As June Peters explained, most
societies and cultures have ancient myths to tell how
the world began and humans came into being. The main
characters in mythic stories are deities. Some deities
are imagined personifications of natural phenomena, such
as the sun, moon, sky, storms, water or climate change.
Other deities personify human phenomena, such as love,
war, wisdom, writing or health-care.
Mesopotamian mythology was written in
both Sumerian and Akkadian, so deities had both a
Sumerian name and an Akkadian name, as did cities. A
variety of mythic traditions co-existed and evolved over
3000 years of successive Mesopotamian civilisations.
An authoritative, easy-to-read and very
helpful guide to Mesopotamian mythology is
Gods, Demons and Symbols of
Ancient Mesopotamia, an illustrated
dictionary by Jeremy Black and Anthony Green, published
by the University of Texas Press in 1992 and reprinted in
1998, price £12.99.