The Myths of Inanna Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein 3 - “The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi” This piece can be compared to the Song of Solomon. The third part of the Cycle of Inanna is the Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi. .. harvest, Inanna was the storehouse of the dates as the Lady of the Date Clusters. Their contents, which date back to B.C., are now in the process of being . In "The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi," she chooses the shepherd Dumuzi to.
Writing was just beginning, and there are no original inscriptions from their reign, but later Sumerian tradititions remembered and celebrated the kings of this early heroic age.
In these laer traditions, the early kings of Sumer were gods and demgods. Even Gigalmesh, son of Ninsun and Lugalbanda, who is portrayed in the Old Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic as Everyman, the representative of the existencial dilemma of humanity, is also considered a god, one of the judges of the Netherworld. We do not know what these early kings of Uruk said about themselves, but it is clear that the later Sumerian considered them divine.
Did the Sumerians that these early heroes achieved divine status because of their greatness? Or was there a legend that at the beginnin of time, gods came to rule on earth? In the eyes of the Sumerians, gods sat on the throne of Uruk in the early days: This claim of godhead alternates with another divine attribute of the kings, that of son of the gods.
The kings of the first fully historical period claim in their records that they are the sons of gods. The royal inscriptions of early historical Sumer show us the entire world of the gods attending to, instructing, and bestowing gifts on the newly-born royal scion. There is, moreover, a consistently prominent role for the mother goddess. All the pre-Sargonic kings use a particular epithet in their royal inscriptions: By this epithet, the early kings of Sumer indicate that whoever their divine mother may be, Ninhursag, the mother goddess, one of the three prime gods, was their god-mother and nurturer.
The next period, the Sargonic Akkadian period, marked a new stage in state formation: The empire was composed of old city-states, each of which retained its identifity, and was ruled by a governor whom the king of Akkad appointed. The Akkadian kings also instated themselves as the owners of landed property that had previously been under the control of the local temple.
It was no longer enough for the king to be son of the god, nursed by god mother. Instead, the Sargonic kings sounded the first kings of Uruk: Becoming gods themselves gave them greater warrant for the new suprasegmented powers tht they were assuming. As divine beings, they also had greater warrant for their secularized appropriation of divine powers. The Akkadian period was brought to a close by turmoil and invasion.
There was to be no central control in southern Mesopotamia until the next period of national unity, Ur III BCE The Ur III kings faced with the monumental task of bringing a suprastructure to the ancient Sumerian cities, applied every theological concepts possible and all metaphors of divinity by which they could indicate a special status for their kingship.
The kings claimed that their authority over all of Sumer had been granted by divine council under Enlil.
They were sons of god and goddess, but this relationship, important as it was in bringing them in close relationship to a god, could not differentiate the king from the rest of the populace. All Sumerians claimed divine parentage.
Being son of a god did not make the king special enough, and the kings of Ur III used the title god, declaring that they themselves were divine. Many royal hymns were writtena to and in the name of Shulgi, the second great king of the dynasty. There were offerings and festivals to him and to the sons who succeeded him, and months named after them. There were special places for the worship of Ur III kings. Several chapels have been excavated, and even the Ehursag of Ur, which was built by Shulgi, may have been dedicated to him.
Nevertheless, the deification of the kings was limited: They were divine, but not actual gods among the gods. Unlike the early legendary hero-kings like Lugalbanda, and to a lesser extend Gilgamesh, the divine kings of Akkad and Ur III were not truly part of the divine world. Their iconography is similar to that of the gods, but there are always crucial differences. The divine status of Ur III kings, a profound metaphor for their godlike powers and authority, did not ease their obvious humanity.
This paradigm was developed fairly early. King Naram-Sin of Akkad, whose inscriptions are in the Akkadian language, called himself "spouse of Inanna". By this metaphor, the king moved beyond the realm of humanity into the social world of the gods. The marital metaphor had yet another great advantage over son-of-godship.
The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi
The metaphor son of god has the capacity to both elevate and diminish humanity. The metaphor of spouse, on the other hand, expressed the near-equality of the king to the gods.
