By Gwendolyn Leick
The Dictionary of old 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 facts in their worship in temples, describing their 'character', as documented through 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 heritage in their transmission throughout the a while; and entries explaining using professional terminology, for things like different types of Sumerian texts or sorts of mythological figures.
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Additional resources for A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology
Baal sends a message back, accepting his fate: ‘Hurry to meet me, o Mot, I am your slave, yours forever’. [gap] Someone, maybe the sun-goddess Šapaš, gives Baal secret advice about his journey into the underworld. [gap] During a banquet in the palaces of El and Baal, the latter’s absence is noticed and laments begin. [gap] In column V, Baal receives further instructions on how to escape from the underworld. He is to take Tallay and Pidray, and go towards the two mountains of the tunnel in the west, where the sun descends into the underworld.
In Hittite mythology, gods are not said to actually die, but their temporary absence amounts to the same results. The tale of Telepinu records how the disappearance of this god brought on general calamity and famine. He has removed himself, being angry and when found, has to be pacified by rituals. His reappearance brings back fertility. The majority of myths featuring dying gods seem to be anchored in seasonal rituals. These were of great importance to the ancient agricultural communities, as the transfer from one part of the annual cycle to the next was always fraught with expectation and uncertainty.
It seems that Enki’s creative potential, like that of the Apsu, is inert and has to be activated by the goddesses. He is cursed by Ninhursag as well as Ninmah for his intellectual arrogance and directly challenged by Inanna (see also Inanna and Enki), to whom he is otherwise well-disposed. Enki was one of the major Mesopotamian gods and this is also reflected by his official position in the pantheon. In most god lists he occupies the third rank after An and Enlil, his only rival being the Mother-goddess.