The religion of the Hittite people was concerned primarily with ensuring the favor of the local deity, whose in most cases was that of a fertility god controlling the weather. In most shrines he had a family and wife, and the note of a mother-goddess is another indication suggesting an early matrilineal society. With the unification of the country under the kings of Hattush, a centralized religion developed in which the numerous local deities were combined into a complicated pantheon. It became the kings duty to tour the country and officiate at the most important festivals, chiefly during the winter months. A king who allowed his military duties to override that of the gods, which would lead to dire consequences for the Hittite state. Mursilis II is particularly notable for his duty to religion. There exist several prayer at which he addresses the gods at a time when the nation was afflicted with serious plague or epidemic. In these prayers, he pleas that he himself has given no cause for divine anger and though his father has, he begs for the gods to relent and not to punish the innocent with the guilty.
The names of the deities reflect the ethnic diversity of the Hittite Kingdom. The oldest of the gods was that of the Hattia, a god who lead the king to victory in battle. Later, especially in 13th century BC under the influence of Queen Puduhepa, Hurrian deities entered the pantheon and the leading Hurrian pair, Teshub and Hebat, were identified with their Hittite counterparts, the goddess taking a subordinate place.
The religion of the Hittites was an amalgam (mixture). It incorporated popular elements of indigenous to central Anatolia with some external influences largely of Hurrian origin. These external influences appealed particularly to the royal court and is most clearly evident in the rock-cut shrine of Yazilikaya. Water was never far from the peoples thoughts, especially in the heat of the summer, and shrines or relieves at Hattusas is most likely dedicated to the weather god Teshub and thus was the home of his cult.
About 1200 meters to the northeast of the main site of Hattusas is the famous rock shrine of Yazilikaya. There is perhaps a road or at least a Processional Way from the city to Yazilikaya. The relieves of Yazilikaya show gods and goddess wearing the horned headdress which was an originally Mesopotamian characteristic emblem of divinity. The most imposing is worn by the weather god Teshub with goddess wearing their own distinctive crowns. The tradition of depicting divinities standing on an animal is of Hurrian origin. An interpretation of Yazilikaya naturally depends on the understanding the shrines purpose, which is continually debated.
Cremation was widespread in central Anatolia. From textual sources it is known to be the funerary custom of the Hittite kings. The ordinary people of Hattusas, however, were either buried or cremated. Funerary offerings were rather smaller from a funeral feast.
The Hittites had an abundant number of local cult deities and sets of local pantheons. As the government became more centralized, particularly during the imperial period around 1400 - 1200 BC, there were efforts to equate many of these local deities and form a state pantheon. Such a pantheon was headed by the Weather-god/Storm-god, who also represented the mountains, and his consort - usually the earth goddess, who was also attached to the waters of rivers and the sea. The Hittites themselves write of 'the thousand gods of Hatti', and more than eight-hundred such names have been discovered. The associated myths have both Hittite and Hurrian content, with the origin of many suspected to be Hurrian. The Kumarbis-Ullukummis myth is chief among the Hurrian tales and the Illuyankas stories and missing god myths of Telipinus and the missing Storm-god are thought to be more Hattic. There also exist fragments of a Hittite version of the Gilgamesh epic and many Akkadian deities were worshiped outright. Doubtless the Hatti left their mark in Hittite religion as well.
He was the king in heaven in olden days and Anus was the first among the gods. Anus served as his cupbearer for 9 years before defeating him and dispatching him to under the earth.
Anu (Akkadian in origin)
While Alalus was king in heaven, Anus was more powerful. He served as Alalus' cup bearer for 9 years and then defeated him, dispatching him to under the earth. He took his seat on the throne and had Kumarbis as his cupbearer. Likewise, after nine years Kumarbis rebelled, chased Anus - who fled in the sky like a bird, and bit off and swallowed his phallus. In this act Anus had some revenge by impregnating Kumarbis with the Storm-god, the Aranzahus (Tigris) river, and Tasmisus. He then hid himself in heaven. He advised the Storm-god on the places where he might exit Kumarbis. After the Storm-god's birth, they plotted to destroy Kumarbis and, with his other children, apparently succeeded.
Kumarbi - 'the father of all gods' according to the Hurrian.
