Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

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

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 26, 2017

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

Etymology of Deus

Letter S

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sin – Chi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samekh – Sigma – Xi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sowilo

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sun gods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the most important goddesses of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is the personification of dawn as a beautiful young woman. Her name is reconstructed as Hausōs or Ausōs (PIE *h₂éwsōs, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.

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

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

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction, *héwsōs, a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wénhos (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas “loveliness; desire”, used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir. The name indicates that the goddess was imagined as a beautiful nubile woman, who also had aspects of a love goddess.

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

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

The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god (reflected in the Rigveda as Indra, in Greek mythology as Dionysus and Cronus).

The abduction and imprisonment of the dawn goddess, and her liberation by a heroic god slaying the dragon who imprisons her, is a central myth of Indo-European religion, reflected in numerous traditions. Most notably, it is the central myth of the Rigveda, a collection of hymns surrounding the Soma rituals dedicated to Indra in the new year celebrations of the early Indo-Aryans.

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

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

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

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The Anunaki, the Igigi and the humans

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 26, 2017

Anu

Tammuz – Balder / Enmessara – Tyr

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 sacred number name was 50.

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 and Tammuz (Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”), a Sumerian god of food and vegetation.

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.

Enlil – Saturn – Njord

As Enlil was placed in command by An, the god of the heavens, he held sway over the other gods, who were assigned tasks by his sukkal, or attendant, and would travel to Nippur to draw in his power. He is thus seen as the model for kingship. Enlil was assimilated to the north “Pole of the Ecliptic”. His sacred number name was 50.

A nearly complete 108-line poem describes Enlil’s invention of the mattock, a key agricultural pick, hoe, ax, or digging tool of the Sumerians. In the poem, Enlil conjures the pickax into existence and decrees its fate.

The pickax is described as gloriously beautiful; it is made of pure gold and has a head carved from lapis lazuli. Enlil gives the tool over to the humans, who use it to built cities, subjugate their people, and pull up weeds. Enlil was believed to aid in the growth of plants.

Ekur (É.KUR) is a Sumerian term meaning “mountain house”. It is the assembly of the gods in the Garden of the gods, parallel in Greek mythology to Mount Olympus and was the most revered and sacred building of ancient Sumer.

In mythology, the Ekur was the centre of the earth and location where heaven and earth were united. It is also known as Duranki and one of its structures is known as the Kiur (“great place”). Enamtila (É.NAM.TI.LA, E-nam-ti-la), a Sumerian term meaning “house of life” or possibly “house of creation”, has also been suggested by Piotr Michalowski to be a part of the Ekur.

Duranki (Dur meaning “bond” / “tie”, An meaning “Heaven” / “skies”, while Ki meaning “Earth” / “place”) – “Bond between Heaven and Earth” – is an ancient Sumerian term for the people who were created by their Gods.

According to creation myths of the Sumerian people, their Gods used genetic material from life existing on Earth and mixed it with divine genetic material from themselves to create Humans here on Earth.

The Ekur was seen as a place of judgement and the place from which Enlil’s divine laws are issued. The ethics and moral values of the site are extolled in myths, which has been suggested would have made it the most ethically-oriented in the entire ancient Near East. Its rituals are also described as: “banquets and feasts are celebrated from sunrise to sunset” with “festivals, overflowing with milk and cream, are alluring of plan and full of rejoicing”.

The priests of the Ekur festivities are described with en being the high priest, lagar as his associate, mues the leader of incantations and prayers, and guda the priest responsible for decoration. Sacrifices and food offerings were brought by the king, described as “faithful shepherd” or “noble farmer”.

The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the Works and Days of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages, Gold being the first. Those living in the first Age were ruled by Kronos, after the finish of the first age was the Silver, then the Bronze, after this the Heroic age, with the fifth and current age being Iron.

By extension “Golden Age” denotes a period of primordial peace, harmony, stability, and prosperity. During this age peace and harmony prevailed, people did not have to work to feed themselves, for the earth provided food in abundance.

They lived to a very old age with a youthful appearance, eventually dying peacefully, with spirits living on as “guardians”. Plato in Cratylus (397 e) recounts the golden race of humans who came first. He clarifies that Hesiod did not mean literally made of gold, but good and noble.

There are analogous concepts in the religious and philosophical traditions of the South Asian subcontinent. For example, the Vedic or ancient Hindu culture saw history as cyclical, composed of yugas with alternating Dark and Golden Ages.

The Kali yuga (Iron Age), Dwapara yuga (Bronze Age), Treta yuga (Silver Age) and Satya yuga (Golden Age) correspond to the four Greek ages. Similar beliefs occur in the ancient Middle East and throughout the ancient world, as well.

In classical Greek mythology the Golden Age was presided over by the leading Titan Cronus. In some version of the myth Astraea also ruled. She lived with men until the end of the Silver Age, but in the Bronze Age, when men became violent and greedy, fled to the stars, where she appears as the constellation Virgo, holding the scales of Justice, or Libra.

European pastoral literary tradition often depicted nymphs and shepherds as living a life of rustic innocence and peace, set in Arcadia, a region of Greece that was the abode and center of worship of their tutelary deity, goat-footed Pan, who dwelt among them.

The Song of the hoe or the Creation of the pickax is a Sumerian creation myth, written on clay tablets from the last century of the 3rd millennium BC. The poem is composed of the frequent use of the word “al”, which means hoe. The verb-forms and nouns also frequently start with, or contain the syllable “al” (or “ar”), suggesting the writer intended it for humour as a satirical school text or as a tongue-twister. The song starts with a creation myth where Enlil separates heaven and earth in Duranki, the cosmic Nippur or ‘Garden of the Gods’.

Enki – Mercury – Odin

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.

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”.

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.”

Isimud (also Isinu; Usmû; Usumu (Akkadian)) is a minor god, the messenger of the god, Enki, in Sumerian mythology. In ancient Sumerian artwork, Isimud is easily identifiable due to the fact that he is always depicted with two faces facing in opposite directions in a way that is similar to the ancient Roman god, Janus.

Janus – January – Capricorn

Anu (ranking #60)

Antu (ranking #55)

Enlil (ranking #50)

Ninlil / Sud (ranking #45)

Enki / EA (ranking #40)

Ninki / Damkina (ranking #35)

Moon: Nanna / Nannar / Sin / El (ranking #30)

Ningal (ranking #25)

Sun: Utu / Shamash / Allah (ranking #20)

Inanna / Ishtar (ranking #15)

Thunder: Adad / Ishkur (ranking #10)

Ninhursag / Ninmah / Ninti (ranking #5)

The Anunnaki are a group of deities in ancient Mesopotamian cultures (e.g. Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian). The name is variously written “da-nuna”, “da-nuna-ke-ne”, or “da-nun-na”, meaning “princely offspring” or “offspring of Anu”.

The Anunnaki appear in the Babylonian creation myth, Enuma Elish. In the late version magnifying Marduk, after the creation of mankind, Marduk divides the Anunnaki and assigns them to their proper stations, 300 in heaven, 300 on the earth.

In gratitude, the Anunnaki, the “Great Gods”, built Esagila, the splendid: “They raised high the head of Esagila equaling Apsu. Having built a stage-tower as high as Apsu, they set up in it an abode for Marduk, Enlil, (and) Ea.” When that was finished they built their own shrines.

According to The Oxford Companion to World Mythology, the Anunnaki: “…are the Sumerian deities of the old primordial line; they are chthonic deities of fertility, associated eventually with the underworld, where they became judges. They take their name from the old sky god An (Anu).”

By her consort Anu, Ki gave birth to the Anunnaki, the most prominent of these deities being Enlil, god of the air. According to legends, heaven and earth were once inseparable until Enlil was born; Enlil cleaved heaven and earth in two. Anu carried away heaven. Ki, in company with Enlil, took the earth.

Their relation to the group of gods known as the Igigi is unclear—at times the names are used synonymously but in the Atra-Hasis flood myth the Igigi are the sixth generation of the gods who have to work for the Anunnaki, rebelling after 40 days and replaced by the creation of humans.

Jeremy Black and Anthony Green offer a slightly different perspective on the Igigi and the Anunnaki, writing that “lgigu or Igigi is a term introduced in the Old Babylonian Period as a name for the (ten) ‘great gods’. In the Epic of Creation, it is said that there are 300 lgigu of heaven.”

While it sometimes kept that sense in later periods, from Middle Assyrian and Babylonian times on it is generally used to refer to the gods of heaven collectively, just as the term Anunnakku (Anuna) was later used to refer to the gods of the underworld.

Igigi was a term used to refer to the gods of heaven in Sumerian mythology. Though sometimes synonymous with the term “Annunaki”, in one myth the Igigi were the younger gods who were servants of the Annunaki, until they rebelled and were replaced by the creation of humans.

