33 Facts About Ishtar


Ishtar was originally worshiped in Sumer under the name "Inanna", and later by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name "Ishtar".

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Ishtar was known as the "Queen of Heaven" and was the patron goddess of the Eanna temple at the city of Uruk, which was her main cult center.

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Ishtar was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the eight-pointed star.

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Ishtar's husband was the god Dumuzid and her sukkal, or personal attendant, was the goddess Ninshubur.

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Ishtar was especially beloved by the Assyrians, who elevated her to become the highest deity in their pantheon, ranking above their own national god Ashur.

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Ishtar's cult continued to flourish until its gradual decline between the first and sixth centuries CE in the wake of Christianity.

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Ishtar had a uniquely high number of epithets and alternate names, comparable only to Nergal.

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Ishtar was believed to have been given the mes, which represented all positive and negative aspects of civilization, by Enki, the god of wisdom.

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Ishtar was believed to have taken over the Eanna temple from An, the god of the sky.

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Scholars believe that Inanna and Ishtar were originally separate, unrelated deities, but were conflated with one another during the reign of Sargon of Akkad and came to be regarded as effectively the same goddess under two different names.

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Name Ishtar occurs as an element in personal names from both the pre-Sargonic and post-Sargonic eras in Akkad, Assyria, and Babylonia.

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Alfonso Archi, who was involved in early excavations of Ebla, assumes Ishtar was originally a goddess venerated in the Euphrates valley, pointing out that an association between her and the desert poplar is attested in the most ancient texts from both Ebla and Mari.

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Cult of Ishtar was long thought to have involved sacred prostitution, but this is rejected among many scholars.

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Ishtar was portrayed as young and impetuous, constantly striving for more power than she had been allotted.

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Ishtar was sometimes considered the mother of Lulal, who is described in other texts as the son of Ninsun.

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In later periods Ishtar's name was sometimes used as a generic term in Babylonia, while a logographic writing of Inanna was used to spell the title Beltu, leading to further conflations.

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Ishtar is courted by a farmer named Enkimdu and a shepherd named Dumuzid.

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Ishtar instructs Enmerkar to send a messenger to the lord of Aratta to ask for the resources Uruk needs.

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Ishtar's father tells him to hide in the city, amongst the hordes of people, where he will hopefully blend in.

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Ishtar instructs them to appease Ereshkigal and, when she asks them what they want, ask for the corpse of Inanna, which they must sprinkle with the food and water of life.

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Ishtar offers them whatever they want, including life-giving rivers of water and fields of grain, if they can relieve her, but they refuse all of her offers and ask only for Inanna's corpse.

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Akkadian version begins with Ishtar approaching the gates of the underworld and demanding the gatekeeper to let her in:.

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Ereshkigal orders him to let Ishtar enter, but tells him to "treat her according to the ancient rites".

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Ishtar considers it possible that the connection between the two parts of the narrative was meant to mirror some well attested healing rituals which required a symbolic substitute of the person being treated.

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Infuriated by Gilgamesh's refusal, Ishtar goes to heaven and tells her father Anu that Gilgamesh has insulted her.

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Ishtar appears to Utnapishtim wearing a lapis lazuli necklace with beads shaped like flies and tells him that Enlil never discussed the flood with any of the other gods.

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Ishtar swears him that she will never allow Enlil to cause another flood and declares her lapis lazuli necklace a sign of her oath.

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Ishtar invites all the gods except for Enlil to gather around the offering and enjoy.

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Ishtar then proclaimed Sargon her lover and allowed him to become the ruler of Sumer and Akkad.

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Ishtar plays a prominent role in the Hurrian myths of the Kumarbi cycle.

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Ishtar argues that the Syrian writers Jacob of Serugh and Romanos the Melodist both wrote laments in which the Virgin Mary describes her compassion for her son at the foot of the cross in deeply personal terms closely resembling Ishtar's laments over the death of Tammuz.

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Ishtar had a major appearance in Ishtar and Izdubar, a book-length poem written in 1884 by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, an American lawyer and businessman, loosely based on the recently translated Epic of Gilgamesh.

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Ishtar's name occurs in the refrain of the "Burning Times Chant", one of the most widely used Wiccan liturgies.

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