You are here:
  1. » Home
  2. » Areas
  3. » Mythology
  4. » Middle East
  5. » Mesopotamian mythology
  6. » Ishtar
Cite/print/rate article
Send comment    References

Ishtar

by Micha F. Lindemans
Ishtar was the ancient Sumero-Babylonian goddess of love and fertility. She is often described as the daughter of Anu, the god of the air. In most of the myths concerning her, she is described as an evil, heartless, women who destroyed her mates and lovers. Her greatest lover was the farm god Tammuz, who is similar to the Greek Adonis. After he died she went into the underworld to retrieve him but her efforts were vain and she returned to the living world alone.

Ishtar Later, in the great epic of Gilgamesh, she tried to make Gilgamesh her husband, but he refused her and reminded her of her former lovers, whom she mercilessly killed or left injured. She reported this to her father, Anu, and he gave her the mystical bull of heaven to avenge herself. Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu stopped and killed the mighty creature and threw its headless body at her feet. They also insulted her, and she responded by sending disease to kill Gilgamesh's best friend Enkidu. She is one of Aphrodite's counterparts.


Article details:

Page tools: