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


ISHTAR.  Assyrian and Babylonian name meaning "female doves." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Chambers, v.1, 1901)

    ISHTAR, one of the chief deities of the Assyrians and Babylonians alike; although she was generically one of the deities of the second rank.  She was the daughter of the Moon-god Sin, and was identified by the Chaldeans with the planet Venus.  She was essentially a warlike goddess, and was called "The Goddess of the Battles and of Victories," in which attribute she was often represented as giving a bow to the Assyrian king in token of his victories over his foes.  She was also, as the goddess of reproductive nature, the keeper of all the treasures of the earth, and hence was figured as Allat, "The Queen of the Spear or Divining-rod."  In another form of the same principle she was the goddess of sensual indulgence.  She was the special protectress of Erech, and in her character of Anna, or Nana, of Nineveh, while she was distinguished also at Arbela, another great seat of her worship, as Ishtar of Arbela.  Her offices, names, and attributes were very various, and there appears to have been two Ishtars, mother and daughter, one the great Nature-goddess, and one the heroine of the mythical legends, called "The Descent of Ishtar into Hades."  There is a considerable amount of confusion yet remaining to be cleared away with regard to the relations of Ishtar to Davcina, Bilit, Ashtaroth, and Izdubar; but generally the mythologies agree in making her the goddess most brought into contact with men and the under-world.
    ISHTAR (of Arbela; of Nineveh).  In Assyrian mythology Ishtar became divided into Ishtar of the morning star and goddess of war, and Ishtar of the evening star and goddess of love.  In the latter character she was generally addressed as Bilit (Baaltis) or "Lady."  This separation of the qualities originally ascribed to the same goddess was peculiar to the Assyrians and Canaanites.  It remained unknown in Babylonia (Sayce.). (An Archaic Dictionary, Cooper, 1876).

The goddess Ishtar, "the brilliant goddess," is described as the kind mother.  But she came to be regarded as the goddess of war.  It is possible that in this two-fold character she represents two aspects of Venus (q.v.) and Nana (q.v.).  In the Assyrian pantheon, she is the third member of the Celestial Triad, and is called the "queen of Kidmuru."  She has become more than ever a goddess of war, and as such is placed by the side of Ashur (q.v.), but not as his consort.  She is described as "mighty over the Anunnaki."  She is the lady, Belit, of battle.  In the Gilgamesh Epic Ishtar seeks the love of the hero Gilgamesh (q.v.).  Gilgamesh not only rejects her (here a goddess of love), but even upbraids her for cruelty.  Her love turns to hate.  Anu (q.v.), the god of heaven, creates for her a divine bull, which is to destroy Gilgamesh.  But, with the help of his friend Eabani (q.v.), he kills it.  Eabani even throws the carcass into Ishtar's face.  Ishtar is represented elsewhere as having in her train the Kizreti, Ukhati, and Kharimati.  These represent three classes of harlots, who were devoted to her worship, as the goddess of fertility.  In the story of the deluge, where even the gods are represented as trembling at the fury of the storm, Ishtar groans like a woman in travail.  At Nippur clay figurines of Ishtar have been found which in one way or another represent her as the goddess of fertility.  But Ishtar absorbed the qualities of all the other goddesses. (An Encyclopedia of Religions, Canney, 1921)


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