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A Nabataean depiction of the goddess Atargatis dating from sometime around 100 AD, currently housed in the Jordan Archaeological Museum
Major cult centerHierapolis Bambyce
Symbolsdove, fish
Greek equivalentAphrodite; Hera
Roman equivalentDea Syria
Canaanite equivalentAstarte

Atargatis (known as Derceto by the Greeks[1]) was the chief goddess of northern Syria in Classical antiquity.[2][3] Primarily she was a fertility goddess, but, as the baalat ("mistress") of her city and people she was also responsible for their protection and well-being. Her chief sanctuary was at Hierapolis, modern Manbij,[4] northeast of Aleppo, Syria.

Michael Rostovtzeff called her "the great mistress of the North Syrian lands".[3] Her consort is usually Hadad. As Ataratheh, doves and fish were considered sacred to her: doves as an emblem of the love goddess, and fish as symbolic of the fertility and life of the waters.[5]

According to a third-century Syriac source, "In Syria and in Urhâi [Edessa] the men used to castrate themselves in honor of Taratha. But when King Abgar became a [Christian] believer, he commanded that anyone who emasculated himself should have a hand cut off. And from that day to the present no one in Urhâi emasculates himself anymore".[6]

She is sometimes described as a mermaid-goddess, due to identification of her with a fish-bodied goddess at Ashkelon.

Origin and name[edit]

Atargatis is seen as a continuation of Bronze Age goddesses. At Ugarit, cuneiform tablets attest multiple Canaanite goddesses, among them three are considered as relevant to theories about the origin of Atargatis:

  • ʾAṯirat, described as "Lady of the Sea" (rbt ảṯrt ym) and "mother of the gods" (qnyt ỉlm)
  • ʿAnat, a war goddess
  • ʿAṯtart, a goddess of the hunt also sharing Anat's warlike role, regarded as analogous to Ishtar and Ishara in Ugaritic god lists and as such possibly connected to love

John Day asserts that all three shared many traits with each other and may have been worshipped in conjunction or separately during 1500 years of cultural history.[7] While the worship of Ashtart and Anat as a pair is well attested,[8][9] Steve A. Wiggins found no evidence Ashtart was ever conflated with Athirat.[10] He also pointed out that the concept of Athirat, Anat and Ashtart as a trinity of sorts (popularized by authors like Tikva Frymer-Kensky), is modern and ignores the role of other deities in Ugarit - for example Shapash; as well as the importance of the connection between Athirat and El.[11][12]

The original Aramaic name of the goddess was 𐡏𐡕𐡓𐡏𐡕𐡄 (ʿAttarʿattā), with its other forms including 𐡏𐡕𐡓𐡏𐡕𐡀 (ʿAttarʿattaʾ), 𐡀𐡕𐡓𐡏𐡕𐡄 (ʾAttarʿattā), 𐡀𐡕𐡓𐡏𐡕𐡀 (ʾAttarʿattaʾ), and the apocope form 𐡕𐡓𐡏𐡕 (Tarʿatta). The name ʿAttarʿattā was composed of:[13][14][15][16][17][18]

  • 𐡏𐡕𐡓 (ʿAttar, from earlier ʿAṯtar), which during the Iron Age had evolved from being the name of the goddess ʿAṯtart to become used to mean "goddess" in general, and was used in the name ʿAttarʿattā in the sense of "goddess";[19]
  • and 𐡏𐡕𐡄 (ʿAttā), which is the Aramaic variant of the name of the Semitic goddess ʿAnat.

The Greek name of the goddess, attested in the forms Αταργατις (Atargatis), Ατταγαθη (Attagathē), Αταρατη (Ataratē), and Αταργατη (Atargatē), was derived from the non-apocope forms of its original Aramaic name, while her Greek name Δερκετω (Derketō) was derived from 𐡕𐡓𐡏𐡕 (Tarʿatta).[15]

Classical period[edit]

Various Greek and Latin writers have written about the goddess Atargatis or Derketo.[20]

Atargatis generally appears as the wife of Hadad. They are the protecting deities of the community.[a] Atargatis, wearing a mural crown, is the ancestor the royal house, the founder of social and religious life, the goddess of generation and fertility (hence the prevalence of phallic emblems), and the inventor of useful appliances.[21]

Derceto, from Athanasius Kircher's Oedipus Aegyptiacus, 1652.

