The Burning Sun and the Killing Resheph: Proto-Astrological Symbolism and Ugaritic Epic
In the mythological texts from Ugarit in modern Syria (probably 14th century BC), the motif of the deadly, drought-inducing sun plays a large part: the burning sun casts its destroying rays as a result of the power and influence of death, especially the god of death himself, Mot. However, the solar goddess Shapshu is in other cases portrayed as quite a benevolent entity. In this paper, I discuss this discrepancy in the light of an astronomical omen text that appears to mention the dangerous properties of the sun when it appears together with Resheph, the god of feverish, hot illness – probably representing the planet Mars. The presentation touches on the possibility of these motifs representing early stages of proto-astrological symbolism.
- Religious Studies
- KTU 1.78
- CAT 1.78
Ninth Annual Sophia Conference