Although, the Sumero-Akkadian Pantheon was made up of almost two thousand different gods and goddesses there were six major deities known throughout Mesopotamia. These gods were each the chief deities of main cities. However, with time their influence spread throughout other cities. Most of these gods represented the major elements of nature. Following are some examples: An, deity of Uruk, was the god of the sky, Nanna, deity of Ur, was the moon god, and Ea, deity of Eridu, was god of both water and wisdom. (33)
There were also some “lesser deities” who did not deal with aspects of nature, but still had a great impact on that time. One such example was Ishtar, the goddesses and queen of love and fertility who provided women with their children and existence to vegetation. Perhaps, these aspects owe to the fact that she was almost university adored and worshipped throughout Akkad and Sumer. However, in a bizarre twist, she was also a fierce warrior goddess, maybe so she could better protect what she had created. Ishtar, first appeared in the ancient Mesopotamia cities Sumer and Akkad, her home cities, and later her influence spread as far as Palestine and Egypt. (34)
Another example was Marduk, god of the Babylonian kingdom; thus, his home city was their capital—Babylon. Because he became the prominent god of such a vast and powerful city, it was only fitting that he should be the greatest god. To this end, Marduk engulfed powers from the surrounding gods so that he could take on their combined attributes, and thereby become the greatest of all. He even rivalled the goddesses Ishtar. (35)
2/ Comment the person and role of Ishtar (including her descend to the land of the dead)
Ishtar was the goddesses of love and fertility. She was also a great lover; and therefore, had taken Tammuz, the god of the spring sun, as her lover. Since she is the vegetation goddesses it is fitting that her lover is the sun of springtime. However, with the coming of winter Tammuz dies, and in order to bring back spring Ishtar goes down into the land of the dead to bring Tammuz back to life. On her way down the porter strips her slowly of her jewels and clothing. Consequently, by the time she reaches the lower world she is naked and vulnerable to diseases sent by the god Namtar. Ishtar begins to weaken. In the meantime, her ascents from the upper world is missed as creation is unable to be fruitful and multiple without her. Therefore, the gods intervene and demand that Namtar restore Ishtar back to health by sprinkling the water of life on her. With her strength renewed Ishtar is able to ascend back into the upper world bring spring with her. (34-37)
3/ Give a brief overview of the Babylonian story of the Flood and the role of Gilgamesh (Noah??).
As the story goes, one day the gods decided to destroy mankind with a flood; for apparently no good reason except out of anger. Ea, the god of both water and wisdom, revealed this plan to one man who’s name was...