de mest grunnleggende menneskerettighetene er retten til mat, klær og husly. Likevel er dette rettigheter ingen land i verden så langt har klart å innfri for alle sine innbyggere.

I et så overveldende rikt samfunn som vårt er arven fra den franske revolusjonen og amerikanske konstitusjonen først og fremst å gi de som trenger det mest hjelp til å oppleve den samme frihet som oss andre.

Tiden er inne for å for noen radikale endringer. Vi trenger å redefinere arbeid og verdiskapning, og sammen skape et bærekraftig samfunn hvor alle er sikret livets nødvendigheter. Vi må redusere gapet mellom fattig og rik, innføre reelt demokrati, tenke økonomi på en ny måte og innføre borgerlønn.

I klassiske tider var det vanlig å representere ideer og abstrakte enheter av guder, gudinner og allegoriske personligheter. Det var mindre vanlig i middelalderen, men en dette endret seg i renessansen.

Under den franske revolusjonen i 1789 dukket mange personifikasjoner av “Frihet” og “Fornuft” fram. Disse figurene fusjonerte til en kvinnelig figur, som enten sitter eller står og er ledsaget av forskjellige attributter, inkludert trikoloren og frygerlua.

Denne kvinnen symboliserte frihet, fornuft, nasjonen, hjemlandet og republikkens idealer. I september 1792 bestemte nasjonalkonvensjonen ved dekret at den nye statens segl ville representere en stående kvinne som holder et spyd med en frygerlue holdt oppe på toppen av den.

Historikeren Maurice Agulhon, som i flere kjente verker har skrevet detaljerte undersøkelser når det kommer til Mariannes opprinnelse, antyder at det er tradisjonene og mentaliteten til franskmennene som førte til bruk av en kvinne til å representere republikken.

Frankrike og republikken er i selv feminine substantiver på fransk (la France, la République), og det samme kan sies om de franske substantivene (fr: Liberté) og (fr: Raison). En feminin allegori var også et symbol på å bryte med det gamle monarkiet ledet av konger og fremme moderne republikansk ideologi.

Vekten (Libra) er det syvende stjernebilde i dyrekretsen. Det strekker seg mellom 180°–210° på stjernehimmelen. Under den tropiske dyrekretsen beveger sola seg gjennom dette feltet under høstjevdøgnet, som vil si i perioden mellom 23. september og 23. oktober, mens den i den sideriske dyrekretsen beveger seg i denne sonen mellom 16. oktober og 17. november.

Vekten ligger mellom Jomfruen (Virgo) i vest og Skorpionen (Scorpio) i øst. Vekten var kjent i babylonsk astronomi som MUL Zibanu («vekten» eller «balansen»), eller alternativt som «skorpionens klør». Vekten ble holdt hellig av solguden Shamash, som var beskytteren av sannhet og rettferdighet. Den ble også sett på som «skorpionens klør» i antikkens Hellas.

Romerne ideoliserte Vekten og det ble sagt at månen var i Vekten da Roma ble grunnlagt. Alt var balansert under dette rettferdige tegnet. Vekten er basert på vektene holdt av gudinnene Themis og Dike, som er de greske personifiseringene av guddommelig orden, lov og praksis. Hun ble inspirasjon for dagens bilder av Justitia, eller rettferdighetens gudinne.

Justitia er et symbol for lov og rett, der sverdet står for rettshåndhevelsen, vekten for dømmende virksomhet og bindet for upartiskhet. Justitia og hennes sverd og vekt er fortsatt brukt i nye våpenskjold og andre kjennetegn. Hun sammenlignes blant annet med den egyptiske gudinnen Maat, og senere Isis.

Bildet av Isis som vugger eller ammer sin sønn ble dyrket til langt inn på 500-tallet e.vt. før hun ble overtatt og videreført av den kristne jomfru Maria med Kristus-barnet og har gjenoppstått av samtidige «kulter» av en Moder Jord.

Aktelsen for Kristus’ mor tok plassen til dyrkelsen av Isis ved at den ikke ville bli undertrykt i en tid av religiøs intoleranse, og således inkluderte billedspråket assosiert med Hathor-Isis som strakte seg tilbake i tid til 3000 år før kristendommens oppstandelse.

Den herskende planeten av Vekten er Venus. Som et av de mest lyssterke objektene på himmelen har Venus vært kjent siden forhistorisk tid, og som sådan fått en befestet posisjon i menneskelig kultur. Babylonerne navnga planeten Ishtar (sumerisk Inanna), en personifisering av kvinnelighet og gudinnen for kjærlighet.

Innen iransk mytologi, spesielt persisk mytologi, henviser planeten vanligvis til gudinnen Anahita. Romerne, som hadde mye av sitt religiøse syn fra gresk tradisjon, oppkalte planeten Venus etter sin kjærlighetsgudinne. Plinius den eldre identifiserte planeten Venus med Isis.

Hun har mye til felles med norrøn mytologis Frøya, som er krigs-, fruktbarhets- og kjærlighetsgudinnen i norrøn mytologi og viss navn var å finne i navn på ulike planter i Skandinavia frem til det ble skiftet ut med navnet på Jomfru Maria i etterkant av kristningen.

Det astronomiske symbolet for Venus er det samme som man i biologien bruker for å symbolisere hunkjønn: en sirkel med et lite kors under. Symbolet brukes også som et feministsymbol. I vestlig alkymi symboliserer det kobber. I antikken ble polert kobber brukt som speil, og symbolet for Venus er i blant blitt tolket som gudinnens speil.

På grunn av jordas rotasjon ligger Første punkt i Vekten, også kjent som høstjevndøgnet, nå i Virgo, som er basert på den latinske Iustitia eller den greske Astraea (Stjernejomfruen) og har forbindelse med blant annet den indiske guddinnen Kanya og med Jomfru Maria.

Dette er et av to punkter på himmelen hvor stjernehimmelens ekvator krysser eklipten, mens det andre, kjent som Første punkt i Væren (Aries), som er det første stjernetegnet i Dyrekretsen, nå ligger i Fiskene (Pisces).

Ichthys eller fisken er et symbol som har blitt brukt av kristne fra den første kristne tiden. Av flere grunner var dette kanskje det viktigste symbolet blant de første kristne. Bokstavene i det greske ordet for fisk «ΙΧΘΥΣ» er et akronym for “Iesous Khristos, Theou hyios, soter”, som betyr “Jesus Kristus, Guds sønn, frelser”. Symbolet ble med dette en kort trosbekjennelse.

Navnet på måneden mars, og dermed også Aries, eller Væren, kommer av Mars. Mars’ festivaler ble holdt i måneden mars og i oktober. Symbolet for krigsguden Mars ble under middelalderen merke for grunnstoffet jern, planeten mars og hankjønn. Det er i dag vanlig utbredt som generelt maskuline kjønnssymbol. Piktogrammet kan tolkes som krigsgudens skjold og spyd.

Astraea symboliserer renhet og var den siste av de udødelige til å forlate jorden på slutten av sølvalderen, da gudene flyktet til Olympus på grunn av menneskenes dårlige holdninger. Hun steg til himmelen og er å finne i stjernebildet Virgo, mens Vekten symboliserer hennes assosiasjon med den greske gudinnen for rettferdighet, Dike, eller den romerske Justitia.

Gullalderen var ifølge gresk mytologi navnet på den første og beste av de fire tidsaldre som menneskenes historie er delt inn i. Etter Gullalderen fulgte Sølvalderen, Bronsealderen og til slutt Jernalderen, som tilsvarer nåtida. Ifølge legenden vil Astraea en dag vende tilbake til jorda og bringe tilbake den utopiske gullalderen sammen med henne.

Figuren brukes som kjennetegn av mange jurister, som dekorasjon bl.a. på rettsbygninger/tinghus, som motiv i kunst, segl, våpenskjold og lignende. Justitia inngår i seglene på Grunnloven av 17. mai 1814. Bare en stilisert skålvekt er symbol for det gamle tingstedet i Eidsvolls kommunevåpen.

Bilderesultat for cybele

Bilderesultat for løvebakken

Kybele (frygisk: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya «Kubelanske Moder», kanskje «Fjellmoderen») var opprinnelig en modergudinne i Anatolia. Hun kan ha utviklet seg fra anatolisk modergudinne i henhold til en type funnet ved Çatal Höyük, datert til rundt 5000-tallet f.vt. Denne korpulente, fruktbare modergudinnen synes å føde sittende på en trone med to armlener bestående av kattehoder.

Lite er kjent om hennes eldste anatoliske kulter, annet enn hennes tilknytning fjellene, hauker og løver. Hun kan ha blitt oppfattet som Frygias særskilte skytsgudinne, men hennes frygiske kult ble adoptert og tilpasset av greske kolonister langs kysten av Anatolia og kulten spredte seg derfra til det greske fastlandet og til mer fjerne vestlige kolonier på 500-tallet f.vt.

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The redheads and blond hair

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 16, 2018

The Neanderthals 

2012 genetic studies seem to suggest that modern humans may have mated with “at least two groups” of archaic humans: Neanderthals and Denisovans. It is suggested that Denisovans shared a common origin with Neanderthals, that they ranged from Siberia to Southeast Asia, and that they lived among and interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans, with about 3% to 5% of the DNA of Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians deriving from Denisovans.

Neanderthals were archaic humans who lived in Eurasia during roughly 250,000 to 40,000 years ago. They seem to have appeared in Europe and expanded into Southwest and Central Asia. Total Neanderthal effective population size has been estimated at close to 15,000 individuals (corresponding to a total population of roughly 150,000 individuals), living in small isolated, inbred groups.

Since 2010, evidence for substantial admixture of Neanderthals DNA in modern populations has accumulated. Evidence of admixture was found in both European and Asian populations, but not in Africans, suggesting that interbreeding between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans took place after the recent “out of Africa” migration, likely between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago. This is a counter to strict versions of the recent African origin theory, since it would imply that at least part of the genome of Europeans would descend from Neanderthals.

Both Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans are thought to have evolved from Homo erectus between 300,000 and 200,000 years ago. H. erectus had emerged around 1.8 million years ago, and had long been present, in various subspecies throughout Eurasia. The divergence time between the Neanderthal and modern human lineages is estimated at between 800,000 and 400,000 years ago.

Early Neanderthals, living before the Eemian interglacial (130 ka), are poorly known and come mostly from European sites. From 130 ka onwards, the quality of the fossil record increases dramatically. From then on, Neanderthal remains are found in Western, Central, Eastern, and Mediterranean Europe, as well as Southwest, Central, and Northern Asia up to the Altai Mountains in Siberia. No Neanderthal has ever been found outside Central to Western Eurasia, namely neither to the south of 30° N (Shuqba, Levant), nor east of 85° E (Denisova, Siberia).

About 55,000 years ago, the climate began to fluctuate wildly from extreme cold conditions to mild cold and back in a matter of decades. Neanderthal bodies were well-suited for survival in a cold climate—their stocky chests and limbs stored body heat better than the Cro-Magnons. Neanderthals died out in Europe between 41,000 and 39,000 years ago, apparently coinciding with the start of a very cold period.

Raw material sourcing and the examination of faunal remains by Adler et al. (2006) in the southern Caucasus suggest that modern humans may have had a survival advantage during this period, being able to use social networks to acquire resources from a greater area. They found that in both the Late Middle Palaeolithic and Early Upper Palaeolithic more than 95% of stone artifacts were drawn from local material, suggesting Neanderthals restricted themselves to more local sources.

In November 2011 tests conducted at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit in England on what were previously thought to be Neanderthal baby teeth, which had been unearthed in 1964 from the Grotta del Cavallo in Italy, were identified as the oldest modern human remains discovered anywhere in Europe, dating from between 43,000 and 45,000 years ago.

Modern humans co-existed with them in Europe starting around 45,000 years ago and perhaps even earlier. Neanderthals inhabited that continent long before the arrival of modern humans. These modern humans may have introduced a disease that contributed to the extinction of Neanderthals, and that may be added to other recent explanations for their extinction.

When Neanderthal ancestors left Africa roughly 100,000 years earlier they adapted to the pathogens in their European environment, unlike modern humans who adapted to African pathogens. If contact between humans and Neanderthals occurred in Europe and Asia the first contact may have been devastating to the Neanderthal population, because they would have had little if any immunity to the African pathogens.

More recent historical events in Eurasia and the Americas show a similar pattern, where the unintentional introduction of viral or bacterial pathogens to unprepared populations has led to mass mortality and local population extinction. The most well-known example of this is the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the New World, which brought and introduced foreign diseases when he and his crew arrived to a native population who had no immunity.

The redheads and blond hair

A 2007 genetic study suggested some Neanderthals may have had red hair and blond hair, along with a light skin tone. As of 2015, the earliest light eyes and light hair of hominid (Homo sapiens) individuals after the long extinct Neanderthals have been documented in 8,000-year-old remains in Motala, Sweden, belonging to subclades of Haplogroup I2 and mitochondrial Haplogroup U5.

The lightness of the hair ultimately depends on other mutations regulating the general pigmentation of both the skin and hair. Skin and hair pigmentation is caused by two different kinds of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin.

The most common is eumelanin, a brown-black polymer responsible for dark hair and skin, and the tanning of light skin. Pheomelanin has a pink to red hue and is present in lips, nipples, and genitals. The mutations in the MC1R gene imparts the hair and skin more pheomelanin than eumelanin, causing both red hair and freckles.

Redheads have very fair skin, almost always lighter than non-redheads. This is an advantage in northern latitudes and very rainy countries, where sunlight is sparse, as lighter skin improves the absorption of sunlight, which is vital for the production of vitamin D by the body. The drawback is that it confers redheads a higher risk for both sunburns and skin cancer.

Studies have demonstrated that people with red hair are more sensitive to thermal pain and also require greater amounts of anesthetic than people with other hair colours. The reason is that redheads have a mutation in a hormone receptor that can apparently respond to at least two different hormones: the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (for pigmentation) and endorphins (the pain relieving hormone).

Red hair is a recessive genetic trait caused by a series of mutations in the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), a gene located on chromosome 16. As a recessive trait it must be inherited from both parents to cause the hair to become red. Consequently there are far more people carrying the mutation for red hair than people actually having red hair.

Red hair has long been associated with Celtic people. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans described the Celts as redheads. The Romans extended the description to Germanic people, at least those they most frequently encountered in southern and western Germany. It still holds true today.

However, although red hair is an almost exclusively northern and central European phenomenon, isolated cases have also been found in the Middle East, Central Asia (notably among the Tajiks), as well as in some of the Tarim mummies from Xinjiang, in north-western China. All these people share a common ancestry that can be traced back to a single Y-chromosomal haplogroup: R1b.

It has been suggested that red hair could have originated in Paleolithic Europe, especially since Neanderthal also had red hair. The only Neanderthal specimen tested so far (from Croatia) did not carry the same MC1R mutation responsible for red hair in modern humans (the mutation in question in known as Arg307Gly).

However, since Neanderthals evolved alongside Homo Sapiens for 600,000 years, and had numerous subspecies across all Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, it cannot be ruled out that one particular subspecies of Neanderthal passed on the MC1R mutation to Homo Sapiens.

It is however unlikely that this happened in Europe, because red hair is conspicuously absent from, or very low in parts of Europe with the highest percentages of haplogroup I (e.g. Finland, Bosnia, Sardinia) and R1a (Eastern Europe), the only two lineages associated with Mesolithic and Paleolithic Europeans. We must therefore look for the source of red hair, elsewhere. unsurpisingly, the answer lies with the R1b people – thought to have recolonised Central and Western Europe during the Bronze Age.

Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH)

Haplogroup IJK is a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. IJK is a primary branch of the macrohaplogroup HIJK. Its direct descendants are haplogroup IJ and haplogroup K.

The basal paragroup HIJK* has not been identified in living males or ancient remains. Populations with high proportions of males who belong to descendant major haplogroups of Haplogroup HIJK live across widely dispersed areas and populations.

The existence of Haplogroup IJK – the ancestor of both haplogroups IJ and K (M9) – and its evolutionary distance from other subclades of Haplogroup F (M89), supports the inference that haplogroups IJ and K both arose in Southwestern Asia. Living carriers of F* and IJ* have been reported from the Iranian Plateau.

Around 40,000 years ago haplogroup IJK seperated into two distinct new haplogroups which were japplogroups IJ and K. Both originated in southwest Asia but most of the K people went up into central Asia where new mutations took place within the haplogroup. Confirmed examples of K-M9* now appear to be most common amongst some populations in Island South East Asia and Melanesia.

Haplogroup K or K-M9 represents a geographically widespread and diverse haplogroup. The lineages have long been found among males on every continent. It is an old lineage that arose approximately 47,000-50,000 years ago, probably in South Asia or West Asia.

Relative to its age, the internal structure of K2 is extremely complex, and subclades of it are carried by males native to regions including Australasia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Horn of Africa.

It seems that a rapid diversification of K2 (K-M526) into K2a and K2b, followed by K2b1 and P (also known as K2b2) likely occurred in Southeast Asia. K2a and C1 have been found in the oldest sequenced male remains from Western Eurasia (dating from circa 45,000 to 35,000 years BP), such as: Ust’-Ishim man (modern west Siberia) K2a*, Oase 1 (Romania) K2a*, Kostenki 14 (south west Russia) C1b, and Goyet Q116-1 (Belgium) C1a.

This was followed by the relatively rapid westward expansion of P1 (P-M45), the immediate ancestor of both Haplogroups Q and R, which likely emerged in Southeast Asia. It seems that a rapid diversification process of K-M526 likely occurred in Southeast Asia, with subsequent westward expansions of the ancestors of haplogroups R and Q.

Haplogroup Q (M242) is the predominant Y-DNA haplogroup among Native Americans and several peoples of Central Asia and Northern Siberia. Q-M242 is believed to have arisen around the Altai Mountains area (or South Central Siberia), approximately 17,000 to 31,700 years ago.

The SNP M207, which defines Haplogroup R, is believed to have arisen during the Upper Paleolithic era, about 27,000 years ago. Only one confirmed example of basal R* has been found, in 24,000 year old remains, known as MA1, found at Mal’ta–Buret’ culture near Lake Baikal in Siberia.

Haplogroup I and J were subsequently distributed in Asia and Europe in a disjunctive phylogeographic pattern typical of “sibling” haplogroups. A natural geographical corridor like the Balkans is likely to have been used later by members of other subclades of IJ, as well as other haplogroups, including those associated with Early European Farmers.

Haplogroup IJ was in the Middle East and/or Europe about 40,000 years ago. Early evidence for haplogroup J has been found in the Caucasus and Iran. In addition, living examples of the precursor Haplogroup IJ* have been found only in Iran, among the Mazandarani and ethnic Persians from Fars. This may indicate that IJ originated in South West Asia.

Haplogroup I (M170) diverged from common ancestor IJ* about 43,000 years BP. The TMRCA (time to most recent common ancestor) for I-M170 was estimated in 2008 to be 22,200 years ago, with a confidence interval between 15,300–30,000 years ago. The oldest I-M170 found is that of an individual known as Krems WA3 (lower Austria), dating from circa 33,000-24,000 BP.

This would make the founding event of I-M170 approximately contemporaneous with the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which lasted from 26,500 years ago until approximately 19,500 years ago.

It would seem to be that separate waves of population movement impacted Southeastern Europe. The role of the Balkans as a long-standing corridor to Europe from Anatolia and/or the Caucasus is shown by the common phylogenetic origins of both haplogroups I and J in the parent haplogroup IJ (M429). This common ancestry suggests that the subclades of IJ entered the Balkans from Anatolia or the Caucasus, some time before the Last Glacial Maximum.

The available evidence suggests that I-M170 was preceded into areas in which it would later become dominant by haplogroups K2a (K-M2308) and C1 (Haplogroup C-F3393). Consequently, I-M170 represents up to one-fifth of the male population of Europe, being the continent’s second major Y-DNA haplogroup (behind Haplogroup R).

I-M170 is one of the most numerous haplogroups among European males. Subclades can be found in most present-day European populations, with peaks in some Northern European and South East European countries. The haplogroup reaches its maximum frequency in the Balkans (with the highest concentration in present-day Herzegovina). It may be associated with unusually tall males, since those in the Dinaric Alps have been reported to be the tallest in the world.

It is speculated that the initial dispersion of this population corresponds to the diffusion of the Gravettian culture. Later the haplogroup, along with two cases of Haplogroup C, was found in human remains belonging to the culture and in individuals of the Magdalenian and Azilian cultures.

It is suggested that each of the ancestral populations now dominated by a particular subclade of Haplogroup I-M170 experienced an independent population expansion immediately after the Last Glacial Maximum.

Haplogroup I2 (I-M438) originated some time around 26,000–31,000 BCE and has two primary subclades: I-L460 and I-L1251. The haplogroup reaches its maximum frequency in the Dinaric Alps in Eastern Europe (especially in the Balkans), where the men are on record as being the tallest in the world, with a male average height of 185.6 cm (6 ft 1.1 in).

Haplogroup I2a may be the haplogroup of the first anatomically modern humans to inhabit Europe, Cro-Magnon. Basal I2* (I-M438*) has been found in ancient remains from Frankthi cave, in the eastern Peloponnese region of Greece. Along with its modern presence in Crete and Sicily, this may suggest that the haplogroup originated in the Eastern Mediterranean. Haplogroup I2a was the most frequent Y-DNA among western European mesolithic hunter gatherers (WHG).

An I2a1 carrier was a carrier of red hair and others of genes of blond/light hair, while all the Motala hunter-gatherers were light-skinned and blue-eyed males. (Light-skin genes, but not those for blond/red hair, have been found in Siberia on a 17,000-year-old carrier of Haplogroup R*, as well as 8,000–9,000-year-old R1a remains from Karelia.)

Due to the arrival of so-called Early European Farmers, I-M170 is outnumbered by Haplogroup G among Neolithic European remains and by Haplogroup R in later remains. I2 subclade of I-M170 is the main haplogroup found on male remains in Mesolithic Europe, until circa 6,000 BCE, when mass migration into Europe of Middle Eastern farmers carrying Y-DNA G2a happened.

Haplogroup R1b

Haplogroup R* originated in North Asia just before the Last Glacial Maximum (26,500-19,000 years ago). This haplogroup has been identified in the remains of a 24,000 year-old boy from the Altai region, in south-central Siberia (Raghavan et al. 2013). This individual belonged to a tribe of mammoth hunters that may have roamed across Siberia and parts of Europe during the Paleolithic.

Autosomally this Paleolithic population appears to have contributed mostly to the ancestry of modern Europeans and South Asians, the two regions where haplogroup R also happens to be the most common nowadays (R1b in Western Europe, R1a in Eastern Europe, Central and South Asia, and R2 in South Asia).

The oldest forms of R1b (M343, P25, L389) are found dispersed at very low frequencies from Western Europe to India, a vast region where could have roamed the nomadic R1b hunter-gatherers during the Ice Age.

The three main branches of R1b1 (R1b1a, R1b1b, R1b1c) all seem to have stemmed from the Middle East. The southern branch, R1b1c (V88), is found mostly in the Levant and Africa. The northern branch, R1b1a (P297), seems to have originated around the Caucasus, eastern Anatolia or northern Mesopotamia, then to have crossed over the Caucasus, from where they would have invaded Europe and Central Asia. R1b1b (M335) has only been found in Anatolia.

Like its northern counterpart (R1b-M269), R1b-V88 is associated with the domestication of cattle in northern Mesopotamia. Both branches of R1b probably split soon after cattle were domesticated, approximately 10,500 years ago (8,500 BCE).

The origins of haplogroup R1b are complex, and shrouded in controversy to this day. The present author favours the theory of a Middle Eastern origin (a point upon which very few population geneticists disagree) followed by a migration to the North Caucasus and Pontic Steppe, serving as a starting point for a Bronze-age invasion of the Balkans, then Central and Western Europe. This theory also happens to be the only one that explains the presence of red hair among the Udmurts, Central Asians and Tarim mummies.

Haplogroup R1b probably split from R1a during the Upper Paleolithic, roughly 25,000 years ago. The most likely location was Central Asia, around what is now the Caspian Sea, which only became a sea after the last Ice Age ended and the ice caps over western Russia melted. After the formation of the Caspian Sea, these nomadic hunter-gatherers, ended up on the greener and richer Caucaso-Anatolian side of the Caspian, where they may have domesticated local animals, such as cows, pigs, goats and sheep.

