Figura 1: Visão romântica de Ninive.
Os montículos antigos de Ninive, Kouyunjik e Nabī Yūnus, estão localizados num nível da planície perto da confluência do rio Tigre e Khosr com uma área de 1800 acres circunscrita por uma muralha de tijolos de 12 quilómetros. Esse espaço extensivo inteiro é hoje uma imensa área de ruínas sobreposta em partes pelos novos subúrbios da cidade de Mosul.
Hoa occupies, in the first Triad, the position which in the classical mythology is filled by Poseidon or Neptune, and in some respects he corresponds to him. He is "the lord of the earth," just as Neptune is [Greek]; he is "the king of rivers;" and he comes from the sea to teach the Babylonians; but he is never called "the lord of the sea." That title belongs to Nin or Ninip. Hoa is "the lord of the abyss," or of "the great deep," which does not seem to be the sea, but something distinct from it. His most important titles are those which invest him with the character, so prominently brought out in Oe and Oannes, of the god of science and knowledge. He is "the intelligent guide," or, according to another interpretation, "the intelligent fish," "the teacher of mankind," "the lord of understanding." One of his emblems is the "wedge" or "arrowhead," the essential element of cuneiform writing, which seems to be assigned to him as the inventor, or at least the patron of the Chaldaean alphabet. Another is the serpent which occupies so conspicuous a place among the symbols of the gods on the black stones recording benefactions, and which sometimes appears upon the cylinders. -- THE SEVEN GREAT MONARCHIES OF THE ANCIENT EASTERN WORLD, BY GEORGE RAWLINSON, M.A, 1862–67.
Heâ was the god of chaos, or the deep; he was the king of the abyss who determines destinies. In later times he was also called the god of the waters, and from him some of the attributes of Neptune may be derived. It was said that Chaos was his wife. In later mythology, however, Nin-ci-gal, instead of Chaos, was the wife of Heâ.
(…) Ninip, the lord of strong actions, finds an echo in Hercules of Grecian mythology, who received his bow from Apollo, his sword from Mercury, his golden breastplate from Vulcan, his horses from Neptune, and his robe from Minerva.
The Assyrian Dagon was usually associated with Anū, the sky-god, and the worship of both was carried as far west as Canaan. ASSYRIAN MYTHOLOGY By MRS. ELIZABETH A. REED.
It would seem that Merodach as Jupiter displaced at Babylon Nebo as Saturn, the elder god, as Bel Enlil displaced the elder Ninip at Nippur.
(…) The Babylonian Saturn, as we have seen, is black, and its god, Ninip, was the destroying boar, which recalls the black boar of the Egyptian demon (or elder god) Set. The Greek Cronos was a destroyer even of his own children. All the elder gods had demoniac traits like the ghosts of human beings. (…)
Ninip (nin´ip, or Nin´ib), as Nirig and destroying sun (…) , the son of Enlil, who was made in the likeness of Anu, he waged war against the earth spirits, and was furiously hostile towards the deities of alien peoples, as befitted a god of battle. Even his father feared him, and when he was advancing towards Nippur, sent out Nusku, messenger of the gods, to soothe the raging deity with soft words. Ninip was symbolized as a wild bull, was connected with stone worship, like the Indian destroying god Shiva, and was similarly a deity of Fate. He had much in common with Nin-Girsu, a god of Lagash, who was in turn regarded as a form of Tammuz. (…)
Before he became king, Sargon of Akkad, the Sharrukin of the texts, was, according to tradition, a gardener and watchman attached to the temple of the war god Zamama of Kish. This deity was subsequently identified with Merodach, son of Ea; Ninip, son of Enlil; and Nin-Girsu of Lagash. He was therefore one of the many developed forms of Tammuz -- a solar, corn, and military deity, and an interceder for mankind.
