By Gwendolyn Leick
The Dictionary of historic 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 proof 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 beginning of major texts and a short 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 forms of mythological figures.
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Extra resources for A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology
However, ‘his feet did not reach the footstool, his head did not reach the headrest’. He has to descend from the throne unable to fill Baal’s place. [gap] Anat goes in search of Baal (‘like the heart of a cow for her calf, like the heart of a ewe for her lamb, so was the heart of Anat after Baal’). She descends to the underworld, the very domain of Death. Mot admits to having eaten Baal and for a long time Anat entreats with him. Finally she seizes Mot, ‘she splits him with a knife, sieves, burns, grounds and mills him’ and finally ‘sows him in a field, (where) the birds eat his flesh’.
With the rise of the political power of Assyria, Aššur was promoted to a supreme rank among the gods, taking on the characteristics of several other gods, such as Enlil, Anu and Šamaš. This process recalls the elevation of Marduk in Babylon. An Assyrian version of the Enuma Eliš replaces the name of Marduk by Aššur, who was at the same time equated with Anšar. The worship of Aššur survived in northern Mesopotamia until the third century AD. The Assyrian monarch had a special relationship to this god whom he served as the first priest of Aššur and who was directly responsible for the exercise of kingship, in analogy to the role of Anu and Enlil in Babylon.
The oldest editions of some texts date from the Old Babylonian period. During the Kassite rule (Middle Babylonian period), 23 BEL(UM) while come new compositions were made, other genres of cuneiform literature underwent a process of ‘canonization’. The majority of Sumerian myths seem to have been ‘weeded out’ as they were apparently not passed on beyond this time. Other texts were edited into ‘standard versions’ which entailed considerable homogeneity of textual transmission over several hundreds of years.
A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology by Gwendolyn Leick