It has been hypothetised that R1b people (perhaps alongside neighbouring J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs. With the increase of the human population in the Fertile Crescent from the beginning of the Neolithic (starting 12,000 years ago), selective hunting and culling of herds started replacing indiscriminate killing of wild animals.

The increased involvement of humans in the life of aurochs, wild boars and goats led to their progressive taming. Cattle herders probably maintained a nomadic or semi-nomadic existence, while other people in the Fertile Crescent (presumably represented by haplogroups E1b1b, G and T) settled down to cultivate the land or keep smaller domesticates.

The analysis of bovine DNA has revealed that all the taurine cattle (Bos taurus) alive today descend from a population of only 80 aurochs. The earliest evidence of cattle domestication dates from circa 8,500 BCE in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures in the Taurus Mountains.

The two oldest archaeological sites showing signs of cattle domestication are the villages of Çayönü Tepesi in southeastern Turkey and Dja’de el-Mughara in northern Iraq, two sites only 250 km away from each others. This is presumably the area from which R1b lineages started expanding – or in other words the “original homeland” of R1b.

The early R1b cattle herders would have split in at least three groups. One branch (M335) remained in Anatolia, but judging from its extreme rarity today wasn’t very successful, perhaps due to the heavy competition with other Neolithic populations in Anatolia, or to the scarcity of pastures in this mountainous environment. A second branch migrated south to the Levant, where it became the V88 branch. Some of them searched for new lands south in Africa, first in Egypt, then colonising most of northern Africa, from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahel.

The third branch (P297), crossed the Caucasus into the vast Pontic-Caspian Steppe, which provided ideal grazing grounds for cattle. They split into two factions: R1b1a1 (M73), which went east along the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, and R1b1a2 (M269), which at first remained in the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe between the Dnieper and the Volga.

It is not yet clear whether M73 actually migrated across the Caucasus and reached Central Asia via Kazakhstan, or if it went south through Iran and Turkmenistan. In any case, M73 would be a pre-Indo-European branch of R1b, just like V88 and M335.

If the mutation for red hair was inherited from Neanderthal, it would have been from a Central Asian Neanderthal, perhaps from modern Uzbekistan, or an East Anatolian/Mesopotamian one. The mutation probably passed on to some other (extinct?) lineages for a few millennia, before being inherited by the R1b tribe. Otherwise, it could also have arisen independently among R1b people as late as the Neolithic period (but no later).

Proto-Indo-Europeans

Developing pottery, or more probably acquiring the skills from Middle Eastern neighbours (notably tribes belonging to haplogroup G2a), part of the R1b tribe migrated across the Caucasus to take advantage of the vast expanses of grassland for their herds.

This is where the Proto-Indo-European culture would have emerged, and spread to the native R1a tribes of the Eurasian steppe, with whom the R1b people blended to a moderate level (the reason why there is always a minority of R1b among predominantly R1a populations today, anywhere from Eastern Europe to Siberia and India).

The domestication of the horse in the Volga-Ural region circa 4000-3500 BCE, combined with the emergence of bronze working in the North Caucasus around 3300 BCE, would lead to the spectacular expansion of R1b and R1a lineages, an adventure that would lead these Proto-Indo-European speakers to the Atlantic fringe of Europe to the west, to Siberia to the east, and all the way from Egypt to India to the south.

From 3500 BCE, the vast majority of the R1b migrated westward along the Black Sea coast, to the metal-rich Balkans, where they mixed with the local inhabitants of Chalcolithic “Old Europe”. A small number of R1b accompanied R1a to Siberia and Central Asia, which is why red hair very occasionally turns up in R1a-dominant populations of those areas (who usually still have a minority of R1b among their lineages, although some tribes may have lost them due to the founder effect).

The archeological record indicates that this sustained series of invasions was extremely violent and led to the complete destruction of the until then flourishing civilizations of the Balkans and Carpathians. The R1b invaders took local women as wives and concubines, creating a new mixed ethnicity. The language evolved in consequence, adopting loanwords from the languages of Old Europe. This new ethnic and linguistic entity could be referred to as the Proto-Italo-Celto-Germanic people.

After nearly a millennium in the Danubian basin (as far west as Bavaria), they would continue their westward expansion (from 2500 BCE) to Western Europe. In fact, the westward expansion was most likely carried out exclusively by the westernmost faction of R1b, who had settled north of the Alps, around Austria and Bavaria, and developed the Unetice culture.

Many R1b lineages have remained in the Balkans, where they have gradually mixed with the indigenous populations, then with successive waves of immigrants and invaders over the next millennia, such as the Greeks, the Romans, the Bulgars and the Ottomans.

Almost all trace of red hair was lost in south-eastern Europe due to the high number of dark haired people brought by the long wave of invasions to the region over the last 5000 years. According to ancient Greek writers, red hair was common among the Thracians, who lived around modern Bulgaria, an region where rufosity has almost completely disappeared today. Red hair alleles may have survived in the local gene pool though, but cannot be expressed due to the lack of other genes for light hair pigmentation.

The red-haired Proto-Indo-Europeans split in three branches (Proto-Italic, Proto-Celtic and Proto-Germanic ) during the progressive expansion of the successive Bronze-age Unetice, Tumulus and Urnfield cultures from Central Europe.

The Proto-Germanic branch, originating as the R1b-U106 subclade, is thought to have migrated from present-day Austria to the Low Countries and north-western Germany. They would continue their expansion (probably from 1200 BCE) to Denmark, southern Sweden and southern Norway, where, after blending with the local I1 and R1a people, the ancient Germanic culture emerged.

Nowadays, the frequency of red hair among Germanic people is highest in the Netherlands, Belgium, north-western Germany and Jutland, i.e. where the percentage of R1b is the highest, and presumably the first region to be settled by R1b, before blending with the blond-haired R1a and I1 people from Scandinavia and re-expanding south to Germany during the Iron Age, with a considerably lower percentage of R1b and red-hair alleles.

Red-haired is therefore most associated with the continental West Germanic peoples, and least with Scandinavians and Germanic tribes that originated in Sweden, like the Goths and the Vandals. This also explains why the Anglo-Saxon settlements on southern England have a higher frequency of redheads than the Scandinavian settlements of northeast England.

The Italic branch crossed the Alps around 1300 BCE and settled across most of the peninsula, but especially in Central Italy (Umbrians, Latins, Oscans). They probably belonged predominantly to the R1b-U152 subclade.

It is likely that the original Italics had just as much red hair as the Celts and Germans, but lost them progressively as they intermarried with their dark-haired neighbours, like the Etruscans. The subsequent Gaulish Celtic settlements in northern Italy increased the rufosity in areas that had priorly been non-Indo-European (Ligurian, Etruscan, Rhaetic) and therefore dark-haired. Nowadays red hair is about as common in northern and in central Italy.

The Celtic branch is the largest and most complex. The area that was Celtic-speaking in Classical times encompassed regions belonging to several distinct subclades of R1b-S116 (the Proto-Italo-Celtic haplogroup).

The earliest migration of R1b to Western Europe must have happened with the diffusion of the Bronze Age to France, Belgium, Britain and Ireland around 2100 BCE – a migration best associated with the R1b-L21 subclade. A second migration took place around 1800 BCE to Southwest France and Iberia, and is associated with R1b-DF27.

These two branches are usually considered Celtic, but because of their early separation, they are likely to be more different from each other than were the later Italic and continental Celtic branches (both R1b-U152).

The Northwest Celtic branch could have been ancestral to Goidelic languages (Gaelic), and the south-western one to Celtiberian. Both belong to the Q-Celtic group, as opposed to the P-Celtic group, to which Gaulish and Brythonic belong and which is associated with the expansion of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures and R1b-U152 (the same subclade as the Italic branch).

The 45th parallel north

Nowadays, red hair is found in all three Celtic branches, although it is most common in the R1b-L21 branch. The reason is simply that it is the northernmost branch (red hair being more useful at higher latitudes) and that the Celtic populations of Britain and Ireland have retained the purest Proto-Celtic ancestry (extremely high percentage of R1b).

Red hair was also found among the tartan-wearing Chärchän man, one of the Tarim mummies dating from 1000 BCE, who according to the author were an offshoot of Central European Celts responsible for the presence of R1b among modern Uyghurs.

The earlier, non-tartan-wearing Tarim mummies from 2000 BCE, which were DNA tested and identified as members of haplogroup R1a, did not have red hair, just like modern R1a-dominant populations.

What is immediately apparent to genetic genealogists is that the map of red hair correlates with the frequency of haplogroup R1b in northern and western Europe. It doesn’t really correlate with the percentage of R1b in southern Europe, for the simple reason that red hair is more visible among people carrying various other genes involved in light skin and hair pigmentation.

At equal latitude, the frequency of red hair correlates amazingly well with the percentage of R1b lineages. The 45th parallel north, running through central France, northern Italy and Croatia, appears to be a major natural boundary for red hair frequencies. Under the 45th parallel, the UV rays become so strong that it is no longer an advantage to have red hair and very fair skin. Under the 41th parallel, redheads become extremely rare, even in high R1b areas.

The natural boundary probably has a lot to do with the sun and climate in general, since the 45th parallel is exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. Natural selection also progressively pruned red hair from the Mediterranean populations, because the higher amount of sunlight and strong UV rays in the region was more likely to cause potentially fatal melanoma in fair-skinned redheads.

It is entirely possible, and even likely, that the European north-south divide, not just for culture and agriculture, but also for phenotypes and skin pigmentation, go back to Neolithic times, when the expansion of agriculture from the Near East followed two separate routes.

Even as far back as Neolithic times, the 45th parallel roughly divided the Mediterranean Cardium Pottery culture from the Central European Linear Pottery culture. The southern route followed the Mediterranean coastlines until Iberia, while the northern route diffused along the Danubian basin then the North European Plain until the Low Countries and the Baltic.

Each group of farmer blended with indigenous Mesolitic hunter-gatherers over time, but those i the Mediterranean may have been genetically distinct from those of central and northern Europe. Then, from the Bronze Age, the Indo-European migrations from the Pontic Steppe affected much more central and northern Europe, considerably altering the gene pool and local lifestyle, by bringing East European and Caucasian genes and dairy farming, in addition to Indo-European language and culture.

It is only in the Late Bronze Age (c. 1500–1155 BCE), over a thousand years after the Indo-European expansion into Central Europe, that the Proto-Celts really expanded over the Italian and Iberian peninsulas. Greece also didn’t become Indo-Europeanised until the Mycenaeans, another group of Indo-European speakers from the Steppe took over the country circa 1600 BCE.

Slavic, Baltic and Finnish people are predominantly descended from peoples belonging to haplogroups R1a, N1c1 and I1. Their limited R1b ancestry means that the MC1R mutation is much rarer in these populations. This is why, despite their light skin and hair pigmentation and living at the same latitude as Northwest Europeans, almost none of them have red hair, apart from a few Poles or Czechs with partial German ancestry.

Southwest Norway may well be the clue to the origin of red hair. It has been discovered recently, thanks to genetic genealogy, that the higher incidence of both dark hair and red hair (as opposed to blond) in southwest Norway coincided with a higher percentage of the paternal lineage known as haplogroup R1b-L21, including its subclade R1b-M222, typical of northwestern Ireland and Scotland (the so-called lineage of Niall of the Nine Hostages).

It is now almost certain that native Irish and Scottish Celts were taken (probably as slaves) to southwest Norway by the Vikings, and that they increased the frequency of red hair there.

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I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 15, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Taurus (Aries / Mars – Pisces / Jesus – Aquarius) and Scorpius (Libra / Venus – Virgo / Maria – Leo)

The two opposites

Taurus marked the point of vernal (spring) equinox in the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age, from about 4000 BC to 1700 BC. Taurus was the first sign of the zodiac established among the ancient Mesopotamians – who knew it as the Bull of Heaven – because it was the constellation through which the sun rose on the vernal equinox at that time.

As this constellation marked the vernal equinox, it was also the first constellation in the Babylonian zodiac and they described it as “The Bull in Front”. The Akkadian name was Alu.

Alalu is god in Hurrian mythology. He is considered to have housed the divine family, because he was a progenitor of the gods, and possibly the father of Earth. Scholars have pointed out the similarities between the Hurrian myth and the story from Greek mythology of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus.

Due to the precession of the equinox, it has since passed through the constellation Aries and into the constellation Pisces (hence our current era being known as the Age of Pisces).

Alpha (uppercase Α, lowercase α) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. It was derived from the Phoenician and Hebrew letter aleph Aleph which means an ox or leader. Letters that arose from alpha include the Latin A and the Cyrillic letter А.

In the system of Greek numerals, it has a value of 1. In English, the noun “alpha” is used as a synonym for “beginning”, or “first” (in a series), reflecting its Greek roots. Alpha, both as a symbol and term, is used to refer to or describe a variety of things, including the first or most significant occurrence of something.

The New Testament has God declaring himself to be the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Revelation 22:13, KJV, and see also 1:8).

Omega (capital: Ω, lowercase: ω;) is the 24th and last letter of the Greek alphabet. The word literally means “great O” (ō mega, mega meaning “great”), as opposed to omicron, which means “little O” (o mikron, micron meaning “little”).

In Sumerian religion, Ninḫursaĝ was a mother goddess of the mountains. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the “true and great lady of heaven” (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were “nourished by Ninhursag’s milk”.

Sometimes her hair is depicted in an omega shape and at times she wears a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders. Frequently she carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash. She is the tutelary deity to several Sumerian leaders.

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

Ishara (išḫara) is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deity, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. From the Hurrian Pantheon, Ishara entered the Hittite pantheon and had her main shrine in Kizzuwatna.

She first appeared in Ebla and was incorporated to the Hurrian pantheon from which she found her way to the Hittite pantheon. In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love goddess, often identified with Ishtar. Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath.

As a goddess, Ishara could inflict severe bodily penalties to oathbreakers, in particular ascites (see Hittite military oath). In this context, she came to be seen as a “goddess of medicine” whose pity was invoked in case of illness. There was even a verb, isharis- “to be afflicted by the illness of Ishara”.

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). Her main epithet was belet rame, lady of love, which was also applied to Ishtar. In the Epic of Gilgamesh it says: ‘For Ishara the bed is made’ and in Atra-hasis 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.

Hausos is the reconstructed name for the Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn. The Dawn Goddess is hypothesised to have been one of the most important deities to the Proto-Indo-Europeans.

The name *h₂ewsṓs is derived from a root *h₂wes / *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-. *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 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.

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.

Derivatives of her found throughout various Indo-European mythologies include the Greek goddess Eos, the Roman goddess Aurōra, the Vedic goddess Uṣás, the Lithuanian goddess Aušrinė (cf. Lith. aušrà “dawn”), and possibly also the (West) Germanic goddess *Austrǭ (Old English Ēostre, Old High German *Ōstara).

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, who is one of the oldest Mesopotamian gods. The Babylonians sometimes referred to her as kallatu (the bride), and as such she was known as the wife of Shamash.

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.

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The origin of Queen Tiye

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 10, 2018

Egyptology Temple sitt bilde.

The mummified remains of Queen Tiye, the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III, Mother to “heretic” King Akhenaten & Grandmother to boy King Tutankhamun.

Graeco-Aryan, or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family that would be the ancestor of Greek, Armenian, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid-3rd millennium BC.

Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, which would be consistent with the fact that Armenian shares some features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

The Mitanni kingdom was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians. It was a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia from c. 1500–1300 BC.

The names of the Mitanni aristocracy frequently are of Indo-Aryan origin. Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni exhibit close similarities to Indo-Aryan, suggesting that an Indo-Aryan elite imposed itself over the Hurrian population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

Robert Drews writes that the name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. The Mitanni warriors were called marya.

He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Yuya was a powerful Egyptian courtier during the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt (circa 1390 BC). He was married to Tjuyu, an Egyptian noblewoman associated with the royal family, who held high offices in the governmental and religious hierarchies. Their daughter, Tiye, became the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III.

Yuya came from the Upper Egyptian town of Akhmim, where he probably owned an estate and was a wealthy member of the town’s local nobility. His origins remain unclear. The study of his mummy showed that Yuya had been a man of taller than average stature and the anatomist Grafton Elliot Smith considered that his appearance was not typically Egyptian.

The Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt suggests that foreign origin. “it is conceivable that he had some Mitannian ancestry, since it is known that knowledge of horses and chariotry was introduced into Egypt from the northern lands and Yuya was the king’s ‘Master of the Horse’.”

It also discusses the possibility that Yuya was the brother of queen Mutemwiya, a minor wife of Thutmose IV, the mother of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and may have had Mitannian royal origins.

Tiye was married to Amenhotep III by the second year of his reign. He had been born of a secondary wife of his father and needed a stronger tie to the royal lineage. He appears to have been crowned while still a child, perhaps between the ages of six to twelve.

During Akhenaten’s reign, Tiye is depicted in the role of a grandmother sitting with the royal children of her son and his wife, Nefertiti, but she continued to play an important role in the political life of Egypt.

The king of Mitanni, Tushratta, carried on a correspondence directly with Tiye and even mentioned matters having nothing to do with state issues such as the pleasant times they had passed together in visits.

The transformation from commoner to royalty was of great rarity. Tiye’s origin seemed to influence the Queen she became and also influenced the roles in which she fulfilled. She is remembered for the impact she made during the reign of Amenhotep III as the many positions she filled were not traditional roles for a Queen.

Tiye’s father, Yuya, was a non-royal, wealthy landowner from the Upper Egyptian town of Akhmin, where he served as a priest and superintendent of oxen or commander of the chariotry. Tiye’s mother, Thuya, was involved in many religious cults, as her different titles attested (Singer of Hathor, Chief of the Entertainers of both Amun and Min…), which suggests that she was a member of the royal family.

Egyptologists have suggested that Tiye’s father, Yuya, was of foreign origin due to the features of his mummy and the many different spellings of his name, which might imply it was a non-Egyptian name in origin. Some suggest that the queen’s strong political and unconventional religious views might have been due not just to a strong character, but to foreign descent.

Tiye also had a brother, Anen, who was Second Prophet of Amun. Ay, a successor of Tutankhamun as pharaoh after the latter’s death, is believed to be yet another brother of Tiye; despite no clear date or monument confirming a link between the two.

Egyptologists presume this by Ay’s origins, also from Akhmin, because he is known to have built a chapel dedicated to the local god Min there, and because he inherited most of the titles that Tiye’s father, Yuya, held at the court of Amenhotep III during his lifetime.

Nefertiti (Egyptian for “the beauty has come”) was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshiped one god only, Aten, or the sun disc. With her husband, she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history.

Nefertiti’s parentage is not known with certainty, but one often cited theory is that she was the daughter of Ay, later to be pharaoh. However, this hypothesis is likely wrong since Ay and his wife Tey are never called the father and mother of Nefertiti and Tey’s only connection with her was that she was the “nurse of the great queen” Nefertiti.

Another theory that gained some support identified Nefertiti with the Mitanni princess Tadukhipa. However, Tadukhipa was already married to Akhenaten’s father and there is no evidence for any reason why this woman would need to alter her name in a proposed marriage to Akhenaten or any evidence of a foreign non-Egyptian background for Nefertiti.

 

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PIE and the Tocharians

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 6, 2018

The Tangled Roots of English

The ARyans – ARmenians of ARarat

The earliest attestations of the exonym Armenia date around the 6th century BC. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription, Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu (in Babylonian) as Armina (in Old Persian) and Harminuya (in Elamite). Herodotus, in c. 440 BC, said “the Armenians were equipped like Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists”.

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources.

Aratta is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list. It is described in Sumerian literature as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach and home to the goddess Inana, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk.

Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta is a legendary Sumerian account, of preserved, early post-Sumerian copies, composed in the Neo-Sumerian period (ca. 21st century BC). It is one of a series of accounts describing the conflicts between Enmerkar, king of Unug-Kulaba (Uruk), and the unnamed king of Aratta (probably somewhere in modern Iran or Armenia).

Because it gives a Sumerian account of the “confusion of tongues”, and also involves Enmerkar constructing temples at Eridu and Uruk, it has, since the time of Samuel Kramer, been compared with the Tower of Babel narrative in the Book of Genesis.

XXX

The oldest forms of R1b (M343, P25, L389) are found dispersed at very low frequencies from Western Europe to India, a vast region where could have roamed the nomadic R1b hunter-gatherers during the Ice Age.

It has been hypothetised that R1b people (perhaps alongside neighbouring J2 tribes) were the first to domesticate cattle in northern Mesopotamia some 10,500 years ago. R1b tribes descended from mammoth hunters, and when mammoths went extinct, they started hunting other large game such as bisons and aurochs.

With the increase of the human population in the Fertile Crescent from the beginning of the Neolithic (starting 12,000 years ago), selective hunting and culling of herds started replacing indiscriminate killing of wild animals.

The increased involvement of humans in the life of aurochs, wild boars and goats led to their progressive taming. Cattle herders probably maintained a nomadic or semi-nomadic existence, while other people in the Fertile Crescent (presumably represented by haplogroups E1b1b, G and T) settled down to cultivate the land or keep smaller domesticates.

The analysis of bovine DNA has revealed that all the taurine cattle (Bos taurus) alive today descend from a population of only 80 aurochs. The earliest evidence of cattle domestication dates from circa 8,500 BCE in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures in the Taurus Mountains.

The two oldest archaeological sites showing signs of cattle domestication are the villages of Çayönü Tepesi in southeastern Turkey and Dja’de el-Mughara in northern Iraq, two sites only 250 km away from each others. This is presumably the area from which R1b lineages started expanding – or in other words the “original homeland” of R1b.

The early R1b cattle herders would have split in at least three groups. The three main branches of R1b1 (R1b1a, R1b1b, R1b1c) all seem to have stemmed from the Middle East. The southern branch, R1b1c (V88), is found mostly in the Levant and Africa.

The northern branch, R1b1a (P297), seems to have originated around the Caucasus, eastern Anatolia or northern Mesopotamia, then to have crossed over the Caucasus, from where they would have invaded Europe and Central Asia. R1b1b (M335) has only been found in Anatolia.

M335 remained in Anatolia, but judging from its extreme rarity today wasn’t very successful, perhaps due to the heavy competition with other Neolithic populations in Anatolia, or to the scarcity of pastures in this mountainous environment.

V88 migrated south to the Levant. Some of them searched for new lands south in Africa, first in Egypt, then colonising most of northern Africa, from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahel.

P297 crossed the Caucasus into the vast Pontic-Caspian Steppe, which provided ideal grazing grounds for cattle. They split into two factions: R1b1a1 (M73), which went east along the Caspian Sea to Central Asia, and R1b1a2 (M269), which at first remained in the North Caucasus and the Pontic Steppe between the Dnieper and the Volga.

It is not yet clear whether M73 actually migrated across the Caucasus and reached Central Asia via Kazakhstan, or if it went south through Iran and Turkmenistan. In any case, M73 would be a pre-Indo-European branch of R1b, just like V88 and M335.

R1b-M269 (the most common form in Europe) is closely associated with the diffusion of Indo-European languages, as attested by its presence in all regions of the world where Indo-European languages were spoken in ancient times. The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others.

The Leyla-Tepe culture of ancient Azerbaijan belongs to the Chalcolithic era. It got its name from the site in the Agdam district. Its settlements were distributed on the southern slopes of Central Caucasus, mostly in Agdam District, from 4350 until 4000 B.C.

Among the sites associated with this culture, the Soyugbulag kurgans or barrows are of special importance. The excavation of these kurgans, located in Kaspi Municipality, in central Georgia, demonstrated an unexpectedly early date of such structures on the territory of Azerbaijan. They were dated to the beginning of the 4th millennium BC.

Leila-Tepe pottery is very similar to the ‘Chaff-Faced Ware’ of the northern Syria and Mesopotamia. It is especially well attested at Amuq F phase. Similar pottery is also found at Kultepe, Azerbaijan. In 2012, the important site of Galayeri, belonging to the Leylatepe archaeological culture, was investigated. It is located in the Qabala District of Azerbaijan. Galayeri is closely connected to early civilizations of Near East.

