This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
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
Baudissin held that Tammuz represented the spring growth that wilts in the heat of summer. the Phrygian Attis. much of which the author had himself collected. but on the matter of his resurrection he expressed himself extremely cautiously. also as a title "Faithful Son": "The original name of the divine son appears to have been ab-u 'father of plants and vegetation'. Its results are reflected in the large-scale work Adonis und Esmun of Graf Baudissin." He differs from Frazer only in so far as he regards Tammuz. But this original condition of human religion lies beyond our ken. In Zimmem's view the Phoenician and Aramean Adonis cult incorporated to some extent Babylonian conceptions. not only was Tammuz the Dying God but any god who was found to have this characteristic must therefore be Tammuz. as a specialist in the Sumerian iiturgical texts. is still an admirable summary of the evidence. This factual and level-headed analysis of material. Jeremias) that the Tammuz cult in Babylonia was a mystery religion. on one hand the wailing and the descent to hell. death and resurrection. Langdon spoke with great authority. but only in so far as they could be assimilated to already existing local ideas. He writes: The original service had at least two ceremonies.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS babylonische Gott Tamu%." For Langdon. In the opening pages of Tammus^ andlshtar (1914) he announced his wholehearted adoption of the Frazerian position in a slightly modified form. and other well-known types of the dying son of Mother Earth. It is probable that the gods of the numerous cities of Babylonia and Assyria. published in 1911. with a popular appeal which brought it into conflict with the ofHsial religion of the temples. the Phoenician and Greek Adonis. To one of these and to his consort he attributed the ceremony of marriage. The worship of Tammuz in Babylonia and in those adjacent lands to which it spread was a cult of sorrow. This secondary god and his consort appear under various forms as the local bits and btlits of many cities. whatever may have been their special 148 Downloaded from http://jss. 2012 . "Tammuz is the name of the Babylonian god who corresponds to the Egyptian Osiris. For the myth of the death of Tammuz and the rituals and liturgies of lamentation Zimmem was able to collect ample evidence. When we meet with the historical records of man he had already separated the god of fertility into several deities.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. Sumerian Dumu-zi. It was the late Professor Langdon who gave currency to the belief (first propounded by A.oxfordjournals. but he went so far as to say that nothing certain is known of a festival of his resurrection. and on the other the resurrection and marriage.
and described in a famous text from Assur in the Berlin Museum. each and all. 26-7. Ninurta. p. As Tammuz overcame the sleep of death. 149 1 * Ibid. tit. and Marduk of Babylon were "more concrete aspects" of the youthful Dying God. 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. 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. 28. at. pp.2 Similarly. Hommel had described Tammuz. and as a god who had many odier names. op. This passage [he writes] evidently refers to kings who in their day played the role of Tammuz in die mystery of this cult. some of which may have been local. . They like Tammuz died for the life of their city When we read that departed shades of kings were identified with the dying god. > Zimmem. an eminent exponent of ancient Near Eastern art. Ninsubur. Nabu and Marduk all as "Erscheinungsformen" of the same deity. p. at. as enacted at the Babylonian festival of the New Year.4 The prevailing view of Dumuzi-Tammuz as the centre of all seasonal observances in Babylonia. acquired in later times. was summarized in the symposium Myth and Ritual in 1933. Nergal of Kuthah. The doctrine of the Tammuz religion as a mystery-cult reached its culmination in the work of Anton Moortgat. shadows of this young god. * Langdon.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS attributes. 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. And it may be that we are to read more into this practice.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. Tammus^: der Unsterblichkeitsglaube in der altorientalischen Bildkunst (1949). we have to do with an ancient idea so adapted in practice that the king escaped actual sacrifice by some symbolic act. Papsukkal. are at the beginning. It is not at all unlikely that such hopes of everlasting life were inspired by the worship of Tammuz. 2012 gat. 19 n. 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. Moort- Downloaded from http://jss. so also by his power these human kings escaped from that fatal slumber. p. op. claimed to find representations of Tammuz in a wide variety of Sumerian and Babylonian sculptures and developed a far-reaching theory Op. 30. Ningishzida.oxfordjournals.
