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The present article aims to throw some light on the “Lord with his Dogs”, a deity mentioned in The Fall of Idols, a sermon by Jacob of Sarug (451–521 AD).
“He (that is Satan) put Apollo as idol in Antioch and others with him, In Edessa he set Nebo and Bel together with many others, He led astray Harran by Sin, Baalshamin and Bar Nemre By my Lord with his Dogs and the goddess Taratha and Gadlat.
For want of literary sources, for a long time it was uncertain which deity the epithet the “Lord with his Dogs” referred to. Finds from the ancient city Hatra, however, a pre-Islamic city located 80 km west of Mosul in present-day Iraq, have proven unequivocally that the god in question must be Nergal
Nergal is the Ancient-Babylonian deity of the underworld, the god of pestilence and sudden death.
My Lord with his Dogs
It follows from inscriptions that the complex was the home of Hatra’s most important gods: Maren, “our Lord”, and Barmaren, “the son of our Lord”.
A great many of these shrines are centred around the cult of a Herakles-figure, who was worshipped in Hatra under the name of Nergal.
In addition, deities such as Baal-shamin, Atargatis, Nabu and Nanaia received a cult in the small shrines.
The deities worshipped in the temenos (the triad Maren, Marten, Barmaren, the goddess Allat and several other deities) also occur in inscriptions and representations from the small shrines.
Whereas representations of Nergal in his eastern manifestation are rare, representations of the Graeco-Roman hero Herakles are abundant at Hatra. So far, 47 sculptures that represent Herakles have been found throughout the city, which makes him by far the most frequently represented deity in Hatra.
Nergal-Herakles was particular popular at the city gates and in the small shrines within the city.
The fact that the three heads have one snake for a tail, have four, rather than twelve legs, and share the same collar, favours their identification as one watchdog with three heads.
Kerberos guards the gate of the underworld and the defeat of this dog by Herakles means eternal life and immortality.
The triple headed dog was celebrated in terms of three separate dogs at Hatra, one black, one red and one white, the dogs of apocalypse as it were.
originally posted by: Kantzveldt
a reply to: BlueMule
As far as interior design goes the colour symbolism is seen on the earliest known painted mural which it would have to be because it's also the earliest known adobe brick built wall dating back 11,000 years at Djade al-Mughara on the Euphrates, northeast of the city of Aleppo.
Hekate is primarily a goddess of the Underworld, holding dominion over death and rebirth. This is meant both in the literal sense and in the metaphorical as well. For life is filled with many deaths and rebirths aside from that of the flesh. Because of this the Dark of the Moon especially is her time of the month, since it is a time of endings and beginnings, when what was is no more, and what will be has yet to become.
Hekate guards the limenoskopos (the doorstep), for she is a goddess of liminality and transition. Of being on and crossing boundaries. This includes not only the boundary between life and death, but any boundaries, such as those between nature and civilization, waking and sleep, sanity and madness, the conscious and the subconscious minds. Indeed, any transition can be said to be her domain. As such she is also goddess of the crossroads, where the paths of one's life fork and a person must choose which future to embark upon. In ancient times these were believed to be special places where the veil between the worlds was thin and spirits gathered.
Hekate is also the goddess of psychological transformation. Her Underworld is the dark recesses of the human subconscious as well at that of the Cosmos. Many have accused her of sending demons to haunt the thoughts of individuals. What they fail to understand is that the demons are not hers, but their own. By the light of her twin torches Hekate only reveals what is already there. These are things which the person needs to see in order to heal and renew.
As earlier stated, Hekate is a guide for people who are in transition. While she is most famous in her role as a psychopomp, guiding the spirits of the dead in their journey through the Underworld, she also aids those who cross boundaries or otherwise travel from one condition to another, particularly when that crossing involves danger........
Rappenglück's interest focuses on a scene in a deep well shaft showing a falling birdman with a bison to his right and a bird on a stick below him. Rappenglück proposed that this Well Scene, as it is known, shows the stars of Cygnus, which if correct proves that this asterism was seen as a bird as early as 15,000 BC, and that shamans transformed themselves into bird-men to make this otherworldly journey in a death-like trance state.
The bird on a stick is the most interesting feature, for it is very likely a symbol of the sky-pole, or cosmic axis, with Cygnus as the bird on top. Furthermore, it demonstrates that this universal concept dates back to this age, and might easily have influenced the development of magico-religious ideals through until the beginning of the Neolithic age and beyond.