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Subject: alt.mythology Hittite/Hurrian Mythology REF, ver. 1.2
This article was archived around: 5 Nov 1997 19:11:39 GMT
Hittite/Hurrian Mythology REF 1.2
by Christopher B. Siren
last modified: August 6th, 1997 - added a bunch of information from
the first half of Hoffner.
Mar. 14th, 1996 - fixed a bunch of misprints discovered
while editing the hypertext version.
I. Who were the 'Hittites'?
II. What Deities did they worship?
A. Hittite and Hurrian deities.
B. Akkadian Imports.
III. What was the Hittite cosmology and how did they perceive the
structure of the universe?
IV. Source material.
I. Who were the 'Hittites'?
During the second millennium B.C. the Indo-European people known as
the Hittites ruled over the 'Land of Hatti', in central and eastern
Anatolia, that peninsula which is modern Turkey. They had displaced the
previous occupants, the non-Indo-European Hattians, and ruled from the
city of Hattusas near the modern Boghazkoy in northern central Turkey,
possibly as early as 1900 B.C. Much of the Cappadocian plateau was
under their control through satellite kingdoms before 1800 B.C. and they
enjoyed a thriving trade with the Assyrians. Around 1800 B.C. Anittas
and his father Pitkhanas of Kussara sacked several Hittite cities,
including Hattusas, though Anittas laid a curse upon that city and trade
broke off until the founding of the Old Kingdom under King Labarnas
around 1680 B.C. He and his descendents greatly expanded the region of
Hittite control, crossing the Taurus mountains and waging war on Syria
and Assyria. King Mursilis (~1620-1590 B.C.), Labarnas' grandson by
adoption, brought down the Old Kingdom of Babylon - Hamurabi's dynasty.
This expanded realm, also stretching to Anatolia's west coast, proved to
susceptible to internal power struggles. In 1525 B.C., Telepinus, last
king of the Old Kingdom seized control and sacrificed some of the
Western districts and all of the territory east of the Taurus mountains
in favor of a more easily managed kingdom.
The Hurrians occupied the land between the Hittites and Assyria,
having descended from the mountains south of the Caspian Sea. They
ruled the kingdom of Mitanni. In the late 15th century B.C. the Hittite
empire's beginning is marked by an influx of Hurrian names into the
royal family. Tudhalyas I (1420 B.C.) reunited Western Anatolia under
Hittite rule, and retook Allepo but lost the Black Sea coast to the
Kaska tribes. After some difficulty with the Mittani the Hittites
resurged under King Suppilulimas around 1344-1322 taking a firmer hold
on Syria. With Egypt, they dominated the lands of Canaan and the Levant
during the 1200's. Their prosperity came to a sudden end when the
invasion of the Sea Peoples coincided with increasing trouble from the
Kaskas. While Hittite culture continued through about 700 B.C., the
Empire was shattered into several kingdoms and pressures such as the
growing Assyrian Empire helped keep it from uniting again.
The Hittites were a patriarchal, highly agricultural society. They
had rich iron deposits which they mined and traded with the Assyrians.
They also used it for weaponry and were rather successful in the use of
a three-man chariot. Through trade and conquest the languages and
cultures of their neighbors seeped into Hittite society. Babylonian and
Hurrian deities were worshiped along-side or assimilated with the native
Hittite deities. This merging of cultures and free use of foreign
languages is rather fortuitous. Parallel Hittite and Akkadian treaties
and similar texts helped in cracking the Hittite hieroglyphic code.
Unfortunately, while the ability to translate Hittite hieroglyphics has
improved, the pronunciation of several Hittite ideograms, and hence
their transcription into English, remains elusive. Often, as in the
case with the Storm-god, we must resort to a descriptive name, or else
use the appropriate Hurrian or Akkadian name.
II. What Deities did they worship?
The Hittites had an abundant number of local cult deities and sets
of local pantheons. As the government became more centralized,
particularly during the imperial period around 1400 - 1200 B.C., there
were efforts to equate many of these local deities and form a state
pantheon. Such a pantheon was headed by the Weather-god/Storm-god, who
also represented the mountains, and his consort - usually the earth
goddess, who was also attached to the waters of rivers and the sea. The
Hittites themselves write of 'the thousand gods of Hatti', and more than
eight-hundred such names have been discovered. (Considerably fewer will
be dealt with here.) The associated myths have both Hittite and Hurrian
content, with the origin of many suspected to be Hurrian. The Kumarbis-
Ullukummis is chief among the Hurrian tales and the Illuyankas stories
and missing god myths of Telipinus and the missing Storm-god are thought
to be more Hattic. There also exist fragments of a Hittite version of
the Gilgamesh epic and many Akkadian deities are worshiped outright.