it means mat Dumuzi has died.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS of the symbolism employed in these works. together with the highly successful work of S. Gilgamesh. even a deity. but a predecessor must be sought. 36 ff. totally rejected both his method and his results. Lugalbanda and Enmerkar. and -with it the fresh milk. The most recent development has been a renewal of interest in the later stages of the cult. 150 .N. consisted actually in the development first of a legend. it can no longer be Dumuzi with whom they are concerned. like the other great characters of Sumerian legend. Jacobsen put forward a new theory about what Tammuz " represents ". Kramer in recovering and translating the Sumerian myths which had for long lain hidden in the vaults of the museums of Istanbul and Philadelphia. who is always a shepherd in the myths.RS. as being incompatible with the literature. F. When the short milking season in the spring comes to an end.. held at Leiden in 1952. Kraus. but on opposite lines from the tendency which culminated in the work of Moortgat. xn. so fair from being one of the differentiation of an original Dying God into a number of local aspects of him. localized in a particular city. Thus the process. The centre of interest is no longer what the deity Tammuz "represents". 165. Falkenstein suggests. 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. therefore. in origin."2 In » W2.KM. This. namely that Tammuz. Moortgat's book caused a strong reaction. indeed he is no longer. reviewing it. then of a myth. It is entirely concerned with the origins of the cult. as signifying a hidden mystery-cult involving a belief in the immortality of tie soul.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. . There is strong evidence that Dumuzi was originally a man. Falkenstein to the third Rencontre Assyriologique. 2 Downloaded from http://jss. and based on a false conception of the nature and possibilities of art-criticism. and the subsequent theological identification of this demi-god with a number of deities of other localities who had similar attributes.1 It was this reaction. R. at which the Tammuz cult was set as the theme of a special debate. N. If. that have determined the trends of opinion about Tammuz since the end of the war. In 1953 T. 2012 J. who may have lived. the conceptions usually associated with the Tammuz cult can be traced back to an earlier stage than this. m (1953). during the particular stage of Sumerian history known as the Early Dynastic Period. a king of Erech.oxfordjournals. "represents the life-giving powers in the milk. The results may be seen in the paper presented by A.
Vanden Berghe published a paper in which he maintained that not only had the fertility aspect of Dumuzi.4 Jacobsen. 29*-3«• * "La resurrection d'Adonis". Bull. 198 n. Jacobsen. secondly with Myth. in the sense that "neither the scene of action nor the characters in the action belong to earthly reality".TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS 19541 L. 6. and inferred that "these sections derive from lists of rulers just like the later parts of the dynasties in question". discussing these lists in 1933. at roughly the same time P. Even more striking. we may deal first with History. The old idea that it was a divine tide "Reflexions critiques sur la nature de Dumuzi-Tammuz". Langdon had.oxfordjournals. vi. Uvy (195 j). 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. already taken this view and had drawn the same conclusion. The Summon King-List (1939). N. Kramer has recently made the following emphatic pronouncement: " The prevalent view that Dumuzi is resurrected every spring is quite without basis in fact. took the view that these entries were purely mythical."* In examining the evidence. which is an essential part of them. de PInstitut bistorique beige de Rome.6 Dumu-^i " true son " would be a personal name of quite a normal type. p. he 'stayed dead' in the Nether World and never 'rose' again. * Z. 157. m (1959).org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. and "Dumuzi the fisherman" king of Uruk in the first Dynasty of that city. Mil. . 141 ff. To judge from the available evidence. xxvn (19J2). during the period of widespread syncretism under the Seleucids. been greatly overestimated. 2 according to him. in fact. I. 1. and lastly with Ritual. 6 Langdon.A. 2012 . La Nouvelle C/io. * T. 1 Downloaded from http://jss. * Studia Bibliea et Orientalia. however.the Sumerians believed that once Dumuzi had died. 341. so long a cardinal tenet of the exponents of the Tammuz myth. of which the liturgies are obviously a part. As regards Tammuz himself. from the religion of Osiris. and "Les fetes phrygiennes de Cybele et d'Attis". vi (19J4). Semitic Mythology (1931). but that his resurrection from the Underworld. p. pointed out5 that myth cannot explain the sequence of names in the lists. p. Guterbock. the belief in the resurrection of these deities was a comparatively late development borrowed..F. Lambrechts reached similar conclusions about the Adonis and Attis cults . had actually no factual basis. the shepherdgod.
