JOURNAL OF SEMITIC STUDIES
VOLUME 7 NUMBER 2 AUTUMN I962
TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS'
By O. R. G U R N E T
"Under the name of Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis, and Attis, the peoples of Egypt and Western Asia represented the yearly decay and revival of life, especially of vegetable life, which they personified as a god who annually died and rose again from the dead." In these words Sir James Frazer in 1906 propounded his1 famous thesis of the Dying God, which for half a century exercised such a powerful influence, particularly on British scholarship, as to become almost axiomatic. Frazer, following the long tradition which goes back at least to Origen in the second century A.r>., took the view that Adonis and Tammuz were the same deity; Tammuz was his real name, Adon or Adonis a mere title. However, very little Babylonian material was available to Frazer. That which he knew, especially the myth of the Descent of Ishtar, seemed to him to show that "every year Tammuz was believed to die.. .and that every year his divine mistress journeyed in quest of him 'to the land from which there is no returning'". But for Frazer "the tragical story and the melancholy rites of Adonis are better known to us from the descriptions of Greek writers than from the fragments of Babylonian literature or the brief reference of the prophet EzeMel, who saw the women of Jerusalem weeping for Tammuz at the north gate of the temple", and he proceeded without more ado to give his account of the myths and the ritual of the death and resurrection of Adonis, at Byblos, in Cyprus, and in Alexandria, as described by the later Greek authorities. Three years later, in 1909, appeared the first attempt to treat the Babylonian Tammuz in isolation—H. Zimmem's work Der
Downloaded from http://jss.oxfordjournals.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17, 2012
Based on a paper read to the Society for Old Testament Study in January
Sumerian Dumu-zi. 2012
. and other well-known types of the dying son of Mother Earth. When we meet with the historical records of man he had already separated the god of fertility into several deities.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
babylonische Gott Tamu%." He differs from Frazer only in so far as he regards Tammuz. This secondary god and his consort appear under various forms as the local bits and btlits of many cities.oxfordjournals. It is probable that the gods of the numerous cities of Babylonia and Assyria. Its results are reflected in the large-scale work Adonis und Esmun of Graf Baudissin. He writes: The original service had at least two ceremonies. the Phrygian Attis. also as a title "Faithful Son": "The original name of the divine son appears to have been ab-u 'father of plants and vegetation'. published in 1911. with a popular appeal which brought it into conflict with the ofHsial religion of the temples. the Phoenician and Greek Adonis. as a specialist in the Sumerian iiturgical texts. is still an admirable summary of the evidence. Jeremias) that the Tammuz cult in Babylonia was a mystery religion. In the opening pages of Tammus^ andlshtar (1914) he announced his wholehearted adoption of the Frazerian position in a slightly modified form. To one of these and to his consort he attributed the ceremony of marriage. on one hand the wailing and the descent to hell. The worship of Tammuz in Babylonia and in those adjacent lands to which it spread was a cult of sorrow. In Zimmem's view the Phoenician and Aramean Adonis cult incorporated to some extent Babylonian conceptions. Baudissin held that Tammuz represented the spring growth that wilts in the heat of summer. For the myth of the death of Tammuz and the rituals and liturgies of lamentation Zimmem was able to collect ample evidence. "Tammuz is the name of the Babylonian god who corresponds to the Egyptian Osiris. But this original condition of human religion lies beyond our ken. This factual and level-headed analysis of material. but on the matter of his resurrection he expressed himself extremely cautiously.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. and on the other the resurrection and marriage. but he went so far as to say that nothing certain is known of a festival of his resurrection. death and resurrection. Langdon spoke with great authority. but only in so far as they could be assimilated to already existing local ideas. whatever may have been their special 148
Downloaded from http://jss." For Langdon. It was the late Professor Langdon who gave currency to the belief (first propounded by A. not only was Tammuz the Dying God but any god who was found to have this characteristic must therefore be Tammuz. much of which the author had himself collected.
op. as enacted at the Babylonian festival of the New Year. The idea of a mystery religion was suggested to Langdon by the liturgical text in which a number of deceased kings of the Isin dynasty are identified with Dumuzi. op.oxfordjournals. Ninurta. Nergal of Kuthah.
