Jewish 'Gardens of Adonis/Osiris'

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billd89
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Jewish 'Gardens of Adonis/Osiris'

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Now I'm curious about the 'Living Water' deity, if this Sethian concept originates in the Sethrum.

Osiris/Adonis is the Living Water, and the Egyptian Cult of the Young God (Horus Kasios c.200 BC) was situated 25 km from Chaldaean Daphnae (Local God: Eshmoun, c.550 BC), where Eshmun = Adon, and Eshmun = Horus Kasios.

William R. Smith, Lectures on the Religion of the Semites [1907], p.177 references 'living waters' having a sanctity among N. Semitic peoples, and the general custom of throwing the Ἄδώνιδος κῆποι {figurines of Adonis} into springs (Zenobius 1.49: pots "are carried out together with the dead god and thrown into springs"), although we are only interested in Judeo-Egyptian Adonia: perhaps Isaiah17:10 and Ezekiel 8:17?
Image


And then I just saw this...

Andrew Strum's "Wheat, chicken and the expiation of sin, or vegetarian kapparot: the ancient origins of an obscure Egyptian Jewish high holy-day custom" in Eshkolot: Essays in Memory of Rabbi Ronald Lubofsky [2002]
https://www.hsje.org/Holidays/kippur/kaparot.htm

Until its virtual dispersal in the two decades following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Egyptian Jewish community could rightfully claim its place as one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of the Jewish communities in the Diaspora. There was a continuous Jewish presence in Egypt from at least the fifth century before the Common Era, and possibly earlier. The Bassatine cemetery on the outskirts of Cairo, in which the Jews of Cairo have been buried since before the second millennium of the Common Era, is the oldest continuous Jewish burial ground in the Diaspora. ...

In many Egyptian Jewish families, about a week to ten days before Rosh Hashana, grains of wheat (or, if not readily available, barley or lentils) are scattered on a piece of damp cotton wool in a small plate or shallow bowl which sprout in time for the New Year. Early in the New Year, usually after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, ten days later, the sprouts are discarded. I have not encountered reference to the practice of this custom in any other Jewish community other than that of or originating from Egypt. Whilst this custom is widespread amongst Egyptian Jews, surprisingly it is not referred to by Rabbis Israel-Cherezli, Hazan, Benshimon or Gaguine or in any other rabbinical works. Indeed, I have only found it referred to in writing, albeit briefly, by the late Egyptian Jewish historian Jacques Hassoun, in his article "Chroniques de la Vie Quotidienne" published by him, together with other articles, in Juifs du Nil (Editions Le Sycomore, Paris, 1981). Hassoun writes (at page 147):

One week before the New Year, children place cotton wool in shallow bowls and plant wheat that will sprout just in time for the New Year.

One week after the New Year, the eve of Kippur arrives. Two or three days before that date, the Jews, even those who live in the better suburbs, place chickens in their bathrooms or on their terraces. A rooster for each male member of the family, a hen for each woman or female child of the family, will be sacrificed on the eve of the Day of Atonement. ...

In the first passage, Hassoun refers to the custom mentioned above, which is particular to Egyptian Jewry. ...

Further, is the custom of Jewish origins or was it borrowed by the Jews of Egypt from their neighbours? Other religious communities in Egypt, including the Christian Copts (allegedly descended from the ancient Egyptians), practised a similar custom at certain of their festivals. In the Christian communities of the Middle East generally, and indeed in some Christian communities along the Mediterranean shores including as far west as Provence, in the south of France, wheat was germinated on Saint Barbara’s Day on 4 December. Saint Barbara was a third century Christian martyr who was allegedly killed by her father, Dioscorus, for espousing Christianity. According to some traditions, she was martyred at Nicomedia (Izmit) in Turkey whilst, interestingly for present purposes, other traditions place her martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Egypt! It is also interesting to note that the ancient Coptic church of Saint Barbara in Fustat (Old Cairo), which dates back to the late seventh century, adjoins the famous Ben Ezra synagogue, known in earlier times as Keniset el-Shamiyin or Keniset Yerushalmiyin as it had been originally the synagogue of the Palestinian Jews.