N.A. v (2) Dumuzi and Enkimdu. In contrast. (3) Enki and the World Order. which seems to locate him in the nether regions.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".N. milk and cream dripping from his hands and sides. 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. xv. we now have six Sumerian poems from which the myth of Dumuzi can be constructed in detail. 68. and clamours for admittance. 325. and by analogy from the myth of Adonis. pp. see J. J.CS. The beginning of the myth must undoubtedly be the "wooing of Innin" as suggested by Falkenstein. see F. 165. confirmed by the mythological passage in which he says to Inanna " I will lead you to the house of my god". (4) Tnnjn and Bilulu.F. "Dumuzi comes to Innin's house. see A. (6) The wooing of Innin. The Mythology of Dumuzi has been recovered almost entirely in recent years through the discoveries of Professor Kramer. 41 and F[rom the] T\abkts of] S[umer]. p.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. The humanity of Dumuzi is. Dumuzi's rather frequent title Ama-tdumgal\s actually attested as a personal name in very early tests. 72 ft 152 1 Downloaded from http://jss. so again confirming the entries in the King-lists.T. xxn.E. xn 9) ) (5) Dumuzi's dream. All else had to be extracted from vague allusions in the liturgies.ES. These are: (i) The Descent of Tnnini (Sumerian version). 184. Tnnin bathes On the reading Tnnin fox Kramer's Inanna. see Jacobsen and Kramer.N.TJ. 24. 2012 . p. and Falkenstein has suggested that this may have been the true name of the ancient king of Bad-tibira. where he appears in heaven as one of the gatekeepers of Anu. see Iraq. XDC (1960). In Langdon's time the only mythological poems referring to Tammuz were the Akkadian version of the descent of Ishtar to the Underworld. After consultation with her mother. moreover. see Z. This is not the way in which a god would speak. and the Akkadian myth of Adapa.TS. and F. who was later identified with Dumuzi as a god. n.oxfordjournals. 89 ff.KS. but Falkenstein has shown that Dumu-zi-abzu is a quite distinct figure and a goddess. see Gelb in J. p. Dumuzi is a shepherd in charge of a sheepfold.N.
It was the discovery of the last portion of this tale that caused the revolution in our thinking about Tammuz. The only deity who "rises" is Tnnin. then four lines of narrative about the goddess 153 Downloaded from http://jss. The first three individuals they encounter are NinSubur. just as it does in Akkadian. so that he may "carry off his soul" to certain friendly personages who. "fastened upon him the eye of death" and ordered the demons to carry him off to the Nether World. He then prays to the Sun-god Utu to turn him into a gazelle. four lines of instructions for the funeral rites of Tammuz. as we now know it from the Sumerian original. There follows a series of desperate attempts. and opens the door for her groom to be. They then proceed to Kullab (which is Uruk).org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. F. the handmaid of Innin. There is no trace in the Sumerian mythology of a poem about Dumuzi's resurrection. the god of Umma. adorns herself with precious stones. 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. he hopes. and he then carries her off to the 'city of his god'" (Kramer. This is undeniably the end of the story. This part of the myth is contained in the poem "Dumuzi's dream". the lord of the temple at Badtibira. the text has. They embrace and probably cohabit. who has not been mentioned before. enraged. no special stress is laid on its victorious character. Tnnin. first. He hides among the plants and in the ditches. destroy bis stall and sheepfold and put him to death. Innin's descent to the Nether World begins abruptly in the Sumetian version. that her purpose was to release her lover from his imprisonment in Hades. but to no avail. and her release is strictly on conditions. puts on her queenly robes.by Dumuzi to escape from the demons. 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 it used to be assumed. and Lulal. But in each instance the demons catch up with hirr^ until they finally bind him. No motivation for the journey is given. Sara.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS and anoints herself. p. but these prostrate themselves before her and are thus saved from the clutches of the demons. will protect him. 2012 . by analogy with other nature myths. and there they find none other than Dumuzi proudly sitting on his throne. 184).TS. The narrative breaks off abruptly and in place of the end of the story. She returns to the upper regions accompanied by an escort of seven ga/M-devils.oxfordjournals.