The metaphor of spouse and its ritual expression, the sacred marriage, focused on the mutuality of the love between king and and goddess. The Neo-Sumerian sacred marriage songs emphasized that Inanna, well-known as the goddess of desire, desired the king. It is because She loves the king that She bestows blessings upon him.
Desire and sexuality created the bridge between teh king and the goddess, but the result is power. The relationship of Inanna to the power of kings goes back to the dawn of history, and was considered a major factor in the rise and fall of the kings of Uruk and Agade. There is a historical reason that Inanna can bestow political power: Inanna was the city-goddess of the important cities of Kish, Uruk sharing rule there with Anand as Ishtar Akkad.
In this spirit, one of the inscriptions of Eannatum, an early king of Lagash, records that "Inanna, because She loved him so, gave him the kinghip of Kish in addition to the rulership of Lagash. These stories tell of the relations of Uruk and Aratta, a non-Sumerian city int he mountains to the far east of Sumer and deal with the rivalry and opening of trade between Enmerkar of Uruk and the lord of Aratta.
In this rivalry, the love of Inanna is a crucial factor, for both cities worshipped Inanna, and both kings had a special relationship to Her, one which this epic tradition viewed as a conjugal bond.
According to the Epic, Enmerkar and the lord of Aratta, the problems of Aratta began because the lord of Aratta did not please Inanna as well as did the lord of Kullab Enmerkar, who unified the city of Uruk-Kullab. Enmerkar wanted the stones, precious metals and lapis lazuli of Aratta, and upon his asking Inanna to make Aratta submit to him, Inanna advised Enmerkar to send an envoy.
Ultimately, Aratta was forced to agree to trace with Uruk. The confrontation between them proceeded as a battle of wits in which Enmerkar showed himself wise and ingenious, and his very superiority was the clue that Inanna loved him.
In another epic about this rivalry, the kings Enmerkar and Esuhkesdanna have made beautiful beds for Inanna, but Inanna prefers Uruk and the fertile bed of the Eanna, and Ensukeshdanna capitulate, delcaring that "Inanna has called him to Her holy lap, he is her beloved". These epics were probably composed during the Ur III dynasty, more than years after the events that they depict, and they show the same king-Inanna relations as the sacred marriage texts from this later period.
The way that Inanna awards power to her beloved is often through victory and conquest. The other two epics about relations with Aratta, the two Lugalbanda epics.
Inanna accompanies Enmerkar to battle before the walls of Aratta. When the battle did not go well for him, he understood that Inanna had deserted him, that She had returned to Uruk. Eventually, Lugalbanda became the next king of Uruk. He also went to war against Aratta, and Inanna came to him to prepare his battle.
When Akka, king of Kish, threatened Uruk, and the council of Uruk wanted to yield rather than fight, Gilgamesh did not submit, for he trusted Inanna. These epics concern the very beginning of Sumerian history.
But Mesopotamian tradition also remebered that Inanna, as Her Semitic counterpart Ishtar, had a very close relationship with the Sargonic kings of the city of Akkad, who unified Sumer and created the first empire. In the Sumerian Sargon legend, another Sumerian epic written long after the time of its hero, Inanna is shown protecting Sargon before he became king, while he still worked for King Urzababa: The Akkadian kings believed themselves the beloved of Ishtar Inanna and king Naramsim attributed his many victories in battle "to her love".
The victory of Akkad had important consequences in the development of Sumerian culture. The Sargonic period the Akkadian period witnessed a great flowering of Sumerian religious literature which produced the first major compositions that we can read with any fluency.
These works were all written by Enheduanna, the daughter of King Sargon, whom he installed as the En-Priestess of the moon god Nanna at Ur. Enheduanna had a very important theological role in Sumer.
She authored two cycles of hyms to the temples of Sumer expressing a theme of cultural unity that was appropriate o the unified Akkadian empire. She also wrote three major hymns to the goddess Inanna, the hymn Ninmesharra Lady of the Mesthe hymn Inninshagurra stout-hearted Lady and the hymn Ninmehussa Lady of the fiercemes, commonly known as Inanna and Ebih.
