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THE CULT OF THE SERPENT IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST AND EGYPT SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE TOWER OF BABYLON AND THE ZIGURRAT OF BORSIPPA 20-26 March,

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Presentation on theme: "THE CULT OF THE SERPENT IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST AND EGYPT SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE TOWER OF BABYLON AND THE ZIGURRAT OF BORSIPPA 20-26 March,"— Presentation transcript:

1 THE CULT OF THE SERPENT IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST AND EGYPT SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE TOWER OF BABYLON AND THE ZIGURRAT OF BORSIPPA March, 2002 Ph. D. Ana María Vázquez Hoys Prehistory and Ancient History Dept. U.N.E.D., Madrid (Spain)

2 1. Pátera de Perotitos Interpretation? Serpent was not goddess - Maybe a divinity. Powers of protection, immortality, regeneration.

3 2. Scene in the House of the Vetti Roman cult. Soul of the dead = serpent inside the grave. Spinal column becomes a serpent. Sign of immortality.

4 3. Mosaic Against the Evil Eye Mosaic in Tunis. Roman Magic Beliefs. Serpent protects against evil eye.

5 4. Minoic Vessel IV Millenium - Greece - Minoic Times. Serpent as an animal related to the gods. Divine powers - Immortality.

6 5. Serpent Priestesses/Goddesses Possibly related to immortality. Possibly related to the serpent goddess adored in Crete.

7 6. Apolo God Apolo. Serpent entwined around the tripod of Delphos. Python - Prophecy snake goddess vanquished by Sun God.

8 7. Statue of Esculapio/Asclepio In Greece, the serpent is not a goddess. The serpent symbolises healing power in the god´s rod.

9 8. Statue of Higia Goddess of Health, daughter of Asclepio. In the company of the serpent, healing symbol. Serpent in pharmacy´s symbol, in modern world.

10 9. God Nergal Ancient Near East. Caduceus, serpent, and scorpion.

11 10. Uroboros Phoenicia. Serpent biting its tail. Symbol of infinity. Neverending passing of time.

12 11. Vessel o Gudea ( B.C.) Ancient Near East. Caduceus, symbol of god Ningizzida.

13 12. Scarf Serpent Ancient Greece. Serpent used as Scarf. Cold - relief from summer´s heat.

14 13. Serpent-charmers From goddess to mere tourist attraction?

15 14. Tutankamon - Goddess Wadjet Egyptian Pharaon. Gets power from the goddess serpent.

16 15. Cat-shaped Re Killing Serpent-shaped Apopi Ctonic or Sea Serpent. Enemy of masculine sky divinities.

17 16. Ur Mesopotamia. Primitive goddeses. Serpent-shaped or in company of serpents.

18 17. Primitive Ideograms Snake Head from Susa, with the archaic sign without the qunu. Serpent Primitive Ideogram, read as MUS.

19 18. Archaic Forms Ideogram origin of the sign BU, SIR. With a general sense of “to be or to become long, big, tall, to extend, to go far, to take”, with its translations ARKU, BAQAMU, RUQU, SABATU. Origin of the modern sign read as SIR, SUD, which, as ARAKU, means “to be long”, or ARKU, “long”.

20 19. The sign MUS

21 20. Other terms According to Mayer Modena, the original meaning of this word comes from the Acadian SERRETU/SERRATE. “To tie”, “to link together with a bond”, “magic knot”.

22 21. Serpent - Magic Knot Ctonic animal. Linked to the dead. Magical and supernatural powers. Linked to prophecies.

23 22. Serpent Goddesses Sahan. Mysterious serpent- goddess from Babylon. Goddess of health. Wife of Ninurta. Egypt. Pharaon´s Uraeus. Wadjet.

24 23. Summary In Ancient Near East and Egypt, the goddesses are serpent-shaped. In the West, the serpents are not a divinity. They just symbolise their powers and their gifts to humans: Nourishing Fertility Fecundity Health Immortality Beginning of Life Protection in Afterlife... Weret-Heqau (Egypt)


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