A construção da figura da Inanna/Ištar na Mesopotâmia: IV-II milénios a.C.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The goddess Inanna/Ištar is recognized as one of the most important deities in the Mesopotamian religious universe, which led modern historians to dedicate special attention to her, as a subject of reference. Her importance is confirmed by her constant presence, as a leading character, in mythic narratives, but also by the diachronical cult manifestations, surrounding her figure, which are validated since the middle of the 4th millennium BC.
The construction of her personality had a first and biding moment when the Sumerian goddess Inanna merged with the Semitic divine figure of Ištar. The identifications that they shared the same astral identity, Venus, allowed the Mesopotamians to blend the characteristics that each one had, creating and defining a behavioral framework, whose archetypes one can find in literature, in cultic manifestations, and in iconography, simultaneously and throughout time.
This thesis aims to reevaluate the constructive process surrounding this goddess, by shedding light on the Sumerian and Semites contributions, who met and started to mingle during the 4th millennium BC. This encounter gave rise to a hybrid civilization, where both traditions were accommodated in the same identity. Like the religious and cultural framework that shaped this goddess, she was multiple but one.
The intertwined examination of the data from the second half of the 4th millennium BC (when the goddess first emerges) to the first centuries of the 2nd millennium BC (the golden age of the Mesopotamian literature), allows us to define her globalizing character and actions, which finds its structure on power relations. Furthermore, it also permits the identification of previous divine syncretism, but also dissociations, which traditionally are identified during or after the Akkadian period. This historical epoch is known for having crystalized the symbiotic process that began a millennium before, which led to this conclusion.
Thus, we aim to reunite the different religious expressions, from different times, which is somewhat different from the traditional approach, that tends to restrict the thoughts and acts of the Mesopotamian homo religiosus in a historical period. We intend, mainly, to evaluate the level of transformations that this divine figure went through, having in mind that she is the product of a mental framework which defines itself through a logic of perpetual rearrangements.
Therefore, and following recent historiographical proposals, this thesis aims to present a new perspective on the development of his goddess, whose echoes we can identify throughout Antiquity.
Original languagePortuguese
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
  • Caramelo, Francisco, Supervisor
Award date19 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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