Saturday, 8 October 2016

Ancient Canaan, Gods, El, Baal, Shapshu, Athtart, Anat, Mot

Radmanu (Pradmanu): a minor servitor of Baal: Ugar (cultivated field?) Baal's other page and messenger to both Anat and Mot. He is possibly the patron city-god of Ugarit. Pidray 'daughter of the mist','daughter of light (lightning)' Baal's daughter. She is sometimes a love interest of Athtar. Tallay 'she of dew', 'daughter of drizzle' Baal's daughter. Arsay  'she of the earth', 'daughter of [ample flows]' Baal's daughter. Ybrdmy Baal's daughter.

Athtart (Athtart-name-of-Baal, Astarte, Ashtoreth, Ashtart): She is a consort of Baal, and lesser goddess of war and the chase. Outside of Ugarit, many nude goddess statues have been tenuously identified with her as a goddess of fertility and sex.

In Sidon she merited royal priests and priestesses. There she served as a goddess of fertility, love, war and sexual vitality and to that end had sacred prostitutes. She was the Phoenecian great goddess and was identified with Aphrodite by the Greeks.

She restrains Baal when he intends to attack Yam's messengers. She rebukes Baal for holding Yam captive and calls on him to 'scatter' Yam, which he does. Apparently she, along with Anat, is willing to become Baal's cupbearer once he achieves a proper palace.

Anat (Anath, Rahmay - 'the merciful'): She Baal's sister and the daughter of El. Goddess of war, the hunt, and savagery. She is an archer. Virgin, sister-in-law (progenitor?) of peoples (Li'mites'?). She and Athirat are nursemaids to the gracious gods. She restrains Baal when he intends to attack Yam's messengers.

In missing texts, she killed Yam-Nahar, the dragon, the seven-headed serpent. She also destroyed Arsh, Atik, Ishat, and Zabib, all enemies of Baal. She holds a feast at Baal's palace to celebrate his victory over Yam. After the guests arrive, she departs her abode and adorns herself in rouge and henna, closes the doors and slaughters the inhabitant of two nearby towns, possibly Baal's enemies. She makes a belt of their heads and hands and wades through the blood.

She lures the towns' warriors inside to sit and joyfully massacres them. She then makes a ritual peace offering and cleans up. This is possibly related to a seasonal fertility ritual welcoming the autumn rains. Anat receives messengers from Baal thinking that some new foe has arisen, but they assure her that he only wishes that she make a peace offering that he might tell her the secret of lightning and seek it on Mt. Zephon. She does so, demanding first to see the lightning, and is welcomed by Baal from afar. Hearing him complain of lack of a proper mansion, she storms off to El, creating tremors.
Hebrew Prisoners

She threatens to mangle his face lest he heed her and have Baal's court constructed, yet her plea is rejected. She is assisted in her petition, possibly by Athtart. She accompanies Baal to Athirat with a bribe and assists Athirat in her successful petition to El for Baal's court.

After Baal dies, she searches for him and, finding his body goes into a violent fit of mourning. She has Shapash take his body to Mt. Zephon, where she buries it and holds a feast in his honor. After seven years of drought, she finds Mot, and cuts, winnows, and sows him like corn. She attends the feast where Daniel presents Aqhat with a bow and arrows set made by Kothar-and-Khasis.

Desiring the bow, she offers Aqhat riches and immortality, for it. He refuses and so she promises vengeance upon him should he transgress and leaves for Mt. Lel to denounce him to El. Upset with El's response, she threatens to strike his head, sarcasticly suggesting that Aqhat might save him.

El remarks that he won't hinder her revenge, so she finds Aqhat, and taking the form of a kinswoman, lures him off to Qart-Abilim. Unsuccessful with her first attempt there, she calls her attendant warrior Yatpan to take the form of an eagle, and with a flock of similar birds pray strike Aqhat as he sits on the mountain. They do so and Aqhat is slain, unfortunately, the bow falls into the waters and is lost and Anat laments that her actions and Aqhat's death were in vain. When Baal was out hunting, she followed after him and copulated with him in the form of a cow. She gave birth to 'a wild ox' or a 'buffalo', visiting Mt. Zephon to tell Baal of the good news.
This is probably not their only affair.

Baalat: The 'mistress' of Gubla she was not found in Ugarit. This great fertility goddess was the foremost deity of that city. She served as protector of the city and of the royal dynasty. She was associated with Baal-Shamen and she assimilated the characteristics of the Egyptian goddesses Hathor and Ast (Isis). Tanit: Known as the 'lady of Carthage' and the 'face of Baal', Tanit was the great goddess of the Carthaginians and, with Baal Hammon co-protector of that city. She is listed first of all deities in Carthage.

Shapshu (Shapash): She is the sun-goddess (Akkadian Shamash - a male deity) and is known as the torch of the gods and pale Shapshu. She often acts as messenger or representative on El's behalf. She has some dominion over the shades and ghosts of the nether-world. Kothar-and-Khasis may be her companion and protector.

She tells Athtar that he will loose kingship to Yam under El's auspice and rebuffs his complaints by recalling his lack of wife and children. She is said to be under Mot's influence when Baal is preoccupied with his lack of a palace and not raining. The weather then is particularly hot.

When Mot's messenger seeks Baal, she advises the thunder-god to procure a substitute, to satisfy Mot and then take his servants and daughters and venture into the underworld. At the direction of Anat, she carries Baal's body back to Mt. Zephon. She is told by El that he dreamed Baal was alive and she searches for him. When Baal returns and fights with Mot, she separates them, declaring that Baal has El's favor.

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