. was summarized in the symposium Myth and Ritual in 1933. 149
* Ibid. 19 n. It is not at all unlikely that such hopes of everlasting life were inspired by the worship of Tammuz. shadows of this young god. at. acquired in later times. 28. and as a god who had many odier names.4 The prevailing view of Dumuzi-Tammuz as the centre of all seasonal observances in Babylonia. and Marduk of Babylon were "more concrete aspects" of the youthful Dying God. Hommel had described Tammuz. p.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
attributes. Nabu and Marduk all as "Erscheinungsformen" of the same deity. Papsukkal. Tammus^: der
Unsterblichkeitsglaube in der altorientalischen Bildkunst (1949). and described in a famous text from Assur in the Berlin Museum. are at the beginning.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. This passage [he writes] evidently refers to kings who in their day played the role of Tammuz in die mystery of this cult. each and all. we have to do with an ancient idea so adapted in practice that the king escaped actual sacrifice by some symbolic act. Moort-
Downloaded from http://jss. The most notable example of a manifestation of the Dying God in Babylonia was held to be the ritual of the death and resurrection of Marduk himself.2 Similarly. pp. a full translation of which was included by Langdon in his edition of the Epic of Creation (1923).1 Thus we find that Ningirsu and Ningishzida of Lagash. 26-7. Ningishzida. at. tit. 2012
gat. claimed to find representations of Tammuz in a wide variety of Sumerian and Babylonian sculptures and developed a far-reaching theory Op. p. some of which may have been local. p. so also by his power these human kings escaped from that fatal slumber. 30. And it may be that we are to read more into this practice. As Tammuz overcame the sleep of death. The doctrine of the Tammuz religion as a mystery-cult reached its culmination in the work of Anton Moortgat. Ninsubur. This was a way of thinking against which Zimmem3 had protested strongly and which at best can only represent the point of view of the late Babylonian theologians. They like Tammuz died for the life of their city When we read that departed shades of kings were identified with the dying god. an eminent exponent of ancient Near Eastern art. * Langdon. > Zimmem.
In 1953 T.RS. 2012
J. The centre of interest is no longer what the deity Tammuz "represents". it means mat Dumuzi has died. If. Falkenstein suggests. xn. consisted actually in the development first of a legend. Moortgat's book caused a strong reaction. it can no longer be Dumuzi with whom they are concerned. as being incompatible with the literature. even a deity. held at Leiden in 1952. F. 165. and the subsequent theological identification of this demi-god with a number of deities of other localities who had similar attributes.
. Falkenstein to the third Rencontre Assyriologique. Gilgamesh.N. that have determined the trends of opinion about Tammuz since the end of the war. Thus the process. 150 . but on opposite lines from the tendency which culminated in the work of Moortgat. m (1953). R. namely that Tammuz. a king of Erech. during the particular stage of Sumerian history known as the Early Dynastic Period. reviewing it.1 It was this reaction. Kramer in recovering and translating the Sumerian myths which had for long lain hidden in the vaults of the museums of Istanbul and Philadelphia."2 In
» W2. This. the conceptions usually associated with the Tammuz cult can be traced back to an earlier stage than this.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
of the symbolism employed in these works.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17.
Downloaded from http://jss. and -with it the fresh milk. "represents the life-giving powers in the milk. as signifying a hidden mystery-cult involving a belief in the immortality of tie soul. N. in origin. then of a myth. may well have been the king of Bad-tibira who appears as Dumuzi in the lists but may in fact have been called Ama-usumgal. When the short milking season in the spring comes to an end. There is strong evidence that Dumuzi was originally a man. who may have lived. so fair from being one of the differentiation of an original Dying God into a number of local aspects of him. Lugalbanda and Enmerkar. totally rejected both his method and his results.. and based on a false conception of the nature and possibilities of art-criticism. like the other great characters of Sumerian legend. The results may be seen in the paper presented by A. It is entirely concerned with the origins of the cult.KM. localized in a particular city. indeed he is no longer. together with the highly successful work of S.oxfordjournals. Jacobsen put forward a new theory about what Tammuz " represents ". Kraus. 36 ff. The most recent development has been a renewal of interest in the later stages of the cult. therefore. but a predecessor must be sought. at which the Tammuz cult was set as the theme of a special debate. who is always a shepherd in the myths.
