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Allat as Isharbel in Hatra (1)

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12 Assyrian Identity

01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

02 Religious and ideological symbols and iconographic motifs

Roman Empire
Aramaic culture

The cult of Allat at Hatra is well attested by various testimonia: theophoric names, dedicatory inscriptions, and by sculptural representations. There are about eleven representations of Allat from Hatra, from the various parts of the city. In all these representations, Allat appears clad in the military attire similar to that worn by her in the sculptures from Palmyra, Dura Europos, and throughout Syria. On the basis of inscriptions found in Cordoue and Palmyra, Allat was assimilated to Athena. In Hatra, Allat’s assimilation to Athena is evidenced by the similarity of her attributes: helmet, shield, spear, and the aegis with the gorgon. Four of the Allat’s sculptural representations were found during the excavations of Hatra Shrine V and its adjacent annexes in 1952. Three inscriptions on statue bases were also found from the same shrine, which contained the appellations of the goddess as ˀšrbl and ˀšrbl btlh, “Iššar-Bel” and “Iššar-Bel the virgin”. The first word is an epithet to Allat, deriving from the Mesopotamian Ištar, who was known as Bel in late antique Assur and Hatra. The deity Iššar-Bel in Hatra is probably the legacy of Ištar of Arbela. Two of the three inscriptions on the bases of statues are dedicated by a woman, one is the priestess Martabu. Probably the whole shrine and its annexes were dedicated to Allat as “Iššar-Bel the virgin”, for the use of priestesses and ordinary women.


Dalley 1995, 145Dalley, Stephanie. “Bel at Palmyra and elsewhere in the Parthian Period.” ARAM 7 (1995) 137-151. [Peeters Online Journals (requires subscription)]
Ismail 1976, 177-179Ismail, Wathiq. “The Worship of Allat at Hatra.” Sumer 32 (1976) 177-179.

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 See Priestess of Isharbel in Hatra (1)
 See The Virgin Isharbel of Hatra (1)

Amar Annus

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