Definitions for namtar
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word namtar
a demon personifying death; messenger of the underworld goddess Ereshkigal bringing death to mankind
Namtar, was a hellish minor deity in Mesopotamian mythology, god of death, and minister and messenger of An, Ereshkigal, and Nergal. Namtar was the son of Enlil and Ereshkigal; he was born before his father raped the goddess Ninlil. Namtar was considered responsible for diseases and pests. It was said that he commanded sixty diseases in the form of demons that could penetrate different parts of the human body; offerings to him were made to prevent those illnesses. It is thought that the Assyrians and Babylonians took this belief from the Sumerians after conquering them. To some they were the spirit of fate, and therefore of great importance. Apparently they executed the instructions given him concerning the fate of men, and could also have power over certain of the gods. In other writings they were regarded as the personification of death, much like the modern concept of the Grim Reaper. In the story of Ishtar's Descent to earth, acting as Ereshkigal's 'messenger', Namtar curses Ishtar with 60 diseases, naming five of the head, feet, side, eyes, and heart, after she arrives to earth. Namtar was regarded as the beloved son of Bêl/Enlil, and was married to the underworld goddess Hušbišag.
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