Ishtar's Journey into the Underworld of Ereshkigal

Who is Ishtar?

Relief of Ishtar the Goddess of love and war, while standing on a Lion, carved stone from 17th - 19th Centuries BC.
Relief of Ishtar 
Standing on a Lion 
17th-19th Centuries BC
One of the most famous mother goddesses, Ishtar is the goddess of love and war among BabylonianAkkadian and Assyrian dynasties. Additionally, she has the characteristics of being virgin and fertile too, and this quality puts her in the same place with Virgin Mary figure of Christian World. She was called as Inanna, Astarte and Anunit by several Mesopotamian societies and all of these names exactly refer to Ishtar. Ishtar is usually symbolized via Venus or a lion figure and she fulfils the place of Artemis, Athena and Aphrodite trio when compared to the Greek mythology. In this depiction on the right, Ishtar seems standing on a lion with her bow. This plaque blongs to the Babylonian Period, possibly between 17th and 19th centuries BC. It is exhibited in Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

Ishtar’s Journey into the Underworld: Ereshkigal and Enki

Descent of Ishtar Epigraph, which tells a story of Ishtar (Inna) the Goddess of Love and War in underworld form 7th Century.
Descent of Ishtar Epigraph 
7th Century
According to well-known myth about Ishtar, she attempts to see her sister Ereshkigal who is the ‘Queen of the Great Below’ and the ‘Goddess of Kurnugia’. Kurnugia (or Kur) is an underworld city which is called as the land of dead according to the Sumerian mythology. The legend has it that Ishtar had to give her crown, eight pointed star necklace, bracelet, shoes, veil and outer armor respectively at each one of the seven gates of underworld. These payments she made to pass through the gates, make her totally undressed and puts her in a vulnerable condition against Ereshkigal. Ereshkigal takes the advantage of her defenceless situation and kills her, then hooks her up. Sumerian equal of Poseidon, Enki is the one who saves Ishtar from death and brings her back to the earth. The story of Enki also has many coincidences with the biblical flood and Noah. This might be one the inspiration sources to track pagan symbols in Christianity, though. Damaged stone tablet at the right, is a epigraph which narrates the story of Ishtar's Descent into the Underworld. Epigraph which was writted in Akkadian language in 7th century BC, is exhibited in The British Museum in London.

Creation of Seasions via Ishtar's Descent

Carved stone from 9th Century, which echoes the hand of Ishtar the Goddess of Love and War, related to creation of seasons.
A hand of Goddess Ishtar 
9th Century BC
Enki saves Ishtar on one condition. He asks Ishtar to send someone instead of her, into the lands of dead to bear the penalty of her. When Ishtar turns back to her city Kulaba, she sees her husband Tammuz (or Dumuzid) was sitting on her throne. This countlessness drives her to anger, and decides to send Tammuz to Kurnugia instead of herself. Nature dies in autumn when Tammuz goes into the lands of dead, Kurnugia. Then it comes to life after six months when exactly Tammuz has turned back. This myth clearly explains the creation and the loop of seasons according to Mesopotamian societies included all Babylonian, Sumerian, Assyrian and Akkadian civilizations.
Ishtar's Journey into the Underworld of Ereshkigal Ishtar's Journey into the Underworld of Ereshkigal Reviewed by Articonog on January 09, 2020 Rating: 5

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