Derceto was venerated in mermaid form, i.e., with "a face of a woman, and otherwise the entire body of a fish" in a shrine by Ashkelon, Syria, according to Diodorus (1st century BCE), drawing on Ctesias (5th century BCE); the attached myth explaining that Derceto transformed into a fish, after drowning herself in a nearby lake.[b][22][24][25] The goddess was presumably revered in that fish-form at Ashkelon. It has been conjectured that the veneration of the goddess did indeed occur at Ashkelon and may have originated there.[26] However, there is no evidence that Atargatis was worshipped at Ascalon.[citation needed]

The image of Derceto as half-woman half-fish was also witnessed by Lucian (2nd century) somewhere in Phoenicia (i.e., Phoenice Syria), but at the Holy City of Phoenicia (Hierapolis Bambyce), she was depicted entirely as a woman. This temple was nominally dedicated to "Hera", but some thought it actually consecrated Derceto.[28] [29] Lucian in a later passage gives a description at length of this "Hera" whom the locals "call by a different name" (Atargatis), at Hierapolis.[c] The goddess was posed seated with two lions on her sides,[d] "In one hand she had a scepter, in the other a spindle, and on her head she wears rays, a tower [mural crown]..", and she wore a girdle (Ancient Greek: κεστός) as well. The head was set with a gemstone called lychnis which glowed by night.[31][32]

The worship of Atargatis going back to the Hellenistic Phoenicia (Seleucid Syria) is evidenced by inscriptions at Akko.[33]


The literary attestations as already given are that Derceto was depicted as fish-tailed goddess at Ashkelon (by Ctesias after Diodorus), and later at Hieropolis (by Lucian).

But all of the extant iconography of the Syriac goddess catalogued in the LIMC shows her as anthropomorphic.[34][non-primary source needed] But the "fish-goddess form of Atargatis" were among the finds unearthed in the Transjordan, or so Glueck (cf. infra) has insisted, though only her forms as goddess of "foliage and fruits" or cereal goddess were published in his paper.[35]


The reverse of a coin of Demetrius III, depicts fish-bodied Atargatis,[36] veiled, holding the egg (cf. birth of Syrian Venus from egg, §Mythology ) flanked by barley stalks.
The reverse of a coin from Cyrrhestica depicts Atargatis riding a lion, wearing a mural crown, and holding a sceptre.

The tetradrachm issued under Demetrius III Eucaerus (96–87 BCE, coin image above) shows a fish-bodied figure on the reverse side, which scholarship identifies as Stargateis.[36][e] The cult statues of Stargateis and her consort Hadad were commonly employed on as the motif on the reverse of tetradrachm coinage by this monarch and by Antiochus XII Dionysus (87– 84 BCE) who succeeded him.[37]

Hieropolis Bambyce was one of the cities which minted its own coins.[38] And some of the Hieropolitan coinage portray "Atargatis as indeed seated between lions and holds a scepter in her right hand and probably a spindle in her left", just as Lucian had described.[39][40] Palmyra coinage also depicts a Tyche on the obverse and strolling lion on the reverse; one coin also depicts a goddess mounted on a lion, and the lion symbolism suggest that Atargatis is being represented.

Coinage of Palmyra, some of which were found in the Palmyrene colony at Dura-Europos, may depict the goddess. The coin with Tyche on the obverse and a strolling lion on the reverse, and one with a goddess riding a lion points to Atargatis, based on the lion motif.[41][f] There has also been found one Palmyrene tessera (token) inscribed with Atargatis's name (Aramaic: ʿtrʿth).[44]


A relief fragment found at Dura-Europos is thought to represent Atargatis/Tyche (Yale-French excavations, 1935–46), as it shows a pair of doves that are sacred to Atargatis besides her head; the doves are assumed to be perched on the post of her throne, which is missing. The figure's mural crown is emblematic of a Tyche (protector-goddess) of a city,[45][46] but this matches the historic account that the cult relief Atargatis Hierapolis was seen wearing a mural crown.[47]

In the temples of Atargatis at Palmyra and at Dura-Europos[g] she appeared repeatedly with her consort, Hadad, and in the richly syncretic religious culture at Dura-Europos, was worshipped as Artemis Azzanathkona.[48]

