Dushara

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Dushara

Dushara (Arabic: ذو شرى‎, "Lord of the Mountain"), also transliterated as Dusares, a deity in the ancient Middle East worshipped by the Nabataeans at Petra and Madain Saleh (of which city he was the patron).

Cult[edit]

He was mothered by Manat the goddess of fate.[1] In Greek times, he was associated with Zeus because he was the chief of the Nabataean pantheon as well as with Dionysus. His sanctuary at Petra contained a great temple in which a large cubical stone was the centrepiece.

A shrine to Dushara has been discovered in the harbour of Pozzuoli in Italy. Ancient Puteoli was an important harbour for trade to the Near East, and a Nabataean presence is detected there in the mid 1st century BC.[2]

The cult continued in some capacity well into the Roman period and possibly as late as the Islamic period.[3]

This deity was mentioned by the 9th century CE Muslim historian Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, who wrote in The Book of Idols (Kitab al-Asnām) that: "The Banū al-Hārith ibn-Yashkur ibn-Mubashshir of the ʻAzd had an idol called Dū Sharā."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Langdon, S. (1930). "The Semitic Goddess of Fate, Fortuna-Tyche". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland) (1): 21–29. ISSN 0035-869X. JSTOR 25194060. 
  2. ^ AA.VV. Museo archeologico dei Campi Flegrei - Catalogo generale (vol. 2) - Pozzuoli, Electa Napoli 2008, pag. 60-63
  3. ^ Peterson, Stephanie Bowers, "The Cult of Dushara and the Roman Annexation of Nabataea" (2006). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5352.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ibn al-Kalbī, The Book of Idols, Being a Translation from the Arabic of the Kitāb al-Asnām. Tr. and comm. Nabih Amin Faris (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1952).
  • Healey, John F., The Religion of the Nabataeans: A Conspectus (Leiden, Brill, 2001) (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World, 136).
  • el-Khouri, Lamia; Johnson, David, "A New Nabataean Inscription from Wadi Mataha, Petra," Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 137,2 (2005), 169-174.

External links[edit]