Religion Past and Present

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(211 words)

[German Version]

Goddess of heaven and fertility, whose cult is attested from the end of the 4th century bce and was spread through Syria and northern Mesopotamia. Thence, under the name “Dea Syria,” the goddess spread westward, assimilated to Hera, Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis, and other goddesses, and successfully advanced into the Roman Empire. The divine name derives from the fusion of Anath and Astarte. Her chief sanctuary was in the northern Syrian Hierapolis (Mabbug), where the goddess was venerated alongside the weather god Zeus-Hadad. The sanctuary (of the as…

Cite this page
Xella, Paolo, “Atargatis”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 14 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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