Mesopotamian Gods

from BabylonRaising Website


Many gods have what sounds like the same role. Usually, these are all the same deity, just different epithets of the one deity. For instance, earth goddesses –Ki, Ninhursaga, Ninki, are all the same goddesses just different aspects.

Many of the deities overlap Sumerian and Babylonian pantheons. The Babylonians adopted most of the Sumerian pantheon when they invaded and took over Sumeria. The names are epithets, so it didn’t really matter.

Remember that during this time period, demons were not necessarily bad things; they were spirits with a job to do. Demon is taken from a Greek word, daemon, meaning “spirit” which is neither good nor bad.

Most of the myths that are attached to some of the names were taken from the The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature. This is a British site, at the University of Oxford. There are a few minor variations in pronunciations: “c” is “sh”, “j” is “g”.


Absu: Babylonian, god of the underwater ocean. Usually seen as a concept rather than a being. Consort to Tiamat.

Mammetum: Babylonian, goddess of the maker or mother of fate.

Adad: Babylonian, god of storms. A version of Ninurta. Marduk: Babylonian, god of magic. Main god of the pantheon, although he isn’t the chief. Killed Tiamat and used her body to create the earth and sky out of respect for her battle prowess.
Adapa: Babylonian, sent by Ea to deliver the arts of civilization to man. One of the earliest mythical characters. Mummu: Babylonian, god of craftsmen.
Aia: Babylonian, consort to Shamash. Mushdamma: Sumerian, god of houses and foundations

An: Sumerian, god of heaven, pantheon leader prior to 2500 BC. The word “an” means “heaven.”

Nabu: Babylonian, god of writing and wisdom.

Anshar: Babylonian, god of the whole sky. His name means An=heaven, shar-whole or entire. Nammu: Sumerian, goddess of the Watery Abyss, the Primeval Sea, the Primordial Mother.
Antum: Babylonian, goddess of the earth. Nammu: Babylonian, goddess of "the pure goddess", associated with fresh water. Nammu was the Primordial Mother Goddess, creator of the gods, in the Sumerian myths. She got demoted by the time the Babylonians got to her.
Anu: Babylonian, god of heaven, god of monarchs. Transcendent, not immanent. Namtar: Sumerian, demon of fate, responsible for death.
Anunnaki: Babylonian, the gods of the earth. Nanna-Seun: Sumerian, god of the moon. Technically, “nanna” refers to the full moon. Seun, sometimes spelled Sin, pronounced “seen,” refers to the new moon. Father to Utu (Shamash) and Inanna
Aruru: Babylonian, goddess of, mother goddess, created mankind with the help of Enki or Enlil. Nedu: Babylonian, guardian of the underworld gate. Same as the Sumerian Neti.

Ashnan: Sumerian, goddess of grain fields.

Nergal: Babylonian, god of the underworld, husband to Ereshkigal, lover of Mami, creator of humans.

Ashur: Babylonian, god of war.

Neti: Sumerian, chief gatekeeper of the underworld, the scribe of the underworld.

Bel: Babylonian, god of sages. An epithet meaning, generally, “Lord.” Some have said that he is Marduk.

Nidaba: Sumerian, goddess of writing.

Belili: Babylonian, sister of Tammuz, "the one who always weeps." Nin-agal: Babylonian, god of smiths.

Belit-tseri: Babylonian, scribe of the underworld, kneels before Ereshkigal.

Ningal: Babylonian, consort of Sin, mother of Shamash, the sun. Her name means nin=lady, gal=great. Great Lady.

Birdu: Babylonian, (Means ‘pimple’) an underworld messenger.

Ningishzida: Sumerian, god of dawn.

Dagan: Babylonian, chthonic god of fertility. Ningizzia: Babylonian, guardian of the gate of heaven, lives in the underworld. He guards the eastern gate, the gate of morning.

Damkina: Babylonian, consort to Ea, mother of Marduk.

Ninhursaga: Sumerian, goddess of the earth. Her name means “lady of the mountain-side".