Jacobsen. p. and lastly with Ritual.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. which is an essential part of them. so long a cardinal tenet of the exponents of the Tammuz myth. however. N. took the view that these entries were purely mythical. vi (19J4). 198 n. La Nouvelle C/io. As regards Tammuz himself. during the period of widespread syncretism under the Seleucids. The historicity of Dumuzi is based first on the King-lists and secondly on the character of the name itsel£ Dumuzi is entered in the King-lists twice: there is "Dumuzi the shepherd" king of Bad-tibira among the ante-diluvian patriarchs. 157.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
19541 L.4 Jacobsen. p. at roughly the same time P.. pointed out5 that myth cannot explain the sequence of names in the lists. of which the liturgies are obviously a part. he 'stayed dead' in the Nether World and never 'rose' again."* In examining the evidence.oxfordjournals. m (1959). 2 according to him. Mil. 6. de PInstitut bistorique beige de Rome. 6 Langdon.
Downloaded from http://jss. from the religion of Osiris. 1.F. Semitic Mythology (1931). the belief in the resurrection of these deities was a comparatively late development borrowed.A. in fact. we may deal first with History. discussing these lists in 1933. already taken this view and had drawn the same conclusion. but that his resurrection from the Underworld. I. 2012
. Langdon had.6 Dumu-^i " true son " would be a personal name of quite a normal type. the shepherdgod. vi. 29*-3«• * "La resurrection d'Adonis". The Summon King-List (1939). Vanden Berghe published a paper in which he maintained that not only had the fertility aspect of Dumuzi. 341. been greatly overestimated. and "Les fetes phrygiennes de Cybele et d'Attis". Lambrechts reached similar conclusions about the Adonis and Attis cults . * T. and "Dumuzi the fisherman" king of Uruk in the first Dynasty of that city. The old idea that it was a divine tide
"Reflexions critiques sur la nature de Dumuzi-Tammuz". 141 ff. To judge from the available evidence.the Sumerians believed that once Dumuzi had died. Bull. Guterbock. and inferred that "these sections derive from lists of rulers just like the later parts of the dynasties in question". Uvy (195 j). p. secondly with Myth. * Studia Bibliea et Orientalia. had actually no factual basis. Kramer has recently made the following emphatic pronouncement: " The prevalent view that Dumuzi is resurrected every spring is quite without basis in fact. in the sense that "neither the scene of action nor the characters in the action belong to earthly reality". Even more striking. xxvn (19J2). * Z. .
