Ḫepat

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Hebat
Other names Khepat
Spouse(s) Teshub
Children Sarruma
Alanzu

Ḫepat, also transcribed, Khepat, was the mother goddess of the Hurrians, known as "the mother of all living".[1] She is also a Queen of the deities.

Mythical family

Hebat is married to Teshub and is the mother of Sarruma and Alanzu, as well mother-in-law of the daughter of the dragon Illuyanka.

Name derivation

Queen Kubaba may have been deified, becoming Hebat

It is thought that Hebat may have had a Southern Mesopotamian origin, being the deification of Kubaba, the founder and first ruler of the Third Dynasty of Kish. The name may be transliterated in different versions - Khepat with the feminine ending -t is primarily the Syrian and Ugaritic version.

In the Hurrian language Ḫepa is the most likely pronunciation of the name of the goddess. In modern literature the sound /h/ in cuneiform sometimes is transliterated as kh.

Arinniti

The Hittite sun goddess Arinniti was later assimilated with Hebat. A prayer of Queen Puduhepa makes this explicit: "To the Sun-goddess of Arinna, my lady, the mistress of the Hatti lands, the queen of Heaven and Earth. Sun-goddess of Arinna, thou art Queen of all countries! In the Hatti country thou bearest the name of the Sun-goddess of Arinna; but in the land which thou madest the cedar land thou bearest the name Hebat."[2]

Widespread veneration

Ḫepat was venerated all over the ancient Near East. Her name appears in many theophoric personal names. A king of Jerusalem mentioned in the Amarna letters was named Abdi-Heba, possibly meaning "Servant of Ḫepat".[3]

The mother goddess is likely to have had a later counterpart in the Phrygian goddess Cybele.

See also

References

  1. ^ Beckman, G.: Pantheon A. II. Bei den Hethitern. In: Edzard, D. O. et al. (Hrsg.): Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie. Munich, 2010.
  2. ^ Bach, Alice Women in the Hebrew Bible Routledge; 1 edition (3 Nov 1998) ISBN 978-0-415-91561-8 p.171
  3. ^ Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times, Princeton University Press, 1992 p.270.

External links

  • Hittite/Hurrian Mythology
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