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alt.mythology Canaanite/Ugaritic Mythology FAQ, ver. 1.1


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Archive-name: mythology/canaanite-faq
Posting-Frequency: bimonthly.
Last-modified: 1996/5/27
Version: 1.1
URL: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~cbsiren/canaanite-faq.html

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Canaanite/Ugaritic Mythology FAQ 1.1
by Christopher B. Siren
based primarily on John C. Gibson's _Canaanite_Mythology_
last modified May 27 1996

Note: I have an html version of this FAQ at the above address, which
includes many internal and some external links.

Contents: 
  I. Who do we mean by 'Canaanites'?
  II. What Deities did they worship?
    A. Primarily benificent and non-hostile gods
    B. Chaos gods, death gods, and cthonic gods.
    C. Demigods and heroes.
  III. What about their cosmology?
  IV. Source material
  V. Additional material of interest.
  
I. Who do we mean by 'Canaanites'?

Linguisticly, the ancient Semites have been broadly classified into 
Eastern and Western groups.  The Eastern group is represented most 
prominently by Akkadian, the language of the Assyrians and Babylonians, 
who inhabited the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys. The Western group 
is further broken down into the Southern and Northern groups.  The South 
Western Semites inhabited Arabia and Ethiopia while the North Western 
Semites occupied the Levant - Syria and ancient Palestine, the 
region often referred to in the Bible as Canaan.

Recent archaeological finds indicate that the inhabitants of the region 
themselves refered to the land as 'ca-na-na-um' as early as the mid-third 
milenium B.C. (Aubet p. 9)  Variations on that name in reference to the 
country and its inhabitants continue through the first millenium B.C. The 
word appears to have two etymologies.  On one end, represented by the 
Hebrew "cana'ani" the word meant merchant, an occupation for which the 
Canaanites were well known.  On the other end, as represented by the 
Akkadian kinahhu, the word reffered to the red-colored wool which was a 
key export of the region.  When the Greeks encountered the Canaanites, it 
may have been this aspect of the term which they latched onto as they 
renamed the Canaanites the Phoenikes or Phoenicians, which may derive 
from a word meaning red or purple, and descriptive of the cloth for which 
the Greeks too traded.  The Romans in turn transcribed the Greek phoinix 
to poenus, thus calling the descendants of the Canaanite emmegrees to 
Carthage 'Punic'.  However, while both Phoenician and Canaanite refer to 
approximately the same culture, archaeologists and historians commonly 
refer to the pre-1200 or 1000 BC Levantines as Canaanites and their 
descendants, who left the bronze age for the iron, as Phoenicians.

It has been somewhat frustrating that so little outside of the Bible and 
less than a handful of secondary and tertiary Greek sources (Lucian of 
Samosata's _De_Syria_Dea_ (The Syrian Goddess), fragments of the 
_Phoenician_History_ of Philo of Byblos_, and the writings of 
Damasacius) remain to describe the beliefs of the people of the area.  
Unlike in Mesopotamia, papyrus was readily availible so that most of the 
records simply deteriorated.  A cross-roads of foreign empires, the 
region never truly had the chance to unify under a single native rule; 
thus scattered statues and conflicting listings of deities carved in 
shrines of the neighboring city-states of Gubla (Byblos), Sidon, and 
Tyre were all the primary sources known until the uncovering of the city 
of Ugarit in 1928 and the digs there in the late 1930's.

The Canaanite myth cycle recovered from the city of Ugarit in what 
is now Ras Sharma, Syria dates back to at least 1400 B.C. in its written 
form, while the deity lists and statues from other cities, particularly 
Gubla date back as far as the third millenium B.C.  Gubla, during that time,
maintained a thriving trade with Egypt and was described as the capital 
during the third millenium B.C.  Despite this title, like Siduna (Sidon), 
and Zaaru (Tyre), the city and the whole region was lorded over and colonized
by the Egyptians.  Between 2300 and 1900 BC, many of the coastal Canaanite 
cities were abandoned, sacked by the Amorites, with the inland cities of
Allepo and Mari lost to them completely.  The second millenium BC saw a 
resurgence of Canaanite activity and trade, particularly noticible in Gubla
and Ugarit.  By the 14th century BC, their trade extended from Egypt, to 
Mesopotamia and to Crete.  All of this was under the patronage and 
dominance of the 18th dynasty of Egypt.  Zaaru managed to maintain an
independent kingdom, but the rest of the soon fell into unrest, while 
Egypt lost power and interest.  In 1230, the Israelites began their invasion
and during this time the possibly Aachean "Sea Peoples" raided much of 
the Eastern Mediterranian, working their way from Anatolia to Egypt.  
They led to the abandonment of Ugarit in 1200 BC, and in 1180, a group of 
them established the country of Philistia, i.e. Palestine, along Canaan's
southern coast.

