Thou Sun Goddess of Arinna

Thou Sun Goddess of Arinna

The Hittite Sun Goddess of Arinna

Hittite Goddess and Child 15-13 century BC in the Metropolitan Museum, New York

This is a prayer to:
“Arinniti – sun goddess, possibly another name for the sun goddess of the city of Arinna. In the late 14th century BC, King Mursili II was particularly devoted to Arinniti.[16]”

( Mine: Also known as ARINIDDU )
[16] Hans Gustav Güterbock, An Addition to the Prayer of Muršili to the Sungoddess and Its Implications, Anatolian Studies (1980).

Thou Sun Goddess of Arinna art an honored deity;
Thy name is held high among names;
Thy divinity is held high among the deities;
Nay, among the deities, Thou alone O Sun Goddess art honored;
Great art Thou alone O Sun Goddess of Arinna;
Nay compared to Thee no other deity is as honored or great …

Boghazköy, Turkey, Fifteenth Century BC

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“In the 13th century some explicit gestures toward syncretism appear in inscriptions. Puduhepa, queen and a priestess, worked on organizing and rationalizing her people’s religion.[11] In an inscription she invokes:

Sun-Goddes of Arinna, my lady, you are the queen of all lands! In the land of Hatti (1) you have assumed the name of Sun-Goddess of Arinna, but in respect to the land which you made of cedars,[12] you have assumed the name Hebat.[13]”

[12] Coastal Syria is intended.
[13] Quoted in Beckman 1985:99f.

A more complete version:
“Here, Queen Puduhepa beseeches the Sun Goddess of Arinna
…To the Sun Goddess of Arinna, my lady, the mistress of the Hatti lands, the queen of earth and heaven. O Sun Goddess of Arinna: but in the land which you made the Cedar land you bear the name Hepat. I, Puduhepa, am a servant of you from of old, a heifer from your stable, a foundation stone (upon which) you (can rest). You, my lady, reared me and Hattusili, your servant, to whom you espoused me, was closely associated with the Storm God of Nerik, your beloved son… The festivals of you, the gods, which they had stopped, the old festivals, the yearly ones and the monthly ones, they shall celebrate for you, the gods. Your festivals, O gods, my lords, shall never be stopped again! For all our days will we, your servant and your handmaid, worship you. This is what I, Puduhepa, your handmaid, lay in prayer before the Sun Goddess of Arinna, my lady, the lady of Hatti lands, the queen of heaven and earth. Sun Goddess of Arinna, my lady, yield to me, hearken to me! Among men there is a saying: ‘To a woman in travail the god yields her wish.’ Since I, Puduhepa, am a woman in travail and since I have devoted myself to your son, yield to me, Sun Goddess of Arinna, my lady! Grant to me what I ask! Grant life to Hattusili, your servant! Through the good women and the mother goddesses long and enduring years and days shall be given to him.”


My notes about Hatti in central Anatolia / Turkey

The Hattian Sun Disc at Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

The Hattian Sun Disc at Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

(1) “The Hattians were an ancient people who inhabited the land of Hatti in Asia Minor in the 3rd to 2nd millennia BC. They spoke a non-Indo-European language of uncertain affiliation called Hattic (now believed by some to be related to the Northwest Caucasian language group). They eventually merged with or were replaced by the Hittites

The Hattian deities (hatt. shape) are often honored with the title “king” (hatt. katte) and “Queen” (hatt. kattaḫ), which allows to determine the sex of a deity.

Estan kattaḫ (“Sun”,. Ištanu Hitt) is sun goddess and mother of the gods, which is especially close with her daughter Mezulla. Her nickname was Wurunšemu (“the mother country?”). The eagle is her messenger. The goddess was taken over by the Hittites as early sun goddess of Arinna and was then the supreme deity of the empire. The Hatti obviously knew no male sun god, in contrast to the Luwian Tiwats (ie. * deuat “deity”).