In the Babylonian Creation legend Ea is supplanted as dragon slayer by his son Merodach. Similarly Ninip took the place of his father, Enlil, as the champion of the gods. "In other words," writes Dr. Langdon, "later theology evolved the notion of the son of the earth god, who acquires the attributes of the father, and becomes the god of war. (…)
Saturn was Nirig, who is best known as Ninip, a deity who was displaced by Enlil, the elder Bel, and afterwards regarded as his son. His story has not been recovered, but from the references made to it there is little doubt that it was a version of the widespread myth about the elder deity who was slain by his son, as Saturn was by Jupiter and Dyaus by Indra. It may have resembled the lost Egyptian myth which explained the existence of the two Horuses -- Horus the elder, and Horus, the posthumous son of Osiris. At any rate, it is of interest to find in this connection that in Egypt the planet Saturn was Her-Ka, "Horus the Bull". Ninip was also identified with the bull. Both deities were also connected with the spring sun, like Tammuz, and were terrible slayers of their enemies.
(…) A bilingual list in the British Museum arranges the sevenfold planetary group in the following order: —
The moon, Sin.
The sun, Shamash.
Saturn, Ninip (Nirig).
Mars, Nergal. (…)
As the planet Saturn, Ninip was the ghost of the elder god, and as the son of Bel he was the solar war god of spring, the great wild bull, the god of fertility. He was also as Ber "lord of the wild boar", an animal associated with Rimmon. (…)
Ninip resembled Kronos and Saturnus as a father, but he was also at the same time a son; he was the Egyptian Horus the elder and Horus the younger in one. Merodach was similarly of complex character -- a combination of Ea, Aim, Enlil, and Tammuz, who acquired, when exalted by the Amoritic Dynasty of Babylon, the attributes of the thunder god Adad-Ramman in the form of Amurru, "lord of the mountains".
-- Donald A. Mackenzie - Myths of Babylonia and Assyria.
Nirig é uma forma de Marduque com a força de Hércules.
The name of the god Nirig or Ênu-rêštu (Ninip) is generally written with the same group, implying some kind of connection between the two --the god and the iron. (…) Whether /Ênu-rêštu/ be a translation of /Nirig/ or not, is uncertain, but not improbable, the meaning being "primeval lord," or something similar, and "lord" that of the first element, /ni/, in the Sumerian form. In support of this reading and rendering may be quoted the fact, that one of the descriptions of this divinity is /ašsarid îlani âhê-šu/, "the eldest of the gods his brothers." It is noteworthy that this deity was a special favourite among the Assyrians, many of whose kings, to say nothing of private persons, bore his name as a component part of theirs. In the bilingual poem entitled /Ana-kime gimma/ ("Formed like Anu"), he is described as being the son of Bel (hence his appearance after Bel in the list printed above), and in the likeness of Anu, for which reason, perhaps, his divinity is called "Anuship." (…)
Figura 2: Restauro inventivo de uma das salas do Palácio de Ninive por Austen Henry Layard. Os touros alados são seguramente Nerig ou Negral e os anjos de guarda à árvore da vida são o pássaro Anzu, ambos entidades aguerridas na mitologia do médio oriente antigo.
The inscriptions call him "god of war," though, unlike Nergal, he was not at the same time god of disease and pestilence. To all appearance he was the god of the various kinds of stones, of which another legend states that he "determined their fate." He was "the hero, whose net overthrows the enemy, who summons his army to plunder the hostile land, the royal son who caused his father to bow down to him from afar." "The son who sat not with the nurse, and eschewed(?) the strength of milk," "the offspring who did not know his father." "He rode over the mountains and scattered seed--unanimously the plants proclaimed his name to their dominion, among them like a great wild bull he raises his horns." (…)
Many other interesting descriptions of the deity Nirig (generally read Nin-ip) occur, and show, with those quoted here, that his story was one of more than ordinary interest.
Que os Assírios tenham achado ou não que o poderiao marítimo pertencia a Ninip a verdade é que tradicionalmente o papel de deus marítimo coube a Enki e foi possivelmente reforçado enquanto missionário da agricultura neolítica que o terá transformado também num deus do cereal que necessita de morrer na terra para ressuscitar na multiplicação dos grãos das espigas como aparece relatado entre os judeus.
