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The god Ashur, the protection deity symbolized as the sun of the whole heavens. (9th- or 8th-century BC relief)
Main article: Ancient Mesopotamian religion

Ashurism is a term referencing devotion to the god Ashur. King Ushpia is accredited as the founder of the Temple of Ashur, located in the city-state of Aššur.[1]


All the other gods were seen as aspects of the chief god Ashur who was the totality of the gods. According to Morris Jastrow, Ashur derives from the Sumerian god AN.SHAR. AN meaning "heaven" and SHAR literally meaning "whole".[2][3] Ashur was often depicted as chief of the gods, accredited with ultimate devotion.[4] Ashur is symbolized as a deity in a winged and emanating sun disk.

Parallels in other religions[edit]

Ashurism was a part of the Ancient Semitic religions and also closely paralleled to the Proto-Indo European religion.

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 with almost exact iconography. The application of cuneiform in the Behistun Inscription further supports the link between Ashur and Ahura Mazda. Furthermore it is believed, among historians and scholars, that the name "Ahura Mazda" is derived from the cuneiform "Assara Mazaš".[5][6] Professor Hommel, supported by Professor Oldenburg, claimed "that this god (Assara Mazaš) is no other than the Iranian Ahura Mazda".[7]

Similarities in iconography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Cambridge ancient history. (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1970. p. 202-204. ISBN 0521070511. 
  2. ^ Sasson, Jack M. (1995). Civilizations of the ancient Near East (Volume 3 ed.). Scribner. p. 1830. ISBN 978-0684192796. 
  3. ^ Jastrow, Morris. The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, Volume 2. p. 415. 
  4. ^ Boardman, John; Edwards, I. E. S. The Cambridge Ancient History. p. 223. 
  5. ^ Maity, Sachindra Kumar (1997). Professor A.L. Basham, my Guruji and problems and perspectives of ancient Indian history and culture (1. publ. in India. ed.). New Delhi: Abhinav Publ. p. 279. ISBN 8170173264. 
  6. ^ Kapovi, Mate; Giacalone Ramat, Anna; Ramat, Paolo. The Indo-European Languages. 
  7. ^ Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology (Volume 30 ed.). Society of Biblical Archaeology. 
  8. ^ Edelman, Diana V. (1995). "Tracking Observance of the Aniconic Tradition". In Edelman, Diana Vikander. The Triumph of Elohim: From Yahwisms to Judaisms. Peeters Publishers. p. 190. ISBN 9053565035.