Ancient Mythology

Ishtar | Mesopotamian Mythology

Ishtar was the Sumero-Babylonian goddess of love and fertility. A daughter of Anu, Ishtar is usually described as an evil woman who had many lovers whom she killed.

Ishtar was a lover to Tammuz, a farm god. After Tammuz's death, Ishtar journeyed to the underworld in an effort to return Tammuz, but was not successful.

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar tries to make Gilgamesh her husband. Recalling numerous lovers whom Ishtar had killed or mutilated in the past, Gilgamesh refused. Ishtar ran to her father, Anu, who sent the bull of heaven after Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh, though, killed the bull with the help of his friend, Enkidu and sent the headless bull back to Ishtar as an insult. In response, Ishtar gave Enkidu a disease that killed him.


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