Numerous civilizations have been established since the earliest times in human history. But few of these civilizations are as important as the Sumerians! The Sumerians were people who settled in the Mesopotamian region about 7,000 years ago. Especially the city-states they established in the 4th millennium BC, innovative technology applications, the writing systems they invented, their works of art and architecture, their pioneering work in mathematics and astrology, and even the Sumerian gods made the Sumerians “the cradle of civilization”!
All these were quite progressive and new practices for the times before Christ. Therefore, the Sumerians were a society that influenced almost all civilizations that came after it in many ways. One of the areas in which the Sumerians pioneered was religion! The Sumerians had developed a complex belief system. Every god in the Sumerian religion had humanoid features. Each of these gods was a symbol of a power that existed in the world! And they probably believed in thousands of gods! This advanced belief system, like many of the Sumerian inventions, influenced the belief system that came after it. Many Sumerian gods found their way into other civilizations! However, some Sumerian gods were able to stand out from thousands of gods thanks to some of the features they possessed. These gods were the most powerful and main gods in the Sumerian civilization! Here are the 7 most powerful Sumerian gods who continue to live in many civilizations after the Sumerians…
1. An, the sky god
An or Anu was the most powerful god among the Sumerian gods! An, also known as the “Father of the Gods”, was considered the god of the sky. The period when An appeared is even older than 3,000 BC! The sky god An was originally depicted as a bull! However, this depiction later evolved into a mythological creature called the “Bull of Heaven”. The holy city of An, the Father of the Gods, was the city called Uruk. An, the most important god among the Sumerian gods, was of course the only god with infinite power! However, An’s powers were eventually shared among the other gods! Despite this, An continued to be the source of power in the other gods. It retained its position among the most important Sumerian gods until the end of Sumerian civilization.
2. Enlil, god of the atmosphere
Another acquaintance who occupied a special position among the Sumerian gods was Enlil. Enlil was the son of An, the chief god of the Sumerian faith! Over time, Enlil succeeded his father and became the most important god in Sumerian religion. Enlil was also the god of the atmosphere. He was the god who controlled atmospheric phenomena. He was believed to have played an important role in the creation of humanity. But of course, he was also the god of winds and storms. Moreover, he used these powers to punish people! In fact, according to popular belief in Sumerian religion, Enlil even created a flood to wipe out the human race when he could not sleep because of the noisy people.
3. Enki, creator of mankind
One of the most popular and beloved of the Sumerian gods was Enki! The Sumerians believed that water, knowledge, craft, and magic were created by Enki. Of course, he was also the creator and protector of humanity. In fact, he was the god who warned Enlil, determined to destroy the human race! Enki was depicted in the Sumerian civilization as a bearded man wearing a horned headdress and a long robe.
4. Inanna, queen of heaven
Queen of Heaven, Inanna was probably the most popular of the Sumerian gods. She was considered the goddess of love, passion, sex, and war. Inanna’s symbols were the lion and the eight-pointed star. Inanna was a god mentioned in almost all Sumerian religious texts, as she was the most popular god.
5. Utu, the sun god
Utu was the god of the sun and justice in Sumerian religion. He was the son of the moon god Nanna and the fertility goddess Nigal, and the brother of the goddess of love Inanna. Utu, the god of the sun and justice, appeared in the earliest times of Sumerian civilization. In the “Laws of Hammurabi”, one of the oldest known written laws in the world, the god of justice Utu was addressed with the name “Shamash” and it was written that he was the god who brought justice to humanity. Finally, Utu is often depicted as a bearded old man with beams of light on his shoulders.
6. Ninhursag, mother goddess
Ninhursag, considered the mother goddess by the Sumerians, was also the goddess of the earth. She was believed to be the goddess who created deserts and wildlife. According to Sumerian belief, Ninhursag usually lived in the mountains. She wore a long skirt and a horned cap. Also, both male and female deer were symbols of Ninhursag.
7. Nanna, god of the moon and wisdom
The oldest information about Nanna, believed to be Inanna’s father, dates back to 3,500 BC. A series of inscriptions found in the great temple of Ur contain some statements about the Sumerian god of the moon and wisdom. Nanna, who has a very important position among the Sumerian gods, is a god that contains important clues about the cultural development of the Sumerians. Because Nanna is thought to have emerged at a time when the Sumerians were hunter-gatherers. In hunter-gatherer times, the Moon was more important to humanity than the Sun! Nanna is thought to have arisen because of the importance attributed to the Moon.