Igi means (eye) in both Sumerian and Akkadian languages, gi stands for (penetrate sexually). Therefore, Igigi could be translated to (Eyes in the sky, the watchers, who deflower).

Sumerian paradise is described as a garden in the myth of Atrahasis where lower rank deities (the Igigi) are put to work digging a watercourse by the more senior deities (the Anunnaki).

The Igigi then rebel against the dictatorship of Enlil, setting fire to their tools and surrounding Enlil’s great house by night. On hearing that toil on the irrigation channel is the reason for the disquiet, the Anunnaki council decide to create man to carry out agricultural labour.

After six generations of gods, in the Babylonian Enûma Eliš, in the seventh generation, (Akkadian “shapattu” or sabath), the younger Igigi gods, the sons and daughters of Enlil and Ninlil, go on strike and refuse their duties of keeping the creation working.

Abzu (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 Sumarian and Akkadian mythology it referred to the primeval sea below the void space of the underworld (Kur) and the earth (Ma) above. The underworld Kur is the void space between the primeval sea (Abzu) and the earth (Ma). Which seem a likely pairing for parentage, in a fuzzy set of records.

In the city of Eridu, Enki’s temple was known as E2-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.

Abzu (apsû) 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.

Tiamat was the “shining” personification of salt water who roared and smote in the chaos of original creation. She and Apsu filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters. She is “Ummu-Hubur who formed all things”.

It is thought that female deities are older than male ones in Mesopotamia and Tiamat may have begun as part of the cult of Nammu (also Namma, spelled ideographically NAMMA = ENGUR), a female principle of a watery creative force, with equally strong connections to the underworld, which predates the appearance of Ea-Enki.

Nammu 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.

She may have been of greater importance prehistorically, before Enki took over most of her functions. Reay Tannahill in Sex in History (1980) singled out Nammu as the “only female prime mover” in the cosmogonic myths of antiquity.

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.

According to the Neo-Sumerian mythological text Enki and Ninmah, Enki is the son of An and Nammu. The Atrahasis-Epos has it that Enlil requested from Nammu the creation of humans. And Nammu told him that with the help of Enki (her son) she can create humans in the image of gods.

In the religion of ancient Babylon, Tiamat (Akkadian: Dti.amat) 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. Depicted as a woman, she represents the beauty of the feminine, depicted as the glistening one.

It is suggested that there are two parts to the Tiamat mythos, the first in which Tiamat is a creator goddess, through a “Sacred marriage” between salt and fresh water, peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations. In the second “Chaoskampf” Tiamat is considered the monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos. Some sources identify her with images of a sea serpent or dragon.

In the Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, she gives birth to the first generation of deities; her husband, Apsu, correctly assuming they are planning to kill him and usurp his throne, later makes war upon them and is killed.

Enraged, she, too, wars upon her husband’s murderers, taking on the form of a massive sea dragon, she is then slain by Enki’s son, the storm-god Marduk, but not before she had brought forth the monsters of the Mesopotamian pantheon, including the first dragons, whose bodies she filled with “poison instead of blood”. Marduk then forms heavens and the earth from her divided body.

The principal theme of the epic is the justified elevation of Marduk to command over all the deities. Akitu or Akitum (Sumerian: ezen á.ki.tum, akiti-šekinku, á.ki.ti.še.gur.ku, lit. “the barley-cutting”, akiti-šununum, lit. “barley-sowing”; Akkadian: akitu or rêš-šattim, “head of the year”) was a spring festival in ancient Mesopotamia.

The name is from the Sumerian for “barley”, originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring. In Babylonian religion it came to be dedicated to Marduk’s victory over Tiamat.

Ninti (sumerian Ti means rib and to live) is the Sumerian goddess of life. The last one, Ninti (Lady Rib), is also one of the eight goddesses of healing who was created by Ninhursag to heal Enki’s body. Her specific healing area was the rib. It is also a pun on Lady Life, a title of Ninhursag herself.

Enki had eaten forbidden flowers and was then cursed by Ninhursaga, who was later persuaded by the other gods to heal him. Some scholars suggest that this served as the basis for the story of Eve created from Adam’s rib in the Book of Genesis.

Ninti, the title of Ninhursag, also means “the mother of all living”, and was a title given to the later Hurrian goddess Kheba. This is also the title given in the Bible to Eve, the Hebrew and Aramaic Ḥawwah, who was made from the rib of Adam, in a strange reflection of the Sumerian myth, in which Adam — not Enki — walks in the Garden of Paradise.

Abzu (or Apsû) fathered upon Tiamat the elder deities Lahmu and Lahamu (masc. the “hairy”), a title given to the gatekeepers at Enki’s Abzu/E’engurra-temple in Eridu. Lahmu and Lahamu, in turn, were the parents of the ‘ends’ of the heavens (Anshar, from an = heaven, shár = horizon, end) and the earth (Kishar); Anshar and Kishar were considered to meet at the horizon, becoming, thereby, the parents of Anu (Heaven) and Ki (Earth).

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.

In the myth recorded on cuneiform tablets, the deity Enki (later Ea) believed correctly that Apsu was planning to murder the younger deities, upset with the chaos they created, and so captured him and held him prisoner beneath his temple the E-Abzu.

This angered Kingu, their son, who reported the event to Tiamat, whereupon she fashioned eleven monsters to battle the deities in order to avenge Apsu’s death.

Tiamat possessed the Tablet of Destinies and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, the deity she had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host, and who was also one of her children.

The deities gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as “king of the gods”, overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.

Slicing Tiamat in half, he made from her ribs the vault of heaven and earth. Her weeping eyes became the source of the Tigris and the Euphrates, her tail became the Milky Way.

With the approval of the elder deities, he took from Kingu the Tablet of Destinies, installing himself as the head of the Babylonian pantheon. Kingu was captured and later was slain: his red blood mixed with the red clay of the Earth would make the body of humankind, created to act as the servant of the younger Igigi deities.

Abzu God of fresh water, co-creator of the cosmos, threatens to destroy the world with his waters, and the Gods gather in terror. Enki promises to help and puts Abzu to sleep, confining him in irrigation canals and places him in the Kur, beneath his city of Eridu.

But the universe is still threatened, as Tiamat, angry at the imprisonment of Abzu and at the prompting of her son and vizier Kingu, decides to take back the creation herself.

The gods gather again in terror and turn to Enki for help, but Enki who harnessed Abzu, Tiamat’s consort, for irrigation refuses to get involved. The gods then seek help elsewhere, and the patriarchal Enlil, their father, God of Nippur, promises to solve the problem if they make him King of the Gods.

In the Babylonian tale, Enlil’s role is taken by Marduk, Enki’s son, and in the Assyrian version it is Asshur. After dispatching Tiamat with the “arrows of his winds” down her throat and constructing the heavens with the arch of her ribs, Enlil places her tail in the sky as the Milky Way, and her crying eyes become the source of the Tigris and Euphrates.

But there is still the problem of “who will keep the cosmos working”. Enki, who might have otherwise come to their aid, is lying in a deep sleep and fails to hear their cries. His mother Nammu (creatrix also of Abzu and Tiamat) “brings the tears of the gods” before Enki.

Enki then advises that they create a servant of the gods, humankind, out of clay and blood. Against Enki’s wish the Gods decide to slay Kingu, and Enki finally consents to use Kingu’s blood to make the first human, with whom Enki always later has a close relationship, the first of the seven sages, seven wise men or “Abgallu” (Ab = water, Gal = great, Lu = Man), also known as Adapa.

Enki assembles a team of divinities to help him, creating a host of “good and princely fashioners”. Adapa, the first man fashioned, later goes and acts as the advisor to the King of Eridu, when in the Sumerian Kinglist, the “Me” of “kingship descends on Eridu”.

In the later Babylonian version of the flood story, Enlil actually causes the flood, seeking to annihilate every living thing on earth because the humans make too much noise. In this version of the story, the hero is Utnapishtim, who is warned ahead of time by Ea, the Babylonian equivalent of Enki, that the flood is coming.

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An excursus on the Egyptian word nTr

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 22, 2017

An excursus on the Egyptian word nTr

One theory has been that NTR meant growth, renewing life, rebirth. It brings to mind “Nurturing”. The Egyptians used to use L as the letter/sound for R, so in one theory it used to be pronounced NTL instead of NTR. This brings to mind the Latin Natalis (birth).

Egyptians thought that the pharaohs were gods or embodiments of Horus, and they thought that the blessed dead went to heaven and became gods. The sign for God was also sometimes a falcon (“horus”) sitting on a ledge.

Ra and Horus and Montu were depicted as falcon-headed and were major deities. Mummies were purified and embalmed with Natron, a derived word, which is found as Sodium carbonate in the desert. The gods were called Neteru, gods.

