Sunday, October 6, 2013

Solar Deities & The Great Khorasan Road (2600 BC)


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"The Great Khorasan Road stretched from Balkh to Egypt and was a major route for Lapis lazuli since at least 5000 BC….It was also the area of the great Solar Kingdoms of Ancient Central Asia and the Middle East…. "khor" means "sun" and "san" means "the place", "the dwelling" . Khorasan, is the "place where the sun rises".

Click on the map to enlarge

"SHAMASH…… Babylon….The first literary text in the Akkadian language was a hymn to Šamaš that was found among the texts from Tell Abu Salabikh (ca. 2600 BCE). …..(Akkadian Šamaš "Sun"), was a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu. Akkadian šamaš is cognate to Syriac ܫܡܫܐ šemša or šimšu Hebrew שֶׁמֶשׁ šemeš and Arabic شمس šams….The two chief centres of sun-worship in Babylonia were Sippar, represented by the mounds at Abu Habba, and Larsa, represented by the modern Senkerah. At both places the chief sanctuary bore the name E-barra (or E-babbara) "the shining house"—a direct allusion to the brilliancy of the sun-god. Of the two temples, that at Sippara was the more famous, but temples to Shamash were erected in all large centres – such as Babylon, Ur, Mari, Nippur, and Nineveh….Šamaš (Sumerian Utu) is the god of the sun. He brings light and warmth to the land, allowing plants and crops to grow. At sunrise Šamaš was known to emerge from his underground sleeping chamber and take a daily path across the skies. As the sun fills the entire sky with light, Šamaš oversaw everything that occurred."….

SURYA…..Proto-Indo-European….the exact gender of the Sun or Moon tends to vary among subsequent Indo-European mythologies. Here are two of the most common PIE forms: *Seh2ul with a genitive form *Sh2-en-s, Sun, appears as Sanskrit Surya, Avestan Hvara; Greek Helios, Latin Sol, Germanic *Sowilo (Old Norse Sól; Old English Sigel and Sunna, modern English Sun), Lithuanian Saulė, Latvian Saule; Romanian Soare, Albanian Diell……Surya (Devanagari: सूर्य Sūrya, "the Supreme Light") Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism. The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general…..

MITHRA…..'Surya' is also known as 'Mitra' (meaning friend) for his life nourishing properties. The Mitra form of 'Surya' had been worshiped mostly in Gujarat, where a clan of Suryawanshi kings was known as Mitrawanshi kshatriyas, also known by its distorted name Maitrakas (मैत्रक)… Suryavansha or Suryavam(n)sham or Solar Dynasty was a dynasty of ancient India. The term Suryavanshi refers to a person belonging to Suryvansha dynasty, an ancient Kshatriya clan of India. It is also known by many synonyms as Adityavansa, Mitravansa, Arkavanśa and Ravivansa…..The early Suryavanshis considered the sun god (Surya, Aditya or Arka) as their kuladevata and mainly practised sun-worship.The Gurjars believe they have descended from Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi kshatriyas. The copper-plate grants and their seals of Gurjars bear an emblem of the Sun. Also, the Gurjar title of honor is Mihir which means Surya…..The Puranas, particularly Vishnu Purana, Ramayana by Valmiki and the Mahabharata by Vyasa gives accounts of this dynasty. The Raghuvamsha of Kalidasa also mentions the names of some of the kings of this dynasty…..

"Shivini or Artinis (the present form of the name is Artin, meaning "sun rising" or to "awake", was a solar god in the mythology of the Urartu, a prehistoric Iron Age kingdom. He is the third god in a triad with Khaldi and Theispas and is cognate with the triad in Hinduism called Shivam. The Assyrian god Shamash is a counterpart to Shivini. He was depicted as a man on his knees, holding up a solar disc. His wife was most likely a goddess called Tushpuea who is listed as the third goddess on the Mheri-Dur inscription. Shivini is generally considered a good god, like that of the Egyptian solar god, Aten, and unlike the solar god of the Assyrians, Ashur to whom sometimes human sacrifices were made."....

Artinis……The Urartian (pre-Armenian) sun-god. He is one of the non-Aryan triad, with Khaldi and Theispas….

"Shamash (Akkadian Šamaš "Sun"), was a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu. Akkadian šamaš is cognate to Syriac šemša or šimšu Hebrew שֶׁמֶשׁ šemeš and Arabic شمس šams…..The Assyrian god Shamash is a counterpart to Shivini…the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. When Gilgamesh and Enkidu travel to slay Humbaba, each morning they pray and make libation to shamash in the direction of the rising sun for safe travels."....

Greater Khorasan - map of Persia by Emanuel Bowen showing the names of territories during the Persian Safavid dynasty and Mughal Empire of India (ca. 1500–1747)..Click on the map to enlarge

RA…..EGYPT…..Ra /rɑː/ or Re /reɪ/ was the ancient Egyptian solar deity. By the Fifth Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BC) he had become a major god in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the midday sun. The meaning of the name is uncertain, but it is thought that if not a word for 'sun' it may be a variant of or linked to words meaning 'creative power' …t he major cult centre of Ra was Heliopolis (called Iunu, "Place of Pillars", in Egyptian), where he was identified with the local sun-god Atum. Through Atum, or as Atum-Ra, he was also seen as the first being and the originator of the Ennead, consisting of Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Osiris, Set, Isis and Nephthys. ….i n later Egyptian dynastic times, Ra was merged with the god Horus, as Re-Horakhty ("Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons"). He was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the earth, and the underworld. He was associated with the falcon or hawk. When in the New Kingdom the god Amun rose to prominence he was fused with Ra as Amun-Ra. During the Amarna Period, Akhenaten suppressed the cult of Ra in favour of another solar deity, the Aten, the deified solar disc, but after the death of Akhenaten the cult of Ra was restored."..

Male figure (Shamash or Ashur) in an Assyrian winged sun emblem (North-West Palace of Nimrud, 9th century BC; British Museum room B, panel 23). This iconography later gave rise to the Zoroastrian Faravahar symbol.

"The pantheon was headed by a triad made up of Khaldi (the supreme god), Theispas (Teisheba) god of thunder and storms, as well as sometimes war, and Shivini a solar god. Their king was also the chief-priest or envoy of Khaldi. Some temples to Khaldi were part of the royal palace complex while others were independent structures."….Piotrovsky, Boris B. (1969). The Ancient Civilization of Urartu: An Archaeological Adventure. Cowles Book Co. ISBN 0-214-66793-6.

"Godin Tepe….a Sumerian settlement first inhabited c. 5000 BCE which comprised a village and a fortress. It became an important stop along the Great Khorasan Road trade route."

Armenian Mythology: Stories of Armenian Gods and Goddesses, Heroes and ... By Mardiros Harootioon Ananikian

LAPIS LAZULI AND THE GREAT KHORASAN ROAD….Y. MAJIDZADEH….Vol. 8, No. 1 (1982), pp. 59-69 Published by: Paléorient


October 2013

John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico


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