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Zoroastrianism – Iran – West Asian religion

By | 2017-09-15T21:10:54+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

An Iranian fire sacrifice Around 1000 BC (probably), about the same time that people in India were writing the Rig Veda, a man named Zoroaster (also called Zarathustra) was a priest in a small temple in the eastern part of West Asia, in an area with a lot of small kingdoms and no major power. Zoroaster believed that he heard [...]

Who is Tammuz? Mesopotamia – West Asian religion

By | 2017-09-15T21:06:15+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Tammuz (probably) with grain growing from his shoulders Tammuz (or Dumuzi) was a West Asian god who personified growing food, like Persephone in Greece or Osiris in Egypt. Like Osiris, Tammuz was male. The Sumerians worshipped Tammuz as early as 2600 BC - and probably much earlier - and so did all the other people of West Asia, including the Jews (the Bible warns [...]

What is Nowruz? Zoroastrians – West Asian holidays

By | 2017-09-15T21:02:31+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Persepolis may have been built in the 500s BC as a place to celebrate Nowruz. Zoroastrianism became much more popular suddenly when the Persian kings became Zoroastrians around 550 BC. Soon after that, Zoroastrian worshippers began to celebrate the first day of spring as an important holiday. That was the first day of their New Year. Nowruz is [...]

Monotheism and polytheism – West Asian religion

By | 2017-09-15T19:01:39+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar or Inanna The earliest people in West Asia were all polytheistic: they all worshipped many gods. From 3000 BC to 539 BC, the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Assyrians and the Babylonians all worshipped pretty much the same set of gods, despite their cultural differences. The most important of these gods was Ea. Ishtar was the most important goddess. Like the [...]

Who was Mithra? Zoroastrian god – West Asian religion

By | 2017-09-15T18:47:08+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Ardashir II becomes the Persian king, in the center, with Mithra and Ahura Mazda by his side (Taq-e Bostan, Iran, 300s AD) (They're trampling on the Roman Empire Julian.) Mithra was the most important Zoroastrian god on the side of Truth. He was the god of contracts and keeping your promises, like the German god Tyr. [...]

Who is Ishtar? Mesopotamian goddess – West Asian religion

By | 2017-09-15T17:53:34+00:00 September 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 [...]

West Asian religion – Enuma Elish, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, etc.

By | 2017-09-15T17:48:41+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Sumerian clay worshippers from Tell Asmar West Asia has been the home of many of the world's most popular religions, and has always been a hotbed of new religious ideas. Religions may have gotten started in West Asia because empires got started there. Some historians think that centralized, organized religions form as a kind of [...]

Holy men and holy women in ancient West Asia

By | 2017-09-15T17:30:37+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Apollonius of Tyana (or some other holy man) There is a long tradition in West Asia (and in India and China) that some men and women, and some children, are closer to the gods than other people are. These holy men and women and children are thought to be able to talk to the gods, to know [...]

What’s the Enuma Elish? West Asian religion

By | 2017-09-15T17:25:53+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Clay tablets with cuneiform writing of the Enuma Elish By about the time of Hammurabi, about 1700 BC, people in the Babylonian Empire were beginning to write down this story about the creation of the world. The name, Enuma Elish, comes from the first two words of the poem, which mean "when on high". This is a [...]

Who was Enlil? – Mesopotamia – West Asian gods

By | 2017-09-15T17:13:44+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

This is what one of the tablets that was found in the Assyrian king's library looks like. This one tells the story of the Flood. The god Enlil, according to Sumerian stories dating back to about 3500 BC, was a god of air and wind, weather and storms. Enlil also was a god of growing plants, like the Greek [...]