Glossaries 101: Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others

Dalley, Stephanie Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others (Oxford World’s Classics) : New York, Oxford University Press, 1989.


abiibu-‘flood-weapon’, personified weapon of floods, flash -floods, and torrents. Used as an epithet and as a weapon by various gods including Ninurta, Nergal, and Adad. Also describes the voice of Humbaba.

Adad (Sumerian Ishkur, west semitic Hadad and Addu)- storm-god, canal-controller, son of Anu. Symbols: bull and forked lightning. Lord of omens and extispicy. Cult centre: Aleppo.

Adapa-son of Ea, priest in Eridu. Also known as Uan (Oannes), the first of the Seven Sages, who brought the arts and skills of civilization to mankind.

Addu-see Adad. Akkad-name for northern Babylonia.

Akkadian– east semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic; includes dialects of the Babylonians and Assyrians, written with cuneiform (wedge-shaped) signs that have a combination of logographic, syllabic, and determinative values. In use from about 2400 to IOO BC.

Alexander-great king of Macedonia who won Babylon in 330 BC and died there in 323 sc.

Alala-harvest song, god of harvest song.

Amurru– ‘the western god’. Nature, shrines, and precise attributes uncertain.

Anduruna– name of the gods’ dwelling. An gal-a name of Ishtaran, patron god of Der, a city east of the Tigris.

Anshan (modern Tell Malyan)-capital of the most ancient Iranian civilization, near Persepolis. Included in the Sumerian king list.

Anshar– ‘whole sky’, a Sumerian god of the old generation, father of Anu, paired with Kishar, assimilated with Assur by phonetic similarity. His vizier is the god Kakka. Antu- wife of Anu in Uruk, mother of Ishtar. Also called Anunitu, especially in Sippar.

Anu (Sumerian An)-‘sky’, god of Uruk, temple Eanna; son of Anshar and Kishar, consort of Antu, father of Ellil, Adad, Cerra, Shara, and (in some traditions), Ishtar. His vizier is the god llabrat. Head of the older generation of gods. Paired with Dagan in connection with the kidinm:itu-status of cities (see Erra and ls/wm, note 36). Symbol: horned crown on a shrine.

Anunitu-see Antu.

Anunna, Anunnaki, Anukki, Enunaki– Sumerian group term for the old, chthonic deities of fertility and the Underworld, headed by Anu. They later became judges in the Underworld. Often paired with the Igigi. See Sommerfeld 1985, 11-15.

Anzu (Sumerian lmdugud, previously read Zu in Akkadian. Also pronounced Azzu. )-lion-headed eagle, doorkeeper of Ellil, born in the mountain llehe. Portrayed as a wicked thief in Anzu, but benevolent in the Sumerian epic of Lugalbanda. Often shown in iconography in the pose of ‘master of animals’. See fig. 2:1.

Apsu– domain of sweet, fresh water beneath the earth, home of Ea and of the Seven Sages. Name of Ea’s temple in Eridu. Husband of Tiamat, father of the primeval gods.

Arali, Arallu-name of desert between Bad-tibira and Uruk, where Dumuzi was killed; perhaps also a semi-mythical land from which gold was obtained, also known as Harallum. Evolved into a name for the Underworld.

Aruru-a name for the great mother goddess; see Ninhursag.

Asakku– see Demons.

Asarluhi (also spelt Asalluhi)-god of Ku’ara, son of Ea, assimilated with Marduk. Has powers of magic and healing. Often invoked in incantations and magical literature.

Ashnan-god of cereal grain, often paired with Shakkan. asqulalu-weapon-unidentified object which is ‘weighed’ or balanced for throwing, comparable with a throw-stick. The word also means a plant (also known as ‘sunspit’), and an atmospheric phenomenon.

Assur (Ashur)-national god of Assyria, epithet ‘Assyrian Ellil’. Replaces Marduk as hero of the Epic of Creation in the Assyrian version, eponymous patron of the city Assur.

Atrahasis-‘extra wise’, epithet of Ut-napishtim, q. v. and of Adapa.

Aya-spouse of Shamash. Epithet: ‘the daughter-in-law’.

Ayabba-the sea, ocean: mainly a west semitic term. See also Tiamat.

Babylon-‘ gate of god’ (secondary etymology?), capital city of the Babylonians, situated on the river Euphrates. Patron: Marduk. Residence of major kings from the second millennium onwards. Also known as Shuanna.

Babyloniaca-see Berossus.

Bel-title, ‘Lord’, taken by various gods as head of their local pantheon; refers to Marduk in Babylon, Assur in Assyria, and Ninurta in Anzu.

Belet-ili-‘mistress of the gods’, a name for the great mother goddess. See Ninhursag.

