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The Burning Sun and the Killing Resheph: Proto-Astrological Symbolism and Ugaritic Epic

Wikander, Ola LU (2013) In Sky and Symbol: Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Sophia Centre Conference p.73-83
Abstract
In the mythological texts from Ugarit in modern Syria (probably 14th century BC), the motif of the deadly, drought-inducing sun plays a large part: the burning sun casts its destroying rays as a result of the power and influence of death, especially the god of death himself, Mot. However, the solar goddess Shapshu is in other cases portrayed as quite a benevolent entity. In this paper, I discuss this discrepancy in the light of an astronomical omen text that appears to mention the dangerous properties of the sun when it appears together with Resheph, the god of feverish, hot illness – probably representing the planet Mars. The presentation touches on the possibility of these motifs representing early stages of proto-astrological symbolism.
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ugarit, Ugaritic, KTU 1.78, CAT 1.78, Omen, Astronomy, Astrology, Eclipse, Resheph, Shapshu, Shapsh, Shapash, Rashpu, Reshef
in
Sky and Symbol: Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Sophia Centre Conference
editor
Greene, Liz; Campion, Nicolas; and
pages
73 - 83
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3b6581c0-f4cb-4041-a5a0-6b405bd0e4bd (old id 4216092)
date added to LUP
2013-12-19 12:47:54
date last changed
2017-01-01 00:44:38
@inbook{3b6581c0-f4cb-4041-a5a0-6b405bd0e4bd,
  abstract     = {In the mythological texts from Ugarit in modern Syria (probably 14th century BC), the motif of the deadly, drought-inducing sun plays a large part: the burning sun casts its destroying rays as a result of the power and influence of death, especially the god of death himself, Mot. However, the solar goddess Shapshu is in other cases portrayed as quite a benevolent entity. In this paper, I discuss this discrepancy in the light of an astronomical omen text that appears to mention the dangerous properties of the sun when it appears together with Resheph, the god of feverish, hot illness – probably representing the planet Mars. The presentation touches on the possibility of these motifs representing early stages of proto-astrological symbolism.},
  author       = {Wikander, Ola},
  editor       = {Greene, Liz and Campion, Nicolas},
  keyword      = {Ugarit,Ugaritic,KTU 1.78,CAT 1.78,Omen,Astronomy,Astrology,Eclipse,Resheph,Shapshu,Shapsh,Shapash,Rashpu,Reshef},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {73--83},
  series       = {Sky and Symbol: Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Sophia Centre Conference},
  title        = {The Burning Sun and the Killing Resheph: Proto-Astrological Symbolism and Ugaritic Epic},
  year         = {2013},
}