Abgal (god)

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Abgal was an Arabian deity, or jinn, whose worship is attested by inscriptions dating to the Palmyrene Empire – he is thought to have been primarily worshipped by nomads.

Overview

Abgal is known as a tutelary deity of the Arabs (or jinn) in the Palmyra region. Representations of him are of a youth with long hair and a moustache, wearing local garb, and holding a lance. He had a Greco-Roman style temple at Khirbet Semrin where he is portrayed on a relief riding a horse, equipped with bow and quiver attached to the saddle.[1]

A stele with imagery of Abhal and Ashar, and earlier inscriptions at Kirbet-Semrin dates the active 'worship' of this jinn to between 154 and 270AD – references to the deity appear in the Palmyrene Empire but curiously none have been found at Palmyra itself.[2] A monumnet from Jebel al-Abiad (153AD) mentions him together with the deities Bel, Baal, Shamin, Aglibol, Malakbel, Astarte, Nemesis, and Arsu,[3] though according to Teixidor 1979 he was a god of nomads, and usually mentioned in association with nomadic gods such as Azizos, Maan, Ashar, or Shalman.

According to (Drijvers 1980) representation of such deities (also Arsu, Asar[disambiguation needed], and Azizu) as armed and mounted men in statuary in a pair together was common across the desert regions of Syria/Mesopotamia – and together these representation may have represented divine protection.[4]

References

  1. ^ Teixidor 1979, pp. 80-81.
  2. ^ Teixidor 1979, p. 81.
  3. ^ Teixidor 1979, p. 82.
  4. ^ Drijvers 1980, pp. 159-160.

Sources

  • Teixidor, Javier (1979), The pantheon of Palmyra, Leiden: Brill 
  • Drijvers, H.J.W. (1980), Cults and Beliefs and Edessa, ISBN 90 04 06050 2 
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