Another theory is that NTR means nature, element, principle. A definition of the word [NTR] is ‘active energy that produces and creates things regular recurrence; which gives them new life and gives them back their youthful vigor’. The innate concept of the word completely covers the original meaning of the Greek word and Latin natura.

A third theory is that NTR is related to “heavens”. Chinese, Indo-Europeans, Proto-Turkics, and Sumerians all used similar words for god: Tien, Dyeus, Tengri, Dingir, respectively. And each word meant not only God but sky, day, heavens, or brightness.

Turning to Egyptian, we find that it uses a major set of gods relating to the heavens with a sound similar to NTR. These are the primordial heavenly waters Nunet, the heavens goddess Nut, and the unseen heavens’ goddess Neith. These words are related probably.

A fourth theory is that it means something pure. The objects that had holy or divine things were ritually purified. There were “pure” and “divine” tools used to prepare the NTR objects (like a mummy).

The Egyptian term for ‘god’, ntr, (Coptic noute), provides no real indication of the basic meaning of the Egyptian concept of deity. … pure. Following, one might argue that the term ntr, when used of a deity, designated his or her purity, singleness or perfection.

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Enlil / Ninlil – Nergal / Ereshkigal – Pluto-Apollo-Mars / Persepone / Prosperina

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 22, 2017

The Sumerian creation myth holds that, originally, there was only Nammu, the primeval sea. Then, Nammu gave birth to An, the sky, and Ki, the earth, who gave birth to Enlil. Enlil separated An from Ki and carried off the earth as his domain, while An carried off the sky.

Enlil is associated with the ancient city of Nippur, sometimes referred to as the cult city of Enlil. His temple was named Ekur, “House of the Mountain.” In mythology, the Ekur was the centre of the earth and location where heaven and earth were united.

It is also known as Duranki and one of its structures is known as the Kiur (“great place”). Enamtila, a Sumerian term meaning “house of life” or possibly “house of creation”, has also been suggested to be a part of the Ekur.

Such was the sanctity acquired by this edifice that Babylonian and Assyrian rulers, down to the latest days, vied with one another to embellish and restore Enlil’s seat of worship. Eventually, the name Ekur became the designation of a temple in general.

As Enlil was placed in command by An, the god of the heavens, he held sway over the other gods, who were assigned tasks by his sukkal, or attendant, and would travel to Nippur to draw in his power. He is thus seen as the model for kingship. Enlil was assimilated to the north “Pole of the Ecliptic”. His sacred number name was 50.

In the Hymn to Enlil, the Ekur is closely linked to Enlil whilst in Enlil and Ninlil it is the abode of the Annanuki, from where Enlil is banished. The myth of “Enlil and Ninlil” discusses when Enlil was a young god, he was banished from Ekur in Nippur, home of the gods, to Kur, the underworld for seducing a goddess named Ninlil.

In Sumerian religion, Ninlil (NIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), also called Sud, in Assyrian called Mulliltu, is the consort goddess of Enlil. Ninlil lived in Dilmun with her family. Impregnated by her husband Enlil, who lie with her by the water, she conceived a boy, Nanna/Suen, the future moon god.

As punishment Enlil was dispatched to the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, where Ninlil joined him. Enlil impregnated her disguised as the gatekeeper, where upon she gave birth to their son Nergal, who 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 the name of a god, attested in a Hittite language treaty as a protective deity of Wilusa. Apaliunas is considered to be the Hittite reflex of *Apeljōn, an early form of the name Apollo. 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.

Aplu, it is suggested, comes from the Akkadian Aplu Enlil, 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.

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

In a similar manner Ninlil conceived the underworld god Ninazu when Enlil impregnated her disguised as the man of the river of the nether world, a man-devouring river. Later Enlil disguised himself as the man of the boat, impregnating her with a fourth deity Enbilulu, god of rivers and canals. All of these act as substitutes for Nanna/Suen to ascend.

After her death, she became the goddess of the wind, like Enlil. She may be the Goddess of the South Wind referred to in the story of Adapa, as her husband Enlil was associated with northerly winter storms. As “Lady Wind” she may be associated with the figure of the Akkadian demon “Lil-itu”, thought to have been the origin of the Hebrew Lilith legend.

Her parentage is variously described. Most commonly she is called the daughter of Haia (god of stores) and Nunbarsegunu (or Ninshebargunnu [a goddess of barley] or Nisaba). Another Akkadian source says she is the daughter of Anu (a.k.a. An) and Antu (Sumerian Ki). Other sources call her a daughter of Anu and Nammu.

Akitu or Akitum (Sumerian: ezen á.ki.tum, akiti-šekinku, á.ki.ti.še.gur₁₀.ku₅, lit. “the barley-cutting”, akiti-šununum, lit. “barley-sowing”; Akkadian: akitu or rêš-šattim, “head of the year”) was a spring festival in ancient Mesopotamia.

The name is from the Sumerian for “barley”, originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring. In Babylonian religion it came to be dedicated to Marduk’s victory over Tiamat.

Tiamat was the “shining” personification of salt water who roared and smote in the chaos of original creation. She and Apsu filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters. She is “Ummu-Hubur who formed all things”.

Tiamat possessed the Tablet of Destinies and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, the deity she had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host, and who was also one of her children.

The deities gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as “king of the gods”, overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.

In Mesopotamian religion, Ninurta (Sumerian: NIN.URTA, lord of barley) was a god of law, scribes, farming, and hunting. In the early days of Assyriology, the name was often transliterated Ninib or Ninip and he was sometimes analyzed as a solar deity.

In Nippur, Ninurta was worshiped as part of a triad of deities including his father, Enlil and his mother, Ninlil. In variant mythology, his mother is said to be the harvest goddess Ninhursag. The consort of Ninurta was Ugallu in Nippur and Bau when he was called Ningirsu.

Ninurta often appears holding a bow and arrow, a sickle sword, or a mace; the mace, named Sharur, is capable of speech and can take the form of a winged lion, possibly representing an archetype for the later Shedu.

In another legend, Ninurta battles a birdlike monster called Imdugud or Anzû; a Babylonian version relates how the monster steals the Tablet of Destinies—believed to contain the details of fate and the future—from Enlil.

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

Pluto (Greek: Ploutōn) was the ruler of the underworld in classical mythology. Plūtō is the Latinized form of the Greek Plouton. Pluto’s Roman equivalent is Dis Pater, whose name is most often taken to mean “Rich Father” and is perhaps a direct translation of Plouton.

Plouton as the name of the ruler of the underworld first appears in Greek literature of the Classical period, in the works of the Athenian playwrights and of the philosopher Plato, who is the major Greek source on its significance.

The name Ploutōn came into widespread usage with the Eleusinian Mysteries. His central narrative is the abduction of Persephone to be his wife and the queen of his realm.

Under the name Pluto, the god appears in other myths in a secondary role, mostly as the possessor of a quest-object, and especially in the descent of Orpheus or other heroes to the underworld.

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 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.

Pluto and Hades differ in character, but they are not distinct figures and share two dominant myths. 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, the god 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.

Pluto was also identified with the obscure Roman Orcus, like Hades the name of both a god of the underworld and the underworld as a place. The borrowed Greek name Pluto is sometimes used for the ruler of the dead in Latin literature, leading some mythology handbooks to assert misleadingly that Pluto was the Roman counterpart of Hades.

Pluto (Pluton in French and German, Plutone in Italian) becomes the most common name for the classical ruler of the underworld in subsequent Western literature and other art forms. Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is possibly exalted in Leo. Pluto is also associated with Tuesday, alongside Mars.

A sanctuary dedicated to Pluto was called a ploutonion (Latin plutonium). The complex at Eleusis for the mysteries had a ploutonion regarded as the birthplace of the divine child Ploutos, in another instance of conflation or close association of the two gods.

Greek inscriptions record an altar of Pluto, which was to be “plastered”, that is, resurfaced for a new round of sacrifices at Eleusis. One of the known ploutonia was in the sacred grove between Tralleis and Nysa, where a temple of Pluto and Persephone was located. Visitors sought healing and dream oracles.

The ploutonion at Hierapolis, Phrygia, was connected to the rites of Cybele, but during the Roman Imperial era was subsumed by the cult of Apollo, as confirmed by archaeological investigations during the 1960s. It too was a dream oracle.

A dedicatory inscription from Smyrna describes a 1st–2nd century sanctuary to “God Himself” as the most exalted of a group of six deities, including clothed statues of Plouton Helios and Koure Selene, “Pluto the Sun” and “Kore the Moon.”

The status of Pluto and Kore as a divine couple is marked by what the text describes as a “linen embroidered bridal curtain.” The two are placed as bride and groom within an enclosed temple, separately from the other deities cultivated at the sanctuary.

