Tag Archives: ancient goddess

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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Tracking down ancient goddesses

Talakh

#GoddessID is where I’ll keep a repository of ancient goddesses in sculpture, like Talakh, a new one to me. Here’s a quote from the label of this relief sculpture, in the Worcester Museum of Art:

“This Nubian masterpiece depicts Prince Arikankharer in a triumphal scene….a winged goddess, incised with the name Talakh, hovers behind the prince and holds a long fan and a cudgel.” So it looks like Talakh helped the prince smite many enemies, like the one lying on the ground at his feet, a dog eating his face. Ouch.

Worcester Art Museum