The later, Babylonian version of the Sumerian Iskur.
The Sumerians believed that the oceans on the surface of the world were paralleled by hidden,
Cthonic seas located in vast chambers deep within the
earth. Abzu is the primordial Lord of these Inner Waters. His name is the root
behind the modern word "abyss". See also, Nammu. See Apsu for the
continuation of this tale...
The later version of the Sumerian Martu. An (Sumerian) A
primordial sky-god, regarded as the creator of the world and
ancestor of all the Gods who followed Him. His attributes are obscure and his
rulership of the heavens is vague and ill-defined; He seems
to have been a
distant figure without much immediate impact on the human
A primordial being, child of Lahmu, and father of An.
(Babylonian) In Babylonian versions of the mythos, the wife of Anu.
The Babylonian version of An.
The later, Babylonian version of the Sumerian
to the Babylonians, Apsu, a primordial dragon, was slain by Ea, who
subsequently set up His home within Apsu's carcass.
(Sumerian) Son of Enki (I), and a master of magick and sorcery.
Tutelary God of the Assyrian people; Lord of the Assyrian pantheon, guide
and defender of the Assyrian nation. During the era of
Assyrian ascendancy, He replaced Marduk as premier divinity.
Apparently a God of storm and weather, and as such equated by Mesopotamian
people with Iskur. Cf. the Hellenic Boreas.
An agrarian deity, responsible for the invention of the plow, and
Lord of the grain harvest. His worship was extensive in the Levant; within
Mesopotamia he was relatively minor.
(Sumerian) Child of Duttur, Lord of shepherds and the flocks, and eternal
adversary to Enkimdu. He is regarded as both divinity and royal
several Mesopotamian city-states, most notably Uruk, where he is listed as an
earlier predescessor to the hero Gilgamesh. He has strong Underworld
associations as well; the beloved of Inanna, He is taken by minions of
Nergal to the depths when She visits the Final Land and then seeks to leave.
Eventually, he returns to the upper land for 6 months of the
year, while His
place is taken then by His sister Gestinanna. Students of the Old
Testament will recognize the Hebrew form of His name: Tammuz, which has become the
10th month of the Jewish calendar; and Tammuz, in a rare survival into
modern times, is still used as the Iraqi name for the month of July.
(Sumerian) The sheep Goddess, and Patroness of the flocks. She is the mother of both
Dumuzi and Gestinanna.
The later version of Enki (I). His functions and attributes
closely parallel the earlier divinity, although the tale of His
Apsu and subsequent claim upon the Inner Seas is expanded.
(Sumerian) The River God, divine master of the Tigris-Euphrates watershed
(Sumerian) Lord of the underworld seas which parallel the surface oceans, and
hence master of artisanship, secret craft, magick, and inner wisdom. He seems
to have been involved in ordering and regulating all the myriad functioning of the human
(i.e.. civilized) world. Central to the
general, He is a son of An (twin of Iskur) and father to Marduk, Asarlubi, Enbilulu, and Nanse, among others.
Enki (II) and
Ninki (Sumerian) A separate figure from Enki of the underworld seas, this male
and female pair were "Lord and Lady Earth", Patrons of the Upper world and,
in at least one tradition, the parents of Enlil.
(Sumerian) Patron and Lord of dikes, canals, and furrows; in effect, irrigation and
sedentary farming in general. He is the eternal adversary to Dumuzi.
A central figure in the mythos, child by one tradition of An, by another
of Enki (II) and father to many divinities, including Iskur,
and Utu among others. His vitality and majesty is of such strength that it
is unendurable to all, and He is above all a figure of
authority, and masculine energy.
(Sumerian) Queen of the Underworld, a Cthonic Goddess whose realm was the
uttermost depths, below the Inner Sea of Abzu. She was recognized as Guardian and
Patroness of the Dark City.