Mezulla is the daughter of the sun goddess and the weather god. Another name was Tappinu (“daughter”). Hittite sources mention also Zintuḫi (hatt. Zintu “grandson”) as the granddaughter of the sun goddess.”

Myths include:
The disappearance of the Sun God
The Sun God, The Cow, and the Fisherman

“the sun-goddess Furušemu or Wurunšemu (represented by a leopard).” )

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica

Alternate Title: Wurusemu

Arinnitti, Hattian Wurusemu, Hittite sun goddess, the principal deity and patron of the Hittite empire and monarchy. Her consort, the weather god Taru, was second to Arinnitti in importance, indicating that she probably originated in matriarchal times. Arinnitti’s precursor seems to have been a mother-goddess of Anatolia, symbolic of earth and fertility. Arinnitti’s attributes were righteous judgment, mercy, and royal authority. The powerful Hittite queen Puduhepa adopted Arinnitti as her protectress; the queen’s seal showed her in the goddess’ embrace.

The pantheon

The most widely worshiped deity of Hittite Anatolia was clearly the weather god, as befits a country dependent on rain for its fertility; and under the title “weather god of Hatti” he became the chief deity of the official pantheon, a great figure who bestowed kingship, brought victory in war, and probably represented the nation in its dealings with foreign powers. Thus the treaty with Egypt is said to be “for the purpose of making eternal the relations which the sun-god [of Egypt] and the weather-god [of Hatti] have established for the Land of Egypt and the Land of Hatti.” His name in Luwian, and probably also in Hittite, was Tarhun (Tarhund); in Hattian he was called Taru, and in Hurrian, Teshub. He is associated with the sacred bull and appears on monuments either attended by a pair of divine bulls or driving over mountains in a chariot drawn by bulls. In the cult itself Tarhun might even be represented by a bull.

As Tarhun’s spouse, the great goddess of the city of Arinna was exalted as patroness of the state. (Arinna has not been located, but it was situated somewhere in the heartland of the Hittite kingdom, within a day’s journey of the capital.) Her name in Hattian was Wurusemu, but the Hittites worshiped her under the epithet Arinnitti. She is always called a sun goddess, and sun disks appear as emblems in her cult, but there are indications that she may originally have had chthonic, or underworld, characteristics. As “sun goddess of the earth” she might be identified with Lelwani, the ruler of the netherworld. The king and queen were her high priest and priestess.

The weather god of another city, Nerik, was regarded as the son of this supreme pair, and they had daughters named Mezzulla and Hulla and a granddaughter, Zintuhi. Telipinu was another son of the weather god and had similar attributes. He was a central figure in the Hittite myths.

There was also a male sun god, distinct from the sun goddess of Arinna, a special form of whom was the “sun god in the water,” probably the sun as reflected in the waters of a lake. His name in Hittite was Istanu, borrowed from the Hattian Estan (Luwian Tiwat, Hurrian Shimegi). There was also a moon god (Hittite and Luwian Arma, Hurrian Kushukh), but he plays little part in the texts. In the iconography, the sun god was represented in the robes of the king, whose title was “My Sun”; the moon god was shown as a winged figure with a crescent on his helmet, sometimes standing on a lion. According to official theology there also existed a sun god or goddess of the underworld. In this place resided the Sun on its journey from west to east during the night.”


Cult Centre

“Arinna was the major cult center of the Hittite sun goddess, (thought to be Arinniti) known as dUTU URU Arinna “sun goddess of Arinna”. Arinna was located near Hattusa, the Hittite capital.[1]The name was also used as a substitute name for Arinniti.
The sun goddess of Arinna is the most important one of three important solar deities of the Hittite pantheon, besides UTU nepisas – “the sun of the sky” and UTU taknas – “the sun of the earth”.”

[1] Bryce, Trevor (2004). Life and Society in the Hittite World. pp. 142–143.

