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Myths of Babylonia and Assyria

Page: 218

Queen Sammu-rammat the original of Semiramis--"Mother-right" among "Mother Worshippers"--Sammu-rammat compared to Queen Tiy--Popularity of Goddess Cults--Temple Worship and Domestic Worship--Babylonian Cultural Influence in Assyria--Ethical Tendency in Shamash Worship--The Nebo Religious Revolt--Aton Revolt in Egypt--The Royal Assyrian Library--Fish Goddess of Babylonia in Assyria--The Semiramis and Shakuntala Stories--The Mock King and Queen--Dove Goddesses of Assyria, Phoenicia, and Cyprus--Ishtar's Dove Form--St. Valentine's Day beliefs--Sacred Doves of Cretans, Hittites, and Egyptians--Pigeon Lore in Great Britain and Ireland--Deities associated with various Animals--The Totemic Theory--Common Element in Ancient Goddess Cults--Influence of Agricultural Beliefs--Nebo a form of Ea--His Spouse Tashmit a Love Goddess and Interceder--Traditions of Famous Mother Deities--Adad-nirari IV the "Saviour" of Israel--Expansion of the Urartian Empire--Its Famous Kings--Decline and Fall of Assyria's Middle Empire Dynasty.

One of the most interesting figures in Mesopotamian history came into prominence during the Assyrian Middle Empire period. This was the famous Sammu-rammat, the Babylonian wife of an Assyrian ruler. Like Sargon of Akkad, Alexander the Great, and Dietrich von Bern, she made, by reason of her achievements and influence, a deep impression on the popular imagination, and as these monarchs became identified in tradition with gods of war and fertility, she had attached to her memory the myths associated with the mother goddess of love and battle who presided over the destinies of mankind. In her character as the legendary Semiramis of Greek literature, the Assyrian queen was reputed to have been the daughter of Derceto, the dove and fish goddess of Askalon, and to have departed from earth in bird form.


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