The worship of Ana by the kings of the Chaldaean series is certain. Not only did Shanias-vul, the son of Ismi-dagon, raise a temple to the honor of Ana and his son Vul at Kileh-Shergat (or Asshur) about B.C. 1830— whence that city appears in later times to have borne the name of Telane, or “the mound of Ana”—but Urukh himself mentions him as a god in an inscription quoted above; and there is reason to believe that from at least as early a date he was recognized as the presiding deity at Erech or Warka. This is evident from the fact, that though the worship of Beltis superseded that of Ana in the great temple at that place from a very remote epoch, yet the temple itself always retained the title of Bit-Ana (or Beth-Ana), “the house of Ana;” and Beltis herself was known commonly as “the lady of Bit-Ana,” from the previous dedication to this god of the shrine in question. Ana must also have been worshipped tolerably early at Nipur (Rifer), or that city could scarcely have acquired, by the time of Moses, the appellation of Calneh in the Septuagint translation, which is clearly Kal Ana, “the fort of Ana.”
Ana was supposed to have a wife, Anata, of whom a few words will be said below. She bore her husband a numerous progeny. One tablet shows a list of nine of their children, among which, however, no name occurs of any celebrity. But there are two sons of Ana mentioned elsewhere, who seem entitled to notice. One is the god of the atmosphere, Vul (?), of whom a full account will be hereafter given. The other bears the name of Martu, and may be identified with the Brathy of Sanchoniathon. He represents “Darkness,” or “the West,” corresponding to the Erebus of the Greeks.
Anat or Anata has no peculiar characteristics. As her name is nothing but the feminine form of the masculine Ana, so she herself is a mere reflection of her husband. All his epithets are applied to her, with a simple difference of gender. She has really no personality separate from his, resembling Amente in Egyptian mythology, who is a mere feminine Ammon. She is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the historical and geographical inscriptions.
BIL, or ENU.
Bil or Enu is the second god of the first Triad. He is, probably, the Illinus (Il-Enu or “God Enu “) of Damascius. His name, which seems to mean merely “lord,” is usually followed by a qualificative adjunct, possessing great interest. It is proposed to read this term as Nipru, or in the feminine Niprut, a word which cannot fail to recall the Scriptural Nimrod, who is in the Septuagint Nebroth. The term nipru seems to be formed from the root napar, which is in Syriac to “pursue,” to “make to flee,” and which has in Assyrian nearly the same meaning. Thus Bil-Nipru would be aptly translated as “the Hunter Lord,” or “the god presiding over the chase,” while, at the same time, it might combine the meaning of “the Conquering Lord” or “the Great Conqueror.”