The culture has also been linked to the north Ubaid period monuments, in particular, with the settlements in the Eastern Anatolia Region (Arslantepe, Coruchu-tepe, Tepechik, etc.). Other sites belonging to the same culture in the Karabakh valley of Azerbaijan are Chinar-Tepe, Shomulu-Tepe, and Abdal-Aziz-Tepe. The settlement is of a typical Western-Asian variety, with the dwellings packed closely together and made of mud bricks with smoke outlets.

It has been suggested that the Leyla-Tepe were the founders of the Maykop culture that has been described as, at the very least, a “kurganized” local culture with strong ethnic and linguistic links to the descendants of the Proto-Indo-Europeans.

This archaeological culture named after the great Maikop kurgan showed innovations in all areas which have no local archetypes and which cannot be assigned to the tradition of the Balkan-Anatolian Copper Age.

Graves and settlements of the 5th millennium BC in North Caucasus attest to a material culture that was related to contemporaneous archaeological complexes in the northern and western Black Sea region. Yet it was replaced, suddenly as it seems, around the middle of the 4th millennium BC by a “high culture” whose origin is still quite unclear.

An expedition to Syria by the Russian Academy of Sciences revealed the similarity of the Maykop and Leyla-Tepe artifacts with those found recently while excavating the ancient city of Tel Khazneh I, a Syrian village located in Salamiyah Subdistrict in Salamiyah District, Hama, from the 4th millennium BC.

The appearance of Leilatepe tradition’s carriers in the Caucasus marked the appearance of the first local Caucasian metallurgy. Leilatepe metalwork tradition was very sophisticated right from the beginning, and featured many bronze items. This is attributed to migrants from Uruk, arriving around 4500 BCE. Recent research indicates the connections rather to the pre-Uruk traditions, such as the late Ubaid period, and Ubaid-Uruk phases.

The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from about 4000 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end; in some locations it may have disappeared as early as 2600 or 2700 BC. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain; it spread northward in Caucasus by 3000 BC (but never reaching Colchis).

Altogether, the early trans-Caucasian culture enveloped a vast area approximately 1,000 km by 500 km, and mostly encompassed, on modern-day territories, the Southern Caucasus (except western Georgia), northwestern Iran, the northeastern Caucasus, eastern Turkey, and as far as Syria.

The name of the culture is derived from the Kura and Araxes river valleys. Kura–Araxes culture is sometimes known as Shengavitian, Karaz (Erzurum), Pulur, and Yanik Tepe (Iranian Azerbaijan, near Lake Urmia) cultures. It gave rise to the later Khirbet Kerak-ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire.

The formative processes of the Kura-Araxes cultural complex, and the date and circumstances of its rise, have been long debated. Inhumation practices are mixed. Flat graves are found but so are substantial kurgan burials, the latter of which may be surrounded by cromlechs. This points to a heterogeneous ethno-linguistic population.

Hurrian and Urartian language elements are quite probable, as are Northeast Caucasian ones. The presence of Kartvelian languages was also highly probable. Influences of Semitic languages and Indo-European languages are highly possible, though the presence of the languages on the lands of the Kura–Araxes culture is more controversial.

In the Armenian hypothesis of Indo-European origins proposed by Georgian Tamaz V. Gamkrelidze and Russian linguist Vyacheslav Ivanov in 1985, this culture (and perhaps that of the Maykop culture) is identified with the speakers of the Anatolian languages.

The two presented the hypothesis in two articles in Vestnik drevnej istorii and then in a much larger work. They claim that the Indo-European languages derive from a language spoken originally in Armenia, later migrating to the Pontic steppe from which it expanded, according to the Kurgan hypothesis, into Western Europe.

The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European homeland suggests that Proto-Indo-European was spoken during the 4th millennium BC in the Armenian Highlands. The Hittite, Indo-Iranian, Greek and Armenian branches split off when this Proto-Indoeuropean language was still spoken in the Armenian homeland.

Once the proto-Indo-European language (PIE) and its speakers began to expand from their original homeland, proposed to be in the Caucuses Mountains, differences in dialect would have started to become apparent over time.

One such group were the Anatolians. They apparently were the first to separate from the rest. Proto-Indo-European evolved, and the prehistoric speakers of Anatolian became isolated from the rest of the PIE speech community, so as not to share in some common innovations.

This is generally accepted because they preserved in their language what would seem to be early roots of words that later changed amongst the remaining PIE speakers to their north, showing that they were not part of this evolution and were therefore isolated from it.

In fact, the Anatolian branch is such an early split that some linguists have doubts over whether the Anatolians were even PIE-speakers to start with. They may have formed a ‘cousin’ of PIE rather than a direct descendant of it.

Whether that’s true or not, any split from the other PIE groups seems to have occurred around 3500 BC at the latest, which is the dating largely used here, but it may have been even earlier.

In the Armenian hypothesis of Indo-European origins, this culture (and perhaps that of the Maykop culture) is identified with the speakers of the Anatolian languages. Here one can come to the conclusion that the Kura–Araxes culture developed gradually through a synthesis of several cultural traditions, including the ancient cultures of the Caucasus and nearby territories.

The expansion of Y-DNA subclade R-Z93 (R1a1a1b2) that appears to encompass most of the R1a1a found in Asia is compatible with the archeological records of eastward expansion of West Asian populations in the 4th millennium BCE, culminating in the socalled Kura-Araxes migrations in the post-Uruk IV period.

Inner and Central Asia is an overlap zone for the R -Z280 and R -Z93 lineages, implying that an early differentiation zone of R-M198 conceivably occurred somewhere within the Eurasian Steppes or the Middle East and Caucasus region as they lie between South Asia and Eastern Europe.

R1a1a1, the most frequent subclade of R1a, split into R-Z282 (Europe) and R-Z93 (Asia) at circa 5,800 before present, in the vicinity of Iran and Eastern Turkey. This suggests the possibility that R1a lineages accompanied demic expansions initiated during the Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages.

The phonological peculiarities proposed in the glottalic theory would be best preserved in Armenian and the Germanic languages. Armenian remained in situ and would be particularly archaic despite its late attestation.

Proto-Greek would be practically equivalent to Mycenaean Greek from the 17th century BC and closely associate Greek migration to Greece with the Indo-Aryan migration to India at about the same time (the Indo-European expansion at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, including the possibility of Indo-European Kassites).

The Tocharians are perhaps the most mysterious of all of the Indo-European branches. Thankfully, recent DNA evidence has provided a vital ingredient when it comes to telling their story but, despite this, it is a somewhat complicated story.

The core Indo-Europeans began to separate into definite proto languages around 3000 BC. These proto languages soon became unintelligible to each other, although this fragmenting process excludes the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European languages.

The western or centum language section of Indo-Europeans (IEs) would evolve into Celtic, Italic, Venetic, Illyrian, Ligurian, Vindelician/Liburnian and Raetic branches. This group appears to be associated with a specific Y-DNA haplogroup called R1b. A related Y-DNA haplogroup – R1a – is associated with eastern or satem IE languages. It’s the Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan, Baltic, and Slavic groups which fall into this latter grouping.

Two groups, however, do not fit perfectly into that tidy pair of east and west IE boxes. One of these involves the Germanic language speakers, who appear to have been founded by R1a/satem people but with a very mixed subsequent heritage.

The other anomaly, one which appears early in the Yamnaya horizon, involves a western group which apparently decided to be different from all the others and head eastwards. It is this group which evolved into the Tocharian branch of Indo-Europeans.

Phonetically, Tocharian is a “centum” Indo-European language, meaning that it merges the palatovelar consonants (*ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ) of Proto Indo-European with the plain velars (*k, *g, *gʰ) rather than palatalizing them to affricates or sibilants.

Centum languages are mostly found in western and southern Europe (Greek, Italic, Celtic, Germanic). In that sense, Tocharian (to some extent like the Greek and the Anatolian languages) seems to have been an isolate in the “satem” (i.e. palatovelar to sibilant) phonetic regions of Indo-European-speaking populations.

However, the mystery of the Tocharians may be that there is no mystery. The Tocharians are revealed to have been just another West Asian branch of the Indo-European family that, unlike most of its cousins, went east, absorbed Northern Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and South Asian population elements, emerged long enough in history to leave us a written record of their presence, before succumbing to the Xiongnu and the Mongols.

Thankfully, by combining the remnants of their language, and fragments of their DNA in their descendants, we are able to reconstruct the history of this, once forgotten people.

As far as I can tell, the only explanation for the presence of R-M343 in Xinjiang is West Asia, or at least Central Asia west of the Tarim. There it can be found at a high frequency in Armenians, Turks, north Iranians, and Lezgins among others.

Gamkrelidze and Ivanov cited W. N. Henning to the effect that the ancestors of the Tocharians could be identified with the Gutians from the Zagros, a people that attacked the Sumerians and founded a dynasty.

As usual, I don’t presume to know the linguistic evidence for this, but this hypothesis would place the ancestors of the Tocharians in the “right spot”: virtually all of their Caucasoid Y-chromosome gene pool could be explained with an origin in north Iran (The Armenian Highland).

Haplogroup_R1b

Anatolian Languages

Tocharians

Tocharian_Languages

Central Asia_- Tocharians

Tocharian Origins

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Ararat and the Armenian nation

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 26, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Ararat is where the European tradition and most of Western Christianity place the landing of Noah’s Ark. It is featured prominently in Armenian literature. According to Meliné Karakashian, Armenian poets “attribute to it symbolic meanings of unity, freedom, and independence.”

It is the principal national symbol of Armenia and has been considered a sacred mountain by Armenians. It is featured prominently in Armenian literature and art and is an icon for Armenian irredentism. Along with Noah’s Ark, it is depicted on the coat of arms of Armenia.

According to Kevork Bardakjian, in Armenian literature, Ararat “epitomizes Armenia and Armenian suffering and aspirations, especially the consequences of the 1915 genocide: almost total annihilation, loss of a unique culture and land […] and an implicit determination never to recognize the new political borders.”

During his travels to Armenia, Soviet Russian writer Vasily Grossman, a Jewish Russian writer and journalist, who lived the bulk of his life under the Soviet regime, observed Mount Ararat from Yerevan standing “high in the blue sky.”

He wrote that “with its gentle, tender contours, it seems to grow not out of the earth but out of the sky, as if it has condensed from its white clouds and its deep blue. It is this snowy mountain, this bluish-white sunlit mountain that shone in the eyes of those who wrote the Bible.”

According to the fourth verse of the eighth chapter of the Book of Genesis (Genesis 8:4), following a flood, Noah’s Ark landed on the “mountains of Ararat”. It means sacred land or high land, the name of a country on one of the mountains of which the ark rested after the Flood subsided ( Genesis 8:4 ).

In 2 Kings 19:37, Isaiah 37:38, the word is rendered “Armenia” in the Authorized Version, but in the Revised Version, “Land of Ararat.” In Jeremiah 51:27 , the name denotes the central or southern portion of Armenia.

It is, however, generally applied to a high and almost inaccessible mountain which rises majestically from the plain of the Araxes. It has two conical peaks, about 7 miles apart, the one 14,300 feet and the other 10,300 feet above the level of the plain. Three thousand feet of the summit of the higher of these peaks is covered with perpetual snow.

According to F. C. Conybeare wrote that the mountain was a center and focus of pagan myths and cults […] and it was only in the eleventh century, after these had vanished from the popular mind, that the Armenian theologians ventured to locate on its eternal snows the resting-place of Noah’s ark.

The 13th century Franciscan missionary William of Rubruck is usually considered the earliest reference for the tradition of Mount Ararat as the landing place of the ark in European literature. The 14th century English traveler John Mandeville is another early author who mentioned Mount Ararat, “where Noah’s ship rested, and it is still there.”

In addition to referring to the famous Biblical mountain, Ararat also appears as the name of a kingdom in Jeremiah 51:27, mentioned together with Minni and Ashkenaz: “Raise a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations; prepare the nations for war against her, summon against her the kingdoms, Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; appoint a marshal against her, bring up horses like bristling locusts”.

Most historians and Bible scholars agree that “Ararat” is the Hebrew name of Urartu, the geographic predecessor of Armenia and referred to the wider region at the time and not the mountain today known as Ararat.

Indeed, the phrase is translated as “mountains of Armenia”. Mount Ararat is located in ancient Urartian territory, approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) north of its former capital. Nevertheless, Mount Ararat is considered the traditional site of the resting place of Noah’s Ark. It is therefore called a biblical mountain.

Scholars believe that Urartu is an Akkadian variation of Ararat of the Old Testament. “Urartu” is cognate with the Biblical “Ararat”, Akkadian “Urashtu” and Armenian “Ayrarat”. The Urartian toponym Biainili (or Biaineli) was adopted in the Old Armenian as Van. Hence the names “Kingdom of Van” or “Vannic Kingdom”.

The traditional Armenian name of the mountain is Masis (Մասիս; sometimes transliterated as Massis). However, nowadays, the terms Masis and Ararat are both widely, often interchangeably, used in Armenian. According to Armenian historian Sargis Petrosyan the mas root in Masis means “mountain”, cf. Proto-Indo-European *mņs-.

The folk etymology expressed in History of Armenia by Khorenatsi derives the name Masis from king Amasya, the great-grandson of the legendary Armenian patriarch Hayk, who is said to have called the mountain Masis after himself.

Hayk the Great, or The Great Hayk, also known as Hayk Nahapet (Hayk the “head of family” or patriarch), is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation. His story is told in the History of Armenia attributed to the Armenian historian Moses of Chorene (410 to 490).

Hayk is the “nahapet”, the progenitor or original patriarch, of the Armenians. He led his household of 300 away from Babylon, being pursued by its lord, Bel (“lord” or “master”), a title rather than a genuine name, applied to various gods in the Mesopotamian religion of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia.

Somewhere near Van, the ancient capital of urartian Armenia, a final battle took place between the siblings. Hayk beat Bel with an arrow. He unified the tribes, that altogether took the name Armenia (in armenian, Hayastan, after Hayk).

Armenian tradition has an eponymous ancestor, Aram, a lineal descendent of Hayk, son of Harma and father of Ara the Beautiful. Aram is sometimes equated with Arame of Urartu, the earliest known king of Urartu.

Arame or Aramu (Armenian: Արամե) (ruled 858–844 BC) was the first known king of Urartu. Living at the time of King Shalmaneser III of Assyria (ruled 859–824 BC), Arame united the Nairi tribe against the threat of the Assyrian Empire.

Arame has been suggested as the prototype of both Aram (and, correspondingly the popular given name Aram) and Ara the Beautiful, two of the legendary forefathers of the Armenian people.

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.

Strictly speaking, Urartu is the Assyrian term for a geographical region, while “Kingdom of Urartu” are terms used in modern historiography for the Urartian-speaking Iron Age state that arose in that region. The kingdom rose to power in the mid-ninth century BC, but went into gradual decline. The heirs of Urartu are the Armenians and their successive kingdoms.

The name Urartu comes from Assyrian sources: Shalmaneser I (1263–1234 BC) recorded a campaign in which he subdued the entire territory of “Uruatri.” The Shalmaneser text uses the name Urartu to refer to a geographical region, not a kingdom, and names eight “lands” contained within Urartu (which at the time of the campaign were still disunited).

Boris Piotrovsky wrote that “the Urartians first appear in history in the 13th century BC as a league of tribes or countries which did not yet constitute a unitary state. Shupria (Akkadian: Armani-Subartu from the 3rd millennium BC) was part of the Urartu confederation. Later, there is reference to a district in the area called Arme or Urme, which some scholars have linked to the name of Armenia.

Scholars such as Carl Ferdinand Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt (1910) believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after the god Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi, who was one of the three chief deities of Urartu. His shrine was at Ardini, known in Assyrian as Muṣaṣir (Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake). The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa.

Of all the gods of the Urartian pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to Khaldi. Khaldi was a warrior god to whom the kings of Urartu would pray for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons such as swords, spears, bows and arrows, and shields hung from the walls and were sometimes known as ‘the house of weapons’. His wife was the goddess Arubani, the Urartian’s goddess of fertility and art.

The language of the Urartians appears in cuneiform inscriptions. 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 Urartu as a kingdom.

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 name Armenia enters English via Latin, from Ancient Greek Ἀρμενία. The Armenian endonym for the Armenian people and country is hayer and hayk’, respectively. The exact etymology of the name is unknown, and there are various speculative attempts to connect it to older toponyms or ethnonyms.

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources.

The kingdom of Mitanni, a state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia from c. 1500–1300 BC., was a feudal state led by a warrior nobility of “Armeno-Aryan” origin. It was referred to as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by the Egyptians, the Hurri by the Hittites, and the Hanigalbat by the Assyrians.

In the 33rd year of his reign, while he was in the Armenian Highlands in 1446 BC, Thutmose III of Egypt, referred to the people of Ermenen (Armenians), and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”.

To the east, they had good relations with the Kassites, a people of the ancient Near East, who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire c. 1531 BC and until c. 1155 BC (short chronology).

The Kassite language has not been classified. However, several Kassite leaders bore Indo-European names, and they might have had an Indo-European elite similar to the Mitanni, who ruled over the Hurro-Urartian-speaking Hurrians of Asia Minor.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi.

Robert Drews writes that the name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Graeco-(Armeno)-Aryan is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family, ancestral to the Greek language, the Armenian language, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid-third millennium BC.

Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been located between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, consistent with the fact that Armenian shares certain features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

Graeco-Aryan has comparatively wide support among Indo-Europeanists for the Indo-European homeland to be located in the Armenian Highlands, the “Armenian hypothesis”. Early and strong evidence was given by Euler’s 1979 examination on shared features in Greek and Sanskrit nominal flection.

Used in tandem with the Graeco-Armenian hypothesis, the Armenian language would also be included under the label Aryano-Greco-Armenic, splitting into proto-Greek/Phrygian and “Armeno-Aryan” (ancestor of Armenian and Indo-Iranian).

Herodotus, in c. 440 BC, said “the Armenians were equipped like Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists” (7.73). Xenophon describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality. He relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians.

Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Armenian Highlands, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located north of the Euphrates and to the south of Hayasa.

The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis.

Aratta (the Sumerian equivalent to Semitic Urartu and Indo European Armenia) is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list.

In Sumerian literature Aratta is described as a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them. It is remote and difficult to reach and home to the goddess Inanna, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk.

The Tower of Babel as told in Genesis 11:1-9 is an origin myth meant to explain why the world’s peoples speak different languages. According to the story, a united humanity in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, comes to the land of Shinar (Sumer).

In Shinar they agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God, observing their city and tower, confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, and scatters them around the world.

There is a Sumerian myth similar to that of the Tower of Babel, called Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, where Enmerkar of Uruk is building a massive ziggurat in Eridu and demands a tribute of precious materials from Aratta for its construction.

At one point reciting an incantation imploring the god Enki to restore (or in Kramer’s translation, to disrupt) the linguistic unity of the inhabited regions — named as Shubur, Hamazi, Sumer, Uri-ki (Akkad), and the Martu land, “the whole universe, the well-guarded people — may they all address Enlil together in a single language.”

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Neptune, Poseidon and Heimdall

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 23, 2018

AN (Dumuzid / Nergal) – Uranus (Dionysus / Mars-Apollo-Pluto) – Balder / Tyr (60)

Enlil – Saturn – Njord (50)

Enki – Neptune – Heimdall (40)

In Mesopotamian religion, Anu was the personification of the sky, the utmost power, the supreme God, the one “who contains the entire universe”. He was identified with the north ecliptic pole centered in Draco.

His name meant the “One on High”, and together with his sons Enlil and Enki (Ellil and Ea in Akkadian), he formed a triune conception of the divine, in which Anu represented a “transcendental” obscurity, Enlil the “transcendent” and Enki the “immanent” aspect of the divine.

In astral theology, the three—Anu, Enlil and Enki—also personified the three bands of the sky, and the contained constellations, spinning around the ecliptic, respectively the middle, northern and southern sky.

The Amorite god Amurru or Martu was sometimes equated with Anu. Hadad, Adad (Akkadian) or Iškur (Sumerian) was the storm and rain god in the Northwest Semitic and ancient Mesopotamian religions. Later, during the Seleucid Empire (213 BC — 63 BC), Anu was identified with Enmešara (Nergal) and Dumuzid (Tammuz).

Ninshubar-Papsukkal – Mercury – Odin

An

Bilderesultat for anu god

Anu (Akkadian: 𒀭𒀭 DAN, Anu‹m›; Sumerian: 𒀭 AN, from 𒀭 an “sky, heaven”) is the earliest attested sky-father deity. In Sumerian religion, he 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.

He was believed to have the power to judge those who had committed crimes, and to have created the stars as soldiers to destroy the wicked. His attribute was the Royal Tiara. His attendant and vizier was the god Ilabrat.

In Sumerian texts of the third millennium the goddess Uraš is his consort; later this position was taken by Ki, the personification of earth, and in Akkadian texts by Antu, whose name is probably derived from his own.

Dingir (𒀭, usually transliterated DIĜIR) is a Sumerian word for “god.” The sign originated as a star-shaped ideogram indicating a god in general, or the Sumerian god An, the supreme father of the gods.

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/.

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/. In Hittite orthography, the syllabic value of the sign was again only an.

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.

Dingir also meant sky or heaven in contrast with ki which meant earth. The original association of “divinity” is thus with “bright” or “shining” hierophanies in the sky.

The doctrine once established remained an inherent part of the Babylonian-Assyrian religion and led to the more or less complete disassociation of the three gods constituting the triad from their original local limitations. An intermediate step between Anu viewed as the local deity of Uruk, Enlil as the god of Nippur, and Ea as the god of Eridu.

Anu existed in Sumerian cosmogony as a dome that covered the flat earth. However, 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.

When Enlil rose to equal or surpass An in authority, the functions of the two deities came to some extent to overlap. An was also sometimes equated with Amurru, and, in Seleucid Uruk, with Enmešara (Nergal) and Dumuzi.

Nergal

Nergal was a deity worshipped throughout Mesopotamia. Nergal seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun. Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”.

Over time Nergal developed from a war god to a god of the underworld. In the mythology, this occurred when Enlil and Ninlil gave him the underworld. In this capacity he has associated with him a goddess Allatu or Ereshkigal, though at one time Allatu may have functioned as the sole mistress of Aralu, ruling in her own person. In some texts the god Ninazu is the son of Nergal and Allatu/Ereshkigal.

In the late Babylonian astral-theological system Nergal is related to the planet Mars. As a fiery god of destruction and war, Nergal doubtless seemed an appropriate choice for the red planet, and he was equated by the Greeks to the war-god Ares (Latin Mars)—hence the current name of the planet.

Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”. Aplu may be related with Apaliunas who is considered to be the Hittite reflex of *Apeljōn, an early form of the name Apollo.

Apaliunas is attested in a Hittite language treaty as a protective deity of Wilusa, a major city of the late Bronze Age in western Anatolia described in 13th century BC Hittite sources as being part of a confederation named Assuwa. The city is often identified with the Troy of the Ancient Greek Epic Cycle.

In Babylonian astronomy, the stars Castor and Pollux were known as the Great Twins (MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL). The Twins were regarded as minor gods and were called Meshlamtaea and Lugalirra, meaning respectively ‘The One who has arisen from the Underworld’ and the ‘Mighty King’. Both names can be understood as titles of Nergal, the major Babylonian god of plague and pestilence, who was king of the Underworld.

Uranus / Caelus-Summanus

Bilderesultat for uranus sign

Bilderesultat for uranus signUranus (meaning “sky” or “heaven”) was the primal Greek god personifying the sky. He was the brother of Pontus (“Sea”), an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god, one of the Greek primordial deities.

In Ancient Greek literature, Uranus or Father Sky was the son and husband of Gaia, Mother Earth. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Uranus was conceived by Gaia alone, but other sources cite Aether as his father.

Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the first generation of Titans, and the ancestors of most of the Greek gods, but no cult addressed directly to Uranus survived into Classical times, and Uranus does not appear among the usual themes of Greek painted pottery.

His name in Roman mythology was Caelus, a primal god of the sky in Roman myth and theology, iconography, and literature (compare caelum, the Latin word for “sky” or “the heavens”, hence English “celestial”).

Caelus is coupled with Terra (Earth) as pater and mater (father and mother). He has been associated with Summanus, the god of nocturnal thunder, as counterposed to Jupiter, the god of diurnal (daylight) thunder.

