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Destruction of 1900-year-old Lion of Al-Lat statue

Lion in the garden of Palmyra Archeological Museum

This is Allah’s wife, her name is AL-LAT. She was worshipped at Mecca for 2000 years before Islam. The famous Muslim pilgrimage spot in Mecca was originally her shrine. Allat’s name means simply “the Goddess” just as Allah means “the God.” The T ending is feminine. Allah and Allat were depicted standing together with a star and crescent moon over them.  Allah was a moon god and she was the “star”, Venus. Islamic nations still use that star and crescent in their flags. Another obvious, but vehemently denied, symbol of the sacred marriage.

Allat is probably going to be the last wife of God to take off her veils. Islam is not really open to Allah having a partner, even though history and archaeology prove that he does…

Allāt, Manāt and al-‘Uzzá

Allāt or al-Lāt was a Pre-Islamic Arabian goddess who was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca along with Manāt and al-‘Uzzá. Especially in older sources, Allat is an alternative name of the Mesopotamian goddess of the underworld, now usually known as Ereshkigal. She was reportedly also venerated in Carthage under the name Allatu.

Al-‘Uzzá (“the Strong” and “the Powerful”) was also worshipped by the Nabataeans, who equated her with the Greek goddess Aphrodite Ourania (Roman Venus Caelestis). Inscriptions related to al-‘Uzzá among the Nabataeans at Petra have been interpreted to associate al-‘Uzzá with the planet Venus.

The pre-Islamic Arabs believed Manāt (or Manawat, “Destiny”) to be the goddess of fate and time, and was also seen as the moon goddess. There are also strong elements to her related to Chronos (“time”, also transliterated as Khronos or Latinized as Chronus), the personification of Time in pre-Socratic philosophy and later literature, Tyche and Fortuna.

She was known by the cognate name Manawat to the Nabataeans of Petra, who equated her with the Graeco-Roman goddess Nemesis, and she was considered the wife of Hubal. According to Wellhausen, the Nabataeans believed al-Lāt was the mother of Hubal (and hence the mother-in-law of Manāt).

Chronos is a god shaped as a serpentine in form, with three heads—those of a man, a bull, and a lion. He and his consort, serpentine Ananke (Inevitability), circled the primal world egg in their coils and split it apart to form the ordered universe of earth, sea and sky.

Chronos was confused with, or perhaps consciously identified with, due to the similarity in name, the Titan Cronus already in antiquity, the identification becoming more widespread during the Renaissance, giving rise to the allegory of “Father Time” wielding the harvesting scythe.

He was depicted in Greco-Roman mosaics as a man turning the Zodiac Wheel. He might, however, also be contrasted with the deity Aion as Eternal Time. He is usually portrayed through an old, wise man with a long, grey beard, similar to Father Time. Some of the current English words whose etymological root is khronos/chronos include chronology, chronometer, chronic, anachronism, and chronicle.

Allat, Goddess of Life and Death

Baal, also rendered Baʿal, is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning “master” or “lord” that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu.

“Baal” may refer to any god and even to human officials. In some texts it is used for Hadad, a god of thunderstorms, fertility and agriculture, and the lord of Heaven. Since only priests were allowed to utter his divine name, Hadad, Ba‛al was commonly used.

Bêlit is a form of the Akkadian language word beltu or beltum (meaning “lady, mistress”) as used in noun compounds; it appears in titles of goddesses, such as bêlit-ili “lady of the gods”, an Akkadian title of Ninhursag. The word bêlit appears in Greek form as Beltis (Βελτις), considered to be the name of the wife of the god Bêl.

ISIS ‘destroys’ famous lion god statue in captured Syrian city of Palmyra… just days after promising locals they would not obliterate ancient monuments. ISIS militants are understood to have won the support of much of the local population by promising not to destroy the city’s famous monuments. How stupid can they possibly be???

Depraved jihadis are said to have broken vow not to destroy the city. Just hours after telling locals Palmyra was safe, they started destroying it. 1,900-year-old Lion of Al-Lat statue was reportedly one of the first targets. The celebrated monument was a tribute to a pre-Islamic Arab goddess.

