Athtart (Aphrodite)

Athtart is thought to be the Semitic version of the goddess known to the earlier Sumerians as Inanna; known to the later Babylonians and Assyrians as Ishtar; and known to the Greeks as Astarte and Aphrodite.

Athtart is goddess of sexuality, fertility, and war, and is often shown naked, with her symbols: a star inside a circle (the planet Venus), the lion, horse, sphinx, and dove. At one point, when Athtart and Hadad are ruling the Earth together, Athtart puts the head of Hadad’s own symbolic animal, a bull, on her own head to show her power.

Athtart (not to be confused with Athirat/Asherah), is represented in this ancient terra cotta figurine, now at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

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