pp. But the whole passage is obviously a late addition—perhaps specifically Assyrian—which has displaced the original end of the poem. for nowhere else is there any suggestion that Tammuz was to be found in heaven. 128. 33.E. with him also will rise male and female mourners. 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. and finally the following four lines of direct speech with no clear indication of the identity of the speaker: "My only brother.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. on the other hand. is a clear allusion to the rising of Tammuz from the underworld. Here then. Ningishzida is also normally a chthonic deity.T.* On this view A. Langdon writes of his "ascension into the far-away regions. Heidel. 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. Handbucb dor babylonischen Astronomie (1915). 2012 . • Adonis und Esmun. 101-2. 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. 154 1 Downloaded from http://jss. The passage in the myth of Adapa has been taken by many as proof of the resurrection of Tammuz." 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. In the legend of the kiskanu tree Tammuz and Shamash are the guardians of the roots of the tree in Hades.3 Baudissin. 20. apparently.N. p. where he vanished for ever from mortal eyes ". The Gilgamesb Epic and Old Testament Parallels (1949). accompanied by musicians and mourners and others. 2 Tammuz and Ishtar. p. 5 Weidner.oxfordjournals. 109. Let the dead rise and smell the incense. 94. do not harm me! On the day that Tammuz rises to me. the flute of lapis lazuli and the HAR instrument of cornelian will rise with him. p. p. p.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. Speiser in A.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Belili. E. 3 Les religions de Babylonie et d'Assyrie (1945). and enticed by the smell of incense.
? This theory. which had been interpreted by Langdon. as a commentary on the dramatic representation of the death and resurrection of Marduk at the akitu festival at Babylon. "Gibt es ein Zeugnis dafur. p. in which the part of Tammuz was played by the king. 2 S. 174. Landsberger and Kinnier Wilson in J. as we have seen. T. 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.A. for it is the essence of the Frazerian thesis. accepted by all writers on the subject. Gadd and S. following Zimmem. that "the yearly decay and revival of life" were celebrated by early man in these seasonal festivals'and personified as a "Year-god". We come now to the subject of ritual. * W. n. Pallis. Whatever the true explanation. Z. Langdon. As doorkeeper of Anu he would have been as far removed from his devotees as he would have been in Hades. 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. Langdon and Pallis recognized that die concentration could only be secondary. da£ die Babylonier an die Wiederaufetehung Marduks glaubten?". which has not yet been certainly identified in cuneiform literature. Tbespis (1933).N. and (3) the sacred marriage.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. 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. (2) a festival of jubilation celebrating his resurrection. 130-66. 693. xvn. S. The Epic of Creation (Oxford. von Soden. pp. A. The Babylonian "atitu" Festival (1926) and the Antiquity ofIraq (1956). the festival of akitu. and others. 454 ff. who returned to the visible world with the revival of vegetation in the spring. already mentioned.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS the Milky Way. These rites should form a seasonal cycle. NJF. Hooke in Mytb and Ritual (1933). IJ5 1 Downloaded from http://jss. H.3 Thus the concentration of the three elements of the E.oxfordjournals. was based almost entirely on the document from Assur. 1923). which has found its way into so many authoritative accounts of Babylonian religion. 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. xx. Unger in Welt des Orients. It was therefore a matter of far-reaching significance when in 1955 W. 32-56. e g . C J. Gaster. 2012 .1 should be the main street of the heavenly realms. Cf. which was celebrated annually as a New Year festival at the spring equinox. H.EJ.