According to Cicero and Hyginus, Caelus was the son of Aether and Dies (“Day” or “Daylight”). Caelus and Dies were in this tradition the parents of Mercury. With Trivia, Caelus was the father of the distinctively Roman god Janus, as well as of Saturn and Ops. Caelus was also the father of one of the three forms of Jupiter, the other two fathers being Aether and Saturn.

The name Summanus is thought to be from Summus Manium “the greatest of the Manes”, or sub-, “under” + manus, “hand”. According to Martianus Capella, Summanus is another name for Pluto as the “highest” (summus) of the Manes.

Every June 20, the day before the summer solstice, round cakes called summanalia, made of flour, milk and honey and shaped as wheels, were offered to him as a token of propitiation: the wheel might be a solar symbol.

Saint Augustine records that in earlier times Summanus had been more exalted than Jupiter, but with the construction of a temple that was more magnificent than that of Summanus, Jupiter became more honored.

Uranus, the planet

The planet Uranus is very unusual among the planets in that it rotates on its side, so that it presents each of its poles to the Sun in turn during its orbit; causing both hemispheres to alternate between being bathed in light and lying in total darkness over the course of the orbit.

Astrological interpretations associate Uranus with the principles of ingenuity, new or unconventional ideas, individuality, discoveries, electricity, inventions, democracy, and revolutions. Uranus, among all planets, most governs genius.

Uranus governs societies, clubs, and any group based on humanitarian or progressive ideals. Uranus, the planet of sudden and unexpected changes, rules freedom and originality. In society, it rules radical ideas and people, as well as revolutionary events that upset established structures. Uranus is also associated with Wednesday, alongside Mercury (since Uranus is in the higher octave of Mercury).

Aquarius and Scorpio

Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius and is exalted in Scorpio. Aquarius is a constellation of the zodiac. It is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation Aquarius.

Under the tropical zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius typically between January 21 and February 18, while under the Sidereal Zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius from approximately February 15 to March 14, depending on leap year.

Its name is Latin for “water-carrier” or “cup-carrier”, and its symbol is a representation of water. Aquarius is identified as GU.LA “The Great One” in the Babylonian star catalogues and represents the god Enki himself, who is commonly depicted holding an overflowing vase.

Aquarius is also associated with the Age of Aquarius, a concept popular in 1960s counterculture. Despite this prominence, the Age of Aquarius will not dawn until the year 2597, as an astrological age does not begin until the Sun is in a particular constellation on the vernal equinox.

Scorpio is the eighth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Scorpius. It spans 210°–240° ecliptic longitude. Under the tropical zodiac (most commonly used in Western astrology), the sun transits this area on average from October 23 to November 21. Under the sidereal zodiac (most commonly used in Hindu astrology), the sun is in Scorpio from approximately November 16 to December 15.

In ancient times, Scorpio was associated with the planet Mars. After Pluto was discovered in 1930, it became associated with Scorpio instead. Scorpio is also associated with the Greek deity, Artemis, who is said to have created the constellation Scorpius.

The Babylonians called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, the signs can be literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’. In some old descriptions the constellation of Libra is treated as the Scorpion’s claws. Libra was known as the Claws of the Scorpion in Babylonian (zibānītu (compare Arabic zubānā)).

Mars

Bilderesultat for mars symbol

Bilderesultat for masculine symbol mars

Mars & Venus

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. The month Martius was the beginning of the season for 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 name of March comes from Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after Mars. In many languages, Tuesday is named for the planet Mars or the god of war: In Latin, martis dies (“Mars’s Day”), survived in Romance languages as martes (Spanish), mardi (French), martedi (Italian), marţi (Romanian), and dimarts (Catalan). In Irish (Gaelic), the day is An Mháirt, while in Albanian it is e Marta.

The English word Tuesday derives from Old English “Tiwesdæg” and means “Tiw’s Day”, Tiw being the Old English form of the Proto-Germanic war god *Tîwaz, or Týr in Norse.

The word Mārs (genitive Mārtis), which in Old Latin and poetic usage also appears as Māvors (Māvortis), is cognate with Oscan Māmers (Māmertos). The Old Latin form was believed to derive from an Italic *Māworts, but can also be explained as deriving from Maris, the name of an Etruscan child-god; scholars have varying views on whether the two gods are related, and if so how.

The spear is the instrument of Mars in the same way that Jupiter wields the lightning bolt, Neptune the trident, and Saturn the scythe or sickle. A relic or fetish called the spear of Mars was kept in a sacrarium at the Regia, the former residence of the Kings of Rome.

The spear was said to move, tremble or vibrate at impending war or other danger to the state. When Mars is pictured as a peace-bringer, his spear is wreathed with laurel or other vegetation, as on the Altar of Peace (Ara Pacis).

Mars, the planet

The planet Mars was named for him, and in some allegorical and philosophical writings, the planet and the god are endowed with shared characteristics. Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and is exalted in Capricorn.

Astrologically speaking, Mars is associated with confidence and self-assertion, aggression, sexuality, energy, strength, ambition and impulsiveness. Mars governs sports, competitions and physical activities in general. Latin adjectives from the name of Mars are martius and martialis, from which derive English “martial” (as in “martial arts” or “martial law”) and personal names such as “Martin”. In Indian astrology, Mars is called Mangala and represents energy, confidence and ego.

Aries and Capricorn

The zodiac signs for the month of March are Pisces (until March 20) and Aries (March 21 onwards. Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and is exalted in Capricorn.

Apollo

Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”, a title that was given to the god Nergal, who was linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the Sun, and with the plague. Aplu may be related with Apaliunas who is considered to be the Hittite reflex of *Apeljōn, an early form of the name Apollo.

Apaliunas is attested in a Hittite language treaty as a protective deity of Wilusa, a major city of the late Bronze Age in western Anatolia described in 13th century BC Hittite sources as being part of a confederation named Assuwa. The city is often identified with the Troy of the Ancient Greek Epic Cycle.

Many modern archaeologists have suggested that Wilusa corresponds to an archaeological site in Turkey known as Troy VIIa, which was destroyed circa 1190 BC. Ilios and Ilion, which are alternate names for Troy in the Ancient Greek languages, are linked etymologically to Wilusa.

This identification by modern scholars has been influenced by the Chronicon (a chronology of mythical and Ancient Greece) written circa 380 AD by Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (also known as Saint Jerome). In addition, the modern Biga Peninsula, on which Troy VIIa is located, is now generally believed to correspond to both the Hittite placename Taruiša and the Troas or Troad of late antiquity.

Apaliunas is among the gods who guarantee a treaty drawn up about 1280 BCE between Alaksandu of Wilusa, interpreted as “Alexander of Ilios” and the great Hittite king, Muwatalli II. He is one of the three deities named on the side of the city. In Homer, Apollo is the builder of the walls of Ilium, a god on the Trojan side.

A Luwian etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo “The One of Entrapment”, perhaps in the sense of “Hunter”. Further east of the Luwian language area, a Hurrian god Aplu was a deity of the plague – bringing it, or, if propitiated, protecting from it – and resembles Apollo Smintheus, “mouse-Apollo” worshiped at Troy and Tenedos, who brought plague upon the Achaeans in answer to a Trojan prayer at the opening of Iliad.

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague.

Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.

His twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis, is one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: “Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals”. The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter.

Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature in Roman mythology, associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals.

In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.

The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Amongst the god’s custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks.

As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon.

In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215). Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.

Pluto

Bilderesultat for pluto symbol

Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is exalted in Pisces. In Roman mythology, Pluto is the god of the underworld and of wealth. The alchemical symbol was given to Pluto on its discovery, three centuries after alchemical practices had all but disappeared. The alchemical symbol can therefore be read as spirit over mind, transcending matter. The symbols were chosen given the close association with Mars which has a similar symbol. Pluto is also associated with Tuesday, alongside Mars.

Astrologically speaking, Pluto is called “the great renewer”, and is considered to represent the part of a person that destroys in order to renew, through bringing buried, but intense needs and drives to the surface, and expressing them, even at the expense of the existing order.

A commonly used keyword for Pluto is “transformation”. It is associated with power and personal mastery, and the need to cooperate and share with another, if each is not to be destroyed. Pluto governs big business and wealth, mining, surgery and detective work, and any enterprise that involves digging under the surface to bring the truth to light.

Heimdall

Heimdall and his equals

 

The Helm of Awe (Old Norse Ægishjálmr) is one of the most mysterious and powerful symbols in Norse mythology. Just looking at its form, without any prior knowledge of what that form symbolizes, is enough to inspire awe and fear: eight arms that look like spiked tridents radiate out from a central point, as if defending that central point by going on the offensive against any and all hostile forces that surround it.

Bilderesultat for Algiz

(D)Algiz rune – Heimdall

Bilderesultat for Algiz

(D)Algiz (also Elhaz) and (T)Yr rune

Algiz – Rune Meaning Analysis

Bilderesultat for yr rune

Bilderesultat for yr rune

In Norse mythology, Heimdall’s role is guardian and protector. He is the watcher at the gate who guards the boundaries between the worlds and who charges all those entering and leaving with caution. He is best known for his horn, but his sword is just as important as it can be used for either offence or defence, depending upon the situation.

Heimdallr also appears as Heimdalr and Heimdali. The etymology of the name is obscure, but ‘the one who illuminates the world’ has been proposed. The prefix Heim- means world, the affix -dallr is of uncertain origin, perhaps it means pole (Yggdrasil), perhaps bright – He is described as “the brightest of the gods”.

Scholars have produced various theories about the nature of the god, including his apparent relation to rams, that he may be a personification of or connected to the world tree Yggdrasil, and potential Indo-European cognates.

He was known also by two other names – Hallinskidi and Gullintanni. Heimdall was the warder of the entrance to Asgard: the rainbow bridge called Bifröst (Bifrost or Bilrost). He dwelled in his hall Himinbjörg (Himinbiorg – “Cliff of the Hills” or “Heavenly Fall”), at the edge of Asgard, near Bifröst.

Heimdall had super-sharp eyesight and hearing. He was the never-sleeping watchman, whose duties to prevent giants from entering Asgard. His sword was called Heimdall’s Head (Hofund). He also watched and possessed the horn called Gjallahorn. When Heimdall blows Gjallahorn, it would to signify and warn the other gods of the coming of Ragnarök (Ragnarok).

Heimdall was the son of the Nine Waves (nine giantesses, who were sisters; this mean that Heimdall had nine mothers). The Nine Waves were the nine daughters of Aegir. The Nine mothers are the nine waves of the ocean, pictured as “ewes”, and the Heimdall is “the ram”, the ninth wave. Heimdall’s horn is part of that image, apparently, and he is pictured as either the father of the nine waves or as the child of the nine waves, or both.

Heimdall created the three races of mankind: the serfs, the peasants, and the warriors. It is interesting to note why Heimdall fathered them, and not Odin as might be expected. Furthermore, Heimdall is in many attributes identical with Tyr. As Heimdall, the world tree reach from the sky to the underworld so do Nergal (Tyr) as a skylord, but at the same time a god of the underworld.

Algiz rune

Algiz (also Elhaz) is the name conventionally given to the “z-rune” ᛉ of the Elder Futhark runic alphabet. Its transliteration is z, understood as a phoneme of the Proto-Germanic language, the terminal *z continuing Proto-Indo-European terminal *s. Usualy a long “Z”, as in “buzz” is the pronunciation of this rune, but occasionally “R”, or even “M”, although there are other runes that represent these sounds too.

In the physical world, Algiz is a weapon of protection such as a sword, protecting with a sharp edge. In the spiritual world, Algiz represents a faith or belief in the gods or a god and that which is beyond our five physical senses.

The form of the rune resembles an outstretched hand, probably representing the hand of Tyr, which was sacrificed for the safety of the universe. Algiz represents the divine plan as set apart from individual affairs, even in spite of human concerns entirely.

Algiz (also called Elhaz) is a powerful rune, because it represents the divine might of the universe. The white elk was a symbol to the Norse of divine blessing and protection to those it graced with sight of itself.

Algiz is the rune of higher vibrations, the divine plan and higher spiritual awareness. The energy of Algiz is what makes something feel sacred as opposed to mundane. It represents the worlds of Asgard (gods of the Aesir), Ljusalfheim (The Light Elves) and Vanaheim (gods of the Vanir), all connecting and sharing energies with our world, Midgard.

The rune is a ward of protection, a shield against negativity. The urge to defend or protect others, a guardianship, that banishing or warding off of a negative presence. Opening the pathways to connection to the gods, an awakening. A sign to follow your instincts to keep hold of a position earned.

It represents your power to protect yourself and those around you. It also connotes the thrill and joy of a successful hunt. You are in a very enviable position right now, because you are able to maintain what you have built and reach your current goals.

The symbol itself could represent the upper branches of Yggdrasil, a flower opening to receive the sun (Sowilo is the next rune in the futhark after all,) the antlers of the elk (the elk-sedge), the Valkyrie and her wings, or the invoker stance common to many of the world’s priests and shamans.

It also looks like the outstreched branches of a tree or the footprint of a bird, such as a crow or raven. In a very contemporary context, the symbol could be powerfully equated to a satellite dish reaching toward the heavens and communicating with the gods and other entities throughout this and other worlds.

Algiz is the supreme rune of healing and protection. The upright position of this rune was used to denote the date of birth on Viking tombstones. The inverted form was likewise used to give the date of death.

Protection, a shield. The protective urge to shelter oneself or others. Defense, warding off of evil, shield, guardian. Connection with the gods, awakening, higher life. It can be used to channel energies appropriately. Follow your instincts. Keep hold of success or maintain a position won or earned. Algiz Reversed: or Merkstave: Hidden danger, consumption by divine forces, loss of divine link. Taboo, warning, turning away, that which repels.

When Algiz appears in a reading merkstave, it is a warning to proceed with caution and to not act rashly or hastily. You may be vulnerable to hostile influences at this time and need to concentrate on building your strength physically, emotionally and spiritually before moving forward.

Reversed, Algiz is a sign that hidden dangers lie ahead. Ill-health may be about to strike. It may also represent a warning to get a second (or third) opinion before proceeding with anything of importance (eg. signing contracts etc).

Because this specific phoneme was lost at an early time, the Elder Futhark rune underwent changes in the medieval runic alphabets. In the Anglo-Saxon futhorc it retained its shape, but it was given the sound value of Latin x.

The name of the Anglo-Saxon rune ᛉ is variously recorded as eolx, ilcs, ilix, elux, eolhx. Manuscript tradition gives its sound value as Latin x, i.e. /ks/, or alternatively as il, or yet again as “l and x”.

This is a secondary development, possibly due to runic manuscript tradition, and there is no known instance of the rune being used in an Old English inscription. In Proto-Norse and Old Norse, the Germanic *z phoneme developed into an R sound, perhaps realized as a retroflex approximant [ɻ], which is usually transcribed as ʀ.

In the earliest inscriptions, the rune invariably has its standard Ψ-shape. From the 5th century or so, the rune appears optionally in its upside-down variant which would become the standard Younger Futhark yr shape.

There are also other graphical variants; for example, the Charnay Fibula has a superposition of these two variants, resulting in an “asterisk” shape (ᛯ). The 9th-century abecedarium anguliscum in Codex Sangallensis 878 shows eolh as a peculiar shape, as it were a bindrune of the older ᛉ with the Younger Futhark ᛦ, resulting in an “asterisk” shape similar to ior ᛡ.

The shape of the rune may be derived from that a letter expressing /x/ in certain Old Italic alphabets (𐌙), which was in turn derived from the Greek letter Ψ, which had the value of /kʰ/ (rather than /ps/) in the Western Greek alphabet.

The Elder Futhark rune ᛉ is conventionally called Algiz or Elhaz, from the Common Germanic word for “elk”. However, it is suggested that the original name of the rune could have been Common Germanic *algiz (‘Algie’), meaning not “elk” but “protection, defence”.

Manuscript tradition gives its sound value as Latin x, i.e. /ks/, or alternatively as il, or yet again as “l and x”. It has benn suggested that the eolhx (etc.) may have been a corruption of helix, and that the name of the rune may be connected to the use of elux for helix to describe the constellation of Ursa major (as turning around the celestial pole).

An earlier suggestion is that the earliest value of this rune was the labiovelar /hw/, and that its name may have been hweol “wheel”. In the 6th and 7th centuries, the Elder Futhark began to be replaced by the Younger Futhark in Scandinavia. By the 8th century, the Elder Futhark was extinct, and Scandinavian runic inscriptions were exclusively written in Younger Futhark.

The sound was written in the Younger Futhark using the Yr rune ᛦ, the Algiz rune turned upside down, from about the 7th century. This phoneme eventually became indistinguishable from the regular r sound in the later stages of Old Norse, at about the 11th or 12th century.

The Yr rune ᛦ is a rune of the Younger Futhark. Its common transliteration is a small capital ʀ. The shape of the Yr rune in the Younger Futhark is the inverted shape of the Elder Futhark rune (ᛉ). Its name yr (“yew”) is taken from the name of the Elder Futhark Eihwaz rune.

In recent Futhark rune Algiz symbolize the man, which ultimately is just an extension of its meaning of “life” is linked elk, deer, an animal very important for the people of Northern Ireland and the Celtic tradition , represents the God Cernunnos, god of fertility and abundance.

Independently, the shape of the Elder Futhark Algiz rune reappears in the Younger Futhark Maðr rune ᛘ, continuing the Elder Futhark ᛗ rune *Mannaz. *Mannaz is the conventional name of the m-rune ᛗ of the Elder Futhark. It is derived from the reconstructed Common Germanic word for “man”, *mannaz.

Younger Futhark ᛘ is maðr (“man”). It took up the shape of the algiz rune ᛉ, replacing Elder Futhark ᛗ. As its sound value and form in the Elder Futhark indicate, it is derived from the letter M (𐌌) in the Old Italic alphabets, ultimately from the Greek letter Mu (μ).

Algiz Rune

Algiz Rune

Tyr

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Týr is a Germanic god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. One handed, Tyr is worshipped as a pinnacle of righteousness, called upon for valor in battle, balance in law, and the fortitude to face the impossible.

As the cloud of war blackens the world, and fear grips the people, Tyr is stooped by the weight of expectation. With blade in hand, he takes the field. For he is Courage, honor, and justice. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

Old Norse Týr, literally “god”, plural tívar “gods”, comes from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz (cf. Old English Tīw, Old High German Zīo), which continues Proto-Indo-European *deiwós “celestial being, god” (cf. Welsh duw, Latin deus, Lithuanian diẽvas, Sanskrit dēvá, Avestan daēvō (false) “god”, Serbo-Croatian div giant). And *deiwós is based in *dei-, *deyā-, *dīdyā-, meaning ‘to shine’.

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. Dyēus is believed to have been the chief deity in the religious traditions of the prehistoric Proto-Indo-European societies. 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 society.

Although some of the more iconic reflexes of Dyeus are storm deities, such as Zeus and Jupiter, this is thought to be a late development. The deity’s original domain was over the daylight sky, and indeed reflexes emphasise this connection to light: Tiwaz (Stem: Tiwad-) was the Luwian Sun-god.

Tiwas rune

Tiwaz is a warrior rune named after the god Tyr who is the Northern god of law and justice. It is a rune that represents the balance and justice ruled from a higher rationality. It represents the sacrifice of the individual (self) for the well-being of the whole (society).

Honor, justice, leadership and authority. Analysis, rationality. Knowing where one’s true strengths lie. Willingness to self-sacrifice. Victory and success in any competition or in legal matters.

Tiwaz Reversed or Merkstave: One’s energy and creative flow are blocked. Mental paralysis, over-analysis, over-sacrifice, injustice, imbalance. Strife, war, conflict, failure in competition. Dwindling passion, difficulties in communication, and possibly separation.

Tiwaz Rune

Mannaz rune

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Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. According to Tacitus Mannus was the son of Tuisto and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones. The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”.

Mannaz represents the fundamental human qualities of all the men and the women: it is the common experience. The archetype of the humans, considered as the reflection of every thing in the existence, is represented by its shape which still evokes by its geometry the idea of the mutual support. Its legs, connected by Gebo’s cross, evoke a stiff shape identical to the stability acquired thanks to the solidarity.

Mannaz is the rune of the accomplished Man. The most positive human qualities are associated with Mannaz, this rune symbolizes the hope in a bigger accomplishment of Humanity and about its best qualities such as the kindness and the generosity. Mannaz also represents the social order necessary to every person to realize his or her human potential.

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The trident is the weapon of Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea in classical mythology. In Hindu mythology it is the weapon of Shiva, known as trishula (Sanskrit for “triple-spear”). In Greek, Roman, and Hindu mythology, the trident is said to have the power of control over the ocean.

Neptune

Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. Salacia, the goddess of saltwater, was his wife. As his wife, Salacia bore Neptune three children, the most celebrated being Triton, whose body was half man and half fish. She is identified with the Greek goddess Amphitrite, who is the wife of Poseidon and the queen of the sea.

In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld.

Neptune was also considered the legendary progenitor god of a Latin stock, the Faliscans, who called themselves Neptunia proles. In this respect he was the equivalent of Mars, Janus, Saturn and even Jupiter among Latin tribes. Salacia would represent the virile force of Neptune.

Among ancient sources Arnobius provides important information about the theology of Neptune: he writes that according to Nigidius Figulus Neptune was considered one of the Etruscan Penates, together with Apollo, the two deities being credited with bestowing Ilium or Troy situated in the southwest mouth of the Dardanelles strait and northwest of Mount Ida with its immortal walls.

Trident

A trident is a three-pronged spear. It is used for spear fishing and historically as a polearm. The trident is the weapon of Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea in classical mythology. In Hindu mythology it is the weapon of Shiva, known as trishula (Sanskrit for “triple-spear”).

The word “trident” comes from the French word trident, which in turn comes from the Latin word tridens or tridentis: tri “three” and dentes “teeth”. Sanskrit trishula is compound of tri (“three”) + ṣūla (“thorn”). The Greek equivalent is “tríaina”, from Proto-Greek “trianja” (“threefold”).

In Greek, Roman, and Hindu mythology, the trident is said to have the power of control over the ocean. In relation to its fishing origins, the trident is associated with Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology, and his Roman counterpart Neptune. In Roman myth, Neptune also used a trident to create new bodies of water and cause earthquakes. A good example can be seen in Gian Bernini’s Neptune and Triton.

In Greek myth, Poseidon used his trident to create water sources in Greece and the horse. Poseidon, as well as being god of the sea, was also known as the “Earth Shaker” because when he struck the earth in anger he caused mighty earthquakes and he used his trident to stir up tidal waves, tsunamis and sea storms.

In Hindu legends and stories Shiva, a Hindu God who holds a trident in his hand, uses this sacred weapon to fight off negativity in the form of evil villains. The trident is also said to represent three gunas mentioned in Indian vedic philosophy namely sāttvika, rājasika, and tāmasika. The trishula of the Hindu god Shiva. A weapon of South-East Asian (particularly Thai) depiction of Hanuman, a character of Ramayana.

In religious Taoism, the trident represents the Taoist Trinity, the Three Pure Ones. In Taoist rituals, a trident bell is used to invite the presence of deities and summon spirits, as the trident signifies the highest authority of Heaven.

Paredrae

Salacia is known as the goddess of springs, ruling over the springs of highly mineralized waters. Salacia is represented as a beautiful nymph, crowned with seaweed, either enthroned beside Neptune or driving with him in a pearl shell chariot drawn by dolphins, sea-horses (hippocamps) or other fabulous creatures of the deep, and attended by Tritons and Nereids.

Venilia, in Roman mythology, is a deity associated with the winds and the sea. She and Salacia are the paredrae, entities who pair or accompany a god, of Neptune. According to Virgil and Ovid she was a nymph, the sister of Amata, and the wife of Janus (or Faunus) with whom she had three children, Turnus, Juturna, and Canens.

In the view of Dumézil, Neptune’s two paredrae Salacia and Venilia represent the overpowering and the tranquil aspects of water, both natural and domesticated: Salacia would impersonate the gushing, overbearing waters and Venilia the still or quietly flowing waters. Dumézil’s interpretation has though been varied as he also stated that the jolt implied by Salacia’s name, the attitude to be salax lustful, must underline a feature characteristic of the god.

