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Are Isis and Ishtar the same goddess?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:10 am
by Ishtar
This is a (yet another!) spin off thread, this time from the Ainu/Anu one.

I thought it would be a good idea to try to trace the origins of the Egyptian goddess Isis and the Sumerian goddess Ishtar, as I've been having the feeling that they are one and the same goddess for some time.

If we can establish this link, it will bring us a step closer to finding out who built the pyramids, and who the Egyptians and the Sumerians really were.

One thing I've found is that Isis The Heavenly Cow was developed out of another, more ancient Egyptian heavenly cow of the name of Hathor.

Hathor is depicted as almost identical to Isis.

This is Isis:


and this is Hathor


So the only difference between them is that Hathor's headwear comprises horns and the sun disc (known as the Eye of Hathor) instead of Isis's throne chair.

And this is a cow depiction of Hathor from the Papyrus of Ani.


So with 'Ani' we are getting closer to An, and the Sumerian Ishtar is the daughter of the Sumerian god An. ... nd_symbols

Egyptian mythology, Hathor (Pronounced Hah-Thor) (Egyptian for house of Horus) was originally a personification of the Milky Way, which was seen as the milk that flowed from the udders of a heavenly cow.

Hathor was an ancient goddess, and was worshipped as a cow-deity from at least 2700 BC,[1] during the second dynasty. Her worship by the Egyptians goes back earlier however, possibly, even by the Scorpion King who ruled during the Protodynastic Period before the dynasties began. His name, Serqet, may refer to the goddess Serket.

The two figures flanking the top of both sides of the Narmer Palette are interpreted as images of the cow goddess. The palette is among the earliest carved religious images known from the Egyptian culture.

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:26 am
by Ishtar
Both the Egyptian and Sumerian languages were picture languages and so we cannot be absolutely sure of how they pronounced their words.

But this recent thinking from Wiki shows that Isis is now thought to have been pronounced ee-ser. This brings us a lot closer to Ishtar, especially if the 'h' was silent, as it certainly can often be in Sanskrit.

Anyway, here's a Wiki quote on the pronunciation of Isis.

The English pronunciation used for this deity, /ˈaɪ.sɪs/, is an Anglicized pronunciation of the Greek name, Ίσις, which itself changed the original Egyptian name by the addition of a final "-s" because of the grammatical requirements of Greek noun endings.

The Egyptian name was recorded as ỉs.t or ȝs.t and meant "(She of the) Throne." However, the true Egyptian pronunciation remains uncertain because their writing system did not always feature vowels.

Based on recent studies which present us with approximations based on contemporary languages and Coptic evidence, the reconstructed pronunciation of her name is *ʔŪsat (ooh-saht).

Later, the name survived into Coptic dialects as "Ēse" or "Ēsi," as well as in compound words surviving in names of later people like "Har-si-Ese," literally "Horus, son of Isis."

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:35 am
by War Arrow
Actually, I must admit I thought this was a well established idea - Isis and Ishtar being one and the same (along with er... Ashtoroth and Astarte), though I've no idea where I came across that. Probably some dubious magazine in the pre-brain-working days (deduced by my presently not having the faintest idea of who Ashtoroth or Astarte may have been). Anyway, it's an interesting subject sure enough, so please continue. :D

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:40 am
by Ishtar
Yes, for me too .. it's just been one of those vague ideas I've had swimming around in the fetid pool of my grotesque Dali-esque subconscious for many years. I just figured it was time to bring it out in the light of day, give it a brisk rub down and then examine it from every angle to see if it stands up.

See ... I can be rational and objective sometimes! :lol:

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:06 am
by War Arrow
Ishtar wrote:Both the Egyptian and Sumerian languages were picture languages and so we cannot be absolutely sure of how they pronounced their words.
Ignoramus Question # 1: I thought the Egyptian had turned out to be strongly phonetic - each pictogram representing a syllable or somesuch, or is it that, if this is the case, we STILL aren't quite sure of what these syllables were?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:51 am
by Ishtar
OK Ignoramus! :lol:

Although I think you'll find I'm pretty much an ignoramus too in this area and I'm stumbling through it, trying to make some sense.

So from what I can gather, we don't know how the Egyptians pronounced their words because they were based on hieroglyphics which are a visually-based recognition system rather than sound-based.

Also, in that Wiki excerpt I posted, it says that the Egyptians didn't use vowels -- but how they would they know that if they didn't know the sound?

Anyway, Ishtar is the slightly later (Babylonian) version of the Sumerian Inanna (there's that 'an' again) and her name is spelled thus:


Apparently, those symbols represent this:


So 'sthar' is pronounced 'star', meaning the 'h' is silent and bringing us closer to ee-ser or ee-sah (Isis).

I think maybe we should be looking at Inanna, so that's what I'll do next ....stumble. stumble .....


And I'll look at the Papyrus of Ani and Hathor.

I don't think we'll ever prove anything conclusively by the morphology of the names, though. We're more likely to get there by finding commonalities in the stories.

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:46 am
by Ishtar
I'm just copying this over from the Ainu thread as it will make it easier for me to find it later:

The Egyptian city of Heliopolis (renamed as such by the Greeks) was originally called Annu.

The Greeks renamed it as they changed it from a city that worshipped many gods to one that just one worshipped the sun.

Annu/Heliopolis remained as the Greeks' main centre for sun worship until something changed their mind (during their 300 year rule of Egypt) and they moved their sun worship centre to Alexandria.

This is the hieroglyph for Annu. This may be of some help in identifying where else these shapes are used in tracing other Anu connections.


The vase/urn is a symbol that often represents the womb, therefore it could be referring to the fertility of the mother goddess, or Heavenly Cow, Hathor/Isis.

The cross in the second circle is similar to the cross of Min, the Bull of Heaven.


Inanna/Ishtar of the Babylonian/Akkad/Sumerians is the daughter of An and is also married to the Bull of Heaven, Tammuz/Dumuzi.

The Egyptians have several creation myths, each associated with a particular city or town. There is a Creation Myth of Annu.

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:34 am
by Ishtar
Inanna is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare. This is her name in Sumerian hieroglyphics:


The Akkadians called her Ishtar.

Here is Ishtar’s hieroglyph. I can’t see much difference.


Here are the Egyptian Isis’s hieroglyphs.


Er .... they're completely different. :cry:

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:47 pm
by john
All -

Don't forget Cybele.

......deeper roots......

hoka hey


Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:45 am
by Ishtar
Thank you, John. Hurrian hey ....? She certainly has deep roots, and it was good to read all that about her.

I hope you're feeling better. I had 'flu back in February and I didn't feel right for four weeks. It took me two more weeks after that to get my energy back. Hope it's not the same for you!