Allāt or al-Lāt was a Pre-Islamic Arabian goddess who was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca along with Manāt and al-‘Uzzá. Especially in older sources, Allat is an alternative name of the Mesopotamian goddess of the underworld, now usually known as Ereshkigal. She was reportedly also venerated in Carthage under the name Allatu.

The goddess occurs in early Safaitic graffiti (Safaitic han-‘Ilāt “the Goddess”). The Nabataeans of Petra and the people of Hatra also worshipped her, equating her with the Greek Athena and Tyche and the Roman Minerva. She is frequently called “the Great Goddess” in Greek in multi-lingual inscriptions.

Also proposed to be Mullissu is a goddess whom Herodotus called Mylitta and identified with Aphrodite. The name Mylitta may derive from Mulliltu or Mulitta, names related to Mullissu.

The Greek historian Herodotus, writing in the 5th century BC, considered her the equivalent of Aphrodite: The Assyrians call Aphrodite Mylitta and the Arabians call her Alilat.

Mullissu is a goddess who is the wife of the Assyrian god Ashur. Mullissu may be identical with the Mesopotamian goddess Ninlil, wife of the god Enlil, which would parallel the fact that Ashur himself was modeled on Enlil.

Mullissu’s name was written “NIN.LÍL” (“lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), also called Sud, in Sumerian mythology the consort goddess of Enlil (EN = Lord + LÍL = Wind, “Lord (of the) Storm”), the God of breath, wind, loft and breadth (height and distance).

Nonetheless, Mullissu, who was identified with Ishtar of Nineveh in Neo-Assyrian Empire times, is usually identified with Ishtar, Ishara and with Isis.

According to Wellhausen, the Nabataeans believed al-Lāt was the mother of Hubal, a god worshipped in pre-Islamic Arabia, notably at the Kaaba in Mecca, and hence the mother-in-law of Manāt.

Access to the idol was controlled by the Quraysh tribe. The god’s devotees fought against followers of the Islamic prophet Muhammad during the Battle of Badr in 624 CE. After Muhammad entered Mecca in 630 CE, he removed the statue of Hubal from the Kaaba along with the idols of all the other pagan gods.

The shrine and temple dedicated to al-Lat in Taif was demolished on the orders of Muhammad, during the Expedition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, in the same year as the Battle of Tabuk (which occurred in October 630 AD). The destruction of the idol was a demand by Muhammad before he would allow any reconciliation to take place with the tribes of Taif, who were under his siege.

The Kaaba or Ka’aba (“The Cube”), is a cuboid building at the center of Islam’s most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site in Islam. It is considered the ‘House of God’ and has a similar role as the Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant and Temple in Judaism and Christianity.

Wherever they are in the world, Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba—i.e. when performing salat (prayer). From any point in the world, the direction facing the Kaaba is called the qibla. The sanctuary around the Kaaba is called Al-Masjid al-Haram (Sacred Mosque).

The building is called by many names in the Quran and Hadith, such as Bait (House), Bait ul Haram (Sacred House), Bait Ullah (House of Allah), Bait al-Ateeq (Ancient House), Awal ul Bait (First House) and Kaabah. The Arabic word Bait is cognate to the Hebrew Bet as used in for example Bet HaMikdash (Holy House) and Beit El (House of God).

The Arabic word Kaaba means square or cube. The Quran also mentions Bait al-Ma’mur the House of God in Heavens which the Kaaba symbolizes, where according to Hadith the Angels perform Tawaf and Prayers.

The earliest reference we have to a goddess worshipped as a cube-shaped stone is from neolithic Anatolia. Alternatively, kubaba may mean a hollow vessel or cave – which would still be a supreme image of the goddess. The ideograms for kubaba in the Hittite alphabet are a lozenge or cube, a double-headed axe, a dove, a vase and a door or gate – all images of the goddess in neolithic Europe.

Deities of other cultures known to have been associated with black stones include Aphrodite at Paphos. Cybele at Pessinus and later Rome, Astarte at Byblos and the famous Artemis Diana of Ephesus. The latters most ancient sculpture was, it is said, carved from a black meteorite.

