페이지 이미지

the attributes of several classical divinities. Like Pluto he was lord of the lower regions. Ninkigal, his spouse, was "the lady of the great land, the lady of the house of death.” Like Poseidon, Hea was “lord of the abyss, lord of fountains, and lord of sailors.” He taught Hasisadra, the Chaldean Noah, how to build the ark and sail over the flood. He had dominion over various spirits of the deep, and was associated with the goddess Bahu, “the void," Bohu of Genesis, also called Gula. Like Hermes, Hea was "the god who knows all things, lord of wisdom, mines, treasures, gifts, and music, and the lord of the bright eye.” His consort, Davkina, resembled Persephone or Proserpine.

Bel, the god of Nipur, was the deity of physical power and of the moving, heavenly bodies, the lord of the surface of the earth and of the affairs of men, and the determiner of the destinies of nations. IIe was a popular national god, and his temple at Nipur the type of all temples. His wife, Belat, or Beltis, like Anatui, the goddess of reproductive nature, was also the goddess of war. Every woman in Babylon was obliged to prostitute herself in the temple once in her lifetime to this goddess. Babylonian legends, found at Khorsabad on little clay olives, bear witness to this frightful custom.* Bel was represented as a king wearing a tiara crested with bulls' horns, and holding a scepter as an emblem of power. Bel Merodach, “ the younger Bel," was the patron deity of Babylon. The Phænician Baal, represented by a pillar of stone, was worshiped with human sacrifices. At Tyre he was called Melkartlı, and had two pillars, one of gold and one of emerald, in front of his temple. Jezebel, the most beautiful but most wicked Israelitish queen, introduced his organized worship in Israel. With Baal were associated Ashtoreth, the moon-goddess, and Ashera, the goddess of fertility.

Sin, the moon-god, the son of Bel, was a favorite deity of the Cushite kings of the early Babylonians, and the principal deity of Ur. He was called “lord of crowns, maker of bright

*" Records of the Past," vol. xi, pp. 43, 44; "Rawlinson's Herodotus," vol. į, pp. 265, 266 : Bohn's “Strabo," vol. iii, pp. 155; Jeremias, 43. Succoth-Benoth of 2 Kings xvii, 30, “tents of daughters," is explained by most expositors as referring to the tents of this prostitution. Succoth-Benoth may be Zirat-banit, wife of Bel-Merodach.

ness, lord of the city of Ur, king of the gods, and god of the gods.” He was also called Nannaru, “ the bright one,” whence the classical legend of Nannarus. He was worshiped under the name of Ur, "eldest son of Bel," and may be connected with Al-orus, the first mythical king of Berosus.*

The following liturgical hymn to the moon-god was in use in the great city of Ur. Translated by Lenormant, Englished by Tomkins. The original Accadian was accompanied by an Assyrian translation: High-exalted, all-producing, life unfolding from above! Father, he who life reneweth in its circuit through all lands! Lord ! in thy goodness far and wide as sky and sea thou spread'st

thine awe! Warder of shrines in (Akkad's) land and prophet of their high

estate! God's sire and men's, of childhood guide, (?) even Ishtar's self

thou didst create ! Primeval seer, rewarder, (sole,) fixing the doom of days remote, Unshaken chief, whose heart benign is never mindful of thy

wrongs : Whose blessings cease not, ever flowing, leading on his fellow

gods. Who from depth to height bright piercing openeth the gate of

heaven! Father mine, of life the giver, cherishing, beholding (all)! Lord who power benign extendeth over all the heaven and earth! Seasons, (2) rains, from heaven forth drawing, watching life and

yielding showers ! Who in heaven is high exalted ? Thou! Sublime in thy behest! Who on earth is high exalted ? Thou! Sublime in thy behest ! Thou thy will in heaven revealest; (thee) celestial spirits

(praise)! Thou thy will on earth revealest; thou subdu'st the spirits of

earth! Thou! thy will in heaven as the luminous ether shines ! Thou! thy will upon the earth to me bax, deeds ... thou dost

declare! Thou! thy will extendeth life in greatness, hope, and wonder

wide! Thou! thy will itself gives being to the righteous dooms of men! Thou through heaven and earth extendest goodness, not remem

bering wrong! Thou! thy will who knoweth? Who with anght can it compare? Lord ! in heaven and earth thy lordship of the gods none equals thee!

*“Records of the Past," vol. iii, pp. 10–16; iv, p. 54.
+ Tomkins' " Times of Abraham,” pp. 9, 10.

Samas, Shemesh of the Bible, (1 Sam. vi, 9,) the sun-god, son of Hea, had important sanctuaries at Larsa and Sippara. lIe unfastens the bolts of the shining sky, and opens the door of heaven. He covers the immensity of the heavens. He is the “illuminator of the darkness, who sets up those who are bowed down, who sustains the weak; whose face the archangels of the abyss contemplate; who rests like a bridegroom joyful and gracious; whom men contemplate and rejoice; the nourisher of the luminous heavens, who establishes truth in the thoughts of the nations, knowing the true and false; the supreme judge of heaven and earth, lord of living beings, whom the celestial archangels press about with respect and joy, and the servants of the lady of crowns lead in a festive manner, directing the human race and giving them peace, pardoning short-comings and transgressions, dissipating the eril influence of wonders, omens, sorceries, dreams, evil apparitions.” *

Bin or Rimmon, (also variously called Vul, 4o, Iva,) son of Anu, was god of storms and tempests, of rain and whirlwind, of thunder and lightning, of floods and watercourses--the god of the air“ who causes the tempest to rage over hostile lands and wicked countries.” He destroyed crops and rooted up trees, and was followed by famine and pestilence. IIe was " the great guardian of heaven and earth, the intelligent guide, the lord of the visible world, the lord of knowledge, glory, and life.” His most usual symbols were the serpent and the double or triple bolt.

