Nuska was the vizier of the chief Sumerian god Enlil. He is described as a scribe who records events, a boatman who takes Enlil to his future wife, Ninlil, his shrine was recorded to be in the Ekur. In Babylonia and Assyria, he became the light and fire god, indistinguishable from Girru. In Babylonia and Assyria Nuska is the symbol of the heavenly as well as of the terrestrial fire; as the former he is the son of Anu, the god of heaven, but he is associated with Enlil of Nippur as the god of the earth and regarded as a first-born son. A centre of his cult in Assyria was in Harran, because of the predominance of the moon-cult, he is viewed as the son of the moongod Sin and his wife Ningal, though Nuska was with Enlil when Sin wasn't born yet, Enlil hadn't married Ninlil—Sin's mother. Nuska is by the side of the god of water, the great purifier, it is he, called upon to cleanse the sick and suffering from disease, induced by the demons, was looked upon as a species of impurity affecting the body.
The fire-god is viewed as the patron of the arts and the god of civilization in general, because of the natural association of all human progress with the discovery and use of fire. As among other nations, the fire-god was in the third instance looked upon as the protector of the family, he becomes the mediator between humanity and the gods, since it is through the fire on the altar that the offering is brought into the presence of the gods. While temples and sanctuaries to Nusku-Girru are found in Babylonia and Assyria, he is worshipped more in symbolical form than the other gods. For the reason that his presence is common and universal he is not localized to the same extent as his fellow deities, while always enumerated in a list of the great gods, his place in the systematized pantheon is more or less vague; the conceptions connected with Nuska are of distinctly popular origin, as is shown by his prominence in incantations, which represent the popular element in the cult, it is significant that in the astro-theological system of the Assyrian and Babylonian priests Nusku-Girru is not assigned to any particular place in the heavens.
Nusku is revered in the name of Mutakkil-Nusku a 12th-century BC king of Assyria. Gibil This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Morris Jastrow, Jr.. "Nusku". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses: Nuska/Nusku
Marduk was a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon. When Babylon became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi, he started to rise to the position of the head of the Babylonian pantheon, a position he acquired by the second half of the second millennium BC. In the city of Babylon, Marduk was worshiped in the temple Esagila. Marduk is associated with the divine weapon Imhullu. "Marduk" is the Babylonian form of his name. The name Marduk was pronounced Marutuk; the etymology of the name Marduk is conjectured as derived from amar-Utu or. The origin of Marduk's name may reflect an earlier genealogy, or have had cultural ties to the ancient city of Sippar, dating back to the third millennium BC. By the Hammurabi period, Marduk had become astrologically associated with the planet Jupiter. Marduk's original character is obscure but he was associated with water, vegetation and magic, his consort was the goddess Sarpanit. He was regarded as the son of Ea and Damkina and the heir of Anu, but whatever special traits Marduk may have had were overshadowed by the political development through which the Euphrates valley passed and which led to people of the time imbuing him with traits belonging to gods who in an earlier period were recognized as the heads of the pantheon.
There are two gods—Ea and Enlil—whose powers and attributes pass over to Marduk. In the case of Ea, the transfer proceeded pacifically and without effacing the older god. Marduk took over the identity of Asarluhi, the son of Ea and god of magic, so that Marduk was integrated in the pantheon of Eridu where both Ea and Asarluhi came from. Ea, Marduk's father, voluntarily recognized the superiority of the son and hands over to him the control of humanity; this association of Marduk and Ea, while indicating the passing of the supremacy once enjoyed by Eridu to Babylon as a religious and political centre, may reflect an early dependence of Babylon upon Eridu, not of a political character but, in view of the spread of culture in the Euphrates valley from the south to the north, the recognition of Eridu as the older centre on the part of the younger one. While the relationship between Ea and Marduk is marked by harmony and an amicable abdication on the part of the father in favour of his son, Marduk's absorption of the power and prerogatives of Enlil of Nippur was at the expense of the latter's prestige.
Babylon became independent in the early 19th century BC, was a small city state, overshadowed by older and more powerful Mesopotamian states such as Isin and Assyria. However, after Hammurabi forged an empire in the 18th century BC, turning Babylon into the dominant state in the south, the cult of Marduk eclipsed that of Enlil; the only serious rival to Marduk after c. 1750 BC was the god Aššur, the dominant power in the region between the 20th and 18th centuries BC, between the 14th to the late 7th century BC. In the south, Marduk reigned supreme, he is referred to as Bel "Lord" bel rabim "great lord", bêl bêlim "lord of lords", ab-kal ilâni bêl terêti "leader of the gods", aklu bêl terieti "the wise, lord of oracles", muballit mîte "reviver of the dead", etc. When Babylon became the principal city of southern Mesopotamia during the reign of Hammurabi in the 18th century BC, the patron deity of Babylon was elevated to the level of supreme god. In order to explain how Marduk seized power, Enûma Elish was written, which tells the story of Marduk's birth, heroic deeds and becoming the ruler of the gods.
