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Mesopotamian Religions Print Page

Babylonian Deities

  • Ishtar
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Ishtar (whose myriad other names included Ashtart, Ashtoreth, Astarte, Inanna and Isis) was worshipped all over the Mesopotamian region. MORE
  • Marduk
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    In Assyrio-Babylonian mythology, the two-headed sun god, creator of Earth and humans, and their intermediary with his father Ea, god of water and wisdom. MORE
  • Shamash
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Shamash ('Sun'), in Sumerian myth, was the son of the Moon-god Sin and brother of Ishtar, goddess of fertility and war. MORE
  • Tiamat
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Tiamat, in Mesopotamian myth, was salt water, one half of the chaos which existed before creation. The other half was Apsu, fresh water. MORE

Canaanite Deities

  • Asherah
    From Who's Who in the Old Testament
    This is the Hebrew rendering of Ashirat, the leading goddess of the Phoenician Canaanites and consort of the head of their pantheon. MORE
  • Astarte
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    In Canaanite and Syrian mythology, a goddess of sexual passion (equivalent to the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess Ishtar). As goddess of maternity and fertility, she was associated with Tammuz or Adonis, who represented the passage of the seasons. She was also a warrior goddess. MORE
  • Baal
    from The Columbia Encyclopedia
    (bā'Әl), plural Baalim bā'Әlĭm [Semitic,=master, lord], name used throughout the Bible for the chief deity or for deities of Canaan. The term was originally an epithet applied to the storm god Hadad. Technically, Baal was subordinate to El, the supreme god, the creator, and the father of Hadad and other gods.
  • Baal (Hebrew ba'al, ‘lord’, ‘master’)
    from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
    The chief SEMITIC fertility god and, in Phoenician mythology, the sun-god and supreme national deity. There were also local Baals, such as those established in Canaan when the Israelites arrived. The latter adopted many rites of the Canaanites and grafted them to their own worship of Yahweh (JEHOVAH), who thus tended to become merely the national Baal. It was this form of worship that HOSEA and other prophets denounced as heathenism. BEL is the Assyrian form of the name. See also ASSYRIA; BEELZEBUB; BELPHEGOR.
  • Dagon
    From Who's Who in the Old Testament
    Dagon was a Philistine god. Temples were built to him at Gaza, Ashdod and Beth-shean, and his name was incorporated in the city of Beth-dagon, in the Judean foothills. MORE
  • Molech
    from Who's Who in the Old Testament, Routledge
    The national god of the Ammonites. This god was worshipped by offering up human sacrifices, usually a child from the family. Worship of Molech was expressly forbidden to the Children of Israel in the Book of Leviticus. Nevertheless, some of them worshipped Molech at various times and King Solomon permitted altars to be built to him. Later, Josiah, king of Judah, as part of the purification of Judah, deliberately defiled the holy places for the worship of Molech. Also known as Moloch, Milcom and Malcam, which suggests identification with the tribal god of the Ammonites. [Leviticus 18:21; 1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Kings 23:13; Isaiah 30:33; Jeremiah 32:35; Zephaniah 1:5]

Sumerian Deities

  • Anu
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    Mesopotamian sky god, commonly joined in a trinity with Enlil, the god of storms, and Ea, the god of water. MORE
  • Enlil
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Enlil ('windlord'), in Mesopotamian myth, was the son of An and brother of Ea. In some accounts he threw dice with his father and brother for kingdoms, and won the world of Earth; in others he prised his father (Sky) from his mother (Earth) after he was conceived, usurped his father's place and began gusting round Earth, fertilizing her with storms and rain. MORE
  • Inanna
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Inanna ('sky-lady'), in Sumerian myth, was the daughter either of An the Sky or of his son the wind-god Enlil. She was the goddess of sex and fertility, overseeing the reproduction of all plants and animals on Earth. MORE
  • Ninurta
    From Britannica Concise Encyclopedia
    In Mesopotamian religion, the city god of Girsu. The son of Enlil and Ninlil, he was the god of thunder and of the spring rains and floods as well as the god of the plow. MORE

Terms & Concepts

  • Creation myth
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    Legend of the origin of the world. All cultures have ancient stories of the creation of the Earth or its inhabitants. MORE
  • Gilgamesh
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    In Babylonian legend, king of Uruk. He is the hero of the Gilgamesh epic, a work of some 3,000 lines, written on 12 tablets c.2000 B.C. and discovered among the ruins at Nineveh. MORE
  • High places
    From The New Encyclopedia of Judaism
    Canaanite sanctuaries for cultic worship situated on hills or raised platforms (Deut. 12:2; I Kings 14:23); later adopted by the Israelites. MORE
  • Sumerian Religion
    From The Hutchsinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    Religion of the Sumerian civilization. Sumerian society was ruled by gods - everything belonged to the gods and the kings were their representatives. Humanity's role was to serve the gods and to fulfil their will in their eternal struggles with each other. MORE

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