The Mesopotamian Planetary Gods

The Mesopotamian Planetary Gods is a long series of posts about the Akkadian (Babylonian and Assyrian) planet gods. The first section gives a general introduction to these figures, and an idea of their translation into other cultural areas. The rest of the series is devoted to the surviving evidence which attests to the continuing relevance of these indigenous gods into periods of Abrahamic or Zoroastrian hegemony. There are also digressions on other religions of the region (i.e., modern Iraq and Southeastern Turkey), on the history of philosophy, and on 'Hermeticism'.

I intend to write about earlier phases of Mesopotamian religion, when civic paganism was largely intact, in a future series.

The Seven Planetary Gods

#1: Introduction to the Seven Gods

#2: The Variety of Receptions:
  • a: Syria
  • b: Canaan
  • c: Egypt
  • d: the Hellenistic world
  • f: India
  • g: Persia
Southern Mesopotamia

#3: New Religions of Southern Mesopotamia:
  • a: From Elchasai to Mandaeism
  • b: Mandaean Polemics
#4: Late-Antique Pagan and “Mandaean” Magic:
  • a: first part
  • b: second part
  • +future posts on unpublished texts, etc.
Northern Mesopotamia
and the Baghdad Ḥarrānians

#5: Religious communities in Northern Mesopotamia:
#6: Hermes in Mesopotamia: a chapter in the unhistory of "Hermeticism"

#7: Pagan Ḥarrān:
#7.5: Two Excerpts from the Prophecies of Bābā of Ḥarrān

#8: Thābit ibn Qurrah:
#9: Thābit's descendants

Central Mesopotamia / Ibn Waḥšīya
and Pseudo-Ibn Waḥšīya

#10: Ibn Waḥšīya’s Book on Poisons:
  • a: first part
  • b: a different view
  • +on unpublished passages (MSS: British Library, Oriental manuscripts ADD 23604; Leiden 726; British Museum MS 1357)
#10.5: Ibn Waḥšīya – miscellanea
#11: Ibn Waḥšīya’s Nabataean Agriculture:
  • a: planetary prayers cited in the Ghāyat al-ḥakīm 3.8
  • b: material cited in the Ghāyat al-ḥakīm 2.12 and 4.7
  • d: a Neoplatonic theory of the soul? On Mattila 2007
  • +material from Hämeen-Anttila's The Last Pagans of Iraq
  • +passages translated by Fahd and Chwolsohn
  • +untranslated passages 
#12: Ibn Waḥšīya’s Secrets of the celestial sphere (=Secrets of sun and moon?):
  • a: from the secondary literature
  • +on the text (MS Tehran, Majlis 6415)
#13: (Pseudo-)Ibn Waḥšīya, The book of Tankalūshā al-Qūqānī the Babylonian:
  • a: from the secondary literature
  • +on the text (MS Leiden 891/2, fols. 28-69)
#14: (Pseudo-)Ibn Waḥšīya, alchemical (and other?) works:
  • a: Pseudo-Ibn Waḥšīya's Kitāb Sidrat al-muntahā
  • +further books, see bottom of page (all or most unedited)
#15: (Pseudo-)Ibn Waḥšīya's The long-desired knowledge of occult alphabets

Other Ṣābian/pagan and
pseudo-pagan lore

#16: Planetary prayers integrated into the Ghāyat al-ḥakīm (aka Picatrix):
  • a: Abuelabec Altanarani (Al-Ṭabarī), Liber de locutione cum spiritibus planetarum ("book on conversing with the spirits of planets")
  • b: From the Kitāb asrār al-Ṣābiˀ ("book of the secrets of the Ṣābians"; Leiden ar. 1235 Schult ff. 38v sqq.)
  • c: From the Codex of the Pagans (ar. Muṣḥaf al-ḥunafāˀ)
  • d: From 'Hermes', Kitāb al-Ustūwaṭās
#17: Pseudo-Plato's Liber vaccae ("book of the cow")

#18: General Representations of Ṣābianism:
  • a: Al-Ḥārith ibn Sunbāṭ on Ṣābians
  • b: Al-Masˁūdī on Ṣābians
  • c: Shahrastānī's polemic against the Proponents of Spiritual Beings
  • d: Shahrastānī against planet veneration
  • e: Shahrastānī against statue veneration
  • f: Shahrastānī against the Kharbānīya

Further books, including those on alchemy, attributed to Ibn Waḥšīya, according to the numbers used by Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur:
  • 6. Kitāb al-Riyāsa fī ˁilm al-firāsa
  • 7. Maṭālīˁ al-anwār fī l-ḥikma
  • 8. Kanz al-ḥikma
  • 9. Kitāb al-uṣūl al-kabīr
  • 10.  Kitāb al-shawāhid fī l-ḥajar al-wāḥid
  • 11. Kitāb al-Ṭilasmāt ("book of talismans"; Bodleian, MS Hunt. 75)
  • 12. Kitāb Ṭābqānā ("the book Ṭabqana"; Ghāyat al-ḥakīm 2.2; fr. in Darby 1941)
  • +Kitāb al-Hayākil wat-tamāthīl [=10??]
  • +Kashf al-rumūs [?]

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