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Silver Wind
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PostSubject: Astarte   Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:05 pm

Astarte was connected with fertility, sexuality, and war. Her symbols were the lion, the horse, the sphinx, the dove, and a star within a circle indicating the planet Venus. Pictorial representations often show her naked.

Astarte was accepted by the Greeks under the name of Aphrodite. The island of Cyprus, one of Astarte's greatest faith centers, supplied the name Cypris as Aphrodite's most common byname.

Other major centers of Astarte's worship were Sidon, Tyre, and Byblos. Coins from Sidon portray a chariot in which a globe appears, presumably a stone representing Astarte. In Sidon, she shared a temple with Eshmun. At Beirut coins show Poseidon, Astarte, and Eshmun worshipped together.

Other faith centers were Cytherea, Malta and Eryx in Sicily from which she became known to the Romans as Venus Erycina. A bilingual inscription on the Pyrgi Tablets dating to about 500 BCE found near Caere in Etruria equates Astarte with Etruscan Uni-Astre that is Juno. At Carthage Astarte was worshipped along side the goddess Tanit

Astarte first appears in Ancient Egypt beginning with the reign of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt along with other deities who were worshipped by northwest Semitic people. She was especially worshipped in her aspect of a war goddess, often paired with the goddess Anat.

In the Contest Between Horus and Set, these two goddesses appear as daughters of Re and are given in marriage to the god Set, here identified with the Semitic name Hadad. Astarte was also identified with the goddess Sekhmet but seemingly more often conflated, at least in part, with Isis to judge from the many images found of Astarte suckling a small child. Indeed there is a statue of the 6th century BCE in the Cairo Museum, which would normally be taken as portraying Isis with her child Horus on her knee and which in every detail of iconography follows normal Egyptian conventions but the dedicatory inscription reads: "Gersaphon, son of Azor, son of Slrt, man of Lydda, for his Lady, for Astarte."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astarte

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