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Origin of the name ETANA.
Etymology of the name ETANA.
Meaning of the baby name ETANA.


ETANA.  A Babylonian deity.  Etana may originally have been a historical person: but in any case he was deified and became a legendary figure.  Shamash (q.v.), the sun-god, is his patron.  The name may mean "the ascender" + "heaven."

... Poebel regards the name Etana as Sumerian, and suggests as its meaning ě (d), "the ascender," and anna, "heaven" (UMBS IV 1. p. 112).  As a meaning for the name of a human, this would be without parallel.  Moreoever, this would be a title or epithet, and not the name of a man... (Yale Oriental Series: Researches, v.6, 1919).

    When Etana's wife finds it difficult to bring to birth a child, he beseeches Shamash to reveal to him "the plant of birth."  He would seem to find it on a mountain with the help of an eagle.  On another occasion Etana ascends with the eagle to the gates of the upper regions.  As they ascend, the sea appears smaller and smaller, first like a pool, next like a belt, then like a gardener's ditch.  They reach the gate of Anu (q.v.), Bel (q.v.), and Ea (q.v.).  Thence the eagle wishes to carry Etana to Ishtar (q.v.), the mistress of the gods.  Etana consents.  They mount higher and higher.  But their presumption is punished; they are cast headlong from the heights.  In the Gilgamesh Epic (q.v.) Etana is one of the dwellers in the nether world.  Etana's eagle, after the catastrophe, loses the favour of Shamash, and becomes hostile to the serpent of Shamash, trying to catch it.  Shamash tells the serpent to ascend a mountain, tear open a wild ox and hide in its carcase.  The eagle will descend with the other birds and can then be torn in pieces.  The serpent does as he is told.  The eagle is caught and destroyed. (An Encyclopedia of Religions, Canney, 1921)


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