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Cosmic Gates (2)

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04 Religious and philosophical literature and poetry

cosmic gates
Jānua hominum
3th century CE
Hellenistic philosophers and scholars

Porphyry’s On the Cave of the Nymphs is an imago mundi. Souls come and leave this corporeal world of the generation through two gates: a northen one to descent and a southern one for ascending out of it. The two gates correspond to the Cancer and Capricorn Tropics, respectively. In the Bhagavad-Gītā these same two gates are named ‘Pitrayāna’ and ‘Devayāna’, respectively.

Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs 9, 11:
(9) … Homer was not satisfied with saying that it [i. e. the cave] had two gates, but adds that one of the gates was turned towards the north, but the other, which was more divine, to the south. (11) The northen parts, likewise, pretain to souls descending into generation. And the gates of the cavern which are turned to the north are rightly said to be previous to the descent of men.

Song of the Hoe 1-8:
Enlil, who will make the human seed of the Land come forth from the earth / chamber … in order to make it possible for humans to grow in ‘Where Flesh Grew’ (Uzu-mu2-a), he first suspended / raised the axis of the world at Dur-an-ki. He did it with the help of the hoe (al).

KAR 4 24-26 (as noted by Wilcke, d.Alla through homophony refers to the hoe (giš.al)):
In Uzumua in Duranki let us slaughter the Alla divinities, in order to make humanity come out from their blood.

Sources (list of abbreviations) (source links will open in a new browser window)
KAR 4 24-26
Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs 9-11
Song of the Hoe 1-8


Mander 1999Mander, Pietro. “Jānua Hominum et Deorum in the Sumerian Mythological Texts.” Annali dell’Istituto Universitario Orientale 59 (1999) 93-108.
Pettinato 1971, 74-79Pettinato, Giovanni. Das Altorientalische Menschenbild und die Sumerischen und Akkadischen Schöpfungsmythen. Abhandlungen der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse 1971/1. Heidelberg: Carl Winter 1971.
Taylor 1917Taylor, Thomas. On the Cave of the Nymphs in the Thirteenth Book of the Odyssey. London: J. M. Watkins 1917.
Wilcke 1972-1975Wilcke, Claus. “Hacke, B. Philologisch.” Reallexicon der Assyriologie 4 (1972-1975) 33-38.

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Cf. Cosmis Gates (1)
Cf. Cosmis Gates (3)

Pietro Mander

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