He is sometimes equated with Enlil and Dagan. His city is Urkis. He thinks wise thoughts and carries a staff. He served as Anus's cup-bearer for 9 years and then rebelled, chased Anus, and bit off and swallowed his phallus, thereby becoming impregnated with the Storm-god, the Aranzahus (Tigris) river, and Tasmisus. With that news, he spat out Aranzahus and Tasmisus of on Mount Kanzuras. The Storm-god begins to exit through Kumarbis's 'tarnassus', causing him to moan in pain. He asks Ayas to give him his son to devour, which he does. Ayas has 'poor' magic worked on him and his 'tarnassus' is secured, so the Storm-god exits through his 'good place' instead. He is then presumably defeated by the Storm-god, Anus, and his offspring. During a plot to overthrow the Storm-god, he lay with a Rock as if it were a woman. He instructs Imbaluris, his messenger to send a message to the Sea, that Kumarbis should remain father of the gods. The Sea hosts a feast for him and later Kumarbis' Rock gives birth to Ullikummis. Kumarbis announces that his son will defeat the Storm-god, his city Kummiya, his brother Tasmisus and the gods from the sky. He charges Imbaluris to seek out the Irsirra deities to hide Ullikummis from the Sun-god, the Storm-god, and Ishtar.
He is Kumarbis' messenger. He is sent to warn the Sea that Kumarbis' must remain the father of the gods.
He is Kumarbis' right arm.
Hannahanna (Nintu, Mah) - the mother of all the gods.
She is associated with Gulses. After Telepinu disappears, the Storm-god complains to her. She sends him to search himself and when he gives up, she dispatches a bee, charging it to purify the god by stinging his hands and feat and wiping his eyes and feet with wax. She recommends to the Storm-god that he pay the Sea-god the bride-price for the Sea-god's daughter on her wedding to Telipinu. Apparently she also disappears in a fit of anger and while she is gone, cattle and sheep are stifled and mothers, both human and animal take no account of their children. After her anger is banished to the Dark Earth, she returns rejoicing. Another means of banishing her anger is through burning brushwood and allowing the vapor to enter her body. After Inara consulted with her, she gave her a man and land. Soon after, Inara is missing and when Hannahanna is informed thereof by the Storm-god's bee, she apparently begins a search with the help of her Female attendant a. She appears to consult with the Sun-god and the War-god, but much of the text is missing.
Similar to Atlas, this giant carries the world on his shoulders. The olden gods built the earth and heaven upon him though he did not notice, even when those two were separated with a cleaver. On the direction of Kumarbis' messenger Imbaluris, the Issira deities place Ullikummis on his right shoulder where the child grows. Ea interviews him, in search of Ullikummis and Upelluri admits to a small pain on his shoulder, although he can't identify which god is causing it.
He is chief among the gods and his symbol is the bull. As Teshub he has been pictured as a bearded man astride two mountains and bearing a club. He is a god of battle and victory, especially when the battle is with a foreign power. As Taru, he is the consort of Wurusemu. He was the child of Anus and Kumarbis - conceived along with Tasmisus and the Aranzahus (Tigris) river when Kumarbis bit off and swallowed Anus' phallus. He is, however, considered Ea's son in the myth of Ullikummis. He is informed by Anus of the possible exits from Kumarbis, and tries to exit through Kumarbis's 'tarnassas', causing him great pain. With the 'tarnassas' blocked, he exits through Kumarbis' 'good place'. He plots with Anus, Tasmisus, and Aranzhus to destroy Kumarbis, and apparently succeeds seizing kingship in heaven. He sent rain after the fallen Moon-god/Kashku when he fell from heaven.
Alerted to the imminent arrival of the Sun-god, who in some myths is his son, he has Tasmisus prepare a meal for their guest and listens to his report about the sudden appearance of the giant Ullikummis. He and Tasmisus then leave the kuntarra and are led to Mount Hazzi by his sister, Ishtar, where they behold the monstrous creature. He looks upon Kumarbis' son with fear and Ishtar chides him. Later, emboldened, he has Tasmisus prepare his bulls and wagon for battle, and has him call out the thunderstorms, lightning and rains. Their first battle resulted in his incomplete defeat. He dispatches Tasmisus to his wife, Hebat, to tell her that he must remain in a 'lowly place' for a term. When Tasmisus returns, he encourages the Storm-god to seek Ea in the city Abzu/Apsu and ask for the 'tablets with the words of fate' (Tablets of Destiny? 'me'?). After Ea cleaves off Ullukummis' feet, he spurs Tasmisus and the Storm-god on to battle the crippled giant. Despite the diorite man's boasting, the Storm-god presumably defeats him.