Plouton Helios is mentioned in other literary sources in connection with Koure Selene and Helios Apollon; the sun on its nighttime course was sometimes envisioned as traveling through the underworld on its return to the east.

Apuleius describes a rite in which the sun appears at midnight to the initiate at the gates of Proserpina; it has been suggested that this midnight sun could be Plouton Helios. The Smyrna inscription also records the presence of Helios Apollon at the sanctuary. As two forms of Helios, Apollo and Pluto pose a dichotomy:

The Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus uses the name Plouton instead of Hades in relating the tripartite division of sovereignty, the abduction of Persephone, and the visit of Orpheus to the underworld.

This version of the theogony for the most part follows Hesiod (see above), but adds that the three brothers were each given a gift by the Cyclopes to use in their battle against the Titans: Zeus thunder and lightning; Poseidon a trident; and Pluto a helmet (kyneê).

In Greek mythology, Persephone, also called Kore (“the maiden”) or Cora, is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter, and is the queen of the underworld. In Roman mythology, she is called Proserpina, and her mother, Ceres.

Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic princess of the underworld, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead. Persephone was married to Hades, the god-king of the underworld.

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.

Persephone as a vegetation goddess and her mother Demeter were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon and promised the initiated a more enjoyable prospect after death.

Persephone is further said to have become by Zeus the mother of Dionysus, Iacchus, or Zagreus, usually in orphic tradition. The origins of her cult are uncertain, but it was based on very old agrarian cults of agricultural communities.

Persephone was commonly worshipped along with Demeter and with the same mysteries. To her alone were dedicated the mysteries celebrated at Athens in the month of Anthesterion.

In Classical Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed, often carrying a sheaf of grain. She may appear as a mystical divinity with a sceptre and a little box, but she was mostly represented in the process of being carried off by Hades.

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 (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.

Nilsson believes 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.

The Sun goddess of Arinna is the chief goddess and wife of the weather god Tarḫunna in Hittite mythology. She protected the Hittite kingdom and was called the “Queen of all lands.” Her cult centre was the sacred city of Arinna.

The name Ištanu is the Hittite form of the Hattian name Eštan and refers to the Sun goddess of Arinna. Earlier scholarship understood Ištanu as the name of the male Sun god of the Heavens, but more recent scholarship has held that the name is only used to refer to the Sun goddess of Arinna.

Volker Haas (de), however, still distinguishes between a male Ištanu representing the day-star and a female Wurunšemu who is the Sun goddess of Arinna and spends her nights in the underworld.

The deer was sacred to the Sun goddess and Queen Puduḫepa promised to give her many deer in her prayers. Cultic vessels in the shape of a deer presumably ere used for worship of the Sun goddess. It is also believed that the golden deer statuettes from the Early Bronze Age, which were found in the middle of the Kızılırmak River and belong to the Hattian cultural period, ere associated with the cult of the Sun goddess.

Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo.

Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. 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.

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. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

The Sun goddess of Arinna and the weather god Tarḫunna formed a pair and together they occupied the highest position in the Hittite state’s pantheon. In addition to the Sun goddess of Arinna, the Hittites also worshipped the Sun goddess of the Earth and the Sun god of Heaven, while the Luwians originally worshipped the old Proto-Indo-European Sun god Tiwaz.

The Sun goddess of the Earth (Hittite: taknaš dUTU, Luwian: tiyamaššiš Tiwaz) was the Hittite goddess of the underworld. Her Hurrian equivalent was Allani (de) and her Sumerian/Akkadian equivalent was Ereshkigal, both of which had a marked influence on the Hittite goddess from an early date. In the Neo-Hittite period, the Hattian underworld god, Lelwani was also syncretised with her.

In Hittite texts she is referred to as the “Queen of the Underworld” and possesses a palace with a vizier and servants. In the Hittite New Kingdom she is attested as the mother of two weather gods. The Weather god of Nerik was her son with the Hattian (de) god Šulinkatte (de), while the Weather god of Zippalanda was her son by the Weather god of the Heavens (de).

The Sun goddess of the Earth, as a personification of the chthonic aspects of the Sun, had the task of opening the doors to the Underworld. She was also the source of all evil, impurity, and sickness on Earth.

In the Hurrian-Hittite “Song of the Ransom,” the Sun goddess of the Earth / Allani invites the king of the gods, Tarḫunna/Teššub and his brother Šuwaliyat/Tašmišu to a feast in the Underworld and dances before them. Otherwise she is mostly attested in curses, oaths, and purification rituals.

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”).

This name is cognate with the Greek Zeus, Latin Jupiter, and Norse Tyr. While Tiwaz (and the related Palaic god Tiyaz) retained a promenant role in the pantheon, the Hittite cognate deity, Šiwat (de) was largely eclipsed by the Sun goddess of Arinna, becoming a god of the day, especially the day of death.

In Luwian cuneiform of the Bronze Age, his name appears as Tiwad-. It can also be written with the Sumerogram dUTU (“God-Sun”). In Hieroglyphic Luwian of the Iron Age, the name can be written as Tiwad- of with the ideogram (DEUS) SOL (“God-Sun”)

Tiwaz rarely appears in personal names. The oldest example derives from 19th century BC Kültepe, a person called “Tiwatia”. The hieroglyphic Luwian name Azatiwada (de) (“Beloved of Tiwaz”) is the root of the Pamphylian town of Aspendos.

The local name of the town, according to the legends on its coins was Estwedi-. Unlike other Luwian gods’ names, Tiwaz is not attested in southern Anatolian personal names of the Hellenistic period.

A Lyican women’s name, Tewidarma (Sun-Moon”) and a Lydian patronym, Tiwdalis, are derived from Tiwaz. The name also appears in ḪUR.SAG Tiwatašša, the Hittite name for a mountain located somewhere in southwestern Anatolia.

Tiwaz was the descendant of the male Sun god of the Indo-European religion, Dyeus, who was superseded among the Hittites by the Hattian Sun goddess of Arinna. In Bronze Age texts, Tiwaz is often referred to as “Father” (cuneiform Luwian: tatis Tiwaz) and once as “Great Tiwaz” (cuneiform Luwian: urazza- dUTU-az), and invoked along with the “Father gods” (cuneiform Luwian: tatinzi maššaninzi).

His Bronze Age epithet, “Tiwaz of the Oath” (cuneiform Luwian: ḫirutalla- dUTU-az), indicates that he was an oath-god. In this role he received sacrifices of sheep, red meat and bread. The Luwian verb tiwadani- (“to curse”) is derived from Tiwaz’s name.

According to Hittite sources, Tiwaz and Kamrušepa were the parents of the tutelary god of Tauriša (de). Like Kamrušepa, Tiwaz is closely associated with sheep. Kamrusepa is a Hittite goddess of healing, medicine, and magic. She is a mother of Aruna. She is involved in the Telepinu Myth, about the “missing” vegetation god.

According to Hittite Mythology, she enlisted the help of a human to perform a ritual to remove the anger of an angry god, Telepinu. Upon completion of the ritual she sacrificed 12 rams of the sun gods and directed Telepinu’s anger into the Underworld.

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AN / Nergal – Dyeus / Dis Pater – Pluto / Mars – Tyr

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 21, 2017

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

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

Anu (DAN), 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.

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.

Uraš or Urash, in Sumerian mythology, is a goddess of earth, and one of the consorts of the sky god Anu. She is the mother of the goddess Ninsun and a grandmother of the hero Gilgamesh.

However, Uras may only have been another name for Antum, Anu’s wife. The name Uras even became applied to Anu himself, and acquired the meaning “heaven”. Ninurta also was apparently called Uras in later times.

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

The name *h₂éwsōs is derived from a root *h₂ews- “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *h₂ews-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *hews-o-m.

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction, *h₂éwsōs, a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wénh₁os (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas “loveliness; desire”, used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir.

Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deities, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. She is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. 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. She was associated with the underworld. Her astrological embodiment is the constellation Scorpio. Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath.

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.

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

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 and Dumuzi.

Tammuz (Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”) is a Sumerian god of food and vegetation, also worshiped in the later Mesopotamian states. He originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna.

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

Inanna was associated with the eastern fish of the last of the zodiacal constellations, Pisces. Her consort Dumuzi was associated with the contiguous first constellation, Aries.

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

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Mars was the god of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. 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.

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.

The consort of Mars was Nerio or Nerine, “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”). In the early 3rd century BC, the comic playwright Plautus has a reference to Mars greeting Nerio, his wife.

A source from late antiquity says that Mars and Nerine were celebrated together at a festival held on March 23. In the later Roman Empire, Nerine came to be identified with Minerva.

Nerio probably originates as a divine personification of Mars’ power, as such abstractions in Latin are generally feminine. Her name appears with that of Mars in an archaic prayer invoking a series of abstract qualities, each paired with the name of a deity. The influence of Greek mythology and its anthropomorphic gods may have caused Roman writers to treat these pairs as “marriages.”