In these hymns, Enheduana portrays Inanna as a strong and ferocious warrior, devastator of the land, one whose rage is not tempered. The hymns of Enheduanna are, in part, narrative poems. In telling this story, she recites a litany Be it known that describes Inanna in most ferocious tones: That you totally destroy rebellious lands - be it known!
That you roar at the land - be it known! That you kill - be it known! The hymn Inanna and Ebih tells the story of how Inanna devastated the land that would not worship Her, a fearsome event that is mentioned both in Ninmesharra and Inninshagurra hymns as well.
Inanna came before An to complain that Ebih was not interested in being obedient to Her. He replied that the mountain was very fertile and awesome, but could not withstand Her. As soon as He had spoken, Inanna went to war and totally destroyed Ebih.
How does the force of one city-god relate to the policy of the whole nation? And how does the ferocity of one goddess relate to the governance of the gods and the authority of political leadership? Inanna gets her power directly from An and Enlil. But this is a reflected form of authority. It is not independent power. Inthe ordering of the pantheon, An and Enlil particularly Enlil are the heads of government.
She is sheer force, rage, and might, with a physical power that exists in a somewhat uneasy relationship to the orderly world of the hierarchical pantheon. Upon the fall of the kingdom of Akkad, the city of Akkad was destroyed and so thoroughly devastated that it was never rebuilt. Historical reality brought a serious question of theodicy: In this text, Inanna, the patroness of Agade, provisions for the city with riches, endows its elders with counsel, gives its maidens dancing grounds, its young men martial might, its children joy.
Inanna grows uneasy and abandons her temple. As She leaves, She, the spirit of battle and fight, take these qualities out of the city. Later, after king Naramsin commits a sacrilege against Nippur and the Ekur, Enlil brings barbarians to devastate the city, and all thegreat gods including Inanna curse Akkad. The new tone in this tale is evident from the opening lines: The myth reflects historical processes: Historical decisions were made by the council of the gods, with Enlil presiding, and individual gods had to operate by petitioning this council.
Still later, in the latter part of the second millennium, the state myth of Enuma Elish signifies another change in political and historical theology, for in this myth the counsel is replaced by the kinghsip of Marduk, who inherits the position of Enlil and adds to it all the attributes of kingship. As goddess of might and war, She can bring victory. As goddess of Love, not fully involved in family connections, She has no real place in the hierarchy of power among the gods, a state hierarchy dominated by males, and thereby seeks Her power niche in the upper reaches of human society, in the company of the king.
Amorous and available, she brings the king into the world of the gods, shrinking the distance between the divine and the human, providing a bridge through which blessings flow. End of Text by Professor Frymer-Kensky 3. This is not surprising because to understand how Love and War relate to each other, once they are the two faces of the same coin, one needs: In the specific case of Inanna, Her positive manifestation of power involve love as connection, association, passion and play, energy as life-force, vigour, assertiveness and drive.
Thus, in actual fact, a god or goddess may encompass opposite qualities, but should manifest the positive side and keep the Shadow, or Dark Side, under control as many times as possible. Mesopotamian worldview was centered on wholeness, i. As such, Inanna is practical and flame that inspires, the One who rewards Her adherents with success and delight. We also propose the following metaphor to integrate love and war within the historical development of the Goddess and Mesopotamia.
Love is the energy of creation, the force that allows life to manifest. War is the denial of life, because it destroys the fabric of creation, it brings with it death and disunion.
Now, to understand Love in its fullness, it is necessary to know its complete Loss, and this is the meaning of War. Contemplate the frailty of the Sumerian city-estates as described in the Lamentations to destroyed cities, for example, and you will perhaps start to understand what I am implying: The Land Between the Two Rivers had no physical barriers against the constant flood of invaders, and there was rivalry between city-states on top of everything.
Secondly, remember that Sumerians in special were farmers, that "the baskets built the cities myth of the Creation of the Pickax. Farming and agriculture need peace and order to survive. Early on in the history of Uruk, the primary economic base was in dates, and while Dumuzi was the date harvest, Inanna was the storehouse of the dates as the Lady of the Date Clusters.