which seems to locate him in the nether regions. p. v (2) Dumuzi and Enkimdu. This is not the way in which a god would speak.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17.F. we now have six Sumerian poems from which the myth of Dumuzi can be constructed in detail. All else had to be extracted from vague allusions in the liturgies. where he appears in heaven as one of the gatekeepers of Anu. moreover. Falkenstein's analysis of the myths has also shown that they can be assigned to two distinct groups deriving from Uruk and Bad-tibira respectively. 165. and the Akkadian myth of Adapa. The beginning of the myth must undoubtedly be the "wooing of Innin" as suggested by Falkenstein. but Falkenstein has shown that Dumu-zi-abzu is a quite distinct figure and a goddess.KS. see Jacobsen and Kramer. n.E. milk and cream dripping from his hands and sides. see J. The Mythology of Dumuzi has been recovered almost entirely in recent years through the discoveries of Professor Kramer. xv. (4) Tnnjn and Bilulu. Dumuzi's rather frequent title Ama-tdumgal\s actually attested as a personal name in very early tests. 325. J. 24.N.TS. xn 9) ) (5) Dumuzi's dream. see Z. see A. In contrast. (3) Enki and the World Order. 184. (6) The wooing of Innin. "Dumuzi comes to Innin's house. see F. p.A. and F. These are: (i) The Descent of Tnnini (Sumerian version). 89 ff. see Gelb in J. N.oxfordjournals. In Langdon's time the only mythological poems referring to Tammuz were the Akkadian version of the descent of Ishtar to the Underworld.N.N. and Falkenstein has suggested that this may have been the true name of the ancient king of Bad-tibira. The humanity of Dumuzi is. 2012
. confirmed by the mythological passage in which he says to Inanna " I will lead you to the house of my god".ES.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
rested on the assumption that the full form of the name was Dumu-ty-ahfu "faithful son of the Nether Sea". pp. 41 and F[rom the] T\abkts of] S[umer]. After consultation with her mother. xxn. and by analogy from the myth of Adonis.CS. who was later identified with Dumuzi as a god. and clamours for admittance. see Iraq. 72 ft 152
Downloaded from http://jss. XDC (1960). 68. so again confirming the entries in the King-lists. p. Dumuzi is a shepherd in charge of a sheepfold. Tnnin bathes
On the reading Tnnin fox Kramer's Inanna.TJ.T.
adorns herself with precious stones. The narrative breaks off abruptly and in place of the end of the story. just as it does in Akkadian. the text has.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. There follows a series of desperate attempts. 184). Now in the Assyrian "Descent of Ishtar" the goddess's emergence from the Nether World is followed by an epilogue which has always presented great difficulties. but these prostrate themselves before her and are thus saved from the clutches of the demons. This is undeniably the end of the story.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
and anoints herself. will protect him.TS. but to no avail. He then prays to the Sun-god Utu to turn him into a gazelle. For Tnnin is forced to strike a bargain with the queen of the Underworld: she may only be released from captivity down below on condition that she provide a substitute to take her place. and there they find none other than Dumuzi proudly sitting on his throne. puts on her queenly robes. and it used to be assumed. then four lines of narrative about the goddess 153
Downloaded from http://jss. and opens the door for her groom to be. and Lulal. They embrace and probably cohabit. the handmaid of Innin. The only deity who "rises" is Tnnin. destroy bis stall and sheepfold and put him to death. that her purpose was to release her lover from his imprisonment in Hades. first. who has not been mentioned before. Sara. so that he may "carry off his soul" to certain friendly personages who. Tnnin.by Dumuzi to escape from the demons. p. She returns to the upper regions accompanied by an escort of seven ga/M-devils. But in each instance the demons catch up with hirr^ until they finally bind him. 2012
. by analogy with other nature myths. F. enraged. four lines of instructions for the funeral rites of Tammuz. He hides among the plants and in the ditches. and her release is strictly on conditions. the lord of the temple at Badtibira. the god of Umma. It was the discovery of the last portion of this tale that caused the revolution in our thinking about Tammuz. no special stress is laid on its victorious character. Innin's descent to the Nether World begins abruptly in the Sumetian version. No motivation for the journey is given. "fastened upon him the eye of death" and ordered the demons to carry him off to the Nether World. They then proceed to Kullab (which is Uruk).oxfordjournals. and he then carries her off to the 'city of his god'" (Kramer. This part of the myth is contained in the poem "Dumuzi's dream". There is no trace in the Sumerian mythology of a poem about Dumuzi's resurrection. he hopes. as we now know it from the Sumerian original. The first three individuals they encounter are NinSubur.