In the 1930s, numerous Nabatean bas-relief busts of Atargatis were identified by Nelson Glueck at Khirbet et-Tannûr, Jordan, in temple ruins of the early first century CE;[49] there the lightly veiled goddess's lips and eyes had once been painted red, and a pair of fish confronted one another above her head. Her wavy hair, suggesting water to Glueck, was parted in the middle. At Petra the goddess from the north was syncretised with a North Arabian goddess from the south al-Uzzah, worshipped in the one temple. At Dura-Europus among the attributes of Atargatis are the spindle and the sceptre or fish-spear.[50]


The legends are numerous and of an astrological character. A rationale for the Syrian dove-worship and abstinence from fish is seen in the story in Athenaeus 8.37, where Atargatis is naively explained to mean "without Gatis", the name of a queen who is said to have forbidden the eating of fish.

Diodorus Siculus (2.4.2), quoting Ctesius of Cnidus, tells how Derceto fell in love with a beautiful youth named Simios (also Ichthys, meaning 'fish') and bore a daughter but becoming ashamed of the illicit love, Derceto flung herself into a lake near Ashkelon and her body was changed into the form of a fish though her head remained human.[25][24] In Diodorus's version of the legend, Derceto also despite the child from this union and had exposed the daughter to the desert, where she was raised by doves. This child grew up to be Semiramis, the legendary Assyrian queen.[23][51] Lucian also notes that the erection of the temple at Hieropolis was ascribed by some to Semiramis who dedicated it to her mother Derceto.[29]


Ctesias's account, according to one analysis, is composed of two myths, the Derceto transformation myth, and the Semiramis birth myth,[h] and a telling of each myth are told by a number of classical writers.[52]

The first myth (the Derceto metamorphosis into fish) is told, e.g., by Ovid as a Dione-Cupid myth.[52] The irony is that even though Ovid explicitly mentions Derceto (Latin: Derceti) of Babylonia transforming into a fish,[53][i] Ovid's version of this first myth (detailed below) is recorded in Fasti, and fails to mention the goddess in Syria (Dione) metamorphosing into fish-shape. The metamorphosis thereafter needs be reconstructed by consulting other sources which preserves that original ending.[54]

The second myth (the Semiramis birth myth) is told by various writers as an alternate version of the birth of Venus (from an egg carried ashore by fish, then hatched by doves), however, Ctesias felt compelled to "drop" the egg element according to the analysis. This seemed a gratuitous ("incredible") excision to the analyst, given that Venus's birth from an ocean-found egg was not a far cry from the familiar version of the Aphrodite/Venus's genesis out of water (sea-foam).[55][57]

Syrian Venus[edit]

Ovid in Fasti recounts the legend that the goddess Dione accompanied by Cupid/Eros plunged into the river in Palestine (Euphrates), whereby a pair of fish came to convey then through water to aid her escape from Typhon.[58][21] The fish pair was commemorated as the constellation Pisces of the zodiac, and local Syrians abstain from eating fish on account of it.[59] Menander and others[j] also relate this legend,[60] and some of the versions, say that the goddess and Cupid subsequently transformed into fish, possibly preserving the original telling.[54]

The name Dione could refer to Aphrodite's mother, but it was also an epithet of Aphrodite/Venus herself.[56] So the legend has also been told as one of Venus with Cupid casting herself into the Euphrates, then transforming into fish.[61]

The second myth describes the birth of Syrian Venus as originating in an egg that fell into the Euphrates, rolled onto land by fish, was hatched in the clutches of doves (scholia to Germanicus's Aratus;[62] Hyginus, Fabulae).[63] [65]

The author of Catasterismi explained the constellation of Piscis Austrinus as the parent of the two fish making up the constellation of Pisces; according to that account, it was placed in the heavens in memory of Derceto's fall into the lake at Hierapolis Bambyce near the Euphrates in Syria, from which she was saved by a large fish — which again is intended to explain the Syrian abstinence from fish.


In many cases Atargatis, 'Ashtart, and other goddesses who once had independent cults and mythologies became fused to such an extent as to be indistinguishable. This fusion is exemplified by the temple at Carnion (Carnaim), which is probably identical with the famous temple of 'Ashtart at Ashtaroth-Karnaim.