You will notice that many of the names carry an optional 's' as a
suffix, which comes from the nominative case ending for Hittite.
A. Hittite and Hurrian deities.
Alalu(s) - was king in heaven in olden days and Anus was the first
among the gods. Anus served as his cupbearer for 9 years before
defeating him and dispatched him to under the earth.
Anu(s) (Akkadian in origin) - while Alalus was king in heaven, Anus
was more powerful. He served as Alalus' cup bearer for nine years and
then defeated him, dispatching him to under the earth. He took his seat
on the thrown and had Kumarbis as his cupbearer. Likewise, after nine
years Kumarbis rebelled, chased Anus - who fled in the sky like a bird,
and bit off and swallowed his phallus. In this act Anus had some
revenge by impregnating Kumarbis with the Storm-god, the Aranzahus
(Tigris) river, and Tasmisus. He then hides himself in heaven. He
advises the Storm-god on the places where he might exit Kumarbis. After
the Storm-god's birth, they plot to destroy Kumarbis and, with his other
children, apparently succeed.
Kumarbi(s) - 'the father of all gods' according to the Hurrians. He
is sometimes equated with Enlil and Dagan. His city is Urkis. He
thinks wise thoughts and carries a staff. He served as Anus' cup-bearer
for nine years and then rebelled, chased Anus, and bit off and swallowed
his phallus, thereby becoming impregnated with the Storm-god, the
Aranzahus (Tigris) river, and Tasmisus. With that news, he spat out
Aranzahus and Tasmisus of on Mount Kanzuras. The Storm-god begins to
exit through Kumarbis' 'tarnassus', causing him to moan in pain. He
asks Ayas to give him his son to devour, which he does. Ayas has 'poor'
magic worked on him and his 'tarnassus' is secured, so the Storm-god
exits through his 'good place' instead. He is then presumably defeated
by the Storm-god, Anus, and his offspring.
During a plot to overthrow the Storm-god, he lay with a Rock as if
it were a woman. He instructs Imbaluris, his messenger to send a
message to the Sea, that Kumarbis should remain father of the gods. The
Sea hosts a feast for him and later Kumarbis' Rock gives birth to
Ullikummis. Kumarbis announces that his son will defeat the Storm-god,
his city Kummiya, his brother Tasmisus and the gods from the sky. He
charges Imbaluris to seek out the Irsirra deities to hide Ullikummis
from the Sun-god, the Storm-god, and Ishtar.
Imbaluris - Kumarbis' messenger. He is sent to warn the Sea that
Kumarbis' must remain the father of the gods.
Mukisanus - Kumarbis' vizier
Hannahanna(s) (Nintu, Mah) - the mother of all the gods. She is
associated with Gulses. After Telipinu disappears, the Storm-god
complains to her. She sends him to search himself and when he gives up,
she dispatches a bee, charging it to purify the god by stinging his
hands and feat and wiping his eyes and feet with wax.
She recommends to the Storm-god that he pay the Sea-god the bride-
price for the Sea-god's daughter on her wedding to Telipinu.
Apparently she also disappears in a fit of anger and while she is
gone cattle and sheep are stifled and mothers, both human and animal
take no account of their children. After her anger is banished to the
Dark Earth, she returns rejoicing. Another means of banishing her anger
is through burning brushwood and alowing the vapor to enter her body.
After Inara consulted with her, she gave her a man and land. Soon
after, Inara is missing and when Hannahanna is informed thereof by the
Storm-god's bee, she apparently begins a search with the help of her
Female Attendant a. She appears to consult with the Sun-god and the
War-god, but much of the text is missing.
Upelluri (Ubelluris) - similar to Atlas, this giant carries the world
on his shoulders. The olden gods built the earth and heaven upon him -
though he did not notice, even when they those two were separated with a
cleaver. On the direction of Kumarbis' messenger Imaluris, the Issira
deities place Ullikummis on his right shoulder where the child grows.