Hebat, also transcribed, Kheba or Khepat, was the mother goddess of the Hurrians, known as “the mother of all living”. She is also a Queen of the deities. Hebat is married to Teshub and is the mother of Sarruma and Alanzu, as well mother-in-law of the daughter of the dragon Illuyanka.

It is thought that Hebat may have had a Southern Mesopotamian origin, being the deification of Kubaba, the founder and first ruler of the Third Dynasty of Kish. The name may be transliterated in different versions – Khebat with the feminine ending -t is primarily the Syrian and Ugaritic version.

In the Hurrian language Hepa is the most likely pronunciation of the name of the goddess. In modern literature the sound /h/ in cuneiform sometimes is transliterated as kh. During Aramaean times Hebat also appears to have become identified with the goddess Hawwah, or Eve.

The Hittite sun goddess Arinniti was later assimilated with Hebat. A prayer of Queen Puduhepa makes this explicit: “To the Sun-goddess of Arinna, my lady, the mistress of the Hatti lands, the queen of Heaven and Earth.

Sun-goddess of Arinna, thou art Queen of all countries! In the Hatti country thou bearest the name of the Sun-goddess of Arinna; but in the land which thou madest the cedar land thou bearest the name Hebat.”

Hebat was venerated all over the ancient Near East. Her name appears in many theophoric personal names. A king of Jerusalem mentioned in the Amarna letters was named Abdi-Heba, possibly meaning “Servant of Hebat”.

Hannahannah (from Hittite hanna- “grandmother”) is a Hurrian Mother Goddess related to or influenced by the pre-Sumerian goddess Inanna. Hannahannah was also identified with the Hurrian goddess Hebat. Christopher Siren reports that Hannahannah is associated with the Gulses (Gul-Shesh; Gulshesh; Gul-ashshesh) in Hittite mythology.

The Gulses is similar to the goddesses of fate called Hutena in Hurrian mythology, Norns in Norse mythology and Moirai in ancient Greece. Uttu in Sumerian mythology is the goddess of weaving and clothing. She is both the child of Enki and Ninkur, and she bears seven new child/trees from Enki, the eighth being the Ti (Tree of “Life”, associated with the “Rib”).

When Enki then ate Uttu’s children, Ninhursag cursed him with eight wounds and disappears. Uttu in Sumerian means “the woven” and she was illustrated as a spider in a web. She is a goddess in the pantheon.

Utu (Akkadian rendition of Sumerian UD “Sun”, Assyro-Babylonian Shamash “Sun”) is the Sun god in Sumerian mythology, the son of the moon god Nanna and the goddess Ningal. His brother and sisters are Ishkur and the twins Inanna and Ereshkigal. His center cult was located in the city of Larsa. Marduk is spelled AMAR.UTU in Sumerian, literally, “the calf of Utu” or “the young bull of the Sun”.

Utu is the god of the sun, justice, application of law, and the lord of truth. He is usually depicted as wearing a horned helmet and carrying a saw-edged weapon not unlike a pruning saw. He is also depicted as carrying a mace, and standing with one foot on a mountain. Its symbol is “sun rays from the shoulders, and or sun disk or a saw”.

It is thought that every day, Utu emerges from a mountain in the east, symbolizing dawn, and travels either via chariot or boat across the Earth, returning to a hole in a mountain in the west, symbolizing sunset. Every night, Utu descends into the underworld to decide the fate of the dead.

The sun god is only modestly mentioned in Sumerian mythology with one of the notable exceptions being the Epic of Gilgamesh. In the myth, Gilgamesh seeks to establish his name with the assistance of Utu, because of his connection with the cedar mountain.

Gilgamesh and his father, Lugalbanda, were kings of the first dynasty of Uruk, a lineage that Jeffrey H. Tigay suggested could be traced back to Utu himself. He further suggested that Lugalbanda’s association with the sun-god in the Old Babylonian version of the epic strengthened “the impression that at one point in the history of the tradition the sun-god was also invoked as an ancestor”.

Shamash (Akkadian: Šamaš, “Sun”) was a native Mesopotamian deity and the Sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. He was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu. Akkadian šamaš is cognate to Syriac šemša or šimšu Hebrew šemeš and Arabic šams.