His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare, and the festivals held in his honor during the month were mirrored by others in October, when the season for these activities came to a close.

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

The First Point of Aries is the location of the vernal equinox, and is named for the constellation of Aries. It is one of the two points on the celestial sphere at which the celestial equator meets the ecliptic plane, the other being the First Point of Libra, located exactly 180° from it.

Over its year-long journey through the constellations, the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north at the First Point of Aries, and from north to south at the First Point of Libra. The First Point of Aries is considered to be the celestial “prime meridian” from which right ascensions are calculated.

Due to Earth’s axial precession, this point gradually moves westwards at a rate of about one degree every 72 years. This means that, since the time of Hipparchus, it has shifted across the sky by about 30°, and is currently located within Pisces, near its border with Aquarius. Currently, the closest major star to the First Point of Aries is λ Piscium.

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

The figure Christ himself bears many of the temperaments and personality traits of a Pisces, and is thus considered an archetype of the Piscean. Moreover, the twelve apostles were called the “fishers of men,” early Christians called themselves “little fishes,” and a code word for Jesus was the Greek word for fish, “Ikhthus.”

With this, the start of the age, or the “Great Month of Pisces” is regarded as the beginning of the Christian religion. Saint Peter is recognized as the apostle of the Piscean sign.

Pisces has been called the “dying god,” where its sign opposite in the night sky is Virgo, or, the Virgin Mary. Virgo is the sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac. Virgo is the second-largest constellation.

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

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.

In Norse mythology, Freyja (Old Norse for “(the) Lady”) is a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death. Various plants in Scandinavia once bore her name, but it was replaced with the name of the Virgin Mary during the process of Christianization.

The name Friday comes from the Old English Frīġedæġ, meaning the “day of Frige”, a result of an old convention associating the Old English goddess Frigg with the Roman goddess Venus, with whom the day is associated in many different cultures. The same holds for Frīatag in Old High German, Freitag in Modern German, and vrijdag in Dutch.

The expected cognate name in Old Norse would be *friggjar-dagr. However, the name of Friday in Old Norse is frjá-dagr instead, indicating a loan of the week-day names from Low German. The modern Scandinavian form is Fredag, meaning Freyja’s day. The distinction between Freyja and Frigg in some Germanic mythologies is contested.

Libra is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans the 180–210th degree of the zodiac, between 180 and 207.25 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, Sun transits this area on average between (northern autumnal equinox) September 23 and October 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Libra from approximately October 16 to November 17.

The symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice. The ruling planet of Libra is Venus.

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”.

The sign of Libra is symbolized by the griffin, griffon, or gryphon, a mythological creature with the head, wings and talons of an eagle and hind legs of a lion. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.

Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of all creatures.

Going back to ancient Greek times, Libra the constellation between Virgo and Scorpio used to be over ruled by the constellation of Scorpio. They called the area the Latin word “chelae”, which translated to “the claws” which can help identify the individual stars that make up the full constellation of Libra, since it was so closely identified with the Scorpion constellation in the sky.

Enmesarra 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.

Nergal was a deity worshipped throughout Mesopotamia. 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 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.

Standard iconography pictured Nergal as a lion, and boundary-stone monuments symbolise him with a mace surmounted by the head of a lion. In Assyro-Babylonian ecclesiastical art the great lion-headed colossi serving as guardians to the temples and palaces seem to symbolise Nergal, just as the bull-headed colossi probably typify Ninurta.

The worship of Nergal does not appear to have spread as widely as that of Ninurta, but in the late Babylonian and early Persian period, syncretism seems to have fused the two divinities, which were invoked together as if they were identical.

Because he was a god of fire, the desert, and the Underworld and also a god from ancient paganism, later Christian writers sometimes identified Nergal as a demon and even identified him with Satan. According to Collin de Plancy and Johann Weyer, Nergal was depicted as the chief of Hell’s “secret police”, and worked as “an honorary spy in the service of Beelzebub”.

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. In his aspect as a father god, his consort would have been Pltwih Méhter, “earth mother”.

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 addressed as Dyeu Phter, literally “sky father” or “shining father”, as reflected in Latin Iūpiter, Diēspiter, possibly Dis Pater and deus pater, Greek Zeu pater, Sanskrit Dyàuṣpítaḥ.

Rooted in the related but distinct Indo-European word *deiwos is the Latin word for deity, deus. The Latin word is also continued in English divine, “deity”, and the original Germanic word remains visible in “Tuesday” (“Day of Tīwaz”) and Old Norse tívar, which may be continued in the toponym Tiveden (“Wood of the Gods”, or of Týr). Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

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 exclusive to mediterranean traditions, probably derived from syncretism with canaanite deities and Perkwunos.

The deity’s original domain was over the daylight sky, and indeed reflexes emphasise this connection to light: Istanu (Tiyaz) is a solar deity (though this name may actually refer to a female sun goddess), Helios is often referred to as the “eye of Zeus”, in Romanian paganism the Sun is similarly called “God’s eye” and in Indo-Iranian tradition Surya/Hvare-khshaeta is similarly associated with Ahura Mazda.

Even in Roman tradition, Jupiter often is only associated with diurnal lightning at most, while Summanus is a deity responsible for nocturnal lightning or storms as a whole.

Dīs Pater was a Roman god of the underworld, later subsumed by Pluto or Hades (Hades was Greek). Originally a chthonic god of riches, fertile agricultural land, and underground mineral wealth, he was later commonly equated with the Roman deities Pluto and Orcus, becoming an underworld deity.

In De Natura Deorum, Cicero derives the name of Dīs Pater from dives, suggesting a meaning of “father of riches”, directly corresponding to the name Pluto (from Greek Ploutōn, meaning “wealthy”).

It has been accepted by some contemporary authors, some even suggesting that Dīs Pater is a direct loan translation of Ploutōn. Alternatively, he may be a secondary reflex of the same god as Jupiter (Proto-Indo-European Dyeus Phter or “Zeus-Pater”)).

Pluto (Greek: Πλούτων, 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 (Πλοῦτος, 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.

Pluto and Hades differ in character, but they are not distinct figures and share two dominant myths. In Greek cosmogony, the god 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. His central narrative is the abduction of Persephone to be his wife and the queen of his realm.

Plūtō is the Latinized form of the Greek Plouton. Pluto’s Roman equivalent is Dis Pater, whose name is most often taken to mean “Rich Father” and is perhaps a direct translation of Plouton. Pluto was also identified with the obscure Roman Orcus, like Hades the name of both a god of the underworld and the underworld as a place.

The borrowed Greek name Pluto is sometimes used for the ruler of the dead in Latin literature, leading some mythology handbooks to assert misleadingly that Pluto was the Roman counterpart of Hades.

The outer modern planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are often called the collective or transcendental planets. Since the invention of the telescope, Western astrology has incorporated Uranus, Neptune, Ceres, Pluto, and other bodies into its methodology.

Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is possibly exalted in Leo. In Roman mythology, Pluto is the god of the underworld and of wealth. Pluto is also associated with Tuesday, alongside Mars.

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On the origin of the word God

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 21, 2017

Gaut is an early Germanic name, from a Proto-Germanic gautaz, which represents a national god in the origin myth of a number of related Germanic peoples of the Migration Period, running about the 5th to 8th centuries AD. when it affected the Roman world.

Originally the German root was a neuter noun, but the gender of the monotheistic God shifted to masculine under the influence of Christianity. In contrast, all ancient Indo-European cultures and mythologies recognized both masculine and feminine deities.

Gautr is also one of the Eddaic names of Odin in Norse mythology, but also as an alternative form of the name Gauti, who was one of Odin’s sons, and the founder of the kingdom of the Geats, Götaland (Gautland/Geatland), in Bósa saga ok Herrauðs (c. 1300).

This Gautr/Gauti also appears as the father of the recurrent and undatable Geatish king Gautrekr in that saga, and several other sagas produced between 1225 and 1310.

The term “god” refers to “supreme being, deity”, which states Douglas Harper, is derived from Proto-Germanic *guthan, from PIE *ghut-, which means “that which is invoked”.

Guth in the Irish language means “voice.” The term *ghut- is also the source of Old Church Slavonic zovo (“to call”), Sanskrit huta- (“invoked,” an epithet of Indra), from the root *gheu(e)- (“to call, invoke.”)

An alternate etymology for the term “god” comes from the Proto-Germanic Gaut, which traces it to the PIE root *ghu-to- (“poured”), which from the root *gheu- (“to pour, pour a libation”). The term *gheu- is also the source of the Greek khein “to pour”.