Ea interviews him, in search of Ullikummis and Upelluri admits to a
small pain on his shoulder, although he can't identify which god is
Storm/Weather-god (Hurrian's Teshub, Taru, Luwian's Tarhun(t) - 'The
Conqueror'), 'The king of Kummiya', 'King of Heaven, Lord of the land of
Hatti', 'The divine Kazal, the valiant king'. He is chief among the
gods and his symbol is the bull. As Teshub he has been pictured as a
bearded man astride two mountains and bearing a club. He is a god of
battle and victory, especially when the battle is with a foreign power.
As Taru, he is the consort of Wurusemu. - He was the child of Anus and
Kumarbis - conceived along with Tasmisus and the Aranzahus (Tigris)
river when Kumarbis bit off and swallowed Anus' phallus. He is,
however, considered Ea's son in the myth of Ullikummis. He is
informed by Anus of the possible exits from Kumarbis, and tries to exit
through Kumarbis' 'tarnassas', causing him great pain. With the
'tarnassas' blocked, he exits through Kumarbis' 'good place'. He plots
with Anus, Tasmisus, and Aranzhus to destroy Kumarbis, and apparently
succeeds seizing kingship in heaven.
He sent rain after the fallen Moon-god/Kashku when he fell from
Alerted to the imminent arrival of the Sun-god, who in some myths is
his son, he has Tasmisus prepare a meal for their guest and listens to
his report about the sudden appearance of the giant Ullikummis. He and
Tasmisus then leave the kuntarra and are led to Mount Hazzi by his
sister, Ishtar, where they behold the monstrous creature. He looks upon
Kumarbis' son with fear and Ishtar chides him. Later, emboldened, he
has Tasmisus prepare his bulls and wagon for battle, and has him call
out the thunderstorms, lightning and rains. Their first battle resulted
in his incomplete defeat. He dispatches Tasmisus to his wife, Hebat, to
tell her that he must remain in a 'lowly place' for a term. When
Tasmisus returns, he encourages the Storm-god to seek Ea in the city
Abzu/Apsu and ask for the 'tablets with the words of fate' (Tablets of
Destiny? 'me'?). After Ea cleaves off Ullukummis' feet, he spurs
Tasmisus and the Storm-god on to battle the crippled giant. Despite the
diorite man's boasting, the Storm-god presumably defeats him.
He fought with the Dragon Illuyankas in Kiskilussa and was defeated.
He called the gods for aid asking that Inaras prepare a celebration.
She does so and when the dragon and his children have gorged themselves
on her feast, the mortal Hupasiyas binds him with a rope. Then the
Storm-god, accompanied by the gods, sets upon them and destroys them.
In another version of that myth, he looses his eyes and heart to
Illuyankas after his first battle. He then marries a poor mortal woman
and marries their son to Illuyankas daughter. He has the son ask for
his eyes and heart. With their return, he attacks the dragon again.
When his son sides with Illuyankas, the Storm-god kills them both.
When his son, Telepinus, is missing he despairs and complains to the
Sun-god and then to Hannahannas, who tells him to search for him
himself. After searching Telepinus' city he gives up.
In other versions of this myth, it is the Storm-god who is missing.
One is almost exactly the same, and in another, he is journeys to the
Dark Earth in his anger, and is returned with the help of his mother -
here Wuruntemu/Ereshkigal/the Sun goddess of Arinna.
He sends Telipinu to recover the Sun-god who had been kidnapped by
the Sea-god. The Sea-god is so intimidated that he gives Telipinu his
daughter in marriage but demands a bride-price from the Storm-god.
After consulting with Hannahanna, he pays the price of a thousand sheep
and a thousand cattle.
He notices his daughter, Inara, is missing and sends a bee to
Hannahanna to have her search for her.
Seris (Serisu) - a bull sacred to the Storm-god. In preparation for
battle, the Storm-god has Tasmisus anoint his horns with oil and drive
him up Mount Imgarra with Tella and the battle wagon.
Tella (Hurris) - another bull sacred to the Storm-god. In
preparation for battle, the Storm-god has Tasmisus plate his tail with
gold and drive him up Mount Imgarra with Seris and the battle wagon.
Aranzahas - The Tigris river deified. A child of Anus and Kumarbis,
he was the brother of the Storm-god and Tasmisus, spat out of Kumarbis'
mouth onto Mount Kanzuras. Later he colludes with Anus and the Storm-
god to destroy Kumarbis.