Belet-seri-‘mistress of open country’ (where restless ghosts resided), goddess who was recorder of the Underworld. Epithet: ‘scribe of Earth’.

Bel ili-a name of the goddess Geshtin-anna, sister of Dumuzi, wife of Nin-gishzida. Epithet: ‘she who always weeps’.

Berossus-priest of Marduk in Babylon. Wrote Babyloniaca in Greek around 281 Be for Antiochus I, to narrate ancient Mesopotamian cultural traditions to the Greeks. The work is known only in parts, from quotations in later Greek writers.

Birdu-name possibly means ‘pimple’. An Underworld god, consort of the little-known deity Manungal. Assimilated with Meslamta’ea, a name of Nergal.

Bull-man-word kusarikku formerly translated ‘bison’. Composite creature, slain in the sea by Ninurta in Sumerian mythology; one of Tiamat’s brood slain by Marduk in the Epic of Creation. Attested in iconography from the Early Dynastic period onwards. See fig. 2:2.

Buluqiya-hero-king who searched for immortality in the Arabian Nights’ tale ‘Queen of the Serpents’. May be a diminutive of Gilgamesh’s name.

Dagan-chthonic god of fertility and of the Underworld. Name means ‘grain’ in Ugaritic. Cult centres at Tuttul and Terqa on the middle Euphrates. Paired with Anu in connection with the kidinmltu-status of cities.

Damascius– born C.AD 480. Worked in Alexandria, Athens, and in Iran at the court of Chosroes I (AD 531-79) in the time of justinian. Writings show knowledge of the Epic of Creation.

Damkina-‘faithful wife’, Sumerian name used also in Akkadian. Wife of Ea.

Dannina-‘stronghold(?)’, term for the Underworld, q.v.

Demons-illnesses and misfortunes were personified as demons, both male and female, with Akkadian or Sumerian names. Groups of demons are: asakkulasakku (Sumerian asag), seven created by Anu and defeated by Ninurta, a victory also attributed to Nergal; gallii, a term which originally referred to police officers; Sebitti, ‘The Seven’, q.v. Individuals with Akkadian names are: ‘Lord of the Roof’, bel 1/ri; ‘Fits’, bennu; ‘Wind’, idiptu; ‘Scab’, libu; Lamashtu-a female demon, a disease; ‘Something Evil’, mimma lemnu; ‘Stroke’, miqit; ‘Flashes of Lightning’, muttabriqu; ‘She who Erases’, pasittu (an epithet of the demon Lamashtu); a liondemon ugallu, see fig. 2:8; ‘The Croucher’, rabi~u; ‘Bailiff’, sarabda; ‘Staggers’, ~idana; a disease brought on by flood water, suruppu; ‘Expulsion’, tirid; ‘Feverhot’, umma; a storm demon, Llmu. Individuals with Sumerian names are: ‘Upholder of Evil’, saghulhaza; and doorkeepers of the Underworld: Engidudu (also an epithet of Erra, q. v. ), Endushuba, Endukuga, Endashurimma, Ennugigi, Enuralla/Nerulla, Nerubanda.

Der-city east of the Tigris in northern Babylonia. Patron god Ishtaran.

Dimkurkurra-‘creator of lands’, Sumerian epithet of Marduk in the Epic of Creation; ‘bond of lands’, epithet of Babylon.

Duku-‘holy mound’, Sumerian name for a cosmic place in Ubshuukkinakku, where the ancestors of Ellillamented, where the Sungod and the Anunnaki decided fates; represented in the temple of each major deity.

Dumuzi-‘faithful son’, Sumerian god, lover of Ishtar, brother of Geshtin-anna, shepherd of Uruk, doorkeeper of Anu, paired with Gishzida, fisherman of Ku’ara. Spent half of each year in the Underworld and so was the subject of the annual taklimtu-ritual of lying-in-state. Name pronounced Tammuz in Syria, Du’uzi in Assyria.

Dunnu-town in the vicinity of Isin and Larsa in central Mesopotamia, important in the Old Babylonian period.

Duranki-‘bond of heaven and earth’, name of Ellil’ s temple, also used for the god himself.

Ea (Sumerian Enki)-god of fresh water, wisdom, and incantations, helper of mankind who sent the Seven Sages to teach the arts and skills of civilization to men. Lived in the Apsu. Cult centre Eridu. Temple named E-engurra and E-abzu. Spouse Damkina. Symbols: a goat-fish, a horned crown on a shrine, and probably the overflowing vase. Also known as Nudimmud, a name associated with function as a creator god. Epithet: nissiku, q. v., translated here ‘far-sighted’.

E-akkil– temple of the god Papsukkal in Kish.

