An ( Sumerian An , Akkadian Anu and Anum ) was the city god of Uruk and Der . In cuneiform writing , his symbol is an eight-pointed star ( ? ), which was placed in front of all other god names as the determinative Dingir / Diĝir . With the exception of his ancestors Uraš , Anšar and Kišar , he was the ancestor of all gods of the Sumerian , Akkadian and Babylonian pantheons . An is the Sumerian word for "heaven" or "above".
When heaven and earth separated and the universe was created in its present form, he became the ruler of heaven. Its properties were incorporated into many other ancient oriental deities. Nevertheless, An was a colorless god, of whom relatively little is known and who, in tradition, lagged behind his more important children. When An was described, it was mostly as a grumpy, unkind and rather misanthropic God. Anu is the patron god of the exorcists , one of his epithets is mupaššir nambûrbe idāti itāti limnēti šunāte pardāte la ṭādâte , "He who gives power to exorcistisms in order to use the pašāru to prevent events with bad omens and the effects of confused and godless dreams" (King dreams BMS 62 + 1. 12).
In older Sumerian texts, the earth goddess Uraš is his wife. In more recent times it is Ki (Sumerian for earth ) or his daughter Inanna . In the Akkadian tradition, An was the husband of the ki-derived goddess Antum . He was also the father of Martu , Erra , Baba , Gibil , Nisaba , Enlil , Gatumdu , Lamaštu , the weather god Iškur (regionally also known as Adad , Addu and Hadad ) and the god of seven . When Sin , Šamaš and Ištar / Inanna tried to share world domination with An, An sent his child, the god of seven, against Sin, who surrounded Sin and thus triggered a lunar eclipse . Only Ea could free Sin.
The cult of An took a back seat in Babylonian and Assyrian times, it was overshadowed by Marduk and Assyria . However, it is said in Uruk in the 3rd century BC. A renaissance of the Anu- Antum cult may have come about in the Seleucid period .
An played a more important role in astronomy , where the ribbon along the celestial equator was referred to as the Paths of Anu . The fixed stars spanned three zones: either the ways of the Enlil north, the ways of the Anu in the central area or the ways of the Ea (Enki) south of the celestial equator. The canonical cuneiform tablet series Enuma Anu Enlil , comprising 70 tablets, contains 7000 omens , which are associated with the appearances of the moon, sun, planets and fixed stars.
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- A. Leo Oppenheim : The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near East. With a Translation of an Assyrian Dream-Book . In: Transactions of the American Philosophical Society , New Series 46/3, 1956, p. 219