Akkadian Spellings of Phoenician Gods


1 Introduction

The Ugaritic “pantheon” is often conceived as essentially distinct and separate from the gods worshipped elsewhere, at any rate outside of Canaan/Phoenicia. This was not the perception of the Ugarites, however. They both incorporated gods of non-Canaanite, especially Hurrian origins into their worship, retaining their foreign names (if a language that was spoken alongside Ugaritic can be called “foreign”), and on the other hand sometimes used the Akkadian language and script to talk about their own gods.

There was probably some flexibility about how such Ugaritic Akkadian texts could be read, but to some extent, the Ugarites themselves clearly used Akkadian divine names originating in Mesopotamia (and Ugaritic and Hurrian names adopted to Akkadian phonetics) for their indigenous gods when they saw fit to use the Akkadian register. Since this is rarely pointed out in the existing English-language literature on Ugarit, leading to an overly “ethnic” picture of the fairly cosmopolitan religion of Ugarit, I here collect all the Akkadian spellings from the Ugaritic God Lists.

Since we are also well informed about translations of divine names between Phoenician and Greek (principally but not exclusively from Philo of Byblos), these Ugaritic Akkadian spellings are also key to any deeper understanding of the continuum of polytheism from Mesopotamia to the Greco-Roman Mediterranean. There are both meaningful continuities and significant ruptures. For instance, ˤAthtartu is interpreted as Ištar, but two other prominent goddesses, ˤAnatu and ˀAthiratu, were borrowed into Ugaritic Akkadian rather than translated using preexisting Akkadian theonyms.

Also the Trilingual Weidner God List, which treats Sumerian, Hurrian and Ugaritic as more strictly separate registers, and privileges Sumerian as the primary point of reference. There, for instance, Ugaritic ˀIlu is not borrowed as Ilu, but used to translate the Sumerian (and Akkadian) Enlil.

[source; notes on layout; dh and th]

(I intend, gods willing, to revise the transcriptions with a view to more precision in vowel length and guttural consonants.)

2 The Akkadian spellings (in Roman alphabetical order)

ˤAnatu, f.
– 𒀭𒀀𒈾𒌈 (ᵈa-na-tu₄), pronounced /anatu/, an adaptation of the Ugaritic to Akkadian phonetics.

ˀArṣu-wa-Šamūma, ‘Earth and Heavens’, f.sg. & m.pl.
– 𒀭𒆠𒅇𒀭 (ᵈKI u₃ AN, ‘god Earth and Heavens’ – not ‘god Earth and god Heavens’!), pronounced /erṣetu(m) u šamê/ in Akkadian; the more common Akkadian theonyms would be Anu u Antu (‘Heaven and Earth’), but these Sumerian-derived pronunciations can hardly be intended here. Cf. Earth and Heaven (or should we translate as one word, ‘cosmos’?).
– 𒀭𒁁𒅇𒁁 (ᵈIDIM u₃ IDIM, ‘god Deep and Deep’), presumably pronounced in the same manner.

ˀArṣay, ‘She of the Earth (i.e., Underworld)’, f.
– 𒀭𒀠𒆷𒌈 (ᵈal-la-tu₄), pronounced /allatu/, an Akkadian adaptation of the Hurrian theonym Allani. (Not to be confused with the Arabic Allāt.)

ˀAthiratu, f.
– 𒀭𒀸𒊏𒌈 (ᵈaš-ra-tu₄), pronounced /ašratu/, an adaptation of the Ugaritic to Akkadian phonetics.

ˤAthtar, m.
– 𒀭𒀸𒋫𒁉 (ᵈaš-ta-bi), pronounced /aštabi/, a Hurrian divine name treated as equivalent to ˤAthtar.

ˤAthtartu, f.
– 𒀭𒈹 (ᵈINNIN / ᵈIŠTAR), pronounced /ištar/ in Akkadian. Cf. Venus and references there.

Baˤlu, m.
– 𒀭𒅎 (ᵈIŠKUR / ᵈIM, ‘god Storm’) or 𒀭𒌋 (ᵈ10). In Akkadian, ᵈIŠKUR is usually pronounced /adad/, corresponding to Ugaritc Haddu, another name of Baˤlu. But see the next two entries for some complications.

Baˤlu Ḫalbi, ‘Lord (Baˤlu) of Ḫalbu (=Aleppo)’, m.
– 𒀭𒌋𒄬𒁉 (ᵈ10 ḫal-bi), pronounced /adad ḫalbi/ or /bēl ḫalbi/.

Baˤlu Ṣapuni, ‘Lord (Baˤlu) of Mt Ṣapunu (=Mt Casius)’, m.
– 𒀭𒅎𒄯𒊕𒄩𒍣 (ᵈIŠKUR ḪUR.SAG.ḫa-zi, ‘god Storm of Mt Casius’), perhaps pronounced /adad ḫazi/ (or /adad šadû ḫazi/?), ‘Adad/Haddu of Mt Casius’. However, the longer spelling…
– 𒀭𒅎𒁁𒂖𒄯𒊕𒄩𒍣 suggests the pronunciation /bēl (šadû?) ḫazi/, ‘Lord (Bēl) of Mt Casius’, if construed as ᵈIŠKUR.be-el ḪUR.SAG.ḫa-zi. If, on the other hand, we take 𒀭𒅎𒁁𒂖 as two words, ᵈIŠKUR be-el, it could be read as /adad bēl (šadû?) ḫazi/, ‘Adad, lord of Mt Casius’.
– Note that in ordinary Akkadian, bēl is either a common noun or a title of Marduk, in which case it may be spelled 𒀭𒂗 (ᵈEN). But this does not make it impossible to read 𒀭𒅎 (ᵈIŠKUR) as Bēl in the Ugaritic context. Certainly there is good evidence that Baˤl(u) and Bēl were regarded as equivalent in various other contexts.