Eanna-‘house of the sky’, name of Anu’s and Ish tar’s temple in Uruk, also called ‘the pure treasury’.

Earth-primeval goddess in Theogony of Ounnu; a name for the Underworld.

Ea-sharru– ‘Ea the king’, a form of Ea’s name.

E-engurra– temple of the god Ea in Eridu.

E-galgina-‘the everlasting palace’, name of a place in the Underworld.

E-galmah– temple of the goddess Gula in !sin.

E-igi-kalama-temple of Lugal-Marada in Marad.

E-halanki– shrine of the goddess Zarpanitum in Babylon.

Ekur-‘mountain house’, temple of Ellil in Nippur, where Ninurta was born.

E-kurmah-‘great mountain house’, temple of Ninazu.

Elam-country east of Babylonia in modern Iran. Capital cities: Susa and Anshan. Language of no known group, written in cuneiform.

Ellil (also Illil; Sumerian Enlil)-god whose nature and attributes are still uncertain. Head of the younger generation of Sumerian and Akkadian gods. Cult centre Nippur. Temple called Ekur. Spouse Mulliltu; son Ninurta. Old interpretation of his name as ‘Lord wind/air’ is disputed. Epithet: ‘king of (all) populated lands’. Symbol: a horned crown on a shrine.

E-meslam-‘Meslam house’ (see Underworld). Temple of Nergal in Kutha.

Enbilulu-a Sumerian god of irrigation, canals, and farming, meaning of name unknown. Assimilated with Adad in Babylon. E-nimma-anku-name of an unknown temple.

E-ninnu-‘house of fifty’, temple of Ningirsu in Girsu.

Enki-see Ea.

Enkidu (previously read Ea-bani)-primitive, wild man who lived among wild animals until tamed by a harlot and introduced to Uruk to rival Gilgamesh. Epitomizes the wise, skilful hunter. Name may mean ‘created by Ea’, ‘lord of the good place’, or ‘the wild one’. Assimilated partly with Shakkan as master of animals, and partly with the lahmu-hero as a primeval hero. Equivalent of the wise counsellor Affan in Story of Buluqiya.

Enkurkur-‘lord of the lands’, Sumerian title.

Enmesharra-a Sumerian Underworld god.

Engidudu-see Demons and Erra.

Ennugi-Sumerian god, throne-bearer of Ellil. [resh-cult centre of Ninhursag, the great mother goddess. Unidentified site in central Mesopotamia.

Ereshkigal (also pronounced Arshigingal)-‘queen of the great Earth’, ‘Mistress of Earth’. Sumerian goddess, sister of lshtar, spouse of Nergal, mother of Ninazu.

Eridu-very ancient city at the shore of the Arabian Gulf, cult centre of Ea. Also the name of a quarter of Babylon.

Erkalla– ‘ great city’; see Underworld.

Erra-god of war, hunting, and plague. Etymology ‘scorched (earth)’ probably incorrect. Assimilated with Nergal and Cerra. Temple Emeslam in the city Kutha. Epithet Engidudu, ‘lord who prowls by night’ (see Demons). See also Nergal.

Erragal, Erakal-probably a pronounced form of Nergal, may mean ‘Erra the great’, probably pronounced Herakles in Greek E-sagila-‘house with the lofty top’, temple of Marduk in Babylon. Epithet: ‘the palace of heaven and earth’. E-sharra- name of several temples, including one of i\nu in Uruk and one of Assur in Assur city.

Eshgalla– ‘ great shrine’.

Eshnunna-kingdom cast of Tigris. Included Ishchali where some of OBV Gilgamesh was excavated, and Tell Haddad, where some of Erra and Ishum was excavated.

E-sizkur- ‘house of prayer’.

E-sikil-‘purc house’, name of the temple of Tishpak (formerly of Ninazu) in Eshnunna.

Etana-twelfth king of Kish after the Flood, father of Balih.

E-tcmen-anki-namc of the ziggurrat tower of Marduk in Babylon.

E-ugal– name of the temple of Ellil in Dur-Kurigalzu (see also Parsay).

Euphrates-river of Mesopotamia. Akkadian name Purattu, Hittite name Mala.

Flocks god-deity in the Theogony of Oumw, may be read as Gaiu or Lahar.

gaihl-demons-scc Demons.

Gerra (Sumerian Cibil)- fire-god, partly assimilated with Erra and Nergal, son of Anu and Anunitu.

Geshtu-e (formerly read We-ila)-‘ear’, name of otherwise unknown god who was slain in order that his blood and intelligence might be used as ingredients in man’s creation. Now read Ilawela.

