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Who is Ishtar? Mesopotamian goddess – West Asian religion

By |2018-04-15T12:09:53+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar or Inanna Ishtar (also called Inanna) was an important goddess of West Asia. Beginning at least by 3000 BC she was worshipped by the Sumerians, and by the Akkadians, and theBabylonians, and the Assyrians. Like most other female goddesses, Ishtar was a fertility goddess, but Ishtar was fiercer and more powerful than the Greek goddesses like Athena or Aphrodite. According [...]

Who is Astarte? West Asian religion

By |2018-04-13T11:20:06+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The goddess Astarte in the Late Bronze Age The goddess Astarte As early as about 3000 BC,  Astarte was a Semitic goddess of love and fertility. People worshipped her in Mesopotamia and in the Levant. Like the Roman goddess Venus or the Greek goddess Aphrodite, Astarte started out as the goddess of the evening star. (And soon West Asian astronomers [...]

Who was the Roman goddess Venus? Roman religion

By |2017-09-04T16:45:03+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Venus rising out of the ocean, from Tunisia in North Africa (300s AD) The goddess Venus was the goddess of growing things, gardens, love and fertility for the Romans. People sacrificed to her when they wanted to have babies, or to make somebody fall in love with them. People thought of Venus as watery and [...]

Who is Actaeon? Artemis and Actaeon – Greek myth

By |2017-07-13T17:00:57+00:00July 13th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Deer in the forest Actaeon (ac-TAY-on) was a young man who liked to go hunting in the woods. He spent a lot of time alone in the woods with his hunting dogs. Together, they hunted deer with his bow and arrow. One day, as he was walking through the forest, he saw a movement through the trees. He [...]

Who was Hestia? Ancient Greek gods

By |2018-04-23T08:41:54+00:00July 13th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

A woman and a girl cooking Hestia doesn't appear in stories much. We have almost no images of her, either. She is one of the daughters of Rhea and Kronos, and so she is the sister of Hera and Demeter. And so of course Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades are Hestia's brothers. Hestia never marries and has no children. Hestia is the [...]

Who is Hera? Ancient Greek gods

By |2018-09-01T06:09:31+00:00July 13th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Hera (on the left) on the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi (500s BC) Hera, the Greek goddess Hera is the sister and wife of Zeus (the Greeks did not approve of this arrangement for real people but, like the Egyptians, they thought it was okay for gods). The daughter of Earth and Time So Hera, like Zeus, is the [...]

Who is Gaia? Greek goddess (with Uranus, Cronus, and Rhea)

By |2018-04-23T09:51:42+00:00July 13th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Gaia is the earth. Many people in classical Greece believed that at the beginning of time there was only one being, which they called Chaos. (This is not unlike the Jewish idea that "the earth was without form, and void.") Out of Chaos then came the earth, a goddess called Gaia, and the sky, a god called Ouranos [...]

Who is Aphrodite? Greek goddess

By |2018-04-23T09:48:09+00:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Birth of the goddess Aphrodite (from Pompeii, about 50 AD) The goddess of love Aphrodite (a-fro-DIE-tee) was the Greek goddess of love. Naturally she was always falling in love with somebody. Or somebody was falling in love with her. Aphrodite is one of the oldest goddesses, the daughter of Ouranos. In some stories, [...]

Athena in Homer’s Odyssey

By |2018-04-23T08:41:50+00:00July 9th, 2017|Greeks, Literature, Religion|

Athena in the Odyssey: Odysseus and Athena, on a red-figure vase Athena in the Odyssey In the Iliad and the Odyssey, Athena was on the side of the Greeks, because she hated the Trojans. Athena hated the Trojans because Paris was a Trojan and he had voted against her in the Judgment of [...]