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Mesopotamia / Religions /
Akkad / Empire
Akkadian religion

Detailed articleMesopotamian gods and goddesses

Religion relating to the ca. 110 years between ca. 2330 and ca. 2220 BCE, during which Akkad was the dominant region of Mesopotamia, by the Akkadian Empire.
The religion of Akkad is little described, usually falling into the general category of Sumerian religion. Frequently the term Sumero-Akkadian religion is used, in which the two systems are dealt with as one larger system.
Yet, Akkad's rise to power both allowed and necessitated the promotion of their gods and rituals at the cost of other local cults. The Sumerian triad of An, Enlil and Enki survived into Akkadian religion, although with change of names. An became Anu; Enlil became Bel; and Enki became Ea.
Other changes, involved Apsu to become associated with Tiamat, and from them came Anu and Ea.
A challenging triad also gained ground, the Astral Triad, and it seems in many cases to have replaced the Sumerian triad.
There was also great focus on the sun god, Shamash. Shamash would emerge as the most important god, and his cults were acted out all over the lands that Akkad controlled. Shamash defended justice and punished wrongdoers. Rays of light from Shamash shined over the king, who had his divinity attributed to him this way.
There were differences between Sumerian and Akkadian religion in rituals and hymns, as well as cosmology.

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By Tore Kjeilen