Tasmisus - A child of Anus and Kumarbis, conceived along with the
Storm-god and Aranzahus. The brother of the Storm-god and Aranzahus, he
was spat out of Kumarbis upon Mount Kanzuras. Later he colludes with
Anus and the Storm-god to destroy Kumarbis. He serves as the Storm-
He spies the Sun-god approaching and informs the Storm-god that this
visit bodes ill. At the Storm-god's command he has a meal set up for
their visitor. After the Sun-god's tale, he and the Storm-god depart
and are met by Ishtar, who takes them to Mt. Hazzi near Ugarit, where
they can see Ullikummis. The Storm-god has him take his bulls up Mt.
Imgarra and prepare them for battle. He is also ordered to bring forth
the storms, rains, winds, and lightning. After their defeat, he is
dispatched by the Storm-god to Hebat, to tell her that he must remain in
a 'lowly place' for a term. He returns and encourages the Storm-god to
seek Ea in the city Abzu/Apsu and ask for the 'tablets with the words of
fate' (Tablets of Destiny? 'me'?). After Ea cleaves off Ullukummis'
feet, he spurs Tasmisus and the Storm-god on to battle the crippled
Suwaliyattas - a warrior god and probably the brother of the Storm-
(Hurrian Hebat, Hepit, Hepatu) - The matronly wife of the Storm-god.
She is sometimes found standing on her sacred animal, the lion. After
the Storm-god and Astabis' failed attacks on Ullikummis, the giant
forced her out of her temple, causing her to lose communication with the
gods. She frets that Ullikummis may have defeated her husband and
expresses her concern to her servant Takitis, charging him to convene
the assembly of the gods and bring back word of her husband. Presumably
she is brought word of his defeat. Tasmisus visits her in the high
watchtower, telling her that the Storm-god is consigned to a 'lowly
place' for a length of time. She is the mother of Sharruma.
Wurusemu, (Wuruntemu?), 'Sun Goddess of Arrina', 'mistress of the
Hatti lands, the queen of heaven and earth', 'mistress of the kings and
queens of Hatti, directing the government of the King and Queen of
Hatti' - this goddess is later assimilated with Hebat. She made the
cedar land. She is the primary goddess in Arrina, with Taru as her
consort. She is a goddess of battle and is associated with Hittite
military victory. She is the mother of the Storm-god of Nerik, and
thereby possibly associated with Ereshkigal. She aids in returning him
from the underworld.
(Hurrian Sharruma), 'the calf of Teshub' - The son of Teshub and
Hebat, this god is symbolized by a pair of human legs. He is later
identified with the Weather-god of Nerik and Zippalanda.
Takitis - Hebat's servant. After Hebat was driven from her temple
he is told of her concern for her husband and charged with convening the
assembly of the gods and returning with word of her husband's fate.
Mezzullas - daughter of the Storm-god and the Sun-goddess of Arinna.
She has influence with her parents.
Zintuhis - granddaughter of the Storm-god and the Sun-goddess of
Telepinu(s), Telipinu (Hattic) 'the noble god' - an agricultural god,
he is the favorite and firstborn son of the Storm-god. He 'harrows and
plows. He irrigates the fields and makes the crops grow.' (Gurney p.
113) He flies into a rage and storms off, loosing
himself in the steppe and becoming overcome with fatigue. With his
departure, fertility of the land, crops and herds disappears and famine
besets man and god. Hannahannas' bee finds him, stings his hands and
feet, and wipes his eyes and feet with wax, purifying him. This further
infuriates him, and he wrecks further havoc with the rivers and by
shattering houses and windows. Eventually, the evil and malice is
removed through magic by Kamrusepas, but not before Telepinus thunders
with lightning. Telepinus returns home, restoring
fertility and tending to the life and vitality of the royal family. His
prosperity and fertility is symbolized by a pole suspending the fleece
of a sheep. In other versions of this myth, the Storm-god or the Sun-
and several other gods are missing instead.
He is asked by his father to recover the Sun-god from the Sea-god,
and so intimidates the Sea-god that he is given his daughter as a bride.