on the other hand. E. and finally the following four lines of direct speech with no clear indication of the identity of the speaker: "My only brother. Speiser in A. Let the dead rise and smell the incense. The Gilgamesb Epic and Old Testament Parallels (1949). 94. and enticed by the smell of incense. 2 Tammuz and Ishtar.E. pp. p. 5 Weidner. pointed out that this text seems to know nothing of the descent to Hades and inferred that it was based on a version of the myth in which these gods disappeared from earth and went straight to heaven. 3 Les religions de Babylonie et d'Assyrie (1945). The passage in the myth of Adapa has been taken by many as proof of the resurrection of Tammuz.N. accompanied by musicians and mourners and others. where he vanished for ever from mortal eyes ". Heidel. 33. 154
Downloaded from http://jss. apparently.4 Weidner explained the posting of the two gods at the Gate of Anu as an astral myth: Tammuz was identified with the constellation Orion and Ningishzida with Hydra and these two constellations stand on either side of the Milky Way. Here then.oxfordjournals. 2012
.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Belili. 101-2. p. do not harm me! On the day that Tammuz rises to me. • Adonis und Esmun. p. p. Handbucb dor babylonischen Astronomie (1915). with him also will rise male and female mourners. the flute of lapis lazuli and the HAR instrument of cornelian will rise with him. 128. for nowhere else is there any suggestion that Tammuz was to be found in heaven. 20. Langdon writes of his "ascension into the far-away regions. 2 and Dhorme infers that the ascension to heaven of Tammuz and Ningishzida is an interlude between their descent to Hades and their return to earth. But the whole passage is obviously a late addition—perhaps specifically Assyrian—which has displaced the original end of the poem.T." Translators who avoid the allusion to Tammuz's rising by substituting "greets me" or "welcomes me" 1 have not explained from what verb they propose to derive the form el-la-an-ni which occurs three times and is difficult to separate from li-lu-nim-ma used of the dead in the last line. p.* On this view
A. Ningishzida is also normally a chthonic deity.3 Baudissin.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. In the legend of the kiskanu tree Tammuz and Shamash are the guardians of the roots of the tree in Hades. is a clear allusion to the rising of Tammuz from the underworld. The incident in the myth of Adapa in which the hero finds Tammuz and Ningishzida standing at the "gate of Anu" and explains to them that he is in mourning because they have disappeared from his country has also been a puzzle to scholars. 109.
following Zimmem. which has not yet been certainly identified in cuneiform literature. which was celebrated annually as a New Year festival at the spring equinox. Gadd and S. The rites claimed for Tammuz—as for Adonis—are (i) a festival of lamentation for the death of the god and his departure to the Underworld.A. IJ5
Downloaded from http://jss. von Soden showed that this text had been completely misunderstood: it is a propaganda work composed in Assyria in the time of Sennacherib and has nothing to do either with the death of Marduk or his resurrection or indeed with the New Year festival. 174. n. (2) a festival of jubilation celebrating his resurrection. H. So it was already a serious departure from this thesis when the theory was propounded and widely accepted that in Babylonia these rites were concentrated into a single great dramatic festival. Unger in Welt des Orients. was based almost entirely on the document from Assur. 1923). as we have seen. and (3) the sacred marriage. as a commentary on the dramatic representation of the death and resurrection of Marduk at the akitu festival at Babylon.3 Thus the concentration of the three elements of the
E. and others. Z. 454 ff. Langdon and Pallis recognized that die concentration could only be secondary. pp.1 should be the main street of the heavenly realms. Cf. Hooke in Mytb and Ritual (1933). in which the part of Tammuz was played by the king. 2012
. that "the yearly decay and revival of life" were celebrated by early man in these seasonal festivals'and personified as a "Year-god". who returned to the visible world with the revival of vegetation in the spring. These rites should form a seasonal cycle. p. the festival of akitu.? This theory. Gaster. T. C J. The Epic of Creation (Oxford. S. which had been interpreted by Langdon.N. We come now to the subject of ritual. xvn. this semi-humorous folktale cannot be said to provide clear evidence of a belief in the resurrection of Tammuz from the world of the dead in the sense required by the doctrine of the Year-god. Landsberger and Kinnier Wilson in J. 32-56. 130-66. H. for it is the essence of the Frazerian thesis. Langdon. "Gibt es ein Zeugnis dafur.EJ. Tbespis (1933). da£ die Babylonier an die Wiederaufetehung Marduks glaubten?". 2 S. 693. A. The Babylonian "atitu" Festival (1926) and the Antiquity ofIraq (1956). * W. Whatever the true explanation. already mentioned. Pallis. It was therefore a matter of far-reaching significance when in 1955 W. xx. NJF. e g . which has found its way into so many authoritative accounts of Babylonian religion. As doorkeeper of Anu he would have been as far removed from his devotees as he would have been in Hades.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
the Milky Way.oxfordjournals. von Soden.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. accepted by all writers on the subject.
