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Library - Theology - Mesopotamian Religion


The Ancient Mesopotamian Religion is an ancient polytheistic religion that is believed to have originated before c. 4,000 BCE amidst the formation of the world's first cities that were home to both Sumerian and Babylonian cultures.

Deities (Sumerian/Babylonian):   Supernatural agents:   Beliefs:   Traditions:
  • Abzu/Apsu (god of creation)
  • Tiamat (angry goddess of creation; creator of demons)
  • An/Anu (god of the sky and is the king of all deities)
  • Dumuzi/Tammuz (god of grain and beer; also a shepherd)
  • Enki/Ea (bearded god of wisdom and fresh water)
  • Enlil/Ellil (god of air and wind)
  • Geshtinanna (goddess of grapes and wine; Dumuzi's sister)
  • Inanna/Ishtar (goddess of sex, fertility, love, and war)
  • Nammu/Tiamat (goddess of primeval oceans)
  • Nanna/Sin (god of the moon and inter-stellar space travel)
  • Ninhursag/Mami (Nintu/Belet-ili; Aruru {Babyolonian}; mother goddess of)
  • Ningirsu/Ninurta (god of war and thunder)
  • Utu/Shamash (god of the sun and justice, and administrator of the underworld)
  • Ereshkigal (Queen of the underworld)
  • Gulgalanna/Nergal (Ereshkigal's husband)
  • Imdugud/Anzu or Zu (Thunderbird, historic only because it eventually merged into the god Ninurta)
  • Namtar (messenger of fate)
  • Pazuzu (a demon who protects people from plages and evil forces, and chases away deities who intend to hurt the unborn and cause pregnant women to miscarriage)
  • Ziusudra/Utnapishtim (Atrahasis {Sumerian}; hero of victims of floods)
  • Creation was triggered by the separation of Abzu and Tiamat
  • The planet Earth floats on water
  • If deities angered they punish people for their unhappiness
    • Natural disasters are a form of this punishment
    • Regular worship of deities keeps them happy
  • The role of women is to cook, clean, give birth, and raise children (some are permitted to become midwives, or sell home made beer)
  • The role of men is to work outside of the home and earn a living to support the family financially
  • Constructing buildings called Ziggurats as an act of worship and for worship activities
  • Marriage is arranged by the family
    • Husband pours perfume onto the head of his bride to complete the wedding ceremony
  • Pregnant women wear an amulet featuring a symbol of Pazuzu to prevent a miscarriage

See also

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