Ullikummi(s), the diorite man - born of Kumarbis and the Rock. This
god is made entirely of diorite. He was born to be used as a weapon to
defeat the Storm-god and his allies. Kumarbis had him delivered to the
Irsirra deities to keep him hidden from the Storm-god, the Sun-god, and
Ishtar. After the Irsirra deities presented him to Ellil, they placed
him on the shoulder of Upelluri where he grows an acre in a month.
After fifteen days he grows enough so that he stands waist deep in
the sea when the Sun-god and he notice each other. Alerted by the
Sun-god, the Storm-god eventually prepares for battle atop Mount Imgarra,
yet their first battle results in an incomplete victory. He drives
Hebat from her temple, cutting off her communication with the other
gods. Astabis leads seventy gods on attack against him, attempting to
draw up the water from around him, perhaps in order to stop his growth.
They fall into the sea and he grows to be 9000 leagues tall and around,
shaking the heavens, the earth, pushing up the sky, and towering over
Kummiya. Ea locates him and cuts off his feet with the copper knife
that separated the heaven from the earth. Despite his wounds he boasts
to the Storm-god that he will take the kingship of heaven. Presumably,
he is none-the-less defeated.
Sun-god (of Heaven) - Probably an Akkadian import, this god one of
justice and is sometimes the king of all gods. An ally and sometimes
son of the Storm-god, he notices the giant Ullikummis in the sea and
visited the Storm-god, refusing to eat until he reports his news. After he
has done so, the Storm-god proclaims that the food on the table shall
become pleasant, which it does, and so the Sun-god enjoys his meal and
returns to his route in heaven.
When Telepinus disappears, bringing a famine, he arranges a feast
for the Thousand Gods, but it is ineffective in assuaging their hunger.
At the Storm-god's complaint, he dispatches an eagle to search for the
god, but the bird is unsuccessful. After the bee discovers Telepinus, he
has man perform a ritual. In another version of the missing god myth, he
is one of the missing gods. He keeps several sheep. At the end of the
day, he travels through the nether-world.
He was kidnapped by the Sea-god and released when Telipinu came for
In a longer version of that story, the Sea-god caught him in a net,
possibly putting him into a Kukubu-vessel when he fell. During his
absence, Hahhimas (Frost) took hold.
Hapantallis - the Sun-god's shepherd.
Moon-god (Hurrian Kashku) - He fell upon the 'killamar', the gate
complex, from heaven and disappeared. Storm-god/Taru rain-stormed after
him, frightening him. Hapantali went to him and uttered the words of a
spell over him. While known to bestow ill omens, he can be appeased by
The Sea - She is told by Imbaluris that 'Kumarbis must remain father
of the gods!'. Struck with fear by this message, she makes ready here
abode and prepares to act as hostess for a feast for Kumarbis. This
feast may have served as a meeting of Mother-goddesses who delivered
Kumarbis' child by the Rock, Ullikummis.
The Sea-god - He quarreled and kidnapped the Sun-god of Heaven. When
Telipinu came to recover the Sun-god, the Sea-god was so intimidated
that he also gave him his daughter. He later demanded a bride-price for
her of the Storm-god, and was eventually given a thousand cattle and a
thousand sheep. In another version, he caught the Sun-god in a net as
he fell and may have sealed him in a Kukubu-vessel, allowing Hahhimas
(Frost) to take hold of most of the other gods.
He questions the fire in its role in one of Kamrusepa's healing
Inara(s) - Daughter of the Storm-god and goddess of the wild animals
of the steppe. After the Storm-god's initial defeat by Illuyankas, she
follows his request to set up a feast. She recruits Hupasiyas of
Zigaratta, to aid her in revenge on Illuyankas by taking him as a lover.
She then sets about luring Illuyankas and his children to a feast. After
the dragon and his children gorge themselves on her meal, Hupasiyas binds
him with a rope. Then the Storm-god sets upon them and defeats them.
She then gives Hupasiyas a house on a cliff to live in yet warns him
not to look out the window, lest he see his wife and children. He
disobeys her, and seeing his family begs to be allowed to go home.
Gurney speculates that he was killed for his disobedience.
She consults with Hannahanna who promises to give her land and a
man. She then goes missing and is sought after by her father and
Hannahanna with her bee.
Illuyankas - the Dragon. He defeated the Storm-god in Kiskilussa.
Later he was lured from his lair with his children by a well dressed
Inaras with a feast. After they were too engorged to get into their lair
again, the Storm-god, accompanied by the other gods, killed him.
