from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Mythology The sun god of Assyro-Babylonian religion, worshiped as the author of justice and compassion.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. The common Akkadian name of the sun god and god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See shammash.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the chief sun god; drives away winter and storms and brightens the earth with greenery; drives away evil and brings justice and compassion
He calls Shamash the 'protecting deity,' but the protection vouchsafed by Shamash is to be understood in a peculiar sense.
We have here a clear indication of a kind of Shamash ritual extending, perhaps, over a number of tablets, and to which, in all probability, the hymn just quoted also belongs.
The nine-branched Hanukkah Menorah (or Hanukkiah) is a candelabrum with eight branches of equal size and height (one for each night of the Hanukkah festival) and a separate (ninth) candleholder for the "Shamash" (an attendant).
There is, of course, nothing new in this view of Shamash, which is precisely the one developed in Babylonia; but in Assyria, perhaps for the reason that in Shamash is concentrated almost all of the ethical instinct of the northern people, the judicial traits of Shamash appear to be even more strongly emphasized.
Already at Babylon the title "lord of the universe" was given to Shamash and Hadad.
According to the incantation of Shamash-shum-ukin fifteen evil spirits had come into his body and 'My God who walks at my side they drove away.'
Shamash the sun-god was invested with justice as his chief trait, Marduk is portrayed as full of mercy and kindness, Ea is the protector of mankind who is grieved when, through a deception practised upon Adapa, humanity is deprived of immortality.
The older incantations, associated with Ea, were re-edited so as to give to Marduk the supreme power over demons, witches and sorcerers: the hymns and lamentations composed for the cult of Bel, Shamash and of Adad were transformed into paeans and appeals to Marduk, while the ancient myths arising in the various religious and political centres underwent a similar process of adaptation to changed conditions, and as a consequence their original meaning was obscured by the endeavour to assign all mighty deeds and acts, originally symbolical of the change of seasons or of occurrences in nature, to the patron deity of Babylon--the supreme head of the entire Babylonian pantheon.
The story of the Shamash shum ukin revolt is continued by Cylinder C, a decagon, whose form points to the fact that it is a fuller edition.
[Shamash shum ukin] is given under the sixth expedition, the affair of Nebobelzikri under the eighth expedition, and the Arabian and Syrian events in connection are given under the ninth expedition.