The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 1. (of 7): Chaldaea eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 190 pages of information about The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 1. (of 7).

The worship of Bel-Nimrod in Chaldaea extends through the whole time of the monarchy.  It has been shown that he was probably the deified Nimrod, whose apotheosis would take place shortly after his decease.  Urukh, the earliest monumental king, built him a temple at Niffer; and Kurri-galzu, one of the latest, paid him the same honor at Akkerkuf.  Urukh also frequently mentions him in his inscriptions in connection with Hurki, the Moon-god, whom he calls his “eldest son.”


Beltis, the wife of Bel-Nimrod, presents a strong contrast to Anata, the wife of Ana.  She is far more than the mere female power of Bel-Nimrod, being in fact a separate and very important deity.  Her common title is “the Great Goddess.”  In Chaldaea her name was Mulita or Enuta—­both words signifying “the Lady;” in Assyria she was Bilta or Bilta-Nipruta, the feminine forms of Bil and Bilu-Nipru.  Her favorite title was “the Mother of the Gods,” or “the Mother of the Great Gods:”  whence it is tolerably clear that she was the “Dea Syria” worshipped at Hierapolis under the Arian appellation of Mabog.  Though commonly represented as the wife of Bel-Nimrod, and mother of his son Nin or Ninip, she is also called “the wife of Nin,” and in one place “the wife of Asshur.”  Her other titles are “the lady of Bit-Ana,” “the lady of Nipur,” “the Queen of the land” or “of the lands,” “the great lady,” “the goddess of war and battle,” and the “queen of fecundity.”  She seems thus to have united the attributes of the Juno, the Ceres or Demeter, the Bellona, and even the Diana of the classical nations:  for she was at once the queen of heaven, the goddess who makes the earth fertile, the goddess of war and battle, and the goddess of hunting.  In these latter capacities she appears, however, to have been gradually superseded by Ishtar, who sometimes even appropriates her higher and more distinctive appellations.

The worship of Beltis was wide-spread, and her temples were very numerous.  At Erech (Warka) she was worshipped on the same platform, if not even in the same building with Ana.  At Calneh or Nipur (Niffer), she shared fully in her husband’s honors.  She had a shrine at Ur (Mugheir), another at Rubesi, and another outside the walls of Babylon.  Some of these temples were very ancient, those at Warka and Niffer being built by Urukh, while that at Mugheir was either built or repaired by Ismi-dagon.

According to one record, Beltis was a daughter of Ana.  It was especially as “Queen of Nipur” that she was the wife of her son Nin.  Perhaps this idea grew up out of the fact that at Nipur the two were associated together in a common worship.  It appears to have given rise to some of the Greek traditions with respect to Semiramis, who was made to contract an incestuous marriage with her own son Ninyas, although no explanation can at present be given of the application to Beltis of that name.

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The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 1. (of 7): Chaldaea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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