He fought with the Dragon Illuyankas in Kiskilussa and was defeated. He called the gods for aid, asking that Inaras prepare a celebration. She does so and when the dragon and his children have gorged themselves on her feast, the mortal Hupasiyas binds him with a rope. Then the Storm-god, accompanied by the gods, sets upon them and destroys them.
In another version of that myth, he looses his eyes and heart to Illuyankas after his first battle. He then marries a poor mortal woman and marries their son to Illuyankas daughter. He has the son ask for his eyes and heart. With their return, he attacks the dragon again. When his son sides with Illuyankas, the Storm-god kills them both. When his son, Telepinus, is missing he despairs and complains to the Sun-god and then to Hannahannas, who tells him to search for him himself. After searching Telepinus' city he gives up.
In other versions of this myth, it is the Storm-god who is missing. One is almost exactly the same, and in another, he journeys to the Dark Earth in his anger, and is returned with the help of his mother - here Wuruntemu/Ereshkigal/the Sun-goddess of Arinna. He sends Telipinu to recover the Sun-god who had been kidnapped by the Sea-god. The Sea-god is so intimidated that he gives Telipinu his daughter in marriage but demands a bride-price from the Storm-god. After consulting with Hannahanna, he pays the price of a thousand sheep and a thousand cattle. He notices his daughter, Inara, is missing and sends a bee to Hannahanna to have her search for her.
This is one of the bulls sacred to the Storm-god. In preparation for battle, the Storm-god has Tasmisus anoint his horns with oil and drive him up Mount Imgarra with Tella and the battle wagon.
This is another bull sacred to the Storm-god. In preparation for battle, the Storm-god has Tasmisus plate his tail with gold and drive him up Mount Imgarra with Seris and the battle wagon.
Aranzahas - The Tigris river deified.
A child of Anus and Kumarbis, he was the brother of the Storm-god and Tasmisus, spat out of Kumarbis' mouth onto Mount Kanzuras. Later he colludes with Anus and the Storm-god to destroy Kumarbis.
A child of Anus and Kumarbis, he is conceived along with the Storm-god and Aranzahus. The brother of the Storm-god and Aranzahus, he was spat out of Kumarbis upon Mount Kanzuras. Later he colludes with Anus and the Storm-god to destroy Kumarbis. He serves as the Storm-god's attendant. He spies the Sun-god approaching and informs the Storm-god that this visit bodes ill. At the Storm-god's command he has a meal set up for their visitor. After the Sun-god's tale, he and the Storm-god depart and are met by Ishtar, who takes them to Mt. Hazzi near Ugarit, where they can see Ullikummis. The Storm-god has him take his bulls up Mt. Imgarra and prepare them for battle. He is also ordered to bring forth the storms, rains, winds, and lightning. After their defeat, he is dispatched by the Storm-god to Hebat, to tell her that he must remain in a 'lowly place' for a term. He returns and encourages the Storm-god to seek Ea in the city Abzu/Apsu and ask for the 'tablets with the words of fate'. After Ea cleaves off Ullukummis' feet, he spurs Tasmisus and the Storm-god on to battle the crippled giant.
He is a warrior god and probably the brother of the Storm-god.
Hebat (Hurrian name) (Hepit, Hepatu)
The matronly wife of the Storm-god. She is sometimes depicted standing on her sacred animal, the lion. After the Storm-god and Astabis' failed attacks on Ullikummis, the giant forced her out of her temple, causing her to lose communication with the gods. She frets that Ullikummis may have defeated her husband and expresses her concern to her servant Takitis, charging him to convene the assembly of the gods and bring back word of her husband. Presumably she is brought word of his defeat. Tasmisus visits her in the high watchtower, telling her that the Storm-god is consigned to a 'lowly place' for a length of time. She is the mother of Sharruma.