Both in early and in late inscriptions Shamash is designated as the “offspring of Nannar”; i.e. of the Moon-god, and since, in an enumeration of the pantheon, Sin generally takes precedence of Shamash, it is in relationship, presumably, to the Moon-god that the Sun-god appears as the dependent power. Such a supposition would accord with the prominence acquired by the Moon in the calendar and in astrological calculations, as well as with the fact that the Moon-cult belongs to the nomadic and therefore earlier stage of civilization, whereas the Sun-god rises to full importance only after the agricultural stage has been reached.

The two chief centres of Sun-worship in Babylonia were Sippar, represented by the mounds at Abu Habba, and Larsa, represented by the modern Senkerah. At both places the chief sanctuary bore the name E-barra (or E-babbara) “the shining house” – a direct allusion to the brilliancy of the Sun-god. Of the two temples, that at Sippara was the more famous, but temples to Shamash were erected in all large centres – such as Babylon, Ur, Mari, Nippur, and Nineveh.

Inara, in Hittite–Hurrian mythology, was the goddess of the wild animals of the steppe and daughter of the Storm-god Teshub/Tarhunt. She corresponds to the “potnia theron” of Greek mythology, better known as Artemis. Inara’s mother is probably Hebat and her brother is Sarruma.

The mother goddess Hannahannah promises Inara land and a man during a consultation by Inara. Inara then disappears. Her father looks for her, joined by Hannahannah with a bee. The story resembles that of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, in Greek myth.

Inanna (Cuneiform: (Old Babylonian) or (Neo-Assyrian) MUŠ; Sumerian: Inanna; Akkadian: Ištar) was the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare, and goddess of the E-Anna temple at the city of Uruk, her main centre. Inanna was associated with the planet Venus, which at that time was regarded as two stars, the “morning star” and the “evening star.”

In Mesopotamian mythology, Ereshkigal (EREŠ.KI.GAL, “Queen of the Great Earth”) was the goddess of Irkalla, the land of the dead or underworld. Sometimes her name is given as Irkalla, similar to the way the name Hades was used in Greek mythology for both the underworld and its ruler, and sometimes it is given as Ninkigal (“Great Lady of the Earth” or “Lady of the Great Earth”).

Ereshkigal was the only one who could pass judgment and give laws in her kingdom. The main temple dedicated to her was located in Kutha. It was said that she had been stolen away by Kur and taken to the underworld, where she was made queen unwillingly.

In some versions of the myths, she rules the underworld by herself, sometimes with a husband subordinate to her named Gugalana (Sumerian: GU.GAL.AN.NA, “the Great Bull of Heaven”), better known as the Bull of Heaven (Sumerian: GU.AN.NA), a Sumerian deity as well as the constellation known today as Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

The goddess Ishtar refers to Ereshkigal as her older sister in the Sumerian hymn “The Descent of Inanna” (which was also in later Babylonian myth, also called “The Descent of Ishtar”). Inanna/Ishtar’s trip and return to the underworld is the most familiar of the myths concerning Ereshkigal.

Ereshkigal is the sister and counterpart of Inanna/Ishtar, the symbol of nature during the non-productive season of the year. Ereshkigal was also a queen that many gods and goddesses looked up to in the underworld. She is known chiefly through two myths, believed to symbolize the changing of the seasons, but perhaps also intended to illustrate certain doctrines which date back to the Mesopotamia period. According to the doctrine of two kingdoms, the dominions of the two sisters are sharply differentiated, as one is of this world and one of the world of the dead.

In Sumerian religion, Ninlil (NIN.LÍL”lady of the open field” or “Lady of the Wind”), also called Sud, in Assyrian called Mulliltu, is the consort goddess of Enlil. Her parentage is variously described. Most commonly she is called the daughter of Haia (god of stores) and Nunbarsegunu (or Ninshebargunnu [a goddess of barley] or Nisaba). Another Akkadian source says she is the daughter of Anu (aka An) and Antu (Sumerian Ki). Other sources call her a daughter of Anu and Nammu.