This may be very well the reason why Jacobsen in Treasures of the Darkness says that other lands feared Her and that battle was the "dance of Inanna". There is another reference quoted by Jacobsen that says that the function of young, unmarried women was to go out to the battlefield and encourage the warriors to fight if not with praise, with taunts and jeering. One of the most vitally important weapons, because its invention marked perhaps the first technology created on earth to enable hunting and warfare without engagement in direct body fight, arrows and bows require precision and skill to aim right at the target, which in psychological terms also mean strategy, use of intelligence and discrimination, essential qualities for successful engagement in all battlegrounds.
Historically, composite bows and arrows were also used by the Akkadian empire builders from Sargon onwards made of wood, animal horn, sinews and glue so bound together that before stringing, the arms of the body bent the other way. When strung, it was thus very tense, giving a light bow with an effective range of three to four hundred yards. So for the first time enemies could be attacked from beyond their range of hearing, vision and retaliation.
Instead, She acts much more as a strategist whose aggressive stance commands respect and subjugation. This is the case of the series of myths involving the king Enmerkar of Uruk and his rival, the Lord of Aratta. Both kings, who love Inanna, engage on a war of nerves according to Kramer in History begins at Sumerfor ten years and the war is much more on the contest level, where both sides challenge each other without engaging in real mortal combat.
That like a dog you eat the corpses - be it known! That your glance is terrible - be it known! That you lift this terrible glance - be it known! That your glance flashes - be it known!
At those who do not obey - be it known! That you attain victories - be it known! Is there a god who can vie with me? More extroverted than Aphrodite, she craves and takes Her receptivity is active To pester, insult, deride, desecrate - and to venerate - is your domain, Inanna.
Downheartedness, calamity, heartache - and joy and good cheer - is your domain, Inanna. Tremble, afright, terror - and dazzling and glory - is your domain, Inanna. A final point must be made, and this refers to the invariably negative connotations ascribed for those who read the poem above. The point is, that "to pester, insult, deride and desecrate" may sometimes be used as prodding and encouragement which is aimed as a quick, swift action without any further delay by the listener, a sort of slightly negative comment or command aimed at impelling immediate action to reverse the matter under consideration.
Surely this is not the attitude of a mother goddess, but of a mention. Passionate, strong, quintessentially feminine and powerful, all this was Inanna in her transcendent humanity. There is also an astrological interpretation for this myth which relate it to the temporary disappearance of Venus "behind the mountain" during the cycle of the year.
She first appears as the "maiden", magnificent and coming forth like the Sun God, the great child of Suen, who fearlessly walks throughout the land and the mountains, and who demands to be respected by her brilliance and deeds by all. Ebih refuses to do so, therefore presenting itself to the Goddess as a rebelious land. The Skyfather warns the young goddess that this might be a task much too great for her to engage in.
This way Inanna thus imposes her victory on Ebih. Inanna set out to the Underworld 1 These are the haunting opening lines of the first full account of a Descent to the Underworld, the Descent of Inanna, recorded in clay tablets around 3, Before Common Era in cuneiform writing.
This myth is a heroic epic journey to the Land of the Dead, centered on the confrontation between two goddesses, Inanna, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, and Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld of Mesopotamia.
To better apprehend the depth of this great myth, it is going to be broken down into the following sections: Thus Inanna readies herself for a Journey She might not get back from. First, the goddess gathers the Measures of Earthly and Divine Powers, next she visits her temples prepare herself spiritually and mentally and finally instructs her faithful vizir Ninshubur to set up a lamentation for her with the Great Gods in case she did not return in three days.
Only then Inanna starts the Descent. At the first gate to the Underworld, she is asked by the gatekeeper why She had come: I came to witness the funeral rites' 2.
Inanna's response anticipates the mystery which is going to happen. She came to visit Ereshkigal, the Great Goddess of the Underworld, and witness the funeral rites of Ereshkigal's husband, who died recently.
