Download A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology by Gwendolyn Leick PDF

By Gwendolyn Leick

The Dictionary of old close to japanese Mythology covers assets from Mesopotamia, Syro-Palestine and Anatolia, from round 2800 to three hundred BC. It includes entries on gods and goddesses, giving facts in their worship in temples, describing their 'character', as documented by way of the texts, and defining their roles in the physique of mythological narratives; synoptic entries on myths, giving where of beginning of major texts and a short historical past in their transmission during the a long time; and entries explaining using expert terminology, for things like different types of Sumerian texts or forms of mythological figures.

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Additional resources for A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology

Sample text

In Ugarit he was with Baal one of the most important deities and he plays a prominent part in most of the Ugaritic myths, especially in Aqhat, Keret and Šahar and Šalim. El, like the Mesopotamian An, represents divine authority and the creator of the world. He represents the principle of order on a cosmic and political level. )’, he is the father, the patriarch of all the gods (with the exception of Baal who is consistently called ‘Son of Dagan’). As mlk, ‘king’, he rules over the world of men as well as gods.

It is therefore not surprising to find that these passages were recited on ‘dangerous’ dates, such as at the inauguration of a new temple, or New Year festivals. It also explains why the Canaanites for example ‘have no cosmogonies’—their mythological texts already express the very same concerns. Sumerian Cosmogonic references are found in a number of Sumerian incantations, disputatious texts, myths, rituals and god-lists. In the socalled ‘Eridu-theology’, the ‘primordial matter’ is composed of the mingled sweet and salty waters of Apsu and Tiamat.

The worship of Aššur survived in northern Mesopotamia until the third century AD. The Assyrian monarch had a special relationship to this god whom he served as the first priest of Aššur and who was directly responsible for the exercise of kingship, in analogy to the role of Anu and Enlil in Babylon. Aššur seems to have had no official consort before the reign of Sennacherib (7th C BC), when Ninlil appears as his wife. On the other hand, Ištar of Aššur or of Nineveh are also mentioned as wives of the great Assyrian god.

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