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The Heritage of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East

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Tammuz in later Mesopotamia (1)

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12 Assyrian Identity

03 Religious festivals, cults, rituals and practices

7th century CE
9th century CE
Sasanid Empire
Umayyad Empire
Christian-Syriac philosophers and scholars

We have a historical tradition that, in the Sasanid Empire of Persia, there were people who worshipped a divinity called Tammuz. John bar Penkaye affirms this for the seventh century, in the ninth chapter of his book on the world history. Theodore bar Konai (9th century) shows clearly that the worship of Tammuz was prevalent not only in the valley of the Tigris but also in the territory of the Beit-Arabāye, which corresponds to the territory surrounding the mountain of Sinjār as far as Nisibin - the chief centre of this ancient religion. Moreover, the name Tammuz was borne even by Christians in Sasanid Persia (cf. the Patriarch of Seleucia of the fourth century called Tamuza). Alphonse Mingana (1878-1937) met a Christian from the village of Sherānesh (Kurdistan) called Marcos son of Tamuz, and another from the village of Qārepshesh, whose name was Tamuz Yalda.


Mingana 1916, 516Mingana, Alphonse. “Devil Worshippers. Their Beliefs and their sacred Books.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1916) 505-526.

Amar Annus

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