The ancient Sumerian city of Eridu, which means "on the seashore", was invested with great sanctity from the earliest times, and Ea, the "great magician of the gods", was invoked by workers of spells, the priestly magicians of historic Babylonia. (…)
The mythological spell exercised by Eridu in later times suggests that the civilization of Sumeria owed much to the worshippers of Ea. At the sacred city the first man was created: there the souls of the dead passed towards the great Deep. Its proximity to the sea — Ea was Nin-bubu, "god of the sailor"— may have brought it into contact with other peoples and other early civilizations. (…)
Famosos desde os tempos antigos pela crueldade e pelo talento guerreiro, os assírios também se destacaram pela habilidade na construção de grandes cidades e edifícios monumentais, como atestam as ruínas encontradas em Nínive, Assur e Nimrud. Estabelecido no norte da Mesopotâmia, o império assírio foi uma das civilizações mais importantes do Oriente Médio.
Os assírios nunca foram um império naval. O facto de teram atrubuido o poder da frota ao deus das tempestades de Ninive resulta possivelmente de pouco ou nada terem de marinheiros de alto mar (pois Ninive, a sua capital, nem sequer ficava na margem de um grande rio) e desconhecerem por isso as tradições e os antigos deuses marítimos.
A verdade porém é que a tradição da divisão tripartida do mundo já vem do tempo dos sumérios que acreditavam que esta era tão antiga como os deuses e anteriror à criação do homem:
Quando os deuses, como os homens,
Faziam [todo] o trabalho, transportavam as cargas,
O jugo dos Anunnaki era grande demais,
Eles trabalhavam demais, muito se preocupavam,
Os grandes Anunnaki faziam os Igigi
Carregar sete vezes uma carga maior.
Anu, o pai de todos os deuses, era rei,
Tendo como conselheiro o jovem guerreiro Enlil,
E como chanceler, Ninurta,
O controlador dos canais era Ennugi.
Eles tomaram a caixa de dados
Eles lançaram os dados, os Anunnaki fizeram a divisão.
Anu subiu aos céus,
E Enlil tomou a terra para seu povo.
O cadeado que barra os mares
Foi dado ao sábio Enki.
The English placename Nineveh comes from Latin Ninive and Septuagint Greek Nineyḗ (Νινευή) under influence of the Biblical Hebrew Nīnewēh (נִינְוֶה), itself from the Akkadian Ninua (var. Ninâ) or Old Babylonian Ninuwā. The original meaning of the name is unclear, but may have referred to a patron goddess. The cuneiform for Ninâ is a fish within a house (cf. Aramaic nuna, "fish"). This may have simply intended "Place of Fish" or may have indicated a goddess associated with fish or the river itself, possibly originally of Hurrian origin. The city was later said to be devoted to "the Ishtar of Nineveh" and Nina was one of the Babylonian names of that goddess.
Nira = A Babylonian deity. Son of Ea. In some lore, occasionally known as Nira, Nirah or Nirak.
Uraš, a name of Nirig, under which he was worshipped at Dailem, near Babylon. -- The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, Theophilus G. Pinches.
Nin-ur-ta also was apparently called Uras in later times.
Ninip was symbolized as a wild bull, was connected with stone worship, like the Indian destroying god Shiva, and was similarly a deity of Fate. He had much in common with Nin-Girsu, a god of Lagash, who was in turn regarded as a form of Tammuz. (…)
Ninip (nin´ip, or Nin´ib), as Nirig.
Sharruma (Hurrian name), 'the calf of Teshub'. The son of Teshub and Hebat, this god is symbolized by a pair of human legs, or a human head on a bull's body. He is later identified with the Weather-god of Nerik and Zippalanda.
> Nil > «Nilo».
Nirig < Nir-ik < Hit. Ner-ik < *Ninerik < Nin + Ur + Ki > Ninurta.
«Nero» ⬄ Ner-gal > Negral.
