Tammuz (deity)

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Tammuz (Syriac: ܬܡܘܙ, Hebrew: תַּמּוּז, Transliterated Hebrew: Tammuz, Tiberian Hebrew: Tammûz, Arabic: تمّوز Tammūz; Akkadian: Duʾzu, Dūzu; Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D) "faithful or true son") was the name of a Sumerian god of food and vegetation.

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Ritual mourning

In Babylonia, the month Tammuz was established in honor of the eponymous god Tammuz, who originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna and, in his Akkadian form, the parallel consort of Ishtar. The Levantine Adonis ("lord"), who was drawn into the Greek pantheon, was considered by Joseph Campbell among others to be another counterpart of Tammuz,[1] son and consort. The Aramaic name "Tammuz" seems to have been derived from the Akkadian form Tammuzi, based on early Sumerian Damu-zid.[citation needed] The later standard Sumerian form, Dumu-zid, in turn became Dumuzi in Akkadian.

Beginning with the summer solstice came a time of mourning in the Ancient Near East, as in the Aegean: the Babylonians marked the decline in daylight hours and the onset of killing summer heat and drought with a six-day "funeral" for the god. Recent discoveries reconfirm him as an annual life-death-rebirth deity: tablets discovered in 1963 show that Dumuzi was in fact consigned to the Underworld himself, in order to secure Inanna's release,[2] though the recovered final line reveals that he is to revive for six months of each year (see below).

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