In another version of the myth, he defeated the Storm-god and stole
his eyes and heart. Later, his daughter married the son of the
Storm-god. Acting on the Storm-god's instruction, his son asked for the
eyes and heart. When these were returned to him, the Storm-god
vanquished Illuyankas, but slew his son as well when the youth sided
with the dragon.
The ritual of his defeat was invoked every spring to symbolize the
Hedammu - a serpent who loved Ishtar.
Irsirra deities - These gods who live in the dark earth are charged by
Kumarbis through Imbaluris to hide Ullikummis from the sky gods, the
Sun-god, the Storm-god, and Ishtar. They are also charged with placing
the child on the shoulder of Upelluri. Later they accept the child and
deliver it to Ellil, before placing it on Upelluri's right shoulder.
Hapantali/Hapantalliyas - He took his place at the Moon-god's side
when he fell from heaven on the gate complex and unttered a spell.
Kamrusepa(s)/Katahziwuri ('Mother Kamrusepa') - She is the goddess of
magic and healing. She witnessed and announced the Moon-god's fall from
heaven on to the gate complex.
After Telepinus has been found, yet remains angry, she is set to
cure him of his temper. She performs an elaborate magical ritual,
removing his evil and malice.
In another tablet, she performs the spell of fire which removes
various illnesses, changing them to a mist which ascends to heaven
lifted by the Dark Earth. The Sea-god questions the fire on its role.
Astabis (Zamama, Akkadian Ninurta) - a Hurrian warrior god. After the
Storm-god's first attack on Ullikummis is unsuccessful, he leads seventy
gods in battle wagons on an attack on the diorite giant. They try to
draw the water away from him, perhaps in order to stop his growth, but
they fall from the sky and Ullikummis grows even larger, towering over
the gate of Kummiya.
Uliliyassis - a minor god who, properly attended to, removes
Kurunta? - This god's symbol is the stag. He is associated with rural
Kubaba - chief goddess of the Neo-Hittites, she became Cybebe to the
Phrygians and Cybele to the Romans.
Yarris - a god of pestilence. A festival was held for him every
Hasamelis - a god who can protect travelers, possibly by causing them
to be invisible.
Zashapuna - He is the chief god of the town of Kastama, held in
greater regard there than the Storm-god, possibly gaining such influence
through drawing lots with the other gods.
Zaliyanu - She is the wife of Zashapuna
Zaliyanu - She is the concubine of Zashapuna
Papaya - One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting
the return of Telipinus.
Istustaya - One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree
awaiting the return of Telipinus.
Miyatanzipa - One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree
awaiting the return of Telipinu. (S)he? also sat under the ippiyas tree
when Hannahanna found the hunting bag.
Fate-goddesses - They were among the deities who sat under the
Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu. In one myth, they and
the Mother-goddesses are missing.
Dark-goddess - One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree
awaiting the return of Telipinu.
Tutelary-deity (Sumerian Lamma) - One of the deities who sat under the
Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu.
Uruzimu - A deity involved in returning the lost Storm-god of Nerik.
Hahhimas (Frost) - When the Sea-god captures the Sun-god, he takes
hold of the other gods and of the lands plants and animals, paralyzing
them. He is half brother to Hasamili's brothers and spares them from
B. Akkadian Imports:
Anu - See section A.
Antu - Anu's female counterpart, imported to the Hittites through the
Ellil - He is presented with Ullikummis by the Irsirra deities and
declares that the child will bring the mightiest battles and an awesome
rival to the Storm-god. Later, Ea and presumably the Storm-god present
before him a case against Kumarbis' for his creation of Ullikummis. He
counters with Kumarbis' good record of worship and sacrifice and is in
turn countered with Ea's testimony describing Ullikummis.
Ninlil - Ellil's wife. She was imported by way of the Hurrians.
Lelwanis (Lilwani, Ereshkigal, sometimes assimilated with Ishtar),
'Sun of the Earth' - Goddess of the earth and the nether-world,
appeasement of her through sheep sacrifices helps remove threats from
Ayas (Ea) - He is the keeper of the 'old tablets with the words of
fate' (Tablets of Destiny? 'me'?). The Ullikummis' myth has him as the
father of the Storm-god.
