A bull is an intact adult male of the species Bos taurus. More muscular and aggressive than the female of the species, the cow, the bull has long been an important symbol in many cultures, plays a significant role in both beef ranching and dairy farming, in a variety of other cultural activities; the female counterpart to a bull is a cow, while a male of the species, castrated is a steer, ox or bullock, although in North America this last term refers to a young bull, in Australia to a draught animal. Usage of these terms varies with area and dialect. Colloquially, people unfamiliar with cattle may refer to both castrated and intact animals as "bulls". A wild, unmarked bull is known as a micky in Australia. Improper or late castration on a bull results in it becoming a coarse steer known as a stag in Australia and New Zealand. In some countries an incompletely castrated male is known as a rig or ridgling; the word "bull" denotes the males of other bovines, including bison and water buffalo as well as many other species of large animals including elephants, seals & walruses, camels, elk, moose and antelopes.
Bulls are much more muscular than cows, with thicker bones, larger feet, a muscular neck, a large, bony head with protective ridges over the eyes. These features assist bulls in fighting for domination over a herd, giving the winner superior access to cows for reproduction; the hair is shorter on the body, but on the neck and head there is a "mane" of curlier, wooly hair. Bulls are about the same height as cows or a little taller, but because of the additional muscle and bone mass they weigh far more. Most of the time, a bull has a hump on his shoulders; when a bull is full-grown, he can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. In horned cattle the horns of bulls tend to be thicker and somewhat shorter than those of cows, in many breeds they curve outwards in a flat arc rather than upwards in a lyre shape, it is not true, as is believed, bulls have horns and cows do not: the presence of horns depends on the breed, or in horned breeds on whether the horns have been disbudded. Cattle that do not have horns are referred to as polled, or muleys.
Castrated male cattle are physically similar to females in build and horn shape, although if allowed to reach maturity they may be taller than either bulls or cows, with muscled shoulders. Bulls become fertile at about seven months of age, their fertility is related to the size of their testicles, one simple test of fertility is to measure the circumference of the scrotum: a young bull is to be fertile once this reaches 28 centimetres. Bulls have a fibro-elastic penis. Given the small amount of erectile tissue, there is little enlargement after erection; the penis is quite rigid when non-erect, becomes more rigid during erection. Protrusion is not affected much by erection, but more by relaxation of the retractor penis muscle and straightening of the sigmoid flexure. Bulls are affected by a condition known as "corkscrew penis"; the penis of a mature bull is about 3–4 cm in diameter, 80–100 cm in length. The bull's glans penis has a elongated shape. A common misconception repeated in depictions of bull behavior is that the color red angers bulls, inciting them to charge.
In fact, like most mammals, cattle are red-green color blind. In bullfighting, it is the movement of the matador's cape, not the color, which provokes a reaction in the bull. Other than the few bulls needed for breeding, the vast majority of male cattle are castrated and slaughtered for meat before the age of three years, except where they are needed as work oxen for haulage. Most of these beef animals are castrated as calves to reduce aggressive behavior and prevent unwanted mating, although some are reared as uncastrated bull beef. A bull is ready for slaughter one or two months sooner than a castrated male or a female, produces proportionately more, leaner muscle. Frame score is a useful way of describing the skeletal size of other cattle. Frame scores can be used as an aid to predict mature cattle sizes and aid in the selection of beef bulls. Frame scores are calculated from hip age. In sales catalogues, this measurement is reported in addition to weight and other performance data such as estimated breed value.