Gautaz derived from the Proto-Germanic geutaną, meaning “to pour” which could allude to watercourses in the land where they were living. This same root may be connected to the name of the Swedish river Göta älv at the city of Gothenburg.

Some trace it to PIE *ghu-to- “poured,” from root *gheu- “to pour, pour a libation” (source of Greek khein “to pour,” also in the phrase khute gaia “poured earth,” referring to a burial mound. “Given the Greek facts, the Germanic form may have referred in the first instance to the spirit immanent in a burial mound.

According to the rules of Indo-European ablaut, the full grade (containing an *e), *gʰewd-, might be replaced with the zero-grade (with the *e disappearing), *gʰud-, or the o-grade (where the *e changes to an *o), *gʰowd-, accounting for the various forms of the name. The use of all three grades suggests that the name derives from an Indo-European stage; otherwise, it would be from a line descending from one grade.

The Goths

The names Geats, Goths and Gutes are closely related tribal names. Geat was originally Proto-Germanic *Gautoz, and Goths and Gutes were *Gutaniz. The etymology of the name Geat (Old English Geatas, from a Proto-Germanic *Gautaz, plural *Gautōz) is similar, although not identical, to that of Goths and Gutar (*Gutô, plural *Gutaniz).

In the Gothic language they were called the Gut-þiuda, most commonly translated as “Gothic people”, but only attested as dat. sg. Gut-þiudai, or Gutans Inferred from gen. pl.(?) gutani in Pietroassa inscription. In Old Norse they were known as the Gutar or Gotar, in Latin as the Gothi, and in Greek as the Γότθοι, Gótthoi.

The names are derived from different ablaut grades of the Proto-Germanic word *geutaną, meaning “to pour”. They are generally accepted as having originated as heiti for “men (of the tribe)”, with the literal meaning “they who pour their seed”.

It could also allude to watercourses in the land where they were living, but this is not generally accepted to be the case, partly because that would mean that the names’ similarity would be coincidental.

A more specific theory about the word Gautigoths is that it means the Goths who live near the river Gaut, today’s Göta älv (Old Norse: Gautelfr). It might also have been a conflation of the word Gauti with a gloss of Goths.

The Goths have been referred to by many names, perhaps at least in part because they comprised many separate ethnic groups, but also because in early accounts of Proto-Indo-European and later Germanic migrations in the Migration Period in general it was common practice to use various names to refer to the same group.

Both the migration period Goths and the Scandinavian tribe of the Gutes (the Gotlanders) were called Gotar in West Old Norse, and Gutar in East Norse (for example in the Gutasaga and in runic inscription on the Rökstone).

The Goths believed (as most modern scholars do) that the various names all derived from a single prehistoric ethnonym that referred originally to a uniform culture that flourished around the middle of the first millennium BC, i.e. the original Goths.

The earliest mention of the Geats (Old English: gēatas; Old Norse: gautar; Swedish: götar) was possibly made by Ptolemy in the 100s AD (“doutai” or “goutai”) or in the 500s by Jordanes (“gauthigoth”) and Prokopios (“gautoi”).

The earliest known surviving mention of the Geats appears in Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.), who refers to them as Goutai. In the 6th century, Jordanes writes of the Gautigoths and Ostrogoths (the Ostrogoths of Scandza); and Procopius refers to Gautoi. The Norse Sagas know them as Gautar; Beowulf and Widsith as Gēatas.

The Geats , and sometimes Goths, were a North Germanic tribe inhabiting what is now Götaland (“land of the Geats”) in southern Sweden. The Goths were an East Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe.

The Goths dominated a vast area, which at its peak under the Germanic king Ermanaric and his sub-king Athanaric possibly extended all the way from the Danube to the Don, and from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea.

The name of the Geats also lives on in the Swedish provinces of Västergötland and Östergötland, the Western and Eastern lands of the Geats, and in many other toponyms.

In the 17th century the name Göta älv, ‘River of the Geats’, replaced the earlier names Götälven and Gautelfr. The etymology of the word Gaut is as mentioned derived from the Proto-Germanic word *geutan, and the extended meaning of “to pour” is “flow, stream, waterfall” which could refer to Trollhättan Falls or the river itself.

 

The Guti

The Guti or Quti, also known by the derived exonyms Gutians or Guteans, were a nomadic people of the Zagros Mountains (on the border of modern Iran and Iraq) during ancient times. Their homeland was known as Gutium (Sumerian: Gu-tu-umki or Gu-ti-umki).

Conflict between people from Gutium and the Akkadian Empire has been linked to the collapse of the empire, towards the end of the 3rd Millennium BCE.

The Guti subsequently overran southern Mesopotamia and formed a royal dynasty in Sumer. The Sumerian king list suggests that the Guti ruled over Sumer for several generations, following the fall of the Akkadian Empire.

The Sumerian ruler Utu-hengal of Uruk is similarly credited on the King List with defeating the Gutian ruler Tirigan, and removing the Guti from the country (ca. 2050 BCE (short)).

Following this, Ur-Nammu of Ur had their homeland of Gutium devastated, though according to one lengthy Sumerian poem, he died in battle with the Gutians, after having been abandoned by his own army.

By the 1st Millennium BCE, usage of the name Gutium, by the peoples of lowland Mesopotamia, had expanded to include all of western Media, between the Zagros and the Tigris. Various tribes and places to the east and northeast were often referred to as Gutians or Gutium.

For example, Assyrian royal annals use the term Gutians in relation to populations known to have been Medes or Mannaeans. As late as the reign of Cyrus the Great of Persia, the famous general Gubaru (Gobryas) was described as the “governor of Gutium”.

Little is known of the origins, material culture or language of the Guti, as contemporary sources provide few details and no artifacts have been positively identified.

As the Gutian language lacks a text corpus, apart from some proper names, its similarities to other languages are impossible to verify. The names of Gutian-Sumerian kings, suggest that the language was not closely related to any languages of the region, including Sumerian, Akkadian, Hurrian, Hittite and Elamite.

W. B. Henning suggested that the different endings of the king names resembled case endings in the Tocharian languages, a branch of Indo-European known from texts found in the Tarim Basin (in the northwest of modern China) dating from the 6th to 8th centuries CE, making Gutian the earliest documented Indo-European language.

He further suggested that they had subsequently migrated to the Tarim. Gamkrelidze and Ivanov explored Henning’s suggestion as possible support for their proposal of an Indo-European Urheimat in the Near East.

The historical Guti have been regarded by some as among the ancestors of the Kurds. However, the term Guti had by late antiquity become a “catch all” term to describe all tribal peoples in the Zagros region, and according to J.P. Mallory, the original Gutians precede the arrival of Indo-Iranian peoples (of which the Kurds are one) by some 1500 years.

In the late 19th-century, Assyriologist Julius Oppert sought to connect the Gutians of remote antiquity with the later Gutones (Goths), whom Ptolemy in 150 AD had known as the “Guti”, a tribe of Scandia. Oppert’s theory on this connection is not shared by any scholars today.

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Etymology of Deus

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 21, 2017

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Cuneiform TI or TÌL has the main meaning of “life” when used ideographically. In Akkadian orthography, the sign has the syllabic values di or ṭi, in Hittite ti, di or te.

The written sign developed from the drawing of an arrow, since the words meaning “arrow” and “life” were pronounced similarly in the Sumerian language.

With the determinative UZU (“flesh, meat”), UZUTI, it means “rib”. This homophony is exploited in the myth of Ninti NIN.TI (“lady of life” or “lady of the rib”), created by Ninhursag to cure the ailing Enki.

Since Eve is called “mother of life” in Genesis, together with her being taken from Adam’s tsela` “side, rib”, the story of Adam and Eve has sometimes been considered to derive from that of Ninti.

Taw, tav, or taf (𐤕) is the twenty-second and last letter of the Semitic abjads. Its original sound value is /t/. The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek tau (Τ), Latin T, and Cyrillic Т. Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 300.

Taw is believed to be derived from the Egyptian hieroglyph meaning “mark”. In ancient times, tau was used as a symbol for life or resurrection, whereas the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, theta, was considered the symbol of death.

The t-rune ᛏ is named after Týr, and was identified with this god. The reconstructed Proto-Germanic name is *Tîwaz or *Teiwaz. It is the rune of the balance and justice ruled from a higher rationality. The rune of sacrifice of the individual (self) for well-being of the whole (society).

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

The cuneiform sign by itself was originally an ideogram for the Sumerian word an (“sky” or “heaven”); its use was then extended to a logogram for the word diĝir (“god” or goddess) and the supreme deity of the Sumerian pantheon An (Akkadian: DAN; Sumerian: AN, from an “sky, heaven”), the earliest attested sky-father deity.

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

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

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. The original association of “divinity” is thus with “bright” or “shining” hierophanies in the sky. A possible loan relation of Sumerian dingir with Turkic Tengri “sky, sky god” has been suggested.

