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Myths of Babylonia and Assyria

Page: 185

Ashur had a spouse who is referred to as Ashuritu, or Beltu, "the lady". Her name, however, is not given, but it is possible that she was identified with the Ishtar of Nineveh. In the historical texts Ashur, as the royal god, stands alone. Like the Hittite Great Father, he was perhaps regarded as the origin of life. Indeed, it may have been due to the influence of the northern hillmen in the early Assyrian period, that Ashur was developed as a father god--a Baal. When the Hittite inscriptions are read, more light may be thrown on the Ashur problem. Another possible source of cultural influence is Persia. The supreme god Ahura-Mazda (Ormuzd) was, as has been indicated, represented, like Ashur, hovering over the king's head, enclosed in a winged disk or wheel, and the sacred tree figured in Persian mythology. The early Assyrian kings had non-Semitic and non-Sumerian names. It seems reasonable to assume that the religious culture of the ethnic elements they represented must have contributed to the development of the city god of Asshur.


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