Like other people of the Ancient Near East Canaanite religious beliefs were polytheistic, with families typically focusing on veneration of the dead in the form of household gods and goddesses, the Elohim, while acknowledging the existence of other deities such as Baal and El, Asherah and Astarte. ... art and perhaps even religion. his "Einleitung in das Alte Testament" (Leipzig, 1787), I, p. 45). Corrections? Carried west by Phoenician sailors, Canaanite religious influences can be seen in Greek mythology, particularly in the tripartite division between the Olympians Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, mirroring the division between Baal, Yam and Mot, and in the story of the Labours of Hercules, mirroring the stories of the Tyrian Melqart, who was often equated with Heracles.. Omissions? This record was supplemented by a few secondary and tertiary Greek sources: (Lucian's De Dea Syria (The Syrian Goddess), fragments of the Phoenician History of Philo of Byblos (died 141 CE), and the writings of Damascius). Ishat, goddess of fire, wife of Moloch. Any idea of one is often reconstructed from the much later Phoenician text by Philo of Byblos (c. 64–141 CE), after much Greek and Roman influence in the region. Page 35. abstract, K. L. Noll (2007) "Canaanite Religion", Olmo Lete, Gregorio del (1999), "Canaanite religion: According to the liturgical texts of Ugarit" (CDL), Hillers D.R. Between the 10th and 7th centuries BCE, ancient Israelite and Judean religion took place in cultic and temple contexts. From the other direction, Jean Bottéro has suggested that Ya of Ebla (a possible precursor of Yam) was equated with the Mesopotamian god Ea during the Akkadian Empire. Canaanite religion, beliefs and practices prevalent in ancient Palestine and Syria during the 2nd and 1st millennia bc, centring primarily on the deities El, Baal, and Anath (qq.v.). The earliest known alphabetic (or "proto-alphabetic") inscriptions are the so-called Proto-Sinaitic (or Proto-Canaanite) script sporadically attested in the Sinai and in Canaan in the late Middle and Late Bronze Age.The script was not widely used until the rise of new Semitic kingdoms in the 13th and 12th centuries BC.. The sources for Canaanite religion come either from literary sources written by the early Hebrews, or from archaeological discoveries. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The Levant region was inhabited by people who themselves referred to the land as 'ca-na-na-um' as early as the mid-third millennium BCE. From time to time it subverted the essential monotheism of the Israelites after they occupied Canaan, the Promised Land of … By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ancient Semitic religion encompasses the polytheistic religions of the Semitic peoples from the ancient Near East and Northeast Africa. El approves, and the palace is built by Kothar-wa-Khasis. Horon, an underworld god, co-ruler of the underworld, twin brother of Melqart, a son of Mot. Although child sacrifice was known to surrounding peoples, there is no reference to it in ancient Phoenician or Classical texts. MS in Canaanite West Semitic on bronze, Canaan, Israel/Lebanon, 11th c. BC, 1 arrowhead, inscribed on both sides with Proto-Canaanite script/early Phoenician script. Pidray, goddess of light and lightning, one of the three daughters of Ba'al Hadad. ג; גִּמֶּל), third letter of the Hebrew alphabet; its numerical value is therefore 3. Finkelstein, Israel, and Silberman, Neil Asher, 2001, Asherah: goddesses in Ugarit, Israel and the Old Testament, By Tilde Binger. Papyrus seems to have been the preferred writing medium, but whereas in Egypt papyrus may survive centuries in the extremely dry climate, Canaanite records have simply decayed in the humid Mediterranean climate. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Afterward, with the help of Athirat and Anat, Ba'al persuades El to allow him a palace.  The excavation of the city of Ras Shamra (1928 onwards) and the discovery of its Bronze Age archive of clay-tablet alphabetic cuneiform texts provided a wealth of new information. In the later Proto-Canaanite and in the early Phoenician scripts the letter was represented by three fingers meeting at a common base . 200 BCE, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/11620441/Islamic-State-fighters-seize-the-world-heritage-site-of-Palmyra-in-pictures.html, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/01/satellite-images-reveal-isis-destruction-of-palmyras-temple-of-bel, "The Shelby White & Leon Levy Program: Dig Sites, Levant Sothern", "Life, Death, and Afterlife in Ancient Israel and Canaan", "Canaanites Imported Sacrificial Animals From Egypt, Archaeologists Find", "A view from Copenhagen: Israel and the History of Palestine", "The Cuneiform Texts of Ras Shamra~Ugarit", Bibliography of Canaanite & Phoenician Studies, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ancient_Canaanite_religion&oldid=991032802, Articles needing additional references from February 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Athirat, "walker of the sea", Mother Goddess, wife of El (also known as Elat and after the Bronze Age as, Astoreth or Athtart, better known by her Greek name. With no one to give rain, there is a terrible drought in Ba'al's absence. The Romans transcribed "phoenix" to "poenus", thus calling the descendants of the Canaanite settlers in Carthage "Punic".  (b) the early Phoenician script before some cut-off date, typically 1050 BCE. Canaanite religion was influenced by its peripheral position, intermediary between Egypt and Mesopotamia, whose religions had a growing impact upon Canaanite religion. , Canaanite religious practice had a high regard for the duty of children to care for their parents, with sons being held responsible for burying them, and arranging for the maintenance of their tombs. The other deities, especially El and Anat, are distraught that Ba'al has been taken to the Underworld. Tallay, the goddess of winter, snow, cold and dew, one of the three daughters of Ba'al Hadad. Moscatti, Sabatino (1968), "The World of the Phoenicians" (Phoenix Giant), Ribichini, Sergio "Beliefs and Religious Life" in Maoscati Sabatino (1997), "The Phoenicians" (Rissoli), This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 22:21. Although the many Jewish and Christians traditions suggest that Yahweh was the main and only deity through all Israelite and Judean religious history, archaeology, inscriptions, and the Hebrew Bibleitself indicate otherwise. Phoenician alphabet letter on plate necklace keychain,Proto-Canaanite alphabet,Hebrew letter,Egyptian hieroglyphs jewelry,Sinaitic script DanubeJewelry. Lotan, Lawtan, and Lat = goddess in Canaanite). Like other peoples of the ancient Near East, the Canaanites were polytheistic, with families typically focusing worship on ancestral household gods and goddesses while acknowledging the existence of other deities such as Baal, Anath, and El.
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