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05 Primarily benificent and non-hostile gods p3 (Canaanite/Ugaritic Mythology)




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This article is from the Canaanite/Ugaritic Mythology FAQ, by Christopher B. Siren cbsiren@hopper.unh.edu with numerous contributions by others.

05 Primarily benificent and non-hostile gods p3 (Canaanite/Ugaritic Mythology)

Anat (Anath, Rahmay - 'the merciful') - Baal's sister, daughter of El.
Goddess of war, the hunt, and savagery. She is an archer. Virgin,
sister-in-law (progenitress?) of peoples (Li'mites'?). She and Athirat
are nursemaids to the gracious gods.

She restrains Baal when he intends to attack Yam's messengers.
In missing texts, she killed Yam-Nahar, the dragon, the seven-headed
serpent. She also destroyed Arsh, Atik, Ishat, and Zabib, all enemies of
Baal.
She holds a feast at Baal's palace to celebrate his victory over
Yam. After the guests arrive, she departs her abode and adorns herself
in rouge and henna, closes the doors and slaughters the inhabitant of two
nearby towns, possibly Baal's enemies. She makes a belt of their heads
and hands and wades through the blood. She lures the towns' warriors
inside to sit and joyfully massacres them. She then makes a ritual peace
offering and cleans up. This is possibly related to a seasonal fertility
ritual welcoming the autumn rains. Anat recieves messesengers from Baal
thinking that some new foe has arisen, but they assure her that he only
wishes that she make a peace offering that he might tell her the secret
of lightning and seek it on Mt. Zephon. She does so, demanding first to
see the lightning, and is welcomed by Baal from afar. Hearing him
complain of lack of a proper mansion, she storms off to El, creating
tremors. She threatens to mangle his face lest he heed her and have
Baal's court constructed, yet her plea is rejected. She is assisted in
her petition either by Athtart. She accompanies Baal to Athirat with a
bribe and assists Athirat in her successful petition to El for Baal's court.

After Baal dies, she searches for him and, finding his body goes
into a violent fit of mourning. She has Shapash take his body to Mt.
Zephon, where she buries it and holds a feast in his honor. After seven
years of drought, she finds Mot, and cuts, winnows, and sows him like
corn.

She attends the feast where Daniel presents Aqhat with a bow and
arrows set made by Kothar-u-Khasis. Desiring the bow, she offers Aqhat
riches and immortality, for it. He refuses and so she promises vengence
upon him should he transgress and leaves for Mt. Lel to denounce him to
El. Upset with El's response, she threatens to strike his head,
sarcasticly suggesting that Aqhat might save him. El remarks that he
won't hinder her revenge, so she finds Aqhat, and taking the form of a
kinswoman, lures him off to Qart-Abilim. Unsuccessful with her first
attempt there, she calls her attendent warrior Yatpan to take the form of
an eagle, and with a flock of similar birds pray strike Aqhat as he sits
on the mountain. They do so and Aqhat is slain, unfortunately, the bow
falls into the waters and is lost and Anat laments that her actions and
Aqhat's death were in vain.

When Baal was out hunting, she followed after him and copulated
with him in the form of a cow. She gave birth to 'a wild ox' or a
'buffalo', visiting Mt. Zephon to tell Baal of the good news. This is
probably not their only affair.

Baalat - the 'mistress' of Gubla she was not found in Ugarit. This great
fertility goddess was the foremost deity of that city. She served as
protector of the city and of the royal dynasty. She was associated with
Baal-Shamen and she assimilated the characteristics of the Egyptian
goddesses Hathor and Ast (Isis).

Tanit 'lady of Carthage', 'face of Baal'- the great goddess of the
Carthaginians and, with Baal Hammon co-protector of that city. She is
listed first of all deities in Carthage.

Shapshu (Shapash) - sun-goddess (Akkadian Shamash, a male deity), torch
of the gods, pale Shapash. She often acts as messenger or representative
on El's behalf. She has some dominion over the shades and ghosts of the
nether-world. Kothar-u-Khasis may be her companion and protector.

She tells Athtar that he will loose kingship to Yam under El's
auspice and rebuffs his complaints by recalling his lack of wife and
children.

She is said to be under Mot's influence when Baal is preoccupied
with his lack of a palace and not raining. The weather then is
particullarly hot.

When Mot's messenger seeks Baal, she advises the thunder-god to
procure a substitute, to satisfy Mot and then take his servents and
daughters and venture into the underworld. At the direction of Anat, she
carries Baal's body back to Mt. Zephon. She is told by El that he
dreamed Baal was alive and she searches for him. When Baal returns and
fights with Mot, she separates them, declaring that Baal has El's favor.

Yarikh - the moon god. 'The illuminator of myriads (of stars)', 'lamp of
heaven', possibly also the crescent moon and 'lord of the sicle' and
thereby the father of the Kotharat. He is patron of the city Qart-Abilim.

After sunset he embraces Nikkal-and-Ib and becomes determined to
marry her. He seeks Khirkhib out to arbitrate the brideprice, but
instead Khirkhib tries suggests other potential mates in the daughters of
Baal. Undaunted, Yarikh presents a lavish brideprice to Nikkal-and-Ib's
family and the two are wed.

Baal-Hadad's creatures devour his handmaidens, so he sends them
to El. El tells them to go into the wilderness and there birth horned
buffalo, which will distract Baal-Hadad.

Kotharat (was thought to be Kathirat) 'skillful' - a group of goddesses
associated with conception and childbirth. '...The swallow-like
daughters of the crescent moon.' (Gibson p. 106). They are also
associated with the new moon. They attend Daniel for seven days to aid
in the conception of Aqhat and recieve his sacrifice.

Athtar (Ashtar, 'Athtar, Atra of the sky) 'the terrible' - son of Athirat,
possibly a god of the desert or of artificial irrigation. He is
sometimes a suitor of Pidray. As the great god of the Sabeans and Himyar
(both South Arabian states), he was identified with Venus and was sired
by the moon on the sun.)

He looses his kingship to Yam at the behest of El and is warned
off from an attack on Yam by Shapshu. He complains to her of his lack of
status, palace and court.

He attempts to take Baal's place at his throne while Baal is
dead, but he is too small for the seat and rejects it, becoming king of
the earth instead.

 

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