Adult bulls may weigh between 1,000 kilograms. Most are capable of aggressive behavior and require careful handling to ensure safety of humans and other animals; those of dairy breeds may be more prone to aggression, while beef breeds are somewhat less aggressive, though beef breeds such as the Spanish Fighting Bull and related animals are noted for aggressive tendencies, which are further encouraged by selective breeding. It is estimated that 42% of all livestock-related fatalities in Canada are a result of bull attacks, fewer than one in twenty victims of a bull attack survives. Dairy breed bulls are dangerous and unpredictable. Being trampled, jammed against a wall or gored by a bull was one of the most frequent causes of death in the dairy industry before 1940. With regard to such risks, one popular farming magazine has suggested, "Handle with a staff and take no
The Anunnaki are a group of deities that appear in the mythological traditions of the ancient Sumerians, Akkadians and Babylonians. Descriptions of how many Anunnaki there were and what role they fulfilled are inconsistent and contradictory. In the earliest Sumerian writings about them, which come from the Post-Akkadian period, the Anunnaki are the most powerful deities in the pantheon, descendants of An, the god of the heavens, their primary function is to decree the fates of humanity. In Inanna's Descent into the Netherworld, the Anunnaki are portrayed as seven judges who sit before the throne of Ereshkigal in the Underworld. Akkadian texts, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, follow this portrayal. During the Old Babylonian period, the Anunnaki were believed to be the chthonic deities of the Underworld, while the gods of the heavens were known as the Igigi; the ancient Hittites identified the Anunnaki as the oldest generation of gods, overthrown and banished to the Underworld by the younger gods.
The Anunnaki have featured prominently in works of modern pseudohistory, such as the books of Zecharia Sitchin, in conspiracy theories, such as those of David Icke. The name Anunnaki is derived from the Sumerian god of the sky; the name is variously written "da-nuna", "da-nuna-ke4-ne", or "da-nun-na", meaning "princely offspring" or "offspring of An". The Anunnaki were believed to be the earth goddess Ki. Samuel Noah Kramer identifies Ki with the Sumerian mother goddess Ninhursag, stating that they were the same figure; the oldest of the Anunnaki was the god of air and chief god of the Sumerian pantheon. The Sumerians believed that, until Enlil was born and earth were inseparable. Enlil cleaved heaven and earth in two and carried away the earth while his father An carried away the sky; the Anunnaki are chiefly mentioned in literary texts and little evidence to support the existence of any cult of them has yet been unearthed. This is due to the fact that each member of the Anunnaki had his or her own individual cult, separate from the others.
No representations of the Anunnaki as a group have yet been discovered, although a few depictions of its individual members have been identified. Deities in ancient Mesopotamia were exclusively anthropomorphic, they were thought to possess extraordinary powers and were envisioned as being of tremendous physical size. The deities wore melam, an ambiguous substance which "covered them in terrifying splendor". Melam could be worn by heroes, kings and demons; the effect that seeing a deity's melam has on a human is described as ni, a word for the physical tingling of the flesh. Deities were always depicted wearing horned caps, consisting of up to seven superimposed pairs of ox-horns, they were sometimes depicted wearing clothes with elaborate decorative gold and silver ornaments sewn into them. The ancient Mesopotamians believed that their deities lived in Heaven, but that a god's statue was a physical embodiment of the god himself; as such, cult statues were given constant care and attention and a set of priests were assigned to tend to them.
These priests would clothe the statues and place feasts before them so they could "eat". A deity's temple was believed to be that deity's literal place of residence; the gods had boats, full-sized barges which were stored inside their temples and were used to transport their cult statues along waterways during various religious festivals. The gods had chariots, which were used for transporting their cult statues by land. Sometimes a deity's cult statue would be transported to the location of a battle so that the deity could watch the battle unfold; the major deities of the Mesopotamian pantheon, which included the Anunnaki, were believed to participate in the "assembly of the gods", through which the gods made all of their decisions. This assembly was seen as a divine counterpart to the semi-democratic legislative system that existed during the Third Dynasty of Ur; the earliest known usages of the term Anunnaki come from inscriptions written during the reign of Gudea and the Third Dynasty of Ur.
