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Mesopotamia / Religions / Gods and goddesses /
Anu



Other gods show their respect to Anu.

Other gods show their respect to Anu.

The highest god in Mesopotamian religions. In general, Anu was a god that played little role in myths or cult. He was regarded as a distant force.
In Sumerian religion his name was An.
Detailed articleAn

Babylonian and Assyrian religion
In Babylonian and Assyrian religion, An's name became semitificated into Anu. Here his character and role were similar to that in Sumerian religion, and his cult centre was now in Uruk.
He was the personified heaven, and theoretically the highest god, and was referred to as "king of the gods". But he was really a god that only the king could worship, and beyond the reach of all others in the society.
He was represented with horns on his head, just as was the case with Enlil. A wife, named Antu, was associated with him. She is best understood as a feminine form of himself, since there is no mention of a separate identity for her. At the Code of Hammurabi we hear that Inanna (Ishtar) is Anu's wife. These myths represent a later stage in the religious development, and indicate her ascent into an important deity.

Akkadian religion
In Akkadian religion, a union was developed between Apsu and Tiamat from which the great gods Anu and Ea were created. And from them, the rest of creation came.
Also in Akkadian religion, Anu had a wife named Antum, whose character had many parallels with Ishtar (Inanna).

Hittite religion
In Hittite religion, Anu deposed Alalu, who was the first king in heaven. Then there was a war between the god Kumarbi and Anu. Yet it was not Anu, but rather Kumarbi's son, Teshub, the weather god, who overcame Kumarbi.





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By Tore Kjeilen