Myths and Legends
For as long as humans have existed, they have told tall tales about themselves and the world around them. Some of these tales were mere flights of fancy, while others were instead intended to explain the inexplicable, otherwise unfathomable events unfolding around them.
Legends of this sort often began as natural forces personified, or involved historical figures or ancestors whose feats were heroically inflated over time. In the end, the focus of many such tales reached their zenith as deities, beings of power venerated by mere mortal men.
Untold thousands of such beings have been worshiped, and the vast majority of these have faded completely into obscurity, forgotten by our modern world entirely. On the other hand, stories about a precious few are still known to man, in varying degrees of detail.
In the interest of sharing knowledge about some of these incredibly obscure mythological figures, descriptions will be presented of as many as can be managed. While there are likely too many to cover properly, I have expounded upon these deities thus far:
Venerated before the dawn of recorded history, the gods and goddesses of Babylon were worshiped for thousands of years. Almost forgotten by mankind, the past actions of these deities reverberate through our world to this very day, shaping society in ways most would find surprising.
Spread out across a baker's dozen of generations, the Babylonian gods were extant before the beginnings of our world, and continued their actions on earth until quite recently. These amazing entities number in the thousands, but a few of the most famous are presented here:
First Generation Babylonian Gods
Abzu: second of the gods, and the father of them all, mighty Abzu is the progenitor of the Anunnaki. Their revered ancestor until he plotted with Mummu to slay them all, Abzu ultimately became the enemy of the Anunnaki, and was slain by crafty Enki as a result.
Tiamat: first of the gods, and the mother of deities and monsters, Tiamat is the creatrix of the Anunnaki. Having been both a mentor and an enemy of her descendants over the eons, Tiamat is viewed with both reverence and terror by them simultaneously.
Fifth Generation Babylonian Gods
Nisaba: closely associated with the dawn of human civilization, Nisaba was originally a goddess of grain. As trade spread throughout Sumer and beyond, she became one with the concept of writing, each act of which serves as veneration of her!
Teshub: the highly improbable child of Anu and Enlil, Teshub is a storm god born into conflict. While not recognized as one of the Anunnaki, Teshub is most definitely one of them, and has gone on to serve as a member of at least six distinct pantheons!
Sixth Generation Babylonian Gods
Namtar: the son of a union between Ereshkigal and an adulterous Enlil, Namtar is the god of disease. Her first-born son, Namtar serves mighty Ereshkigal as her sukkal in the underworld, catering to her every need and actualizing her every whim.
Ninlil: the daughter of Haia and Nisaba, Ninlil was a smart young goddess in her own right. Upon marrying mighty Enlil, and becoming queen of the gods, Ninlil acquired power over the wind to complement her inherited mastery of grains and other plants!
Seventh Generation Babylonian Gods
Ereshkigal: the Queen of the Dead, Ereshkigal has ruled Irkalla since she was young. Wielding absolute power over both mortal and divine entities that have passed into the Realm of No Return, Ereshkigal is one of the most powerful Anunnaki!
Shamash: the god of the sun, Shamash illuminates the earth on his daily journey across the sky. From his vantage point over all, Shamash can see the wrongs committed by man, which helps him to judge both truth and justice when necessary.
Eighth Generation Babylonian Gods
Bunene: the first son of Aya and Shamash, Bunene is the latter's sukkal, or vizier. It is Bunene's task to drive Shamash's chariot across the sky each day, and to intercede between Shamash and the many mortals who implore him for aid and/or power.
Kittu: the second son of Aya and Shamash, Kittu serves as the right hand of the latter deity. He helps his father mete out justice in all matters, when Shamash himself is too busy being the sun to do so, and enjoys ferreting out hidden truths.
Mesharu: the daughter of Shamash and Aya, Mesharu serves as the former's left hand. It falls onto her to dispense the justice that Shamash judges necessary, though on occasion she will stand in as the sun when his duties require him elsewhere.
Ninazu: the son of Ereshkigal, the Queen of Irkalla, and Gugalanna, the Celestial Bull, Ninazu reflects both of his parents natures. However, being born on the Serpent's Mount, has given Ninazu a serpentine distinctiveness, as well.
Babylonian Gods of Indeterminate Heritage
Aya: the goddess of dawn, Aya has the task of dispelling the darkness before the sun, Shamash, rides through the sky on his solar chariot. Though this is her primary duty, she also represents youth, love, sex, marriage, and motherhood.
Haia: one of the oldest of the Igigi, Haia is the defender of doorways, and he who safeguards storehouses. A master organizer, Haia also manages the banquet hall of the Anunnaki, ensuring that the leaders of the gods are properly catered to.
Beginning around four thousand years ago, the entities which would come to be known as the gods of Olympus were first worshiped. The curious thing about the Olympians, however, is that they are but the third wave of gods and goddesses in their divine genealogy.
Since the dawn of the universe, these ageless entities have regularly warred with their elders to attain supremacy, the first to lose power being the Protogenoi, and then the Titans. There are numerous deities of note in this extensive family, only a few of which are presented here:
Khronos: in some versions of Greek cosmology, Khronos was one of their first generation gods. This massive, serpentine deity appeared fully formed from the cosmos, and created the Olympic multiverse alongside his mate and fellow primordial, Ananke.
Still Sorting These Out
Asclepius: son of Apollo, Asclepius was originally the best surgeon in all of Greece, trained by the centaur Chiron. After Hades petitioned Zeus to slay him, Asclepius ascended to godhood himself... seemingly living on to this very day.
Nike: the Greek goddess of victory, Nike has always been a close confidant of Athena. A 'behind the scenes' power in the Olympian pantheon, she subtly ensured their many victories over the eons against their countless, monstrous foes.