A note on the meaning of the term sister, which is how Inanna defines her kinship to Ereshkigal. Sister or brother are terms of endearment that do indicate kinship, but not necessarily on a direct line as far as ancient texts are concerned. Ereshkigal is indeed much older than Inanna, belonging to the generation of gods who were born in the beginnings of Creation.
She received the Underworld for her domain in the first days of creation, and there reigns as the All-Powerful Sovereign. Inanna belongs to a further generation of gods and goddesses, as the daughter of Nanna, the Moon God and Ningal, who is fathered by Enki. Sister in this context therefore means "equal to me in all levels, kin".
Secondly and fundamental to capture the depth of this great myth is to understand the complex character of Ereshkigal. Inanna, on the other hand, brings the Lust and Enthusiasm for Life Ereshkigal should retrieve after being so long on her own in the bowels of the earth.
Therefore, Inanna and Ereshkigal are bonded to each other, and their confrontation epitomizes the search for wholeness and integration of the conflicting aspects of the Self. Only Inanna can bring the riches of the Worlds Above to Ereshkigal, and only Ereshkigal can give Inanna the trials and experiences that will provide her with the Inner Realities that Sustain Life and Restore Balances lost in all levels.
Seven are the classical planets, seven are the degrees of initiation that Inanna must relinquish so that She can be reborn. Inanna first protests, but then bows heroically to the designs of the Underworld. She surrendered her role of Queen, Priestess and Lover, for only bowed low and naked Inanna could enter Eternity and face her darker Self and sister Ereshkigal.
Ereshkigal strikes Inanna dead. Inanna is then left to rot hanging on the wall. This is one of the highlights of this great myth. The Descent is the only account where a divine being experiments death as dissolution and decay to be reborn afterwards. Nevertheless, Inanna's death means that She is reborn in Ereshkigal. While Inanna rots hanged on the wall, Ereshkigal moans as a woman in labour. Ninshubur asks for Inanna's return. It is so because only Enki can understand the full extent of Inanna's existence to all worlds, and only he can figure out the need for both Inanna and Ereshkigal have for each other.
Without Inanna the land is barren, there is no love, poetic musing, laughter and daring. Enki then creates from the dirt of his fingernails twin creatures endowed with empathy, capable of mirroring Ereshkigal's loneliness, her deep and unacknowledged emotions. As she moans, they moan with her. The Dark Queen's anguish is then appeased, because She was shown concern as never before. Indeed, perhaps this is the mistake Inanna made when she failed to ask Ereshkigal the Question of All Questions, the one all initiates come across under so many forms in a lifetime.
In Inanna's case, the Question could have been phrased in the following manner: Ereshkigal asks the two creatures what their wishes are, because She wants to show them gratitude for the empathy She was given. The creatures refuse anything for their own gain, but ask for Inanna's corpse instead. Ereshkigal concedes and they sprinkle Inanna's body with water and food of life.
So is Inanna reborn. Inanna now wishes to leave, but no one ascends from the Underworld unmarked. A part of Inanna must stay in the Depths too. Thus, She has to find someone to replace her. Tammuz in the Old Testament.
This statement opens up the history of a cult which, in the light of a certain identification presently to be established, persisted through several millennia, arising among the Sumerian inhabitants of pre-Semitic Babylonia, passing into the worship of their Semitic conquerors, and proceeding by way of Cyprus to become the possession of Aryan peoples—the Greeks and the Romans.
The story of Tammuz-Adonis is thus in more than one sense one of the romances in the history of religion. Other references to the cult than the one cited above which this scholar or that has seen in the Old Testament are, with two exceptions Dan. It is very likely that the phrase "the desire of women," in Dan. The apocryphal Epistle of Jeremiah may possibly have in mind the Adonis cult, though it is noticeable that in this case it is the priests and not the women who mourn and shave their heads and beards.
Name; Mention in Early Inscriptions. The name Tammuz represents the Sumerian Dumuzi variant forms Tauuzu, Ta'uzu, Da'uzu, Duzu; full form Dumuzi-abzu; the form Tammuz, with doubled m, seems to have originated in the Hebrew, perhaps on account of the short vowel in the first syllablethe meaning of which is still under discussion.
