A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology by Gwendolyn Leick

By Gwendolyn Leick

The Dictionary of old close to jap Mythology covers resources 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 through 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 heritage in their transmission throughout the a long time; and entries explaining using professional terminology, for things like different types of Sumerian texts or varieties of mythological figures.

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The epithet ’b ’adm, ‘Father of Men’, probably embraces both the physical and the social implications of this relationship. It is interesting in this context that most of the early verbal-sentence names composed with El seem to have allusions to childbirth and infancy. ltÿpn il dpid, ‘merciful and kind El’, refers to his equanimity; in contrast to Baal he is passive and not easily moved to anger. The iconography shows the god with a long beard and seated, while Baal strides and throws a bolt of lightning.

6). When she finds what she considers to be her lover’s dead body, she calls to Šapaš, the sun-goddess, to lift the corpse of Baal on her shoulder in order to bury with him due oblations on Zaphon. Then she proceeds to El, exclaiming bitterly that Aštart and her sons will now rejoice because Baal is dead. El does indeed call for Aštart and asks her to appoint one of her sons as the successor to Baal. Aštart answers that it should be one ‘who is able to moisten’ and proposes Aštar, who mounts Baal’s throne.

In these laments he is mourned by his mother and his sister (the physician Gunuru), as ‘the child who disappeared in the marshes or the river’. Jacobsen saw in Damu ‘the god of the sap that rises in trees and vegetation’. 15; Jacobsen 1975, 67, 85–6; Kramer 1982, 141–6; Alster, in Hecker, Sommerfeld 1986, 19–29 Demons (see figures 11, 12 and 13) are probably older than the gods, and many totemistic societies acknowledge the existence of non-human beings (‘spirits’) endowed with a force to influence the lives of people and animals.

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