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


SHAMASH.  A Babylonian-Assyrian deity, meaning "the sun."  Shamash was the sun-god.  Important as he was, he was regarded as subordinate to the moon-god, Sin (q.v.).  Also see Shamas, Shemesh, and Shems.

In the early days, Shamash was worshipped particularly at Sippar.  He was called the king or the shepherd.  He is the light which gives life, and banishes darkness, that is to say, misfortune, and disease.  He is the judge who decides the fates of men.  Righteousness represents his light; wickedness the absence of his light, darkness.  This righteousness in connection with Shamash comes to be more emphasized under the Assyrian kings.  Shalmaneser II. calls himself "the sun" of the world.  He describes Shamash as the messenger of the gods, the lord of law.  But Shamash is still the warrior who gives help in battle.  Sargon II. called one of the eastern gates of his palace "Shamash, who grants victory."  In the Gilgamesh Epic (q.v.) Shamash is represented as the patron of Gilgamesh, who has gven into his hand "sceptre and decision."  He is the patron also of Etana (q.v.).  Etana beseeches Shamash to give him "the plant of birth."  The eagle who helps Etana in his search for the plant would seem to have been sent by Shamash.  But afterwards it loses the favour of Shamash and is destroyed by a serpent with the help of the sun-god.  In the same legend there is a reference to a conflict between Shamash and Zu, which implies that Shamash had caught Zu in his net.  In the Zu-myth (q.v.), however, in the form in which it has been preserved to us, Marduk (q.v.) appears as the conqueror of Zu.  Shamash is sometimes called Malik.  His consort appears as Malkatu. (An Encyclopedia of Religions, Canney, 1921)


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