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Anzû, before misread as Zû (Sumerian: AN.ZUD2, AN.ZUD, AN.IM.DUGUD.MUŠEN, AN.IM.MI.MUŠEN; cuneiform: AN.IM.MI-mušen), also known as Imdugud, is a lesser divinity or monster in several Mesopotamian religions. He was conceived by the pure waters of the Apsu and the wide Earth, or as son of Siris. Anzû was seen as a massive bird who can breathe fire and water, although Anzû is alternately seen as a lion-headed eagle (like a reverse griffin).
Stephanie Dalley, in Myths from Mesopotamia, writes that "the Epic of Anzu is principally known in two versions: an Old Babylonian version of the early second millennium [BC], giving the hero as Ningursu; and 'The Standard Babylonian' version, dating to the first millennium BC, which appears to be the most quoted version, with the hero as Ninurta". However, the Anzu character does appear more briefly in some other writings, as noted below.
Sumerian and Akkadian myth
In Sumerian and Akkadian mythology, Anzû is a divine storm-bird and the personification of the southern wind and the thunder clouds. This demon—half man and half bird—stole the "Tablet of Destinies" from Enlil and hid them on a mountaintop. Anu ordered the other gods to retrieve the tablets, even though they all feared the demon. According to one text, Marduk killed the bird; in another, it died through the arrows of the god Ninurta. 
Anzu appears in the Sumerian Lugalbanda and the Anzud Bird (also called: The Return of Lugalbanda).
Babylonian and Assyrian myth
The shorter Old Babylonian version was found at Susa. Full version in Dalley, page 222 and at The Epic of Anzû, Old Babylonian version from Susa, Tablet II, lines 1-83, read by Claus Wilcke
Also in Babylonian myth, Anzû is a deity associated with cosmogeny. Anzû is represented as stripping the father of the gods of umsimi (which is usually translated "crown" but in this case, as it was on the seat of Bel, it refers to the "ideal creative organ"). Regarding this, Charles Penglase writes that "Ham is the Chaldean Anzû, and both are cursed for the same allegorically described crime," which parallels the mutilation of Uranus by Cronus and of Set by Horus.
- Asakku, similar Mesopotamian deity
- Lamassu, Assyrian deity, bull/lion-eagle-human hybrid
- Griffin or griffon, lion-bird hybrid
- Ziz, giant griffin-like bird in Jewish mythology
- Zuism, Icelander protest against tax for religion
- Hybrid creatures in mythology
- List of hybrid creatures in mythology
- Charles Penglase (4 October 2003). Greek Myths and Mesopotamia: Parallels and Influence in the Homeric Hymns and Hesiod. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-203-44391-0.
- Jean Bottéro (1994). L'Oriente antico. Dai sumeri alla Bibbia (in Italian). Edizioni Dedalo. pp. 246–256. ISBN 978882200535-9.
- George Smith (1878). The Chaldean Account of Genesis. Library of Alexandria. pp. 40–48. ISBN 9781465527141.
- George Smith. The Chaldean Account of Genesis. "The Sin of the God Zu" at "Sacred Texts" website.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zu (mythology).|
- Zu on Encyclopædia Britannica
- Dalley, Stephanie, ed. (2000). "Anzû (pp. 203ff.)". Myths from Mesopotamia. Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199538360; ISBN 9780199538362.
- The Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ: Anzû
- ETCSL glossary showing Zu as the verb 'to know'
- Myth of Anzu
- Ninurta's return to Nibru: a šir-gida to Ninurta and The Return of Ninurta to Nippur
- Ninurta and the Turtle and Ninurta and the Turtle, or Ninurta and Enki
- Ninurta's exploits and The Exploits of Ninurta, or Lugal-e
- Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird
- The Epic of Anzû, Old Babylonian version from Susa, Tablet II, lines 1-83, read by Claus Wilcke