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Hea [1]

One of the most important of all the Assyrian gods, as he combines in his numerous titles the attributes of several classic deities. His Accadian name was En-ki, or the "Lord of the World" (earth), and his Assyrian name read phonetically Ea or Hea. He unites in his offices the attributes of Pluto (Hades), of Poseidon (Neptune), and of Hermes (Wisdom). Hea, as the representative of the Greek Poseidon, was "Lord of the Abyss," sar abzu, and was spoken of as Hea "who dwells in the great deep." In a list of his titles he is called "Lord of the Madndu or Sailors," and it was Hea who taught Hasis Arda how to build the ark or ship (elapu) in which he sailed over the flood. In this character of the god of water and ocean he was associated with a female deity, Bahu, the "Void," who may be identified with the bohu of  Genesis 1:2. Hea held dominion over a large number of spirits who dwelt in the Abzu, or the deep. In the character of the Greek Pluto, or lord of Hades, Hea himself seldom figured, but his consort, Nin- ki-gal, the "Lady of the Great Land," appears very frequently. Hea, as lord of Hades, had the name of Nin-a-zu, and his wife was called Nin-ki-gal. But it was in the character of the god of wisdom, the "god who knows all things," that He figured most prominently, Nin-ni-mi-ki, "Lord of Wisdom," or, as the Accadian expressed it, the "Lord of the Bright Eye." It was He alone who could deliver man from the various spells and curses with which the complicated system of Chaldeean magic beset him. He also delivered Ishtar from the power of Nin-ki-gal, in the legend of her descent into Hades. Hea had for his female consort, in his character of "Lord of Wisdom," the goddess Dav-kina, the female deification of the earth, who was probably only another form of Nin-ki-gal, and resembles the classic Persephone or Proserpine; though perhaps Nin-ki-gal and Dav-kina may be better identified with Persephone and Ceres (Demeter), the "Mother and Daughter" of the Greeks.