Over the next three or four hundred years, the Canaanites gradually 
recovered.  Now they occupied little more than a chain of cities along 
the coast, with rival city-states of Sidon and Tyre vying for control over
larger sections of what the Greeks began to call Phoenicia.  Tyre won out 
for a time and the unified state of Tyre-Sidon expanded its trade through 
the Mediterranian and was even able to establish colonies as far away as 
Spain.  The most successful of these colonies was undoubtedly Carthage, 
said in the Tyrian annals to have been established in 814 BC by 
Pygmailion's sister Ellisa.  She was named Dido, 'the wandering one', by 
the Lybian natives and escaped an unwelcome marriage to their king by 
immolating herself, a story which Virgil also recounts in the Aeneid.  
Her dramatic death brought about her deification while the colonists 
continued to practice the Canaanite religion, spreading it under Carthage's
auspices while that state expanded during sixth and fifth centuries B.C.
Carthage outlasted its patron state as Tyre and Sidon were crushed under 
Assyrian expansion begining during the reign of Sennacherib around 724 
BC and ending under Nebuchadnezar around 572 BC.  

II. What Deities did they worship?

As mentioned above, different cities had different concepts of not only 
which gods were ranked where in the pantheon, but also of which gods were 
included and what some of their basic attributes were.  While El or Il, 
whose name means 'god', is commonly described as the creator of the 
earth, the Arameans ranked Hadad before him.  Also, many city gods were 
named Baal, meaning 'lord'.  Baal-Sidon, the city god of Sidon was thus 
an entirely different deity than Baal-Hadad, the storm god.  Given the 
dearth of material from outside of Ugarit, if other cities or regions 
are not mentioned in the entry, the details can be assumed to be 
particular to Ugarit.

The Phoenician era saw a shift in Canaanite religion.  The larger 
pantheon became pushed to the wayside in favor of previously less important
singular deities who became or, in the case of Baalat, already were the 
patron city-gods, born witness to by ruling priest-kings.

  A. Primarily benificent and non-hostile gods:

El - (also called Latipan, and possibly Dagon) - Father of the gods, 'the 
father of mankind', the 'Bull', 'the creator of creatures'.  He is grey 
haired and bearded and lives at Mt. Lel.  He is a heavy drinker and has 
gotten extreemly drunk at his banquets.
	As a young god, he went out to the sea and, spying two ladies, 
one of whom is presumably Athirat, becomes aroused, roasts a bird and 
asks the two to choose between being his daughters or his wives.  They 
become his wives and in due course they give birth to Shachar, Shalim, 
and possibly other gracious gods, who could be Athirat's seventy children 
and/or much of the rest of the pantheon. The new family raises a 
sanctuary in the desert and lived there for eight years.
	He orders that Yam be given kingship and sets Kothar-u-Khasis to 
build the new king a throne.  The gods warn that Yam has been shamed and 
may wreck destruction, so El ameliorates him by renamining him mddil - 
'beloved of El' and throws a feast for him.  El warns though that this is 
contingent on his driving out of Baal, who may fight back.  Following 
Yam's demise, he favors the god Mot.  
	While Baal is declared king and judge, he remains a resident of 
El and Athirat's palace as El refuses him permission to build an 
apropriate mansion, in spite of Anat's threats.  After joyfully recieving 
Athirat, and joking that Baal would have him be an enslaved worker on the 
palace, he allows Baal to have a fine mansion built.
	When he hears that Baal is dead, he comes down from his throne, 
puts on sack cloth, and gashes his cheeks.  He correctly judges Athtar to 
be unequal to the task of taking Baal's place.  Seven years later, he 
dreams that Baal is alive and he tells Anat and Shapash. When 
Baal-Hadad's monsters assail the handmaidens of Yarikh and Lady Athirat 
of the Sea, he advises them to give birth to beasts which will lure 
Baal-Hadad away on a hunt.
	He favors King Keret, who may be his son, offering him riches 
upon the death of his many spouses and eventually promising him the 
princess Huray and many children, provided he make the proper sacrifices 
and follow his instructions.  After Keret takes ill, El eventually 
convenes an assembly of the gods in order to ask one of them to rid Keret 
of his illness.  Eventually, El dispatches the demoness Sha'taqat who 
cures Keret.
	Anat brings her complaints of Aqhat before him and threatens to 
strike him in the head when he gives his response.  He then replies that 
he knows how contemptuous she is and won't stand in her way.

Athirat (Asherah, Ashtartian - 'the Lady of the Sea', Elat - 'the 
goddess') - Goddess of the Sea and mother of the gods.  She is El's 
loving consort and is protective of her seventy children who may also be 
known as the gracious gods, to whom she is both mother and nursemaid.  
Her sons, unlike Baal initially, all have godly courts.  She frequents 
the ocean shore.  In the Syrian city of Qatra, she was considered 
Baal-Hadad's consort.
	While washing clothing with a female companion by the sea, she is 
spied by El, who roasts a bird and invites the two to choose between 
being his daughters or his wives.  They choose to become his wives and in 
due course give birth to the gracious gods, the cleavers of the sea, 
including Shachar and Shalim.  The new family builds a sanctuary in the 
desert and lives there for eight years.
	Baal and Anat hope to use her to influence El on the issue of 
Baal's palace.  Intially suspicious and fearful of them on behalf of her 
children, but she warms up when she see that they have brought gifts.  
She and Anat successfully interceed with El on Baal's behalf for 
permission for Baal to build a more suitable court.
	When Baal is found dead, she advocates her son Athtar be made 
king.  Her sons, the "'pounders' of the sea", apparently colluded with 
Mot and were smited by Baal with sword and mace upon his return.
	Baal-Hadad's creatures devour her handmaidens, so she sends them 
to El.  El tells them to go into the wilderness and there birth horned 
buffalo, which will distract Baal-Hadad.
	She and Anat serve as nursemaids for Keret's son Yassib, but 
reminds Keret of his pledge of wealth for Huray, perhaps causing his 
decline in health because of its lack of fulfilment.

