Read Gilgamesh in its entirety.
Among the instances of dualistic structure in polytheistic religions are those that oppose celestial and terrestrial, male and female, actual and mythical primordial-chaotic, and diurnal and nocturnal, especially when they do so within the context of mythologies and cosmogonies belonging to the ancient… The nature of polytheism In the course of analyzing and recording various beliefs connected with the gods, historians of religions have used certain categories to identify different attitudes toward the gods.
Thus, in the latter part of the 19th century the terms henotheism and kathenotheism were used to refer to the exalting of a particular god as exclusively the highest within the framework of a particular hymn or ritual—e.
Within the framework of another part of the same ritual tradition, another god may be selected as supreme focus. Kathenotheism literally means belief in one god at a time. The term monolatry has a connected but different sense; it refers to the worship of one god as supreme and sole object of the worship of a group while not denying the existence of deities belonging to other groups.
The term henotheism is also used to cover this case or, more generally, to mean belief in the supremacy of a single god without denying others. This seems to have been the situation for a period in ancient Israel in regard to the cult of Yahweh.
In evolutionary hypotheses about the development of religion that were particularly fashionable among Western scholars in the latter half of the 19th century, animism was regarded as a stage in which the forces around human beings were less personalized than in the polytheistic stage.
In actual instances of religious belief, however, no such scheme is possible: Belief in many divine beings, who typically have to be worshipped or, if malevolent, warded off with appropriate rituals, has been widespread in human cultures.
Like all other theories of religious origins, this theory is speculative and unverifiable. More promising are attempts by sociologists and social anthropologists to penetrate to the uses and significance of the gods in particular societies.
Besides the drift toward some unification, there have been other tendencies in human culture that entail a rather sophisticated approach to mythological material—e.
At the popular level there has been, for instance, the reinterpretation of the gods as Christian saints, as in Mexican Catholicism.
A fully articulate theory, however, of the ways in which polytheism serves symbolicsocial, and other functions in human culture requires clarification of the role of mytha much-debated topic in contemporary anthropology and comparative religion.
Forms of polytheistic powers, gods, and demons Natural forces and objects A widespread phenomenon in religions is the identification of natural forces and objects as divinities.
It is convenient to classify them as celestial, atmospheric, and earthly. This classification itself is explicitly recognized in Vedic religion: Surya, the sun godis celestial; Indra, associated with storms, rain, and battles, is atmospheric; and Agni, the fire god, operates primarily at the earthly level.
Sky gods, however, tend to take on atmospheric roles—e. Loveless In the earliest cultural levels, in which hunting and then pastoralism and agriculture are clearly vital, religion exhibits these identifications in rites connected with fertility.
Moreover, because of its dominance of the world, the sun is often seen as all-knowing, and thus sky gods of various cultures tend to be highly powerful and knowledgeable, if also sometimes rather remote.
The sky is also often associated with creation. By contrast the moon is rarely of the same importance though in Ur, a city of ancient southern Babylonia, the moon god Sin was supreme.
The role of the sky god in ensuring food and in providing light and warmth, over against the chaotic effects of darkness, was a theme of various myths of the cosmic drama and was one main reason for the connection in mythic thought between creation and light.
Heavenly divinities have also been influential in the development of astrologywhich assigns a special significance to stars and planets. In the Middle East astrology was important but was weakened by monotheism, and in Indian culture it came to be deeply woven into the fabric of both Hinduism and Buddhism.
Astrology was influential in the Greco-Roman world and in the astral religion attached to Gnosticism dualistic sects that emphasized salvation through esoteric knowledge and other cults of the early Christian era.
Astrology was also elaborated in Central Americafor instance in Aztec religion. Gods of the sky become especially powerful when they take on an atmospheric guise. The association of gods such as Zeus and Indra with storm, as well as with fertility-bearing rain, makes their connection with warfare fairly natural; thus, Indra is the most perfect example of an Indo-European warrior.
Many societies, however, have had separate gods of war. The ambivalence of atmospheric deities is paralleled in female counterparts who are both creative and destructive. The forces of water and fire are particularly significant in bridging the gap between the earthly and heavenly realms.
Fire is manifested not only in the hearth but also in lightning and the sun, and water is sometimes connected with the moon. Thus, earthly fire and water can also be seen at work higher in the cosmos.
Their cults had a new life in the mystery cults of the Greco-Roman world, where the original agricultural significance of the rites was transformed into more personal and psychological terms. Photograph by Katie Chao. In addition, sacred significance is often attached to features of the particular environment in which a given group finds itself.
Thus, sacred mountains, such as Olympus in Greecehave their resident deities, and a river, such as the Ganges Gangamay be divinized. Underground rivers have special significance in connecting with the underworld, or nether regions, which can be important as the place of repose of the dead but also as the matrix for the re-creation of life.
Geographical locations can also have cosmic significance; e. Further, many cultures have gods and goddesses associated with the sea. Vegetation In a number of cultures trees are seen as a primordial form of vegetation and have a symbolic connection both with heaven and earth; sometimes they are held to contain spirits, as the yakshas of Indian tradition.
Particular sorts of trees, such as the ashvattha, or pipal sacred figare held in special veneration.In ancient Sumerian society, kings represented the will of the gods. In Uruk, a city set between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, Gilgamesh was the fifth king. From him we learn kingship was a matter of divine privilege and human responsibility.
Read Gilgamesh (in its entirety). Answer the following question in a one-page paper: Citing specific evidence from Gilgamesh (not from the textbook), explain . Question: Citing specific evidence from Gilgamesh (not from the textbook), explain the role(s) of kingship Citing specific evidence from Gilgamesh (not from the textbook), explain the role(s) of kingship in ancient Sumerian society.
Citing specific evidence from Gilgamesh (not from the textbook), explain the role(s) of kingship in ancient Sumerian society. In other words, one might ask, what were the duties of the king or what was a Sumerian king expected to do or what were some of the characteristics of kingship in Ancient Mesopotamia?
Nephilim, Anunnaki - Royal Bloodline - Creators "Those who from Heaven to Earth came" The Sumerian King List allegedly recorded all the rulers of Earth over , years who were said to be gods, demigods, or immortals or one soul playing all the roles..
In Sumerian Mythology the Anunnaki were a pantheon of good and evil gods and goddesses (duality) who came to Earth to create the human race.
Attis (and Cybele). Cybele is a goddess, probably of Oriental origin, known in the Greek world from approximately the seventh century BC. She became known in Rome as Magna Mater ("great mother of the gods") when her cult was imported to the city at the end of the third century BC.