Salacia and Venilia have been discussed by scholars both ancient and modern. Varro connects the first to salum, sea, and the second to ventus, wind. Festus writes of Salacia that she is the deity that generates the motion of the sea. While Venilia would cause the waves to come to the shore Salacia would cause their retreating towards the high sea.

Mermaid

In folklore, a mermaid is an aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition), they can be benevolent or beneficent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.

The word mermaid is a compound of the Old English mere (sea), and maid (a girl or young woman). The male equivalent of the mermaid is the merman, also a familiar figure in folklore and heraldry. Although traditions about and sightings of mermen are less common than those of mermaids, they are generally assumed to co-exist with their female counterparts.

Pisces is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 330° to 360° of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac the sun transits this area on average between February 18 and March 20, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits this area between approximately March 13 and April 13. The symbol of the fish is derived from the ichthyocentaurs, who aided Aphrodite when she was born from the sea.

Virgo is the sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans the 150-180th degree of the zodiac. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between August 23 and September 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits the constellation of Virgo from September 17 to October 17.

The constellation Virgo has multiple different origins depending on which mythology is being studied. The symbol of the maiden is based on Astraea. Pisces has been called the “dying god,” where its sign opposite in the night sky is Virgo, or, the Virgin Mary.

Most myths generally view Virgo as a virgin/maiden with heavy association with wheat. In Greek and Roman mythology they relate the constellation to Demeter, mother of Persephone, or Proserpina in Roman, the goddess of the harvest.

The first stories of mermaids appeared in ancient Assyria c. 1000 BC., in which the goddess Atargatis, the chief goddess of northern Syria in Classical Antiquity, transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover.

Primarily Atargatis was a goddess of fertility, but, as the baalat (“mistress”) of her city and people, she was also responsible for their protection and well-being. As Ataratheh, doves and fish were considered sacred to her: doves as an emblem of the Love-Goddess, and fish as symbolic of the fertility and life of the waters.

Atargatis is seen as a continuation of Bronze Age goddesses. At Ugarit, cuneiform tablets attest the three great Canaanite goddesses:ʾAṭirat, described as a fecund “Lady Goddess of the Sea”, who is identified with Asherah, Anat, the war-like virgin goddess, andʿAțtart, the goddess of love.

These shared many traits with each other and may have been worshipped in conjunction or separately during 1500 years of cultural history. Cognates of Ugaritic ʿAțtart include Phoenician ʿAštart – hellenized as Astarte –, Old Testament Hebrew ʿAštoreth, and Himyaritic ʿAthtar. Compare the cognate Akkadian form Ištar.

Asherah in ancient Semitic religion, is a mother goddess who appears in a number of ancient sources. Sources from before 1200 BC almost always credit Athirat with her full title “Lady Athirat of the Sea” or as more fully translated “she who treads on the sea”. The name is understood by various translators and commentators to be from the Ugaritic root ʾaṯr “stride”, cognate with the Hebrew root ʾšr, of the same meaning.

Asherah is identified as the queen consort of the Sumerian god Anu, and Ugaritic El, the oldest deities of their respective pantheons, as well as Yahweh, the god of Israel and Judah. She is equated with the native Egyptian goddess Hathor. Among the Hittites this goddess appears as Asherdu(s) or Asertu(s), the consort of Elkunirsa (“El the Creator of Earth”).

Athirat in Akkadian texts appears as Ashratum (or, Antu), the wife of Anu, the God of Heaven. In contrast, ʿAshtart is believed to be linked to the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar who is sometimes portrayed as the daughter of Anu while in Ugaritic myth, ʿAshtart is one of the daughters of El, the West Semitic counterpart of Anu.

Pisces

Neptune is the ruling planet of Pisces and is exalted in Cancer. The Pisces is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 330° to 360° of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac the sun transits this area on average between February 18 and March 20, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits this area between approximately March 13 and April 13. Its glyph is taken directly from Neptune’s trident, symbolizing the curve of spirit being pierced by the cross of matter.

Today, the First Point of Aries, or the vernal equinox, is in the Pisces constellation. Pisces are the mutable water sign of the zodiac. They represent emotion, intuition, imagination, escapism, romance, and impressionism. The astrological symbol shows the two fishes captured by a string, typically by the mouth or the tails. The fish are usually portrayed swimming in opposite directions; this represents the duality within the Piscean nature.

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 story of the birth of Christ is said to be a result of the spring equinox entering into the Pisces, as the Savior of the World appeared as the Fisher of Men. This parallels the entering into the Age of Pisces. Pisces has been called the “dying god,” where its sign opposite in the night sky is Virgo, or, the Virgin Mary.

Etymology

The etymology of Latin Neptunus is unclear and disputed. The ancient grammarian Varro derived the name from nuptus i.e. “covering” (opertio), with a more or less explicit allusion to the nuptiae, “marriage of Heaven and Earth”.

Among modern scholars Paul Kretschmer proposed a derivation from IE *neptu- “moist substance”. Similarly Raymond Bloch supposed it might be an adjectival form in -no from *nuptu-, meaning “he who is moist”.

Georges Dumézil though remarked words deriving root *nep- are not attested in IE languages other than Vedic and Avestan. He proposed an etymology that brings together Neptunus with Vedic and Avestan theonyms Apam Napat, Apam Napá and Old Irish theonym Nechtan, all meaning descendant of the waters.

By using the comparative approach the Indo-Iranian, Avestan and Irish figures would show common features with the Roman historicised legends about Neptune. Dumézil thence proposed to derive the nouns from IE root *nepot-, “descendant, sister’s son”.

More recently, in his lectures delivered on various occasions in the 1990s, German scholar Hubert Petersmann proposed an etymology from IE rootstem *nebh- related to clouds and fogs, plus suffix -tu denoting an abstract verbal noun, and adjectival suffix -no which refers to the domain of activity of a person or his prerogatives.

IE root *nebh-, having the original meaning of “damp, wet”, has given Sanskrit nábhah, Hittite nepis, Latin nubs, nebula, German Nebel, Slavic nebo etc. The concept would be close to that expressed in the name of Greek god Uranus, derived from IE root *hwórso-, “to water, irrigate” and *hworsó-, “the irrigator”. This etymology would be more in accord with Varro’s.

Nepet is considered a hydronymic toponym of pre Indoeuropean origin widespread in Europe and from an appellative meaning “damp wide valley, plain”, cognate with the pre-Greek word for “wooded valley”.

The god of springs 

Neptune was likely associated with fresh water springs before the sea. Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshipped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing.

It has been argued that Indo-European people, having no direct knowledge of the sea as they originated from inland areas, reused the theology of a deity originally either chthonic or wielding power over inland freshwaters as the god of the sea.

This feature has been preserved particularly well in the case of Neptune who was definitely a god of springs, lakes and rivers before becoming also a god of the sea, as is testified by the numerous findings of inscriptions mentioning him in the proximity of such locations.

In the earlier times it was the god Portunus or Fortunus who was thanked for naval victories, but Neptune supplanted him in this role by at least the first century BC when Sextus Pompeius called himself “son of Neptune.”

Servius the grammarian also explicitly states Neptune is in charge of all the rivers, springs and waters. He also is the lord of horses because he worked with Minerva to make the chariot.

He may find a parallel in Irish god Nechtan, master of the well from which all the rivers of the world flow out and flow back to. Poseidon on the other hand underwent the process of becoming the main god of the sea at a much earlier time, as is shown in the Iliad.

Fertility deity and divine ancestor

Preller, Fowler, Petersmann and Takács attribute to the theology of Neptune broader significance as a god of universal worldly fertility, particularly relevant to agriculture and human reproduction. Thence they interpret Salacia as personifying lust and Venilia as related to venia, the attitude of ingraciating, attraction, connected with love and desire for reproduction.

Neptune might have been an ancient deity of the cloudy and rainy sky in company with and in opposition to Zeus/Jupiter, god of the clear bright sky. Besides Zeus/Jupiter, (rooted in IE *dei(h) to shine, who originally represented the bright daylight of fine weather sky), the ancient Indo-Europeans venerated a god of heavenly damp or wet as the generator of life.

This fact would be testified by Hittite theonyms nepišaš (D)IŠKURaš or nepišaš (D)Tarhunnaš “the lord of sky wet”, that was revered as the sovereign of Earth and men. Even though over time this function was transferred to Zeus/Jupiter who became also the sovereign of weather, reminiscences of the old function survived in literature.

The indispensability of water for its fertilizing quality and its strict connexion to reproduction is universal knowledge. The sexual and fertility significance of both Salacia and Venilia is implicated on the grounds of the context of the cults of Neptune, of Varro’s interpretation of Salacia as eager for sexual intercourse and of the connexion of Venilia with a nymph or Venus.

Similar to Caelus, he would be the father of all living beings on Earth through the fertilising power of rainwater. This hieros gamos of Neptune and Earth would be reflected in literature. The virile potency of Neptune would be represented by Salacia (derived from salax, salio in its original sense of salacious, lustful, desiring sexual intercourse, covering).

Salacia would then represent the god’s desire for intercourse with Earth, his virile generating potency manifesting itself in rainfall. While Salacia would denote the overcast sky, the other character of the god would be reflected by his other paredra Venilia, representing the clear sky dotted with clouds of good weather.

The theonym Venilia would be rooted in a not attested adjective *venilis, from IE root *ven(h) meaning to love, desire, realised in Sanskrit vánati, vanóti, he loves, Old Island. vinr friend, German Wonne, Latin Venus, venia.

The deity of the cloudy and rainy sky

Developing his understanding of the theonym as rooted in IE *nebh, it has been proposed that the god would be an ancient deity of the cloudy and rainy sky in company with and in opposition to Zeus/Jupiter, god of the clear bright sky. Similar to Caelus, he would be the father of all living beings on Earth through the fertilising power of rainwater.

This hieros gamos of Neptune and Earth would be reflected in literature, e.g. in pater Neptunus. The virile potency of Neptune would be represented by Salacia (derived from salax, salio in its original sense of salacious, lustful, desiring sexual intercourse, covering).

Salacia would then represent the god’s desire for intercourse with Earth, his virile generating potency manifesting itself in rainfall. While Salacia would denote the overcast sky, the other character of the god would be reflected by his other paredra Venilia, representing the clear sky dotted with clouds of good weather.

The theonym Venilia would be rooted in a not attested adjective *venilis, from IE root *ven(h) meaning to love, desire, realised in Sanskrit vánati, vanóti, he loves, Old Island. vinr friend, German Wonne, Latin Venus, venia. Reminiscences of this double aspect of Neptune would be “uterque Neptunus”.

In Petersmann’s conjecture, besides Zeus/Jupiter, (rooted in IE *dei(h) to shine, who originally represented the bright daylight of fine weather sky), the ancient Indo-Europeans venerated a god of heavenly damp or wet as the generator of life. This fact would be testified by Hittite theonyms nepišaš (D)IŠKURaš or nepišaš (D)Tarhunnaš “the lord of sky wet”, that was revered as the sovereign of Earth and men.

Even though over time this function was transferred to Zeus/Jupiter who became also the sovereign of weather, reminiscences of the old function survived in literature. The indispensability of water for its fertilizing quality and its strict connexion to reproduction is universal knowledge.

Hadad, Adad, Haddad (Akkadian) or Iškur (Sumerian) was the storm and rain god in the Northwest Semitic and ancient Mesopotamian religions. He was attested in Ebla as “Hadda” in c. 2500 BCE. From the Levant, Hadad was introduced to Mesopotamia by the Amorites, where he became known as the Akkadian (Assyrian-Babylonian) god Adad.

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

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

Though originating in northern Mesopotamia, Adad was identified by the same Sumerogram dIM that designated Iškur in the south. His worship became widespread in Mesopotamia after the First Babylonian Dynasty. A text dating from the reign of Ur-Ninurta characterizes Adad/Iškur as both threatening in his stormy rage and generally life-giving and benevolent.

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. Iškur is also sometimes described as the son of Enlil. The bull was portrayed as Adad/Iškur’s sacred animal starting in the Old Babylonian period (the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE).

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. 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.

He is identified with the Anatolian storm-god Teshub, whom the Mitannians designated with the same Sumerogram dIM. Occasionally Adad/Iškur is identified with the god Amurru, the god of the Amorites.

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.

Descriptions of Adad starting in the Kassite period and in the region of Mari emphasize his destructive, stormy character and his role as a fearsome warrior deity, in contrast to Iškur’s more peaceful and pastoral character. Shamash and Adad became in combination the gods of oracles and of divination in general.

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 to determine fertility. 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.

Nechtan

The name could ultimately be derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *nepot- “descendant, sister’s son”, or, alternatively, from nebh- “damp, wet”. Another etymology suggests that Nechtan is derived from Old-Irish necht “clean, pure and white”, with a root -neg “to wash”, from IE neigᵘ̯- “to wash”.

As such, the name would be closely related mythological beings, who were dwelling near wells and springs: English neck (from Anglosaxon nicor), Swedish Näck, German Nixe and Dutch nikker, meaning “river monster, water spirit, crocodile, hippopotamus”, hence Old-Norse nykr “water spirit in the form of a horse”.

In Etruscan mythology, Nethuns was the god of wells, later expanded to all water, including the sea. According to Georges Dumézil the name Nechtan is perhaps cognate with that of the Romano-British god Nodens or the Roman god Neptunus, and the Persian and Vedic gods sharing the name Apam Napat.

In Irish mythology, the Well of Nechtan (also called the Well of Coelrind, Well of Connla, and Well of Segais) is one of a number of Otherworldly wells that are variously depicted as “The Well of Wisdom”, “The Well of Knowledge” and the source of some of the rivers of Ireland. The well is the home to the salmon of wisdom, and surrounded with hazel trees, which also signify knowledge and wisdom.

Nechtan or Nectan became a common Celtic name and a number of historical or legendary figures bear it. Nechtan was a frequent name for Pictish kings.

In Norse mythology, Mímisbrunnr (Old Norse “Mímir’s well”) is a well associated with the being Mímir, located beneath the world tree Yggdrasil. The well contains “wisdom and intelligence” and “the master of the well is called Mimir.

Mimir is full of learning because he drinks of the well from the horn Giallarhorn (Old Norse “yelling horn” or “the loud sounding horn”), a horn associated with the god Heimdallr and the wise being Mímir. Using Gjallarhorn, Heimdallr drinks from the well and thus is himself wise.

Urðarbrunnr (Old Norse “Well of Urðr”; either referring to a Germanic concept of fate—urðr—or the norn named Urðr) is a well in Norse mythology. Urðarbrunnr 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.

In both sources, the well lies beneath the world tree Yggdrasil, and is associated with a trio of norns (Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld). In the Prose Edda, Urðarbrunnr is cited as one of three wells existing beneath three roots of Yggdrasil that reach into three distant, different lands; the other two wells being Hvergelmir, located beneath a root in Niflheim, and Mímisbrunnr, located beneath a root near the home of the frost jötnar.

In the Poetic Edda, Urðarbrunnr is mentioned in stanzas 19 and 20 of the poem Völuspá, and stanza 111 of the poem Hávamál. In stanza 19 of Völuspá, Urðarbrunnr is described as being located beneath Yggdrasil, and that Yggdrasil, an ever-green ash-tree, is covered with white mud or loam.

Stanza 20 describes that three norns (Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld) “come from” the well, here described as a “lake”, and that this trio of norns then “set down laws, they chose lives, for the sons of men the fates of men.”

Apzu

The name “Nethuns” is likely cognate with that of the Celtic god Nechtan and the Persian and Vedic gods sharing the name Apam Napat, perhaps all based on the Proto-Indo-European word *népōts “nephew, grandson.” In the Rig Veda, Apām Napāt (Lord Varuna) is the angel of rain. Apam Napat created all existential beings.

Apām Napāt in Sanskrit mean “son of waters” and grandson of Apah and Apąm Napāt in Avestan means “Fire on Water”. Sanskrit and Avestan napāt (“grandson”) are cognate to Latin nepōs and English nephew, but the name Apām Napāt has also been compared to Etruscan Nethuns and Celtic Nechtan and Roman Neptune. Apam Napat has a golden splendour and is said to be kindled by the cosmic waters.

The Abzu or Apsu (ZU.AB; Sumerian: abzu; Akkadian: apsû), also called engur (Sumerian: engur; Akkadian: engurru – lit., ab=’water’ zu=’deep’), was the name for fresh water from underground aquifers which was given a religious fertilising quality in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology.

Lakes, springs, rivers, wells, and other sources of fresh water were thought to draw their water from the abzu. In this respect, in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology it referred to the primeval sea below the void space of the underworld (Kur) and the earth (Ma) above.

 

Abzu is depicted as a deity only in the Babylonian creation epic, the Enûma Elish, taken from the library of Assurbanipal (c 630 BCE) but which is about 500 years older. In this story, he was a primal being made of fresh water and a lover to another primal deity, Tiamat, who was a creature of salt water.

The Enuma Elish begins: “When above the heavens did not yet exist nor the earth below, Apsu the freshwater ocean was there, the first, the begetter, and Tiamat, the saltwater sea, she who bore them all; they were still mixing their waters, and no pasture land had yet been formed, nor even a reed marsh.”

This resulted in the birth of the younger gods, who later murder Apsu in order to usurp his lordship of the universe. Enraged, Tiamat gives birth to the first dragons, filling their bodies with “venom instead of blood”, and made war upon her treacherous children, only to be slain by Marduk, the god of Storms, who then forms the heavens and earth from her corpse.

 

Enki

Enki (Sumerian: dEN.KI(G) is the Sumerian god of water, knowledge (gestú), mischief, crafts (gašam), and creation (nudimmud). He was later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology. He was originally patron god of the city of Eridu, but later the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and Hurrians.

Enki was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field (Square of Pegasus). Pegasus is a constellation in the northern sky, named after the winged horse Pegasus in Greek mythology.

The Babylonian constellation IKU (field) had four stars of which three were later part of the Greek constellation Hippos (Pegasus). In ancient Persia, Pegasus was depicted by al-Sufi as a complete horse facing east, unlike most other uranographers, who had depicted Pegasus as half of a horse, rising out of the ocean.

In the city of Eridu, Enki’s temple was known as E-abzu (house of the cosmic waters) and was located at the edge of a swamp, an abzu. Certain tanks of holy water in Babylonian and Assyrian temple courtyards were also called abzu (apsû). Typical in religious washing, these tanks were similar to Judaism’s mikvot, the washing pools of Islamic mosques, or the baptismal font in Christian churches.

The Sumerian god Enki (Ea in the Akkadian language) was believed to have lived in the abzu since before human beings were created. His wife Damgalnuna, his mother Nammu, his advisor Isimud and a variety of subservient creatures, such as the gatekeeper Lahmu, also lived in the abzu.

In the later Babylonian epic Enûma Eliš, Abzu, the “begetter of the gods”, is inert and sleepy but finds his peace disturbed by the younger gods, so sets out to destroy them. His grandson Enki, chosen to represent the younger gods, puts a spell on Abzu “casting him into a deep sleep”, thereby confining him deep underground. Enki subsequently sets up his home “in the depths of the Abzu.” Enki thus takes on all of the functions of the Abzu, including his fertilising powers as lord of the waters and lord of semen.

In another even older tradition, Nammu, the goddess of the primeval creative matter and the mother-goddess portrayed as having “given birth to the great gods,” was the mother of Enki, and as the watery creative force, was said to preexist Ea-Enki.

In Sumerian mythology, Nammu (also Namma, spelled ideographically dNAMMA = dENGUR) was a primeval goddess, corresponding to Tiamat in Babylonian mythology. She was the Goddess sea (Engur) that gave birth to An (heaven) and Ki (earth) and the first gods, representing the Apsu, the fresh water ocean that the Sumerians believed lay beneath the earth, the source of life-giving water and fertility in a country with almost no rainfall.

Nammu is the goddess who “has given birth to the great gods”. It is she who has the idea of creating mankind, and she goes to wake up Enki, who is asleep in the Apsu, so that he may set the process going. Benito states “With Enki it is an interesting change of gender symbolism, the fertilising agent is also water, Sumerian “a” or “Ab” which also means “semen”. In one evocative passage in a Sumerian hymn, Enki stands at the empty riverbeds and fills them with his ‘water'”.

The main temple to Enki was called E-abzu, meaning “abzu temple” (also E-en-gur-a, meaning “house of the subterranean waters”), a ziggurat temple surrounded by Euphratean marshlands near the ancient Persian Gulf coastline at Eridu. It was the first temple known to have been built in Southern Iraq.

Four separate excavations at the site of Eridu have demonstrated the existence of a shrine dating back to the earliest Ubaid period, more than 6,500 years ago. Over the following 4,500 years, the temple was expanded 18 times, until it was abandoned during the Persian period.

On this basis Thorkild Jacobsen has hypothesized that the original deity of the temple was Abzu, with his attributes later being taken by Enki over time. P. Steinkeller believes that, during the earliest period, Enki had a subordinate position to a goddess (possibly Ninhursag), taking the role of divine consort or high priest, later taking priority.

The Enki temple had at its entrance a pool of fresh water, and excavation has found numerous carp bones, suggesting collective feasts. Carp are shown in the twin water flows running into the later God Enki, suggesting continuity of these features over a very long period.

These features were found at all subsequent Sumerian temples, suggesting that this temple established the pattern for all subsequent Sumerian temples. “All rules laid down at Eridu were faithfully observed”.

Enki and later Ea were apparently depicted, sometimes, as a man covered with the skin of a fish, and this representation, as likewise the name of his temple E-apsu, “house of the watery deep”, points decidedly to his original character as a god of the waters.

Beginning around the second millennium BCE, he was sometimes referred to in writing by the numeric ideogram for “40”, occasionally referred to as his “sacred number”. The planet Mercury, associated with Babylonian Nabu (the son of Marduk) was, in Sumerian times, identified with Enki.

A large number of myths about Enki have been collected from many sites, stretching from Southern Iraq to the Levantine coast. He is mentioned in the earliest extant cuneiform inscriptions throughout the region and was prominent from the third millennium down to Hellenistic times.

The exact meaning of his name is uncertain: the common translation is “Lord of the Earth”. The Sumerian En is translated as a title equivalent to “lord” and was originally a title given to the High Priest. Ki means “earth”, but there are theories that ki in this name has another origin, possibly kig of unknown meaning, or kur meaning “mound”.

Early royal inscriptions from the third millennium BCE mention “the reeds of Enki”. Reeds were an important local building material, used for baskets and containers, and collected outside the city walls, where the dead or sick were often carried. This links Enki to the Kur or underworld of Sumerian mythology.

The name Ea is allegedly Hurrian in origin while others claim that his name ‘Ea’ is possibly of Semitic origin and may be a derivation from the West-Semitic root *hyy meaning “life” in this case used for “spring”, “running water”. In Sumerian E-A means “the house of water”, and it has been suggested that this was originally the name for the shrine to the god at Eridu.

It has also been suggested that the original non-anthropomorphic divinity at Eridu was not Enki but Abzu. The emergence of Enki as the divine lover of Ninhursag, and the divine battle between the younger Igigi divinities and Abzu, saw the Abzu, the underground waters of the Aquifer, becoming the place in which the foundations of the temple were built.

Enki was the keeper of the divine powers called Me, the gifts of civilization. He is often shown with the horned crown of divinity. Considered the master shaper of the world, god of wisdom and of all magic, Enki was characterized as the lord of the Abzu (Apsu in Akkadian), the freshwater sea or groundwater located within the earth.

On the Adda Seal, Enki is depicted with two streams of water flowing into each of his shoulders: one the Tigris, the other the Euphrates. Alongside him are two trees, symbolizing the male and female aspects of nature. He is shown wearing a flounced skirt and a cone-shaped hat. An eagle descends from above to land upon his outstretched right arm. This portrayal reflects Enki’s role as the god of water, life, and replenishment.

Enki/Ea is essentially a god of civilization, wisdom, and culture. He was also the creator and protector of man, and of the world in general. It is, however, as the third figure in the triad (the two other members of which were Anu and Enlil) that Ea acquires his permanent place in the pantheon. To him was assigned the control of the watery element, and in this capacity he becomes the shar apsi; i.e. king of the Apsu or “the deep”.

