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Complaint in heaven (1)

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04 Religious and philosophical literature and poetry

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

Greek Archaic Age
Akkadian poetry
Greek poets

The two scenes parallel each other in structure and narrative form. A goddess, injured by a human, goes up to heaven to complain to her father and mother, and she earns a mild rebuke from her father. Aphrodite has here a mother, Dione, which is just the feminine form of Zeus, like Antum from Anu in the passage from the Gilgameš Epic.

Gilgameš Epic (SBV) 6.80-90:
Ištar, when hearing this, Ištar was enraged and [went up] to heaven. Forth went Ištar before Anu, her father, and [cried]; before Antum, her mother her tears were flowing: “Oh my father! Gilgameš has heaped insults upon me! Gilgameš has recounted my insults, my insults and my curses.” Anu opened his mouth to speak, he said to glorious Ištar: “Surely you have provoked the king Gilgameš, and (thus) Gilgameš recounted your insults, your insults and curses.

Homer, Iliad 5.330-431:
(Trying to protect Aeneas, Aphrodite has been wounded by Diomedes:) But she, beside herself, went away, she felt horrible pain. (She reaches Olympus:) But she, glorious Aphrodite, fell into the lap of Dione, her mother; but she took her daughter in her arms, stroked her with her hand, spoke the word and said: “Who has done such things to you, dear child?” Aphrodite replied: “Wounded has me the son of Tydeus, high-minded Diomedes.” … He (= Zeus) called golden Aphrodite and said to her: “My child, not for you are the works of war! But you should pursue the tender offices of marriage … “

Sources (list of abbreviations) (source links will open in a new browser window)
Gilgameš Epic (SBV) 6.80-90
Homer, Iliad 5.330-431


Burkert 1992, 96-97Burkert, Walter. The Orientalizing Revolution. Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Period. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press 1992.

Amar Annus

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