with the young lover of the goddess.5 The well-known lamentations for Tammuz. Dr Sidney Smith has argued none the less that the ceremony was celebrated late in May. 1. 41 ff. Menologes. ii.H. 2012
. 51-71. 156
Downloaded from http://jss. which would provide a more satisfactory cognate for the Nuzian word. the usual month seems to have been Nisan. The same hemerology which describes the marriage of Nabu in Ayaru in fact assigns that of Marduk to Nisan.2 For the late period there is certainly some good evidence for this. 12 ff. There exist a number of love-lyrics which seem to have been recited at these ceremonies. pp. dating it explicitly from the 4th to the 17th of Ayaru. two Assyrian letters3 describe the ritual of the marriage of Nabu and TaSmetu at Calah. Assyrian and Babylonian Letters. 3 Harper. This text establishes the fact that at least at Isin in early times the king performed the ceremony in person and in doing so was identified. the only one of the three which is connected with this festival by evidence independent of the Berlin text is the Sacred Marriage. Possibly. 112). Dr Smith's derivation of the very name of the month from the Semitic root hir " to choose a bride". then.F. no. The best evidence that the bieros gamoir formed part of the New Year festival is the Sumerian hymn to Ishtar-Innin1 which describes the marriage of King Iddin-Dagan of Isin to the goddess and addresses him as Dumuzi. 33 ff. Falkenstein and von Soden. translated by Falkenstein in Z. Ritual and Kingship. thus confirming for the late period the testimony of the Iddin-dagan hymn. S. Sum. 145). for which there is
Chiera. no. in the month Ayaru.oxfordjournals.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. 18. p.4 However. on the ground that the Nuzian month-name hiaru is to be regarded as a variant form of the name.. (Langdon. xiv. seems to imply that Dumuzi came to celebrate the marriage with her at the beginning of every month. S3. 66 and 366. the marriage of Nabu in Ayaru is also described in a hemerology.T.A. u. Hooke (Oxford. Gebete. 1 In Myti. ed. K. no. s The hymn to Tnnii^ C. akk. xuv. H. vni (p. is not convincing in view of the existence of a A/y<zr<*-festival (EZEN hi-ia-ra-aF) in Hittite. the time of the ceremony is explicitly said to be the New Year (gag-mu). Also the argument that the account of the bridal of Ningirsu and Baba at Lagash in Gudea's Cylinder B associates the event with the time when the Tigris was in spate appears to attach too precise a meaning to what need be no more than poetical imagery.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Tammuz cycle into a single spring festival is seen to be illusory. nos. Sumerian Religious Texts. following the end of the akitu festival. N. Hymnen u. the marriage of Nabu was exceptional in being celebrated in Ayaru.A. 1958). 4 Reisner. 105-7. xxxvi.