Gilgamesh (Bilgamcsh, Calgamishul, Buluqiya(?), previously read Izdubar)-king of Uruk, son of Lugalbanda and Ninsun in the Epic. Name may mean ‘the old man is a young man’ in Sumerian. Listed with gods in very early texts. Late epithet: ‘king of Earth’.

Girsu– important Sumerian city in the third millennium BC, patron god Ningirsu, identified as modern Tello (which was once wrongly identified as Lagash). Cishzida (sometimes pronounced Gizzida, also called Nin-gishzida)’trusty timber’, Sumerian god paired with Dumuzi, son of Ninazu, consort of Belili, doorkeeper of Anu. Cult centre:

Gishbanda, between Lagash and Ur. Symbol: horned snake.

Gudea– local ruler of Lagash c.2199-218o BC. Author of long inscriptions in Sumerian.

Gushkinbanda-Sumerian name for the patron god of gold-working.

Gutian-barbarous enemies of Mesopotamian cities who invaded and caused much destruction in the late third millennium sc.

Haharnu– a god, functions and meaning of name unknown. Hammurabi-king of Babylon 1848-1806 BC. Author of famous law code.

Hanigalbat-name given to the Hurrian kingdom of Mittani, northwest of Assyria, varying in extent as that kingdom’s empire varied. Chiefly in the upper Habur region in Syria and in the vicinity of modern Diarbekir in Turkey.

Han ish– minor god, servant of the weather-god, paired with Shullat.

Hattusas (modern Bogazkiiy)-Hittite capital city in northern Anarolia where Akkadian, Hittite, and Hurrian fragments of Gilgamesh have been found.

Hayyashum-a god, function and meaning of name (‘Hasty’?) uncertain. Hehe-name of a mythical mountain, birthplace of Anzu.

Hendursanga-‘lofty mace’, epithet of Ishum as herald of Sumer. Heracles- see Nergal.

Horned serpent (Akkadian basmu)- mythical monster created in the sea, 6o leagues long with multiple mouths and tongues. See fig. 2:3. Hermon-see Sirara.

Hubur (Sumerian Jlurugu)-river of the Underworld, and the river ordeal used to settle disputes. Same word means a tributary of the Euphrates in Syria, and ‘hubbub’. Humbaba (also pronounced Huwawa)-guardian of the Pine Forest, fire-breathing servant of the god Wer, depicted with a face lined like coiled intestines, ancestor of the Greek Gorgon. His voice is the ab~lbu-weapon. See fig. 2:5. Hurabtil-an.Elamite god also known as Lahurabtil.

lgigi-Sumerian group term for the great gods of the younger generation, sky-gods headed by Ellil. Often paired with the Anunnaki.

Ilabrat– vizier of Anu.

Illil-sce Ellil.

 Imgur-Ellil– name of the defensive wall of Babylon.

lnninna-see Ishtar.

Irnini (Irnina)-a goddess of war assimilated with Ishtar.

Ishhara-goddess of marriage and childbirth, enforcer of oaths. Cult centre: Kisurra in Babylonia. Symbol: a scorpion.

Ishtar (Sumerian Innin, Inninna, Inanna)-goddess of love and war, patron of Uruk, Nineveh, and Erbil. In Uruk traditions her father is Anu, in others, Sin the moon-god. Sister of Ereshkigal. Her name is also used as a generic term for ‘goddess’, and can have a plural form. Symbols: morning star and evening star; rosette.

Ishtaran (previously read Sataran and Kadi)-patron god of Der.

lshullanu-gardener of the god Anu.

Ishum-a fire-god(?), war leader of the gods, herald and adviser of Erra. Assimilated with Hendursanga. Epithets: ‘wise’, and ‘pious slaughterer’.

Kabti-ilani-Marduk– descendant of Dabibi, author of Erra and Ishum.

Kakka– vizier of Anshar and of Anu.

Kalah (modern Nimrud)-capital city of Assyrian kings in the early first millennium Be. Cult centre of Ninurta.

Kalkal-doorkeeper of Ellil in Nippur.

Kar-usakar-‘quay of the crescent moon’ in Eridu.

Kassites-horsemen from outside Mesopotamia who seized power as resident aliens in the mid-second millennium BC, and ruled from Babylon for almost 500 years. Although they had their own, nonsemitic language, they were fully assimilated to Akkadian culture and appear to have introduced no particular innovations of th<:ir own. kas~/su-weapon-a destructive weapon used by various gods.

Kish– an ancient city, the first to regain kingship after the Flood according to the Sumerian king list. East of Babylon, connected to it by canal. Cult centre of lshtar (temple E-hursag-kalama), and Zababa (temple E-mete-ursag).

