Arts and Cultures - Anu, The Highest God of Ancient Sumer

Arts and Cultures

Dr Archana Verma

Anu was among the most ancient deities of ancient Sumer who was worshipped as the highest god and the creator of all beings. He was represented by the sky and caused rain, storm and thunder.

He was the father of all the gods and his name symbolised "Almighty."

As the god Almighty, he was not represented by an image, but was often represented as a crown on a throne.

His temples were found in many places. The most prominent was at Ianna at Uruk. Other shrines to Anu were built at Der, the "city of Anu." There was a shrine for him at Lagas and another shrine was at Ur. The main temple at Babylon also had a shrine for Anu. Offerings were made to Anu at Nippur, Sippar and Kish.

In later period, Anu was superseded by his son Enlil, who ruled rain, thunder and storm and began to be seen as the chief god. Even later, he was supplanted by Marduk, the patron deity of Babylon. Further, at Ianna his temple was re-dedicated to Innana the Goddess and priestesses began to offer worship there.

However, his name continued as a symbol of power, authority and high place.

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