It is evident that it was originally a goddess who was supposed to be in control of Irkalla, corresponding to Ishtar in control of fertility and vegetation on earth.
The kadishtu of the temples of the Babylonian Ishtar) were foreign Canaanite elements which became imported into Hebrew worship during the period of the Hebrew settlement in Canaan.
Abijah) to Ishtar-wasur, in which the following remarkable phrases are read: " May the Lord of the gods protect thy life.
Just as we have in Assyria an Ishtar of Arbela and an Ishtar of Nineveh (treated in Assur-bani-pal's (Rassam) cylinder 2 like two distinct deities), as we have local Madonnas in Roman Catholic countries, so must it have been with the cults of Yahweh in the regal period carried on in the numerous high places, Bethel, Shechem, Shiloh (till its destruction in the days of Eli) and Jerusalem.
See " Descent of Ishtar to Hades," Rev. lines 6-10, where universal non-intercourse of sexes follows Ishtar's departure from earth to Hades.
With this also compare the Babylonian Descent of Ishtar to Hades.
If this be correct, then the goddess Nand (or Ishtar) of Erech was presumably regarded as his consort.
Of the names of the planets Estera (Ishtar Venus, also called Ruha d'Qudsha, "holy spirit"), Enba (Nebo, Mercury), Sin (moon), Kewan (Saturn), Bil (Jupiter), and Nirig (Nirgal, Mars) reveal their Babylonian origin; Il or Il Il, the sun, is also known as Kadush and Adunay (the Adonai of the Old Testament); as lord of the planetary spirits his place is in the midst of them; they are the source of all temptation and evil amongst men.
At the consecration of a church the sacrifice of a dove (the bird of Ishtar) has place among the ceremonies.
The goddess Irnina (a form of Ishtar, q.v.) in revenge kills Eabani, and the balance of the epic is taken up with Gilgamesh's lament for his friend, his wanderings in quest of a remote ancestor, Ut-Napishtim, from whom he hopes to learn how he may escape the fate of Eabani, and his finally learning from his friend of the sad fate in store for all mortals except the favourites of the god, like Ut-Napishtim, to whom immortal life is vouchsafed as a special boon.
With the decision of the two friends to proceed to the forest of cedars in which the goddess Irnina - a form of Ishtar - dwells, and which is guarded by Khumbaba, the 2nd tablet ends.
While recognized by a temple of her own in Nippur and honoured by rulers at various times by having votive offerings made in her honour and fortresses dedicated in her name, she, as all other goddesses in Babylonia and Assyria with the single exception of Ishtar, is overshadowed by her male consort.
The title Belit was naturally transferred to the great mother-goddess Ishtar after the decline of the cult at Nippur, and we also find the consort of Marduk, known as Sarpanit, designated as Belit, for the sufficient reason that Marduk, after the rise of the city of Babylon as the seat of his cult, becomes the Bel or "lord" of later days.
The old Babylonian hero Gilgamesh and the Egyptian Bes (perhaps of foreign extraction) are nude, and so in general are the figurines of the Ishtar-Astarte type.
One of his successors was Ur-Gur, a great builder, who built or restored the temples of the Moon-god at Ur, of the Sun-god at Larsa, of Ishtar at Erech and of Bel at Nippur.
The first gate, that of Anu, was successfully reached; but in ascending still farther to the gate of Ishtar the strength of the eagle gave way, and Etanna was dashed to the ground.
The second story is that of Ea-bani, 8 who was formed by the goddess Arusu (= the mother-goddess Ishtar) of a lump of clay (cp. Gen.
The zodiacal Virgo is held to represent the Assyrian Venus, Ishtar, the ruling divinity of the sixth month, and Sagittarius the archer-god Nergal, to whom the ninth month was dedicated.
In the sixth month, the descent of Ishtar to Hades in search vireo.
10 The wooing of Ishtar by the hero of the epic falls under Virgo, and his encounter with two scorpion men, guardians of the rising and the setting sun, under Scorpio.
Neither would it be correct to identify her entirely with the great goddess Ishtar of the old Babylonian religion.