The ancient Egyptians engaged in a similar practice in connection with Osiris, who was, inter alia, their god of fertility and of rebirth and renewal of life. Osiris was believed by the ancient Egyptians to grant all life from the underworld, from sprouting vegetation to the annual flood of the Nile. The New Encycopedia Britannica states:

Osiris festivals symbolically reenacting the god’s fate were celebrated annually in various towns throughout Egypt. A central feature of the festivals was the construction of the 'Osiris garden', a mold in the shape of Osiris, filled with soil and various drugs. The mold was moistened with the water of the Nile and sown with grain. Later, the sprouting grain symbolized the vital strength of Osiris.

The Dictionnaire de la Civilisation Egyptienne (Fernand Hazan (ed.), Paris) states, in relation to the Osiris festivals, that many aspects thereof celebrated Osiris’ role as god of the land and its produce.

They took place at the beginning of the fourth month of the Egyptian year, when the annual flooding of the Nile began to recede and the submerged fields began to re-emerge, ready to be sown. Small figurines in the form of Osiris were fashioned of moist clay and filled with grains, which were placed on a base. After a few days, the grains sprouted and a small growth appeared, the outline of which was in the shape of the clay figurine in which they had germinated (literally "which had given birth to them"). … Thus, like its god, the soil of Egypt, after its annual death in the burning heat of summer, was reborn after the retreat of the floodwaters of the Nile, ready for a new growth of life. Do contemporary Egyptians, who still sow lentils on moist cotton wool to sprout for certain religious festivals, realise the ancient origins of this practice? ...

We may never know whether the Egyptian Jewish custom of sowing wheat before Rosh Hashana, to sprout in time for the New Year, originates from the similar custom in Talmudic times or was merely adopted by the Jews of Egypt from their non-Jewish Egyptian neighbours and originates in ancient Egyptian times. To paraphrase Nahmanides (above): is this custom really 'darkhei ha-Mitsriim', the ways of the Egyptians? Even if the latter be the case, the Jews of Egypt may have justified the adoption and practice of this custom at Rosh Hashana on the basis of its striking similarity with the custom practiced by their ancestors in Talmudic times. Further, it may be that the Jewish custom practised in Talmudic times (if not earlier) was adopted or somehow originated from the ancient Egyptian practice. Might there be some conceptual connection between the ancient Egyptian 'Osiris garden' and the Talmudic custom of kapparot with sprouts, making kapparot truly the 'idolatrous' practice referred to by Nahmanides but in a way not envisaged by him?

There is little doubt in my mind this Egyptian Jewish folklore is a syncretism and persistence of the Osirian Khoiak Festival. In the OT, Hosea 6:1 would be a related expression, likewise.



And, sounding suspicuously similar, GRS Mead cited Epiphanius (Adversus Hæreses 51, p.483, Dind.) on the annual birth of the Nabataean Semitic deity, Dusares, as celebrated in Alexandria (at Xmastime/New Year):
"How many other things in the past and present support and bear witness to this proposition, I mean the Resurrection birth of Christ! Indeed, the leaders of the idol-cults, filled with wiles to deceive the idol-worshippers who believe in them, in many places keep highest festival on this same night of Epiphany, so that they whose hopes are in error may not seek the truth. For instance, at Alexandria, in the Koreion[1] as it is called--an immense temple--that is to say, the Precinct of the Virgin; after they have kept all-night vigil with songs and music, chanting to their idol, when the vigil is over, at cockcrow, they descend with lights into an underground crypt, and carry up a wooden image lying naked on a litter, with the seal of a cross made in gold on its forehead, and on either hand two other similar seals, and on both knees two others, all five seals being similarly made in gold. And they carry round the image itself, circumambulating seven times the innermost temple, to the accompaniment of pipes, tabors and hymns, and with merry-making they carry it down again underground. And if they are asked the meaning of this mystery, they answer and say: 'To-day at this hour the Maiden (Kore), that is, the Virgin, gave birth to the Aeon.'


[1] That is the temple of Kore. This can hardly be the temple of Persephone, as Dindorf (iii. 729) suggests, but is rather the temple of Isis, who in one of the treatises of the Trismegistic literature I called the World-Maiden.

