Last modified on 29 November 2012, at 07:31

Category:Atargatis

English: Atargatis, in Aramaic ‘Atar‘atah, was a Syrian deity," great goddess of northern Syria," and "the great mistress of the North Syrian lands," commonly known to the ancient Greeks by a shortened form of the name, Aphrodite Derceto or Derketo and as Dea Syria, "Goddess of Syria". her chief sanctuary was at Hierapolis (modern Manbij), northeast of Aleppo, occasionally rendered in one word Deasura.

She is often now popularly described as the mermaid-goddess, from her fish-bodied appearance at Ascalon and in Diodorus Siculus — a widely accessible source — but which is by no means her universal appearance.

At Ugarit, cuneiform tablets attest a fecund "Lady Goddess of the Sea" (rabbat 'atiratu yammi), as well as three Canaanite goddesses — Anat, Asherah and Astarte (Ashtart) — who shared many traits and might be worshipped in conjunction or separately during 1500 years of cultural history.

Possible late transfigurations: Atar-gatis, Atar, without the feminine suffix, is identified with the goddess Atah (Athah) worshipped at Palmyra, and may have had a shared origin with Anat. Atah was combined with Astarte (Ashtart) under the name Atar into the goddess Atar‘atah known to the Hellenes as Atargatis. If this origin for Atah is correct, then Atargatis is effectively a combination of Astarte and Anat.

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