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 comprises entries on gods and goddesses, giving facts in their worship in temples, describing their 'character', as documented via the texts, and defining their roles in the physique of mythological narratives; synoptic entries on myths, giving where of foundation of major texts and a quick heritage in their transmission in the course of the a while; and entries explaining using expert terminology, for things like different types of Sumerian texts or forms of mythological figures.

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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 comprises entries on gods and goddesses, giving facts in their worship in temples, describing their 'character', as documented via the texts, and defining their roles in the physique of mythological narratives; synoptic entries on myths, giving where of foundation of major texts and a quick heritage in their transmission in the course of the a while; and entries explaining using expert terminology, for things like different types of Sumerian texts or forms of mythological figures.

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In Ugarit her name appears in offering lists, sacrificial texts, rituals and god-lists, although not apparently in personal names. This prominent role is less evident in the Ugaritic myths, where she seems diminished in favour of Anat, the lover of Baal. Astart is the wife of El in the Palace of Baal (see Baal-Myths). However, she lives apart from her husband, ‘by the sea’. She is ‘the mother of all the gods’, including Baal, although she seems to prefer some of her other offspring to him, as in Baal and Mot, when she rejoices over Baal’s death.

Schnabel 1923; Burstein 1978 25 C Canaanite mythology see Ugaritic mythology Cosmogonies Although the considerable amount of secondary literature on this topic seems to suggest otherwise, cosmogony was not in itself a literary genre. Most ‘cosmogonies’ are to be found in Mesopotamian sources in connection with a variety of subjects, such as incantations, rituals or other literary compositions. The reference to a primordial state of affairs lent weight and authority to the text and it also connected the origin of the spell, ritual or institution to the evolving structure of the world.

The Galla-demons accompany her and finally make off with Inanna’s husband, Dumuzi. As a mortal, or at any rate, far less divine than Inanna, his death sentence can only be alleviated to a part-time arrangement with his self-sacrificing sister Geštinanna. ’—fertility amongst animals and people is seriously disrupted and only restored upon Inanna’s return. Other compositions describe 35 DYING GODS the effects of Dumuzi’s absence on milk production. The substitution theme also occurs in the myth of Enlil and Ninlil, where Enlil is banned to the underworld as a punishment for the rape of Ninlil.

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