How to use Shamash in a sentence
Together with Sin and Ishtar, Shamash forms a second triad by the side of Anu, Bel and Ea.
The chief god of the Palmyrenes was a solar deity, called Samas or Shamash (" sun "), or Bel, or Malak-bel,' whose great temple is still the most imposing feature among the ruins of Palmyra.
The sun-god Shamash calls upon Eabani to remain with Gilgamesh, who pays him all honours in his palace at Erech.
In the 3rd tablet, very imperfectly preserved, Gilgamesh appeals through a Shamash priestess Rimat-Belit to the sun-god Shamash for his aid in the proposed undertaking.
It is significant in this connexion that there were two cities named Sippar, one under the protection of Shamash, the sun-god, and one under this Anunit, a fact which points strongly tothe probable proximity of Sippar and Agade.Advertisement
Modified though never essentially changed, (1) by contact with the star-worship of the Chaldaeans, who identified Mithras with Shamash, god of the sun,(2) by the indigenous Armenian religion and other local Asiatic faiths and (3) by the Greeks of Asia Minor, who identified Mithras with Helios, and contributed to the success of his cult by equipping it for the first time with artistic representations (the famous Mithras relief originated in the Pergamene school towards the 2nd century B.C.), Mithraism was first transmitted to the Roman world during the 1st century B.C. by the Cilician pirates captured by Pompey.
The importance of Kutha as a religious and at one time also as a political centre led to his surviving the tendency to concentrate the various sun-cults of Babylonia in Shamash.
Khammurabi and the sun-god Shamash, on the former's famous code of laws, have the same features and almost the same frizzled beard, and, according to Meyer, the king in claiming supremacy over Sumer and Akkad wears the costume of the lands.
The process of assimilation did not proceed so far in Babylonia and Assyria, but Shamash and Adad became in combination the gods of oracles and of divination in general.
Whether the will of the gods is determined through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal, through observing the action of oil bubbles in a basin of water or through the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, it is Shamash and Adad who, in the ritual connected with divination, are invariably invoked.Advertisement
Similarly in the annals and votive inscriptions of the kings, when oracles are referred to, Shamash and Adad are always named as the gods addressed, and their ordinary designation in such instances is bele biri, " lords of divination."
In the systematized pantheon, Ninib survives the tendency towards centralizing all sun cults in Shamash by being made the symbol of a certain phase of the sun.
Indeed, the other gods, Sin, Shamash (Samas), Adad, Ninib and Nergal, and even Ea, take on the warlike traits of Assur in the epithets and descriptions given of them in the annals and votive inscriptions of Assyrian rulers to such an extent as to make them appear like little Assurs by the side of the great one.
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 all events, when one considers the Babylonian-Assyrian conceptions of Shamash as the supreme and righteous judge, god of truth and justice, or the monotheism of Amenophis IV.Advertisement
Associated with Marduk was his consort Sarpanit, and grouped around the pair as princes around a throne were the chief deities of the older centres, like Ea and Damkina of Eridu, Nebo and Tashmit of Borsippa, Nergal and Allatu of Kutha, Shamash and A of Sippar, Sin and Ningal of Ur, as well as pairs like Ramman (or Adad) and Shala whose central seat is unknown to us.
The older incantations, associated with Ea, were re-edited so as to give to Marduk the supreme power over demons, witches and sorcerers; the hymns and lamentations composed for the cult of Bel, Shamash and of Adad were transformed into paeans and appeals to Marduk, while the ancient myths arising in the various religious and political centres underwent a similar process of adaptation to changed conditions, and as a consequence their original meaning was obscured by the endeavour to assign all mighty deeds and acts, originally symbolical of the change of seasons or of occurrences in nature, to the patron deity of Babylon - the supreme head of the entire Babylonian pantheon.
By the side of the first triad, consisting of Anu, Bel and Ea - disconnected in this form entirely from all local associations - we encounter a second triad composed of Shamash, Sin and Ishtar.
The personification of the two great luminaries - the sun and the moon - was the first step in the unfolding of this system, and this was followed by placing the other deities where Shamash and Sin had their seats.
