Gods in Brief

Gods in brief: The gods are more than one paragraph or less can really say about them. That being said, occasionally you just want a ten cent tour of the gods. It seems like you can either choose between reading one sentence on a god or an entire book. We’re attempting to split the difference. If you want to read more about the gods there are other sections of Temple of Sumer where you can read more in depth descriptions.

This section is going to expand over time with more and more entries. If you think an entry should be made that hasn’t yet been let us know. We will try to get to it in a timely fashion.

Adad: See Ishkur.

An: God of the upper heavens. One of the seven who decrees fate.

Anki: Heaven + Earth. The entire universe. Also implies just the civilized portions of the universe.

Asarluhi: God of magic. Son of Enki and Damkina. Associated with exorcism, medical practice, and the banishing of demons.

Assur: Place god of the city of Assur and the Assyrian people. He wields a bow. Known for taking on the aspects of other gods in the Assyrian religion.

Dagan: Grain god. Inventor of the plow. His consort was the goddess Shala in one tradition and Ishara in another. He was an early convert to the religion. He was the personal god of the Ensis of the Sargonic Dynasty. Dagan as a god of fish is not a Sumerian tradition and would only come about in the fourth century BCE.

Dagon: See Dagan.

Damgalnuna: See Damkina.

Damkina: Wife of Enki who lives with him in the Apsu. Mother of Marduk the grain god, and Asarluhi god of magic and exorcism.

Enki: God of fresh water and by extension rivers, magic, cleverness, and invention. The most clever of the gods. He is not a trickster, but rather an inventor who supports the Order of the Universe that he had a hand in creating.

Enlil: Head of the pantheon. One of the Seven who Decree Fate. Lord of the wind and the host of spirits. God of good fortune. Son of An and Ki.

Four quarters: The four quarters of the earth. All of the land between four specific land marks. It does not imply the entire earth, but rather all of the interesting or civilized parts.

Gibil: God of fire and all aspects of heat from baking to warfare to lighting streets. One of the heroes of the gods. The founder of cities. The purifier, especially of water. Messenger of the gods who brings burnt offerings to the heavens. Protector of humans from demons of the night.

Gira: See Gibil

Inanna: Goddess of passionate emotion, sexual love, and the heat of battle. One of the seven who decree fate. Goddess of the date storehouse. Was slain in a failed attempt to to take over the underworld, and later was resurrected thanks to intervention by the god Enki. Is often depicted as a spoiled princess in myth.

Ishkur: Storm god of the south wind. One of the heroes of the gods. Patron to shepherds. Noted for his fearsome roar. His weapon is lightning.

Ki: Goddess of the below. Goddess of all of the earth. Once the consort of An.

Marduk: Grain god. God of the city of Babylon. Son of Enki and Damkina.

Nanna: See Nanna-Suen.

Nanna-Suen: Moon god. God whose sheep are the stars. Husband of Ningal. Father to Inanna, and Utu. Lord of Time. One of the Seven who Decree Fate.

Nannar: See Nanna-Suen.

Nibiru: Improper spelling of the city of Nibru. Also called Nippur. Nibiru is not Sumerian. Nibru is Sumerian.

Nimrod: See Ninurta.

Ningirsu: See Ninurta.

Ninhursag: Mother goddess. Earth goddess. Goddess of domesticated crops. Goddess of childbirth. Goddess of the foothills. One of the Seven who Decree Fate. Primarily known as the wife of Enki, but also noted as the consort of other gods.

Ninma: See Ninhursag.

Ninurta: Storm god of the north wind and the mountains. Patron to farmers. Hero of the gods. He defeated various foreign demons and threats to the pantheon. He wields the intelligent sword Sharur.

Nudimmud: See Enki

Order of the Universe: The ever advancing system of laws that governs all civilization. The defining feature of the Sumerian pantheon. Everything from the gods to the domesticated grains are bound by the Order of the Universe. All Dingir gods have some position of authority within the Order of the Universe. The Order of the Universe is recorded on the Tablet of Destiny and position of the Tablet confers authority within the Order.

Seven who Decree Fate: An, Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag, Nanna-Suen, Utu, Inanna. Seven gods who, as a council, rule the entire pantheon. They each hold the Tablet of Destiny. Their job is to shape the future and to promote civilization.

Shara: Hero of the gods. Champion of An. Inanna’s son, singer, hairdresser, and manicurist.

Sin: See Nanna-Suen.

Suen: See Nanna-Suen.

Tiamat: See Enuma Elish. This is middle Babylonian, not Sumerian.

Utu: Sun god. God of prophecy. God of law. One of the four governors who administer Ereshkigal’s law in the underworld. One of the Seven who Decree Fate.