In the earliest texts, the term is applied to the most powerful and important deities in the Sumerian pantheon: the descendants of the sky-god An. This group of deities included the "seven gods who decree": An, Enki, Nanna and Inanna. Although certain deities are described as members of the Anunnaki, no complete list of the names of all the Anunnaki has survived and they are only referred to as a cohesive group in literary texts. Furthermore, Sumerian texts describe the Anunnaki inconsistently and do not agree on how many Anunnaki there were, or what their divine function was; the Anunnaki appear to have been heavenly deities with immense powers. In the poem Enki and the World Order, the Anunnaki "do homage" to Enki, sing hymns of praise in his honor, "take up their dwellings" among the people of Sumer; the same composition states that the Anunnaki "decree the fates of mankind". Every major deity in the Sumerian pantheon was regarded as the patron of a specific city and was expected to protect that city's interests.
The deity was believed to permanently reside within that city's temple. One text mentions as many as fifty Anunnaki associated with the city of Eridu. In Inanna's Descent into the Netherworld, there are only seven Anunnaki, who reside within the Underworld and serve as judges. Inanna stands trial before them for her attempt to take over the Underworld. Major deities in Sumeria
Yahweh was the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel and Judah. His exact origins are disputed, although they reach back to the early Iron Age and the Late Bronze: his name may have begun as an epithet of El, head of the Bronze Age Canaanite pantheon, but the earliest plausible mentions of Yahweh are in Egyptian texts that refer to a similar-sounding place name associated with the Shasu nomads of the southern Transjordan. In the oldest biblical literature, Yahweh is a typical ancient Near Eastern "divine warrior", who leads the heavenly army against Israel's enemies. By the end of the Babylonian exile, the existence of foreign gods was denied, Yahweh was proclaimed as the creator of the cosmos and the true god of all the world. There is no agreement on the origins of Yahweh, his name is not attested other than among the Israelites, seems not to have any reasonable etymology. He does not appear to have been a Canaanite god, although the Israelites were Canaanites; the head of the Canaanite pantheon was El, one theory holds that the word Yahweh is based on the Hebrew root HYH/HWH, meaning "cause to exist," as a shortened form of the phrase ˀel ḏū yahwī ṣabaˀôt, "El who creates the hosts", meaning the heavenly host accompanying El as he marched beside the earthly armies of Israel.
The argument has numerous weaknesses, among others, the dissimilar characters of the two gods, the fact that el dū yahwī ṣaba’ôt is nowhere attested either inside or outside the Bible. The oldest plausible recorded occurrence of Yahweh is as a place-name, "land of Shasu of yhw", in an Egyptian inscription from the time of Amenhotep III, the Shasu being nomads from Midian and Edom in northern Arabia. In this case a plausible etymology for the name could be from the root HWY, which would yield the meaning "he blows", appropriate to a weather divinity. There is considerable but not universal support for this view, but it raises the question of how he made his way to the north; the accepted Kenite hypothesis holds that traders brought Yahweh to Israel along the caravan routes between Egypt and Canaan. The strength of the Kenite hypothesis is that it ties together various points of data, such as the absence of Yahweh from Canaan, his links with Edom and Midian in the biblical stories, the Kenite or Midianite ties of Moses.
However, while it is plausible that the Kenites and others may have introduced Yahweh to Israel, it is unlikely that they did so outside the borders of Israel or under the aegis of Moses, as the Exodus story has it. Israel emerges into the historical record in the last decades of the 13th century BCE, at the end of the Late Bronze Age when the Canaanite city-state system was ending; the milieu from which Israelite religion emerged was accordingly Canaanite. El, "the kind, the compassionate," "the creator of creatures," was the chief of the Canaanite gods, he, not Yahweh, was the original "God of Israel"—the word "Israel" is based on the name El rather than Yahweh, he lived in a tent on a mountain from whose base originated all the fresh waters of the world, with the goddess Asherah as his consort. This pair made up the top tier of the Canaanite pantheon. Prominent in this group was Baal. Baal's sphere was the thunderstorm with its life-giving rains, so that he was a fertility god, although not quite the fertility god.
Below the seventy second-tier gods was a third tier made up of comparatively minor craftsman and trader deities, with a fourth and final tier of divine messengers and the like. El and his sons made up the Assembly of the Gods, each member of which had a human nation under his care, a textual variant of Deuteronomy 32:8–9 describes El dividing the nations of the world among his sons, with Yahweh receiving Israel: When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated humanity,he fixed the boundaries of the peoplesaccording to the number of divine beings. For Yahweh's portion is his people,Jacob his allotted heritage; the Israelites worshipped Yahweh alongside a variety of Canaanite gods and goddesses, including El, Asherah and Baal. In the period of the Judges and the first half of the monarchy, El and Yahweh became conflated in a process of religious syncretism; as a result, ’el became a generic term meaning "god", as opposed to the name of a worshipped deity, epithets such as El Shaddai came to be applied to Yahweh alone, diminishing the worship of El and strengthening the position of Yahweh.
Features of Baal, El and Asherah were absorbed into the Yahweh religion, Asherah becoming embodied in the feminine aspects of the Shekinah or divine presence, Baal's nature as a storm and weather god becoming assimilated into Yahweh's own identification with the storm. In the next stage the Yahweh religion separated itself from its Canaanite heritage, first by rejecting Baal-worship in the 9th century through the 8th to 6th centuries with prophetic condemnation of Baal, the asherim, sun-worship, worship on the "high places", practice
A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder about one inch in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to roll an impression onto a two-dimensional surface wet clay. Cylinder seals were invented around 3500 BC in the Near East, at the contemporary sites of Uruk in southern Mesopotamia and later at Susa in south-western Iran during the Proto-Elamite period, they are linked to the invention of the latter’s cuneiform writing on clay tablets. They were used as an administrative tool, a form of signature, as well as jewelry and as magical amulets. In periods, they were used to notarize or attest to multiple impressions of clay documents. Graves and other sites housing precious items such as gold, silver and gemstones included one or two cylinder seals, as honorific grave goods; the cylinder seals themselves are made from hardstones, some are a form of engraved gem. They may instead use glass or ceramics, like Egyptian faience. Many varieties of material such as hematite, steatite, lapis lazuli and carnelian were used to make cylinder seals.
As the alluvial country of Mesopotamia lacks good stone for carving, the large stones of early cylinders were imported from Iran. Most seals have a hole running through the centre of the body, they are thought to have been worn on a necklace so that they were always available when needed. While most Mesopotamian cylinder seals form an image through the use of depressions in the cylinder surface, some cylinder seals print images using raised areas on the cylinder; the former are used on wet clays. Cylinder seals are a form of impression seal, a category which includes the stamp seal and finger ring seal, they survive in large numbers and are important as art in the Babylonian and earlier Assyrian periods. Impressions into a soft material can be taken without risk of damage to the seal, they are displayed in museums together with a modern impression on a small strip. Cylinder seal impressions were made on a variety of surfaces: amulets bales of commodities bricks clay tablets cloth components of fabricated objects doors envelopes storage jars The images depicted on cylinder seals were theme-driven sociological or religious.
Instead of addressing the authority of the seal, a better study may be of the thematic nature of the seals, since they presented the ideas of the society in pictographic and text form. In a famous cylinder depicting Darius I of Persia: he is aiming his drawn bow at an upright enraged lion impaled by two arrows, while his chariot horse is trampling a deceased lion; the scene is framed between two slim palm trees, a block of cuneiform text, above the scene, the Faravahar symbol of Ahura Mazda, the god representation of Zoroastrianism. The reference below, covers many of the following categories of cylinder seal. Dominique Collon's book First Impressions, dedicated to the topic, has over 1000 illustrations. A categorization of cylinder seals: Akkadian cylinder seals. Akkadian seal, ca. 2300 BC, stone seal w/ modern impression. See National Geographic Ref; the glyptic shows "God in barge", offerings. Assyrian cylinder seals. Cypriote Cylinder Seals. Egyptian cylinder seals. Predynastic Egyptian Naqada era graves.