Wurusemu, (Wuruntemu?), 'Sun Goddess of Arrina', 'mistress of the Hatti lands, the queen of heaven and earth', 'mistress of the kings and queens of Hatti, directing the government of the King and Queen of Hatti'
This goddess is later assimilated with Hebat. She made the cedar land. She is the primary goddess in Arrina, with Taru as her consort. She is a goddess of battle and is associated with Hittite military victory. She is the mother of the Storm-god of Nerik, and thereby possibly associated with Ereshkigal. She aids in returning him from the underworld.
Sharruma (Hurrian name), 'the calf of Teshub'
The son of Teshub and Hebat, this god is symbolized by a pair of human legs, or a human head on a bull's body. He is later identified with the Weather-god of Nerik and Zippalanda.
He is Hebat's servant. After Hebat was driven from her temple he is told of her concern for her husband and charged with convening the assembly of the gods and returning with word of her husband's fate.
She is the daughter of the Storm-god and the Sun-goddess of Arinna. She has influence with her parents.
She is the granddaughter of the Storm-god and the Sun-goddess of Arinna.
Telepinu(s) 'the noble god'
An agricultural god, he is the favorite and firstborn son of the Storm-god. He 'harrows and plows. He irrigates the fields and makes the crops grow. He flies into a rage and storms off, losing himself in the steppe and becoming overcome with fatigue. With his departure, fertility of the land, crops and herds disappears and famine besets man and god. Hannahannas's bee finds him, stings his hands and feet, and wipes his eyes and feet with wax, purifying him. This further infuriates him, and he wrecks further havoc with the rivers and by shattering houses and windows. Eventually, the evil and malice is removed through magic by Kamrusepas, but not before Telepinus thunders with lightning. Telepinus returns home, restoring fertility and tending to the life and vitality of the royal family. His prosperity and fertility is symbolized by a pole suspending the fleece of a sheep. In other versions of this myth, the Storm-god or the Sun-god and several other gods are missing instead. He is asked by his father to recover the Sun-god from the Sea-god, and so intimidates the Sea-god that he is given his daughter as a bride.
Ullikummi(s), the diorite man
He is born of Kumarbis and the Rock. This god is made entirely of diorite. He was born to be used as a weapon to defeat the Storm-godand his allies. Kumarbis had him delivered to the Irsirra deities to keep him hidden from the Storm-god, the Sun-god, and Ishtar. After the Irsirra deities presented him to Ellil, they placed him on the shoulder of Upelluri where he grows an acre in a month. After 15 days he grows enough so that he stands waist deep in the sea when the Sun-god and he notice each other. Alerted by the Sun-god, the Storm-god eventually prepares for battle atop Mount Imgarra, yet their first battle results in an incomplete victory. He drives Hebat from her temple, cutting off her communication with the other gods. Astabis leads seventy gods on attack against him, attempting to draw up the water from around him, perhaps in order to stop his growth. They fall into the sea and he grows to be 9000 leagues tall and around, shaking the heavens, the earth, pushing up the sky, and towering over Kummiya. Ea locates him and cuts off his feet with the copper knife that separated the heaven from the earth. Despite his wounds he boasts to the Storm-god that he will take the kingship of heaven. Presumably, he is none-the-less defeated.
Sun-god (of Heaven)
Probably an Akkadian import, this god is one of justice and is sometimes the king of all gods. An ally of the Storm-god, he notices the giant Ullikummis in the sea and visited the Storm-god, refusing to eat until he reports his news. After he has done so, the Storm-god proclaims that the food on the table shall become pleasant, which it does, and so the Sun-god enjoys his meal and returns to his route in heaven. When Telepinus disappears, bringing a famine, he arranges a feast, but it is ineffective in assuaging their hunger. At the Storm-god's complaint, he dispatches an eagle to search for the god, but the bird is unsuccessful. After the bee discovers Telepinus, he has man perform a ritual. In another version of the missing god myth, he is one of the missing gods. He keeps several sheep. At the end of the day, he travels through the nether-world. He was kidnapped by the Sea-god and released when Telipinu came for him. In a longer version of that story, the Sea-god caught him in a net, possibly putting him into a Kukubu-vessel when he fell. During his absence, Hahhimas (Frost) took hold.