Dusares = 'The Alone-Begotten' (Monogenes) of the Lord. This Aeon is an Iteration of God. Aeon is also Eternity (Timelessness), but also Life, Vitality or Being, Generation, etc. Other Aeons are Sophia (Wisdom), Christos (Anointed One), Bythos (Abyss: βυθός), etc.

**Edit**: an important literary summary of the Alexandrian Adonia is by Prof. Jay Reed of Brown: LINK

Reed (2000):
Baines suggests that the phrase hwn nfr assimilates Osiris to "the young sun-god or demiurge"; in the hymn at Philae it rings against the military prowess of Osiris extolled there ("who performs slaughter among the disaffected of the two lands"), making him a stalwart young soldier.

John Clark, "R. T. Rundle Clark's Papers on the Iconography of Osiris" The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol.58 [1972], p.290:
One might suggest that Osiris' rebirth was being identified with the emergence of the young sun-god or demiurge typically as a boy, but extended research would be needed to provide solutions to such problems.

Reed (2000):
One last scrap: Parthenius' reference to "Adonis of Canopus" two centuries later suggests to Baudissin that a cult of Adonis was established at Canopus, if not from Alexandria in the Ptolemaic period, then earlier by the Phoenician colonists who settled there.117 But it was at Canopus, long the foremost site Sarapis worship, that that god was most closely identified with Osiris in his funereal aspect [...]. An Adonis cult here could have resulted from such syncretism as we are investigating. 118 Or perhaps there was never an Adonis cult per se at Canopus, but the learned Parthenius, seeking a novel epithet, took advantage of a tradition of an Osirian Adonis.

117 Parth. SH 654, Baudissin 198 (cf. Glotz 173 n. 3). For Phoenicians at Canopus Hdt. 2.113, with Lloyd. Fraser 1.584 sees Adonis in the "god of Canopus" to whom a lamp is dedicated in Call. AP 6.148; cf. Weber 279, Lightfoot 201.
118 Greve 29. Lightfoot 201-2 does not entertain the syncretism, believing it peculiar to Byblos.

Baudissin [1911], p.198:
At the time Byblos Adonis and Baalat began to be taken for Osiris and Isis respectively, so the cult of Osiris and Isis will already have existed in Phoenicia. Therefore when Osiris, fused with the Alexandrian Adonis, was brought from Egypt to Byblos he did not appear as a stranger there, even apart from this fusion. [...] However, we do have traces of the spread of the Osiris cult among the Phoenicians from a much later period.

The name of God Usiris/Usorus occurs variously in Phoenician personal names: "Servant of Osiris" at Umm-el-awamid (CIS. 9) and on Mount Carmel (Archives des missions scientifiques et litteraires, Series III, Vol. XI, p. 173 n. 26; but that does not seem to be in doubt here), cf. Αβδουσιρος in an inscription on Ma'ad in Phoenicia (Renan, ...

Abd' Osir {=Dionysios} definitively: "Servant of Osiris" = the Young God 'Dionysios'. 'Servant of Adon' would likewise render Abdadon = 'Abadon', the Hebrew "angel of the bottomless pit" (Greek Apollyon); Canaanites knew this Destroyer as Horon.

É. Puech, Revue biblique internationale [1989], Vol. 96, #3-4, p.589:
Here are some notes taken in passing: - 2 the transliteration “Abdhoron” supposes that the waw is mater lectionis, which seems strange in Phoenician in the 9th century. Maybe “Abdhawron”!

Adonis as an Angel (Eros) on a Greek Athenian acorn lekythos, Greek, c.375 BC. Terracotta, 22 × 7.5 cm. Found in the cemetery at Naukratis EGYPT. London, British Museum, 1888,0601.716.
red-figure decoration consisting of Eros with incense burner on ladder between women (Festival of Adonis); from left, woman standing ... in centre, ladder slanting up to right, with Eros standing on second rung, ... he holds out a thymiaterion (foot in outline with three raised knobs on bottom) ... at right, woman seated to left on raised ground, holding undetermined object (now effaced) in both hands...

Image

An archaeological discovery of recent decades supports the above.