Kishar-‘whole earth’, Sumerian god of old generation, paired with Anshar.

Kulla– patron god of bricks.

Kullab–name of a quarter in the city Uruk; also the name of a quarter of Babylon. kurgarn1-a cult person who appears to have been effeminate and to have been some kind of an actor.

Kurnugi– ‘land of no return’, a Sumerian term for the Underworld.

Kush-a herdsman god.

Kutha-cult centre of Nergal, city ncar Babylon. Temple Emeslam. lahmu,

lahamu– ‘the hairy one’, perhaps also ‘muddy’, term for a primeval hero with three pairs of curls, shown naked except for a triple sash. Creature of Ea in the Apsu. Ea’s temple in Eridu contained fifty of them. They controlled the bolt of the sea and the availability of fish. Often shown holding the overflowing vase. See also Enkidu. See fig. 2+

Lamashtu-see Demons. Lebanon-name of a mountain in Gilgamesh.

Lugalbanda-king of Uruk, son of Enmerkar, father of Gilgamesh. Deified hero of several Sumerian stories. Consort of the goddess Ninsun, native of Kulla b.

Lugal-dimmer-ankia-Sumerian title ‘king of the gods of heaven and earth’.

Lugal-Marada-‘king of Marad’, name of the patron god of Marad, temple E-igi-kalama.

Lullubu-a savage tribe which lived in the area of Suleimaniya in north-eastern Iraq.

Malah– ‘Boatman’. See also Sirsir, Puzur-Amurri, and Ur-shanabi.

Mami, Marnrni, Mammitum-names for the great mother goddess Ninhursag, q.v.

Manungal-little-known Sumerian Underworld deity. Spouse of Birdu. Epithet:’The Snatcher’.

Marduk-patron god of Babylon, consort of Zarpanitum. Temple Esagila, ziggurrat E-temen-anki. Epithet: Bel, ‘Lord’. Agricultural god. Symbols: a spade, a mushussu-dragon. Name may mean ‘bullcal£ of the Sun’ and/or ‘son of Duku’. For assimilation with other gods, see seven names and epithets in Epic of Creation, VI, and fifty in VIL

Mashu-a mountain at the edge of the world where the sun rises. Guarded by the scorpion-men. Name means ‘twin’.

Melqart-Phoenician god, equivalent of NergaL Name means ‘King of the City’. Patron god of Tyre.

Muhra-‘Face both ways(?)’, name of the two-faced gatekeeper of the Underworld. See also Ushmu.

Mulliltu (Assyrian Mullissu, Sumerian Ninlil, Greek Mylitta)- goddess, spouse of Ellil, and of Assur as the Assyrian Ellil.

Mummu– vizier of Apsu.

mushussu-‘redlfurious snake’. A dragon or composite monster, symbol of Marduk. See fig. 2:6. (Previously read ?irrus.)

Nabonassar (Nabu-na?ir)- king of Babylon 747-734 Be, under whom a new era was reckoned to have begun.

Nabu-god of writing and wisdom. Temples called Ezida. Main shrine in Borshippa. Spouse Tashmetum. Prominent from the eighth century onwards.

Nammu-Sumerian birth-goddess, mother of Ea, associated with fresh water.

Namtar, Namtara-Sumerian god, ‘decider of fate’, vizier of Ereshkigal, demonic god of the Underworld.

Nash (pronounced form of Nanshe)- daughter of Ea. Cult centre: Sirara near Lagash.

Neberu-‘crossing place’, name of the planet Jupiter.

Nedu, Neti-‘doorkeeper’, name of the doorkeeper of the Underworld.

Nergal (also pronounced Erakal)-‘lord of Erkalla (the Great City)’. Chief god of the Underworld, consort of Ereshkigal (and of Mammitum; see s. v. Ninhursag). Assimilated with Erra and called Herakles in Greek. Patron god of Kutha and Tarbi?u. Temple Emeslam. Partly assimilated with Gilgamesh as judge of the Underworld and with Ninurta.

Nimush (previously read Ni?ir)-mountain on which the ark came to rest when the Flood receded, according to a Nineveh version of Gilgamesh, XL

Nin-agal-‘lord strong-arm’. Name of the patron god of smiths.

Nin-azu-god of Eshnunna. Temple called E-sikil and E-kurmah. Son of Ereshkigal, father of Nin-gishzida. Replaced by Tishpak as patron of Eshnunna.

Nineveh (modern Ki.iyi.injik and Nebi Yunus)– capital of the late Assyrian kings, in the late eighth and early seventh centuries Be. Cult centre of Ish tar.

Nin-girsu-‘lord of Girsu’, patron god of Girsu, son of Ninmah (Ninhursag). Temple Eninnu. God of fertility, vegetation, and war. Symbol: Anzu, the lion-headed eagle. Weapon: Sharur, a personified and deified mace.