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. In his aspect as a father god, his consort would have been Pltwih Méhter, “earth mother”.

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 addressed as Dyeu Phter, literally “sky father” or “shining father”, as reflected in Latin Iūpiter, Diēspiter, possibly Dis Pater and deus pater, Greek Zeu pater, Sanskrit Dyàuṣpítaḥ.

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 exclusive to mediterranean traditions, probably derived from syncretism with canaanite deities and Perkwunos.

The deity’s original domain was over the daylight sky, and indeed reflexes emphasise this connection to light: Istanu (Tiyaz) is a solar deity (though this name may actually refer to a female sun goddess), Helios is often referred to as the “eye of Zeus”, in Romanian paganism the Sun is similarly called “God’s eye” and in Indo-Iranian tradition Surya/Hvare-khshaeta is similarly associated with Ahura Mazda.

Even in Roman tradition, Jupiter often is only associated with diurnal lightning at most, while Summanus is a deity responsible for nocturnal lightning or storms as a whole.

Rooted in the related but distinct Indo-European word *deiwos is the Latin word for deity, deus. The Latin word is also continued in English divine, “deity”, and the original Germanic word remains visible in “Tuesday” (“Day of Tīwaz”) and Old Norse tívar, which may be continued in the toponym Tiveden (“Wood of the Gods”, or of Týr).

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”). This name is cognate with the Greek Zeus, Latin Jupiter, and Norse Tyr.

In Luwian cuneiform of the Bronze Age, his name appears as Tiwad-. It can also be written with the Sumerogram dUTU (“God-Sun”). In Hieroglyphic Luwian of the Iron Age, the name can be written as Tiwad- of with the ideogram (DEUS) SOL (“God-Sun”).

Tiwaz was the descendant of the male Sun god of the Indo-European religion, Dyeus, who was superseded among the Hittites by the Hattian Sun goddess of Arinna.

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

Deus is Latin for “god” or “deity”. Latin deus and dīvus “divine”, are descended from Proto-Indo-European *deiwos, “celestial” or “shining”, from the same root as *Dyēus, the reconstructed chief god of the Proto-Indo-European pantheon.

In Classical Latin, deus (feminine dea) was a general noun referring to a deity, while in technical usage a divus or diva was a figure who had become divine, such as a divinized emperor.

In Late Latin, Deus came to be used mostly for the Christian God. It was inherited by the Romance languages in French Dieu, Spanish Dios, Portuguese and Galician Deus, Italian Dio, etc., and by the Celtic languages in Welsh Duw and Irish Dia.

The term comes from the Old English dæg, with its cognates such as dagur in Icelandic, Tag in German, and dag in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Dutch. All of them from the Indo-European root dyau which explains the similarity with Latin dies though the word is known to come from the Germanic branch.

The English language word “deity” derives from Old French deité, the Latin deitatem or “divine nature”, coined by Augustine of Hippo from deus (“god”). Deus is related through a common Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) origin to *deiwos.

According to Douglas Harper, the PIE root *dewos- yields the ancient Indian word Deva meaning “to gleam, a shining one,” from *div- “to shine”, and it is a cognate with Greek language dios “divine” and Zeus, and Latin deus “god” (Old Latin deivos).

Deva is masculine, and the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Latin dea and Greek thea. In Old Persian, daiva- means “demon, evil god”, while in Sanskrit it means the opposite, referring to the “heavenly, divine, terrestrial things of high excellence, exalted, shining ones”.

Tiān (天) is one of the oldest Chinese terms for heaven and a key concept in Chinese mythology, philosophy, and religion. During the Shang Dynasty (17–11th centuries BCE), the Chinese referred to their supreme god as Shàngdì (“Lord on High”) or Dì (“Lord”).

During the following Zhou Dynasty, Tiān became synonymous with this figure. Heaven worship was, before the 20th century, an orthodox state religion of China.

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

Tengri is one of the names for the primary chief deity since the early Turkic, Xiongnu, Hunnic, Bulgar and Mongolic (Xianbei) peoples. The core beings in Tengrism are Heavenly-Father (Tengri/Tenger Etseg) and Earth Mother (Eje/Gazar Eej). It involves shamanism, animism, totemism and ancestor worship.

Tengri was the main god of the Turkic pantheon, controlling the celestial sphere. Tengri is considered to be strikingly similar to the Indo-European sky god, *Dyeus.

A diva is a celebrated female singer; a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera, and by extension in theatre, cinema and popular music. The meaning of diva is closely related to that of prima donna.

The word entered the English language in the late 19th century. It is derived from the Italian noun diva, a female deity. The plural of the word in English is “divas”; in Italian, dive. The basic sense of the term is goddess, the feminine of the Latin word divus (Italian divo), someone deified after death, or Latin deus, a god.

The male form divo exists in Italian and is usually reserved for the most prominent leading tenors, like Enrico Caruso and Beniamino Gigli. The Italian term divismo describes the star-making system in the film industry. In contemporary Italian, diva and divo simply denote much-admired celebrities, especially film actresses and actors, and can be translated as “(film) star”.

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Freyr og Freyja

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 20, 2017

Frøy er det mannlige motstykke til fruktbarhets- og kjærlighetsgudinnen Frøya, som er hans søster. Navnene betyr herre og frue, hersker og herskerinne, hvilket kan tyde på at gudene opprinnelig var så mektige at man ikke kunne tiltale dem ved deres rette navn. Begge er barn av vaneguden Njord.

På mange måter utgjør Freyr og Freyja den rollen som Jesus og Maria kom til å spille, og ulike planter i Skandinavia som tidligere hadde blitt oppkalt etter Freyja kom senere, etter kristendommens innføring, til å bli skiftet ut med jomfru Maria.

De er elskere og/eller i ekteskap med hverandre, lik tvekjønn, eller androgyn, lik Yme som befrukter seg selv. Dette er et trekk som ikke er uvanlig for fruktbarhetskulter, men som antagelig hvilte tyngre på de symbolske verdier enn på det incestiøse faktum.

Dumuzi (sumerisk Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D)) i betydningen «trofast» eller «sanne sønn»), var navnet på en gud i sumerisk mytologi og senere hos akkadere, hvor han ble kjent som Tammuz. Han var en gud for fruktbarhet og for gjenfødelse, og sammenlignes derfor med blant annet egypternes Osiris og grekernes Dionysos.

Han ble forbundet med gudinnen Inanna i Sumer, og Ishtar i Akkad. I mytene ble det fortalt om hans kjærlighetsforhold til gudinnen. Ifølge én myte ble Tammuz drept og steg ned til dødsriket hvor han en tid oppholdt seg.

Siden ble det bestemt at han skulle være der i seks måneder hvert år, mens hans søster Geshtinana skulle være der den andre halvparten av året. Fortellingene gjenspeiler vegetasjonens død i tørketiden og oppblomstring under vårregnet.

Adonis er i henhold til gresk mytologi en guddom for skjønnhet og begjær, og er en sentral figur i ulike mysteriekulter. Han var en årlig plantegud, alltid ung, en liv-død-gjenfødelse-guddom hvis vesen var knyttet til kalenderen, særlig dyrket av kvinner.

Hans navn er i moderne tid benyttet som betegnelse på kjekke unge menn som han har blitt arketypen for. Han er blitt jevnlig beskrevet som den dødelige skjønnhetsguden.

Greske Ἄδωνις (Adōnis) var et lån fra det semittiske ordet adon, som har betydningen «herre». Ordet var lånt fra fønikisk, og er beslektet med Adonai, et av navnene som er benyttet for referere til Gud i Den hebraiske Bibelen (Det gamle testamente) og er fortsatt benyttet i jødedommen den dag i dag.

Syriske Adonis er Gauas eller Aos, beslektet med den egyptiske Osiris, semittiske Dumuzi og Baal Hadad, etruskiske Atunis og frygiske Attis, alle disse var guddommer av liv-død-gjenfødelse og vegetasjon.

Balder (norrønt Balder, Baldr, Baldur, usikker betydning, muligens «herren») er en gud i norrøn mytologi som er assosiert med lys, skjønnhet, kjærlighet, diktning og lykke. I henhold til Gylfaginning er Balder sønn av Odin og Frigg og gift med Nanna, som han har sønnen Forsete sammen med.

Balder bor i Breidablik, «stedet med vid utsikt». Han har også det flottest skip av alle, Ringhorne, som han også ble brent på. Snorre Sturlason formidler Balder som den milde og gode guden, nesten for god for denne verden, og den eneste myten som omhandler ham er nettopp Balders død. Drapet, formildet av tvetydige guden Loke ved list, er det fremste tegnet eller varselet på endetiden, Ragnarok.

