water - this is life.With this statement it is difficult to disagree.We accept it, because we know what an important role water plays in human life.Without food people can live more than a month, and without liquid will not live and day.We knew about it, and the people of the ancient Middle Eastern countries, which are now called Mesopotamia.They have a cult of worship of the gods, who, in fact, is the personification of the forces of nature.Among them one of the most admired was the god of water spaces Ea.Many of us know where Mesopotamia, but few have heard of what lived this ancient human civilization.It will take a long time to fully grasp the question, why we limit ourselves to one small part of it.Tell us what constitutes the very god of water in Mesopotamia, why people worshiped him, and what is sacrificed.It is best to tell us about this ancient Sumerian myths.
few words about the amazing ancient Mesopotamia
How does the map of Mesopotamia, we remember the lessons of history, which took place in high school.At various times in the territory between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, the Middle East, located four large states: Akkad, Assyria, Sumer, Babylonia.This civilization arose thousands of years ago, still called Mesopotamia.At various times there were large cities with its unique culture and customs.Among them are Babylon, Uruk, Kish, Akshak, Larsa, Lagash.We have heard the written sources about the events of those distant times, recorded on clay tablets.Archaeologists and to this day are digging in the area, and found evidence of the existence of the distant and ancient civilization.
Mesopotamia Religion in Mesopotamia long existed separate city-states, each of which had its own political system.In all such settlements existed a cult of the local patron god.In the center of the city to build a temple in his honor.All social life is centered on the holy dwelling of the deity.Talk about any one religion of the ancient peoples of Mesopotamia did not have to, but with the emergence of major state formations on the territory the situation has changed.Map of ancient Mesopotamia has changed, and with it to transform lives.If we talk about religion, it can be argued that then was formed a single pantheon of gods, which, however, did not remain stable.
first such education came from the Sumerians.In this pantheon of the gods of the first order were: Anu (the sky god), Ea (god of water), Enlil (god of air).After them followed a series of gods of the second order, they were twelve, and then walked thirty minor gods.Mesopotamia priests serving at the temple, have developed a complex system of world order.Its provisions have been reflected in numerous myths.So extant stories about how separated heaven and earth, God created man as the water and more.In Mesopotamia there were unique customs, which subsequently had a major influence on world culture.
culture of ancient Mesopotamia
Historians believe that Mesopotamia is one of the oldest centers of civilization on earth.At one time there are about 10% of the population of our planet.With him is the culture of Mesopotamia?What invention we got from the people of these countries?This is where there was the first in the history of mankind writing system - cuneiform.The inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia wrote on soft clay pointed cane stick.First there were the drawings, denoted by the word, and then there were signs.The culture of Mesopotamia is unusually rich.It is known that, for example, the Sumerians already at that time had certain knowledge of mathematics and astronomy.They were the authors of the ancient calendar, catalog, directory prescription.One of the most valuable contributions to world culture - a Sumerian epic "Epic of Gilgamesh".The inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia left behind a lot of myths about the life of gods and men.These ancient legends tell us how to operate the forces of nature from the point of view of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia.The gods of ancient Mesopotamia - is the personification of the earth and water elements, not subservient to man.
Ea - god of water in Mesopotamia
How portrayed the inhabitants of the ancient Mesopotamian ruler of bodies of water?In their view, it was an old man with a beard and a fish tail.In his hand was a lamp.Especially revered fishermen offshore islands.During the excavation of the deity altars were found many fish bones.Apparently, so people tried to appease the lord of the sea.It was believed that he was supportive of him.In Sumerian mythology, he seems the creator of people, the gods and the world.Ea - wise, sometimes clever, very kind.These qualities have been deprived of many of the gods of Mesopotamia.List them above.Often they are, for example, the air god Enlil, hostile to the people.Ea not only created man and all life on earth, he taught people to plant gardens, to plant grain, flax, collect medicinal herbs.He is often depicted with a sickle, a hoe or an ax.It was considered that this particular patron god of the Sumerian city of Eridu.It was the main temple of Ea, called E-Abzu.