He is the Sun-god's shepherd.
Moon-god (Hurrian Kashku)
He fell upon the 'killamar', the gate complex, from heaven and disappeared. Storm-god/Taru rain-stormed after him, frightening him. Hapantali went to him and uttered the words of a spell over him. While known to bestow ill omens, he can be appeased by sheep sacrifice.
The Sea, the Waters
She is told by Imbaluris that 'Kumarbis must remain father of the gods'. Struck with fear by this message, she makes ready here abode and prepares to act as hostess for a feast for Kumarbis. This feast may have served as a meeting of Mother-goddesses who delivered Kumarbis' child by the Rock, Ullikummis.
He quarreled and kidnapped the Sun-god of Heaven. When Telipinu came to recover the Sun-god, the Sea-god was so intimidated that he also gave him his daughter. he later demanded a bride-price for her of the Storm-god, and was eventually given a thousand cattle and a thousand sheep. In another version, he caught the Sun-god in a net as he fell, and may have sealed him in a Kukubu-vessel, allowing Hahhimas (Frost to take hold of most of the other gods. He questions the fire in its role in one of Kamrusepa's healing spells.
Daughter of the Storm-god and goddess of the wild animals of the steppe. After the Storm-god's initial defeat by Illuyankas, she follows his request to set up a feast. She recruits Hupasiayas of Zigaratta, to aid in revenge on Illuyankas, by taking him as a lover. She then sets about luring Illuyankas and his children to a feast. After the dragon and his children gorge themselves on her meal, Hupasiayas binds him with a rope. Then the Storm-god sets upon them and defeats them. She then gives Hupasiayas a house on a cliff to live in, yet warns him not to look out the window, lest he see his wife and children. He disobeys her, and seeing his family begs to be allowed to go home. Gurney speculates that he was killed for his disobedience. She consults with Hannahanna, who promises to give her land and a man. She then goes missing and is sought after by her father and Hannahanna with her bee.
Illuyankas - the Dragon.
He defeated the Storm-god in Kiskilussa. Later he was lured from his lair with his children by a well dressed Inaras with a feast. After they were too engorged to get into their lair again, the Storm-god, accompanied by the other gods, killed him. In another version of the myth, he defeated the Storm-god and stole his eyes and heart. Later, his daughter married the son of the Storm-god. Acting on the Storm-god's instruction, his son asked for the eyes and heart. When these were returned to him, the Storm-god vanquished Illuyankas, but slew his son as well when the youth sided with the dragon. The ritual of his defeat was invoked every spring to symbolize the earth's rebirth.
He is a serpent who loved Ishtar.
These gods who live in the dark earth are charged by Kumarbis through Imbaluris to hide Ullikummis from the sky gods, the Sun-god, the Storm-god, and Ishtar. They are also charged with placing the child on the shoulder of Upelluri. Later they accept the child and deliver it to Ellil, before placing it on Upelluri's right shoulder.
He took his place at the Moon-god's side when he fell from heaven on the gate complex and uttered a spell.
She is the goddess of magic and healing. She witnessed and announced the Moon-god's fall from heaven on to the gate complex. She is the goddess of magic and healing. After Telepinus has been found, yet remains angry, she is set to cure him of his temper. She performs an elaborate magical ritual, removing his evil and malice. In another tablet, she performs the spell of fire, which removes various illnesses, changing them to a mist which ascends to heaven, lifted by the Dark Earth. The Sea-god questions the fire on its role.
Astabis (Zamama, Akkadian Ninurta)
He is a Hurrian warrior god. After the Storm-god's first attack on Ullikummis is unsuccessful, he leads seventy gods in battle wagons on an attack on the diorite giant. They try to draw the water away from him, perhaps in order to stop his growth, but they fall from the sky and Ullikummis grows even larger, towering over the gate of Kummiya.
He is a minor god who, properly attended to, removes impotence.
This god's symbol is the stag. He is associated with rural areas.
He is a god of pestilence. A festival was held for him every autumn.
He is a god who can protect travelers, possibly by causing them to be invisible.
He is the chief god of the town of Kastama, held in greater regard there than the Storm-god, possibly gaining such influence through drawing lots with the other gods.
She is the wife of Zashapuna.