Egyptian Faience. Hittite cylinder seals. Clay envelope usage, etc.. Kassite, cylinder seals. Mittanian cylinder seals. Old Babylonian cylinder seals. Persian cylinder seals. Proto-Elamite cylinder seals. Sumerian cylinder seals. Seals of the "Moon-God". See Ref. Seal of Ur-Nammu, 2112-2095 BC. Close-up picture of Seal, adjacent'modern impression', high resolution, 2X-3X natural size. "Shamash pictographic seals". Neo-Sumerian cylinder seals. See Ref, "Seated God, Worshippers", Cylinder seal, a modern Impressin, p. 40. Syrian cylinder seals. Ancient Near Eastern seals and sealing practices Seal Impression seal Stamp seal LMLK seal Mudbrick stamp Scaraboid seal Bahn, Paul. Lost Treasures, Great Discoveries in World Archaeology, Ed. by Paul G. Bahn, c 1999. Examples of, or discussions of Stamp seals, cylinder seals and a metal stamp seal. Collon, Dominique. First Impressions, Cylinder Seals in the Ancient Near East, 1987, 2005. Comprehensive and up to date account, with many illustrations; the author has compiled several of the volumes cataloging the collection of cylinder seals in the British Museum.
Collon, Dominique. Near Eastern Seals, 1990. Shorter account which includes stamp seals. Part of the BM's Interpreting the Past series Frankfort, H. Cylinder Seals, 1939, London. A classic, though doesn't reflect research. Garbini, Giovanni. Landmarks of the World's Art, The Ancient World, by Giovanni Garbini, General Eds, Bernard S. Myers, New York, Trewin Copplestone, London, c 1966. "Discussion, or pictures of about 25 cylinder seals". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cuneiform Texts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Tablets and Bricks of the Third and Second Millennia B. C. vol. 1 (New Yor
Anu or An is the divine personification of the sky, supreme God, ancestor of all the deities in ancient Mesopotamian religion. Anu was believed to be the supreme source of all authority, for the other gods and for all mortal rulers, he is described in one text as the one "who contains the entire universe", he is identified with the north ecliptic pole centered in the constellation Draco and, along with his sons Enlil and Enki, constitutes the highest divine triad personifying the three bands of constellations of the vault of the sky. By the time of the earliest written records, Anu was worshipped, veneration was instead devoted to his son Enlil, throughout Mesopotamian history, the highest deity in the pantheon was always said to possess the anûtu, meaning "Heavenly power". Anu's primary role in myths is as the ancestor of the Anunnaki, the major deities of Sumerian religion, his primary cult center was the Eanna temple in the city of Uruk, but, by the Akkadian Period, his authority in Uruk had been ceded to the goddess Inanna, the Queen of Heaven.
Anu's consort in the earliest Sumerian texts is the goddess Uraš, but she is the goddess Ki and, in Akkadian texts, the goddess Antu, whose name is a feminine form of Anu. Anu appears in the Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh, in which his daughter Ishtar persuades him to give her the Bull of Heaven so that she may send it to attack Gilgamesh; the incident results in the death of Enkidu. In another legend, Anu summons the mortal hero Adapa before him for breaking the wing of the south wind. Anu orders for Adapa to be given the food and water of immortality, which Adapa refuses, having been warned beforehand by Enki that Anu will offer him the food and water of death. In ancient Hittite religion, Anu is a former ruler of the gods, overthrown by his son Kumarbi, who bit off his father's genitals and gave birth to the storm god Teshub. Teshub overthrew Kumarbi, avenged Anu's mutilation, became the new king of the gods; this story was the basis for the castration of Ouranos in Hesiod's Theogony. In Mesopotamian religion, Anu was the personification of the sky, the utmost power, the supreme God, the one "who contains the entire universe".
