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…

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…

Anzu

Anzu is a Japanese female name meaning “apricot” with the kanji 杏子 and 杏. There are likely other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s あんず. Anzu (Anzû) is also the name of a divine bird or monster in several Near Eastertn mythologies (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian), depicted as a massive bird with the head…

Erragal

Erragal is a Mespotamian (Sumerian and Akkadian) god of the underworld. The origin of the name is uncertain though there are several theories: it could be a combination of Erra and Sumerian gal (great) meaning “Erra the great”; Erra being the Mesopotamian god of war, plagues, and the bringer of pestilence who was later assimilated with Nergal. Although the…

Lilith

Lilith comes from Akkadian lilitu or lilatu meaning “night”, which seems to have been used to refer to a type of female demon in Assyrian and Sumerian myth known as lilitu or lili (a male demon would be lilu) who sedeuce and sleep with humans. According to Jewish tradition, Lilith is the first woman ever created, Adam’s first wife, before she was thrown…