Nirig < *Ninerik > Nin(e)riw > Nin´ib > Nin´ip >
Obviamente que a variante fonética Nin´ib de Nerig irá ter uma forte influência na passagem do nome de Ninevete / Ninuva para Ninive nas línguas ocidentais precisamente pela influência que o nome do deus Nerik / Nin´ib teria nos povos conhecedores da cultura anatólica hitita com que os gregos e latinos estiveram ligados antes da crise dos povos do mar.
«Ninive» < Lat. Ninive < Grec. Νινευή < Heb. Nīnewēh < Akkad. Ninua
< Babilónio antigo Ninuwā < *Ninawi < Nin-a + Haki.
Sumer: Nina Lady of Water.
Sumer: Nanshe Goddess of Fish.
Sumer: Haaki (place of the water fishes).
Sumer: Ha = Fish
Nam [Fish] (1x: ED IIIa) wr. NAMku6 "a fish".
Niĝki [Fish] (1x: ED IIIa) wr. niĝ2-kiku6 "a fish".
Nigugu [Fish] (2x: Old Babylonian) wr. ni2-gu7-gu7ku6 "a fish".
Ninda2 [Fish] (1x: ED IIIa) wr. ninda2ku6 "a fish".
Ninuš [Fish] (2x: ED IIIa, ED IIIb) wr. nin-ušku6 "a fish".
Nutar [Fish] (7x: ED IIIb) wr. nu-tarku6; nu-TARku6 "a fish".
A partir do nome genérico Nin, Ishtar também é Nin-a, Senhora da água. Foi identificada com Aruru, a deusa que ajudou Marduque a criar a humanidade, Ishtar também foi considerada a mãe de todos, e na história do dilúvio da Babilónia, fazem-na confessar que ela tinha gerado o homem mas, como "os filhos do peixes ", ele encheu o mar. Por isso, Nina / Estar, era uma deusa da criação, tipificado na vida fervilhante do oceano, e o seu nome é escrito com um caracter cuneiforme sumério feito a partir de um pictograma para casa ou recipiente com o sinal de "peixe" dentro.
Como sua deusa tutelar, os pescadores do bairro do babilónico Nina e Lagas estavam acostumados a fazer a ela, bem como para Innanna ou Ishtar, grandes ofertas de peixe.
Sua primeira sede foi a cidade de Nina no sul da Babilónia, a partir da qual, com toda a probabilidade, partiram colonos para o norte e fundou outro santuário em Nínive na Assíria, que se tornou o grande centro de seu culto, e onde foi chamado Ninaa ou Ninua ou Ninuwa.
Terá sido seguramente esta variante de Innana / Istar que irá dar origem à lusitana Nábia.
A estreita relação que terá existido entre esta deusa das águas e dos peixes com Nerig terá sido tão intensa que os assírios o transformaram no seu deus taurino da guerra.
This deity was subsequently identified with Merodach, son of Ea; Ninip, son of Enlil; and Nin-Girsu of Lagash. He was therefore one of the many developed forms of Tammuz -- a solar, corn, and military deity, and an interceder for mankind.
The five planets Ninip, Merodach, Nergal, Ishtar, and Nebo were called by the Greeks after their gods Kronos, Zeus, Ares, Aphrodite, and Hermes, and by the Romans Saturnus, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercurius. It must be recognized, however, that these equations were somewhat arbitrary. Ninip resembled Kronos and Saturnus as a father, but he was also at the same time a son; he was the Egyptian Horus the elder and Horus the younger in one. – Myths of Babylonia and Assyria, by Donald A. MacKenzie, .
Quanto à personalidade de Nerig é incontornável descobrir que esta pré-existiu à cultura belicista dos assírios porque já tinha este papel de deus «manda chuva» e atmosférico das tempestades dos cultos solares e agrários desde tempos remotos sendo assim adorado desde a Anatólia até à Babilónia. No entanto, a multiplicidade das facetas da sua personalidade como deus solar, dos cultos de fertilidade agrícola e da guerra permitem-lhe identificações diversas com deuses infernais. Estranha-se no entanto que nunca se tenha colocado a possível identificação de Nerig com Dagon, apesar das importantes semelhanças de personalidade, o que possivelmente terá acontecido por causa da forte autonomia de identidade de Dagon por esta altura da civilização do oriente médio e costas levantinas, e sobretudo por se saber bem que Nerig / Nereu era filho de Dagon / Poseidon e que por isso nunca poderiam ser a mesma entidade.