This can be viewed as a form of Mesopotamian apologetics. Included in this document are the fifty names of Marduk. In Enûma Elish, a civil war between the gods was growing to a climactic battle; the Anunnaki gods gathered together to find one god. Marduk, a young god, answered the call and was promised the position of head god. To prepare for battle, he makes a bow, fletches arrows, grabs a mace, throws lightning before him, fills his body with flame, makes a net to encircle Tiamat within it, gathers the four winds so that no part of her could escape, creates seven nasty new winds such as the whirlwind and tornado, raises up his mightiest weapon, the rain-flood, he sets out for battle, mounting his storm-chariot drawn by four horses with poison in their mouths. In his lips he holds a spell and in one hand he grasps a herb to counter poison. First, he challenges the leader of the Anunnaki gods, the dragon of the primordial sea Tiamat, to single combat and defeats her by trapping her with his net, blowing her up with his winds, piercing her belly with an arrow.
He proceeds to defeat Kingu, who Tiamat put in charge of the army and wore the Tablets of Destiny on his breast, "wrested from him the Tablets of Destiny, wrongfully his" and assumed his new position. Under his reign humans were created to bear the burdens of life. Marduk was depicted as a human with his symbol the snake-dragon which he had taken over from the god Tishpak. Another symbol that stood for Marduk was the spade. Ba
Uttu is an ancient Sumerian goddess associated with weaving. The same cuneiform symbol used to write her name was used to write the Sumerian word for "spider", indicating that Uttu was envisioned as a spider spinning a web, she appears in the myth of Enki and Ninsikila, in which she resists the sexual advances of her father Enki by ensconcing herself inside her web, but he convinces her to let him in using a gift of fresh produce and the promise that he will marry her. Enki intoxicates her with beer and rapes her, she is rescued by Enki's wife Ninhursag, who removes Enki's semen from her vagina and plants it in the ground, resulting in the growth of eight new plants, which Enki eats. In the version of Enki and Ninsikila from Nippur, Uttu is the daughter of Enki and Ninkurra, but, in another version, Ninkurra instead gives birth to Nin-imma, who mates with her father Enki and gives birth to Uttu as a result. Uttu matures and becomes "shapely and decorous". Enki's wife Ninhursag warns Uttu that Enki will try to seduce her, as he has done with all his other daughters.
Uttu fortifies herself inside her web and, when Enki comes to seduce her, she forces him to promise that he will marry her before she will have sex with him. As marriage gifts, Uttu demands that Enki give her vegetables. Enki finds a gardener, who demands that, in exchange for the fruits and vegetables, Enki must fill his irrigation ditches with water. Enki fills the gardener gives him the produce. Enki brings the produce to Uttu, who admits him into her web, but Enki gives Uttu beer to make her drunk and rapes her. Uttu screams and Ninhursag comes to rescue her. Ninhursag removes Enki's semen from Uttu's vagina and plants it in the ground, causing eight plants to rise. Enki sees the plants and is annoyed because he does not recognize them. Isimud, Enki's sukkal, or personal attendant, names each of the plants, gives them to Enki to eat; the account ends with the declaration that "Enki determined the nature of the grasses" and "had them know it in their hearts."
Laḫmu is a deity from Akkadian mythology that represents the zodiac, parent stars, or constellations. Lahmu, meaning parent star or constellation, is the name of a protective and beneficent deity, the first-born son of Abzu and Tiamat, he and his sister Laḫamu are the parents of Anshar and Kishar, the sky father and earth mother, who birthed the gods of the Mesopotamian Pantheon. Laḫmu is depicted as a bearded man with a red sash – with three strands – and four to six curls on his head and they are depicted as monsters, which each encompasses a specific constellation, he is associated with the Kusarikku or "Bull-Man". In Sumerian times Laḫmu may have meant "the muddy one". Lahmu guarded the gates of the Abzu temple of Enki at Eridu, he and his sister Laḫamu are primordial deities in the Babylonian Epic of Creation Enuma Elis and Lahmu may be related to or identical with "Lahamu", one of Tiamat's creatures in that epic. Some scholars, such as William F. Albright, have speculated that the name of Bethlehem referred to a Canaanite fertility deity cognate with Laḫmu and Laḫamu, rather than to the Canaanite word lehem, "bread".
