Zu, also known as Anzu and Imdugud, in Persian and Sumerian, (from
An "heaven" and Zu "far", in the Sumerian language) is a lesser divinity of Akkadian mythology, and the son of the bird
goddess Siris. He is
also said to be conceived by the pure waters of the Apsu-gods and the wide
Earth. Both Zu and Siris
are seen as massive birds who can breathe fire and water, although Zu is
alternately seen as a lion-headed eagle. The Anzu was a servant of the chief sky god Enlil, guard of the throne in Enlil's sanctuary,
(possibly previously a symbol of Anu), from
whom Anzu stole the Tablet of Destinies, so hoping to determine
the fate of all things. In one version of the legend, the gods sent Lugalbanda to retrieve the tablets,
who in turn, killed Anzu. In another, Ea and Belet-Ili conceived Ninurta for the purpose of retrieving the
tablets. In a third legend, found in The
Hymn of Ashurbanipal, Marduk is
said to have killed Anzu.
In Sumero-Akkadian mythology, Zu is a divine storm-bird and the
personification of the southern wind and the thunder clouds. This demon, half
man and half bird, stole the "Tablets of Destiny" from Enlil and hid them on a
mountaintop. Anu ordered the other gods to retrieve the tablets, even though
they all feared the demon. According to one text, Marduk killed the bird, but in
another text it died through the arrows of the god Ninurta. The bird is also
referred to as Imdugud or Anzu.
A Babylonian deity associated with cosmogony, represented as stripping the father of the
gods of umsimi, usually translated "crown" but, as it was on the seat of Bel it
was actually the "ideal creative organ." "Ham is the Chaldean Zu, and both are
cursed for the same allegorically described crime," which parallels the
mutilation of Uranos by Kronos and of Set by Horus.
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