He was identified with the north ecliptic pole centered in Draco. His name meant the "One on High", together with his sons Enlil and Enki, he formed a triune conception of the divine, in which Anu represented a "transcendental" obscurity, Enlil the "transcendent" and Enki the "immanent" aspect of the divine. In astral theology, the three—Anu and Enki—also personified the three bands of the sky, the contained constellations, spinning around the ecliptic the middle and southern sky. Though Anu was the supreme God, he was worshipped, and, by the time that written records began, the most important cult was devoted to his son Enlil. Anu's primary role in the Sumerian pantheon was as an ancestor figure; these deities were known as the Anunnaki, which means "offspring of Anu". Although it is sometimes unclear which deities were considered members of the Anunnaki, the group included the "seven gods who decree": Anu, Enki, Nanna and Inanna. Anu's main cult center was the Eanna temple, in Uruk. Although the temple was dedicated to Anu, it was transformed into the primary cult center of Inanna.
After its dedication to Inanna, the temple seems to have housed priestesses of the goddess. Anu was believed to be source of all legitimate power. According to scholar Stephen Bertman, Anu "...was the supreme source of authority among the gods, among men, upon whom he conferred kingship. As heaven's grand patriarch, he dispensed justice and controlled the laws known as the meh that governed the universe." In inscriptions commemorating his conquest of Sumer, Sargon of Akkad, the founder of the Akkadian Empire, proclaims Anu and Inanna as the sources of his authority. A hymn from the early second millennium BC professes that "his utterance ruleth over the obedient company of the gods". Anu's original name in Sumerian is An. Anu was identified with the Semitic god Ilu or El from early on; the functions of Anu and Enlil overlapped during periods as the cult of Anu continued to wane and the cult of Enlil rose to greater prominence. In times, Anu was superseded by Enlil. Enlil was, in turn, superseded by Marduk, the national god of ancient Babylon.
Nonetheless, references to Anu's power were preserved through archaic phrases used in reference to the ruler of the gods. The highest god in the pantheon was always said to possess the anûtu, which means "Heavenly power". In the Babylonian Enûma Eliš, the gods praise Marduk, shouting "Your word is Anu!"Although Anu was a important deity, his nature was ambiguous and ill-defined. During the Kassite Period and Neo-Assyrian Period, Anu was represented by a horned cap; the Amorite god Amurru was sometimes equated with Anu. During the Seleucid Empire, Anu was identified with Enmešara and Dumuzid; the earliest Sumerian texts make no mention of where Anu came from or how he came to be the ruler of the gods. In early Sumerian texts from the third millennium BC, Anu's consort is the godde
In Mesopotamian mythology, Ereshkigal was the goddess of Kur, the land of the dead or underworld in Sumerian mythology. In East Semitic myths she was said to rule Irkalla alongside her husband Nergal. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler, sometimes it is given as Ninkigal, lit. "Lady of the Great Earth". In Sumerian myths, Ereshkigal was the only one who could give laws in her kingdom; the main temple dedicated to her was located in Kutha. In the ancient Sumerian poem Inanna's Descent to the Underworld, Ereshkigal is described as Inanna's older sister; the two main myths involving Ereshkigal are the story of Inanna's descent into the Underworld and the story of Ereshkigal's marriage to the god Nergal. In ancient Sumerian mythology, Ereshkigal is the queen of the Underworld, she is the older sister of Inanna. Inanna and Ereshkigal represent polar opposites. Inanna is the Queen of Heaven. Ereshkigal plays a prominent and important role in two particular myths.
The first myth featuring Ereshkigal is described in the ancient Sumerian epic poem of "Inanna's Descent to the Underworld." In the poem, the goddess, Inanna descends into the Underworld seeking to extend her powers there. Ereshkigal is described as being Inanna's older sister; when Neti, the gatekeeper of the Underworld, informs Ereshkigal that Inanna is at the gates of the Underworld, demanding to be let in, Ereshkigal responds by ordering Neti to bolt the seven gates of the Underworld and to open each gate separately, but only after Inanna has removed one article of clothing. Inanna proceeds through each gate. Once she has gone through all seven gates she finds herself naked and powerless, standing before the throne of Ereshkigal; the seven judges of the Underworld declare her to be guilty. Inanna is struck dead and her dead corpse is hung on a hook in the Underworld for everyone to see. Inanna's minister, however, pleads with Enki and Enki agrees to rescue Inanna from the Underworld. Enki sends two sexless beings down to the Underworld to revive Inanna with the food and water of life.