Nin-gishzida-‘Lord of the trusty timber’. See Gishzida.

Nin-hursag– ‘mountain lady’, also known as Ninmah ‘supreme lady’, Nintu ‘birth(?)lady’, Mamma, Mammi, Mami, Mammitum, ‘mummy’, Belet-ili ‘mistress of the gods’, Aruru (meaning unknown). Epithets: sassuru, ‘womb-goddess’; tahsiit 111, ‘midwife of the gods’; and qurqurrat 111, ‘smelter of the gods’, ‘mother of the gods’, and ‘mother of all children’. Spouse of Shulpae and then of Nergal. Shrine at Kesh in central Mesopotamia, still not identified.

Nin-ildu-patron god of carpenters.

Nin-sun-‘lady wild cow’, Sumerian goddess, mother of Gilgamesh. Epithets: ‘wise’ and ‘wild cow’ (in Akkadian). The epithet ‘wild cow’ can alternatively be read as part of the personal name, Rimat-Ninsun.

Nin-shubur– female deity in Sumerian, male in Akkadian. Vizier of Anu and of Ishtar. Assimilated with Ilabrat and with Papsukkal.

Nin-tu– a name of Ninhursag, q.v.

Nin-urta (probably pronounced Nimrod and Enurta at times)Sumerian warrior-god, heroic winner of many famous victories, god of agricultural and pastoral fertility. Son of Ellil. Assimilated with Ningirsu. Temple E-padun-tila (previously read E-patu-tila), chief shrine perhaps in Nippur. Leader of the Anunnaki in Arzzu. Epithet: ‘avenger/champion of Ellil’.

Nippur-city in central Mesopotamia. Cult centre of Ellil. Main temple Ekur.

Nissaba-Sumerian goddess of writing, learned knowledge, and of cereal fertility. Patron of Eresh. Daughter of Anu, spouse of Haya.

nissiku (previously misread as a Sumerian phrase nin-igi-hl, translated ‘lord of the bright eye’)-epithet of Ea. Meaning not exactly certain, partly synonymous with ‘wise’. Translated here as ‘far-sighted’.

Nudimmud-name of Ea as a Sumerian creator-god.

Nusku-god of light. Important shrines with the moon-god at Harran and Neirab. Vizier of Anu and of Ellil. Symbol: lamp.

Oannes-Greck form of Uan, a name of Adapa, q. v.

Offerings- flour offering ma~hatu which was roasted and scattered; smoke offering, qutrinnu, which the gods could smell from heaven; incense offering, mussakku; scattered offering, surqimw; presentation offering, taqribtu; displayed offering, taklimu; food offering, nindaba, often of bread; regular offerings, giml; sacrifices, niq!l, often of sheep.

Pabilsag-god of Larak, a city of importance before the Flood.

Pagalguenna-‘great canal of the Guenna (governor of Nippur)’, title of Marduk in Epic of Creation.

Panigara (written Pap-nigin-gara)-a warrior-god assimilated with Ninurta. Epithet: ‘lord of the boundary stone.’

Papsukkal-vizier of the great gods. Temple E-akkil in Kish. Assimilated with Ilabrat and Ninshubur.

Parsay-name of Dur-Kurigalzu, Kassite capital city near Baghdad.

Pasture and Poplar-goddess Ua-ildak.

Plough- Akkadian harab, previously read Hain. Personification of the kind of plough used for opening up virgin soil.

Priests and Priestesses-enu (Sumerian en), high priest, a role sometimes filled in early times by a city ruler; entu, high priestess, sometimes the king’s daughter dedicated to the moon-god at Ur, may have acted for the goddess in sacred marriage ceremony; ugbabtu, egi~ltu, kulmasitu, and qadistu, cloistered females under cultic regulations that prohibited normal marriage and childbirth; paslsu; anointed priest, isippu and lumahhu, kinds of purification priests; gudapsa, lagaru, names for priestly personnel whose roles are uncertain; sakkarzakku city governor with priestly functions.

Puzur-Amurri-‘secret of the West( ern god)’, name of Ut-napishtim’ s boatman at the Flood in Gilgamesh.

Qingu (previously read Kingu)- name of Tiamat’s chosen battle leader. 1-lolder of the Tablet of Destinies. Meaning of name unknown.

River-Sumerian goddess Ida.

Sargon li- king of Assyria, 72-r-705 BC. Wrote a long description of his eighth campaign in the form of a letter to the gods.

Scorpion-man and -woman-composite creatures sometimes helpful to man, used as apotropaic figurines. Guardians of mountain Mashu. See fig. 2 I

Sea-see Ayabba and Tiamat.