    Qadshu - a Syrian goddess, who has occasionally been tenitively 
    identified with nude fertility goddess statues.  Also 
    Qodesh meaning 'holy', an epithet of Athirat.

    Qodesh-and-Amrur 'fisherman of Athirat' - Baal's messenger to         
    Kothar-u-Khasis.  He is also Athirat's servant and dredges up 
    provisions to entertain her guests from the sea with a net. 
    It is interesting to note that in Dan 4:13(10) similar words appear 
    to refer to an angel and have been translated as 'holy messenger' 
    or 'holy sentinel'.

Kothar-u-Khasis ('skillful and clever', also called Chousor and Heyan 
(Ea) and identified with Ptah) - the craftsman god.  He is identified 
with Memphis.  
	He is ordered by El to build Yam's throne.  He upbraids Yam for 
rising against Baal and threatens him with a magic weapon.  He gives Baal 
the magic weapons Yagrush (Chaser) and Aymur (Driver).  
	He crafts Baal's bribe for Athirat, a temple serving set of gold 
and silver.  He build's Baal's second house and insists over Baal's 
objections on including a window.
	He constructs a bow and arrows set for Aqhat, presenting them 
first to Daniel and staying for a feast.

Shachar 'Dawn' - Shalim's twin twin and one of the first, if not only, 
pair of gracious gods, the children and cleavers of the sea.  They were 
born of El and Athirat or her female companion.  The new family builds a 
sanctuary in the desert and lives there for eight years.  According to 
Isaiah 14:12, he is the father of Helel or Lucifer, the morning star.

Shalim 'Sunset/Dusk' - Shachar's twin and one of the first, if not only, 
pair of gracious gods, the children and cleavers of the sea.  They were 
born of El and Athirat or her female companion.  The new family builds a 
sanctuary in the desert and lives there for eight years.

Shamu (Baalshamem?) - not found in the Ugarit texts, this sky god was the 
chief of the pantheon at the Syrian city of Alalakh.

Baal (also called Baal-Saphon(Zephon), Hadad, Pidar and Rapiu (Rapha?) - 
'the shade') - son of El, god of fertility, 'rider of the clouds', god of 
lightning and thunder.  He is 'the Prince, the lord of earth', 'the 
mightiest of warriors', 'lord of the sky and the earth' (Alalakh).  He 
has a palace on Mt. Zephon.  He has a feud with Yam.  His voice is 
thunder, his ship is a snow bearing cloud.  He is known as Rapiu during 
his summer stay in the underworld.
	He upbraids the gods for their cowardice when they intend to hand 
him over to Yam's messengers and attacks them but is restrained by 
Athtart and Anat.  Kothar-u-Khasis gives him the magic weapons Yagrush 
(Chaser) and Aymur (Driver).  He strikes Yam in chest and in the 
forehead, knocking him out.  Athtart rebukes Baal and calls on him to 
'scatter' his captive, which he does.  In a alternate version of this 
episode, he slays Lotan (Leviathan), the seven-headed dragon.  The battle 
may have been representative of rough winter sea-storms which calmed in 
the spring and which were preceded and accompanied by autumn rains which 
ended summer droughts and enabled crops to grow.
	After his victory he holds a feast and remarks on his lack of a 
proper palace, instead retaining residence with El and Athirat.  He sends 
messengers to Anat to ask her to perform a peace-offering that he might 
tell her the word which is the power of lightning and seek lightning on 
the holy Mt Zephon.  She does so and he welcomes her.  Hearing his 
complaints Anat leaves to petition El for a new palace for Baal.  
Rejected, Baal dispatches Qodesh-and-Amrur to Kothar-u-Khasis with a 
request to make a silver temple set with which to bribe Athirat. He and 
Anat view Athirat with trepidation keeping in mind past insults which he 
has suffered at the hands of the other gods.  He and Anat ask Athirat to 
ask El for permission to build a more extravagant house and Athirat's 
request is granted.  Gathering cedar, gold, silver, gems, and lapis at 
Mt. Zephon, he calls Kothar-u-Khasis, feeding him and instructing him on 
how to build the palace.  He doesn't want a window, for fear of Yam 
breaking through or his daughters escaping, but Kothar-u-Khasis convinces 
him to allow its inclusion so that he might lightning, thunder, and rain 
through it.  
	At its completion he holds a feast, takes over scores of towns 
and allows the window to be built.  He threatens to ask Mot to invite any 
of Baal's remaining enemies to come for a visit and at night, binds the 
lightning, snow and rains.  He sends Gupn and Ugar to Mot to invite him 
to acknowledge his sovreignty at his new palace.  He sends messengers to 
Mot to carry this message to him and they return with a message of such 
weight that Baal declares himself Mot's slave.  He hopes to ameliorate 
Mot by having Sheger and Ithm supply live sheep and cattle for the god to 
feast upon.  Fearing Mot he seeks Shapash's advice and sires a substitute 
on a cow.  He (or possibly his substitute) dies and remains in the 
underworld for seven years. El dreams that he is alive again but he is 
absent.  Ashtar atempts to take Baal's place, but can not.  Shapash 
searches for him.  Baal returns and fights Mot's allies, the sons of 
Athirat and the yellow ones.  After seven years, Mot returns, demanding 
one of Baal's brothers lest he consume mankind.  Baal rebuffs him and 
they fight tooth and nail.  Shapash separates the two declaring that Baal 
has El's favor and Baal resumes his throne.  
	As Baal-Hadad, he sends monstrous creatures to attack the 
handmaidens of Yarikh, and of Athirat of the Sea.  He hunts the horned, 
buffalo-humped creatures which were birthed by the handmaidens at the 
advice of El.  During the hunt he is stuck in a bog for seven years and 
things fall to pot.  His kin recover him and there is much rejoycing.  
	Once when he was out hunting, Anat followed him.  He spotted her, 
fell in love and copulated with her in the form of a cow.  She gave birth 
to 'a wild ox' or a 'buffalo', telling him of the event on Mt. Zephon.  
This is probably not their only affair.

