Myths of Babylonia and Assyria
Page: 50 To this middle class belong the evil gods who rebelled against the beneficent deities. According to Hebridean folk belief, the fallen angels are divided into three classes--the fairies, the "nimble men" (aurora borealis), and the "blue men of the Minch". In Beowulf the "brood of Cain" includes "monsters and elves and sea-devils--giants also, who long time fought with God, for which he gave them their reward". Similarly the Babylonian spirit groups are liable to division and subdivision. The various classes may be regarded as relics of the various stages of development from crude animism to sublime monotheism: in the fragmentary legends we trace the floating material from which great mythologies have been framed.
Forms of Tammuz--The Weeping Ceremony--Tammuz the Patriarch and the Dying God--Common Origin of Tammuz and other Deities from an Archaic God--The Mediterranean Racial Myth--Animal Forms of Gods of Fertility--Two Legends of the Death of Tammuz--Attis, Adonis, and Diarmid Slain by a Boar--Laments for Tammuz--His Soul in Underworld and the Deep--Myth of the Child God of Ocean--Sargon Myth Version--The Germanic Scyld of the Sheaf--Tammuz Links with Frey, Heimdal, Agni, &c.--Assyrian Legend of "Descent of Ishtar"--Sumerian Version--The Sister Belit-sheri and the Mother Ishtar--The Egyptian Isis and Nepthys--Goddesses as Mothers, Sisters, and Wives--Great Mothers of Babylonia--Immortal Goddesses and Dying Gods--The Various Indras--Celtic Goddess with Seven Periods of Youth--Lovers of Germanic and Classic Goddesses--The Lovers of Ishtar--Racial Significance of Goddess Cult--The Great Fathers and their Worshippers--Process of Racial and Religious Fusion--Ishtar and Tiamat--Mother Worship in Palestine--Women among Goddess Worshippers.
Among the gods of Babylonia none achieved wider and more enduring fame than Tammuz, who was loved by Ishtar, the amorous Queen of Heaven--the beautiful youth who died and was mourned for and came to life again. He does not figure by his popular name in any of the city pantheons, but from the earliest times of which we have knowledge until the passing of Babylonian civilization, he played a prominent part in the religious life of the people.