Zimmcrn latest in J. Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ii. Prince in a private communication gives as the rendering "young life"; the usual translation has been " son of life.
Tammuz appears in the inscriptions and documents of the pre-Semitic period in a variety of ways. Testimony to his early existence in the pantheon is given by tablets from Telloh which bear names in which his name form one element H. Zimmem, Abhandlungen of the Saxon Academy, xxvii. Witness to him comes from Shirpurla and Kish in the times of the kings named above and of Eannatum, and from Larsa under Siniddina, when mention is made of "the month of the celebration of the god Tamuz.
After the Semites gained control he drops out of sight, except for the name of his month, in official records, and that in the quite numerous hymns and in the epics he still has mention, also that he appears among the very minor deities who seem to have stalls in some Assyrian temples. In Adapa and Gilgamesh Epics. He figures in the Babylonian myths named after Adapa and Gilgamesh, and in the "descent of Ishtar" these are most easily accessible to the English reader in Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, Selected Translations.
In all this Babylonian literature the story is by no means complete as judged by the myth as it appears from Greek sources; the references are quite obscure, though for the most part the details are in accord with, or at least do not contradict, the fuller story as recovered from Greek and Roman sources; so that it is possible to infer that in these latest records the essential features of the original are preserved.
In the Adapa myth Tammuz is associated with the deity Gishzida apparently as guardian of the gate of heaven, and the two become the successful advocates before Anu of Adapa, who has offended Anu by breaking the wings of the south wind. To this story Tammuz, though in a subordinate position with respect to Anu, seems to be independent, is not connected with Ishtar, and with his companion is spoken of as having disappeared, apparently much to the surprise of the two gods themselves.
In the Gilgamesh epic there appears a feature which is not easily explained and does not come out in the western form of the story. When Ishtar tempts Gilgamesh with her love the hero answers her: What, indeed, has become of the Allallu bird. Well, I will tell thee plainly the dire result of thy coquetries.
To Tammuz, the husband of thy youth. Thou didst cause weeping and didst bring grief upon him every year. The Allallu bird, so bright in colors, thou didst love; But its wing thou didst break and crush. This second and later feature does not appear in the western and later forms; although the god comes to his death because of Ishtar's love for him, that death is caused by other means than the goddess herself, while here the charge is plainly brought home to her, parallel with the breaking of the wing of the Allallu bird.
Inanna - Dumuzi Mythos - A Comparative Study | Mark Lamarre - smena.info
The "Descent of Ishtar. But the object is by most Assyriologists asserted to be the rescue of Tammuz from the world of the dead. During the absence of Ishtar, who was detained by Allatu, her sister and the goddess of the lower world, desire ceased among all on earth, man and beast, and the allurements of love were no more.
Hence Ea created a man who entered the lower world and demanded drink from Allatu from her water-skin. The very demand its full significance is not known brought about the return of Ishtar and presumably of Tammuz. Then comes mention of Tammuz "the husband of Ishtar's youth" and of his "day" on which the sad sounds of the flute and the wailing of male and female mourners mingle and incense is burned. There is also a considerable body of hymns to Tammuz in the Sumerian language cf.
Zimmern, Abhandlungen, ut sup. Langdon, Sumerian and Babylonian Psalms, pp. These hymns speak of the " stormy weeping " for the god, who is " lord of the year, Prince, in American Journal of Semitic Languages, xxvii.
In another hymn apparently Ishtar sings the lament for " my mighty one. Noteworthy is the fact that in Babylonia Tammuz does not appear as the god of any large city. So far as records in hand show, he played no heroic part and achieved no noteworthy deed. He is connected with fertility, productiveness, and strength; but the epic passages have the sound of artistic and forced poetic laudation and lack the tone of sincere attribution of power.
Even in the hymns, in spite of the many epithets, his death and the mourning for him are the notable features, together with his relations with Ishtar. And still further, it is not his death that effects decline of fertility, it is the absence of the goddess that causes passion and desire to cease. Eridu and Erech ib. Each year he died and passed to Hades, the realm of Allatu or Ereshkigal.