Looking back, we can see that many people believed their gods protectors of fresh and marine waters.For example, the ancient Greek god Poseidon water, according to the myths of the ancient Greeks, one of the three major gods-Olympians, along with Zeus and Hades.But unlike Ea, he had a violent temper, anger and temper.Sumerian god of water wells to other patrons and forgiving people.
gods of ancient Mesopotamia
Anu - the supreme god of the sky, reigns in heaven and never comes down to earth, is one of the three main sponsors of the ancient Mesopotamia, along with Enlil and Ea.In addition, it is considered a symbol of supreme power.According to ancient Sumerian myth, the gods of Mesopotamia once decided to get Ana to share their power.In response, he created the seven evil demons and sent down to the darkness of the moon-god, resulting in a celestial body was captured and released only by the intervention of the all-powerful and good Ea.
Adad - the god of thunder, lightning and wind, represents the forces of nature that can destroy both (hail, floods, etc.) and to revive the (rain).
Ashur - arbiter father Anu - he depicted with a bow in his hands in the center of the radiant solar disk.
Baal - the god of storms, thunder, lightning and rain, for the life-giving nature.Ever dies (drought, withering, hunger) and rises (soil fertility, blossoming nature).
Zeroana - the god of time and fate.According to ancient myths, it is an androgynous being.It identifies an infinite time.
Marduk - the son of the god Ea water.Written sources of ancient Mesopotamia, reported that he was able to heal and knew magic spells.That Marduk using your wits defeated Tiamat, which unleashed a war against his father Ea killed Apsu.Especially revered Babylonian Marduk.It was believed that it protects the city.Parts of the body of God compared to plants and animals.It was said that his gut - it is the lions, the spine - cedar, fingers - cane, skull - the silver, and the outpouring of the seed - it's gold.Marduk was devoted to a special holiday - Tsakmuku.
Mitra - the god of friendship and treaties, defender of truth and justice.Every day he raced across the sky in a chariot of the sun.Mitra was especially supportive of those who honored him.He gave them victory over their enemies and wisdom.Normally Mithras represented a brave warrior, armed with a knife and a torch.The paintings in the ancient tombs of noble people tell how the god of friendship won the bull, killing him.From the body of this animal had all the birds, animals and plants.
Sin - the god of the air, and the ruler of the Moon.This deity is usually portrayed as an old man with a long beard, sitting in a boat.Every night in the boat in the shape of a crescent, he travels at the starry sky.It was believed that Sin destroys dark conspiracies intruders, shedding moonlight on their dirty deeds.
Teshub - the god of thunder.He was revered throughout Asia Minor.Teshub depicting bearded with a club in his hands.His characters - the ax and the lightning.In the countries of ancient Mesopotamia there was a myth that a wise and fearless Ea helped Teshub terrible defeat huge monster Ullikumme created from diorite.God divided the waters saw heaven and the earth, which led to a weakening of the giant.As a result, the monster was defeated.
Utu-Shamash.In Akkadian mythology - Shamash, in Sumerian mythology, it corresponds to Utu.Keeper of truth and justice, the sun god.Depicted with rays over the head with a sickle-shaped knife in his hand.Every day he traveled across the sky, and at nightfall descended into the underworld, giving light dead.
Elohim - the father of gods and men, the creator of the universe.According to mythology, he was living in the center of the universe, the "source of both oceans."The ancient Sumerians imagined it to be an old man with a big beard and kind eyes, in long robes and a horned tiara, and sometimes in the form of a bull.
Enlil - the son of Anu - the god of air and wind.It was believed that he was ill-wishers to the people, sends them pestilence and famine, drought and water floods that destroy crops.He has been compared with the roaring wind and uncontrollable wild bull.
Pantheon of ancient Mesopotamia
known that in the ancient land of Mesopotamia, there were many different gods.Each of them has its own "sphere of activity."In terms of importance, they were placed in the following order:
- Ea - god of water, Anum - the supreme lord of the sky, Enlil - the patron of air and wind.
- Shamash - god of the sun.Depicted as an old man with a high turban.
- Sin.The God of the moon - an old man with a long silvery beard, crosses the night sky in a golden boat.
- Nergal - the god of the underworld, sends people to deadly diseases, unleashes a bloody war.
- Nabu - god of wisdom, patron of scribes and calligraphers.According to Sumerian mythology, it is the grandson of Ea.
- Marduk - the son of Ea, the protector of the city of Babylon.
- Ishtar - goddess of love and fertility, strife and war.Is the patroness of courtesans and readily available women.
