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Myths of Babylonia and Assyria

Page: 161

The planets presided over various months of the year. Sin (the moon) was associated with the third month; it also controlled the calendar; Ninip (Saturn) was associated with the fourth month, Ishtar (Venus) with the sixth, Shamash (the sun) with the seventh, Merodach (Jupiter) with the eighth, Nergal (Mars) with the ninth, and a messenger of the gods, probably Nebo (Mercury), with the tenth.

Each month was also controlled by a zodiacal constellation. In the Creation myth of Babylon it is stated that when Merodach engaged in the work of setting the Universe in order he "set all the great gods in their

The names borne at the present day by the signs of the Zodiac are easily remembered even by children, who are encouraged to repeat the following familiar lines:

The Ram, the Bull, the heavenly Twins,
And next the Crab, the Lion shines.

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