Ninip, or Adar, the Chaldean IIercules, is described as “ the crusher of opponents, he who rolls along the mass of heaven and earth, treader of the wide earth, who has not lessened the glory of his face; head of nations, bestower of scepters; lord of lords, whose hand has controlled the vault of heaven and earth ; lord of water-courses, seas, and whirlwinds; opener of canals, and lord of crops and boundaries; the deity who changes not his purposes, the light of heaven and earth, whose is the speech of the gods no god has ever disregarded, destroyer of them that hate him.” Ile is also called "son of the zenith, son of El the sublime.” Ilis temple is "the temple of the sanctuary."

He gives power over the beasts of the fields,

* " Records of the Past," vol. xi, pp. 123-128. FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XXXV.-8

[ocr errors]

and reigns a monarch of the nations. His symbol was a winged bull.*

Merodach was the guide of souls to Hades. He raised the dead to life, and was “the renowned chief of the gods and the lord of eternity without end.” Khammurabi chose Merodach as the head of his worship. He is the mediator between gods and men, and answers the prayers of the good man. He changes the hearts of men, and determines their destinies.t

Nergal was “the god of arms and bows, the great hero, king of fight, master of battles, champion of the gods, god of the chase.” Nirgalli were Assyrian winged human-headed lions which, together with the Alapi, guarded the entrances to the royal palaces. The lion-god was worshiped by the Cuthæans. 2 Kings xvii, 30.

Ishtar, the Assyrian Venus, though generically a goddess of the second rank, was raised to the first rank in both Assyria and Babylonia. She was the goddess of war, “the goddess of battles and victories." She gives arms to the warrior, upholds him, gives him the help of “sixty great gods," and utterly destroys his enemies. Long life, victory, and abundance are in her hand. She brings down the high head of the proud; she exalts, strengthens, and preserves the kingdom. As Anaitis, she was worshiped at Comana, where her statue was of solid gold, her high-priest next in rank to the king, and her temple served by six thousand serrants. She was called “queen of queens, archer of the gods, terrible in battle.” She was represented as a winged figure with a halo and a bow. Ishtar was also the goddess of love, and was called “lover, nurse, guardian, and servant.” She was the goddess of sensual indulgence, and in the Izdubar legends seemed to have been the goddess of witchcraft, like Hecate and Medea. We find her also in the character of goddess of treasures, and “ queen of the spear” or “divining rod." I

Nebo was “the overseer of the multitudes of heaven and earth, the supreme watcher, the holy minister of the gods, of lofty intelligence, founder of the (fabric) of heaven and earth.”

* "Records of the Past," vol. iji, pp. 39, 40; ix, p. 96; i, p. 11; v, p. 108 ; xi, p. 9. # Ibid, vol. v, p. 116; vii, p. 75; v, p. 139.

Ibid., vol. xi, pp. 61-78; vii, pp. 67, 68; ix, p. 51. Bohn's "Strabo," vol. ii, pp. 279, 309,

IIe caused the hand of Neriglissar to hold “a scepter of righteousness.” More important is his character as god of knowledge, science and literature. With his wife Tasmit he invented writing, and directed the educatian of Assyrian kings. “ Assurbanipal asserts that Nebo and Tasmit had made broad his ears, and enlightened his eyes,' so that he ordered all the characters of the syllabaries and the ancient writings of Accad to be explained and written down.” Nebo, as “the eastern sun in the height of heaven,” may be identified with the Hindu Mithras. He was represented as a king crowned with a triple-horned cap, and holding a scepter or staff. Nusku, one of his attributes, grew into an independent deity. Upon the dedication of a temple, Nebuchadnezzar prayed: “O Nebo! noble son, exalted (messenger) and beloved offspring of Marduk! my works of piety behold joyfully! A long life, abun dant offspring, a firm throne, a prolonged reign, the subjection of all rebels, the conquest of my enemies' land, grant to me as a recompense.

Assur, although not included in the genealogies of the gods, became the king and father of the gods, and “the worship of Assur” became the religion of the realm. His chief temple was dedicated to the mountain of the world.” He it is who, with Merodach, confided sovereign power to Sargon, “the viceroy of the gods at Babylon,” and “the favorite of the great gods." In his book the names of the pious are recorded. His favorite emblem was “the winged circle or globe, from which a figure in a horned cap is frequently seen to issue, sometimes simply holding a bow, sometimes shooting his arrows against the Assyrians' enemies." +

Several gods are sometimes elaborately addressed in the same inscription.

We cannot even name all the gods of the Assyrian pantheon. In one inscription we have a list of several hundred with their attributes. We have named the most important. We have already met with El, who is the god of the Hebrews. We also find Yav, the Yaveh of the Moabite stone, the Jehovah of the

* "Records of the Past," vol. v, pp. 122-139; xi, p. 101; vii, p. 77. " Archaic Dictionary," p. 557.

+ Ibid., vol. xi, p. 17. “ Transactions Society of Biblical Archæology," vol. iii, p. 439.

" Ancient Monarchies," vol. ii, pp. 3, 4. “Records of the Past," vol. xi, p. 24; v, p. 29.

« 이전계속 »