See Bethlehem. Michael Jordan, Encyclopedia of Gods, Kyle Cathie Limited, 2002 Black and Green, Anthony. Gods Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia University of Texas Press, Austin, 2003
Atra-Hasis is the title of an 18th-century BC Akkadian epic recorded in various versions on clay tablets. It is named for its protagonist, whose name means "exceedingly wise"; the Atra-Hasis tablets include both a creation myth and a flood account, one of three surviving Babylonian deluge stories. The name "Atra-Hasis" appears on one of the Sumerian king lists as king of Shuruppak in the times before a flood; the oldest known copy of the epic tradition concerning Atrahasis can be dated by colophon to the reign of Hammurabi’s great-grandson, Ammi-Saduqa, but various Old Babylonian fragments exist. The Atrahasis story exists in a fragmentary Assyrian version, having been first rediscovered in the library of Ashurbanipal, because of the fragmentary condition of the tablets and ambiguous words, translations had been uncertain, its fragments were assembled and translated first by George Smith as The Chaldean Account of Genesis. In 1965 Wilfred G. Lambert and A. R. Millard published many additional texts belonging to the epic, including an Old Babylonian copy, our most complete surviving recension of the tale.
These new texts increased knowledge of the epic and were the basis for Lambert and Millard’s first English translation of the Atrahasis epic in something approaching entirety. A further fragment has been recovered in Ugarit. Walter Burkert traces the model drawn from Atrahasis to a corresponding passage, the division by lots of the air and sea among Zeus and Poseidon in the Iliad, in which “a resetting through which the foreign framework still shows”. In its most complete surviving version, the Atrahasis epic is written on three tablets in Akkadian, the language of ancient Babylon. Tablet I contains a creation myth about the Sumerian gods Anu and Enki, gods of sky and water, “when gods were in the ways of men” according to its incipit. Following the Cleromancy, sky is ruled by Anu, earth by Enlil, the freshwater sea by Enki. Enlil assigned junior divines to do farm labor and maintain the rivers and canals, but after forty years the lesser gods or dingirs rebelled and refused to do strenuous labor.
Instead of punishing the rebels, the kind, wise counselor of the gods, suggested that humans be created to do the work. The mother goddess Mami is assigned the task of creating humans by shaping clay figurines mixed with the flesh and blood of the slain god Geshtu-E, “a god who had intelligence”. All the gods in turn spit upon the clay. After 10 months, a specially-made womb breaks open and humans are born. Tablet I continues with legends about overpopulation and plagues. Atrahasis is mentioned at the end of Tablet I. Tablet II begins with more overpopulation of humans and the god Enlil sending first famine and drought at formulaic intervals of 1200 years to reduce the population. In this epic Enlil is depicted as a cruel, capricious god while Enki is depicted as a kind, helpful god because priests of Enki were writing and copying the story. Tablet II is damaged, but ends with Enlil's decision to destroy humankind with a flood and Enki bound by an oath to keep the plan secret. Tablet III of the Atrahasis Epic contains the flood story.
This is the part, adapted in tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Tablet III of Atrahasis tells how the god Enki warns the hero Atrahasis of Shuruppak, speaking through a reed wall to dismantle his house and build a boat to escape the flood planned by the god Enlil to destroy humankind; the boat is to have a roof “like Apsu”, upper and lower decks, to be sealed with bitumen. Atrahasis seals the door; the storm and flood begin. The gods are afraid. In tablet III iv, lines 7-9 the words "river" and "riverbank" are used, which mean the Euphrates River, because Atrahasis is listed in WB-62 as a ruler of Shuruppak, on the Euphrates River. After seven days the flood ends and Atrahasis offers sacrifices to the gods. Enlil is furious with Enki for violating his oath, but Enki denies violating his oath and argues: “I made sure life was preserved.” Enki and Enlil agree on other means for controlling the human population. In versions of the flood story, contained in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Sumerian Flood Story, the hero is not named Atrahasis.
In Gilgamesh, the name of the flood hero is Utnapishtim, said to be the son of Ubara-Tutu, king of Shuruppak. According to Gilgamesh XI, "Gilgamesh spoke to Utnapishtim, the Faraway... O man of Shuruppak, son of Ubara-Tutu." In the Sumerian Flood Story, first recorded in the 17th century BC, the hero is named Ziusudra, who features in the Instructions of Shuruppak as the son of the eponymous Shuruppak, who himself is called the son of Ubara-Tutu. Many available tablets comprising The Sumerian King Lists support the lineage of the flood hero given in The Epic of Gilgamesh by omitting a king named Shuruppak as a historical ruler of Shuruppak; these lists imply a belief that the flood story took place during the rule of Ubara-Tutu. These lists make no mention of Ziusudra, Atrahasis, or Utnapishtim. However, tablet WB-62 lists a different chronology. In it, Atrahasis is listed as a ruler of Shuruppak and a gudug priest, preceded by his father Shuruppak, in turn preceded by his father Ubara-Tutu, as in The Instructions of Shuruppak.
