Ishtar

The wife of Anu and mother of Enlil, she was the Babylonian goddess of war and love, which equates her with Minerva and Venus, and also with the Persian Astarte, who was probably a late form of Inanna, or else the two were Akkadian and Sumerian variations of the same goddess. But as you will see by clicking any of those above links, each of those is also equated with another goddess of the common cultural source, so that Diana and Aphrodite and Athena (notice Athena's owls among the symbols in the illustration of Ishtar as Delilah or Lilith, the Queen of the Night and the Underworld),  and Io/Yah and Asherah and many more goddesses all turn out to be variations of the same idealisation of the female principle in the cosmos, on Earth and beyond. Links too to Ashtoreth, and thence to Eshet (Isis) and Anat. In the Purim story she becomes Ester (Esther), while her husband Marduk becomes Mordechai.

These are the variations of Ishtar herself; within her story there are just as many variations: was she the daughter of An or Anu, or his wife, or sister, or the daughter of Nanna, or even of Enlil? Was Utu or Dumuzi or Tammuz or the one called 
Amaushumgalana her husband, or brother, or merely her lover? Utu, Dumuzi and Tammuz turn out to be dialect variations of the same god, and Amaushumgalana turns out to be a mere epithet, for Utu et al, and describes those vast clusters of dates that fill the summit of the palm tree; and Ishtar turns out to be a variant of Tamar, the goddess of that palm tree. So, in all these myths, do the male and female parts meld, merge and synchronise, and even if the earliest societies had their own version, all were so similar that eventually they too melded, merged and synchronised, equated to the point that none could be told apart. So, to read the rest of Ishtar's story, simply click the links above to Inanna or Astarte or Anat or Isis; or here for the British Museum's account of the earliest Mesopotamian version of Ishtar, and which you should read in parallel with my commentary on Genesis 1.




Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
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The Argaman Press

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