The sexless beings escort Inanna up from the Underworld, but a horde of angry demons follow Inanna back up from the Underworld, demanding to take someone else down to the Underworld as Inanna's replacement. When Inanna discovers that her husband, has not mourned her death, she becomes ireful towards him and orders the demons to take Dumuzid as her replacement; the other myth is the story of the plague god. Once, the gods held a banquet that Ereshkigal, as queen of the Underworld, could not come up to attend, they invited her to send a messenger, she sent her vizier Namtar in her place. He was treated well by all, but for the exception of being disrespected by Nergal, who did not rise to him; as a result of this, Ereshkigal demanded Nergal to be sent to the underworld to atone. In a version, Nerga travels to the underworld along with 14 demons; when he arrives, the gatekeeper Neti gets orders from Ereshkigal to allow him through the seven gates, stripping him of everything until the throne room, where he would be killed.
But at each gate, Nergal posts two demons. When he gets to the throne he drags Ereshkigal to the floor, he is about to kill her with his ax when she pleads for her life, promising her as his wife and to share her power with him. He consents. However, Nergal must still leave the underworld for six months, so Ereshkigal gives him back his demons and allows him to traverse the upper world for that time, after which he returns to her; this myth shows. In tradition, Nergal travels under the advice of Enki, who warns him not to sit, drink or wash while in the underworld, as well as not to have sex with Ereshkigal. However, although respecting all the other warnings, Nergal succumbs to the temptation and lies with the goddess for six days. At the seventh, he escapes back to the upperworld. Namtar is sent to bring Nergal back, but Enki disguises him as a lesser god and Namtar is foiled. Ereskhigal realizes the deception and demands Nergal to return again; this time Nergal returns by himself, dethroning her violently, but they lie again for another six days.
Afterwards, Nergal is made Ereshkigal's husband. It is theorized that the story of Inanna's descent is told to illustrate the possibility of an escape from the Underworld, while the Nergal myth is intended to reconcile the existence of two rulers of the Underworld: a goddess and a god; the addition of Nergal represents the harmonizing tendency to unite Ereshkigal as the queen of the Underworld with the god who, as god of war and of pestilence, brings death to the living and thus becomes the one who presides over the dead. This takes the metaphor of a love story in the tradition. In some versions of the myths, Ereshkigal rules the Underworld by herself, but in other versions of the myths, Ereshkigal rules alongside a husband subordinate to her named Gugalana. In his book, Sumerian Mythology: A Study of Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millennium B. C. the renowned scholar of ancient Sumer, Samuel Noah Kramer writes that, according to the introductory passage of the ancient Sumerian epic poem, "Gilgamesh and the Netherworld," Ereshkigal was forcibly abducted, taken down to the Underworld by the Kur, was forced to become queen of the Underworld against her will.
In order to avenge the abduction of Ereshkigal, the god of water, set out in a boat to slay the Kur. The Kur defends itself by
Enki is the Sumerian god of water, mischief and creation. He was known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology, he was patron god of the city of Eridu, but the influence of his cult spread throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites and Hurrians. He was associated with the southern band of constellations called stars of Ea, but with the constellation AŠ-IKU, the Field. Beginning around the second millennium BCE, he was sometimes referred to in writing by the numeric ideogram for "40" referred to as his "sacred number"; the planet Mercury, associated with Babylonian Nabu was, in Sumerian times, identified with Enki. A large number of myths about Enki have been collected from many sites, stretching from Southern Iraq to the Levantine coast, he is mentioned in the earliest extant cuneiform inscriptions throughout the region and was prominent from the third millennium down to Hellenistic times. The exact meaning of his name is uncertain: the common translation is "Lord of the Earth"; the Sumerian En is translated as a title equivalent to "lord" and was a title given to the High Priest.