    Gapn (vine)- Baal's page and messenger to Anat.  Baal's messenger to 
    Mot.  

    Radmanu (Pradmanu) - a minor servitor of Baal.

    Ugar (cultivated field?) - Baal's other page and messenger to Anat, 
    possibly the patron city-god of Ugarit.  Baal's other messenger to Mot.

    Pidray 'daughter of the mist','daughter of light(ning)' - Baal's 
    daughter.  She is sometimes a love interest of Athtar.

    Tallay ='she of dew', 'daughter of drizzle' - Baal's daughter.

    Arsay = 'she of the earth', 'daugher of [ample flows]' - Baal's daughter.

    Ybrdmy - Baal's daughter.

Athtart (Athtart-name-of-Baal, Astarte, Ashtoreth) - consort of Baal, and 
lesser goddess of war and the chase.  Outside of Ugarit, many nude 
goddess statues have been tenuously identified with her as a goddess of 
fertility and sex.  In Sidon she merited royal priests and priestesses.  
There she served as a goddess of fertility, love, war and sexual vitality 
and to that end had sacred prostitutes.  She was the Phoenecian great 
goddess and was identified with Aphrodite by the Greeks.
	She restrains Baal when he intends to attack Yam's messengers.  
She rerebukes Baal for holding Yam captive and calls on him to 'scatter' 
Yam, which he does.
	Apparently she, along with Anat, is willing to become Baal's 
cupbearer once he achieves a proper palace.

Anat (Anath, Rahmay - 'the merciful') - Baal's sister, daughter of El.  
Goddess of war, the hunt, and savagery.  She is an archer.  Virgin, 
sister-in-law (progenitress?) of peoples (Li'mites'?).  She and Athirat 
are nursemaids to the gracious gods.
	She restrains Baal when he intends to attack Yam's messengers.  
In missing texts, she killed Yam-Nahar, the dragon, the seven-headed 
serpent.  She also destroyed Arsh, Atik, Ishat, and Zabib, all enemies of 
Baal. 
 	She holds a feast at Baal's palace to celebrate his victory over 
Yam.  After the guests arrive, she departs her abode and adorns herself 
in rouge and henna, closes the doors and slaughters the inhabitant of two 
nearby towns, possibly Baal's enemies.  She makes a belt of their heads 
and hands and wades through the blood.  She lures the towns' warriors 
inside to sit and joyfully massacres them.  She then makes a ritual peace 
offering and cleans up.  This is possibly related to a seasonal fertility 
ritual welcoming the autumn rains.  Anat recieves messesengers from Baal 
thinking that some new foe has arisen, but they assure her that he only 
wishes that she make a peace offering that he might tell her the secret 
of lightning and seek it on Mt. Zephon.  She does so, demanding first to 
see the lightning, and is welcomed by Baal from afar.  Hearing him 
complain of lack of a proper mansion, she storms off to El, creating 
tremors.  She threatens to mangle his face lest he heed her and have 
Baal's court constructed, yet her plea is rejected.  She is assisted in 
her petition either by Athtart.  She accompanies Baal to Athirat with a 
bribe and assists Athirat in her successful petition to El for Baal's court.
	After Baal dies, she searches for him and, finding his body goes 
into a violent fit of mourning.  She has Shapash take his body to Mt. 
Zephon, where she buries it and holds a feast in his honor.  After seven 
years of drought, she finds Mot, and cuts, winnows, and sows him like 
corn.  
	She attends the feast where Daniel presents Aqhat with a bow and 
arrows set made by Kothar-u-Khasis.  Desiring the bow, she offers Aqhat 
riches and immortality, for it.  He refuses and so she promises vengence 
upon him should he transgress and leaves for Mt. Lel to denounce him to 
El.  Upset with El's response, she threatens to strike his head, 
sarcasticly suggesting that Aqhat might save him.  El remarks that he 
won't hinder her revenge, so she finds Aqhat, and taking the form of a 
kinswoman, lures him off to Qart-Abilim.  Unsuccessful with her first 
attempt there, she calls her attendent warrior Yatpan to take the form of 
an eagle, and with a flock of similar birds pray strike Aqhat as he sits 
on the mountain.  They do so and Aqhat is slain, unfortunately, the bow 
falls into the waters and is lost and Anat laments that her actions and 
Aqhat's death were in vain.
	When Baal was out hunting, she followed after him and copulated 
with him in the form of a cow.  She gave birth to 'a wild ox' or a 
'buffalo', visiting Mt. Zephon to tell Baal of the good news.  This is 
probably not their only affair.  