Nanna var den mest trofaste av alle kvinner. Hun døde av sorg da Balder døde. Hjertet brister av sorg når hun ser Balder blir lagt på båten i bålferden sin. Da ble hun lagt på båten sammen med Balder. Selv om Hermod rir til Hel for å forsøke å få Balder tilbake til livet, lykkes han ikke, og Nanna og Balder må forbli i dødsriket.

Khnum (gammelegyptisk: ẖnmw; også transkribert som Khenmu, Khenemu) er i henhold til oldtidens egyptiske religion og mytologi en fruktbarhets- og skapelsesgud og en av del eldste guddommene, opprinnelig en gud for Nilens kilde.

Ettersom den årlige oversvømmelsen fra Nilen brakte med seg silt og leire, og således brakte med seg liv til dets omgivelser, ble han forstått som være skaperen av menneskenes kropper og deres sjel (ka), som han modulerte fra leire på en dreieskive, og la dem i mødrenes livmor.

Han ble senere beskrevet som å ha modellert de andre guddommene. Navnet hans betyr «støperen», og hans titler var «herren av skapte ting fra seg selv». Denne skaperguden ble framstilt som en vær eller en mann med et hode til en vær.

Khnum var en gud for skapelse, gjenfødsel, og kveldssolen, skjønt dette var vanligvis Atums funksjoner. Khnum ble også knyttet til en annen skapergud, Min (gammelegyptisk: mnw, også transkribert som Menew, Menu, Amsu), ved sammenfallende funksjoner som skaperen av alle ting, «skaperen av guder og menn».

Min er i henhold til oldtidens egyptiske religion og mytologi en gud for seksualitet og reproduksjon. Hans kult er gammel og har sin opprinnelse i førdynastisk tid (3000-tallet f.Kr.).

Han ble ofte framstilt som en mann med en erigert fallos som han holdt sin venstre hånd og med høyre holdt han en vifte. Ved sjeldne tilfeller som en mann med løvehode.

Som fruktbarhets- og vegetasjonsgud assosierte grekerne Min med Pan. Som et aspekt av Khnum var han skaperen av alle ting, «skaperen av guder og menn.» Mins hustruer var Iabet og løvegudinnen Repit, begge mindre gudinner.

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Skikken med å krysse fingrene

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 19, 2017

Skikken med å krysse fingrene i håp om at noe skal gå bra, er vanlig i den kristne delen av verden. De kryssede fingrene skal ligne et kors som hindrer ondskap.

Andre måter å avverge ondskap på er å slå korsets tegn for brystet og banke i bordet. Trolig er berøringen av et eller annet av tre en henvisning til trekorset som Jesus skal ha blitt korsfestet på.

Bokstaven Tau i det greske alfabetet stammer fra den fønikiske bokstaven taw (X), som også ble til den latinske bokstaven T og kyrillisk Te. Bokstaven ble brukt som et symbol på liv og gjenoppstandelse, mens den åttende bokstaven i det greske alfabetet, theta, ble ansett som symbolet på døden.

Bokstaven har samtidig sin bakgrunn i det sumeriske ordet for liv, ti, og på gud, dingir, som kun ble omtalt som T, samt på det protoindoeuropeiske ordet for gud, Dyeus, som blant annet kom til å utvikle seg til navnet på ledende guder som Zeus og Tyr.

Dingir – Tau and Theta

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The Phrygian Cap – the Symbol of Liberty

Posted by Fredsvenn on May 19, 2017

Sjur Cappelen Papazian sitt bilde.

Illustration shows a gigantic boar wearing a crown with “$” and a shawl labeled “Plutocratic Greed” and holding the U.S. Capitol dome labeled “Special Privilege”, inverted to form a bucket from which it is sowing seeds labeled “Abuse of Power, Arrogance, [and] Contempt of Law” onto a field sprouting “Socialist votes”. It is stepping on an American flag and a Liberty cap.

Title: The seeds of socialism / Keppler.
Creator(s): Keppler, Udo J., 1872-1956, artist
Date Created/Published: N.Y. : J. Ottmann Lith. Co., Puck Bldg., 1908 February 12.

My Symbol – My Way – The Symbol of Mankind / Nature

The Phrygian “Liberty” Cap – The Symbol of Justice and Freedom – The Symbol of Aries / Libra – The First and the Seventh Astrological Signs in the Zodiac – The Equinoxes – The Sping / Autumn – The Golden Age – Astraea / Justitia / Lady Justice – Venus / Mars – Ostara / Tyr – Maria / Jesus – The Medium of Awakening.

Ama-gi is a Sumerian word written ama-gi or ama-ar-gi. It has been translated as “freedom”, as well as “manumission”, “exemption from debts or obligations”, and “the restoration of persons and property to their original status” including the remission of debts. Other interpretations include a “reversion to a previous state” and release from debt, slavery, taxation or punishment.

The word originates from the noun ama “mother” (sometimes with the enclitic dative case marker ar), and the present participle gi “return, restore, put back”, thus literally meaning “returning to mother”.

Assyriologist Samuel Noah Kramer has identified it as the first known written reference to the concept of freedom. Referring to its literal meaning “return to the mother”, he wrote in 1963 that “we still do not know why this figure of speech came to be used for “freedom.””

The earliest known usage of the word was in the reforms of Urukagina. By the Third Dynasty of Ur, it was used as a legal term for the manumission of individuals. It is related to the Akkadian word anduraāru(m), meaning “freedom”, “exemption” and “release from (debt) slavery”. A number of Libertarian organizations have adopted the cuneiform glyph as a symbol.

Ishara (išḫara) is an ancient deity of unknown origin from northern modern Syria. She first appeared in Ebla from the mid 3rd millennium. In Ebla, there were various logographic spellings involving the sign AMA “mother”.

Ishara is a pre-Hurrian and perhaps pre-Semitic deities, later incorporated into the Hurrian pantheon. In Hurrian and Semitic traditions, Išḫara is a love goddess, often identified with Ishtar / Inanna. In Alalah, her name was written with the Akkadogram IŠTAR plus a phonetic complement -ra, as IŠTAR-ra.

From the Hurrian pantheon she found her way to the Hittite pantheon. Ishara is the Hittite word for “treaty, binding promise”, also personified as a goddess of the oath.

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).

Variants of the name appear as Ašḫara (in a treaty of Naram-Sin of Akkad with Hita of Elam) and Ušḫara (in Ugarite texts).

One of the most important goddesses of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is the personification of dawn as a beautiful young woman. Her name is reconstructed as Hausōs or Ausōs (PIE *h₂éwsōs, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.

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.

Ushas, Sanskrit for “dawn”, is a Vedic deity, and consequently a Hindu deity as well. In one recent Hindu interpretation, Sri Aurobindo in his Secret of the Veda, described Ushas as “the medium of the awakening, the activity and the growth of the other gods; she is the first condition of the Vedic realisation. By her increasing illumination the whole nature of man is clarified; through her [mankind] arrives at the Truth, through her he enjoys [Truth’s] beatitude.”

*Mitra is the reconstructed Proto-Indo-Iranian name of an Indo-Iranian divinity from which the names and some characteristics of Rigvedic Mitrá and Avestan Mithra derive. The first extant record of Indic 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.

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.

In the colossal statuary erected by King Antiochus I (69–34 BC), an Armenian king from the Kingdom of Commagene and the most famous king of that kingdom, at Mount Nemrut, Mithras is shown beardless, wearing a Phrygian cap, and was originally seated on a throne alongside other deities and the king himself.

The Phrygian cap is still being used as a revolutionary symbol, more than 200 years after the French Revolution. The French diplomat, member of the French Resistance and concentration camp survivor Stéphane Hessel recently wore a Phrygian cap while speaking at a pro-Palestinian rally.

Hessel’s best-selling pamphlet, Indignez-Vous! (Time for Outrage!), is a 35-page book written by Hessel in 2010 which have sold 3 million copies in 30 languages and inspired protests like “Occupy” in the US and The Indignados in Spain.

The 94-year-old author starts with a brief reference to his participation in the French Resistance at the end of the Second World War, pointing out that outrage was at its roots.

The author asserts that indifference is the worst of attitudes. He speaks of his experience among the drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and exhorts young people to look around for topics of indignation.

He then presents his own principal indignation at present, the strife in Palestine, the Gaza strip and the West Bank. He ends the tract by calling for non-violent action and for a peaceful uprising against the powers of finance capitalism.

In 2011, one of the names given to the 2011 Spanish protests against corruption and bipartisan politics was Los Indignados (The Outraged), taken from the title of the book’s translation there (¡Indignaos!).

The Spanish protests later inspired other protests all around the world, including Greece, Israel and Occupy Wall Street in the US and the Manifiesto de los Indignados de la Cruz del Sur, written by philosopher Eduardo Sanguinetti, released in Montevideo in December 2011.

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