My notes about Hebat

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica
“Alternate Titles: Hepa, Hepat, Hepatu, Hipta

Hebat, also spelled Hepa or Hepatu, in the religions of Asia Minor, a Hurrian goddess, the consort of the weather god Teshub. She was called Queen of Heaven and was assimilated by the Hittites to their national goddess, the sun goddess of Arinna. Teshub and Hebat had cult centres at Kummanni (classical Comana Cappadociae) and at Aleppo (Ḥalab) and other cities in the region of the Taurus Mountains. Hebat is represented as a matronly figure either standing on a lion or seated on a throne. She survived during Hellenistic times as Hipta, a goddess of Lydia and Caria…”


Hebat was adopted from the Hurrian pantheon as the principle goddess of state religion in the Hittite Empire, though because of name changes her precise role is not always clear. She is described as the “great goddess.” In some texts she is also the “sun goddess of Arinna” (a religious center near Boghazkoy thus far lost to archaeology) but her relationship to the sun god, in one fragmentary text called kumarbi and described as the king of the gods, god of right and justice, is unclear. She is more intimately linked with the weather god Tesub, “king of heaven, lord of the land of Hatti” and god of battle who, according to the same legend, displaced Kumarbi as king of the gods.
Hebat is often drawn as a matronly figure, without weapons, but generally in company with a lion. In a famous procession of gods carved on rock faces at Yazilikaya, the leading goddess is called Hepatu.

Hebat is mentioned when cross ref Tesub and Arinna
(p 256-257), [B]TESUB “Tesub is the most important deity in Hittite state religion, although he may be subservient to the Sun God(dess) of Arinna. Principally a weather god, as benefits a mountainous region experiencing frequent storms and otherwise changeable climate. Also a god of battle and “king of heaven, lord of the land of Hatti.” His consort is generally identified as Hebat.”

and p 25 Arinna (sun goddess of)
“Solar deity, Hittite and Hurrian. May have taken androgynous form, but also identified as the consort of the weather god Tesub. Probably the head of the Hittite state pantheon. There is little detail because the religious center of Arinna is known only from texts. The sun goddess was also perceived to be a paramount chthonic or earth goddess. She becomes largely syncretized with the Hurrian goddess Hebat.”

Source (

And Hebat is cited in

p 104 “In myth and art alike it is apparent that Hittite religion was much affected by Hurrian influence; no Indo-European deities appear, as among the Mitanni and the Kassites. One of the great monuments, the rocky cleft two miles from Hattusas now called Yazilikaya, “Inscribed Rock,” is entirely Hurrian. On its walls great processions of gods and goddesses were carved. One procession was led by the Hurrian sun-goddess Hebat, whom the Hittites equated with their local sun-goddess of the holy city Arinna; the other was led by her husband, the Hurrian weather-god Teshub–a fit deity for a land of storms.”
source (

and another textbook shows the hieroglyphic form of ‘Hebat’
FORGOTTEN SCRIPTS Cyrus H. Gordon p. 99 ISBN 046502484X (
Hellenistic times but the goddess of Comana was then Ma, a warlike deity identified by the Greeks with Enyo and by the Romans with Bellona.

In the far east of Anatolia, the Hurrian nation formed around Lake Van a new kingdom, which rose to considerable power, from about 900 to 600 bc. With few exceptions, the cuneiform inscriptions of this kingdom of Urartu are historical and reveal nothing of its religion, except the names of deities. The national god was Haldi, and he is associated with a weather god, Tesheba, a sun goddess, Shiwini (compare Hurrian Teshub and Shimegi), and a goddess, Bagbartu (or Bagmashtu). Haldi is represented standing on a lion, Tesheba on a bull, Shiwini holding a winged sun disk above her head. The cult was practiced not only in temples (one of which is shown in detail on an Assyrian relief) but also in front of rock-hewn niches in the form of gates through which the deity was probably believed to manifest himself.