- Ninurta - God happy war, patron of animal husbandry and agriculture.
main temple of Ea
As previously looked map of Mesopotamia, we know from historical sources extant.Clay tablets found during the excavation of some of the largest Sumerian cities are able to shed light on the distant past of the peoples who inhabited the once Mesopotamia.From these sources we know that the residents of cities often built temples to honor their gods.And they did it in a special way.Firstly, to build a temple in the city stands out land.Secondly, the sacred building was erected angles in strict compliance with the wind rose.The sanctuary was a rectangular shape is oriented to the cardinal.The temple was considered a dwelling place of God.In the ancient Sumerian city of Eridu it had the building, bearing the name of E-Abzu, which meant "the world's oceans of underground fresh water."It reigned Ea - god worshiped by the inhabitants of this special population.In this sanctuary often sacrifices.During the excavation of the city, in the part where there was a temple, it found many fish bones.By sacrificing the fish, the people tried to appease his patron Ea, asking for his help and assistance in business.
myth about the origin of the gods
How did Ea?How did the other gods - the lord of heaven, earth and the underworld?In the Sumerian myths, the creation of which is calculated the middle of the fourth millennium BC, describes it as follows.The world of the gods came out of chaos.First Bishop of underground fresh water Apsu and Tiamat patron of the world's oceans have teamed up with the result that occurred early deities, symbolizing male (Lahmu) and female (Lahamu) start.The Sumerians were the creatures in the form of huge ugly monsters.Lahmu Lahamu and, in turn, gave rise to the goddess of the earth and the sky god Kishar Anshar.These creatures have had human form.They had many children and grandchildren, among whom were the lord Enlil air, the host of heaven Anu and Ea (Enki) - the god of water.In Mesopotamia especially revered latter.After all, it depended on the fertility of the land and the health of livestock.
But back to our story about the origin of the gods.Soon numerous descendants Apsu so bored with their complaints and insults, he decides to destroy them all.Tiamat warn their children about the impending threat.Ea the god of water, famous for its cunning and ingenuity, became the savior of all gods.He read over the Apsu spell in which a grandparent fell into a deep sleep.Enki then bound him with chains and killed.At the site of the death of Apsu erected a temple god of water.He married the goddess Damkina.As a result of this union, the couple had a son, Marduk, who later became the patron saint of the richest cities of Mesopotamia - Babylon.
myth of the creation of man
ancient water god Ea in Sumerian myths, considered not only the creator of the other patrons, but also people.Here is how the inhabitants of this country many years ago in Mesopotamia.
Ea among the gods different special wisdom and cunning.More than once the lord of heaven and earth turned to him for help, as the most powerful, fair and reasonable among them.Once the gods Ea complained that they have no servants, no one to serve them, no one to file a wine.Wise Enki, heeding the request of colleagues, took the soft clay from the source, filled with sweet water, and built it into a man.But it turned out he did it not once, but only the seventh attempt.Created man was very weak and neprisposoblen to life.Compared with the gods, he was weak and powerless.Perhaps it was the same feeling weak and the inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia to the terrible and merciless forces of nature.The gods of Mesopotamia - is the embodiment of uncontrollable elements that can both destroy and give strength to life.
Myth of the Flood
Similar legends are found in the religions of many nations.But for the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, the myth of the Deluge had a special meaning.If the Egyptians of the Nile floods that bring fertile silt, is a source of well-being and prosperity, for the Sumerian flood Tigris and Euphrates rivers were disastrous.Water flooded their crops, thus condemning people to death by starvation.That is what came to us as an ancient Sumerian myth of the Deluge.
Once gods that see the power of people who eat bread by his labor, began to fear the strengthening of the power of people on the ground.And then we decided to lord of heaven and earth to do away with his servants forever.The murder weapon the gods have chosen the flood which was to wash off the face of the earth people.But good and wise Ea decides to save one of the kings, so that he could later continue the human race.To do this, the god of water reveals the secret of the impending flood Siparra king, which in turn is a great time to build the ark.God's plan of water failed.King Siparra escaped, survived the flood in the ark built, and his descendants have occupied the land over time.
We learned about who was to the ancient Sumerians god of water.In Mesopotamia, where he was honored as the creator of people and all life on earth, composed of it amazing myths, most of which come down to our days.