Mamitu

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Mammitum, Mammitu or Mammi was a Mesopotamian goddess viewed as the wife of Nergal, the god of death.[1][2] Mammitum's name might mean “oath” or “frost” (based on similarity to the Akkadian word mammû, "ice" or "frost").[3] In the earliest sources she is Nergal's most commonly attested wife, but from the Kassite period onward she was often replaced in this role by the goddess Laṣ.[4]

As her name is homophonous with Mami, a goddess of birth or "divine midwife,"[5] some researchers assume they are one and the same.[2] However, it has been proven that they were separate deities,[5] and they are kept apart in ancient Mesopotamian god lists.[3] A goddess named Mamma known from Mari is most likely related to the divine midwife Mami rather than to Mammitum.[6] Another being from Mesopotamian beliefs with a homophonous name was māmītu, a type of underworld demon with a goat's head and human hands and feet, known from the late text Underworld Vision of an Assyrian Prince and absent from other sources.[7] Unlike deities, who were generally fully antropomorphic in Mesopotamian beliefs, demonic beings were often hybrids.[8]

Mammitum was worshiped in Kutha, where she was likely introduced alongside Erra, a god syncretised with Nergal.[2] She also received offerings in the Ekur temple complex in Nippur alongside her husband.[9]

The god list An = Anum mentions both Mamitum and Laṣ, and equates them with each other.[2] However, in the so-called Nippur god list Laṣ occurs separately from Nergal,[1] while Mammitum is listed alongside him.[9] In at least one text, a description of a New Year ritual from Babylon during which the gods of Kish (Zababa), Kutha (Nergal) and Borsippa (Nabu) and their entourages were believed to visit Marduk (at the time not yet a major god), both she and Laṣ appear side by side as two separate goddesses.[10]

In the Epic of Erra, Mammitum appears as the wife of the eponymous god,[11] who is referred both as Erra and Nergal at various points in the known manuscripts.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lambert 1983, p. 507.
  2. ^ a b c d Wiggermann 1998, p. 220.
  3. ^ a b Krebernik 1987, p. 330.
  4. ^ Lambert 1983, pp. 506–507.
  5. ^ a b Asher-Greve & Westenholz 2013, p. 87.
  6. ^ Nakata 1995, pp. 235–236.
  7. ^ Wiggermann 2011, pp. 301–302.
  8. ^ Asher-Greve & Westenholz 2013, p. 286.
  9. ^ a b Peterson 2009, p. 54.
  10. ^ Lambert 2013, p. 282.
  11. ^ George 2013, p. 51.
  12. ^ George 2013, p. 61.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Asher-Greve, Julia M.; Westenholz, Joan G. (2013). Goddesses in Context: On Divine Powers, Roles, Relationships and Gender in Mesopotamian Textual and Visual Sources (PDF). ISBN 978-3-7278-1738-0.
  • George, Andrew R. (2013). "The Poem of Erra and Ishum: A Babylonian Poet's View of War" (PDF). Warfare and Poetry in the Middle East. I.B.Tauris. doi:10.5040/9780755607969.ch-002.
  • Krebernik, Manfred (1987), "Mamma, Mammi, Mammītum", Reallexikon der Assyriologie, retrieved 2022-02-06
  • Lambert, Wilfred G. (1983), "Laṣ", Reallexikon der Assyriologie, retrieved 2022-02-06
  • Lambert, Wilfred G. (2013). Babylonian creation myths. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 978-1-57506-861-9. OCLC 861537250.
  • Nakata, Ichiro (1995). "A Study of Women's Theophoric Personal Names in the Old Babylonian Texts from Mari". Orient. The Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan. 30–31: 234–253. doi:10.5356/orient1960.30and31.234. ISSN 1884-1392.
  • Peterson, Jeremiah (2009). God lists from Old Babylonian Nippur in the University Museum, Philadelphia. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. ISBN 3-86835-019-5. OCLC 460044951.
  • Wiggermann, Frans A. M. (1998), "Nergal A. Philological", Reallexikon der Assyriologie, retrieved 2022-02-05
  • Wiggermann, Frans A. M. (2011). "The Mesopotamian Pandemonium. A Provisional Census". Studi e materiali di storia delle religioni. 77 (2): 298–322.