Brill’s New Pauly

Get access

Chthonic deities
(2,098 words)

(Χθόνιοι θεοí; Chthónioi theoí).

[German version]

I. Ancient Near East

The Earth and the Heavens that fertilized her with rain were central to the world view of Ancient Oriental agrarian cultures. Their separation marks the beginning of creation (Sumerian ‘Creation of the Hoe’, 6,51ff.; Hittite Kumarbi Myth ( Kumarbi),  Ullikummi, Song of) but a link holds them together (Geštinanna, ‘the Heavenly Vine’). The disc of the Earth floats in the freshwater ocean  Apsû that is governed by  Enki, who in turn lives above the Underworld ( Afterlif…

Cite this page
Pongratz-Leisten, Beate (Tübingen) and Schlesier, Renate (Paderborn), “Chthonic deities”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

▲   Back to top   ▲