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Namtar Cover
Namtar was a hellish deity, god of death, and the messenger of An, Ereshkigal, and Nergal. Namtar was considered responsible for diseases and pests. It was said that he commanded sixty diseases in the form of demons that could penetrate different parts of the human body; offerings to him were made to prevent those illnesses. It is thought that the Assyrians and Babylonians took this belief from the Sumerians after conquering them. To some they were the spirit of fate, and therefore of great importance. This being was regarded as the beloved son of B^el. Apparently they executed the instructions given him concerning the fate of men, and could also have power over certain of the gods. In other writings they were regarded the personification of death, much like the modern concept of the Grim Reaper. In the story of Ishtar's Descent to earth, acting as Ishkegal's 'messenger', Namtar curses Ishtar (the daughter of Sin) with 60 diseases, naming 5 of the head, feet, side, eyes, and heart, after she arrives to earth. Other spellings: Namtaru, Namtara

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