He was mourned in the month named after him, occurring just before the summer solstice not only by Ishtar, but by male and female mourners and with the accompaniment of flutes. His mistress journeyed to the lower world, seemingly in quest of him; and since her absence caused the absence of love, Ea sent a messenger and secured her release from "the land of No-Return," and presumably also that of her lover.
Tammuz in other Literature Outside of Babylonian literature and Ezek. Thus the Syrian lexicographer Bar Banjul reports that Tammuz, a shepherd and hunter, was beloved by Balthi Baltiwhom he carried off and whose husband he slew, but was in turn killed by a wild boar. Consequently in his, month a season of mourning for him was observed. Chwolson, Die SsaHer und der Ssabismus, ii. Petersburg,and the same author's Ueber Tammuz und die Menschenverehrung bei den alien Babylonier, ib.
Also, before Tamuz, she had fallen in love with Ares, and committed adultery with him; and Hephaistos, her husband, caught her, and his jealousy was roused against her, and he came and killed Tamuz in Mt. It is to be noted, however, that the scene of action is no longer Babylonia, but the Lebanon and Phoenicia, particularly Byblus or Gebal and Aphaka. Apollodorous of Athens, Peri them.
The Nahr, which had its mouth a short disIbrahim. Renan, Mission de Phoenicie, pp. For suitability to the rites which were associated with the Aphrodite and Adonis cults, as well as for romance and beauty, the glen of the river is remarkable Robinson, Researches, iii.
At the head of the glen in the mountains is Afka, the ancient Aphaka, where was a grove of Astarte and a temple to "Venus " at the spot where Adonis and Aphrodite are said to have met, where also he was said to be buried Melito, ut sup. At Ghineh, one point of the glen, there is a recess or tablet carved in the rock on which is the figure of a hunter identified as Adonis with a spear awaiting the onset of a bear not of a boar ; and a little distance away is a female figure in a posture of mourning, identified by many as the sorrowing Aphrodite cf.
Other sculptures are known along the glen, as at Mashnaka. Tammuz and Adonis The continuation of the combined cult of Tammuz and Ishtar in Greek surroundings depends upon the answer to the question whether the worship of the deities at Byblus and along the Nahr Ibrahim is the same under changed names as transmitted through non-Semitic sources as that in Babylonia.
It must be premised that 1 no clear indications exist of a path by which such a cult passed from the lower Euphrates to the Mediterranean— traces of Syrian Adonis worship are post-Christian and may well have spread from Byblus eastward; 2 the usual indications in names of places and persons compounded of the divine name Tammuz are altogether lacking in Phenician environment.
That Tammuz and the Adonis of Byblus were regarded as the same is asserted in numerous sources. This is the testimony of Origen commentary on Ezekiel at viii. The express identification already cited is confirmed by several facts: In view of this wealth of explicit and authoritative testimony to the identity of Tammuz and Adonis, combined with inferential evidence including the coincidence in the two centers of principal features in myth and ritual, the identification must stand against the doubts of Chwolson Die Ssabier, ut sup.
The argument of the last-named that the identification argues separateness falls before the apparent fact that the separateness is no more than difference in name in a different environment.
The duality is only apparent. The identification, however, raises two questions: There can be no doubt that the latter is the common West Semitic Adon, "lord," occurring frequently in the Hebrew in the form Adonai, translated "my lord " or " Lord " in the A. It is curious that, in spite of the wealth of testimony to this worship at Byblus, there is no monumental or inscriptional testimony in Phoenicia to the name as applied to this particular deity.
Yet the name was applied to other deities, as is shown by numerous inscriptions—to Baal-Shamem, Melkarth both of Cyprus and TyreReseph, Hamman, Esmun, Shamash, and others cf. Lidzbarski, Epigraphik, Berlin,and Ephemeris, Giessen, sqq. Zimmern in Schrader, KAT, p. By the Greeks, however, the term was regarded as a proper name and adopted as such, being taken into the scheme of declension of nouns.
It seems beyond doubt, therefore, on the basis of the preceding, that the Adonis of the Greeks and the Tammuz Tamuz of the Babylonians are one, and that their meeting-place was Byblus on the Phenician coast about 32 m.
