By Tamara M Green PhD
This examine treats the non secular and highbrow heritage of town of Harran (Eastern Turkey) from biblical occasions all the way down to the institution of Islam. the writer begins from the well known reference within the Qur'an and the early Islamic histories to the folk of Harran as Sabians, one of many 'peoples of the book.' the writer unravels strands of spiritual culture in Harran that run from the previous Semitic planetary cults via Hellenistic hermeticism, gnosticism, and Neo-Pythagoreanism and Christian cults to esoteric Islamic sects similar to the Sufis and Shiites.
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Extra resources for The City of the Moon God: Religious Traditions of Harran
20 Jacobsen, Toward an Image of Tammuz, 25. 18 19 26 CHAPTER ONE Father Nanna, lord of the shining crown, hero of the gods Father Nanna, who is grandly perfected in kingship, hero of the gods, Father Nanna, who solemnly advances in garments ofprinceliness, hero of the gods, Ferocious bull, whose horn is thick, whose legs are perfected, who is bearded in lapis, and filled with luxury and abundance. 21 The raging strength of the bull is then associated with male physical power, which extends itself into the political; the crescent shape becomes the royal crown.
E. to guarantee the treaty of Ashurnirari V with Mati)ilu of Arpad: (If the Assyrian army) goes to war at the orders of Ashurnirari, king of Assyria, and Mati)ilu, together with his officials, his army, his chariotry, does not leave (on the campaign) in full loyalty, may the great lord Sin who dwells in Harran clothe Mati)ilu, his sons, his officials, and the people of his land in leprosy as in a cloak so that they have to roam the open country, and may he have no mercy on them. 58 The political power of the deity was extended to his earthly representatives: everywhere we find close ties between the institution of kingship and "Father Nanna, lord of the shining crown, " 59 whose crescent shape was transformed into a mitre, the symbol of the royal crown.
Despite the fact that the festivals of the Babylonian calendar were intimately tied to the agricultural cycle, it must not be forgotten that it was the moon itself which originally formed the basis for the measurement of time. Might it be possible, then, to see in the festival celebrated in Siwan a recreation of the struggle between the two brothers as the forces of light and darkness, parallel to the struggle ofMarduk to overcome cosmic chaos? Mesopotamian myth presents two seemingly opposing depictions of this fraternal relationship.