nos. K. at midsummer. 35 and 1097 (Ebeling. 46-7) Ishtar is said to have decreed annual lamentations for her lover Dumuzi. in the words of Professor James. "when the scorched earth seemed to threaten a return of the desolation believed to have stricken the earth when Ishtar wandered in barren fields and empty sheepfolds". p. "Erscheinungsformen". 10.' the weeping took place on the second day and on the 9th.2 The season of these ceremonies corresponds to that of the well-known wailingsfor Tammuz celebrated in early Christian times by the Ssabeans at Harran and of those for Adonis in Athens. Ostensibly the god who dies is not the same as the god who performs the marriage ceremony. ccxvm. and partly on the expression ta-bi-e dEn-lil ildni iMarduk used by Nebuchadnezzar and
Reisner. The evidence adduced for such a celebration is as follows: (1) The resurrection of Marduk as a "form of Tammuz" at the New Year festival. This was always an assumption. cf.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
R.R. except in the case of the king of Isin. 2 Harper. and is therefore not in doubt. of a single god of fertility and that in historical times the ceremony of marriage had been attributed to one of these secondary gods. 157
Downloaded from http://jss. vi. This rested partly on the Berlin text.V. Le caract&re religeux de la royauti assyro-babyloniemu. The problematic element in the seasonal cycle of the "Yeargod" is the alleged festival of resurrection. On the last three days of the month there was a ceremony called taklimtu in which the effigy of the dead god was laid out for burial. whereas the god in the hieros gamos is usually the local god of the city in question. 122. The hemerologies state that the lamentations and "binding" of Tammuz were celebrated in the month Tammuz (Du'uzu). Byblos and Alexandria.. ibid. CLXxvm.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. 60). took place in the month named after the god. Labat.A. by earlier writers by the theory that the local bels were in origin merely aspects. fit. iii. p. 2012
. Tod und Lebett. 12-15. K-A. The fact that the wailing is always and only for Tammuz. op. which has been shown to be irrelevant. made under the strong influence of the Frazerian thesis of the Dying God. 38ff. as we have seen. 16th and 17th there were processions of torches.oxfordjournals. In the Epic of Gilgamesh (vi. This is the time. was explained. while the original wailing for Tammuz remained unaltered. and the desolation is a favourite theme of the liturgies. whose identification with Dumuzi may be due merely to the fact that he was playing the part of the husband of the goddess Innin.
Passages cited in Langdon.7 Here we have perhaps the best evidence for a seasonal resurrection (at midwinter).TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Neriglissar to describe the New Year festival.5 Langdon introduced his own interpretation into these passages by simply substituting the name Tammuz for Nergal. and the e%en dDumtr(t at Umma the n t h . 121. as pointed out by Landsberger. with reference to the descent of die goddess to the Nether World in search of her lover. imply that a festival celebrating the revival of nature was held at different seasons in different cities. 202 ff. Han&ucb der bob. nor is there any explicit reference to a festival celebrating the event. 2012
3 Landsberger.2 (2) The Sumerian name of the 6th month at Nippur (August/ September). vra (1949). but there is no reason for associating it with Tammuz. which would be difficult to accept. the e\en dDum/e(t at Lagash the 7th. (3) The Sumerian names of the jth and 6th months at Ur. the Enlil of the gods". kin dInniny interpreted as "mission of Ishtar". 1 J. p. Weidner.EJ.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17.3 If this "festival" was one of resurrection. 8. p .A. The rituals associated with these festivals are unknown. Der hdtische Kaleiukr (1915).
Downloaded from http://jss. 244. (4) The statement in a late text that the god Nergal was thought to have descended to the lower world on the 18th of Tammuz and to have risen on the 28th of Kislev. 158
. j . * Pallis.N.* that Nergal emerged from the underworld in Kislev is also stated in die hemerology. pp. ccxvm. iii. pp. ki. which is vague enough. It would. . but has been shown by Pallis to denote only the god's "rising from his seat" in order to take part in the procession to the akitu house.6 . * Z.1 This was long thought to mean "the resurrection of Marduk. p.6 But Nergal was not a fertility god.sig dNin. Babylonian Menologies (1935). PP. 274. vi.%uy interpreted as "funeral feast" and "festival" of Ninazu (the local god). our new knowledge of the Sumerian version of this myth has shown that the rather natural assumption that the purpose of this "mission" was the release of the god from the nether regions was a fallacy. ' Langdon. for the e%en dNinas^u atUrwas the jth month after harvest. one could justly infer that the e%en dDumus^i in the Lagash and Umma calendars was of a similar kind.5*-4* K. 86.V. However.a. The Babylonian "akitu" Festival. and the interpretation rests solely on the name. Die neubabylomscben Konigsinscbriften. AttronomU. moreover. and the allusion must rather be to the victory of the sun after the winter solstice.oxfordjournals. 368.
