Tammuz

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Tammuz

(tä`məz), ancient nature deity worshiped in Babylonia. A god of agriculture and flocks, he personified the creative powers of spring. He was loved by the fertility goddess IshtarIshtar
, ancient fertility deity, the most widely worshiped goddess in Babylonian and Assyrian religion. She was worshiped under various names and forms. Most important as a mother goddess and as a goddess of love, Ishtar was the source of all the generative powers in nature and
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, who, according to one legend, was so grief-stricken at his death that she contrived to enter the underworld to get him back. According to another legend, she killed him and later restored him to life. These legends and his festival, commemorating the yearly death and rebirth of vegetation, corresponded to the festivals of the Phoenician and Greek AdonisAdonis
, in Greek mythology, beautiful youth beloved by Aphrodite and Persephone. He was born of the incestuous union of Myrrha (or Smyrna) and Cinyras, king of Cyprus. Aphrodite left Adonis in the care of Persephone, who raised him and made him her lover.
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 and of the Phrygian AttisAttis
or Atys
, in Phrygian religion, vegetation god. When Nana ate the fruit of the almond tree, which had been generated by the blood of either Agdistis or of Cybele, she conceived Attis.
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. The Sumerian name of Tammuz was Dumuzi. In the Bible his disappearance is mourned by the women of Jerusalem (Ezek. 8.14).

Tammuz

 

in the mythology and religion of the Semitic peoples, the god of fertility, who dies and rises from the dead. Tammuz is the biblical name, derived from the Sumerian Dumuzi. According to the earliest version of the Sumerian myth, Dumuzi, a shepherd god, was sent by his spouse, Inanna, to the netherworld as her substitute. He was saved, however, by his sister, Geshtinanna, who consented to take his place six months of the year. Tammuz corresponds to the Phoenician god Adoni.

References in periodicals archive ?
Far from being impressed, the hero responds with a caustic recounting of Mar's treatment of her former lovers, both anthropomorphic and the-riomorphic, who have been universally transformed to their detriment through their association with her (Table 2): Dumuzid has transitioned from the realm of the living to that of the dead; the speckled allallu-bird is left with a broken wing; the lion and horse suffer physical mortification and discomfiture; the shepherd is turned into a wolf to be continually driven from his flock; (21) and Isullanu, the gardener, is struck and turned into a dwarf.
The Metamorphoses of Istar's Lovers (26) Figure Category Suffers SB Gilgames Epic Tablet VI Dumuzid Anthropomorphic Death "To him you have allotted perpetual weeping, year on year." allallu-bitd Theriomorphic Physical Damage "You struck him and broke his wing, / (now) he stands in the woods crying, 'My wing!'" Lion Theriomorphic Victimization "Seven and seven pits you have dug for him." Horse Theriomorphic Abuse / "To him you have Enslavement allotted a whip, spurs and lash.
Perhaps the most salient of these is the locating of metamorphosis and death on the same continuum in the Gilgames Epic, echoing not only the pairing of Bilulu's death with her physical transformation in Inana and Bilulu, a pairing that results in her essential annihilation, but also Dumuzid's temporary metamorphosis prior to his death at the hands of the galla.
(8.) Dumuzid is not the only character from the Mesopotamian literary compositions to seek--and gain--the boon of extraordinary speed: Lugalbanda begs the gift of superhuman swiftness from the monster Anzud, ruler of the highlands, after gaining the latter's goodwill in the Return of Lugalbanda; see Claus Wilcke, Das Lugalbanda-epos (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1969); H.
(9.) Alster discusses Dumuzid's role as a boundary-crosser, a mediator between human and divine, life and death, desert and sown, in Dumuzi's Dream: Aspects of Oral Poetry in a Sumerian Myth, 14.