Baalat - the 'mistress' of Gubla she was not found in Ugarit.  This great 
fertility goddess was the foremost deity of that city. She served as 
protector of the city and of the royal dynasty.  She was associated with 
Baal-Shamen and she assimilated the characteristics of the Egyptian 
goddesses Hathor and Ast (Isis).

Tanit 'lady of Carthage', 'face of Baal'- the great goddess of the 
Carthaginians and, with Baal Hammon co-protector of that city.  She is 
listed first of all deities in Carthage.

Shapshu (Shapash) - sun-goddess (Akkadian Shamash, a male deity), torch 
of the gods, pale Shapash. She often acts as messenger or representative 
on El's behalf.  She has some dominion over the shades and ghosts of the 
nether-world.  Kothar-u-Khasis may be her companion and protector.
	She tells Athtar that he will loose kingship to Yam under El's 
auspice and rebuffs his complaints by recalling his lack of wife and 
children. 
	She is said to be under Mot's influence when Baal is preoccupied 
with his lack of a palace and not raining.  The weather then is 
particullarly hot.
	When Mot's messenger seeks Baal, she advises the thunder-god to 
procure a substitute, to satisfy Mot and then take his servents and 
daughters and venture into the underworld.  At the direction of Anat, she 
carries Baal's body back to Mt. Zephon.  She is told by El that he 
dreamed Baal was alive and she searches for him.  When Baal returns and 
fights with Mot, she separates them, declaring that Baal has El's favor.

Yarikh - the moon god. 'The illuminator of myriads (of stars)', 'lamp of 
heaven', possibly also the crescent moon and 'lord of the sicle' and 
thereby the father of the Kotharat.  He is patron of the city Qart-Abilim.
	After sunset he embraces Nikkal-and-Ib and becomes determined to 
marry her.  He seeks Khirkhib out to arbitrate the brideprice, but 
instead Khirkhib tries suggests other potential mates in the daughters of 
Baal.  Undaunted, Yarikh presents a lavish brideprice to Nikkal-and-Ib's 
family and the two are wed.
	Baal-Hadad's creatures devour his handmaidens, so he sends them 
to El.  El tells them to go into the wilderness and there birth horned 
buffalo, which will distract Baal-Hadad.

Kotharat (was thought to be Kathirat) 'skillful' - a group of goddesses 
associated with conception and childbirth.  '...The swallow-like 
daughters of the crescent moon.' (Gibson p. 106).  They are also 
associated with the new moon.  They attend Daniel for seven days to aid 
in the conception of Aqhat and recieve his sacrifice.

Athtar (Ashtar, 'Athtar, Atra of the sky) 'the terrible' - son of Athirat, 
possibly a god of the desert or of artificial irrigation.  He is 
sometimes a suitor of Pidray.  As the great god of the Sabeans and Himyar 
(both South Arabian states), he was identified with Venus and was sired 
by the moon on the sun.) 
	He looses his kingship to Yam at the behest of El and is warned 
off from an attack on Yam by Shapshu. He complains to her of his lack of 
status, palace and court. 
	He attempts to take Baal's place at his throne while Baal is 
dead, but he is too small for the seat and rejects it, becoming king of 
the earth instead.

Sheger ('offspring of cattle') - god of cattle

Ithm - god of sheep

Hirgab - father of the eagles.

S,umul - mother of the eagles.  She ate the body of Aqhat.

Elsh - the steward (carpenter?) of El and of Baal's house.  His wife is 
the stewardess(carpenter?) of the goddesses.

Sha'taqat 'drives away' - flying demoness who drives away Keret's disease 
on behalf of El with a touch of her wand to his head.  She is created by
El out of mud.

'god(s) of the fathers' - ancestral or clan deities, commonly associated 
with one family or another, outside of the main pantheon.

Nikkal-and-Ib 'great lady and clear/bright/fruit' or 'Great goddess of 
fruit' (Ningal) - possibly the daughter of Dagon of Tuttul, or else of 
Khirkhib.  She is romanced by Yarikh and marries him after Yarikh aranges 
a brideprice with Khirkhib and pays it to her parents.

Khirkhib (was thought to be Hiribi), king of summer, king of the raiding 
season (autumn), - probably a Hurrian deity.  He acts as a matchmaker 
between Yarikh and Nikkal-and-Ib, initially trying to dissuade Yarikh 
from pursuing her suggesting Pidray and Ybrdmy as alternative choices.

