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West Asia

In Sumerian mythology the personification of heaven. Unlike the Egyptian conception of their deities, who are frequently represented under theriomorphic forms, the Mesopotamian gods are always shown in human form, though they are often accompanied by their sacred beasts. It appears that Sumer did not pass through a totemisric stage of religious development, as the Egyptians clearly did. An early god like An simply remained a shadowy figure, the survivor of a creation myth. He was the father of Enlil. Though the Assyrio-Babylonian pantheon found a place for him as Anu, the god of kingship as well as of heaven, he retired very much into the background before the active gods, especially Marduk and Ashur. His symbol was the star.

Subjects: Religion.

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