(Sumerian) An oracular Goddess, one who is associated with the interpretation
of dreams, and also has widespread shepherding connections. She is the loyal
sister of Dumuzi, and hides him by various stratagems when
he is sought by
demons of the underworld. When He is eventually seized anyway, it is
arranged that She take His place for half the year, and He
Hers. While in
the Underworld, She functions as Ereskigal's scribe.
Divine Lord of fire, and personification of fire in all it's aspects,
both harmful and beneficial.
A healer and patroness of medicine; She is also something of a tutelary
Goddess of the city-state of Isin. Unsurprisingly for her vocation, She is
almost always accompanied by a dog.
A primary God of the Kassite people, equated with Anu or Enlil.
A sky God, one who dwells in the heavens, and (probably) personifies
masculine energy. He very likely is connected in some way to
giant guarding the cedars of Lebanon from Gilgamesh.
(Sumerian) "Lady of the Thousand Offices", She is the primary female Deity of Her
people, and in some ways the focus of the entire pantheon. Her epithet refers
to the fact that She is Patroness and divine Guide to a myriad different
functions and powers. One tradition has Her the daughter of
An, but a more persistent
one makes Her the child of Nanna-Suen. All agree that She is the
younger sister to Ereskigal. She has many lovers and consorts, but
her strongest attachment seems to be with Dumuzi. She rules the natural
world, and the vitalizing effect of the rain, but beyond that Her functions
seem to revolve around pairs of contending ideas. Thus, She is both the morning
and the evening star. She represents motherhood and the family, but She
is also the harlot and temple prostitute. She governs
also the dousing of fire. Her spirit is one of praise and gladness, and
also dismay and sorrow. Her imagery usually portrays Her as a
bearing weapons and some armor, wearing an open robe, nude underneath.
Regarded by non-Dilmunites as the supreme deity of Dilmun, but on the
island itself He seems to have been accounted as Lord and Patron of the desert
tribes dwelling nearby.
Ishhara (I) (Akkadian/Babylonian)
A Goddess of love, and consort of Dagan in at least one
Ishhara (II) (Hurrian)
A Goddess of the underworld, not much else remains to Her memory.
The chief weather deity, Lord of storms and tempests; He-Who-Wields-The-Lightning.
He also has a beneficent aspect as the bringer of cleansing and
fructifying rain. He was patron of flowing water generally, and that could
imply either living streams and rivers which irrigate the land, or floods
The later equivalent to Inanna, and like Her earlier
manifestation one of the most important figures in the pantheon.
Like Inanna, She
is Lady of many offices and functions, especially love, sexuality,
fertility, and healing. Nevertheless, Ishtar has more associations
with war and weaponry. Like Inanna, She is regarded in separate traditions as
Daughter of Anu or Sin.
Guardian and protector from night-time terrors, divine messenger, and
benign influence within the underworld, He was a God of
Ki (Sumerian) A
primordial being representing Earth in some traditions, wife of An in one
version of the tales surrounding the beginnings; thus, the
symbolized by the marriage of Heaven and Earth.
A primordial being, child of Lahmu, and mother of An.
(Sumerian) A primordial dial being, possibly a child of Abzu and Tiamat, and mother
A primordial being, child of Abzu and Tiamat, and father of Ansar.
and Ardat-Lili (Sumerian) Not divinities as such, this trio of closely related
demons inhabited the desert wastes, and functioned largely in terms of
sexual and fertility aberration. Lilu and Lilitu were male and female
equivalents of each other, and were regarded as dangerous to
newborns, while Ardat-Lili ("Maiden Lilitu") may have been their offspring,
and was seen as a spirit of sexual dysfunction and frustration,
malevolent wives, and degeneracy in general. The general idea was imported
into Hebrew mythology as Lilith, Demoness of desolation, obsession, and
An oracular divinity of dreams and visions, child of Utu, and of ambiguous
or shifting gender.
Child of An by Ninhursaga, He was spoken of as the leveler of cities and
destroyer of peoples. He was the personification of the nomad barbarians who
swarmed into Mesopotamia from very early times. His name was the same as the
epithet used to describe such people, and is reflected in the Old
Testament description of Assyrians as "Amorites".