Dagon of Tuttul - a Syrian version of Dagon, and the probable father of 
Nikkal-and-Ib.  Ugarit's Dagon was the father of Baal and may have been
identified with El.  There were also temples to Dagon in Mari and Emar.

Baal-Shamen (Baal-Shamain) - 'lord of the skies' and of the Assembly of 
the gods at Gubla.  He was the great god of the Aramaean kingdoms of Hama 
and Laash and the protector of their rulers.

Milqart (Melqart, Baal Tsur, Milkashtart?) - 'king of the city', the hunter, 
'fire in heaven'.  Patron god of Tyre. He was the god of the Metropolis 
and of Tyre and Carthage's monarchies.  His cult spread  throughout the 
Meditereanean region, but has not been found in second 
millenium sites.  As with the Babylonian Nergal/Erra, he has been 
identified with Heracles archetypes.  Greek sources imply that he was a 
dying and rising vegetation god, and that he was associated with the 
sacred marriage like the Sumerian god, Dumuzi.  In an annual festival, 
he was burned in a ritual cremation which may explain Elissa's manner 
of death.  He also was associated with the sea and was pictured riding a 
hippocampus.  

Eshmun - 'the holy prince' god of healing and the great god in Sidon. He 
was known in Tyre, Cyprus, and Carthage, but not in Ugarit.  In the 5th 
century AD, Damascius identified him with the Greek god Aesclepius.

  B. Chaos gods, death gods and baneful gods.

Yam (Nahar, Yaw, Lotan?, Leviathan?) - god of sea and rivers, he dwells 
in a palace under the sea.  He carries a feud with Baal.  He may have had 
in his following a dragon (tnn) which lives in the sea, a serpent (btn), 
and/or Lotan/Leviathan, or may have been all of those creatures.
	He is given kingship by El.  He threatens vast destruction until 
El names him 'beloved of El' and sends him on his way to oust Baal.  
Upbraided by Kothar-u-Khasis, he dispatches messengers to El to demand 
the delivery of Baal.  Baal strikes him with Yagrush and Chaser in the 
chest and forehead, knocking him down.  He is slain and scattered at the 
urging of Athtart. The battle may have been representative of rough 
winter sea-storms which calmed in the spring and which were preceded and 
accompanied by autumn rains which ended summer droughts and enabled crops 
to grow.

Arsh - 'darling of the gods', a monstrous attendant of Yam, slain by 
Anat.  Arsh lives in the sea.

Atik - 'calf of El', an enemy of Baal.  Slain by Anat.

Ishat - (fire) 'bitch of the gods', an enemy of Baal, slain by Anat.

Zabib - (flame? flies?) daughter of El, an enemy of Baal, slain by Anat.

Mot(-and-Shar) 'Death and Prince/Dissolution/Evil' 'the beloved one'- Mot 
is the god of sterility, death, and the underworld.  In one hand he holds 
the scepter of bereavement, and in the other the scepter of widowhooed.  
His jaws and throat are described in cosmic proportions and serve as a 
euphamism for death.  
	When he has influence over Shapash, it is unusually hot and dry.  
He sits on a pit for a throne in the city of Miry in the underworld.
	Prior to the conception of the gracious gods, he is pruned and 
felled like a vine by the vine dressers.
	He is favored by El following Baal's defeat of Yam and Baal 
refuses him tribute.  When Baal's messengers deliver him an invitation to 
feast at Baal's new palace, he is insulted that he is offered bread and 
wine and not the flesh he hungers for.  In fact, he threatens to defeat 
Baal as Baal did Leviathan, causing the sky to wilt and then eat Baal 
himself.  Baal would then visit _his_ palace in the underworld. He is 
pleased that Baal submits to him.  Baal goes to the underworld and either 
he or his substitute is eaten by Mot.  Presumably the sons of Athirat had 
some part in his death.  After seven years of famine, Anat seizes Mot, 
splits, winnows, sows and grinds him like corn.  Baal eventually returns 
and defeats Mot's allies.  After seven years Mot returns and demands 
Baal's brother, lest he wipe out humanity.  Baal rebuffs him and the two 
have a mighty battle, but are separated by Shapash who declares Baal to 
have El's favor.

'The yellow ones of Mot' - Mot's henchmen who are slain by Baal upon his 
return.

Horon - probably a cthonic deity

Resheph - 'prince' - the god of pestilence.

aklm - 'the devourers' - some creatures who fought Baal-Hadad in the desert

Rephaim (Rpum) - 'shades' - deities of the underworld whom Daniel meets 
in his journey there.  They may have been involved in negotiations with 
him for the return of his son Aqhat.  Eight of them led by Repu-Baal 
(Rapiu? Baal?) arrive at a feast given by El in chariots, on horseback, 
and on wild asses.