Not unnaturally she is identified with the Greek Aphrodite. By the conjunction of her many functions (as fertility goddess and of appliances),[k] she becomes ultimately a great nature-goddess[21] analogous to Cybele and Rhea, despite originating as a sea deity analogous to Amphitrite. In one aspect she typifies the protection of water in producing life; in another, the universal of other-earth;[66] in a third (influenced, no doubt, by Chaldean astrology), the power of Destiny.[21] She was also identified with Hera by Lucian in his De Dea Syria.[67]

As a consequence of the first half of the name, Atargatis has frequently, though wrongly, been identified as Ashtart.[68] The two deities were probably of common origin and have many features in common, but their cults are historically distinct. There is reference in 2 Maccabees 12.26[69] and 1 Maccabees 5:43[70] to an Atargateion or Atergateion, a temple of Atargatis, at Carnion in Gilead, but the home of the goddess was unquestionably not Israel or Canaan, but Syria itself; at Hierapolis Bambyce she had a temple in her name.[21]

A recent analysis of the cult of Atargatis is an essay by Per Bilde,[71] in which Atargatis appears in the context of other Hellenized Great Goddesses of the East.



The fishpond of fish sacred to Atargatis survives at Şanlıurfa, the ancient Edessa, its mythology transferred to Ibrahim.

At her temples at Ashkelon, Hierapolis Bambyce, and Edessa, there were fish ponds containing fish only her priests might touch.[72] Glueck noted in his 1937 paper that "to this day there is a sacred fish-pond swarming with untouchable fish at Qubbet el-Baeddwī, a dervish monastery three kilometres east of Tripolis, Lebanon."[73]

The relief sculpture of the Syrian Goddess at Hierapolis was supported by a pair of tritonesses according Lucian.[74]

Cult sites in the Near East include Dura-Europos, Palmyra, Akko (Ptolemais), Carnaim[l] and Nabataea.[75] Two well preserved temples in Niha, Lebanon are dedicated to her and to her consort Hadad.

From Syria, the worship of Atargatis and Hadad extended to Greece and to the furthest West into the Mediterranean. Lucian[76][77] and Apuleius gave descriptions of the beggar-priests who went round the great cities with an image of the goddess on an ass and collected money. The wide extension of the cult is attributable largely to Syrian merchants; thus we find traces of it in the great seaport towns; at Delos especially numerous inscriptions have been found bearing witness to her importance. Again we find the cult in Sicily, introduced, no doubt, by slaves and mercenary troops, who carried it even to the farthest northern limits of the Roman Empire.[21] The leader of the rebel slaves in the First Servile War, a Syrian named Eunus, claimed to receive visions of Atargatis, whom he identified with the Demeter of Enna.


Bust of a priest of Atargatis, 3rd century AD, Capitoline Museums

During the Roman era, eunuch priests worshipped Atargatis, similar to the Galli priests of Cybele. At the shrine in Hieropolis founded by Semiramis, eunuch priests served the image of a fish-tailed woman. Rituals to the goddess were accompanied by flute playing and rattle shaking. In one rite, young males castrated themselves to become cross-dressing priests at the temple and thereafter performed tasks usually done by women. The obligatory lake or pond lay nearby, full of sacred fish which no one was allowed to eat; nor could anyone eat Atargatis's sacred doves.[78] The priests were described by Apuleius as mendicants that traveled around with an image of the goddess dressed in a silken robe on the back of a donkey. When they arrived at village squares or a receptive estate they would perform an ecstatic rite, designed to attract a crowd and elicit their contributions. The priests were described as effeminate, wearing heavy makeup, turbans on their heads, and dressed in saffron colored robes of silk and linen; some in white tunics painted with purple stripes. They shouted and danced wildly to the music of flutes, whirling around with necks bent so that their long hair flew out; and in an ecstatic frenzy they would bite their own flesh and cut their arms with knives until they bled.[79]

According to a story retold by Lucian, the Assyrian queen Stratonice saw in a vision that she must build a temple at Hieropolis to the goddess and so the king sent her there with a young man named Combabus to execute the task. Knowing the queen's reputation Combabus castrated himself and left his genitals, sealed in a box. When the queen fell in love with Combabus and tried to seduce him, he revealed his mutilation, but this didn't dissuade her from desiring his constant companionship. When Stratonice and Combabus returned home, she accused him of trying to seduce her, and Combabus was arrested, tried, and sentenced to death. Combabus called for the sealed box to prove his innocence, where upon the king relented and rewarded Combabus for his loyalty. The temple was completed and a statue of Combabus was placed in it. This is said to be the origin of the practice of castration by the priests in the temple.