This tablet is unique in that
Anzû known as dZû and Imdugud, is a lesser divinity or monster in several Mesopotamian religions. He was conceived as son of Siris. Anzû was depicted as a massive bird who can breathe fire and water, although Anzû is alternately depicted as a lion-headed eagle. Stephanie Dalley, in Myths from Mesopotamia, writes that "the Epic of Anzu is principally known in two versions: an Old Babylonian version of the early second millennium, giving the hero as Ningursu. However, the Anzu character does not appear as in some other writings, as noted below; the name of the mythological being called Anzû was written in the oldest Sumerian cuneiform texts as. In texts of the Old Babylonian period, the name is more found as AN. IM. DUGUDMUŠEN. In 1961, Landsberger argued that this name should be read as "Anzu", most researchers have followed suit. In 1989, Thokild Jacobsen noted that the original reading of the cuneiform signs as written is valid, was the original pronunciation of the name, with Anzu derived from an early phonetic variant.
Similar phonetic changes happened to parallel terms, such as imdugud becoming ansuk. Changes like these occurred by evolution of the im to an and the blending of the new n with the following d, aspirated as dh, a sound, borrowed into Akkadian as z or s, it has been argued based on contextual evidence and transliterations on cuneiform learning tablets, that the earliest, Sumerian form of the name was at least sometimes pronounced Zu, that Anzu is the Akkadian form of the name. However, there is evidence for both readings of the name in both languages, the issue is confused further by the fact that the prefix was used to distinguish deities or simply high places. AN. ZU could therefore mean "heavenly eagle". Thokild Jacobsen proposed that Anzu was an early form of the god Abu, syncretized by the ancients with Ninurta/Ningursu, a god associated with thunderstorms. Abu was referred to as "Father Pasture", illustrating the connection between rainstorms and the fields growing in Spring. According to Jacobsen, this god was envisioned as a huge black thundercloud in the shape of an eagle, was depicted with a lion's head to connect it to the roar of thunder.
Some depictions of Anzu therefore depict the god alongside leafy boughs. The connection between Anzu and Abu is further reinforced by a statue found in the Tell Asmar Hoard depicting a human figure with large eyes, with an Anzu bird carved on the base, it is that this depicts Anzu in his symbolic or earthly form as the Anzu-bird, in his higher, human-like divine form as Abu. Though some scholars have proposed that the statue represents a human worshiper of Anzu, others have pointed out that it does not fit the usual depiction of Sumerian worshipers, but instead matches similar statues of gods in human form with their more abstract form or their symbols carved onto the base. In Sumerian and Akkadian mythology, Anzû is a divine storm-bird and the personification of the southern wind and the thunder clouds; this demon—half man and half bird—stole the "Tablet of Destinies" from Enlil and hid them on a mountaintop. Anu ordered the other gods to retrieve the tablet though they all feared the demon.
According to one text, Marduk killed the bird. Anzu appears in the story of "Inanna and the Huluppu Tree", recorded in the preamble to the Sumerian epic poem Gilgamesh and the Netherworld. Anzu appears in the Anzud Bird; the shorter Old Babylonian version was found at Susa. Full version in Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood and Others by Stephanie Dalley, page 222 and at The Epic of Anzû, Old Babylonian version from Susa, Tablet II, lines 1-83, read by Claus Wilcke; the longer Late Assyrian version from Nineveh is most called The Myth of Anzu.. An edited version is at Myth of Anzu. In Babylonian myth, Anzû is a deity associated with cosmogeny. Anzû is represented as stripping the father of the gods of umsimi. Regarding this, Charles Penglase writes that "Ham is the Chaldean Anzû, both are cursed for the same allegorically described crime," which parallels the mutilation of Uranus by Cronus and of Osiris by Set. Asakku, similar Mesopotamian deity Griffin or griffon, lion-bird hybrid Lamassu, Assyrian deity, bull/lion-eagle-human hybrid Ziz, giant griffin-like bird in Jewish mythology Zuism, Icelander protest against tax for religion Hybrid creatures in mythology List of hybrid creatures in mythology Tiamat Zu on Encyclopædia Britannica Dalley, Stephanie, ed..
"Anzû". Myths from Mesopotamia. Creation, The Flood and Others. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199538362; the Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ: Anzû ETCSL glossary showing Zu as the verb'to know' Myth of Anzu Ninurta's return to Nibru: a šir-gida to Ninurta and The Return of Ninurta to Nippur Ninurta and the Turtle and Ninurta and the Turtle, or Ninurta and Enki Ninurta's exploits and The Exploits of Ninurta, or Lugal-e Lugal
In the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish, which means "whole heaven", is a primordial god. His consort is Kishar which means "Whole Earth", they were the children of Lahamu and Lahmu and the grandchildren of Tiamat and Apsû. They, in turn, are the parents of Anu, the god of heaven, lord of constellations, king of gods and demons. During the Neo-Assyrian period, Anshar was equated with Ashur, the patron deity and namesake of the Assyrian Empire. Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses: Anšar and Kišar