The myth of Enlil and Ninlil discusses when Enlil was a young god, he was banished from Ekur in Nippur, home of the gods, to Kur, the underworld for seducing a goddess named Ninlil. Ninlil followed him to the underworld where she bore his first child, the moon god Sin (Sumerian Nanna/Suen).

She lived in Dilmun with her family. Raped and ravaged by her husband Enlil, who impregnated her with water, she conceived a boy, Nanna/Suen, the future moon god. As punishment Enlil was dispatched to the underworld kingdom of Ereshkigal, where Ninlil joined him. Enlil impregnated her disguised as the gatekeeper, where upon she gave birth to their son Nergal, god of death.

In a similar manner she conceived the underworld god Ninazu when Enlil impregnated her disguised as the man of the river of the nether world, a man-devouring river. Later Enlil disguised himself as the man of the boat, impregnating her with a fourth deity Enbilulu, god of rivers and canals. All of these act as substitutes for Nanna/Suen to ascend. In some texts Ninlil is also the mother of Ninurta, the heroic god who slew Asag the demon with his mace, Sharur.

After her death, she became the goddess of the wind, like Enlil. She may be the Goddess of the South Wind referred to in the story of Adapa, as her husband Enlil was associated with northerly winter storms. As “Lady Wind” she may be associated with the figure of the Akkadian demon “Lil-itu”, thought to have been the origin of the Hebrew Lilith legend.

In the sleeping quarters, in the flowered bed fragrant like a cedar forest, Enlil made love to his wife and took great pleasure in it. He sat her on his dais appropriate to the status of Enlil, and made the people pray to her. The lord whose statements are powerful also determined a fate for the Lady (Aruru), the woman of his favour; he gave her the name Nintur, the ‘Lady who gives birth’, the ‘Lady who spreads her knees’. (…) Proud woman, surpassing the mountains! You who always fulfil your desires—from now on, Sud, Enlil is the king and Ninlil is the queen. The goddess without name has a famous name now, ……

Hebat is likely to have had a later counterpart in the Phrygian goddess Cybele (Phrygian: Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya “Kubeleyan Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”; Lydian Kuvava; Greek: Kybele, Kybebe, Kybelis), an originally Anatolian mother goddess.

She is ancient Phrygia’s only known goddess, and was probably the highest deity of the Phrygian State. Her Phrygian cult was adopted and adapted by Greek colonists of Asia Minor and spread from there to mainland Greece and its more distant western colonies from around the 6th century BCE.

In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception. She was partially assimilated to aspects of the Earth-goddess Gaia, her Minoan equivalent Rhea, and the Harvest-Mother goddess Demeter. Some city-states, notably Athens, evoked her as a protector, but her most celebrated Greek rites and processions show her as an essentially foreign, exotic mystery-goddess who arrives in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following. Uniquely in Greek religion, she had a transgender or eunuch mendicant priesthood.

Many of her Greek cults included rites to a divine Phrygian castrate shepherd-consort Attis, who was probably a Greek invention. In Greece, Cybele is associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions.

In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”). The Roman State adopted and developed a particular form of her cult after the Sibylline oracle recommended her conscription as a key religious component in Rome’s second war against Carthage.

Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas. With Rome’s eventual hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanised forms of Cybele’s cults spread throughout the Roman Empire. The meaning and morality of her cults and priesthoods were topics of debate and dispute in Greek and Roman literature, and remain so in modern scholarship.

Cybele may have evolved from in the earliest Neolithic Çatalhöyük in the Konya region where the statue of an Anatolian Mother Goddess, a pregnant goddess seated on a lion throne, was found in a granary dated to the 6th millennium BCE.

This corpulent, fertile Mother Goddess appears to be giving birth on her throne, which has two feline-headed hand rests. In Phrygian art of the 8th century BCE, the cult attributes of the Phrygian mother-goddess include attendant lions, a bird of prey, and a small vase for her libations or other offerings.

The inscription Matar Kubileya at a Phrygian rock-cut shrine, dated to the first half of the 6th century BCE, is usually read as “Mother of the mountain”, a reading supported by ancient Classical sources, and consistent with Cybele as any of several similar tutelary goddesses, each known as “mother” and associated with specific Anatolian mountains or other localities: a goddess thus “born from stone”.

