GDS provides an invaluable reference book for ancient Mesopotamia. With hundreds of illustrations and descriptions, it is one of the most comprehensive works about the subject matter. Descriptions, photographs, and sketches are provided for hundreds of deities from ancient Sumer, Babylonia, and Akkad, cultures spanning from c. 3400–400 BCE.
Ancient Mesopotamia was a rich, varied and highly complex culture whose achievements included the invention of writing and the development of sophisticated urban society. This book offers an introductory guide to the beliefs and customs of the ancient Mesopotamians, as revealed in their art and their writings between about 3000 B.C. and the advent of the Christian era. Gods, goddesses, demons, monsters, magic, myths, religious symbolism, ritual, and the spiritual world are all discussed in alphabetical entries ranging from short accounts to extended essays. Names are given in both their Sumerian and Akkadian forms, and all entries are fully cross-referenced. A useful introduction provides historical and geographical background and describes the sources of our knowledge about the religion, mythology and magic of "the cradle of civilisation".
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Sumerian religion refers to spiritual beliefs practiced from ca. 4500-1900 BCE in Mesopotamia, or modern-day southern Iraq. Many deities were diffused into other Mesopotamian cultures.
Prestige, Hero myth
Belief systems cited
Alabaster stone Bas-Relief
Author · Main contributor
Cite this workChicago
Black, Jeremy, and Anthony Green. Gods, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary. Illustrations by Tessa Rickards. London, United Kingdom: The British Museum Press, 1992.