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Ishtar

The “Burney Relief,” which is believed to represent either Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war, or her older sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the underworld (c. 19th or 18th century BC).

In Ancient Mesopotamia, Sex among the Gods Shook Heaven and Earth

Sexuality was central to life in ancient Mesopotamia, an area of the Ancient Near East often described as the cradle of western civilisation roughly corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, and...
Detail of a modern depiction of the goddess Ishtar.

Love is a Battlefield: The Legend of Ishtar, First Goddess of Love and War

Louise Pryke / The Conversation As singer Pat Benatar once noted, love is a battlefield . Such use of military words to express intimate, affectionate emotions is likely related to love’s capacity to...
Archaeologists haven’t even had time to write up their findings for a scholarly journal about this ancient Assyrian tomb found in Erbil, Iraq.

Skeletons and Sarcophagi: Was This Newly Discovered Tomb Made for a Family of Elite Ancient Assyrians?

Though the Islamic State group (Daesh) recently plundered and wrecked a few ancient Assyrian cities, fighters recently successfully defended Erbil in Iraq, known long ago as Arbela. In that city,...
The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna (known also as ‘Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld / Underworld’) is a piece of work in the literary corpus of ancient Mesopotamia. This story, which was originally written in...
Anahita and Ishtar: Connections to the Planet Venus

Anahita and Ishtar: Connections to the Planet Venus

Anahita was a goddess associated with water, fertility, wisdom, warfare, and eventually the planet Venus. During the Achaemenid dynasty in Persia, she became incorporated into the Zoroastrian...
More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, has a very distinctive image in classical arts. In 458 BCE, the playwright Aeschylus, in his play Agamemnon , used the name of Aphrodite to denote “beauty, charm...
Green Man in the Louvre

The Truth Behind the Christ Myth: The Green Man and the Legend of Jesus – Part II

So how did the oft-used legend of the Green Man eventually become chosen to be the legend of Jesus? Let us begin when it was the life story of the ancient Green Man and work forward to the time of...
The Coming Gnostic Civilization, and his most recent book, Sedona: City of the Star People.

The Truth Behind the Christ Myth: Ancient Origins of the Often Used Legend – Part I

What is the origin of the legend of the Christed Son who was born of a virgin on December 25th? I am sure you are familiar with his legend which states that he was born in a manger surrounded by...
Origins of Aphrodite

The Intriguing Origins of Aphrodite

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, sex, and beauty. In one of the most famous images of the goddess, we see her emerge from the sea, a reference to her origin story. In this older of the two...
Ancient Sumerian Love Poem

The 4,000-Year-Old Sumerian Love Poem and the Sacred Ritual of Marriage

'Bridegroom, dear to my heart; goodly is your beauty, honeysweet; lion, dear to my heart'. These are the passionate words of a lover to a king, from more than 4,000 years ago, in the oldest known...