Dadmišu, f.
– 𒀭𒁕𒀜𒈪𒅖 (ᵈda-ad-mi-iš), pronounced /dadmiš/, a Hurrian name (Tatmiš) that was borrowed into both Ugaritic and Akkadian.

Dagan, m.
– 𒀭𒁕𒃶 (ᵈda-gan), pronounced /dagan/, just as in Ugaritic and other
– 𒀭𒆳 (ᵈKUR, ‘god Mountain’) probably does not represent the name Dagan as such but a title of the god, ‘Mountain’, or /šadû/ in Akkadian.

Ǵūrūma-wa-Tahāmātu, ‘Mountains and Waters’, m.pl. & f.pl.
– 𒀭𒄯𒊕𒎌𒅇𒀭𒀀𒎌 (ᵈḪUR.SAG.MEŠ u₃ ᵈA.MEŠ, ‘gods Mountains and gods Waters’), presumably pronounced /šadê u mê/ in Akkadian. In Akkadian, both words are masculine.

ˀIlu, m.
– 𒀭𒈝 (DINGIR.lu₄), pronounced /ilu/, like both the Ugaritic name and the cognate Akkadian commoun noun ilu, ‘god’ (= 𒀭 DINGIR).

ˀIlū Dadmima, ‘Gods of the land of Aleppo’, m.pl.
– 𒀭𒎌𒁕𒀜𒈨𒈠 (DINGIR.MEŠ da-ad-me-ma), pronounced /ilū dadmima/; (ˀ)ilū is shared between the languages, Dadmima retains an Ugaritic ending.

ˀIlu-ˀIbī, ‘God of the Father’, m.
– 𒀭𒀀𒁉 (DINGIR-a-bi), pronounced /ilu abi/, meaning ‘god of the father’, just like the Ugaritic; the phrase happens to sound almost identical in both languages.

ˀIlū Labana, ‘Gods of Labana’, m.pl.
– 𒀭𒎌𒆷𒀊𒀀𒈾 (DINGIR.MEŠ la-ab-a-na), pronounced /ilū labana/.

ˀIlū Qarîti, ‘Gods of the City’, m.pl.
– 𒀭𒎌𒌷𒆠 (DINGIR.MEŠ URU.KI), pronounced /ilū āli/.

ˀIlū Taˤdhiri Baˤli, ‘Gods of the Help of Baˤlu’, m.pl.
– 𒀭𒎌𒌀𒆷𒀜𒀭𒅎 (DINGIR.MEŠ til-la-at ᵈIŠKUR), pronounced either /ilū tillat adad/ or /ilū tillat bēl/ (see entries on Baˤlu above).

Kinnāru, ‘’, […]
– 𒀭…

Kôtharātu, f.pl. (or rather Kôtharatu, f.sg., I think, since the Akkadian spellings are both singular)
– 𒀭𒊩𒌆𒈤 (ᵈNIN.MAḪ), pronounced /ninmaḫ/ in Akkadian.
– 𒀭𒊓𒍪𒊏𒌈 (ᵈsa-su₂-ra-tu₄), pronounced /sasuratu/; unclear, perhaps a Hurrian theonym? The name is attested (for a queen) in Urartian, which is related to Hurrian.

Kôtharu, m.
– 𒀭𒂍𒀀 (ᵈe₂-a), pronounced /ea/ in Akkadian. Cf. Ea (but also see Hephaestus).

Mad(d)hara, m.?
– 𒀭…

Malakūma, ‘kings’, m.pl.
– 𒀭…

Pidray, f.
– 𒀭…

Puḫru ˀIlīma, ‘Assembly of the Gods’
– 𒀭…

Rašap, m.
– 𒀭𒄊𒀕𒃲 (ᵈGIR₂.UNU.GAL), pronounced /nerigal/ in Akkadian. Cf. Mars.

Šaggar-wa-ˀIthum, m.
– 𒀭𒄯𒅇𒄊 (ᵈḪAR u₃ GIR₃, ‘god ’), […]

Šalimu, m.
– 𒀭…

Šapšu, m.
– 𒀭𒌓 (ᵈUTU, ‘god Sun’), pronounced /šamaš/ in Akkadian. See Sun.

Ṣapunu, ‘Mt Casius’, m.
– 𒀭…

Tharrathiya, m.?
– 𒀭…

Tirāthu, ‘New Wine’, m.
– 𒀭…

ˀUšḫaray, f.
– 𒀭𒅖𒄩𒊏 (ᵈiš-ḫa-ra), pronounced /išḫara/; this is the Hurrian name of the goddess, from which the Ugaritic form is derived.

ˀUthḫatu, ‘Censer’, […]
– 𒀭…

Yammu, m.
– 𒀭𒀀𒀊𒁀 (ᵈA.AB.BA, ‘god Sea’), probably pronounced /tāmtu/ in Akkadian, although Tâmtu (better known as Tiamat) is a goddess rather than a male god. See […]

Yariḫu, m.
– 𒀭𒂗𒍪 (ᵈEN.ZU, ‘god Moon’) or 𒀭𒌍 (ᵈ30), pronounced /sīn/ in Akkadian. See Moon.