Inanna - smena.info
Distribution of the Cult That the Greeks adopted Adonis very early is evinced by the quotation from Hesiod 8th century B. Rzach, fragment 41, Leipsic, and by a fragment of Sappho c. Bergk, Poetce lyrici Greed, iii. The transfer came about through the Phenicians, and the locations of the temples in which Adonis had a part with Aphrodite are in some degree indicated by Phoenician settlements.
Yonge in Bonn's Classical Library, p. Paphos in the southwest was a notable center, and coins of the Roman period picture the sanctuary with doves the bird sacred to the goddess over the facade. There is an interesting model of a shrine of just this pattern recovered at Mycente Journal of Hellenic Studies, ix. The cone and pillar, so characteristic of the Ishtar-Astarte-Aphrodite cult, were present, and the custom obtained of requiring of the native women submission as a religious duty to strangers once in a lifetime, as at Babylon, Baalbek, and elsewhere.
It will be remembered that Melito makes Balthi a queen of Cyprus, asserting that she changed her residence to Byblus and Aphaka. Pausanias also quotes Apollodorus III. There is similar testimony for Aphrodisias in Cyprus—if the name is not enough. This island seems to have been covered by the cult.
At Alexandria the celebration was elaborate, and is described by Theocritus in one of his celebrated Idyls the fifteenth, named the Idoniazusawhich relates the part taken in the festival by Ptolemy Philadelphus and his queen.
Canopus in Egypt was another center. Concerning Athens there can be no mistake, for Plutarch Alcibiades, xviii. Gruppe, Griechische Mythologie und Religions-Geschichte, p. These names of places are representative, not exhaustive. The earliest explicit witness for the celebration among the Romans is Ovid 43 B. Falratti, Corpus inscriplionum Italicarum, Turin,and this suggests a much earlier footing in the Italian peninsula.
The cult was favored by Elagabulus q. Certainly to be attributed to a late period and probably through Greek, not Semitic, agencies, came the establishment of the cult at Bethlehem, where, according to Jerome Episl.
Forms of the Myth. It was not to be expected that a myth and a cult which wandered so widely as these of Tammuz-Adonis would retain everywhere their original forms. It is a law of the diffusion of religions that observances of a religious character in trans plantation to a new locus take on naturally, and, so to speak, unconsciously, something of the local character in order to domicile themselves and to become acceptable to the new clientele.
So the story and the rites of this deity, while faithful in the main to the Semitic originals so far as these can be made out and also often preserving the consciousness of this origin, yet in different localities differed in the minutiae. This has already been illustrated by the story of the finding in the Cypriote Argos of the body of the god, while the Phenician form locates the event in the Lebanon near Aphaka. Each of these applied to Adonis probably has reference to or suggestion of local peculiarity of observance or conception.
The genius of Greek mythology required that a father be found for the deity, the Babylonian conception being lost in the distance both of space and time. The principal story in the West was that Aphrodite, in revenge for a slight upon her beauty by the queen of Kinyras, king of Cyprus, in declaring her daughter more fair than the goddess, inspired the unfortunate girl with an illicit passion for her own father, which for twelve nights she contrived to indulge.
When the father discovered the identity of his companion, in horror he pursued her with drawn sword, and the girl was saved from him only by being metamorphosed into a myrtle-tree Apollodorus, III.
The story of the birth then assumes various forms—the father cleaves the tree, and Adonis is born; or in ten months the tree parts of itself to give birth to the beautiful young god; or a boar one of the constant elements of the myth rips the bark with his tusk and so brings the boy to birth Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, iii.
Wagner, Leipsic, ; Ovid, Metamorphoses, x. Both the father and the mother are variously connected with both Cyprus and Phoenicia. The father is Agenor, or Phoinix an evident recollection of the derivation of the cult from Phoeniciaor Theias Panyasis, fifth century B. The accounts of the death vary also—Ares or Hephaistus caused it by means of the boar, or one or the other transformed himself into that animal, or Apollo did it in revenge for the blinding of his son Erymanthos by Aphrodite when by him she was seen bathing.