Nanaya

Nanaya is the name of a Sumerian goddess worshipped by both the Sumerians and Akkadians, being the goddess of sex and war. She is closely associated with the goddesses Inanna and Ishtar, all of whom share similar functions. Nanaya could possibly be related to Inanna meaning “lady of the heavens” though that’s not certain. Another source (Llewellyn’s Complete Book of…

Apollonia

Apollonia is the feminine form of Apollonios, an Ancient Greek name which derives from the name of the Greek god Apollo. His name is of uncertain etymology and meaning though the ancient Greeks often associated it with the Greek apollymi meaning “to destroy”. It’s also been associated with Doric apella “wall”, later referring to an assembly. Other possible theories regarding the name…

Aya

Aya is a female given name which has several possible origins. The first is that it’s an Arabic name, a variant transcription of Ayah meaning “sign, token” and “verse” (such as the verses in the Quran), which derives from a Proto-Semitic root. Aya is also a Hebrew female name meaning “honey buzzard” though I’ve seen some sources…

Zaqar

Zaqar is the name of the Mesopotamian god of dreams and the messenger of the god Sin (the god of the moon) who brought messages from him to mortal through their dreams. The name comes from Akkadian zakāru meaning “to speak”, “to name”, and “to swear”. Origin: Akkadian Variants: Dzakar Zakar (also a Hebrew word meaning “to…

Shamhat

Shamhat is a character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a temple prostitute and a priestess of Inanna who is sent by Gilgamesh to tame the wild man Enkidu and bring him into civilization through sex. Afterwards, she persuades him to go to Uruk and meet Gilgamesh which results in them becoming best friends and going on a series of adventures…

Enkidu

Enkidu is the name of an important character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia which is the oldest surviving piece of literature in the world. Enkidu is a wild man, created by the goddess Aruru from clay and water at the behest of the other gods to be a rival for Gilgamesh. He grows up…

Inanna

Inanna is the name of the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and war who was also worshipped as Ishtar by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, Astarte by the ancient Phoenicians, and who may have been influential in the development of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Inanna has long been associated with the planet Venus; her symbols are the eight-pointed star and the…

Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh is the name of the legendary king of Uruk (an ancient Sumerian city-state); he is also the eponymous hero of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia which is the oldest surviving piece of literature in the world. He may have been based on a historical king named Gilgamesh around the 27th…

Shalmaneser

Shalmaneser is an Akkadian male name, the name of several Assyrian kings. The name means “Shulmanu is foremost” or “Shulmanu is distinguished”, Shulmanu (also spelled Shulman) being the name of a Mesopotamian god of the underworld, fertility, and war. Shulmanu means “health” or “well-being”. Origin: Akkadian Variants: Šulmānu-ašarēdu