The Afterlife of Baʿal

My friend and colleague Philip Boyes writes about the strange evolution of an ancient Near Eastern deity. Well worth checking out!

Ancient Worlds

(or, What This Ugaritian Storm-God Looks Like Now Will Astound You!)

1200px-Baal_thunderbolt_Louvre_AO15775 Ba’al on a stele from Ugarit, now in the Louvre

Callot 2011 Reconstruction 2 Reconstruction of the Temple of Ba’al on the acropolis of Ugarit. From Callot 2011

Ever since excavations began at the Syrian city of Ugarit in 1929, the importance of the god Baʿal has been clear. Among the first Ugaritic texts discovered at the site were mythological tablets recounting the legends of this god; Baʿal’s temple was excavated in prime position on the city’s acropolis, close to that of his father Dagan. While the supreme god El occupied the pinnacle of the Ugaritian pantheon, as more and more ritual and religious documents have been recovered from Ugarit, it’s become unquestionable that the city’s people felt a particular fondness and affinity for Baʿal, the archetypal king who had his palace on Mount Saphon overlooking the city.

But Baʿal was not solely…

View original post 1,660 more words

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