Among the most beguiling of Thonis-Heracleion’s remains are the artefacts associated with the city at play. The annual celebration of the Mysteries of Osiris, marked all over ancient Egypt, involved the preparation – in the secrecy of the temples – of two figures of Osiris, god of the underworld and resurrection: one made of soil and barley, the other of expensive materials including ground-up semi-precious stones.

In Thonis-Heracleion, the former was placed in a granite tank and nurtured with Nile water until it germinated. It was then placed in a papyrus barge alongside 33 other vessels; the whole flotilla was illuminated by 365 oil lamps – one for each day of the year – and eventually sailed down to the nearby settlement of Canopus. As well as an 11-metre sycamore vessel that would have been used in this procession, archaeologists have unearthed several small lead replicas of the papyrus boats, thrown into the water as votive offerings by onlookers.

These finds offer a rare glimpse into the practice of ancient ritual, rather than just the liturgical representation of it. In Masson-Berghoff’s words, they provide a connection to the “materiality” of religion in Thonis-Heracleion.

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billd89
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Re: Jewish 'Adonia'

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Matthias Klinghardt's "The Ritual Dynamics of Inspiration: The Therapeutae’s Dance" (Springerlink)
Embedded in the description of the Therapeutae’s meal in his treatise On the Contemplative Life, Philo deals with their all-night festival (pannychis) every seventh week, which is the focus of his characterization of the Therapeutae. Although there is an ongoing debate over the question whether Philo is describing a real group or whether he is dreaming up a fictional ideal,1 there can be no doubt that his description is highly idealized: the group living at Lake Mareotis, which is in the vicinity of Alexandria, is the elite of all Therapeutae (22).2 Interestingly, Philo defines the religious identity of “these philosophers” (§ 2) with little mention of their beliefs or teachings: he only describes their ritual practice—putting it in contrast to the meals of others, thus drawing a “picture of thinkers without their thoughts.”3

This mysterious and Judaized pannychis is richly suggestive of Adonia, and Klinghardt is wrong to overemphasize the event as a "meal". (Of course, the Passover Seder also commemorates an Egyptian meal.) By contrast, the pannychis in Philo's DVC reads more like an elderly reunion event, a somewhat wistful relic of a by-gone era (in Philo's day!) But his reticence to elaborate suggests these particular 'Servants of God' had a controversial past which needed to be both defended and obscured at the same time. I suspect familiarity with the Adonia (Osiris cult practices, at nearby Taposiris) as a possible reason: Adon's Pathos.

On Jews and Adonia worship in brief, see Feldman [1996], p.539 and handy [1994], p.59. More significant in my mind, and not discussed elsewhere, is that Lake Mareotis/Marea had been the center of the renegade but Israel-aligned kingdom of Inarchus. And what god did Inarchus worship?

Inaros (II) c.460 BC, supposed son of Psammetichus IV (and pretending descent from Wahibre Psamtik I 664–610 BC, who had established garrisons of Judean/Israelitish troops in the vicinity of Lake Mareotis) was believed by Egyptologist Samuel Sharpe (1799–1881) to have been called 'Servant of Adon-Ra'. If true, this means that Adon worship (or more precisely: a synthesis of Egyptian and Semitic/Judaic theology) had been established near where Conybeare and Taylor (2003) believe the Therapeutae had their 'homeland'.

See S. Sharpe, The History of Egypt from the earliest times till the conquest by the Arabs, AD 640, Vol. 1 [1859],p.186:
INARUS, the son of Psammetichus, who had been reigning in the city of Maræa, not far from where Alexandria was afterwards built, raised the Libyans in rebellion against the Persians; and in a short time the greater part of Egypt joined him. His name is written in the hieroglyphics Adon-ra-bakan, meaning, The servant of Adon-Ra (see Fig. 192).

