A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology by Gwendolyn Leick

By Gwendolyn Leick

The Dictionary of historical close to jap Mythology covers resources from Mesopotamia, Syro-Palestine and Anatolia, from round 2800 to three hundred BC. It comprises entries on gods and goddesses, giving facts in their worship in temples, describing their 'character', as documented by means of the texts, and defining their roles in the physique of mythological narratives; synoptic entries on myths, giving where of starting place of major texts and a quick background in their transmission in the course of the a while; and entries explaining using professional terminology, for things like different types of Sumerian texts or sorts of mythological figures.

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Ma, ‘mother of the land’, appears and Enki creates the marshland where he unites himself with Damgalnunna, who from this moment of conception on is called Ninsikil, ‘the pure lady’. After a pregnancy lasting nine days, she gives birth to Ninmu. , who in turn becomes impregnated by Enki and delivers Uttu, ‘vegetation’. Ninhursag now intervenes. She advises Uttu to avoid the advances of Enki. In order to achieve a union with Uttu, Enki now extends the water well into the dry zones, to the great delight of the gardener.

Inanna and Geštinanna were looking for the vanished Dumuzi, Inanna because she wants to hand him over to the demons, and the loyal sister because she wants to save him. Both goddesses approach the fly and offer her rewards, and since Geštinanna can also offer the ‘superb calves’ (being a herding-deity), she is able to bring various healing plants and food to her brother. (Alster 1972; Kramer 1980, 5–13; Cohen 1981, 71–92). Dumuzi is one of the most complex figures in Sumerian mythology. As a mortal being (‘the shepherd’) his fate is death, the lonely and frightening death in the steppe, devoured by wild animals and evil spirits.

Baal is surrounded by his daughters Pidray, ‘the girl of the honey-dew’, and Tallay, ‘the girl of the mist’, while a minstrel sings to the sound of cymbals. [gap of some 40 lines] Then follows a section that is also known as THE PALACE OF BAAL. It begins with the description of the goddess Anat, who adorns and scents herself before she goes down into the valleys to fight ‘between two cities’, where she smites the people of the seashore. She causes havoc among the population and decorates herself with the heads and hands of slain victims.

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