Sebitti– ‘The Seven’, group of seven warrior-gods who march with Erra into battle. The Pleiades. Demonic and evil in some traditions, good and helpful in others. Offspring of Anu and Earth.

Sennacherib– king of Assyria 704- 681 BC. Sacked 13abylon, 689 BC. Established Nineveh as capital city with royal palace library.

Seven Sages-according to cuneiform traditions, known only from indirect references and from Berossus, Ea sent seven divine sages, apka/lu, in the form of puradu-fish (carp?) from the Apsu to teach the arts (Sumerian me) of civilization to mankind before the Flood. They were: Adapa (U-an, called Oannes by Berossus), U-an-duga, En-me-duga, En-me-galama, En-me-buluga, An-[nlilda, and Utuabzu. Each is also known by other names or epithets, and is paired with an antediluvian king, hence their collective name ‘counsellors’, muntalhl. In this capacity they were credited with building walled cities. Responsible for technical skills, they were also known as ‘craftsmen’, ummiiinu, a word which puns with Adapa’s name U-an. They were banished back to the Apsu forever after angering Ea. After the Flood, certain great men of letters and exorcists were accorded sage-status, although only as mortals. Deities other than Ea-Tshtar, Nabu, and Marduk-claimed to control the sages. In iconography sages are shown either as fish-men, or with bird attributes appropriate to Underworld creatures.

Shakkan (also called Sumuqan and Amakandu)-god of cattle and of herdsmen, often paired with Ashnan the grain-god. Also pronounced Shahhan.

Shamash (Sumerian Utu)-sun-god. Patron god of Sippar and Larsa, temples called E-babbar. Spouse Aya/Anunitum; god of justice, omens, and extispicy. Title ‘my sun’ means ‘his majesty’, conferred on mortal kings and on gods who were the head of a particular pantheon.

Shamhat (also pronounced Shamkat)-‘harlot, voluptuous one’, name of the prostitute sent to Enkidu. Probably belonged to the cult personnel of lshtar’s temple in Uruk.

Shara-Sumerian city god of Umma, modern Tell Djoha, north-east of Uruk. Son of Ishtar. Epithet: ‘hero of Anu’.

Sharur-personified weapon of Ninurta/Ningi rsu, a lesser god, probably represented as a mace.

Shuanna– name for Babylon, originally the quarter of Babylon in which the main temples were situated.

Shullat– a little-known god paired with Hanish. Servant of the sun-god.

Shulpae-major Sumerian god with very wide range of attributes, including fertility and demonic powers. Consort of Ninhursag. Identified with planet Jupiter.

Shuruppak-city of Ut-napishtim in central southern Mesopotamia. Identified with modern Tell Fara.

Shushinak– patron god of Susa in western Elam.

Siduri-name of alewife, meaning of name unknown. Goddess of brewing and of wisdom. Word ‘alewife’, sab!tum, may also mean ‘woman from the land of Sabum’.

Sililu-mother of the horse; not otherwise known.

Sin (also spelt Su’en; Sumerian Nanna, west semitic Erah)-moongod of Ur, Harran, and Neirab. Consort of Nikkal (Sumerian Ningal). Symbol: crescent disk. Lord of oaths. Associated with skin diseases.

Sippar-city of Shamash and Aya/Anunitum, on the Euphrates, upstream from Babylon. Epithet: ‘the eternal city’.

Sirara (also called Saria)-name of Mount Hermon in the Lebanon.

Sirsir-boatman-god, patron of sailors.

Subartu-probably a general term for the countries north of Assyria.

Sultantepe (ancient Huzirina)-site near Harran in which archaeologists found school texts including exercise tablets of literary compositions. They probably all stem from versions in the libraries of Assyria of the eighth and seventh centuries.

Sur-sunabu- see Ur-shanabi.

Susa-western capital of the Elamite kingdom, in the Zagros mountains. Patron god: Shushinak.

Suteans-west semitic nomads of the late second and early first millennia, mainly attested on the middle Euphrates, but threatened Der, east of the Tigris, in the eleventh century Be. Traditional enemies of settled Akkadians.

Tablet of Destinies (previously translated ‘Tablets of Destiny’)- the cuneiform clay tablet on which fates were written. It gave supreme power to its possessor. Antecedent of the Book of Fate in the Book of Jubilees, and of the pre-Islamic and Islamic Lawh al-mahfuz, ‘Preserved Tablet’, on which the decrees of Allah were written (See Encyclopaedia of Islam), s.v. LAWH). Accompanied by the Seal of Destinies (George 1986).

Tarbi~u-ancient town just north of Nineveh. Cult centre of Nergal.

