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By Gwendolyn Leick

The Dictionary of historical close to japanese Mythology covers assets from Mesopotamia, Syro-Palestine and Anatolia, from round 2800 to three hundred BC. It comprises entries on gods and goddesses, giving proof in their worship in temples, describing their 'character', as documented by means of the texts, and defining their roles in the physique of mythological narratives; synoptic entries on myths, giving where of beginning of major texts and a short background in their transmission during the a long time; and entries explaining using professional terminology, for things like different types of Sumerian texts or varieties of mythological figures.

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They can be distinguished from one another by their epithets which refer to individual cities or mountains, the traditional dwellings of weather-gods. Baal-Zephon, for instance, lived on the Jebel el-Aqra in Syria. He had temples in Ugarit and was worshipped in XlXth dynasty Egypt. Baal-Karmelos was the god of Mount Karmel in Palestine and is mentioned in the Old Testament (1 Kings 18, 19–40). When the Phoenicians colonized the Mediterranean, they brought their Baal-cult with them—most notably Baal-Hammon, who was a major deity in North Africa (cf.

Ea’s functions in the Babylonian and Assyrian tradition are therefore essentially the same as Enki’s. maš ilani, ‘incantation specialist of the gods’), the protector of craftsmen and artisans. He remained amongst the ‘great gods’ of Mesopotamia until the end of cuneiform sources, as official inscriptions, legal documents, religious texts and personal names testify. In the Akkadian myths, Ea is the god who is appealed to in difficult situations because of his cunning and wisdom (as in Atra-hasis (Floodmyths, the Gilgameš Epic, 11; Nergal and Ereškigal).

Like her he was a healing deity. In a number of liturgical texts Damu is the subject of laments similar to those of Dumuzi. In these laments he is mourned by his mother and his sister (the physician Gunuru), as ‘the child who disappeared in the marshes or the river’. Jacobsen saw in Damu ‘the god of the sap that rises in trees and vegetation’. 15; Jacobsen 1975, 67, 85–6; Kramer 1982, 141–6; Alster, in Hecker, Sommerfeld 1986, 19–29 Demons (see figures 11, 12 and 13) are probably older than the gods, and many totemistic societies acknowledge the existence of non-human beings (‘spirits’) endowed with a force to influence the lives of people and animals.

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