The earliest form of Cybele’s name may have been kubaba or kumbaba which suggests humbaba who was the guardian of the forest in the epic of gilgamesh – the world’s oldest recorded myth from Assyria of circa 2500 BGE and as scholars reveal more of the text as the source of most of the major mythological themes of later civilizations. The origin of kubaba may have been kube or kuba meaning ‘cube’.

The stone associated with Cybele’s worship was originally, probably at Pessinus but perhaps at Pergamum or on Mount Ida. What is certain is that in 204 BCE it was taken to Rome, where Cybele became ‘Mother’ to the Romans. The ecstatic rites of her worship were alien to the Roman temperament but nevertheless animated the streets of their city during the annual procession of the goddess’s statue. Alongside. Isis. Cybele retained prominence in the heart of the empire until the fifth century BCE. When the stone was then lost. Her cult prospered throughout the empire and it is said that every town or village remained true to the worship of Cybele.

The home of Aphrodite was at Paphos on Cyprus. Various classical writers describe the rituals, which went on her in her honor – in which a tapering black stone;4he object, of veneration at her temple, was used.

Kummanni (Hittite: Kummiya) was the name of the main center the Anatolian kingdom of Kizzuwatna. Its location is uncertain, but is believed to be near the classical settlement of Comana in Cappadocia. Kummanni was the major cult center of the Hurrian chief deity, Tešup. Its Hurrian name Kummeni simply translates as “The Shrine”.

The city persisted into the Early Iron Age, and appears as Kumme in Assyrian records. It was located on the edge of Assyrian influence in the far northeastern corner of Mesopotamia, separating Assyria from Urartu and the highlands of southeastern Anatolia.

Kumme was still considered a holy city in Assyrian times, both in Assyria and in Urartu. Adad-nirari II, after re-conquering the city, made sacrifices to “Adad of Kumme.” The three chief deities in the Urartian pantheon were Ḫaldi (Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk) of Ardini, Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa.

Khaldi was one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). Of all the gods of Ararat (Urartu) pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. His wife was the goddess Arubani, the Urartian’s goddess of fertility and art, and Bagmashtu (also known as Bagparti, Bagvarti, Bagbartu). He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion.

One of the most important goddesses of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is the personification of dawn as a beautiful young woman. Her name is reconstructed as Hausōs (PIE *h₂ewsṓs- or *h₂ausōs-, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.

Derivatives of *h₂ewsṓs in the historical mythologies of Indo-European peoples include Indian Uṣas, Greek Ἠώς (Ēōs), Latin Aurōra, and Baltic Aušra (“dawn”, c.f. Lithuanian Aušrinė). Germanic *Austrōn- is from an extended stem *h₂ews-tro-.

The name *h₂ewsṓs is derived from a root *h₂wes / *au̯es “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *aws-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *awso-. The name for “spring season”, *wes-r- is also from the same root.

The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god (reflected in the Rigveda as Indra, in Greek mythology as Dionysus and Cronus).

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction, *h₂ewsṓs, a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wenos- (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas “loveliness; desire”, used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir. The name indicates that the goddess was imagined as a beautiful nubile woman, who also had aspects of a love goddess.

As a consequence, the love goddess aspect was separated from the personification of dawn in a number of traditions, including Roman Venus vs. Aurora, and Greek Aphrodite vs. Eos. The name of Aphrodite Άφροδίτη may still preserve her role as a dawn goddess, etymologized as “she who shines from the foam [ocean]” (from aphros “foam” and deato “to shine”).

J.P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams (1997) have also proposed an etymology based on the connection with the Indo-European dawn goddess, from *abhor- “very” and *dhei “to shine”. Other epithets include Erigone “early-born” in Greek.

The Italic goddess Mater Matuta “Mother Morning” has been connected to Aurora by Roman authors (Lucretius, Priscianus). Her festival, the Matralia, fell on 11 June, beginning at dawn.