D. to the bosom of thy beloved thou risest. 31. and most of the alleged allusions to a "rising" are quite unreliable. s Babykniaea. p. 32. p.oxfordjournals. p. when to thy mother. these Sumerian songs are among the most difficult of all texts to translate. at. Witzel. About these it must be said first that since all the liturgies in question are lamentations. Kultlieder. on which all translators are agreed. p. 11. What then remains of the Frazerian thesis of a Dying God in its application to Babylonia? Two seasonal festivals are well attested: lamentations for Tammuz at midsummer. and the marriage of the local god at the spring equinox. p. that he was regarded as a com spirit who was slain in the threshing of the grain would also suit the time of year and is supported by the well-known rites of Ta'uz at Harran in the tenth century A. a third alternative. ibid.5 yet here the reason for the joy is not stated and there is no explicit reference to Tammuz. Tammuz himself was a shepherd. (5) Allusions in the liturgies. 3 Similarly. op. thou risest". they can only have been recited as an accompaniment to a resurrection if the resurrection followed immediately after the lamentations. Whether he symbonzed for the Babylonians the spring growth that wilts in the heat of summer (Baudissin and others). the queen of heaven. or the life-giving powers of the milk (Jacobsen) is difficult to say. but by Witzel "we will destroy". scholars have none the less been prepared to accept such a view on account of the apparently similar sequence of rites in the cult of Adonis at Byblos. p. 94. 233. etc.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
. is provided by the tablet in the Manchester Museum.. Tammu^andhbtar (1914). forming part of a seasonal cycle. 106. C Frank. This would not be the same thing as a festival of jubilation over the revival of nature. 238. no. Witzel. p. at. apparently with equal justification: " Thou who art snatched from the bosom of thy mother". condemned to reside in the Underworld by the angry goddess whose lover he had been. 22. However.vj is rendered by Langdon "Arise!". Witzel. 3 Langdon. There is no evidence that the same god was celebrated in both rites. the Sumerian ha. 2012
.2 Another passage quoted by Langdon as "he that from the flood is risen" is translated by Witzel "what came from the faithful heart". Tammu^-Uturgen md verwtmdtts (193)). iv. Witzel. as part of the same ceremony.1 but the same passage is translated by Witzel.4 The best example of a liturgy of lamentation ending in a paean of joy. ibid.
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1 Langdon. Thus Langdon cites the passage: "When to the bosom of the mother. 4 Langdon. 403.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17.
* For full details see E. celebrated at the time of natural revival in the spring. POSTSCRIPT
Downloaded from http://jss. but this appears to belong to a dififerent order of symbolism.oxfordjournals. i8o. The only reference to a resurrection has been found in relation to the god Nergal. Semitic Mytbolog. Attis.s. pp. If the late addition to the Assyrian myth of the Descent of Ishtar refers to such a resurrection. Osiris (1907).1 In any case.fF. (Chicago 1962).TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
which are most likely to have had their origin in Babylonian practices. and there is no evidence that it played any important part in the religious calendar. who was said to emerge from the Underworld at midwinter. Admit. 337.
* Frazer. 188 ff. p. this may be a late accretion to Babylonian religion due to West Semitic influence. there is no need to assume that he was obliged to rise from the dead to celebrate it. Douglas van Buten in Orimtalia. n. Langdon.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17.2 but since the "bridegroom" was not normally regarded as Tammuz. The sacred marriage was a fertility rite.
A fuller exposition of Professor Jacobsen's views on the natural phenomena personified in thefigureof Tammuz is now published in History of Re/igonst 1. x m (1944). some symbolism of nature was certainly present in this festival. 1-72.