Another story ascribed to Combabus mentions that a certain foreign woman who had joined a sacred assembly, beholding a human form of extreme beauty and dressed in man's attire, became violently enamoured of him: after discovering that he was a eunuch, she committed suicide. Combabus accordingly in despair at his incapacity for love, donned woman's attire, so that no woman in future might be deceived in the same way.[80]

See also[edit]

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cf., the Tyche of the city.
  2. ^ The full myth is that Derceto drowned herself in a lake near Ashkelon, in shame, after giving birth to a daughter Semiramis in an illicit love affair with a youth named Simios.[22][23] See §Mythology, infra.
  3. ^ "Hera" is just the tentative Greek designation Lucian used for this goddess, which must be Atargatis, but he was wavering on his decision, because aspects of many Greek goddesses were exhibited, in his words, those of "Athena and Aphrodite and Selene and Rhea and Artemis and Nemesis and the Fates".[30]
  4. ^ And at her side was "Zeus", with a bull beneath him.
  5. ^ The inscription " BAΣIΛEΩS / DHMHTPIOY / ΘEOY - ΦIΛOΠATOPOΣ / ΣΩTHPOΣ" refers to the monarch, but does not label the goddess as such.
  6. ^ A crescent moon may be depicted on the coin, together with the goddess.[42] A crescent surmounted on a lead standard ʾAin Djudj has been commented on as possibly symbolizing Stargateis in the guise of moon goddess Selene, one of the many mentioned by Lucian as her analog.[43]
  7. ^ The goddess at Dura-Europos represented in the guise of the Tyche of Palmyra, accompanied by the lion, in a fresco from the sanctuary of the Palmyrene gods, removed to the Yale Art Gallery.
  8. ^ As a further layer, the goddess in both parts is equated to Astarte in W. Robertson Smith's analysis.
  9. ^ Ovid also mentions Venus transforming into a fish. Metamorphoses V: 331, "Pisce Venus latuit.."
  10. ^ Caesar Domitianus, Diognetus Erythræus
  11. ^ Cf. supra
  12. ^ 2 Macc. 12:26.


