When it comes to exploring Mesopotamian mythology, there are many different religions that are connected to this line of legends. Babylonian, Assyrian, Akkadian, and Sumerian belief systems help to shape the myths of this timeline.
While all of these separate religions held their own way of thinking, there was still an intertwining of religions. This is how all of these viewpoints became part of Mesopotamian mythology. In this article, we will take a look at characters, such as the land-related Dagon and the water-related Apsu.
Known as an ancient Sumero-Akkadian god, Apsu served as a symbol for the waters. In certain mythological accounts, the water located beneath the surface of the earth was said to be both sweet and salty. Apsu represented the sweet waters, while the salty waters were connected to Tiamet. Together, the two of them combined their worth to create a third element, which is referred to as the cloud that was responsible for creating the first gods. Apsu is also attributed with creating the clay that all of mankind was thought constructed from.
In Sumerian and Babylonian mythology, Anu was a god that served as the “great above” and was known as the patriarch of the gods. Serving as the second generation of gods, he came from the union between Ansar and Kisar. When one refers to the first triad of Mesopotamian gods, he is one of them, along with Enlil, and Ea.
Since Anu resided in the highest regions of heaven, he was often called the sky-god, as well as the god of heaven, king of gods, and lord of constellations. He is also known as keeper of spirits and demons. Throughout Sumerian lore, it was Anu who carried with him the power to judge those who committed wrongdoing on earth. It is said that he constructed the stars to act as his “soldiers” so that the evil and negative would be dealt with.
In regards to Mesopotamian culture, Dagon served as the god of vegetation and is thought to have brought the plough to the attention of humans. He wished for mankind to benefit from his knowledge and was known to share his wisdom with others because he truly wished to see the growing of crops for the people. Food was an important issue during this time and the extra help from Dagon was true help. Additional finds of the land that are associated with this god include grain and numerous aspects of agriculture.
When analyzing the records, it is seen that Dagon serves as one of the oldest gods. When he is depicted in text and within art works, he is seen as half man and half fish. Throughout time, Dagon has appeared in a variety of different literary and artistic genres, including Milton’s epic poem, “Samson Agonistes,” works by Lovecraft, and even in the vampire movie, Blade Trinity.
The next article regarding this topic will take a look at who ruled the ancient city of Eridu, as well as the god, Ea, who governed the sweet waters.