The Apsu was figured as the abyss of water beneath the earth, and since the gathering place of the dead, known as Aralu, was situated near the confines of the Apsu, he was also designated as En-Ki; i.e. “lord of that which is below”, in contrast to Anu, who was the lord of the “above” or the heavens.

The consort of Ea, known as Ninhursag, Ki, Uriash Damkina, “lady of that which is below”, or Damgalnunna, “big lady of the waters”, originally was fully equal with Ea, but in more patriarchal Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian times plays a part merely in association with her lord.

Generally, however, Enki seems to be a reflection of pre-patriarchal times, in which relations between the sexes were characterised by a situation of greater gender equality. In his character, he prefers persuasion to conflict, which he seeks to avoid if possible.

Ninhursag

In Sumerian religion, Ninḫursaĝ (DNIN-ḪUR.SAG) was a mother goddess of the mountains, and one of the seven great deities of Sumer. She is principally a fertility goddess. Temple hymn sources identify her as the “true and great lady of heaven” (possibly in relation to her standing on the mountain) and kings of Sumer were “nourished by Ninhursag’s milk”.

Sometimes her hair is depicted in an omega shape and at times she wears a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders. Frequently she carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash. She is the tutelary deity to several Sumerian leaders.

In the text ‘Creator of the Hoe’, she completed the birth of mankind after the heads had been uncovered by Enki’s hoe. In creation texts, Ninmah (another name for Ninhursag) acts as a midwife whilst the mother goddess Nammu makes different kinds of human individuals from lumps of clay at a feast given by Enki to celebrate the creation of humankind.

Her symbol, resembling the Greek letter omega Ω, has been depicted in art from approximately 3000 BC, although more generally from the early second millennium BC. The omega symbol is associated with the Egyptian cow goddess Hathor, and may represent a stylized womb. The symbol appears on very early imagery from Ancient Egypt. Hathor is at times depicted on a mountain, so it may be that the two goddesses are connected.

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

Hursag

Hursag (ḪUR.SAĜ) is a Sumerian term variously translated as meaning “mountain”, “hill”, “foothills” or “piedmont”. Thorkild Jacobsen extrapolated the translation in his later career to mean literally, “head of the valleys”. Some scholars also identify hursag with an undefined mountain range or strip of raised land outside the plain of Mesopotamia.

In a myth variously entitled by Samuel Noah Kramer as “The Deeds and Exploits of Ninurta” and later Ninurta Myth Lugal-e by Thorkild Jacobsen, Hursag is described as a mound of stones constructed by Ninurta after his defeat of a demon called Asag.

Ninurta’s mother Ninlil (DNIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), the consort goddess of Enlil, visits the location after this great victory. In return for her love and loyalty, Ninurta gives Ninlil the hursag as a gift. Her name is consequentially changed from Ninlil to Ninhursag or the “mistress of the Hursag”.

The hursag is described here in a clear cultural myth as a high wall, levee, dam or floodbank, used to restrain the excess mountain waters and floods caused by the melting snow and spring rain. The hursag is constructed with Ninurta’s skills in irrigation engineering and employed to improve the agriculture of the surrounding lands, farms and gardens where the water had previously been wasted.

Apkallu

Adapa, the first of the Mesopotamian seven sages (apkallu[a]), 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.

Adapa was a mortal man from a godly lineage, a son of Ea (Enki in Sumerian), the god of wisdom and of the ancient city of Eridu, who brought the arts of civilization to that city (from Dilmun, according to some versions).

Adapa is often identified as an adviser to the mythical first (antediluvian) king of Eridu, Alulim. In addition to his advisory duties, he served as a priest and exorcist, and upon his death took his place among the Seven Sages or Apkallū. (Apkallu “sage”, comes from Sumerian AB.GAL “great water”, a reference to Adapa the first sage’s association with water).

Mesopotamian myth tells of seven antediluvian sages, who were sent by Ea, the wise god of Eridu, to bring the arts of civilisation to humankind. They were seen as fish-like men who emerged from the sweet water Abzu. 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.

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. Adapa as a fisherman was iconographically portrayed as a fish-man composite.

According to the myth, human beings were initially unaware of the benefits of culture and civilization. The god Enki (or Ea) sent from Dilmun (or Abzu) amphibious half-fish, half-human divine creatures, who emerged from the oceans to live with the early human beings and teach them the arts and other aspects of civilization such as writing, law, temple and city building and agriculture. According to the Temple Hymn of Ku’ara, all seven sages are said to have originally belonged to the city of Eridu.

These creatures are known as the Apkallu. They are credited with giving mankind the Me (moral code), the crafts, and the arts, and therefore referred to at times with the epithet ‘Craftsmen’. They remained with human beings after teaching them the ways of civilization, and served as advisors to the antediluvian kings. After the Flood, Marduk banished them back to Abzu.

Apkallu and human beings were presumably capable of conjugal relationships since after the flood, the myth states that four Apkallu appeared. These were part human and part Apkallu. These Apkallus are said to have committed various transgressions which angered the gods.

These seeming negative deeds of the later Apkallu and their roles as wise councillors has led some scholars to equate them with the nephilim of Genesis 6:4. After these four post-diluvian Apkallus came the first completely human advisers, who were called ummanu.

Gilgamesh, the mythical king of Uruk, is said to be the first king to have had an entirely human adviser. In recent times, scholars have also suggested the Apkallu are the Raphaim and are the model for the biblical world human beings and flood survivors such as Enoch, the ancestor of Noah.

Apkallu reliefs appear prominently in Assyrian palaces as guardians against evil spirits, particularly during the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911-605 BC). They are one of the more prominent supernatural creatures that appear in the art of Ashurnasirpal II of the 9th century BC. They appear in one of three forms, bird-headed, human-headed or dressed in fish-skin cloaks.

In non-cuneiform sources, they find references in the writings of Berossus, the 3rd century BC, Babylonian priest of Bel Marduk. Berossus describes the appearance from the Persian Gulf of the first of these sages Oannes and describes him as a monster with two heads, the body of a fish and human feet. He then relates that more of these monsters followed. The seven sages are also referred to in an exorcistic text where they are described as bearing the likeness of carps.

Oannes (Ὡάννης) was the name given by the Babylonian writer Berossus in the 3rd century BC to a mythical being who taught mankind wisdom. Berossus describes Oannes as having the body of a fish but underneath the figure of a man. He is described as dwelling in the Persian Gulf, and rising out of the waters in the daytime and furnishing mankind instruction in writing, the arts and the various sciences.

Oannes and the Semitic god Dagon were considered identical, but not until long after those gods were formally worshiped – this belief was popularized by the medieval Jewish commentator Rashi and in Dante’s Inferno, but has been discarded by modern scholars.

The name “Oannes” was once conjectured to be derived from that of the ancient Babylonian god Ea, but it is now known that the name is the Greek form of the Babylonian Uanna (or Uan), a name used for Adapa in texts from the Library of Ashurbanipal. The Assyrian texts attempt to connect the word to the Akkadian for a craftsman, ummanu, but this is merely a pun.

Consus

Neptune does not show any direct equine character or linkage. On the other hand, Roman god Consus, the protector of grains represented by a grain seed, was associated with horses: his underground altar was located in the valley of the Circus Maximus at the foot of the Palatine, the place of horse races.

Perhaps under the influence of Poseidon Consus, whose festival entailed horse races, was reinterpreted as Neptunus equestris and for his underground altar also identified with Poseidon. Moreover, the etymology of Poseidon, understood as from Posis lord, husband and De grain or Earth, may have contributed to the identification of Consus with Neptune.

Consus became a god associated with secret conferences, as his name was also interpreted allegorically in relation to consilium (“council, assembly”). Servius says that Consus is the god of councils. This power of hidden counselling held by Consus seems to be related to the concept expressed by Dionysius and Plutarch that he is the “holder” of the Earth, an idea that makes of him a parallel to Poseidon.

So although it is certain that condere and consulere are from two different roots, it looks the character of Consus as hidden master of the Earth was at the basis of the identification with Poseidon, as well as the strict affinity of the two gods with the horse.

Sabazius

Neptune is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. It has been argued that Indo-European people, having no direct knowledge of the sea as they originated from inland areas, reused the theology of a deity originally either chthonic or wielding power over inland freshwaters as the god of the sea.

This feature has been preserved particularly well in the case of Neptune who was definitely a god of springs, lakes and rivers before becoming also a god of the sea, as is testified by the numerous findings of inscriptions mentioning him in the proximity of such locations.

Like Poseidon, Neptune was worshipped by the Romans also as a god of horses, under the name Neptunus Equester, a patron of horse-racing. Poseidon was connected to the horse since the earliest times, well before any connection of him with the sea was attested, and may even have originally been conceived under equine form.

Sabazios is the horseman and sky father god of the Phrygians and Thracians. In Indo-European languages, such as Phrygian, the -zios element in his name derives from dyeus, the common precursor of Latin deus (‘god’) and Greek Zeus.

Though the Greeks interpreted Phrygian Sabazios as both Zeus and Dionysus, representations of him, even into Roman times, show him always on horseback, as a nomadic horseman god, wielding his characteristic staff of power.

It seems likely that the migrating Phrygians brought Sabazios with them when they settled in Anatolia in the early first millennium BCE, and that the god’s origins are to be looked for in Macedonia and Thrace.

The recently discovered ancient sanctuary of Perperikon in modern-day Bulgaria is believed to be that of Sabazios. The Macedonians were also noted horsemen, horse-breeders and horse-worshippers up to the time of Philip II, whose name signifies “lover of horses”.

Possible early conflict between Sabazios and his followers and the indigenous mother goddess of Phrygia (Cybele) may be reflected in Homer’s brief reference to the youthful feats of Priam, who aided the Phrygians in their battles with Amazons.

An aspect of the compromise religious settlement, similar to the other such mythic adjustments throughout Aegean culture, can be read in the later Phrygian King Gordias’ adoption “with Cybele” of Midas.

One of the native religion’s creatures was the Lunar Bull. Sabazios’ relations with the goddess may be surmised in the way that his horse places a hoof on the head of the bull, in a Roman marble relief at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Though Roman in date, the iconic image appears to be much earlier.

The iconic image of the god or hero on horseback battling the chthonic serpent, on which his horse tramples, appears on Celtic votive columns, and with the coming of Christianity it was easily transformed into the image of Saint George and the Dragon, whose earliest known depictions are from tenth- and eleventh-century Cappadocia and eleventh-century Georgia and Armenia.

Among Roman inscriptions from Nicopolis ad Istrum, Sabazios is generally equated with Jove and mentioned alongside Mercury. Similarly in Hellenistic monuments, Sabazios is either explicitly (via inscriptions) or implicitly (via iconography) associated with Zeus.

On a marble slab from Philippopolis, Sabazios is depicted as a curly-haired and bearded central deity among several gods and goddesses. According to Macrobius, Liber and Helios were worshipped among the Thracians as Sabazios; this description fits other Classical accounts that identify Sabazios with Dionysos.

Sabazios is also associated with a number of archeological finds depicting a bronze, right hand in the benedictio latina gesture. The hand appears to have had ritual significance and may have been affixed to a sceptre (as the one carried by Sabazios on the Philippopolis slab).

Although there are many variations, the hand of Sabazios is typically depicted with a pinecone on the thumb and with a serpent or pair of serpents encircling the wrist and surmounting the bent ring and pinky fingers.

Additional symbols occasionally included on the hands of Sabazios include a lightning bolt over the index and middle fingers, a turtle and lizard on the back of the hand, an eagle, a ram, a leafless branch, the thyrsos, and the Mounted Heros.

Transference of Sabazios to the Roman world appears to have been mediated in large part through Pergamum. The naturally syncretic approach of Greek religion blurred distinctions. Later Greek writers, like Strabo in the first century CE, linked Sabazios with Zagreus, among Phrygian ministers and attendants of the sacred rites of Rhea and Dionysos.

Strabo’s Sicilian contemporary, Diodorus Siculus, conflated Sabazios with the secret ‘second’ Dionysus, born of Zeus and Persephone, a connection that is not borne out by surviving inscriptions, which are entirely to Zeus Sabazios.

The Christian Clement of Alexandria had been informed that the secret mysteries of Sabazius, as practiced among the Romans, involved a serpent, a chthonic creature unconnected with the mounted skygod of Phrygia.

Small votive hands, typically made of copper or bronze, are often associated with the cult of Sabazios. Many of these hands have a small perforation at the base which suggests they may have been attached to wooden poles and carried in processions. The symbolism of these objects is not well known.

The first Jews who settled in Rome were expelled in 139 BCE, along with Chaldaean astrologers by Cornelius Hispalus under a law which proscribed the propagation of the “corrupting” cult of “Jupiter Sabazius,” according to the epitome of a lost book of Valerius Maximus: By this it is conjectured that the Romans identified the Jewish YHVH Tzevaot (“sa-ba-oth,” “of the Hosts”) as Jove Sabazius.

This mistaken connection of Sabazios and Sabaos has often been repeated. In a similar vein, Plutarch maintained that the Jews worshipped Dionysus, and that the day of Sabbath was a festival of Sabazius.

Plutarch also discusses the identification of the Jewish God with the “Egyptian” Typhon, an identification which he later rejects, however. The monotheistic Hypsistarians worshipped the Most High under this name, which may have been a form of the Jewish God.

Neptune, the planet

In Roman mythology, Neptune is the god of the sea, and the deep, ocean blue color of the planet Neptune reflects this. Its glyph is taken directly from Neptune’s trident, symbolizing the curve of spirit being pierced by the cross of matter. Neptune also represents the day of Friday, alongside Venus.

Astrologically speaking, Neptune is associated with idealism, dreams, dissolution, artistry, and empathy, but with illusion and vagueness too. In political terms, Neptune was linked to the rise of nationalist movements throughout Europe in countries like Germany, Italy, Hungary, Ireland, and Serbia, seeking independence for their nations inspired by an idealized past of legend. It was also linked to the rise of socialism and the beginnings of the welfare state.

Poseidon

Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was god of the Sea and other waters; of earthquakes; and of horses. Like Dionysus, who inflamed the maenads, Poseidon also caused certain forms of mental disturbance. His Roman equivalent is Neptune.

In Greek art, Poseidon rides a chariot that was pulled by a hippocampus or by horses that could ride on the sea. He was associated with dolphins and three-pronged fish spears (tridents). He lived in a palace on the ocean floor, made of coral and gems.

Poseidon was the second son of titans Cronus and Rhea. In most accounts he is swallowed by Cronus at birth but later saved, with his other brothers and sisters, by Zeus. However, in some versions of the story, he, like his brother Zeus, did not share the fate of his other brother and sisters who were eaten by Cronus.

He was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which she gave to Cronus to devour. According to John Tzetzes the kourotrophos, or nurse of Poseidon was Arne, who denied knowing where he was, when Cronus came searching; according to Diodorus Siculus Poseidon was raised by the Telchines on Rhodes, just as Zeus was raised by the Korybantes on Crete.

According to a single reference in the Iliad, when the world was divided by lot in three, Zeus received the sky, Hades the underworld and Poseidon the sea. In the Odyssey (v.398), Poseidon has a home in Aegae.

The earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is Po-se-da-o or Po-se-da-wo-ne, which correspond to Poseidaōn and Poseidawonos in Mycenean Greek. A common epithet of Poseidon is Enosichthon, “Earth-shaker”, an epithet which is also identified in Linear B, as E-ne-si-da-o-ne, This recalls his later epithets Ennosidas and Ennosigaios indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.

In the historical period, Poseidon was often referred to by the epithets Enosichthon, Seisichthon and Ennosigaios, and Gaiēochos all meaning “earth-shaker” and referring to his role in causing earthquakes.

He was closely related with the springs, and with the strike of his trident, he created springs. Many springs like Hippocrene and Aganippe in Helikon are related with the word horse (hippos). (also Glukippe, Hyperippe).

He was protector of seafarers, and of many Hellenic cities and colonies. Poseidon was a major civic god of several cities: in Athens, he was second only to Athena in importance, while in Corinth and many cities of Magna Graecia he was the chief god of the polis. In Plato’s Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was Poseidon’s domain.

Athena became the patron goddess of the city of Athens after a competition with Poseidon. Yet Poseidon remained a numinous presence on the Acropolis in the form of his surrogate, Erechtheus. The contest of Athena and Poseidon was the subject of the reliefs on the western pediment of the Parthenon, the first sight that greeted the arriving visitor.

At the dissolution festival at the end of the year in the Athenian calendar, the Skira, the priests of Athena and the priest of Poseidon would process under canopies to Eleusis. They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and the Athenians would choose whichever gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a spring sprang up; the water was salty and not very useful, whereas Athena offered them an olive tree.

The Athenians or their king, Cecrops, accepted the olive tree and along with it Athena as their patron, for the olive tree brought wood, oil and food. After the fight, infuriated at his loss, Poseidon sent a monstrous flood to the Attic Plain, to punish the Athenians for not choosing him.

In his benign aspect, Poseidon was seen as creating new islands and offering calm seas. When offended or ignored, he supposedly struck the ground with his trident and caused chaotic springs, earthquakes, drownings and shipwrecks. Sailors prayed to Poseidon for a safe voyage, sometimes drowning horses as a sacrifice.

According to Pausanias, Poseidon was one of the caretakers of the oracle at Delphi before Olympian Apollo took it over. Apollo and Poseidon worked closely in many realms: in colonization, for example, Delphic Apollo provided the authorization to go out and settle, while Poseidon watched over the colonists on their way, and provided the lustral water for the foundation-sacrifice.

He was connected to the horse since the earliest times, well before any connection of him with the sea was attested, and may even have originally been conceived under equine form. Such a feature is a reflection of his own chronic, violent, brutal nature as earth-quaker, as well as of the link of the horse with springs, i.e. underground water, and the psychopompous character inherent in this animal.

If surviving Linear B clay tablets can be trusted, the name po-se-da-wo-ne (“Poseidon”) occurs with greater frequency than does di-u-ja (“Zeus”). A feminine variant, po-se-de-ia, is also found, indicating a lost consort goddess, in effect the precursor of Amphitrite, a sea goddess and wife of Poseidon and the queen of the sea.

Amphitrite’s offspring included seals and dolphins. Poseidon and Amphitrite had a son, Triton who was a merman, and a daughter, Rhodos (if this Rhodos was not actually fathered by Poseidon on Halia or was not the daughter of Asopus as others claim).

Poseidon and Apollo, having offended Zeus by their rebellion in Hera’s scheme, were temporarily stripped of their divine authority and sent to serve King Laomedon of Troy. He had them build huge walls around the city and promised to reward them well, a promise he then refused to fulfill. In vengeance, before the Trojan War, Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack Troy. The monster was later killed by Heracles.

Etymology

The origins of the name “Poseidon” are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning “husband” or “lord” (Greek posis, from PIE *pótis) and another element meaning “earth” (da, Doric for gē), producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth; this would link him with Demeter, “Earth-mother”. Walter Burkert finds that “the second element da- remains hopelessly ambiguous” and finds a “husband of Earth” reading “quite impossible to prove.”

Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word dâwon, “water”; this would make *Posei-dawōn into the master of waters. There is also the possibility that the word has Pre-Greek origin. Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a “foot-bond”, or he “knew many things”.

Poseidon carries frequently the title wa-na-ka (wanax) in Linear B inscriptions, as king of the underworld. The chthonic nature of Poseidon-Wanax is also indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos, a powerful attribute (earthquakes had accompanied the collapse of the Minoan palace-culture).

Poseidon “Wanax”, is the male companion (paredros) of the goddess of nature. In the relative Minoan myth, Pasiphaë is mating with the white bull, and she bears the hybrid creature Minotaur. The Bull was the old pre-Olympian Poseidon. The goddess of nature and her paredros survived in the Eleusinian cult, where the following words were uttered : ” Mighty Potnia bore a strong son”.

In the cave of Amnisos (Crete) Enesidaon is related with the cult of Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. She was related with the annual birth of the divine child. During the Bronze Age, a goddess of nature, dominated both in Minoan and Mycenean cult, and Wanax (wa-na-ka) was her male companion (paredros) in Mycenean cult. It is possible that Demeter appears as Da-ma-te in a Linear B inscription, however the interpretetion is still under dispute.

In Linear B inscriptions found at Pylos, E-ne-si-da-o-ne is related with Poseidon, and Si-to Po-tini-ja is probably related with Demeter. Tablets from Pylos record sacrificial goods destined for “the Two Queens and Poseidon” (“to the Two Queens and the King”: wa-na-soi, wa-na-ka-te). The “Two Queens” may be related with Demeter and Persephone, or their precursors, goddesses who were not associated with Poseidon in later periods.

The illuminating exception is the archaic and localised myth of the stallion Poseidon and mare Demeter at Phigalia in isolated and conservative Arcadia, noted by Pausanias (2nd century AD) as having fallen into desuetude.

Poseidon appears as a beast (horse), which is the river spirit of the underworld, as it usually happens in northern-European folklore, and not unusually in Greece. It seems that the Arcadian myth is related with the first Greek speaking people who entered the region during the Bronze Age. (Linear B represents an archaic Greek dialect). Their religious beliefs were mixed with the beliefs of the indigenous population.

It is possible that the Greeks did not bring with them other gods except Zeus, Eos, and the Dioskouroi. The horse (numina) was related with the liquid element, and with the underworld. The stallion Poseidon pursues the mare-Demeter, and from the union she bears the horse Arion, and a daughter (Despoina), who obviously had the shape of a mare too. The violated Demeter was Demeter Erinys (furious).

In Arcadia, Demeter’s mare-form was worshiped into historical times. Her xoanon of Phigaleia shows how the local cult interpreted her, as goddess of nature. A Medusa type with a horse’s head with snaky hair, holding a dove and a dolphin, probably representing her power over air and water.

In the heavily sea-dependent Mycenaean culture, there is not sufficient evidence that Poseidon was connected with the sea. We do not know if “Posedeia” was a sea-goddess. Homer and Hesiod suggest that Poseidon became lord of the sea following the defeat of his father Kronos, when the world was divided by lot among his three sons; Zeus was given the sky, Hades the underworld, and Poseidon the sea, with the Earth and Mount Olympus belonging to all three.

Given Poseidon’s connection with horses as well as the sea, and the landlocked situation of the likely Indo-European homeland, Nobuo Komita has proposed that Poseidon was originally an aristocratic Indo-European horse-god who was then assimilated to Near Eastern aquatic deities when the basis of the Greek livelihood shifted from the land to the sea, or a god of fresh waters who was assigned a secondary role as god of the sea, where he overwhelmed the original Aegean sea deities such as Proteus and Nereus.

Conversely, Walter Burkert suggests that the Hellene cult worship of Poseidon as a horse god may be connected to the introduction of the horse and war-chariot from Anatolia to Greece around 1600 BC.

Poseidon was known in various guises, denoted by epithets. In Arcadia he was known under the epithet Poseidon Hippios. He is more often regarded as the tamer of horses, but in some myths he is their father, either by spilling his seed upon a rock or by mating with a creature who then gave birth to the first horse.

It is almost sure that once Poseidon was worshiped as a horse, and this is evident by his cult in Peloponnesos. However he was originally a god of the waters, and therefore he became the “earth-shaker”, because the Greeks believed that the cause of the earthquakes was the erosion of the rocks by the waters, by the rivers who they saw to disappear into the earth and then to burst out again.

This is what the natural philosophers Thales, Anaximenes and Aristotle believed, which could not be different from the folklore belief. Later, when the Myceneans travelled along the sea, he was assigned a role as god of the sea.

In any case, the early importance of Poseidon can still be glimpsed in Homer’s Odyssey, where Poseidon rather than Zeus is the major mover of events. In Homer, Poseidon is the master of the sea.

Nereus and Proteus

In Greek mythology, Nereus was the eldest son of Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth), who with Doris fathered the Nereids and Nerites, with whom Nereus lived in the Aegean Sea. Nereus and Proteus (the “first”), an early sea-god or god of rivers and oceanic bodies of water, one of several deities whom Homer calls the “Old Man of the Sea”, seem to be two manifestations of the god of the sea who was supplanted by Poseidon when Zeus overthrew Cronus.

Proteus is the god of “elusive sea change”, which suggests the constantly changing nature of the sea or the liquid quality of water in general. He can foretell the future, but, in a mytheme familiar to several cultures, will change his shape to avoid having to; he will answer only to someone who is capable of capturing the beast.

