MS in Canaanite West Semitic on bronze, Canaan, Israel/Lebanon, 11th c. BC, 1 arrowhead, inscribed on both sides with Proto-Canaanite script/early Phoenician script. The union of El Elyon and his consort Asherah would be representation of primordial Cronos and Rhea in Greek mythology, or Roman Saturnus and Ops. What archaeologists have been able to discover of ancient scripts indicates not only that proto-Canaanite was an ancestor of later Phoenician, but that it was a likely middle step from Hieratic, a cursive script derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs. Between the 10th and 7th centuries BCE, ancient Israelite and Judean religion took place in cultic and temple contexts. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Shamayim, (lit. aspect of Israel’s religious expression gives some unity to the essays to follow. Ancient Semitic religion encompasses the polytheistic religions of the Semitic peoples from the ancient Near East and Northeast Africa. Corrections? [32] The excavation of the city of Ras Shamra (1928 onwards) and the discovery of its Bronze Age archive of clay-tablet alphabetic cuneiform texts provided a wealth of new information. Evans, Annette H. M. "Monotheism and Yahweh". The Romans transcribed "phoenix" to "poenus", thus calling the descendants of the Canaanite settlers in Carthage "Punic". By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Updates? The making of these assignments was based upon trial and error which was guided by assuming that Akkadian words were behind them. Like other people of the Ancient Near East Canaanite religious beliefs were polytheistic, with families typically focusing on veneration of the dead in the form of household gods and goddesses, the Elohim, while acknowledging the existence of other deities such as Baal and El, Asherah and Astarte. According to the pantheon, known in Ugarit as 'ilhm (Elohim) or the children of El, supposedly obtained by Philo of Byblos from Sanchuniathon of Berythus (Beirut) the creator was known as Elion, who was the father of the divinities, and in the Greek sources he was married to Beruth (Beirut = the city). Just uploaded to academia.edu: The Gezer Agricultural Calendar Almanac in Paleo-Hebrew (ca. The basic shape of this letter consists of two strokes forming an angle: thus in the Proto-Sinaitic , Proto-Canaanite . Through Eichhorn the name then came into general usage (cf. For example, during the Hyksos period, when chariot-mounted maryannu ruled in Egypt, at their capital city of Avaris, Baal became associated with the Egyptian god Set, and was considered identical – particularly with Set in his form as Sutekh. [citation needed], Group of ancient Semitic religions practiced by the Canaanites, Whereas the Israelites originated as Bronze Age Canaanites, the origin of Yahweh is indeterminate (see. Anat goes to the Underworld, attacks Mot with a knife, grinds him up into pieces, and scatters him far and wide. Detailed study of the Ugaritic material, of other inscriptions from the Levant and also of the Ebla archive from Tel Mardikh, excavated in 1960 by a joint Italo-Syrian team, have cast more light on the early Canaanite religion. KAF (Heb. With Mot defeated, Ba'al is able to return and refresh the Earth with rain. [40], Archaeological excavations in the last few decades have unearthed more about the religion of the ancient Canaanites. [25], It is considered virtually impossible to reconstruct a clear picture of Canaanite religious practices. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The Phoenician, Hebrew, and other Canaanite dialects were largely indistinguishable before that time. 925 BCE) and its Translation into Mycenaean Linear B, Coupled with the Profound Implications of the Powerful Impact of Supersyllabograms aka Surcharged Adjuncts on Linear B She was slain by. The Canaanite scribes who produced the Baal texts were also trained to write in Babylonian cuneiform, including Sumerian and Akkadian texts of every genre. For the origins of the modern-day religion of Judaism, see Origins of Rabbinic Judaism.. The Phoenician, Hebrew, and other Canaanite dialects were largely indistinguishable before that time. As the myths of ancient Ugarit indicate, the religion of the Canaanite peoples was a crude and debased form of ritual polytheism. Gorelick, Leonard; Williams-Forte, Elizabeth; "alleged but not securely attested", according to Johnston, Sarah Isles. A great number of deities in a four-tier hierarchy headed by El and Asherah[1] were worshiped by the followers of the Canaanite religion; this is a detailed listing:[2], Canaanites believed that following physical death, the npš (usually translated as "soul") departed from the body to the land of Mot (Death). The late period of this cosmology makes it difficult to tell what influences (Roman, Greek, or Hebrew) may have informed Philo's writings. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Canaanite divinities seem to have been almost identical in form and function to the neighboring Arameans to the east, and Baal Hadad and El can be distinguished amongst earlier Amorites, who at the end of the Early Bronze Age invaded Mesopotamia. [32], Canaanite religion was strongly influenced by their more powerful and populous neighbors, and shows clear influence of Mesopotamian and Egyptian religious practices. In the Proto-Sinaitic and early Proto-Canaanite inscriptions the kaf was drawn as a pictograph of the palm of the hand and hence its name. Canaanite religion, beliefs and practices prevalent in ancient Palestine and Syria during the 2nd and 1st millennia bc, centring primarily on the deities El, Baal, and Anath (qq.v.). Kings also played an important religious role and in certain ceremonies, such as the hieros gamos of the New Year, may have been revered as gods. Tallay, the goddess of winter, snow, cold and dew, one of the three daughters of Ba'al Hadad. Afterward, with the help of Athirat and Anat, Ba'al persuades El to allow him a palace. This article discusses the historical roots of Judaism throughout the 1st millennium BCE. Although child sacrifice was known to surrounding peoples, there is no reference to it in ancient Phoenician or Classical texts. The ideas of pairs of mountains seem to be quite common in Canaanite mythology (similar to Horeb and Sinai in the Bible). The Hurrian goddess Hebat was worshiped in Jerusalem, and Baal was closely considered equivalent to the Hurrian storm god Teshub and the Hittite storm god, Tarhunt. When the Greeks later traded with the Canaanites, this meaning of the word seems to have predominated as they called the Canaanites the Phoenikes or "Phoenicians", which may derive from the Greek word "Phoenix" meaning crimson or purple, and again described the cloth for which the Greeks also traded. 200 BCE, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/11620441/Islamic-State-fighters-seize-the-world-heritage-site-of-Palmyra-in-pictures.html, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/01/satellite-images-reveal-isis-destruction-of-palmyras-temple-of-bel, "The Shelby White & Leon Levy Program: Dig Sites, Levant Sothern", "Life, Death, and Afterlife in Ancient Israel and Canaan", "Canaanites Imported Sacrificial Animals From Egypt, Archaeologists Find", "A view from Copenhagen: Israel and the History of Palestine", "The Cuneiform Texts of Ras Shamra~Ugarit", Bibliography of Canaanite & Phoenician Studies, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ancient_Canaanite_religion&oldid=991032802, Articles needing additional references from February 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Athirat, "walker of the sea", Mother Goddess, wife of El (also known as Elat and after the Bronze Age as, Astoreth or Athtart, better known by her Greek name. 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