The name Nina, was borne also by the goddess Ishtar, whose worship was the special cult of Nineveh, and Ninua may well be a hypocoristicon of Nina,.
The mention of Gudea's building a temple for Ishtar in Nina (2800 B.C.) may refer to the Lagash city and an inscription of Dungi, king of Ur (2700 B.C.), said to have been found at Nineveh, might have been carried there by some antiquary king.
We reach firm ground with the statement of Khammurabi (2285 B.C.) that he" made the waters of Ishtar to be glorious in Nineveh in E-MES-MES," the temple of Ishtar there (Code IV.
P. 131), c. 1300 B.C., records his restoration of the temple of Ishtar of Nineveh, which had been built by SamsiHadad (Shamshi-Adad) and restored once before by Assuruballit.
Dushratta, king of Mitanni, about 1400 B.C., in the Tell el-Amarna letters offers to send to the king of Egypt an image of Ishtar of Nineveh; from which it has been inferred that Nineveh was then under foreign rule.
Restored a temple of Ishtar, probably in Nineveh.
Assur-narsin-apli (885 B.C.) restored the temple E-MAS-MAS of Ishtar at Nineveh, but removed his residence to Calah.
The mistress of Gebal was no doubt `Ashtart (Astarte in Greek, `Ashtoreth in the Old Testament, pronounced with the vowels of bosheth, " shame "), a name which is obviously connected with the Babylonian Ishtar, and, as used in Phoenician, is practically the equivalent of " goddess."
Besides the temple of Assur there was another great temple dedicated to Anu and Hadad, as well as the smaller sanctuaries of Bel, Ishtar, Merodach and other deities.
These five planets were identified with the great gods of the pantheon as follows: - Jupiter with Marduk, Venus with the goddess Ishtar, Saturn with Ninib, Mercury with Nebo, and Mars with Nergal.
Together with Sin and Ishtar, Shamash forms a second triad by the side of Anu, Bel and Ea.
The three powers, Sin, Shamash and Ishtar (q.v.), symbolized the three great forces of nature, the sun, the moon and the life-giving force of the earth.
At times, instead of Ishtar, we find Adad, the storm-god, associated with Sin and Shamash, and it may be that these two sets of triads represent the doctrines of two different schools of theological thought in Babylonia which were subsequently harmonized by the recognition of a group consisting of all four deities.
They have also laid bare the site of the "Gate of Ishtar" on the east side of the mound and the little temple of Nin-Makh (Beltis) beyond it, as well as the raised road for solemn processions (A-ibur-sabu) which led from the Gate of Ishtar to E-Saggila and skirted the east side of the palace.
There were three courts, the outer or great court, the middle court of Ishtar and Zamama, and the inner court on the east side of which was the tower of seven stages (known as the House of the Foundation of Heaven and Earth), 90 metres high according to Hommel's calculation of the measurements in the tablet; while on the west side was the temple proper of Merodach and his wife Sarpanit or Zarpanit, as well as chapels of Anu, Ea and Bel on either side of it.
Esther is a modification of Ishtar, the name of the Babylonian goddess of fertility and of the planet Venus, whose myth must have been partially known to the Israelites even in pre-exilic times,' and after the fall of the state must have acquired a still stronger hold on Jewish exiles.
Add to this, that, according to Jensen, Ishtar in mythology was the cousin of Marduk, just as the legend represents Esther as the cousin of Mordecai.4 The same scholar also accounts for Esther's other name Hadassah (Esth.
(I) The Babylonian festival corresponding to Purim was not the spring festival of Zagmuk, but the summer festival of Ishtar, which is probably the Sacaea of Berossus, an orgiastic festival analogous to Purim.
The punning etymology betrays the evident desire of the priests ° to see in Marduk's consort a form or manifestation of the great mother-goddess Ishtar, just as in Assyria Ishtar frequently appears as the consort of the chief god of Assyria, known as Assur (q.v.).
Among the Semitic peoples (with the notable exception of the Hebrews) a supreme female deity was worshipped under different names - the Assyrian Ishtar, the Phoenician Ashtoreth (Astarte), the Syrian Atargatis (Derketo), the Babylonian Belit (Mylitta), the Arabian Ilat (Al-ilat).