Ki means "earth", but there are theories that ki in this name has another origin kig of unknown meaning, or kur meaning "mound". The name Ea is Hurrian in origin while others claim that his name'Ea' is of Semitic origin and may be a derivation from the West-Semitic root *hyy meaning "life" in this case used for "spring", "running water". In Sumerian E-A means "the house of water", it has been suggested that this was the name for the shrine to the god at Eridu, it has been suggested that the original non-anthropomorphic divinity at Eridu was not Enki but Abzu. The emergence of Enki as the divine lover of Ninhursag, the divine battle between the younger Igigi divinities and Abzu, saw the Abzu, the underground waters of the Aquifer, becoming the place in which the foundations of the temple were built. With some Sumerian deity names as Enlil there are variations like Elil. En means "Lord" and E means "temple", it is that E-A is the Sumerian short form for "Lord of Water", as Enki is a god of water.
Ab in Abzu means water. The main temple to Enki was called E-abzu, meaning "abzu temple", a ziggurat temple surrounded by Euphratean marshlands near the ancient Persian Gulf coastline at Eridu, it was the first temple known to have been built in Southern Iraq. Four separate excavations at the site of Eridu have demonstrated the existence of a shrine dating back to the earliest Ubaid period, more than 6,500 years ago. Over the following 4,500 years, the temple was expanded 18 times, until it was abandoned during the Persian period. On this basis Thorkild Jacobsen has hypothesized that the original deity of the temple was Abzu, with his attributes being taken by Enki over time. P. Steinkeller believes that, during the earliest period, Enki had a subordinate position to a goddess, taking the role of divine consort or high priest taking priority; the Enki temple had at its entrance a pool of fresh water, excavation has found numerous carp bones, suggesting collective feasts. Carp are shown in the twin water flows running into the God Enki, suggesting continuity of these features over a long period.
These features were found at all subsequent Sumerian temples, suggesting that this temple established the pattern for all subsequent Sumerian temples. "All rules laid down at Eridu were faithfully observed". Enki was the keeper of the divine powers called Me, the gifts of civilization, he is shown with the horned crown of divinity. On the Adda Seal, Enki is depicted with two streams of water flowing into each of his shoulders: one the Tigris, the other the Euphrates. Alongside him are two trees, symbolizing the male and female aspects of nature, he is shown wearing a cone-shaped hat. An eagle descends from above to land upon his outstretched right arm; this portrayal reflects Enki's role as the god of water and replenishment. Considered the master shaper of the world, god of wisdom and of all magic, Enki was characterized as the lord of the Abzu, the freshwater sea or groundwater located within the earth. In the Babylonian epic Enûma Eliš, the "begetter of the gods", is inert and sleepy but finds his peace disturbed by the younger gods, so sets out to destroy them.
His grandson Enki, chosen to represent the younger gods, puts a spell on Abzu "casting him into a deep sleep", thereby confining him deep underground. Enki subsequently sets up his home "in the depths of the Abzu." Enki thus takes on all of the functions of the Abzu, including his fertilising powers as lord of the waters and lord of semen. Early royal inscriptions from the third millennium BCE mention "the reeds of Enki". Reeds were an important local building material, used for baskets and containers, collected outside the city walls, where the dead or sick were carried; this links Enki to the underworld of Sumerian mythology. In another older tradition, the goddess of the primeval creative matter and the mother-goddess portrayed as having "given birth to the great gods," was the mother of Enki, as the watery creative force, was said to preexist Ea-Enki. Benito states "With Enki it is an interesting change of gender symbolism, the fertilising agent is water, Sumerian "a" or "Ab" which means "semen".
In one evocative passage in a Sumerian hymn, Enki stands at the empty riverbeds and fills them with his'water'". The cosmogenic myth common in Sumer was that of the hieros gamos, a sacred marriage where divine p