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The Star of Ishtar or Star of Inanna is a symbol of the ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna and her East Semitic counterpart Ishtar. The owl was also one of Ishtar's primary symbols. Ishtar is mostly associated with the planet Venus, which is also known as the morning star.

Depiction of the star of Ishtar (left) on a kudurru of Meli-Shipak II (12th century BC).

The star of Inanna usually had eight points, though the exact number of points sometimes varies. Six-pointed stars also occur frequently, but their symbolic meaning is unknown. It was Inanna's most common symbol and, in later times, it became the most common symbol of the goddess Ishtar, Inanna's East Semitic counterpart. It seems to have originally borne a general association with the heavens, but, by the Old Babylonian Period, it had come to be specifically associated with the planet Venus, with which Ishtar was identified. Starting during this same period, the star of Ishtar was normally enclosed within a circular disc.

During later times, slaves who worked in Ishtar's temples were sometimes branded with the seal of the eight-pointed star. On boundary stones and cylinder seals, the eight-pointed star is sometimes shown alongside the crescent moon, which was the symbol of Sin, god of the Moon, and the rayed solar disk, which was a symbol of Shamash, the god of the Sun.

Coat of arms of Iraq with two stars of Ishtar (bottom) and two Shamash (top)
Multi-National Force-Iraq Shoulder Sleeve Insignia with the Star of Ishtar and Lamassu symbols


The rosette was another important symbol of Ishtar which had originally belonged to Inanna. During the Neo-Assyrian Period, the rosette may have actually eclipsed the eight-pointed star and become Ishtar's primary symbol. The temple of Ishtar in the city of Aššur was adorned with numerous rosettes.

Flag of Iraq 1959–1963 with the star of Ishtar in the middle

In Arabic, the symbol is known as (Arabic:نجمة عشتار, romanized: najmat eshtar). The stars of Ishtar and Shamash featured on the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Iraq from 1932-1959.

A simplified version with red rays and a yellow centre was incorporated into the flag of Iraq from 1959–1963. It also featured in a combination with the sun of Shamash on the national emblem of Iraq from 1959-1965.

  1. Black & Green 1992, pp. 169–170.
  2. Liungman 2004, p. 228.
  3. Black & Green 1992, p. 170.
  4. Gressman & Obermann 1928, p. 81. sfn error: no target: CITEREFGressmanObermann1928 (help)
  5. Black & Green 1992, p. 156.
  6. Black & Green 1992, pp. 156–157.
  7. http://www.pjsymes.com.au/articles/CBI-First.htm
  8. Dawisha, Adeed (January 2003). "Requiem for Arab Nationalism". Middle East Quarterly.
  9. Amatzia Baram, "Mesopotamian Identity in Ba'thi Iraq," Middle Eastern Studies, Oct. 1983, p. 427.

Bibliography

  • Black, Jeremy; Green, Anthony (1992), Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary, The British Museum Press, ISBN 0-7141-1705-6
  • Collins, Paul (1994), "The Sumerian Goddess Inanna (3400-2200 BC)", Papers of from the Institute of Archaeology, vol. 5, UCL
  • Gressmann, Hugo; Obermann, Julian (1928), The Tower of Babel, Jewish Institute of Religion Press, p. 81
  • Liungman, Carl G. (2004), Symbols: Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms, Lidingö, Sweden: HME Publishing, ISBN 978-9197270502

Media related to Star of Ishtar at Wikimedia Commons

Star of Ishtar Article Talk Language Watch Edit The Star of Ishtar or Star of Inanna is a symbol of the ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna and her East Semitic counterpart Ishtar The owl was also one of Ishtar s primary symbols Ishtar is mostly associated with the planet Venus which is also known as the morning star Star of Ishtar Contents 1 History 2 Flag of Iraq 3 References 3 1 Bibliography 4 See also 5 External linksHistory Edit Depiction of the star of Ishtar left on a kudurru of Meli Shipak II 12th century BC The star of Inanna usually had eight points 1 though the exact number of points sometimes varies 2 Six pointed stars also occur frequently but their symbolic meaning is unknown 3 It was Inanna s most common symbol 1 and in later times it became the most common symbol of the goddess Ishtar Inanna s East Semitic counterpart 1 It seems to have originally borne a general association with the heavens 1 but by the Old Babylonian Period it had come to be specifically associated with the planet Venus with which Ishtar was identified 1 Starting during this same period the star of Ishtar was normally enclosed within a circular disc 3 During later times slaves who worked in Ishtar s temples were sometimes branded with the seal of the eight pointed star 3 On boundary stones and cylinder seals the eight pointed star is sometimes shown alongside the crescent moon which was the symbol of Sin god of the Moon and the rayed solar disk which was a symbol of Shamash the god of the Sun 4 2 Coat of arms of Iraq with two stars of Ishtar bottom and two Shamash top Multi National Force Iraq Shoulder Sleeve Insignia with the Star of Ishtar and Lamassu symbols The rosette was another important symbol of Ishtar which had originally belonged to Inanna 5 During the Neo Assyrian Period the rosette may have actually eclipsed the eight pointed star and become Ishtar s primary symbol 6 The temple of Ishtar in the city of Assur was adorned with numerous rosettes 5 Flag of Iraq 1959 1963 with the star of Ishtar in the middleFlag of Iraq EditIn Arabic the symbol is known as Arabic نجمة عشتار romanized najmat eshtar The stars of Ishtar and Shamash featured on the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Iraq from 1932 1959 A simplified version with red rays and a yellow centre was incorporated into the flag of Iraq from 1959 1963 It also featured in a combination with the sun of Shamash on the national emblem of Iraq from 1959 1965 7 8 9 References Edit a b c d e Black amp Green 1992 pp 169 170 a b Liungman 2004 p 228 a b c Black amp Green 1992 p 170 Gressman amp Obermann 1928 p 81 sfn error no target CITEREFGressmanObermann1928 help a b Black amp Green 1992 p 156 Black amp Green 1992 pp 156 157 http www pjsymes com au articles CBI First htm Dawisha Adeed January 2003 Requiem for Arab Nationalism Middle East Quarterly Amatzia Baram Mesopotamian Identity in Ba thi Iraq Middle Eastern Studies Oct 1983 p 427 Bibliography Edit Black Jeremy Green Anthony 1992 Gods Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia An Illustrated Dictionary The British Museum Press ISBN 0 7141 1705 6 Collins Paul 1994 The Sumerian Goddess Inanna 3400 2200 BC Papers of from the Institute of Archaeology vol 5 UCL Gressmann Hugo Obermann Julian 1928 The Tower of Babel Jewish Institute of Religion Press p 81 Liungman Carl G 2004 Symbols Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms Lidingo Sweden HME Publishing ISBN 978 9197270502See also EditLion of Babylon Octagram Star of LakshmiExternal links Edit Media related to Star of Ishtar at Wikimedia Commons Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Star of Ishtar amp oldid 1077258194, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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