Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Notes About the God Rashap

Rashap is a powerful cthonic deity over forces of illness, warfare, protection, healing, and sometimes metalworking. Here are a few swift notes about him.

Rashap-Bibitta: Anatolian manifestation of Rashap from city of Bibitta
Rashap-Guni: Rashap of Syrian city Gunu
Rashap-Chagab: Manifestation of Rashap, "Chagab" uncertain
Rashap-Idrippi: Manifestation of Rashap, "Idrippi" uncertain
Rashap-Mahbani: Manifestation of Rashap, "Mahbani" uncertain
Rashap-Malki: Somehow royal manifestation of Rashap
Rashap-Tzaba'i: Rashap of the Army/Multitudes
Rashap-Shulman: second part uncertain, Egyptian phrase possibly noting him as a foreigner
Rashap, Rashpu, Reshef, Resheph are all variations of his name.
Often called a "prince" in Ugaritic literature: Zabulu Rashap
Variations of his name include Rashap, Rashpu, Rushpan, Reshep, Reshef, and Resheph
The most primitive form of name of Reshep may be Rashpu and associated with the Semitic word root R-Sh-P = "to burn"

Favored Weapons:
Bow and arrows are his favorite weapons. Often the arrows are laden with illness.
Mace, shield, apple mace, spear, mace axe, fenestrated axe, knives

Epithets and Stock Descriptions:
Giver of Life, Health, and Strength
Lord of Sky (but not a "sky god")
Giver of Good Life
Protection of Life is Around Him

Colors of black and red
Egyptian ankh

Ancient Temple:
An "obelisk" temple dated to the Middle Bronze Age in Byblos: the courtyard is filled with votive obelisks.

Animal Associations:
Gazelles -- More from martial and liminal characteristics than fertility, but fertility nominally included
Lions -- An Ugaritic votive lion's head drinking vessel circa 1200 BCE is inscribed with: "Lion's head (literally 'face') that Nuranu offered to Rashap-Guni."
Slain Serpents, Slain Dragons
And he sometimes appears himself as having wings
Horse and horsemanship, horses in connection to chariots.

Deity Associations and Hybridizations:
Sometimes connected with Nergal
Often connected with Mars
Often connected with Apollo as the giver of illness
Sometimes connected with Montu

Offerings in Ugarit:
His favored offerings include shalamu (peace offerings) of a ram around a full moon.
A shurpu (burnt offering) of a ram and a plated bowl into a sacrificial pit around the time of Jan-Feb.
A bull and a ram in honor of Rashap-Malki
A shurpu (burnt offering) of a ram and a neck near full moon around Feb-March
Some sort of offering in the lunar month that houses the vernal equinox (in the Northern Hemisphere)
A shurpu (burnt offering) of a neck and a ram for Rashap-Mahbani in lunar month of vernal equinox
He can receive offerings during the day or the night.
He is on the record as preferring more burnt offerings than other deities.

Ancient Prayers:
"Reshep, the great god, lord of eternity, soverign everlasting, mighty master, amidst the divine ennead."
"Praise to Rashap: I kiss the ground of his soul. I give praise before his glorious face so that I may gain his boon. You heal my limbs and you open my eyes in the sight of your face."
"Giving praise to Reshep, kissing the ground to his ka. It is to his beautiful face that I give praise, so that I may propitate his goodness. You heal my arms and open my eyes with the sight of your face. For the ka of the scribe Peqrer."
"Thou shalt not take thy stand in his hindquarters, Hathor is against thee, lady of the hindquarters. Thou shalt not take thy stand in his phallus, Horus is against thee, lord of the phallus. Thou shalt not take up thy stand in his 'st, Reshep is against thee, lord of the 'st" ('st unknown term perhaps referring to male genitalia.)Chester Beatty Papyrus VIII Vs. 4:9, Time of Rameses II
"Giving homage to Reshep, the great god, that he may give life, prosperity, and health to the ka of his servant in the Theban necropolis, P'-shd."

Miscellaneous Notes:

Walls in The Goddess Anat in Ugaritic Myth notes that text KTU 1.82 1-3 "while broken, reads that Baal battles and defeats the Dragon with the aid of Resheph the archer."

In biblical Old Testament passages, Rashap represented as flame, spark, like "love" (i.e. passion), as a cosmic force, cosmic winds, and lightning. "On the whole, all of the Old Testament passages seem to suggest that Reshep represents some more-or-less uncontrolled cosmic force, typically as a bringer of plague and sudden death, or at least a seizure beyond control."  Fulco, The Canaanite God Reshep, p. 61.

Ugaritic text RS 12.061, Astrological report: Rashap (Mars) is seen as being Shapshu's (sun's) gatekeeper for six days o a new moon festival.

As Rashap-Chagrab, he is part of some contemplation ritual (a pahayu), perhaps involving scrying or an oracular rite.

Today is:
3 Magmaru, Shanatu 86
It is the third day of the lunar month of Magmaru. Magmaru is the second month of the year. It has been 86 years since the rediscovery of the Middle to Late Bronze Age Canaanite city-state of Ugarit from where we gain much of our primary texts.

Image Notes:
Dance of Fire by Sar the Photographer. Used under CC-GNU.

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