By Rickards, Tessa; Black, Jeremy A.; Green, Anthony
Ancient Mesopotamia was once a wealthy, assorted and hugely advanced tradition whose achievements incorporated the discovery of writing and the advance of subtle city society. This booklet bargains an introductory advisor to the ideals and customs of the traditional Mesopotamians, as published of their paintings and their writings among approximately 3000 B.C. and the arrival of the Christian period. Gods, goddesses, demons, monsters, magic, myths, spiritual symbolism, ritual, and the non secular international are all mentioned in alphabetical entries starting from brief debts to prolonged essays. Names are given in either their Sumerian and Akkadian kinds, and all entries are totally cross-referenced. an invaluable creation offers historic and geographical heritage and describes the assets of our wisdom in regards to the faith, mythology and magic of ''the cradle of civilisation''.
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Additional info for Gods, demons, and symbols of ancient Mesopotamia : an illustrated dictionary
In all periods a common variant placed the emblem on a post, 74 sometimes with elaborate trimmings, when it appears as an independent motif or is held by gods, goddesses, or animal or hybrid figures. Probably it was then considered to have a magically protective power. From the Old Babylonian Period onwards, and especially from Kassite times, Sin's crescent was often 47,73 depicted within a disc; sometimes this appears to be a fusion of the crescent and solar disc, as if symbolic of an eclipse.
This has been interpreted as Gilgames and Ut-napisti (Ziusura) in the Epic of Gilgames, but the suggestion is dubious, especially as the two heroes never actually travel by boat together in the surviving versions of the story, while the number of figures in the boat in artistic representations is not always limited to two. Gilgames does cross the waters with Ut-napisti's pilot Ursanabi, but it seems more likely that these boating scenes refer to various different ritual excursions of men and perhaps sometimes of gods (see journeys an d processions of the gods).
The Assyrian king, probably Sennacherib (reigned 704-6818c), flanks a procession of seven deities on their animals, probably (left to right) Aššur on snake-dragon and lion-dragon, his consort Mullissu enthroned on a lion, Enlil or Sin on lion-dragon, Nabu on a snake-dragon, Samaš on a horse, Adad on lion-dragons and bull, and Istar on a lion. 45,79, 87,105, 31, 89, 110,132, 151 75 sometimes natural animals but more usually elaborate hybrid combinations. Sometimes representations of such beasts in art served the function of symbolising the various gods, or else individual deities are shown standing on their respective beasts; sometimes large-scale statues ofthe creatures guarded the entrance to their masters' shrines, or served, in effect, as altars, with other symbols placed upon their backs.