Dumuzi: Sumerian, shepherd king. A fertility demi-god. Nin-ildu: Babylonian, god of carpenters.
Ea: Babylonian, god of the fresh waters, lord of wisdom, lord of Incantations. Babylonian version of Enki. Ninkasi: Sumerian, goddess of brewing
Ellil: Babylonian, god of wind/storm, originally the leader of the pantheon until Anu took over. His name means El=lord, lil=air. Ninlil: Sumerian, goddess of air. Nin=Lady (in older form), lil=air.
Emesh: Sumerian, god of summer. His name means “summer.” Ninlil: Babylonian, Ellil’s consort. Her name means nin=lady, lil=air. Same deity as the Sumerian goddess.
Enki: Sumerian, god of water and wisdom. En=lord, ki=earth. He’s the god of water because water is not only stronger than earth, but it also fertilizes the earth. Ninurta: Sumerian, god of the south wind, a warrior. A fertility god in earlier myths.
Enkidu: Sumerian, Best friend of Gilgamesh. Raised with the wild animals, tamed by a woman. Ninurta: Babylonian, god of war, a champion of the land. Same as the Sumerian deity of the same name.

Enlil: Sumerian, god of air, pantheon leader after 2500 BC. En=lord, lil=air.

Ninsun: Babylonian, mother of Gilgamesh, who knows all and interprets dreams

Enten: Sumerian, god of winter. His name means “winter.” Nissaba: Babylonian, goddess of cereal grains.

Ereshkigal: Sumerian, goddess of the underworld. Eresh=queen, ki=earth, gal=great. The “great earth” refers to the underworld.

Nusku: Babylonian, god of fire. The ‘night-light’ of the gods. A good, illuminating night-time fire.

Garra (Gibil): Babylonian, god of fire. Destructive and cleansing fire.

Qingu: Babylonian, Tiamat’s battle leader, elevated to her Consort after Apsu is killed. Traitor. His blood was used to create humans to serve the gods.

Geshtinanna: Sumerian, sister to Dumuzi. Her name means Vine of Heaven. Before the yearly planting cycle was turned over to Dumuzi, Geshtinanna took half the year, from Spring to Fall Equinox.

Sebitti: Babylonian, the seven warrior gods led by Erra (Irra).

Geshtu-e: Babylonian, god of whose blood and intelligence are used by Mami to create man. Shamash: Babylonian, god of the sun. Babylonian version of the Sumerian Utu. Interestingly, IMO, is that the Ugaritic sun is named Shapash, a female deity.

Gilgamesh: Sumerian, demi-god, king of Erech.

Sharra: Babylonian, god of submission. I haven’t been able to confirm this with any myth, so I’m not sure about it. The concept makes sense, though, so I’ll keep it here for the moment.

Gushkin-banda: Babylonian, creator of man and gods, a goldsmith. Crafters of all types were major roles in temples.

Sin: Babylonian, god of the moon. His name is pronounced “seen.” Same deity as the Sumerian Nanna-Seun. His temple was the last pagan temple in Europe to fall; this was at Hurran, Turkey.

Huwawa: Sumerian, god of the cedar forest, killed by Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Sumuqan: Babylonian, god of cattle, lives in the underworld.
Igigi: Babylonian, the gods of heaven. Sumugan: Sumerian, god of the plains.
Irra: Babylonian, god of plagues. Tammuz: Babylonian, demi-god of vegetation. Same of the Sumerian Dumuzi.
Ishkur: Sumerian, god of the winds. A version of Ninurta. The Seven: Sumerian, gods Nanna, Utu, Inanna, An, Ki, Enlil, Enki

Ishtar: Babylonian, goddess of passion, war, prostitution, the Babylonian version of Inanna

Tiamat: Babylonian, Mother goddess, mother to the first gods. Imaged as a dragon at the bottom of the sea, the absu.

Ishum: Babylonian, god of fire.

Utu: Sumerian, god of the sun.

Kishar: Babylonian, goddess of the whole earth. Her name means Ki=earth, shar=whole or entire. Zaltu: Babylonian, goddess of strife.

kur: Sumerian, means mountain. Depending on the reference, could mean the underworld.

Ziusudra: Sumerian, Sumerian version of Noah.

Lahar: Sumerian, goddess of cattle

Zu: A very bad bird who stole the me and had to be hunted down. I'm a thunderbird person, so I can forgive him.

Lahmu and Lahamu: Babylonian, first children of Tiamat and Absu.  

Lamashtu: Babylonian, demoness "she who erases."