  1. ^ Pliny the Elder. Natural History, 5.19.1.
  2. ^ "Atargatis (Syrian deity) - Encyclopædia Britannica". Britannica.com. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  3. ^ a b M. Rostovtseff, "Hadad and Atargatis at Palmyra", American Journal of Archaeology 37 (January 1933), pp 58-63, examining Palmyrene stamped tesserae.
  4. ^ "Hierapolis, at". Britannica.com. 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  5. ^ "Atargatis, the Phoenician Great Goddess-Dea Syria Derketo Derceto mermaid goddess fish goddess water goddess canaanite goddess syrian goddess". Thaliatook.com. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  6. ^ Bauer, Walter; Kraft, Robert A.; Krodel, Gerhard (1996). Orthodoxy and heresy in earliest Christianity. Sigler Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-9623642-7-3. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  7. ^ John Day (1 December 2002). Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan. Continuum. pp. 143–. ISBN 978-0-8264-6830-7.
  8. ^ M. Smith, 'Athtart in Late Bronze Age Syrian Texts [in:] D. T. Sugimoto (ed), Transformation of a Goddess. Ishtar – Astarte – Aphrodite, 2014, p. 49-51
  9. ^ G. Del Olmo Lete, KTU 1.107: A miscellany of incantations against snakebite [in] O. Loretz, S. Ribichini, W. G. E. Watson, J. Á. Zamora (eds), Ritual, Religion and Reason. Studies in the Ancient World in Honour of Paolo Xella, 2013, p. 198
  10. ^ S. A. Wiggins, A Reassessment of Asherah: With Further Considerations of the Goddess, 2007, p. 57, footnote 124; see also p. 169
  11. ^ S. A. Wiggins, A Reassessment of Tikva Frymer-Kensky's Asherah [in:] R. H. Bael, S. Halloway, J. Scurlock, In the Wake of Tikva Frymer-Kensky, 2009, p. 174
  12. ^ S. A. Wiggins, Shapsh, Lamp of the Gods [in:] N. Wyatt (ed.), Ugarit, religion and culture: proceedings of the International Colloquium on Ugarit, Religion and Culture, Edinburgh, July 1994; essays presented in honour of Professor John C. L. Gibson, 1999, p. 327
  13. ^ Porten 1968, p. 170.
  14. ^ Oden 1977, p. 64.
  15. ^ a b Drijvers 1999.
  16. ^ Lipiński 2000, p. 636.
  17. ^ Krebernik 2012, p. 65.
  18. ^ Niehr 2014, p. 201.
  19. ^ Smith 2014, p. 79.
  20. ^ The modern repertory of literary allusions to her is van Berg, Paul-Louis (1973) Corpus Cultus Deae Syriae (C.C.D.S.): les sources littéraires, Part I: Répertoire des sources grecques et latines; Part II: Études critiques des sources mythologiques grecques et latines, Leiden: Brill.
  21. ^ a b c d e f  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Atargatis". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 823.
  22. ^ a b Macalister, R. A. Stewart (1913). The Philistines: their history and civilization. London: Pub. for the British Academy by H. Milford. pp. 95–96.
  23. ^ a b Ringgren, Helmer (1969), Bleeker, C. Jouco; Widengren, Geo (eds.), "The Religion of Ancient Syria", Historia Religionorum I: Religions of the Past, E. J. Brill, p. 208
  24. ^ a b Cowper (1865), p. 3.
  25. ^ a b Smith, W. Robertson (1887), pp. 305, 313.
  26. ^ Fowlkes-Childs, Blair; Seymour, Michael (1902). A Sketch of Semitic Origins: Social and Religious. Macmillan. p. 242.
  27. ^ Hasan-Rokem, Galit (2014), Fine, Steven; Koller, Aaron (eds.), "Leviticus Rabbah 16, 1 – "Odysseus and the Sirens" in the Beit Leontis Mosaic from Beit She'an", Talmuda de-Eretz Israel: Archaeology and the Rabbis in Late Antique Palestine, Studia Judaica 73, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, p. 182, ISBN 9781614512875
  28. ^ Lucian. De Dea Syria 14; Lightfoot ed. (2003), pp. 254–255 (text); 352–356 (commentary); 352–356 (fish imagery). Cited and translation quoted by Hasan-Rokem (2014), p. 182.[27]
  29. ^ a b De Dea Syra, 14 apud Cowper (1865), pp. 9–10
  30. ^ Rostovtzeff & Bellinger (1929), The Excavations at Dura-Europos, 1st season, p. 120; Lucian quoted in Fowlkes-Childs & Seymour (2019), p. 198.
  31. ^ De Dea Syra, 32 , quoted in English in: Downey (1977), p. 175. A more extensive quote is given in Fowlkes-Childs & Seymour (2019), p. 198
  32. ^ Fowlkes-Childs, Blair; Seymour, Michael (2019). The World between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East. Metropolitan Museum of Art. pp. 198–199. ISBN 9781588396839.
  33. ^ Berlin, Andrea M. (March 1997), "Archaeological Sources for the History of Palestine: Between Large Forces: Palestine in the Hellenistic Period", The Biblical Archaeologist, 60 (1): 42, doi:10.2307/3210581, JSTOR 3210581, S2CID 163795671
  34. ^ Drijvers Dea Syria LIMC.
  35. ^ Glueck (1937), p. 376, note 3: ".. Besides the fish-goddess form of Atargatis, sculptures of her were found depicting her as a grain goddess (fig. 13) and as a goddess of foliage and fruits (figs 14–15).