Moloch (Melech, Malik, Milcom?, Melqart?) - Not explicitly found in the 
Ugarit texts, Molech is a bit of an enigma.  He shows up in the Old 
Testament in Leviticus 18 and 20, 1 Kings 11, 2 Kings 23, and Jerimiah 
32.  From that he appears to be a god of the Ammonites - a region west of 
the Jordon - whose worshipers sacrificed children in fires at temples, 
some of which were in the Valley of Hinnom, i.e. Gehenna, just south of 
Jerusalem.  The Old Testament also names the similarly spelt "Milcom" as 
a god of the Ammonites leading to the suspicion that they are the same 
god.  Molech is probably not the original name of the deity.  There has 
been a good deal of argument as to whether Molech could be identified 
with another foreign deity and which deity that would be, or whether 
"molech" was simply a term which refered to child sacrifice of any sort.  
The Canaanite gods Mot and Melqart of Tyre, and the Mesopotamian god 
Nergal, whom I believe is somewhere referred to as Malik=king, are a 
some of the prime candidates for being Molech.  For more indepth 
off-line disscussion of this see:

Day, John, _Molech:A_God_of_Human_Sacrifice_in_the_Old_Testament_,
Cambridge University Press, New York, 1989.

  C. Demi-gods and Heroes

Keret - Keret was a king (of Khubur?) and possibly the son of El (this 
may be an expression for a fortunate person) who lost his estate and his 
sucsessive eight wives to death, disease, and accident before any one of 
them could produce an heir.  Having fallen asleep in tears, he is visited 
by El in a dream and offered kingship and riches to assuage his sorrow.  
This is ineffective as Keret only desires sons and heirs.  El directs him 
to make an animal and wine sacrifice to El and Baal on the tower and then 
muster an army to lay siege to the city of Udm.  There, Keret is to 
refuse offers from the Udm's king Pabil and demand his daughter, the fair 
Huray.  Keret does as instructed, vowing to himself to give Huray an 
enormous sum of wealth upon his success.
	Returning to his estate with Huray, Keret is blessed by El at 
Baal's behest and is promised eight sons, the first of which, Yassib, 
shall have Athirat and Anat as nursemaids.  In addition, Huray will bear 
eight daughters all of whom as blessed as a first-born child.  Athirat 
calls attention to Keret's promise of wealth to Huray which he has yet to 
fulfil.  
	Later, Keret and Huray prepare a great feast for the lords of 
Khubur.  Later still Keret has become deathly ill and Huray entreats 
guests at a feast to morn for him and make sacrifices on his behalf.
	The household is tense and Keret's son Elhu, despondently visits 
his father.  Keret tells him not to sorrow, but to send for his 
sympathetic sister, Keret's daughter Thitmanat ('the eighth one').  Her 
sympathy, heighted Keret expects from her surprise at his state will 
evoke the attention of the gods during a sacrifice he intends to 
perform.  Indeed she weeps readily when the truth is revealed.  
Meanwhile, the rains have ceased with Keret's illness, but return after a 
ceremony on Mt. Zephon.  El convenes an assembly of the gods and 
dispatches the demoness Sha'taqat who cures Keret.  Keret's son and heir 
Yassib, unaware of his father's cure entreats him to surrender his throne 
as he has been remiss in his duties, but Yassib is rebuffed and cursed.

Daniel - 'He of Harnan', a devotee of Rapiu (Baal) and a patriarchal 
king.  Like Keret, Daniel is in mourning because unlike his brothers he 
had no sons.  So, for several days he sacrificed food and drink to the 
gods.  On the seventh day, Baal takes notice and successfully petitions 
El to allow Daniel and his wife, Danatay, to have a child, citing, among 
other reasons, that the child will be able to continue the contributions 
and sacrifices to their temples.  El informs Daniel of his impending 
change of fortune.  He rejoyces and slaughters an ox for the Kotharat, 
pouring sacrifices to them for six days and watching them depart on the 
seventh.  During some missing columns, Danatay gives birth to Aqhat. 
Later, Kothar-u-Khasis arrives with a specially crafted bow and arrows 
set for Aqhat.  Daniel and Danatay hold a feast, inviting the god, and 
Daniel presents Aqhat with the bow reminding him to sacrifice the choices 
game to the gods.  When Aqhat is slain, Daniel's daughter Pughat notices 
the eagles and the drought and becomes upset.  Daniel prays that Baal 
might return the rains and travels among the fields coaxing the few 
living plants to grow and wishing that Aqhat were there to help harvest 
them.  Pughat informs him of Aqhat's demise.  Daniel then swears vengence 
upon his son's slayer.  In succession he spies some eagles, Hirgab, and 
Sumul.  He calls upon Baal to break their wings and breast-bones, then he 
searches their insides for Aqhat's remains.  Initially not finding them, 
he asks Baal to restore the eagles and Hirgab.  Finding Aqhat's remains 
within Sumul, he buries him and calls upon Baal to break the bones of any 
eagle that my disturb them and curses the lands near which his son was 
slain.  His court goes into mourning for seven years, at which time 
Daniel dismisses the mourners and burns incense in sacrifice to the 
gods.  Pughat prays to the gods to bless her in her venture and disguises 
herself as Anat, intending to wreck vengence upon those who slew Aqhat. 