(Babylonian) Originally the Patron and tutelary deity of the city of Babylon,
Marduk's power and influence grew until He was regarded as supreme among all the
Gods and Goddesses. His personal attributes were as Lord of magick, wisdom,
and regal authority. His influence began to wane somewhat in Assyrian times,
as many of His functions were assumed by Assur.
Seemingly the patroness of the city of Dilmun proper, and probably the
mother of Inzak.She seems to have been a local variant on the mainland Ninhursaga.
(Assyrian) The Assyrian version of Ninlil, in which mythos She is the wife of
Assur, not Enlil
(Babylonian) Divine Patron of scribes, and holding authority over writing and
knowledge. He forms with Ea and Marduk a triplicity of Wisdom
deities, and His
worship persisted among Mesopotamian communities for a very long time. His
cult is still recognizable as late as the 2nd century CE, and He was conflated
by Hellenic writers with Apollo.
A solar deity, one concerned with justice and the law as well.
A primordial being. In some traditions, the mother of An and Ki (Heaven
and Earth), and a personification or Aspect of Abzu.
(Sumerian) The moon-God, child of Enlil and Ninlil, husband of Ningal, and in
at least one tradition the father of Utu and Inanna.
Tutelary Goddess of the city-state of Lagash, She was an oracular
divinity with the power to interpret dreams and omens. She also held a position
as protectress of the common-folk, related to which She was invoked as an
overseer of fair and accurate weights and measures.
(Sumerian) Lord of the Underworld, usually regarded as a child of Enlil and Ninlil,
and consort to Ereskigal. Master of the Dark City, He has
associations, and is also connected to fevers and sudden diseases, especially the
plague. His cult continued in one form or another for a long time, and after
Alexandrian times came to be seen as an Aspect of Herakles.
(Sumerian) Wife of Nanna-Suen, and mother of Utu.
(Sumerian) A Mother-Goddess, one of several in Sumerian mythology. She
is regarded as the mother of many divinities by Enlil, who
His line by incestuous unions with their daughters. Her name means "Lady
of the Mountains.
(Sumerian) Wife of Enlil, and mother to many of His children.
(Sumerian) A warrior deity, involved with armies, weaponry, and the suppression of
revolt. He has another nature as well, though, that of an
devoted to tillage of the soil and teaching the arts of the farm.
(Babylonian) A demon of somewhat ambiguous malevolence: He was feared for his greed
and strength, but was also recognized as a legitimate protection
against pestilence. He has re-emerged in the modern world as the central evil
force in the novel and movie "The Exorcist".
A Goddess of fertility, nurturance, and motherhood.
(Babylonian) A created entity, formed by Tiamat to be the general of Her divine
forces in the war between Her and Marduk. Qingu was given the Tablet of
Destinies as His primary weapon, but He and His forces were routed by Marduk.
Executed by Marduk afterward, His blood was utilized in the creation of
A later version of Utu, the sun God. In this version, He is the child of Anu.
The later-era version of Nanna-Suen, the moon God.
Possible a solar divinity, similar in many respects to Utu.
The equivalent, in this people's mythology, to the weather Gods Iskur and
(Sumerian) A primordial entity. At the beginning of creation there were but two
entities, Abzu and Tiamat, representing respectively the
underworld sea and the saltwater surface ocean. Between them, many of the
earliest entities were created, including An and Ki (Heaven and Earth). When
Abzu was slain, Tiamat released monstrous creatures in vengeance, and
was in turn slain by, as later version have it, Marduk. He used her corpse
to form the world (her back the sky, her belly the earth, her breasts the
mountains, etc. There are faint echoes in this of other mythoi, see Ymir
for a particularly striking resonance
Divine Patroness of the weaving arts and, completely unsurprisingly,
closely associated with spiders.
The sun-God, son of Nanna-Suen, and twin brother of Inanna. He represents
all the primary solar virtues, light, warmth, and the blessed energy of growth