Kusarikku

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Kusarikku, “Bull-Man” sometimes inscribed GUD.DUMU.dUTU, GUD.DUMU.AN.NA and sometimes phonetically ku-sa-rik-ku(m), synonymous with the Sumerian GU4/gud-alim and perhaps also alim (see below for caveat), was an ancient Mesopotamian mythological demon shown in artistic representation from the earliest (late Uruk) times with a human head, arms, and torso, and bovine hindquarters.[1] He is portrayed as walking upright and characterized as a door keeper to protect the inhabitants from malevolent intruders. He is one of the demons which represented mountains. He is pictured in late iconography holding a banduddû, “bucket.” On a stela of Meli-Šipak, the land grant to Ḫasardu kudurru, he is pictured carrying a spade.[2]

Mythology[edit]

In the Sumerian myth, Angim or "Ninurta's return to Nippur," the god "brought forth the Bison (=gud.alim) from his battle dust" and "hung the Bison on the beam." He is one of Tiāmat’s offspring vanquished by Marduk in the Epic of Creation, Enûma Eliš. In the prologue of the Anzû Myth, Ninurta defeats the kusarikku “in the midst of the sea.” In an incantation against the evil eye of the Lamaštu, an incantation meant to soothe a crying child, kusarikku is portrayed as being negeltû, “roused,” and gullutu, “frightened.”[3] Along with Ugallu, Girtablullû, and others, he is one of the seven mythological apkallu “sages” shown on neo-Assyrian palace reliefs, and with figurines – to guard against the influence of evil spirits.[4] The constellation of kusarikku, or gud-alim, corresponds to part of Centaurus.

He was associated with the god of justice, Šamaš, along with Girtablullû, the “Scorpion-Man,” and alim, the “Bison.” There were three species of ungulates in Mesopotamia: the Aurochs, the Bison, and the Water buffalo, and it is not always certain as to which of these was represented in some of the earlier text references.[5] There seems to have been a distinction between the Sumerian terms gud-alim, “bison-man,” and alim, “human-faced bison.”[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dietz Otto Edzard, ed. (1999). "Mischwesen". Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie: Meek - Mythologie, Volume 8. Walter De Gruyter. p. 225. 
  2. ^ F. A. M. Wiggermann (2007). "The Four Winds and the Origin of Pazuzu". In Claus Wilcke. Das geistige Erfassen der Welt im Alten Orient Sprache, Religion, Kultur und Gesellschaft. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 154.  kudurru BM 90829.
  3. ^ K. Van Der Toorn (1999). "Magic at the cradle: A reassessment". In I. Tzvi Abusch, K. Van Der Toorn. Mesopotamian Magic: Textual, Historical, and Interpretative Perspectives. Styx. p. 143. 
  4. ^ Tally Ornan (1993). "The Mesopotamian Influence on West Semitic Inscribed Seals: A Preference for the Depiction of Mortals". In Benjamin Sass, Christopher Uehlinger. Studies in the Iconography of Northwest Semitic Inscribed Seals: Proceedings of a symposium held in Fribourg on April 17-20, 1991. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p. 56. 
  5. ^ Herman L. J. Vanstiphout, Jerrold S. Cooper (2004). Epics of Sumerian Kings: The Matter of Aratta. Brill Academic Pub. p. 163. 
  6. ^ Claudia E. Suter (2000). Gudea's Temple Building: The Representation of an Early Mesopotamian Ruler in Text and Image. Styx. p. 65.