Aqhat - The much anticipated child of Daniel and Danatay, Aqhat is 
presented with a bow and arrows set made by Kothar-u-Khasis early in his 
life by his father at a feast.  Daniel reminds him to take the best of 
his kills to the temple for the gods.  At the feast Anat offers Aqhat 
riches and eternal life if he would give her the bow.  When he refuses, 
she promises to deliver vengence upon him should he ever transgress.  
Presumably he fails to offer his best kills to the gods.  Later he 
followes a disguised Anat to Qart-Abilim but presumably thwarts her new 
scheme to aquire his bow and lives there for a time, possibly under the 
favor of Yarikh.  He is left on a mountain and while sitting for a meal 
is attacked by Anat's attendent Yatpan in the form of an eagle, along 
with other birds of prey, and is slain.  Following his death, the land is 
poisoned and there is a period of famine and drought.  Daniel recovers 
his son's remains from the eagle S,umul.  
	Later, Daniel visits the underworld, probably in hopes of recovering 
Aqhat, and there encounters the Rephaim.

Pughat - Daughter of Daniel and Danatay.  When Aqhat is slain, Daniel's 
daughter Pughat notices the eagles and the drought and becomes upset.  
Daniel prays that Baal might return the rains and travels among the 
fields coaxing the few living plants to grow and wishing that Aqhat were 
there to help harvest them.  Pughat encounters Aqhat's servents and 
learns of his demise.  After seven years of Daniel's court mourning, 
Daniel dismisses the mourners and burns incense in sacrifice to the 
gods.  Pughat prays to the gods to bless her in her venture and disguises 
herself as Anat, intending to wreck vengence upon those who slew Aqhat.  
She arrives and meets Yatpan, accepting his wine, and the rest is missing.

Men in general - from a side note (Gibson p. 68) men are considered made 
of 'clay'.

III. What about their cosmology? (Divine geography)
Little is certain about the cosmology of the Canaanites.  While the Ugaritic    
texts tell us of El, Athirat, and Rahmay's creation of the gracious gods, 
for the creation of the universe we must rely on the Greek sources of
Philo of Byblos, Athenaeus, and Damascius, which are thoroughly drenched in 
Greek cosmology.  In general they relate that from gods like chaos, 
ether, air, wind and desire was produced the egg Mot, which was probably   
not the same Mot as found in Ugarit.  The egg was populated with 
creatures who remained motionless until it was opened, whence the sky and 
heavenly bodies were formed.  Later the waters were separated from the
sky, and gods of El's generation were formed.  Additional hints about the       
divine geography gathered from the Ugarit texts are included below:          


Mt. Lel - Where the assembly of the gods meet.  It is El's abode and the 
source of the rivers and two oceans, as well as where those waters meet 
those of the firmament.  It lies 'two layers beneath the wells of the 
earth, three spans beneath its marshes.'  It had been thought to be a 
field and not a mountain.  The mansion there has eight entrances and 
seven chambers.

hmry 'Miry' - Mot's city in the underworld, "where a pit is the throne on 
which he sits, filth the land of his heritage." (Gibson p. 66)

the underworld - 'the place of freedom'.  The Aramaeans believed that the 
souls of the blessed dead ate with Baal-Hadad.

Targhizizi and Tharumagi - the twin mountains which hold the firmament up 
above the earth-circling ocean, thereby bounding the earth.  The entrance 
to the underworld and Shapash's 'grave'.  It is entered by lifting up a 
rock to a wooded height.  The entrance is bounded by a river-shore land 
of pasture and fields known ironicly as "Pleasure" or "Delight".

Ughar or Inbab - the location of Anat's mansion.

Mt. Zephon -  Either the mountain is deified and holy, godlike in 
proportion, or El has a pavilion there.  It has recesses within which 
Baal holds his feast.  Baal had his first house of cedar and brick there, 
as well as his second house of gold, silver, and lapis-lazuli.  

IV. Source material:

Aubet, Maria E. _The_Phoenicians_and_the_West_, Cambridge University
  Press, New York, 1987, 1993.
Bonnefoy, Yves (compiler) _Mythologies_Volume_One_, The University of 
  Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991.
John C.L. Gibson _Canaanite_Myths_and_Legends_, T & T Clark Ltd., 
  Edinburgh, 1977.
S.H.Hooke _Middle_Eastern_Mythology_ , Penguin Books, New York,1963.         
Moscati, Sabatino, _The_World_of_the_Phoenicians_, Frederick A. Praeger, 
  Publishers, New York, 1968.
_Ancient_Near_Eastern_Texts_Relating_to_the_Old_Testament_, ed. James
  Prichard, Princeton University Press, Princetion, 1955.
Sykes, Edgerton _Who's_Who_in_Non-Classical_Mythology_, Oxford University
  Press, New York 1993.

V. Additional material of interest.

M. Coogan _Stories_From_Ancient_Canaan_
Day, John, _Molech:A_God_of_Human_Sacrifice_in_the_Old_Testament_, 
  Cambridge University Press, New York, 1989.
C.H. Gordon _Ugaritic_Literature_, Rome, 1949.  
Hall, H. R. _The_Ancient_History_of_the_Near_East_, Methuen & Co. Ltd., 
  London, 1950.
_The_Ancient_Near_East:_Supplementary_Texts_and_Pictures_Relating_to_
  _the_Old_Testament_, ed. James Pritchard, Princeton University Press, 
  Princeton, 1969.

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