He attends Kumarbis and fetches that god's son to be devoured as a
means of releaving Kumarbis pains from the Storm-god. He advises
Kumarbis to have experts work 'poor' magic to aid him in his distress,
bringing bulls and sacrifices of meal. This magic helps secure
He is prevailed upon by the Storm-god following his defeat by
Ullikummis. He and presumably the Storm-god present a case against
Kumarbis' for his creation of Ullikummis before Ellil. Rebutting
Ellil's defense that Kumarbis is well behaved regarding worship and
sacrifices, Ea proclaims that Ullikummis 'will block off heaven and the
gods holy houses.' He seeks out Upelluri, and after interviewing him,
locates Ullukummis feet on Upelluri's shoulder. He charges the olden
gods to deliver the copper knife with which they severed heaven from
earth, in order to cut through Ullukummis' feet. He then spurs Tasmisus
and the Storm-god on to fight the crippled giant.
(Hurrian Tapkina, Damkina) - Ea's wife, imported from the Akkadians by
way of the Hurrians.
(Hurrian Shaushka, Ishtar) - She takes the form of a winged female
standing on a lion.
She spies her brothers, the Storm-god and Tasmisus, leaving the
kuntarra following word of the appearance of Ullikummis. She leads them
by hand, up Mount Hazzi, from which they can view the giant. When the
Storm-god is vexed and fearful at the site of Kumarbis' son, she chides
him. Later, she takes up her galgalturi/harp and sings to the blind and
deaf Ullikummis, but her folly is exposed to her by a great wave from
the sea, who charges her to seek out her brother who is yet to be
emboldened to the inevitable battle.
She was loved by the serpent Hedammu.
Ninatta - Shaushka's attendant.
Kulitta - Shaushka's attendant.
Ereshkigal - This goddess is the mother of the Storm-god. She plays a
role in returning him from the underworld by opening the gates of the
Various rituals were performed to call upon demons for protection or to
drive away baneful deities summoned by sorcerers.
Alauwaimis - properly propitiated with ritual, libation, and goat
sacrifice, this demon drives away evil sickness.
Tarpatassis - properly propitiated with ritual and the sacrifice of a
buck, this demon staves off sickness and grants long, healthy life.
Hupasiya(s) - a resident of Ziggaratta. He is recruited by Inaras
to aid in defeating Illuyankas. He agrees to her plan after illiciting
her promise to sleep with him. When Illuyankas and his children are
gorged on Inaras' feast he ties them up for the Storm-god to kill. He
is set up in a house by Inaras with the instructions not to look out the
window while she is away lest he see his family. He does and begs to go
home. Here the text is broken and some researchers assume he was
III. Cosmology and the structure of the universe.
I haven't found as much about this as I would like:
The olden gods built heaven and earth upon Upelluri. They had a copper
knife which they used to cleave the heaven from the earth, after which
they stored it in ancient storehouses and sealed them up - only to open
them and retrieve it for use on Ullikummis.
Kuntarra house - the house of the gods in heaven.
The Dark Earth, i.e. the underworld, has an entrance with gates. It
holds bronze or iron palhi-vessels with lead lids. That which enters
them perishes within and doesn't return. Telipinu and Hannahanna's
anger is banished there.
IV. Source material:
Goetze, Albrecht "Hittite Myths, Epics, and Legends",
_Ancient_Near_East_Texts_Relating_to_the_Old_Testament_, ed. James
Pritchard, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1955. This has been
my primary source for the texts of the Hittite myths and prayers.
Gurney, O. R. _The_Hittites_, Penguin Books, New York, 1990. Gurney's
work is a solid overview of Hittite history, culture, religion, and
Hoffner, Harry A. _Hittite_Myths_, Scholars Press, Atlanta, Georgia,
1990. Intended to be a more idiomatic translation, Hoffner's work
also includes some material more recent than Goetz. I am replacing
that material from Goetz with which this conflicts.
Hooke, S. H. _Middle_Eastern_Mythology_ , Penguin Books, New York,1963.
Hooke takes a comparative and summary approach to Sumerian, Babylonian,
Canaanite, Hittite, and Hebrew mythological material.
Laroche, Emmanuel articles within _Mythologies_Volume_One_, Bonnefoy,
Yves (compiler), The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991.
This handful of topically focused articles provides depth in some
areas of Hittite and Hurrian religion but lacks an overall picture as
Bonnefoy's work was designed for an encyclopedic format.