Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Aprodite

Inanna

The ancient Sumerian mother goddess Inanna has a complex history and a wealth of attributes which perhaps indicate her extreme age and longevity. Inanna was the goddess of war, combat, justice, and political power as well as love, beauty, sex, fertility, and desire. Her symbols were the lion and eight-pointed star, she was associated with the planet Venus. Inanna bargained with the lords of the underworld to retrieve a loved one, like Demeter; she stole the container of positive and negative aspects of civilization, like Pandora; like Juno she flew into divine rages and killed rivals. Inanna gradually merged with the sky goddess Ishtar; she was an influence on the Phoenician goddess Astarte who influenced the development of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.  It is recorded that Inanna was worshipped in parts of Iraq until the eighteenth century.

Photo: Fragment of a stone plaque from the temple of Inanna at Nippur showing a Sumerian goddess, possibly Inanna (c. 2500 BC)[ courtesy Wikipedia
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