Henk Versnel, Inconsistencies in Greek and Roman Religion, Vol. 1 [1990] pp.103-5:
Adonis

The cult of the dying god Adonis 23 is already found fully developed in Sappho's circle 24 . Its West Semitic origin is generally acknowledged. Pace Kretschmer's denial, the name of the god clearly betrays its roots in the Semitic Adon 25. The cult was restricted to women, according to Detienne even to unmarried women, more particularly hetaerae26. The most conspicuous trait of the ceremonies was

23 Older literature in RML art. Adonis; GGR I, 727 n.3; Kleine Pauly I, 70 f. The most important recent studies: W. Atallah, Adonis do.ns Ia littirature etl'art grecs (Paris 1966); M.Detienne, Lesjardins d'Adonis: Ia mythologiedesaromo.lesen Grece(Paris 1972); B. Soyez, Byblos et laflte des Adonies (Leiden 1977); Burkert 1979, 105 ff.; S. Ribicchini, Adonis. Aspetti 'orientali' di un milo greco (Roma 1981 ); Adonis 1984; G. J. Baudy 1986. I have not seen H. Tuzet, Mort el resurrection d'Adonis. Etude de l'ivolution d'un mythe ( 1987). For the iconographical tradition see: L/MC I, 1 (1981) 222-9, with plates in I, 2, 160-70; E. Keuls, The Reign of the Phallus (New York 1985) 23-30.
24 Sappho 140; 168 LP; cf. Hes. Fr. 139 Merkelbach-West.
25 Contested by P. Kretschmer, Glotta 7 (1916) 29 ff. But cf. Fauth in: Kleine Pauly, I, 70 f. and 0. Loretz, Vom Baal-Epitheton ADN zu Adonis und Adonaj, UF 12 (1980) 287-92; idem, ADN come epiteto di Baal e i suoi rapporti con Adonis e Adonaj, in: Adonis 1984, 25-33.
26 O.c. (above n.23), who does not convince me. Cf. for instance Aristoph. Lys. 388ff.; Theocr. 15. See for crucial criticism: E. Will, Le rituel des Adonies, Syria 52 (1975)93-105, and G. Piccaluga, Adonis e I profumi di un certo strutturalismo, Maia 26 (1974)33-51. For later times we have evidence of male contributions to Adonian ritual: IG IJ2,1261, II. 9 f. (Piraeus 302 BC.) praises a certain Stephanos for "having well organised the procession of the Adonia according to ancestral custom'' and an inscription from Peraia (F. Durbach-G. Radet, Inscriptions de Ia Peree rhodienne, BCH 10 [ 1886) no 6) mentions a thiasos of male Adoniastai (Ko1vov t&v tpaV\atiiv t&v [auv]a&.lVIa~6vnov), who honour a benefactor with the privilege of wearing a wreath KaO' fKaata 'Aoci>V\a


the mourning for the dead god performed by women on the flat roofs of their houses 27 . The death of the god was ritually represented by the 'gardens of Adonis': sherds with rapidly sprouting and withering herbs28. Incense and perfumes play their specifically feminine roles. Descriptions by Aristophanes and Menander show striking correspondences: they make mention of tumult, wild dances, ecstasy, and all this during nocturnal festivals (pannuchiai) 29 with the predictable result that innocent girls become pregnant in (not from) the commotion. This appears to be a fixed motif: "After-party celebrations as an occasion for Βιασμοί Παρθενών enjoy about the same originality value as a forest lake swim in a trivial film." 30. Concerning a 'resurrection' of the god nothing is known. Both myth and ritual focus on the mournful aspects of his decease 31. The Adonia never lost their character of a private celebration. The god had no temples and was never admitted to the official cult of the city 32

