Ashurism

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The God Ashur, the protection deity symbolized as the sun of the whole heavens. (9th- or 8th-century BC relief).

Ashurism was the first religion of the Ashurite people. The religion differed quite differently from other religions of the region as it was one of the first Mono-polytheistic religions. The religion had a myriad of Gods and Goddesses, which can be found in any of the old religions, as each God and Goddess was of course a symbol of a certain principle. In Ashurism it was the God Ashur that was the ultimate worship. All the other Gods were seen as aspects of the Chief God Ashur whom was the totality of the Gods. The God Ashur derived from the Sumerian God AN.SHAR, AN meaning Heaven and SHAR literally meaning whole.[1] Ashur is symbolized as a deity in a winged and emanating sun disk. Ashur thus represents, from the derivative AN.SHAR, whole heaven or spirit. Many of the earlier depictions didn't include the deity, but only the winged and emanating sun disk, although to the Ashurites it was the archer that symbolized protection that was equated with the deity of the whole of the heavens. The consort of Ashur was Ishtar or Inanna, which since Ashur derived from AN.SHAR, thus Ishtar would be derived from KI.SHAR which means "Whole Earth" or matter.[2] To the Ashurites Ishtar/Inanna represented the Goddess of Love, the divine feminine, as the consort of Ashur the two represented the union of Heaven and Earth.

Parallels in other religions[edit]

In the Egyptian religion Ashur was identified with Amun-Ra. Both gods were identified as the king of the Gods, an it was the fusion of the Sun God Ra with Amun that also parallels Ashur which was depicted with an emanating sun disk. The consort of Amun-Ra, Mut also equates with Inanna as they were both known as "The Lady of Heaven".

In the ancient Levantine/Cannanite religion Ashur is equated with Yahweh whom was depicted as a man sitting in a winged chariot. Yahweh's consort Asherah or Astartu also equates the two as Astartu is commonly equated with Ishtar and both are known as the Queen of Heaven.

In Zoroastrianism Ashur is equated with Ahura Mazda. The Ashurites greatly influenced the art in the Achaemenid Empire and both Ahura Mazda and Ashur were equated as the totality of the deities with almost exact iconography.

The Similarities In Iconography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sasson, Jack M. (1995). Civilizations of the ancient Near East (Volume 3 ed.). Scribner. p. 1830. ISBN 978-0684192796. 
  2. ^ Sasson, Jack M. (1995). Civilizations of the ancient Near East (Volume 3 ed.). Scribner. p. 1830. ISBN 978-0684192796. 
  3. ^ Edelman 1995, p. 190.