She is the concubine of Zashapuna.
One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinus.
One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu.
One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu. (S)he? also sat under Thippiyas tree when Hannahanna found the hunting bag.
They were among the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu. In one myth, they and the Mother-goddesses are missing.
One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu.
Tutelary-deity, (Sumerian Lamma)
One of the deities who sat under the Hawthorn tree awaiting the return of Telipinu.
A deity involved in returning the lost Storm-god of Nerik.
When the Sea-god captures the Sun-god, he takes hold of the other gods and of the land's plants and animals, paralyzing them. He is half-brother to Hasamili's brothers and spares them from his grip.
Akkadian Import Gods
He is presented with Ullikummis by the Irsirra deities and declares that the child will bring the mightiest battles and an awesome rival to the Storm-god. Later, Ea and presumably the Storm-god present before him a case against Kumarbis' for his creation of Ullikummis. He counters with Kumarbis' good record of worship and sacrifice and is in turn countered with Ea's testimony describing Ullikummis.
Ellil's wife. She was imported by way of the Hurrians.
Lelwanis (Lilwani, Ereshkigal, sometimes assimilated with Ishtar), 'Sun of the Earth'
Goddess of the earth and the nether-world, appeasement of her through sheep sacrifices helps remove threats from evil omens.
This goddess is the mother of the Storm-god. She plays a role in returning him from the underworld by opening the gates of the Dark Earth.
He is the keeper of the 'old tablets with the words of fate'. The Ullikummis myth has him as the father of the Storm-god. He attends Kumarbis and fetches that god's son to be devoured as a means of releaving Kumarbis pains from the Storm-god. He advises Kumarbis to have experts work 'poor' magic to aid him in his distress, bringing bulls and sacrifices of meal. This magic helps secure Kumarbis's 'tarnassus'. He is prevailed upon by the Storm-god following his defeat by Ullikummis. He and presumably the Storm-god present a case against Kumarbis' for his creation of Ullikummis before Ellil. Rebutting Ellil's defense that Kumarbis is well behaved regarding worship and sacrifices, Ea proclaims that Ullikummis 'will block off heaven and the gods holy houses.' He seeks out Upelluri, and after interviewing him, locates Ullukummis feet on Upelluri's shoulder. He charges the olden gods to deliver the copper knife with which they severed heaven from earth, in order to cut through Ullukummis' feet. He then spurs Tasmisus and the Storm-god on to fight the crippled giant.
Shaushka (Hurrian) (Ishtar)
She takes the form of a winged female standing on a lion. She spies her brothers, the Storm-god and Tasmisus, leaving the kuntarra following word of the appearance of Ullikummis. She leads them by hand, up Mount Hazzi, from which they can view the giant. When the Storm-god is vexed and fearful at the site of Kumarbis' son, she chides him. Later, she takes up her galgalturi/harp and sings to the blind and deaf Ullikummis, but her folly is exposed to her by a great wave from the sea, who charges her to seek out her brother who is yet to be emboldened to the inevitable battle. She was loved by the serpent Hedammu.
Various rituals were performed to call upon demons for protection or to drive away baneful deities summoned by sorcerers.
Properly propitiated with ritual, libation, and goat sacrifice, this demon drives away evil sickness.
Properly propitiated with ritual and the sacrifice of a buck, this demon staves off sickness and grants long, healthy life.
He is a resident of Ziggaratta. He is recruited by Inaras to aid in defeating Illuyankas. He agrees to her plan after eliciting her promise to sleep with him. When Illuyankas and his children are gorged on Inaras's feast, he ties them up for the Storm-god to kill. he is set up in a house by Inaras with the instructions not to look out the window while she is away, lest he see his family. He does, and begs to go home. Here the text is broken and some researches assume that he is killed.
The olden gods built heaven and earth upon Upelluri. They had a copper knife which they used to cleave the heaven from the earth, after which they stored it in ancient storehouses and sealed them up - only to open them and retrieve it for use on Ullikummis.
The house of the gods in heaven.
The Dark Earth, i.e. the Underworld.
It has an entrance with gates. It holds bronze or iron palhi-vessels with lead lids. That which enters them, perishes within and doesn't return. Telipinu and Hannahanna's anger is banished there.