De resto, na análise do mito do dilúvio desde as suas primeiras descrições nos tempos sumérios confirma-se que os deuses que provocaram as tempestades que inundaram o mundo foram inicialmente Anzu, uma variante bélica e aquiliana de Enki e não este mesmo que ajudou Atrahasis, e a humanidade propondo a Enlil uma solução alternativa ao extermínio total: Enki, que gostava pouco de trabalhar e precisava da humanidade como fonte de escravidão, propôs que a melhor solução contra os excessos de poluição da humanidade seria impedir a explosão demográfica com limitações à natalidade por abortos, mortalidade infantil e um grande número de mulheres dedicadas ao templo dos deuses que como escravas dos deuses nunca teriam permissão para ter filhos.
The Great Flood
[iii.5] ... the storm
... were yoked
Anzu rent the sky with his talons,
He ... the land
[iii.10] and broke its clamor like a pot.
... the flood came forth.
Its power came upn the peoples like a battle,
one person did not see another,
they could not recognize each other in the catastrophe.
[iii.15] The deluge belowed like a bull,
The wind resounded like a screaming eagle.
The darkness was dense, the sun was gone,
... like flies.
[iii.20] the clamor of the deluge.
Nas variantes babilónicas do mito do dilúvio inseridas na epopeia de Gil-Gomes em vez do pássaro Anzu vamos encontrar Ninib, possivelmente quando a versão é assíria:
"At the dawn of day I saw rising athwart the heavens a dark cloud, and in the midst of it Ramman thundered. Nebo and Merodach went in front, speeding like emissaries over hills and plains. The cables of the ship were let loose. There went Ninib and he caused the banks to overflow; the Anunnaki lifted on high (their) torches, and with the brightness thereof they illuminated the universe. The storm brought on by Adad swept even up to the heavens, and all light was turned into darkness. Myths of Babylonia and Assyria, by Donald A. MacKenzie, .
As soon as early dawn appeared, there rose up from the horizon a black cloud, within which the weather god (Adad) thundered, and Nabu and the king of the gods (Marduk) went before. The destroyers passed across mountain and dale (literally, country). Dibbara, the great, tore loose the anchor-cable (?). There went Ninib and he caused the banks to overflow; the Anunnaki lifted on high (their) torches, and with the brightness thereof they illuminated the universe. The storm brought on by Adad swept even up to the heavens, and all light was turned into darkness. – THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH, William Muss-Arnolt (trans.), The Gilgamesh Narrative, Usually Called the Babylonian Nimrod Epic, in An Old Babylonian Version of the Gilgamesh Epic, ed. Robert Francis Harper. It should also be noted that many of the different versions incorporate highly divergent plots and stories, with the two main characters of Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu being the constant elements.
Ou Ninurta quando a versão é babilónica o que apenas demonstra que Nerig / Ninip era sobretudo um deus das tempestades e da guerra e equivalente de Negral e Iskur e, por isso, um filho de Dagon / Enki.
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Tablet XI The Story of the Flood
Translated by Maureen Gallery Kovacs:
Just as dawn began to glow there arose from the horizon a black cloud. Adad rumbled inside of it,
before him went Shullat and Hanish, heralds going over mountain and land.
Erragal pulled out the mooring poles,
forth went Ninurta and made the dikes overflow.
A Epopéia de Gil-Gomes,
Tradução de Carlos Daudt de Oliveira:
Ao primeiro brilho da alvorada chegou do horizonte uma nuvem negra, que era conduzida por Adad, o senhor da tempestade. " Os trovões retumbavam de seu interior,
e, na frente, por sobre as colinas e planícies, avançavam Shullat e Hanish, os arautos da tempestade. Surgiram então os deuses do abismo; Nergal destruiu as barragens que represavam as águas do inferno;
Ninurta, o deus da guerra, pôs abaixo os diques;