Shamash the sun-god was invested with justice as his chief trait, Marduk is portrayed as full of mercy and kindness, Ea is the protector of mankind who is grieved when, through a deception practised upon Adapa, humanity is deprived of immortality.Advertisement
Larsa is mentioned in Babylonian inscriptions as early as the time of Ur-Gur, 2700 or 2800 B.C., who built or restored the ziggurat (stage-tower) of E-Babbar, the temple or Shamash.
This represents the ancient ziggurat of the temple of Shamash, which was in part explored by Loftus.
From the inscriptions found there it appears that, besides the kings already mentioned, Khammurabi, Burna-buriash (buryas) and the great Nebuchadrezzar restored or rebuilt the temple of Shamash.
Not only does a sky-god like Varuna, or a sun-god like the Babylonian Shamash, survey all human things, and take cognizance of the evil-doer, but the daily course of the world is itself the expression of an intellectual and moral power.
Besides absorbing the prerogatives of Ea and Bel, Marduk was also imbued with the attributes of other of the great gods, such as Adad, Shamash, Nergal and Ninib, so that, more particularly as we approach the days of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the impression is created that Marduk was the only real deity recognized, and that the other gods were merely the various forms under which he manifested himself.Advertisement
Both in early and in late inscriptions Shamash is designated as the "offspring of Nannar," i.e.
Of the two temples, that at Sippara was the more famous, but temples to Shamash were erected in all large centres - as Babylon, Ur, Nippur and Nineveh.
The attribute most commonly associated with Shamash is justice.
Just as the sun disperses darkness, so Shamash brings wrong and injustice to light.
Khammurabi attributes to Shamash the inspiration that led him to gather the existing laws and legal procedures into a code, and in the design accompanying the code the king represents himself in an attitude of adoration before Shamash as the embodiment of the idea of justice.Advertisement
Several centuries before Khammurabi, Ur-Engur of the Ur dynasty (c. 2600 B.e.) declared that he rendered decisions "according to the just laws of Shamash."
The sick man, therefore, appeals to Shamash as the god who can be depended upon to help those who are suffering unjustly.
It is evident from the material at our disposal that the Shamash cults at Sippara and Larsa so overshadowed local sun-deities elsewhere as to lead to an absorption of the minor deities by the predominating one.
Such are Bunene, spoken of as his chariot driver, whose consort is Atgimakh, Kettu ("justice") and Mesharu ("right"), who are ±ntroduced as servitors of Shamash.
Other sun-deities, as Ninib and Nergal, the patron deities of important centres, retained their independent existence as certain phases of the sun, Ninib becoming the sun-god of the morning and of the spring time, and Nergal the sun-god of the noon and of the summer solstice, while Shamash was viewed as the sun-god in general.Advertisement
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.
She, however, is rarely mentioned in the inscriptions except in combination with Shamash.
The movements of the sun, moon and five planets were regarded as representing the activity of the five gods in question, together with the moon-god Sin and the sun-god Shamash, in preparing the occurrences on earth.
A cylinder seal from the Akkadian Period shows the Mesopotamian sun-God Shamash as dispenser of divine justice.Advertisement
Nibiru, for his part, appears to be very similar to the Sumerian god Utu (alias the Akkadian god Shamash ).
The tendency to centralize the powers of the universe leads to the establishment of the doctrine of a triad consisting of Sin, Shamash and Ishtar, personifying the moon, sun and the earth as the lifeforce.
His association with the sun-god, Shamash, due to the natural combination of the two deities who alternate in the control of nature, leads to imbuing him with some of the traits belonging to a solar deity.
In this process of accommodating ancient prerogatives to new conditions, it was inevitable that attributes belonging specifically to the one or the other of these gods should have been transferred to Marduk, who thus from being, originally, a solar deity becomes an eclectic power, taking on the traits of Bel, Ea, Shamash, Nergal, Adad and even Sin (the moon-god)- a kind of composite residuum of all the chief gods.
Nibiru, for his part, appears to be very similar to the Sumerian god Utu (alias the Akkadian god Shamash).Advertisement
Thus he is called - in the cuneiform letters - their Shamash or their Addu.