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.
Besides the chief temple, the capital contained temples and chapels to Anu, Adad, Ishtar, Marduk, Gula, Sin, Shamash, so that we are to assume the existence of a sacred precinct in Assur precisely as in the religious centres of the south.
At Nineveh, which remained the capital till the fall of the Assyrian empire in 606 B.C., Assur had as his rival Ishtar, who was the real patron deity of the place, but a reconciliation was brought about by making Ishtar the consort of the chief god.
The combination was, however, of an artificial character, and the consciousness that Ishtar was in reality an independent goddess never entirely died out.
The title " lord of heaven " - whether the Sun or Addu, there was a Nebo, Nergal, &c.); there were the closely-related goddesses Ashira and Ishtar-Astarte (the Old Testament Asherah and Ashtoreth).
For an excellent example of Oriental religious thought, the fine Babylonian hymn to Ishtar (i.e.
There were, however, two deities who appear to have retained an independent existence - Anu, the god of heaven, and Ishtar, the great mother-goddess, who symbolized fertility and vitality in general.
There are some reasons for believing that the oldest seat, and possibly the original seat, of the Anu cult was in Erech, as it is there where the Ishtar cult that subsequently spread throughout Babylonia and Assyria took its rise.
According as the one or the other aspect of such a power is brought into the foreground, Ishtar becomes the mother of mankind, the fertile earth, the goddess of sexual love, and the creative force among animals, while at times she appears in hymns and myths as the general personification of nature.
This process, which reached its culmination in the post-Khammurabic period, led to identifying the planet Jupiter with Marduk, Venus with Ishtar, Mars with Nergal, Mercury with Nebo, and Saturn with Ninib.
In these series we can trace the attempt to gather the incantation formulae and prayers produced in different centres, and to make them conform to the tendency to centralize the cult in the worship of Marduk and his consort in the south, and of Assur and Ishtar in the north.
The goddess of springs and streams (of the Oxus in particular) and of all fertilityA rdvisura Anahsla, Ana-ilis is endowed with the form of the Babylonian Ishtar and Belit.
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).
Thus, Ishtar descends to the kingdom of Ilat the queen of the dead, to find the means of restoring her favourite Tammuz (Adon, Adonis) to life.
Like Ishtar, Aphrodite was connected with the lower world.
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.).
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.
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.