From this feature of Proteus comes the adjective protean, with the general meaning of “versatile”, “mutable”, “capable of assuming many forms”. “Protean” has positive connotations of flexibility, versatility and adaptability.

Anax

The figure of a goddess of nature, birth, and death, was dominant in both Minoan and Mycenean cults during the Bronze Age. Wanax was her male companion (paredros) in the Mycenean cult, and usually, this title was applied to the god Poseidon as king of the sea. Poseidon carries frequently the title wa-na-ka (wanax) in Linear B inscriptions, as king of the underworld.

The chthonic nature of Poseidon-Wanax is also indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos, a powerful attribute (earthquakes had accompanied the collapse of the Minoan palace-culture).

In the cave of Amnisos (Crete) Enesidaon is related with the cult of Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. She was related with the annual birth of the divine child. During the Bronze Age, a goddess of nature, dominated both in Minoan and Mycenean cult, and Wanax (wa-na-ka) was her male companion (paredros) in Mycenean cult.

It is possible that Demeter appears in Linear A as da-ma-te on three documents, all three apparently dedicated in religious situations and all three bearing just the name (i-da-ma-te). It is unlikely that Demeter appears as da-ma-te in a Linear B (Mycenean Greek) inscription; the word da-ma-te, probably refers to “households”. On the other hand si-to-po-ti-ni-ja, “Potnia of the Grain”, is regarded as referring to her Bronze Age predecessor or to one of her epithets.

Demeter’s character as mother-goddess is identified in the second element of her name meter 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, a word which corresponds to Ge in Attic, is the Doric form of De, “earth”, the old name of the chthonic earth-goddess, and that Demeter is “Mother-Earth”.

This root also appears in the Linear B inscription E-ne-si-da-o-ne, “earth-shaker”, as an aspect of the god Poseidon. However, the dā element in the name of Demeter is not so simply equated with “earth” according to John Chadwick.

The element De- may be connected with Deo, an epithet of Demeter probably derived from the Cretan word dea, Ionic zeia—variously identified with emmer, spelt, rye, or other grains by modern scholars—so that she is the Mother and the giver of food generally.

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).

An alternative Proto-Indo-European etymology comes through Potnia and Despoina, where Des- represents a derivative of PIE *dem (house, dome), and Demeter is “mother of the house” (from PIE *dems-méh₂tēr).

Anax (Greek: 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. Anax is the more archaic term of the two, 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).

The word anax derives from the stem wanakt-, and appears in Mycenaean Greek written in Linear B script as wa-na-ka, and in the feminine form as wa-na-sa (later ánassa).

The word Anax in the Iliad refers to Agamemnon (i.e. “leader of men”) and to Priam, high kings who exercise overlordship over other, presumably lesser, kings. This possible hierarchy of one “anax” exercising power over several local “basileis” probably hints to a proto-feudal political organization of Aegean civilizations.

The Linear B adjective wa-na-ka-te-ro (wanákteros), “of the [household of] the king, royal”, and the Greek word anáktoron (“royal [dwelling], palace”) are derived from anax. Anax is also a ceremonial epithet of the god Zeus (“Zeus Anax”) in his capacity as overlord of the Universe, including the rest of the gods.

The meaning of basileus as “king” in Classical Greece is due to a shift in terminology during the Greek Dark Ages. In Mycenaean times, a *gʷasileus appears to be a lower-ranking official (in one instance a chief of a professional guild), while in Homer, Anax is already an archaic title, most suited to legendary heroes and gods rather than for contemporary kings.

The Greek title has been compared to Sanskrit vanij, a word for “merchant”, but in the Rigveda once used as a title of Indra. The word could then be from Proto-Indo-European *wen-aǵ-, roughly “bringer of spoils” (compare the etymology of lord, “giver of bread”).

The archaic plural Ánakes (“Kings”) was a common reference to the Dioskouroi, whose temple was usually called the Anakeion and their yearly religious festival the Anákeia.

The words ánax and ánassa are occasionally used in Modern Greek as a deferential to royalty, whereas the word anáktoro[n] and its derivatives are commonly used with regard to palaces.

Anakes were ancestral spirits worshipped for their government or religious service in Attica and/or Argos. Titles corresponded to their function on Earth, such as “Son of Zeus.” The clearest symbol of their existence, in Greek Mythology, was the wolf.

Nakharar (Armenian: naxarar, from Parthian naxvadār “holder of the primacy”) was a hereditary title of the highest order given to houses of the ancient and medieval Armenian nobility.

Armenia was divided into large estates, which were the property of an enlarged noble family and were ruled by a member of it, to whom the title of nahapet “chief of the family” or tanuter “master of the house” was given. Other members of a nakharar family in their turn ruled over smaller portions of the family estate. Nakharars with greater authority were recognized as ishkhans (princes).

Anakites / Nephilim

Anak (lit. ‘Giant’) is a figure in the Hebrew Bible. His descendants are mentioned in narratives concerning the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites. According to the Book of Numbers, Anak was a forefather of the Anakim.

The Bible describes them as very tall descendants of the Nephilim, the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” before the Deluge, according to Genesis 6:1-4 of the Bible. A similar or identical biblical Hebrew term, read as “Nephilim” by some scholars, or as the word “fallen” by others, appears in Ezekiel 32:27.

When people began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that they were fair; and they took wives for themselves of all that they chose. Then the Lord said, “My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.

The word is loosely translated as giants in some Bibles and left untranslated in others. The “sons of God” have been interpreted to be fallen angels according to some classical Judaic explanations. According to Numbers 13:33, they later inhabited Canaan at the time of the Israelite conquest of Canaan.

Etymologically it means “neck”, implying that the “sons of Anak” were “long-necked men.” J. C. Greenfield mentions that “it has been proposed that the tale of the Nephilim, alluded to in Genesis 6 is based on some of the negative aspects of the Apkallu tradition”.

The text states that the Anakim were Rephaites, and that Anak was a son of Arba,  in Joshua 14:15 called the “greatest man among the Anakites”. In the Hebrew Bible, as well as non-Jewish ancient texts from the region, the North-West Semitic term Rephaite (Heb. plural Rephaim) refers either to a people group of greater-than-average height and stature (possibly giants), or to dead ancestors who are residents of the Netherworld.

Rephaim have also been considered the residents of the Netherworld (Sheol in the Hebrew Bible) in more recent scholarship. Possible examples of this usage appear as “shades”, “spirits” or “dead” in various translations of the Bible.

Repha’im was “dead ancestors” or “weakeners”, as opposed to Rophe’im, “doctors.” Various ancient Northwest Semitic texts are also replete with references to terms evidently cognate with Rephaim as the dead or dead kings.

The Anakites are later mentioned briefly in the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges. Joshua, the Israelite leader and one of the twelve spies sent by Moses into Canaan, later drove out the descendants of Anak — his three sons — from Hebron, also called Kiriath Arba (Joshua 11:21).

The Egyptian Execration texts of the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC) mention a list of political enemies in Canaan, and among this list are a group called the “ly Anaq” or people of Anaq. Robert Graves, considering the relationship between the Anakites and Philistia (Joshua 11:21, Jeremiah 47:5), identifies the Anakim with Anax, the giant ruler of the Anactorians in Greek mythology.

The Eleusinian Mysteries

The origins of the name “Poseidon” are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning “husband” or “lord” (Greek (posis), from PIE *pótis) and another element meaning “earth” (da), Doric for (gē), producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth; this would link him with Demeter, “Earth-mother”.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and agriculture, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito, “she of the Grain”, as the giver of food or grain, and Thesmophoros, thesmos: divine order, unwritten law; phoros: bringer, bearer), “Law-Bringer”, as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.

Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone, also called Kore (“the maiden”), were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon. They are the “most famous of the secret religious rites of ancient Greece.”

Persephone held an ancient role as the dread queen of the Underworld, within which tradition it was forbidden to speak her name. This tradition comes from her conflation with the very old chthonic divinity Despoina (“the mistress”), whose real name could not be revealed to anyone except those initiated to her mysteries.

In Greek mythology, Despoina was the daughter of Demeter and Poseidon and sister of Arion. She was the goddess of mysteries of Arcadian cults who was worshipped under the title Despoina (“the mistress”), alongside her mother Demeter, one of the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Her real name could not be revealed to anyone except those initiated to her mysteries.

Her epithet, “the mistress”, has its analogue in Mycenean Greek inscriptions found at Pylos in southern Greece and at Knossos in Crete. Karl Kerenyi asserted that the cult was a continuation of a Minoan goddess, and that her name recalls the Minoan-Mycenaean goddess da-pu-ri-to-jo,po-ti-ni-ja, i.e. the unnamable “Mistress of the Labyrinth” at Knossos.

“Despoina” was an epithet for several goddesses, especially Aphrodite, Persephone, Demeter, and Hecate. It is related to the Mycenean title, “potnia” (po-ti-ni-ja), that usually referred to goddesses. This divine title could be the translation of a similar title of Pre-Greek origin, just as the title “Our lady” in Christianity is translated in several languages. It seems that the original title accompanied the Aegean mother goddess.

Writing during the second century A.D., Pausanias spoke of Demeter as having two daughters; Kore being born first, before Despoina was born, with Zeus being the father of Kore and Poseidon as the father of Despoina. Pausanias made it clear that Kore is Persephone, although he did not reveal Despoina’s proper name.

The cult of Despoina is very important in the history of ancient Greek religion. The Arcadian cults come from a more primitive religion. Evidently, the religious beliefs of the first Greek-speaking people who entered the region were mixed with the beliefs of the indigenous population.

It seems that the myths in Arcadia were connected with the first Greek-speaking people who came from the north during the Bronze Age. In Arcadia, Demeter and Persephone were often called Despoinai (“the mistresses”) in historical times. They are the two Great Goddesses of the Arcadian cults, and evidently they come from a more primitive religion.

Their basis was an old agrarian cult, and there is some evidence that they were derived from the religious practices of the Mycenean period. It was a major festival during the Hellenic era, and later spread to Rome. Similar religious rites appear in the agricultural societies of Near East and in Minoan Crete.

The two goddesses were not clearly separated and had close connections with the rivers, springs and animals. They were related to Poseidon, the god of the rivers and the springs, and especially to Artemis, the Mistress of the Animals who was the first nymph. According to the Greek tradition a hunt-goddess preceded the harvest goddess.

In the myth of the isolated land of Arcadia, Poseidon, the river spirit of the underworld, saw Demeter and desired her. To avoid him, she took her archaic form of a mare, but he took the form of a stallion (Poseidon Hippios), as was usual in northern European folklore, and mated with her.

From this union Demeter bore a daughter, Despoina, who originally had the shape of a mare too, and a fabulous horse, Arion. Due to her anger at this turn of events, Demeter also was given the epithet, Erinys (raging). Later, Despoina was conflated with Kore (Persephone), the goddess of the Eleusinian mysteries, in a life-death-rebirth cycle.

It seems that the Greek deities started as powers of nature, and then they were given other attributes. These powers of nature developed into a belief in nymphs and in deities with human forms and the heads or tails of animals. Some of them, such as Pan and the Silenoi, survived into the classical age.

The two great Arcadian goddesses, Demeter and Despoina (later Persephone), were closely related to the springs and the animals, and especially, to the goddess Artemis (Potnia Theron: “The mistress of the animals”), who was the first nymph.

On a marble relief at Lycosura is the veil of Despoina, on which human figures are represented with the heads of different animals, obviously, in a ritual dance. Some of them hold flutes. These could be a procession of women with animal masks or of hybrid creatures. Similar processions of daemons or human figures with animal masks appear on Mycenean frescoes and gold rings.

Most of the temples were built near springs, and in some of them there is evidence of a fire which always was kept burning. At Lycosura, a fire burned in front of the temple of Pan, the goat god. The megaron of Eleusis is quite similar to the “megaron” of Despoina at Lycosura.

The word, Despoina (“mistress”), is derived from *des-potnia, “lady or mistress of the house”, from PIE *dóm(ha)os, “house(hold)” [*dem(ha)-, “build”] and *potniha-, “lady, mistress”; cf. Greek domos and potnia. The masculine form is Despotes, “master of the house”; cf. posis.

Related attested forms, written in the Linear B syllabary, are the Mycenaean Greek po-ti-ni-ja, (potnia) and perhaps po-se-da-o, and po-se-da-wo-ne (Poseidon), which were inherited into classical Greece with identical or related meanings. Demeter is possibly a related word, interpreted by some, as “mother of the house” (from PIE *dems-mater).

Persephone and Demeter are two of the three goddesses of the Eleusinian mysteries. Perhaps they could be the “Two Queens” referred to in various Linear B inscriptions. At Olympia they were called, Despoinae.

The mysteries represented the myth of the abduction of Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter and is the queen of the underworld, from her mother Demeter by the king of the underworld Hades, in a cycle with three phases; the descent (loss), the search, and the ascent, with the main theme being the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother.

Homer describes Persephone as the formidable, venerable majestic princess of the underworld, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead. She was married to Hades, the god of the underworld. In some versions, Persephone is the mother of Zeus’s sons Dionysus, Iacchus, or Zagreus. In Roman mythology, she is called Proserpina, and her mother, Ceres and her father Jupiter.

The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation, which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence, she is also associated with spring as well as the fertility of vegetation. Similar myths appear in the Orient, in the cults of male gods like Attis, Adonis, and Osiris, and in Minoan Crete.

The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret and consistently preserved from antiquity. For the initiated, the rebirth of Persephone symbolized the eternity of life which flows from generation to generation, and they believed that they would have a reward in the afterlife.

One line of thought by modern scholars has been that the Mysteries were intended “to elevate man above the human sphere into the divine and to assure his redemption by making him a god and so conferring immortality upon him.”

Comparative study shows parallels between these Greek rituals and similar systems—some of them older—in the Near East. Such cults include the mysteries of Isis and Osiris in Egypt, the Adoniac of Syrian cults, the Persian mysteries, and the Phrygian Cabeirian mysteries.

Some useful information from the Mycenean period can be taken from the study of the cult of Despoina, (the precursor goddess of Persephone), and the cult of Eileithyia who was the goddess of childbirth.

The main theme was the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother Demeter. The megaron of Despoina at Lycosura is quite similar with the Telesterion of Eleusis, and Demeter is united with the god Poseidon, bearing a daughter, the unnamable Despoina (the mistress).

In the myth Pluto abducts Persephone to be his wife and the queen of his realm. Pluto (Ploutōn) was a name for the ruler of the underworld; the god was also known as Hades, a name for the underworld itself.

The name Pluton was conflated with that of Ploutos (“wealth”), a god of wealth, because mineral wealth was found underground, and because Pluto as a chthonic god ruled the deep earth that contained the seeds necessary for a bountiful harvest. Plouton is lord of the dead, but as Persephone’s husband he has serious claims to the powers of fertility.

In the Theogony of Hesiod, Demeter was united with the hero Iasion in Crete and she bore Ploutos. This union seems to be a reference to a hieros gamos (ritual copulation) to ensure the earth’s fertility. This ritual copulation appears in Minoan Crete, in many Near Eastern agricultural societies, and also in the Anthesteria.

It is believed that the original cult of Ploutos (or Pluto) in Eleusis was similar with the Minoan cult of the “divine child”, who died in order to be reborn. The child was abandoned by his mother and then it was brought up by the powers of nature. Similar myths appear in the cults of Hyakinthos (Amyklai), Erichthonios (Athens), and later in the cult of Dionysos.

The Greek version of the abduction myth is related to grain – important and rare in the Greek environment – and the return (ascent) of Persephone was celebrated at the autumn sowing. Pluto (Ploutos) represents the wealth of the grain that was stored in underground silos or ceramic jars (pithoi), during summer months.

Similar subterranean pithoi were used in ancient times for burials and Pluto is fused with Hades, the King of the realm of the dead. During summer months, the Greek grain-Maiden (Kore) is lying in the grain of the underground silos in the realm of Hades, and she is fused with Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld.

At the beginning of the autumn, when the seeds of the old crop are laid on the fields, she ascends and is reunited with her mother Demeter, for at that time the old crop and the new meet each other. For the initiated, this union was the symbol of the eternity of human life that flows from the generations which spring from each other.

In the cave of Amnisos at Crete, the goddess Eileithyia is related with the annual birth of the divine child, and she is connected with Enesidaon ( The Earth Shaker), who is the chthonic aspect of Poseidon.

In the Linear B Mycenean Greek tablets of c. 1400–1200 BC found at Pylos, the “two queens and the king” may be related with Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon. Her Roman equivalent is Ceres.

Hebat / Hannahanna – Inara

Inara, in Hittite–Hurrian mythology, was the goddess of the wild animals of the steppe and daughter of the Storm-god Teshub/Tarhunt. She corresponds to the “potnia theron” of Greek mythology, better known as Artemis. Inara’s mother is probably Hebat and her brother is Sarruma.

After the dragon Illuyanka wins an encounter with the storm god, the latter asks Inara to give a feast, most probably the Purulli festival, a Hattian spring festival, held at Nerik, dedicated to the earth goddess Hannahanna, who is married to a new king. The corresponding Assyrian festival is the Akitu of the Enuma Elish.

Inara decides to use the feast to lure and defeat Illuyanka, who was her father’s archenemy, and enlists the aid of a mortal named Hupasiyas of Zigaratta by becoming his lover. The dragon and his family gorge themselves on the fare at the feast, becoming quite drunk, which allows Hupasiyas to tie a rope around them. Inara’s father can then kill Illuyanka, thereby preserving creation.

Inara built a house on a cliff and gave it to Hupasiyas. She left one day with instructions that he was not to look out the window, as he might see his family. But he looked and the sight of his family made him beg to be allowed to return home. It is not known what happened next, but there is speculation that Inara killed Hupasiyas for disobeying her, or for hubris, or that he was allowed to return to his family.

The mother goddess Hannahanna promises Inara land and a man during a consultation by Inara. Inara then disappears. Her father looks for her, joined by Hannahanna with a bee. The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth.

Inanna – Dumuzid

In Sumerian mythology, Dumuzid later known by the alternate form Tammuz, was the ancient Mesopotamian god of shepherds, who was also the primary consort of the goddess Inanna (later known as Ishtar). Dumuzid’s sister was Geshtinanna, the goddess of vegetation.

Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, justice, and political power. Her husband was the god Dumuzid the Shepherd (later known as Tammuz) and her sukkal, or personal attendant, was the goddess Ninshubur (who later became the male deity Papsukkal).

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 the ancient Sumerian poem Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld Ereshkigal (DEREŠ.KI.GAL, lit. “Queen of the Great Earth”), sometimes called Ninkigal (lit. “Great Lady of the Earth”) or (“Lady of the Great Earth”), is described as Inanna’s older sister.

Ereshkigal was the goddess of Kur, the land of the dead or underworld in Sumerian mythology. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler. In Sumerian myths, Ereshkigal was the only one who could pass judgment and give laws in her kingdom.

In later East Semitic myths she was said to rule Irkalla alongside her husband Nergal. Nergal seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun.

Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”. Over time Nergal developed from a war god to a god of the underworld.

In the late Babylonian astral-theological system Nergal is related to the planet Mars. As a fiery god of destruction and war, Nergal doubtless seemed an appropriate choice for the red planet, and he was equated by the Greeks to the war-god Ares (Latin Mars)—hence the current name of the planet.

Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”. Aplu may be related with Apaliunas who is considered to be the Hittite reflex of *Apeljōn, an early form of the name Apollo.

In Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld, Dumuzid fails to mourn Inanna’s death and, when she returns from the Underworld, she allows the galla demons to drag him down to the Underworld as her replacement.

Dumuzid was associated with fertility and vegetation and the hot, dry summers of Mesopotamia were believed to be caused by Dumuzid’s yearly death. During the month in midsummer bearing his name, people all across Mesopotamia would engage in public, ritual mourning for him.

Inanna later regrets this decision and decrees that Dumuzid will spend half the year in the Underworld, but the other half of the year with her, while his sister Geshtinanna stays in the Underworld in his place, thus resulting in the cycle of the seasons.

Tammuz is widely seen as a prime example of the archetypal dying-and-rising god. The cult of Dumuzid was later spread to the Levant and to Greece, where he became known under the West Semitic name Adonis.

Inanna-Ishtar’s most famous myth is the story of her descent into and return from Kur, the ancient Sumerian underworld, a myth in which she attempts to conquer the domain of her older sister Ereshkigal, the queen of the Underworld, but is instead deemed guilty of hubris by the seven judges of the Underworld and struck dead.

Three days later, Ninshubur pleads with all the gods to bring Inanna back, but all of them refuse her except Enki, who sends two sexless beings to rescue Inanna. They escort Inanna out of the Underworld, but the galla, the guardians of the Underworld, drag her husband Dumuzid down to the Underworld as her replacement.

 

 

 

 

 

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The gods and the planets

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 20, 2018

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

The name “Sunday”, the day of the Sun, is derived from Hellenistic astrology, where the seven planets, known in English as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, each had an hour of the day assigned to them, and the planet which was regent during the first hour of any day of the week gave its name to that day.

During the 1st and 2nd century, the week of seven days was introduced into Rome from Egypt, and the Roman names of the planets were given to each successive day. Germanic peoples seem to have adopted the week as a division of time from the Romans, but they changed the Roman names into those of corresponding Teutonic deities. Hence, the dies Solis became Sunday (German, Sonntag).

The Latin name dies Martis (“day of Mars”) is equivalent to Tuesday. The Latin name dies Mercurii “day of Mercury” is equivalent to Wednesday. In Latin, thursday was known as Iovis Dies, “Jupiter’s Day”. The Romans named Saturday Sāturni diēs (“Saturn’s Day”).

Hurrian Mythology

Alalu, Anu, Kumarbi and Teshub

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, and by the Ugaritians with El.

Kumarbi is known from a number of mythological Hittite texts, sometimes summarized under the term “Kumarbi Cycle”. These texts notably include the myth of The Kingship in Heaven (also known as the Song of Kumarbi, or the “Hittite Theogony”.

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

The song relates that Alalu was overthrown by Anu who was in turn overthrown by Kumarbi. When Anu tried to escape, Kumarbi bit off his genitals and spat out three new gods.

In the text Anu tells his son that he is now pregnant with the Teshub, Tigris, and Tašmišu. Upon hearing this Kumarbi spit the semen upon the ground and it became impregnated with two children. Kumarbi is cut open to deliver Tešub. Together, Anu and Teshub depose Kumarbi.

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

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

The Theogony

Uranus / Caelus

The Theogony (i.e. “the genealogy or birth of the gods”) is a poem by Hesiod (8th – 7th century BC) describing the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods, composed c. 700 BC. It is written in the Epic dialect of Ancient Greek.

Uranus (meaning “sky” or “heaven”) was the primal Greek god personifying the sky. His name in Roman mythology was Caelus (compare caelum, the Latin word for “sky” or “the heavens”, hence English “celestial”). In Hesiod’s Theogony, Uranus is the offspring of Gaia, the earth goddess. Uranus was the brother of Pontus, the God of the sea.

One of the principal components of the Theogony is the presentation of the “Succession Myth”. It tells how Cronus overthrew Uranus, and how in turn Zeus overthrew Cronus and his fellow Titans, and how Zeus was eventually established as the final and permanent ruler of the cosmos.

Sumerian

The main source of information about the Sumerian creation myth is the prologue to the epic poem Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld, which briefly describes the process of creation: originally, there was only Nammu, the primeval sea. Then, Nammu gave birth to An, the sky, and Ki, the earth. An and Ki mated with each other, causing Ki to give birth to Enlil. Enlil separated An from Ki and carried off the earth as his domain, while An carried off the sky.

Anu (Akkadian: 𒀭𒀭 DAN, Anu‹m› or Ilu) or An (Sumerian: 𒀭 AN, from 𒀭 an “Sky, Heaven”) 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”.

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. These three deities together were the embodiment of all the fixed stars in the night sky. An was identified with all the stars of the equatorial sky, Enlil with those of the northern sky. and Enki with those of the southern 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 “An-power”.

Anu’s primary role in myths is as the ancestor of the Anunnaki, the major deities of Sumerian religion. 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, the Queen of Heaven.