  36. ^ a b Wright, Nicholas L. (2009), "Non-Greek Religious Imagery on the Coinage of Seleucid Syria", Mediterranean Archaeology, 22/23, JSTOR 24651941. Silver tetradrachm of Demetrius III. p. 198 and Pl.7: 5
  37. ^ Wright (2009), p. 199.
  38. ^ Wright (2009), p. 196.
  39. ^ Downey (1977), p. 175.
  40. ^ Wright (2009), p. 196 only writes that Hieropolitan coins typically depicted "Zeus", but the lion was also added as a sub-type, and "the lion was known as the companion and avatar of Atargatis".
  41. ^ Drijvers (2015), pp. 106–107.
  42. ^ Oden (1977), p. 145.
  43. ^ Rostovtzeff & Bellinger (1929), The Excavations at Dura-Europos, 1st season, pp. 119–120
  44. ^ Drijvers (2015), p. 106.
  45. ^ Matheson, Susan B. (1994), "The Goddess Tyche", Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1994): 25 and fig. 7, JSTOR 40514500
  46. ^ Downey (1977), pp. 47–48, 172–173 apud Matheson
  47. ^ Matheson (1994), n. 30
  48. ^ Rostovtseff 1933:58-63; Dura-Europos III.
  49. ^ Glueck, Nelson (July–September 1937), "A Newly Discovered Nabataean Temple of Atargatis and Hadad at Khirbet Et-Tannur, Transjordania", American Journal of Archaeology, 41 (3): 361–376, doi:10.2307/498501, JSTOR 498501, S2CID 193107146
  50. ^ Baur, Dura-Europos III, p. 115. For Pindar (Sixth Olympian Ode), the Greek sea-goddess Amphitrite is "goddess of the gold spindle".
  51. ^ Smith, W. Robertson (1887), p. 305.
  52. ^ a b Smith, W. Robertson (1887), p. 314.
  53. ^ Ovid. Metamorphoses IV: 44ff.
  54. ^ a b Hyginus, de Astronomica II: 30 and Manilius IV: 580 sqq. apud Smith, W. Robertson (1887), p. 314
  55. ^ Smith, W. Robertson (1887), p. 314 and Smith, W. Robertson (1894), p. 175: "as Aphrodite sprang from the sea-foam, or as Atargatis, .."
  56. ^ a b As in the poem Pervigilium Veneris, line 7 "tossed Dione from the foam", "Dione" in later times signified Venus. Aphrodite: The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite and The Pervigilium Veneris. Lucas, F. L., tr. Cambridge University Press. 1948. p. 49.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link), line 7 and note to Line 7
  57. ^ Cf. "Dione from the foam" (signifying Venus) in Pervigilium Veneris.[56]
  58. ^ Fasti 2.459–.474 apud Cowper (1865), pp. 14–16
  59. ^ Cowper (1865), pp. 12, 14–16.
  60. ^ Cowper (1865), p. 12.
  61. ^ Cowper (1865), pp. 12–13, he does not specify which primary source from among the authors he listed.
  62. ^ Smith, W. Robertson (1887), p. 314 and Smith, W. Robertson (1894), p. 175
  63. ^ Hyginus, Fabula 197: "Into the Euphrates River an egg of wonderful size is said to have fallen, which the fish rolled to the bank. Doves sat on it, and when it was heated, it hatched out Venus, who was later called the Syrian goddess. Since she excelled the rest in justice and uprightness, by a favour granted by Jove, the fish were put among the number of the stars, and because of this the Syrians do not eat fish or doves, considering them as gods".
  64. ^ Cowper (1865)
  65. ^ What W. R. Smith regards as myth "II." is just a variant of the Venus-Cupid myth (Smith's "I") in Cowper's estimation.[64]
  66. ^ Macrobius. Saturnalia, 1.23.
  67. ^ Harland, Philip (2009). Dynamics of Identity in the World of the Early Christians. Continuum Books. ISBN 978-0-567-11146-3. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  68. ^ Dirven's hypothesis that at Palmyra Atargatis was identical to Astarte, who functioned as the Gad of Palmyra, has been criticised by Ted Kaizer (The Religious Life of Palmyra 2002 :153f), who suggests that we "stick to the divine names actually given by the worshippers" and follow the Palmyrene inscriptions, which distinguish between them.
  69. ^ "on-line text". Livius.org. 2006-12-08. Archived from the original on 2015-03-30. Retrieved 2014-08-11.
  70. ^ Simply referring to "the temple that was in Carnaim" (on-line text).
  71. ^ Bilde, Per (1990). Religion and Religious Practice in the Seleucid Kingdom (in series "Studies in Hellenistic Civilization") Aarhus University Press
  72. ^ Lucian, De Dea Syria; Diodorus Siculus II.4.2.
  73. ^ Glueck (1937), p. 374, note 4
  74. ^ Lucian. De Dea Syria 14; Lightfoot ed. (2003), Lucian: On the Syrian Goddess, p. 67 n. 17. apud Wright (2009), p. 197 and n. 21
  75. ^ Maier (2018), p. 79.
  76. ^ Lucian, De Dea Syria.
  77. ^ Oden (1977), p. 50 apud Maier (2018), p. 79
  78. ^ Attridge and Oden 1976: 23, 37, 39, 55
  79. ^ Apuleius, The Golden Ass 8.26–28
  80. ^ Lucian, De Dea Syria 19–29


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