Tell Haddad-site on the Diyala river, east of Tigris, ancient Me-Turan.

Tell Harmal-site near Baghdad, ancient Shaduppum.

Tiamat (also pronounced Tiwawat and Tamtu, probably pronounced Tethys in Ionian Greek; also known as Ayabba chiefly in west Semitic)-‘Sea’, salt water personified as a primeval goddess. Mother of the first generation of gods in the Epic of Creation. Spouse of Apsu. Epitomizes chaos.

Tigris-river of eastern Mesopotamia, ancient Idiglat.

Tirannu-name of Uruk. means ‘rainbow’, used in Seleucid times. Tiruru-largely unknown deity, about whom a myth must have existed in extreme antiquity.

Tishpak-patron god of Eshnunna. Nature uncertain. Probably assimilated with Ninazu.

Tutu-name of a Sumerian creator-god.

Ua-ildak-previously read Ga’um; goddess of pasture and poplar.

Ubara-Tutu-father of Ut-napishtim, king of Shuruppak, who ruled for l8,6oo years according to the Sumerian king list.

Ubshu-ukkina, Ubshu-ukkinakku-Sumerian name for the divine assembly hall which had its earthly counterpart in various chief temples. Contained the holy mountain Duku, q. v.

Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra)-Bronze Age city in Syria where many Akkadian cuneiform tablets were unearthed, as well as tablets written in alphabetic cuneiform for the Canaanite language now known as Ugaritic.

Ukur-a demonic Underworld god, vizier of NergaL perhaps also assimilated with Nergal.

Ulaya– river Karkheh in western Iran. Underworld-known as ‘The Earth’, er~etum; ‘The Stronghold(!)’, Dannina; Arali, q.v.; Kutha (city where Nergal was patron god); Meslam (Nergal’s temple in Kutha); ‘The Lower Regions’, sapliitu; ‘The Great Place’, kigallu, gingal; ‘The Land of No Return’, Kurnugi; and ‘The Great City’, Erkalla. Great gate called Ganzir, palace Egalgina. Ruled by Ereshkigal and by Nergal. Recorder: Belet-seri. judges: the Anunnaki gods, and Gilgamesh. The Greek Hades may be derived from Akkadian adesu, ‘oaths, consequences of perjury’. Ur-city port on the Euphrates near the Arabian Gulf. Patron god: Sin. Temple E-kishnugal, holy seat of the royal entu-priestess.

Ur-shanabi (Sumerian Sur-sunabu)-boatman of Ut-napishtim after he became immortal and lived at the ‘Mouth of the Rivers’.

Uruk (modern Warka)-city in lower Mesopotamia. Kings included Enmerkar, Lugalbanda, and Gilgamesh. Patron deities Anu and Ishtar. Main temple Eanna. Epithet: sheepfold (also means cattlepen) of Eanna. Also known as Tiranna, ‘Rainbow City’ in the Seleucid period.

Ushmu, Usmu, Isimud-Sumerian god, two-faced vizier of Apsu. Perhaps known in Akkadian as Muhra, q. v.

Ut-napishtim-also known as Uta-na’ishtim and Ut-napushte, meaning perhaps ‘he found life’ and/or ‘day of life’, Hebrew Noah, Sumerian Ziusudra, and Xisuthros in Berossus’ Greek rendering. Epithet/name: atrahasis, ‘extra wise’, and ‘far-distant’. Precursor of the Islamic sage AI-Khidr/ AI-Khadir.

Weapons of gods– see ab£ibu, ‘flood-weapon’, kasiisu, Sharur, Winds, and asquliilu; also net of Shamash in Etana.

Wcr (also known as Mer, Ber, and Ilwer)-a storm-god, Humbaba’s patron god, identified with Amurru and with Adad. One of his cult centres was at Afis, 45 km. south-west of Aleppo.

Winds-four winds of the compass points: South Wind, sutu, capricious and female, also known as ‘Ea’ s breath’; North Wind, is tan u, pleasant and moderate; East Wind, sadu, literally ‘mountain wind’; West Wind, amurru. Seven evil winds, variously referred to as ‘Evil Wind’, imh,tllu; ‘Tempest’, mehii; ‘Whirlwind’, asmnsatu; ‘Tornado’, imsuhhu; and saparziqqu-wind. Zababa (also known as Zamama)-warrior-god, patron of Kish, temple E-meteursag. Zarpanitum (previously read ?arpanitum)-goddess of pregnancy. Spouse of Marduk in Babylon. Also called Erua. Ziggurrat-temple tower, either stepped in tiers or spiral, symbolizing mountain peak on which gods dwelt. Topped by a small shrine.