27 Aristoph. Lys. 388 ff. provides a lively picture. See: N. Weill, Adoniazousai ou les femmes sur le toit, BCH 90 (1966) 664-98; cf. BCH 94 (1970) 591-3. Iconographic data: LIMC I, 2, 160-70, especially plates 45-49. Ch. M. Edwards, Aphrodite on the Ladder, Hesperia 53 (1984) 59-72, identifies Aphrodite as the consort of Adonis standing on a ladder. More archaeological information in: B. Servais Soyez, Musique et Adonies. Apport archeologique a Ia connaissance du rituel Adonidien, in: Adonis 1984, 61-72, who interprets the ladder as an "embleme de salut" (?).
28 V. A. Estevez, 'A7tc.i>A.sto KaA.oc; • A&>V\c;: A description of Bion's Refrain, Maia 33 (1981) 35-42. Burkert 1979, 107: "The 'garden' ritual is to be understood as play-acting the failure of planting in order to ensure by contrast the success in reality". G. J. Baudy 1986 suggests a different origin, viz. in the wide-spread agricultural custom of testing various kinds of seeds, in order to find out which will yield the best results-in my view decidedly the most convincing solution. On the 'prehistory' of the gardens of Adonis see: M. Delcor, Le probleme des jardins d 'Adonis dans lsaie 17, 9-11 a Ia lumiere de Ia civilisation syro-phenicienne, Syria 55 (1978) 370-94. B. Servais Soyez, o.c (preceding note) 68 ff., denies the existence of these gardens in the Near East. All this does not imply, of course, that the same meaning should be attached to the Greek urban ceremonies, where the women must have associated the withering herbs with the wailing for Adonis. For the archaeological evidence see besides the literature mentioned (above nn. 23 and 27): A. Neppi Modena, ADONIA e ADONIDOS KEPOI nelle raffigurazioni vascolari attiche, RPAA 27 (1953) 177-87. On the survival of the Adonis garden: W. Baumgartner, Das Nachleben der Adonisgarten auf Sardinien und im iibrigen Mittelmeergebiet, Schweiz. Arch. Vollcsk.43 ~1946) 122-48 = idem, Zum Allen Testament (Leiden 1959) 247-81. 2 Menander Samia 43 ff.: t7ti to ttyoc; Klj7touc; yap civtq>ep6v 'tlvac;, (ci>pxo]iivt', t7tavv6x- t~ov taKt:Oaa11tvat. Comparable elements in Aristoph. Lys. 387-398.
30 H.-D. Blume, Menarulers 'Samia'. Eine Interpretation (Darmstadt 1974) 16 n.31, with the evidence. Cf. also the evidence and literature in: W. S. Ferguson, Hellenistic Athens (London 1969 = 1911) 78 f. Add the revealing passage of Artemidor. 3, 61: "Night vigils, nightly festivals, and banquets at which one stays awake the whole night are auspicious in regard to marriages and partnerships (…). The dream indicates, moreover, that adulterers and adulteresses will be found out but that they will not be punished in any way, since the activities at night festivals are known to all those who participate and, even if they are licentious, they are, in a certain sense, permitted". The theme of the pannuchis prenancy occurs e.g. also in Eur. Ion.
3 This had already been argued by P. Lambrechts, Over Griekse en oosterse mysteriegodsdiensten; de zgn. Adonis mysteries, Med. Kon. Vlaamse Ak. Wet. Kl. Lett. 16, 1 (1954); idem, La 'resurrection' d'Adonis, AIPhO 13 (1955) 205-40, whose sceptical views views found more recognition recently. Cf. U. Bianchi, Adonis. Attualita di una interpretazione 'religionsgeschichtlich', and P. Xella, Adonis oggi. Un bilanco critico, both in: Adonis 1984; S. Ribichini, Salvezza ed escatologia nella vicenda di Adonis? in: U. Bianchi and M. J. Vermaseren 1982, 633-4 7. In the Epitaphios of Adonis by Bion of Smyrna (latest edition: M. Fantuzzi [Liverpool1985]) of the 1st century BC, there is not the slightest allusion to a possible resurrection of the god. On the contrary, Kci>pa ot V\V ouK cinoA.u&t ("Persephone will not let him go", I. 96). On the new scepsis concerning the resurrection of 'mystery' gods in general see: Inconsistencies II ch. I. N. Robertson, The Ritual Background of the Dying God in Cyprus and Syro-Palestine, HThR 75 (1982) 313-59, develops a particularly intricate interpretation of the death of the god, which I am not always able to follow.
32 Cf. Schol. Aristoph. Lys. 388-9.

Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. 9 [1917], p.891:
22. Adon, 'master,' is used in Hebrew and Phoenician for the owner of a slave. It describes the god as a proprietor of a person, just as baal describes him as a proprietor of a place. In the dedicatory inscriptions and in the personal names the term is applied to nearly every god and goddess of the pantheon. This shows that, like the foregoing terms, it is not an individual name, but a title. Every town could have its adon as well as its el or its ba'al (see ERE iii. 179, § 8).