The abduction and imprisonment of the dawn goddess, and her liberation by a heroic god slaying the dragon who imprisons her, is a central myth of Indo-European religion, reflected in numerous traditions. Most notably, it is the central myth of the Rigveda, a collection of hymns surrounding the Soma rituals dedicated to Indra in the New Year celebrations of the early Indo-Aryans.

According to ancient geographers, Comana was situated in Cappadocia (and later Cataonia). Another epithet for the city, found in inscriptions, is Hieropolis ‘sacred city’, owing to a famous temple of the Syrian Moon goddess Enyo or, in the local language: Ma (cf. Men, the moon goddess of Caria).

Strabo and Julius Caesar visited it; the former enters into long details about its position in a deep valley on the Sarus (Seihoun) river. The temple was in ancient times famous as the place where the rites of Ma-Enyo, a variety of the great west Asian nature-goddess, were celebrated with much solemnity.

The service was carried on in a sumptuous temple with great magnificence by many thousands of hieroduli (temple slaves). To defray expenses, large estates had been set apart, which yielded a more than royal revenue. The city, a mere apanage of the temple, was governed directly by the chief priest, who was always a member of the reigning Cappadocian family, and took rank next to the king. The number of persons engaged in the service of the temple, even in Strabo’s time, was upwards of 6000, and among these, to judge by the names common on local tomb-stones, were many Persians.

Under the Romans the temple was reassigned to Bellona and Lycomedes established as high priest. Emperor Caracalla made Comana a Roman colony, and the temple-city received honors from later emperors down to the official recognition of Christianity.

Dingir is a cuneiform sign, most commonly the determinative for “deity” although it has related meanings as well. As a determinative, it is not pronounced, and is conventionally transliterated as a superscript “D” as in e.g. DInanna. Generically, dingir can be translated as “god” or “goddess”.

The sign in Sumerian cuneiform (DIĜIR) by itself represents the Sumerian word an (“sky” or “heaven”), the ideogram for An or the word diĝir (“god”), the supreme deity of the Sumerian pantheon. In Assyrian cuneiform, it (AN, DIĜIR) could be either an ideogram for “deity” (ilum) or a syllabogram for an, or ìl-. In Hittite orthography, the syllabic value of the sign was again an.

The concept of “divinity” in Sumerian is closely associated with the heavens, as is evident from the fact that the cuneiform sign doubles as the ideogram for “sky”, and that its original shape is the picture of a star. The original association of “divinity” is thus with “bright” or “shining” hierophanies in the sky.

Dyēus (also *Dyēus ph2ter, alternatively spelled dyēws) is believed to have been chief deity in the religious traditions of the prehistoric Proto-Indo-European societies. Part of a larger pantheon, he was the god of the daylight sky, and his position may have mirrored the position of the patriarch or monarch in society. In his aspect as a father god, his consort would have been Pltwih2 Mh2ter, “Earth Mother”.

This deity is not directly attested; rather scholars have reconstructed this deity from the languages and cultures of later Indo-European peoples such as Greeks, Latins and Indo-Aryans. According to this scholarly reconstruction, Dyeus was addressed as Dyeu Ph2ter, literally “Sky father” or “shining father”, as reflected in Latin Iūpiter, Diēspiter, possibly Dis Pater and deus pater, Greek Zeu pater, Sanskrit Dyàuṣpítaḥ.

As the pantheons of the individual mythologies related to the Proto-Indo-European religion evolved, attributes of Dyeus seem to have been redistributed to other deities. In Greek and Roman mythology, Dyeus remained the chief god, but in Vedic mythology, the etymological continuant of Dyeus became a very abstract god, and his original attributes, and his dominance over other gods, seem to have been transferred to gods such as Agni or Indra.

Rooted in the related but distinct Indo-European word *deiwos is the Latin word for deity, deus. The Latin word is also continued in English divine, “deity”, and the original Germanic word remains visible in “Tuesday” (“Day of Tīwaz”) and Old Norse tívar, which may be continued in the toponym Tiveden (“Wood of the Gods”, or of Týr).

Although some of the more iconic reflexes of Dyeus are storm deities, such as Zeus and Jupiter, this is thought to be a late development exclusive to mediterranean traditions, probably derived from syncretism with Canaanite deities and Perkwunos.