El - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about El.
This section contains 929 words
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EL. Originally an appellative that simply means "god" in common Semitic, El ('il) is the proper name of the grey-bearded patriarch of the Syro-Palestinian, or "Canaanite," pantheon. Although references to El are found in texts throughout the ancient Near East, this West Semitic deity plays an active mythological and cultic role only in the Late Bronze Age texts from the Syrian city of Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra). Here he is portrayed as a wise patriarch and the eldest of the gods, the grey-haired "father of years" (ab šnm). El is "the father of the gods" (ab ilm) and "the creator of creatures" (bny bnwt), while his consort, Athirat, is "the progenitress of the gods" (qnyt ilm). El is also credited with creating the earth in later Phoenician and Punic inscriptions, but Ugaritic texts do not include this tradition. Iconographic sources from Ugarit appear to present "beneficent El, the...

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This section contains 929 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the El Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
El from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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