Nabu was originally a West Semitic deity from Ebla whose cult was introduced to Mesopotamia by the Amorites after 2000 BCE. Nabu was assimilated into Marduk's cult, where he became known as Marduk's minister, Marduk's son with Sarpanitum, and co-regent of the Mesopotamian pantheon.
Nabu resided in his temple of Ezida in Borsippa and had several temples devoted to him throughout Assyria, while his cult spread to Egypt and Anatolia due to Aramaic settlers. Due to his role as Marduk's minister and scribe, Nabu became the god of wisdom and writing, (including all works of science, religion and magic) taking over the role from the Sumerian goddess Nisaba. Nabu became one of the principal gods in Assyria as Assyrians addressed many prayers and inscriptions to Nabu and named children after him.
Nabu was also worshipped as a god of fertility, a god of water, and a god of vegetation. He was also the keeper of the Tablets of Destiny, which recorded the fate of mankind and allowed him to increase or diminish the length of human life. His symbols are the clay tablet and stylus.
Nabu's consorts were the Akkadian goddess Tashmetum and the Assyrian Nissaba. He wears a horned cap, and stands with hands clasped, in the ancient gesture of priesthood. He rides on a winged dragon known as Sirrush which originally belonged to his father Marduk. During the Babylonian New Year Festival, the cult statue of Nabu was transported from Borsippa to Babylon in order to commune with his father Marduk.
In Babylonian astrology, Nabu was identified with the planet Mercury.