nos. then.5 The well-known lamentations for Tammuz. 2012 . Sumerian Religious Texts. u. (Langdon.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Tammuz cycle into a single spring festival is seen to be illusory. 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. ii.T.4 However. for which there is Chiera. K. Gebete. 112). on the ground that the Nuzian month-name hiaru is to be regarded as a variant form of the name. 1958). the usual month seems to have been Nisan. Ritual and Kingship.A. xxxvi. is not convincing in view of the existence of a A/y<zr<*-festival (EZEN hi-ia-ra-aF) in Hittite. 1. the time of the ceremony is explicitly said to be the New Year (gag-mu).A. pp. no. Possibly. S. the only one of the three which is connected with this festival by evidence independent of the Berlin text is the Sacred Marriage. 156 1 Downloaded from http://jss. s The hymn to Tnnii^ C. Hymnen u.F. Dr Sidney Smith has argued none the less that the ceremony was celebrated late in May. no. p. Hooke (Oxford. dating it explicitly from the 4th to the 17th of Ayaru. 33 ff. seems to imply that Dumuzi came to celebrate the marriage with her at the beginning of every month. in the month Ayaru. 105-7. which would provide a more satisfactory cognate for the Nuzian word.oxfordjournals. Assyrian and Babylonian Letters. akk. There exist a number of love-lyrics which seem to have been recited at these ceremonies. vni (p. Dr Smith's derivation of the very name of the month from the Semitic root hir " to choose a bride".. no.2 For the late period there is certainly some good evidence for this. 12 ff. Sum. 66 and 366. xiv. 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. H. The same hemerology which describes the marriage of Nabu in Ayaru in fact assigns that of Marduk to Nisan. Menologes.H. the marriage of Nabu in Ayaru is also described in a hemerology. 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. N. thus confirming for the late period the testimony of the Iddin-dagan hymn. S3. 18. two Assyrian letters3 describe the ritual of the marriage of Nabu and TaSmetu at Calah. 145). 4 Reisner. with the young lover of the goddess. Falkenstein and von Soden. 1 In Myti. ed. 51-71. the marriage of Nabu was exceptional in being celebrated in Ayaru. 3 Harper. following the end of the akitu festival. 41 ff. xuv.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. translated by Falkenstein in Z.
The fact that the wailing is always and only for Tammuz. p. took place in the month named after the god. whereas the god in the hieros gamos is usually the local god of the city in question.' the weeping took place on the second day and on the 9th. 2012 . at midsummer. 12-15. CLXxvm. "Erscheinungsformen". by earlier writers by the theory that the local bels were in origin merely aspects.R. Ostensibly the god who dies is not the same as the god who performs the marriage ceremony. while the original wailing for Tammuz remained unaltered. except in the case of the king of Isin.V. made under the strong influence of the Frazerian thesis of the Dying God. R. 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. Le caract&re religeux de la royauti assyro-babyloniemu.. and the desolation is a favourite theme of the liturgies. ibid. K-A. K. This rested partly on the Berlin text. This was always an assumption. Labat. This is the time. Tod und Lebett.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS massive evidence. ccxvm. op. In the Epic of Gilgamesh (vi.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. 10. 35 and 1097 (Ebeling. which has been shown to be irrelevant.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. iii. 38ff. 122. cf. The problematic element in the seasonal cycle of the "Yeargod" is the alleged festival of resurrection. nos. and is therefore not in doubt. Byblos and Alexandria. 2 Harper. 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. "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". and partly on the expression ta-bi-e dEn-lil ildni iMarduk used by Nebuchadnezzar and Reisner. as we have seen. of a single god of fertility and that in historical times the ceremony of marriage had been attributed to one of these secondary gods. vi. 16th and 17th there were processions of torches. The hemerologies state that the lamentations and "binding" of Tammuz were celebrated in the month Tammuz (Du'uzu). was explained. p.oxfordjournals. 46-7) Ishtar is said to have decreed annual lamentations for her lover Dumuzi. 60).A. 157 1 Downloaded from http://jss. whose identification with Dumuzi may be due merely to the fact that he was playing the part of the husband of the goddess Innin. fit. in the words of Professor James.
