Atarsamain  

Posted by Stella Clark

Atarsamain Cover
Atarsamain (also Attar-shamayin, "morning star of heaven") is an astral deity of uncertain gender, worshipped in pre-Islamic northern and central Arabia. Worshipped widely among Arab tribes in pre-Islamic Arabia, Atarsamain is known from around 800 BC and is identified in letters of the Assyrian kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. He/she may be synonymous with the Arab goddess Allat whose cult was centred on Palmyra. According to Dierk Lange, Atarsamain was the main deity in a trinity of gods worshipped by what he calls the Yumu'il confederation, which he describes as a northern Arab tribal confederation of Ishmaelite ancestry headed by the "clan of Kedar". Lange identifies Nuha as the sun deity, Ruda as the moon deity, and Atarsamin as the main deity associated with Venus. A similar trinity of gods representing the sun, moon and Venus is found among the peoples of the South Arabian kingdoms of Awsan, Ma'in, Qataban and Hadramawt between the 9th and 4th centuries BC. There, the deity associated with Venus was Astarte, the sun deity was Yam, and moon deity was variously called Wadd, Amm and Sin. Atarsamain is twice mentioned in the annals of Assurbanipal, king of the Assyrian empire in the 7th century BC. The reference is to a?lu (sa) a-tar-sa-ma-a-a-in ("the people of Attar of Heaven") who are said to have been defeated together with the Nebayot and the Qedar (Qedarites) led by Yauta ben Birdadda, who was also known as "king of the Arabs".

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This entry was posted on 1 December 2008 at Monday, December 01, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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