The most famous of the Adonim was the Adon of Gebal, the consort of 'Ashtart, the ba'alat of Gebal, whose cult was transplanted to Paphos in Cyprus along with that of the Gebalite 'Ashtart. For the Greeks his title became a true proper name, Adonis. The real name of this 'lord' is uncertain. Several of the classical writers identify him with the Bab. Tammuz— e.g., Jerome, Ep. lviii. 3, and Comment. on Ezk 814; Cyril of Alexandria, Comment. on Hos 415; Melito, in W. Cureton, Spicilegium Syriacum, London, 1855, p. 44. This view is favoured by the facts that Ezk 814 speaks of women weeping for Tammuz' in the Temple in Jerusalem, and that Is 1710 speaks of planting shoots of the Pleasant One [a title of the Adon of Gebal], and stocking [gardens] with scions for a foreign god' (a rite of Adon-worship). These passages seem to identify it is late. The Adon of Gebal may easily have been identified Tammuz and Adon. The difficulty with this evidence is that with Tammuz in the Assyrian or the Neo-Babylonian period, although his Canaanite name may have been different; or he may have had no name at all. Tammuz has not yet been found in the early Canaanite period. Adonis was also identified with Osiris (Plutarch, de Is. et Osir. 15; Lucian, de Dea Syria, 7; Apollodorus, ii. 1. 3); but this does not prove that Osiris was his original name, since Osiris appears as a distinct deity in the Phoenician pantheon. Philo mentions neither Adon nor Tam which was evidently another title of Adonis.

In character Adonis was a personification of the spring verdure that withered in the dry heat of summer. He was the Canaanite variant of a deity that, under the names of Dumuzi among the Sumerians, Tammuz among the Babylonians and Assyrians, Ate, or Attis, among the Syrians and peoples of Asia Minor, and Osiris among the Egyptians, was worshipped from the earliest times. His death occurred in the month of Tammuz (June-July), and his resurrection in December January, when vegetation once more flourished after the early winter rains. According to the Babylonian myth, he was the child (later the husband) of Ishtar; and, when he died, she descended to Sheol to bring him up (see ERE vii. 430, §§ 2, 4, and art. TAMMUZ). In the Phoenician version of the myth, as preserved by Greek writers, Adonis was a beautiful boy who was loved by Aphrodite ('Ashtart). In order to keep him for herself, Aphrodite placed him in a chest and gave him into the keeping of Proserpine (= Allatu, the Babylonian goddess of Sheol). Proserpine fell in love with the child and refused to surrender him. Zeus thereupon decreed that Adonis should stay half of the year with Proserpine in the under world and half of the year with Aphrodite in the upper world. According to the local Gebalite form of the myth, Adonis was slain annually by a wild boar while he was hunting at Apheca (the modern Afka) in Mt. Lebanon, and the discoloration of the waters of the Adonis river (Nahr Ibrahim) was due to his blood (see Philo Byblius, 36b; Lucian, de Dea Syria, 6f.; Apollodorus, iii. 14. 4; Bion, Idyl. 'i.; Ovid, Metam. x. 503 ff.). A rock relief representing the death of Adonis still exists at Ghineh in the valley of the Adonis river (Renan, pl. xxxvi.; A. Jeremias, Das AT im Lichte des alten Orients, Leipzig, 1906, p. 90).

The cult of Adonis consisted in bewailing his death round a bier on which was placed an image of the dead god, which was then deposited in a tomb, and remained there until, six months rite was the planting of Adonis gardens. These were pots, or baskets, filled with shallow earth, in which the seeds of quickly. growing plants were sown and tended by the women for eight days. The plants were allowed to wither at the time of the death of Adonis, and were carried out along with small images of the god and cast into the water. This custom seems to be referred to in Is 1710. It is a witness to the primitive character of Adonis as a vegetation-god (on Adonis see GB3, pt. iv., Adonis, Attis, Osiris, London, 1907; W. W. Baudissin, Adonis und Esmun, with copious bibliography).

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