The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7): Assyria eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 577 pages of information about The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7).

Vul had a temple at Calah besides the two temples in which he received worship at Asshur.  It was dedicated to him in conjunction with the goddess Shala, who appears to have been regarded as his wife.

It is not quite certain whether we can recognize any representations of Vul in the Assyrian remains.  Perhaps the figure with four wings and a horned cap, who wields a thunderbolt in either hand, and attacks therewith the monster, half lion, half eagle, which is known to us from the Nimrod sculptures, may be intended for this deity.  If so, it will be reasonable also to recognize him in the figure with uplifted foot, sometimes perched upon an ox, and bearing, like the other, one or two thunderbolts, which occasionally occurs upon the cylinders.  It is uncertain, however, whether the former of these figures is not one of the many different representations of Nin, the Assyrian Hercules; and, should that prove the true explanation in the one case, no very great confidence could be felt in the suggested identification in the other.


Gula, the Sum-goddess, does not occupy a very high position among the deities of Assyria.  Her emblem, indeed, the eight-rayed disk, is borne, together with her husband’s, by the Assyrian monarchs, and is inscribed on the rock-tablets, on the stones recording benefactions, and on the cylinder-seals, with remarkable frequency.  But her name occurs rarely in the inscriptions, and, where it is found, appears low down in the lists.  In the Black-Obelisk invocation, out of thirteen deities named, she is the twelfth.  Elsewhere she scarcely appears, unless in inscriptions of a purely religious character.  Perhaps she was commonly regarded as so much one with her husband that a separate and distinct mention of her seemed not to be requisite.

Gula is known to have had at least two temples in Assyria.  One of these was at Asshur, where she was worshipped in combination with ten other deities, of whom one only, Ishtar, was of high rank.  The other was at Calah, where her husband had also a temple.  She is perhaps to be identified with Bilat-Ili, “the mistress of the gods,” to whom Sargon dedicated one of his gates in conjunction with Hoa.


Among the gods of the second order, there is none whom the Assyrians worshipped with more devotion than Nin, or Ninip.  In traditions which are probably ancient, the race of their kings was derived from him, and after him was called the mighty city which ultimately became their capital.  As early as the thirteenth century B.C. the name of Nin was used as an element in royal appellations; and the first king who has; left us an historical inscription regarded himself as being in an especial way under Nin’s guardianship.  Tiglath-Pileser I., is “the illustrious prince whom Asshur and Nin have exalted to the utmost wishes of his heart.”  He speaks of Nin sometimes

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The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7): Assyria from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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