Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Phoenician Religion

(i) "...a small temple dedicated to Tanith, Our Lady of the Waves." -Time Patrol, p. 241. "Our Lady" again recalls Catholicism.

(ii) "The temples of Melqart and Asherat confronted each other across a busy square..." (p. 266) "Solomon's Temple...copied Tyrian design..." (p. 267) Phoenician women sacrifice their virginity to the goddess in the High Temple of Asherat.

(iii) "Asherat, whom the Bible would call Astarte, was the consort of Melqart, the patron god of Tyre - Baal-Mel-Qart-Sor....She was a mighty figure in her own right, goddess of fruitfulness in man, beast, and land, a female warrior who had once dared hell itself to recall her lover from the dead, a sea queen of whom Tanith might be simply an avatar...yes, she was Ishtar in Babylon, and would enter the Grecian world as Aphrodite...." (p. 264)

(iv) Pummairam "...had become an acolyte at a dockside temple of the comparatively unimportant god Baal Hammon. (Everard harked back to tumbledown churches in the slums of twentieth-century America.)" (p. 266)

(v) "'- Aphrodite, Adonis, Herakles, and other figures originate as Phoenician divinities.'" (p. 251)

(vi) "'To [the Tyrians] the world isn't entirely governed by laws of nature; it's capricious, changeable, magical.'
"And they're fundamentally right, aren't they?" (p. 254)

I think that these passages give a flavor of the religious atmosphere or environment in Tyre.

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