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Assyrian Gods and Goddesses

Guest Author - Elizabeth Bissette

Mesopotamia is the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Assyria was the northern part of the area. Major cities were Asshur, Calah, Zab, a city built (c.1280 B.C.), Nineveh, one of the most ancient cities of Assyria, Dur-Sharrukin, or Dur-Sargon, Arhailu, or Arbela, Nasibina, or Nisibis, Harran, Ingur-Bel, and Tarbis.

The southern region was Sumer, whose primary cities included Ur, Uruk, and Eridu. Akkad was a region north of Sumer which included Babylon, Kish, and Nippur.

Mesopotamia was made up of individual city-states and eventually Sumer and Akkad were united uder Sargon(2371-16 BCE). The Hurrians, the Hittites, and other invaders, along with civil war, eventually caused his descendants to lose the kingdom. Sumer again rose, dominated by the city-state Ur. It eventually fell to the Amorites around 2000 BCE. The Amorites established many sub- kingdoms including Assyria and Babylon.

Assyria dominated under Shamshi-Adad (1813-1781 BCE) but was soon superseded by Babylon under Hammurapi (Hammurabi) (1792-50 BCE). The first Babylonian dynasty had begun in 1894 BCE. It collapsed in 1595 BCE when the Hittites invaded.

Assyria, taken over by the Mitanni (a Hurrian speaking kingdom), established its independence in the 14th century BCE. It collapsed from invaders with Nineveh in 612 BCE.

Nabopalasar began the Chaldean dynasty in Babylon in 625 BCE. This is known as the Neo-Babylonian period. Under Nabopalasar's son Nebuchadnezzar II, Babylon expanded west, taking Jerusalem in 586 BCE. Babylon fell in the mid-540's to Cyrus of Persia and his empire lasted until the 300's BCE when Alexander the Great conquered the area.

ASSYRIAN

Adad

Weather God, God of storms, creater and destroyer, God of Heaven, God of oracles and divination. The number six, the lion and the bull were sacred to him and his symbol was the cypress.

Ashur

National God, God of War, later supplanted Marduk and Enlil.

Atrahasis

Only survivor, (with his family), of the flood that destroyed mankind.

Bel

"Master", applied to Enlil and Marduk.

Lamassu

Protective spirits in the form of winged bulls with a human head. Carved around the throne of Sargon with 5 legs, (so that it looked like they were walking).

Mah

Earth Goddess.

Mutu

God of Underworld.

Pazuzu

Demon king of the evil wind who protects humans from plague and evil. He has a scorpion body with the wings, feet and claws like an eagle, with a head featuring lion faces on the front and back.

Sulmanu

God of war and the Underworld.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Elizabeth Bissette. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Elizabeth Bissette. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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