The Amorite god Amurru was sometimes equated with Anu. Later, during the Seleucid Empire (213 BC — 63 BC), Anu was identified with Enmešara and Dumuzid. Enmesarra, or Enmešarra, in Sumerian and Akkadian mythology is an underworld god of the law. Described as a Sun god, protector of flocks and vegetation, and therefore he has been equated with Nergal. On the other hand, he has been described as an ancestor of Enlil, and it has been claimed that Enlil slew him.

Cronus / Saturn

In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture, leader of the titans, founder of civilizations, social order, and conformity. The glyph is shaped like a scythe, but it is known as the “crescent below the cross”, whereas Jupiter’s glyph is the “crescent above the cross”.

In ancient Roman mythology, the god Saturnus, from which the planet takes its name, was the god of agriculture. The Romans considered Saturnus the equivalent of the Greek god Cronus. The Greeks had made the outermost planet sacred to Cronus, and the Romans followed suit.

Saturn is a god in ancient Roman religion, and a character in myth. The Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum housed the state treasury. In December, he was celebrated at what is perhaps the most famous of the Roman festivals, the Saturnalia, a time of feasting, role reversals, free speech, gift-giving and revelry. Saturn the planet and Saturday are both named after the god.

He was the first god of the Capitol, known since the most ancient times as Saturnius Mons, and was seen as a god of generation, dissolution, plenty, wealth, agriculture, periodic renewal and liberation. In later developments he came to be also a god of time. His reign was depicted as a Golden Age of plenty and peace.

In the Olympian creation myth, as Hesiod tells it in the Theogony, Uranus came every night to cover the earth and mate with Gaia, but he hated the children she bore him. Uranus imprisoned Gaia’s youngest children in Tartarus, deep within Earth, where they caused pain to Gaia.

Gaia shaped a great flint-bladed sickle and asked her sons to castrate Uranus. Only Cronus, youngest and most ambitious of the Titans, was willing: he ambushed his father and castrated him, casting the severed testicles into the sea. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus.

Cronus was usually depicted with a harpe, scythe or a sickle, which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father. In Athens, on the twelfth day of the Attic month of Hekatombaion, a festival called Kronia was held in honour of Cronus to celebrate the harvest, suggesting that, as a result of his association with the virtuous Golden Age, Cronus continued to preside as a patron of the harvest. Cronus was also identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.

After Uranus was deposed, Cronus re-imprisoned the Hekatonkheires and Cyclopes in Tartarus. Uranus and Gaia then prophesied that Cronus in turn was destined to be overthrown by his own son, and so the Titan attempted to avoid this fate by devouring his young.

Sumerian

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn. Saturn is associated with Saturday, which was named after the deity Saturn. Capricorn is the tenth astrological sign in the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Capricornus. It spans the 270–300th degree of the zodiac, corresponding to celestial longitude. In astrology, Capricorn is the third and last of the earth signs in the zodiac, the other two being Taurus and Virgo. It is considered a negative sign, and one of the four cardinal signs.

It is said to be ruled by the planet Saturn. However, its symbol is based on the Sumerians’ primordial god of wisdom and waters, Enki with the head and upper body of a mountain goat, and the lower body and tail of a fish.

Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this area from December 22 to January 19 each year, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits the constellation of Capricorn from approximately January 16 to February 16.

The mountain goat part of the symbol depicts ambition, resolute, intelligence, curiosity, but also steadiness, and ability to thrive in inhospitable environments while the fish represents passion, spirituality, intuition, and connection with the soul.

In Mesopotamian religion, Ninurta (Sumerian: DNIN.URTA, lord of barley) was a god of law, scribes, farming, and hunting. In Lagash he was identified with the city god Ningirsu (DNIN.ĜIR.SU). In the early days of Assyriology, the name was often transliterated Ninib or Ninip and he was sometimes analyzed as a solar deity. Ninurta often appears holding a bow and arrow, a sickle sword, or a mace; the mace, named Sharur.

He was worshipped in Babylonia and Assyria and in Lagash he was identified with the city god Ningirsu. In older transliteration the name is rendered Ninib and Ninip, and in early commentary he was sometimes portrayed as a solar deity.

 

In the astral-theological system Ninurta was associated with the planet Saturn, or perhaps as offspring or an aspect of Saturn. In his capacity as a farmer-god, there are similarities between Ninurta and the Greek Titan Cronus, whom the Romans in turn identified with their Titan Saturn.

The Babylonian name for the planet was Ninib, another name for the ancient Sumerian god Ninurta. In very early times, Ninurta was regarded as a king of the gods and a powerful dragon -slayer. However, he was replaced in the hearts and minds of the Mesopotamian people by Marduk, a “younger” god and another dragon-slayer, associated with the planet Jupiter.

Ninurta, or more properly Ninib, survived as a god of agriculture, a kind of celestial magistrate over fields and their bounderies – and, by extension, the bounderies and limits of consciousness that are suggested by Saturn’s position as the visible limit of the solar system. He also governed the irrigation technology that helped move the ancient Mesopotamia along the road to achievement, and that made the fields prosper.

 

Enlil, later known as Elil, was the ancient Mesopotamian god of wind, air, earth, and storms. Enlil’s name comes from ancient Sumerian EN, meaning “lord” and LÍL meaning “storm” or “wind”. His name therefore literally translates as “Lord Storm”. Enlil’s name is not a genitive construction, indicating that Enlil was seen as the personification of the storm itself rather than merely the cause of 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. The path of Enlil’s celestial orbit was a continuous, symmetrical circle around the north celestial pole, but those of An and Enki were believed to intersect at various points. Enlil was associated with the constellation Boötes.
 
He was regarded as the “mooring-rope” of heaven and earth, meaning that it was seen as “a channel of communication between earth and heaven”. Enlil plays a vital role in the Sumerian creation myth; he separates An (heaven) from Ki (earth), thus making the world habitable for humans.
 
The Sumerians envisioned Enlil as a benevolent, fatherly deity, who watches over humanity and cares for their well-being. Enlil was regarded as the inventor of the mattock, a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax, or digging tool of the Sumerians, and the patron of agriculture.

Zeus / Jupiter

Zeus, Poseidon and Hades

Zeus, through deception by his mother Rhea, avoided this fate. When Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children.

Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and handed Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, also known as the Omphalos Stone, which he promptly swallowed, thinking that it was his last child. The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus.

Zeus was raised by a nurse named Amalthea. Since Cronus ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth, sea and sky and thus, invisible to his father.

Throughout history Zeus has used violence to get his way, or even terrorize humans. As God of the sky he has the power to hurl lightning bolts as his weapon of choice. Since lightning is quite powerful and sometimes deadly, it is a bold sign when lightning strikes because it is known that Zeus most likely threw the bolt.

Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion. He is the counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon. In the Greek-influenced tradition, Neptune was the brother of Jupiter and Pluto; the brothers presided over the realms of Heaven, the earthly world, and the Underworld.

In Greek mythology, Hades was regarded as the oldest son of Cronus and Rhea, although the last son regurgitated by his father. He and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon defeated their father’s generation of gods, the Titans, and claimed rulership over the cosmos. Hades received the underworld, Zeus the sky, and Poseidon the sea, with the solid earth—long the province of Gaia—available to all three concurrently.

Sumerian

Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius. Jupiter is associated with Thursday, and in Romance languages, the name for Thursday often comes from Jupiter (e.g., joi in Romanian, jeudi in French, jueves in Spanish, and giovedì in Italian).

Pabilsaĝ, in Mesopotamian tradition was a tutelary god of the city of Isin. He is represented in the constellation Sagittarius. The Sumerian name Pabilsag (Pabil: “elder paternal kinsman” and Sag: “chief” or “head”) is translated as the “Forefather” or “Chief Ancestor”. The figure is reminiscent of modern depictions of Sagittarius.

Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud (Akkadian: Anzû); a Babylonian version relates how the monster Anzû steals the Tablets of Destiny from Enlil. The Tablets of Destiny were believed to contain the details of fate and the future.

Ninurta slays each of the monsters later known as the “Slain Heroes”. Eventually, Anzû is killed by Ninurta who delivers the Tablet of Destiny to his father, Enlil. There are many parallels with both and the story of Marduk (son of Enki) who slew Tiamat and delivered the Tablets of Destiny from Kingu to his father, Enki.

The planet Jupiter has been known since ancient times. It is visible to the naked eye in the night sky and can occasionally be seen in the daytime when the Sun is low. To the Babylonians, this object represented their god Marduk. They used Jupiter’s roughly 12-year orbit along the ecliptic to define the constellations of their zodiac.

Marduk (D.AMAR.UTU; Sumerian: amar utu.k “calf of the sun; solar calf”) was a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon. The name Marduk was probably pronounced Marutuk.

The etymology of the name Marduk is conjectured as derived from amar-Utu (“bull calf of the sun god Utu”). The origin of Marduk’s name may reflect an earlier genealogy, or have had cultural ties to the ancient city of Sippar (whose god was Utu, the sun god), dating back to the third millennium BC.

When Babylon became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century BC), he slowly started to rise to the position of the head of the Babylonian pantheon, a position he fully acquired by the second half of the second millennium BC. In the city of Babylon, Marduk was worshiped in the temple Esagila. Marduk is associated with the divine weapon Imhullu. “Marduk” is the Babylonian form of his name.

By the Hammurabi period, Marduk had become astrologically associated with the planet Jupiter. For people living in the ancient city of Babylon, Marduk was their patron god, and thus it is not a surprise that Babylonian astronomers took an interest in tracking the comings and goings of the planet Jupiter, which they regarded as a celestial manifestation of Marduk.

He was also regarded as the son of Enki (Sumerian Enki) and Damkina and the heir of Anu, but whatever special traits Marduk may have had were overshadowed by the political development through which the Euphrates valley passed and which led to people of the time imbuing him with traits belonging to gods who in an earlier period were recognized as the heads of the pantheon. There are particularly two gods—Ea and Enlil—whose powers and attributes pass over to Marduk.

Pluto

Dis Pater / Dyeus

Pluto (Greek: Ploutōn) was the ruler of the underworld in classical mythology. The earlier name for the god was Hades, which became more common as the name of the underworld itself.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Pluto represents a more positive concept of the god who presides over the afterlife. Ploutōn was frequently conflated with Ploutos (Plutus), a god of wealth, because mineral wealth was found underground, and because as a chthonic god Pluto ruled the deep earth that contained the seeds necessary for a bountiful harvest.

The name Ploutōn came into widespread usage with the Eleusinian Mysteries, in which Pluto was venerated as a stern ruler but the loving husband of Persephone. The couple received souls in the afterlife, and are invoked together in religious inscriptions. Hades, by contrast, had few temples and religious practices associated with him, and he is portrayed as the dark and violent abductor of Persephone.

In Greek cosmogony, Pluto received the rule of the underworld in a three-way division of sovereignty over the world, with his brother Zeus ruling the Sky and his other brother Poseidon sovereign over the Sea.

Plūtō is the Latinized form of the Greek Plouton. Pluto’s Roman equivalent is Dis Pater, a Roman god of the underworld, whose name is most often taken to mean “Rich Father” and is perhaps a direct translation of Plouton.

Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, Dis Pater was later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

Dyēus (also *Dyḗus Phtḗr , alternatively spelled dyēws) is believed to have been the chief deity in the religious traditions of the prehistoric Proto-Indo-European societies. 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 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 Dyeus Phter, literally “sky father” or “shining father”, as reflected in Latin Iūpiter, Diēspiter, possibly Dis Pater and deus pater, Greek Zeu pater, Sanskrit Dyàuṣpítaḥ.

As the pantheons of the individual mythologies related to the Proto-Indo-European religion evolved, attributes of Dyeus seem to have been redistributed to other deities. However, in Greek and Roman mythology, Dyeus remained the chief god.

Ares / Mars

Ares is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. The counterpart of Ares among the Roman gods is Mars, who as a father of the Roman people was given a more important and dignified place in ancient Roman religion as a guardian deity.

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.

Although Ares was viewed primarily as a destructive and destabilizing force, 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.

Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began the season for military campaigning and ended the season for farming.

The spear is the instrument of Mars in the same way that Jupiter wields the lightning bolt, Neptune the trident, and Saturn the scythe or sickle. A relic or fetish called the spear of Mars was kept in a sacrarium at the Regia, the former residence of the Kings of Rome.

Like Ares who was the son of Zeus and Hera, Mars is usually considered to be the son of Jupiter and Juno. However, in a version of his birth given by Ovid, he was the son of Juno alone. Jupiter had usurped the mother’s function when he gave birth to Minerva directly from his forehead (or mind); to restore the balance, Juno sought the advice of the goddess Flora on how to do the same.

Flora obtained a magic flower (Latin flos, plural flores, a masculine word) and tested it on a heifer who became fecund at once. She then plucked a flower ritually using her thumb, touched Juno’s belly, and impregnated her. Juno withdrew to Thrace and the shore of Marmara for the birth.

The consort of Mars was Nerio or Neriene, an ancient war goddess and the personification of valor. She represents the vital force (vis), power (potentia) and majesty (maiestas) of Mars. Her name was regarded as Sabine in origin and is equivalent to Latin virtus, “manly virtue” (from vir, “man”). A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Neriene were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23. In the later Roman Empire, Neriene came to be identified with Minerva.

Sumerian

Mars is the ruling planet of Aries. Mars is associated with Tuesday and in Romance languages the word for Tuesday often resembles Mars (in Romanian, marţi, in Spanish, martes, in French, mardi and in Italian “martedì”). The English “Tuesday” is a modernised form of “Tyr’s Day”, Tyr being the Germanic analogue to Mars.

Nergal was a deity worshipped throughout Mesopotamia. Nergal seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun. Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”.

Over time Nergal developed from a war god to a god of the underworld. In the mythology, this occurred when Enlil and Ninlil gave him the underworld. In this capacity he has associated with him a goddess Allatu or Ereshkigal, though at one time Allatu may have functioned as the sole mistress of Aralu, ruling in her own person. In some texts the god Ninazu is the son of Nergal and Allatu/Ereshkigal.

In the late Babylonian astral-theological system Nergal is related to the planet Mars. As a fiery god of destruction and war, Nergal doubtless seemed an appropriate choice for the red planet, and he was equated by the Greeks to the war-god Ares (Latin Mars)—hence the current name of the planet. Amongst the Hurrians and later Hittites Nergal was known as Aplu, a name derived from the Akkadian Apal Enlil, (Apal being the construct state of Aplu) meaning “the son of Enlil”.

Hermes / Mercury

Hermes is an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, and the second youngest of the Olympian gods (Dionysus being the youngest). In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon, Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics such as being the patron of commerce.

Mercury is a major god in Roman religion and mythology, being one of the Dii Consentes within the ancient Roman pantheon. He is the god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages, communication (including divination), travelers, boundaries, luck, trickery and thieves; he also serves as the guide of souls to the underworld. He was considered the son of Maia, who was a daughter of the Titan Atlas, and Jupiter in Roman mythology.

Sumerian

Mercury rules over Wednesday. In Romance languages, the word for Wednesday is often similar to Mercury (miercuri in Romanian, mercredi in French, miercoles in Spanish and mercoledì in Italian).

Mercury is the ruling planet of Gemini. Gemini is the third astrological sign in the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Gemini. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this sign between May 21 and June 21.

Gemini is represented by the twins Castor and Pollux. The symbol of the twins is based on the Dioscuri, one mortal and one immortal, that were granted shared half-immortality after the death of the mortal brother (Castor).

In Babylonian astronomy, the stars Castor and Pollux were known as the Great Twins (MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL). The Twins were regarded as minor gods and were called Meshlamtaea and Lugalirra, meaning respectively ‘The One who has arisen from the Underworld’ and the ‘Mighty King’. Both names can be understood as titles of Nergal, the major Babylonian god of plague and pestilence, who was king of the Underworld.

Nergal’s chief temple at Cuthah bore the name Meslam, from which the god receives the designation of Meslamtaeda or Meslamtaea, “the one that rises up from Meslam”. The name Meslamtaeda/Meslamtaea indeed is found as early as the list of gods from Fara while the name Nergal only begins to appear in the Akkadian period.

Ninshubur was the sukkal or second-in-command of the goddess Inanna in Sumerian mythology. Her name means “Queen of the East” in ancient Sumerian. Much like Iris or Hermes in later Greek mythology, Ninshubur served as a messenger to the other gods.

Ninshubur accompanied Inanna as a vassal and friend throughout Inanna’s many exploits. She helped Inanna fight Enki’s demons after Inanna’s theft of the sacred me. Later, when Inanna became trapped in the Underworld, it was Ninshubur who pleaded with Enki for her mistress’s release.

In later Akkadian mythology, Ninshubur was syncretized with the male messenger deity Papsukkal. In older sources, Ninshubur herself is usually referred to as a male god as well; more recent sources have recognized this portrayal as erroneous.

The gender of a sukkal always matches the gender of the deity it serves. Thus, Enki’s sukkal Isimud is male, but Ninshubur is female. In her primary aspect as the sukkal to Inanna, Ninshubur was female, but, when she served as the sukkal to An, he was male.

In Sumerian mythology, Ninshubur is portrayed as “unshakably loyal” in her devotion to her mistress. In addition to being a source of great wisdom and knowledge, Ninshubur was also a warrior goddess. She was the guardian and messenger of the god An. She is said to have walked in front of An wherever he went, a position traditionally reserved for a bodyguard.

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Scorpius the Scorpion

Posted by Fredsvenn on April 19, 2018

Bilderesultat for zodiac

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Scorpius constellation lies in the southern sky. The constellation is easy to find in the sky because it is located near the centre of the Milky Way. The Western astrological sign Scorpio differs from the astronomical constellation. Astronomically, the sun is in Scorpius for just six days, from November 23 to November 28.

The autumn skies are dominated by the enormous figure of the Scorpion. Its array of weaponry has led it to be regarded as a creature symbolising war and the martial prowess of the king. And its venomous nature further expresses the autumnal themes of death and descent to the underworld.

It contains a number of notable stars and deep sky objects, including the bright stars Antares and Shaula, the Butterfly Cluster (Messier 6), the Ptolemy Cluster (Messier 7), Cat’s Paw Nebula (NGC 6334), the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302), and the War and Peace Nebula (NGC 6357).

It is one of the twelve members of the zodiac, depicted as a scorpion. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius occupy and define the zones of the sky that the sun would traverse on the vernal equinox, summer solstice, autumnal equinox, and winter solstice, respectively.

The eagle serves as the astrological equivalent of the scorpion, and thus, the lion, bull, man, and eagle represent the complete cycle of the year, and the four quarters of the earth. In Ezekiel commentaries, it is frequently claimed that the sign of the eagle is equivalent to the scorpion, perhaps because the constellation Aquila the Eagle is in the House of Scorpio. However, the origins of this equivalence are extremely obscure.

It is one of the zodiac constellations, first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. It represents the scorpion and is associated with the story of Orion in Greek mythology.

In Greek mythology, the constellation Scorpius was identified with the scorpion that killed Orion, the mythical hunter. The two constellations lie opposite each other in the sky, and Orion is said to be fleeing from the scorpion as it sets just as Scorpius rises.

In one version of the myth, Orion tried to ravish the goddess Artemis and she sent the scorpion to kill him. In another version, it was the Earth that sent the scorpion after Orion had boasted that he could kill any wild beast.

In ancient Greek times, the constellation Scorpius was significantly larger and comprised of two halves, one with the scorpion’s body and the sting, and one containing the claws. The latter was called Chelae, or “claws” of the Scorpion in Babylonian (zibānītu (compare Arabic zubānā). In the first century BC, the Romans turned the claws into a separate constellation, Libra, the Scales. In some old descriptions the constellation of Libra is treated as the Scorpion’s claws.

However, Scorpius pre-dates the Greeks, and is one of the oldest constellations known. The Sumerians called it GIR-TAB, or “the scorpion,” about 5,000 years ago. The Babylonians called this constellation MUL.GIR.TAB – the ‘Scorpion’, the signs can be literally read as ‘the (creature with) a burning sting’.

One of earliest occurrences of the scorpion in culture is its inclusion, as Scorpio, in the twelve signs of the series of constellations known as the Zodiac by Babylonian astronomers during the Chaldean period.

In ancient Egypt the goddess Serket was often depicted as a scorpion, one of several goddesses who protected the Pharaoh. Surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel makes notable symbolic use of scorpions in his 1930 classic L’Age d’or (The Golden Age).

Scorpion I was the first of two rulers of Upper Egypt during Naqada III. His name may refer to the scorpion goddess Serket, though evidence suggests Serket’s rise in popularity to be in the Old Kingdom, bringing doubt to whether Scorpion actually took his name from her. He was one of the first rulers of ancient Egypt.

Scorpion is believed to have lived in Thinis one or two centuries before the rule of the better-known Scorpion II of Nekhen and is presumably the first true king of Upper Egypt. To him belongs the U-j tomb found in the royal cemetery of Abydos where Thinite kings were buried.

Two of those plaques seem to name the towns Baset and Buto, showing that Scorpion’s armies had penetrated the Nile Delta. It may be that the conquests of Scorpion started the Egyptian hieroglyphic system by starting a need to keep records in writing.

Recently a 5,000-year-old graffito has been discovered in the Theban Desert Road Survey that also bears the symbols of Scorpion and depicts his victory over another protodynastic ruler (possibly Naqada’s king). The defeated king or place named in the graffito was “Bull’s Head”, a marking also found in U-j.

Scorpion II (Ancient Egyptian: possibly Selk or Weha), also known as King Scorpion, refers to the second of two kings or chieftains of that name during the Protodynastic Period of Upper Egypt. He ruled one or two centuries after Scorpion I.

The Scorpion macehead (also known as the Major Scorpion macehead) is a decorated ancient Egyptian macehead found in the main deposit in the temple of Horus at Hierakonpolis during the dig season of 1897/1898.

It measures 25 centimeters long, is made of limestone, is pear-shaped, and is attributed to the pharaoh Scorpion due to the glyph of a scorpion engraved close to the image of a king wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt. A second, smaller macehead fragment showing Scorpion wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt is referred to as the Minor Scorpion macehead.

When Scorpio was first described in Sumer, the constellation and the associated region of sky was represented by a scorpion, and this association appears to have persisted in Mesopotamian literature for the next 1500 years.

Scorpion men are featured in several Akkadian language myths, including the Enûma Elish and the Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh. They were also known as aqrabuamelu or girtablilu. The Scorpion Men are described to have the head, torso, and arms of a man and the body of a scorpion.

In the religion of ancient Babylon, Tiamat is a primordial goddess of the salt sea, mating with Abzû, the god of fresh water, to produce younger gods. She is the symbol of the chaos of primordial creation. She creates the Scorpion men in order to wage war against the younger gods for the betrayal of her mate Apsu.

They were said to be guardians of Shamash, the god of Sun truth, justice and healing. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, they stand guard outside the gates of the sun god Shamash at the mountains of Mashu. These give entrance to Kurnugi, the land of darkness. The scorpion men open the doors for Shamash as he travels out each day, and close the doors after him when he returns to the underworld at night.

The people of Mesopotamia invoked the Scorpion People as figures of powerful protection against evil and the forces of chaos. In The Epic of Gilgamesh the Scorpion couple, Scorpion Man and Scorpion Woman, guard the great Gate of the Mountain where the sun rises and are described as `terrifying’.

They also warn travellers of the danger that lies beyond their post. Their heads touch the sky, their “terror is awesome” and their “glance is death”. This meeting of Gilgameš, on his way to Ūta-napišti, with the Scorpion-folk guarding the entrance to the tunnel is described in Iškār Gilgāmeš, tablet IX, lines 47–81.

Ishara (išḫara) is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. 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).

Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deity, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. Her cult was of considerable importance in Ebla from the mid 3rd millennium. 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. 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. Ishara was also worshipped within the Hurrian pantheon.

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 invoked to heal the sick. As a goddess, Ishara could inflict severe bodily penalties to oathbreakers, in particular ascites. In this context, she came to be seen as a “goddess of medicine” whose pity was invoked in case of illness. There was even a verb, isharis- “to be afflicted by the illness of Ishara”. Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath.

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.

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.

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.

The goddess Aya in this aspect appears to have had wide currency among Semitic peoples, as she is mentioned in god-lists in Ugarit and shows up in personal names in the Bible. 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. 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.

Babylonian_Scorpio.pdf

Scorpius Constellation

Scorpius the Scorpion

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