5 Langdon introduced his own interpretation into these passages by simply substituting the name Tammuz for Nergal.V. nor is there any explicit reference to a festival celebrating the event. and the allusion must rather be to the victory of the sun after the winter solstice. 158 .* that Nergal emerged from the underworld in Kislev is also stated in die hemerology. p. 1 J. . (3) The Sumerian names of the jth and 6th months at Ur. p.A. vi.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Neriglissar to describe the New Year festival.A. which would be difficult to accept. PP. * Pallis.6 But Nergal was not a fertility god. the e\en dDum/e(t at Lagash the 7th. The Babylonian "akitu" Festival. 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. 274. imply that a festival celebrating the revival of nature was held at different seasons in different cities. moreover. It would. Die neubabylomscben Konigsinscbriften.%uy interpreted as "funeral feast" and "festival" of Ninazu (the local god). pp. However. ccxvm. The rituals associated with these festivals are unknown.2 (2) The Sumerian name of the 6th month at Nippur (August/ September). Han&ucb der bob.3 If this "festival" was one of resurrection. * Z. 8. as pointed out by Landsberger. AttronomU. (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. ki. but there is no reason for associating it with Tammuz. j . Der hdtische Kaleiukr (1915).sig dNin.EJ. 121. vra (1949). 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. one could justly infer that the e%en dDumus^i in the Lagash and Umma calendars was of a similar kind.6 . 368. which is vague enough.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17.a.1 This was long thought to mean "the resurrection of Marduk.7 Here we have perhaps the best evidence for a seasonal resurrection (at midwinter). with reference to the descent of die goddess to the Nether World in search of her lover.5*-4* K. Babylonian Menologies (1935). 86. iii. for the e%en dNinas^u atUrwas the jth month after harvest.N. ' Langdon. Passages cited in Langdon. 202 ff. 1 Downloaded from http://jss. 2012 3 Landsberger. 244. pp. the Enlil of the gods". p . Weidner. and the e%en dDumtr(t at Umma the n t h . kin dInniny interpreted as "mission of Ishtar". and the interpretation rests solely on the name.oxfordjournals.
Thus Langdon cites the passage: "When to the bosom of the mother. op. 3 Langdon.5 yet here the reason for the joy is not stated and there is no explicit reference to Tammuz. 106. About these it must be said first that since all the liturgies in question are lamentations. thou risest". C Frank. etc. 1 Langdon. when to thy mother. 2012 . Kultlieder. Witzel.vj is rendered by Langdon "Arise!". as part of the same ceremony. Witzel. to the bosom of thy beloved thou risest. p.1 but the same passage is translated by Witzel. 1 Downloaded from http://jss. (5) Allusions in the liturgies. or the life-giving powers of the milk (Jacobsen) is difficult to say. on which all translators are agreed. no. is provided by the tablet in the Manchester Museum. at. 31. This would not be the same thing as a festival of jubilation over the revival of nature. 32. s Babykniaea. and the marriage of the local god at the spring equinox. forming part of a seasonal cycle. p. 403. op. ibid.2 Another passage quoted by Langdon as "he that from the flood is risen" is translated by Witzel "what came from the faithful heart". Witzel. Witzel. 4 Langdon. they can only have been recited as an accompaniment to a resurrection if the resurrection followed immediately after the lamentations. the Sumerian ha. p. 233. at. p. 11. Tammu^-Uturgen md verwtmdtts (193)). 238. Tammu^andhbtar (1914). condemned to reside in the Underworld by the angry goddess whose lover he had been.4 The best example of a liturgy of lamentation ending in a paean of joy. 3 Similarly. apparently with equal justification: " Thou who art snatched from the bosom of thy mother". There is no evidence that the same god was celebrated in both rites. a third alternative. However. Tammuz himself was a shepherd. 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. 94. Whether he symbonzed for the Babylonians the spring growth that wilts in the heat of summer (Baudissin and others).. p.D. but by Witzel "we will destroy". iv. and most of the alleged allusions to a "rising" are quite unreliable. the queen of heaven. p. 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.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. these Sumerian songs are among the most difficult of all texts to translate. p. ibid. 22.oxfordjournals. 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.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS .
p. pp. 2012 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. 1-72. * For full details see E. * Frazer. and there is no evidence that it played any important part in the religious calendar.1 In any case. 188 ff.org/ at University of Manchester on November 17. Langdon.TAMMUZ RECONSIDERED: SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS which are most likely to have had their origin in Babylonian practices.s. 160 . this may be a late accretion to Babylonian religion due to West Semitic influence. Douglas van Buten in Orimtalia. celebrated at the time of natural revival in the spring. x m (1944). Osiris (1907). (Chicago 1962). some symbolism of nature was certainly present in this festival. who was said to emerge from the Underworld at midwinter. Attis. The sacred marriage was a fertility rite. i8o. n. Semitic Mytbolog.fF. there is no need to assume that he was obliged to rise from the dead to celebrate it. Admit. 337. POSTSCRIPT Downloaded from http://jss. but this appears to belong to a dififerent order of symbolism.2 but since the "bridegroom" was not normally regarded as Tammuz. If the late addition to the Assyrian myth of the Descent of Ishtar refers to such a resurrection.oxfordjournals. The only reference to a resurrection has been found in relation to the god Nergal.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.