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Mesopotamia / Religions / Gods and goddesses /
Amorites / Religion /
Babylonia / Religion /
Assyria / Religion /

Statue of Nabu, from his temple at Calah. British Museum, London, UK.
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Statue of Nabu, from his temple at Calah. British Museum, London, UK.

God of Assyrian and Babylonian religions. His qualities were wisdom; the knowledge of writing; destiny of human beings; and vegetation.
His popularity is well illustrated with the great kings, Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar 2 and Nabonidus, names that are in praise of him.
In theology from the 1st millennium BCE he was arranged to be son of Babylonia's supreme god, Marduk, and the lesser goddess, Sarpanitum.
Several goddesses were defined as his wife, depending on cult centre: most common and popular was the association with the the Akkadian Tashmetum. Other were the Sumerian Nana and the Assyrian Nissaba.
The city of Borsippa was home to his dedicated temple. In Babylon, he had a temple within the temple of Marduk, known as the E-zida.
He is represented with a horned cap, keeping his hands clasped, and he rides on a winged dragon, inherited from his father. His symbols were the clay tablet and the stylus.
As part of the New Year festival, his statue was transported from Borsippa to join Marduk at Babylon.
He would emerge as one of the central gods of Assyria. Here his qualities came to include being the keeper of the Tablets of Destiny, foretelling the fate of each individual human being. Still, in most matters he is only the keeper of the fate, other gods decides over it. Nabu is the god that can increase or shorten one's lifespan.
Other qualities associated with him became fertility and water.

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By Tore Kjeilen