AtoZ: A is for Ancient Snake-Dragon from the Ishtar Gate in Babylon

Marduk - Ishtar Gate

Welcome to the first day of the A to Z Challenge!

Today we have:


A is for Ancient Snake-Dragon

I thought I would start off my daily A to Z posts with a very ancient dragon image, the Snake-Dragon symbol of the god Marduk.  From the impressive archive of the Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses Project funded by the UK Higher Education Academy:

The animal that often represents Marduk is the mušḫuššu, the “snake-dragon,” which is frequently represented on the glazed brick reliefs from Babylon.

Marduk was the patron god of the city of Babylon, and his snake-dragon was one of the images decorating the famed Ishtar Gate, along with lions for Ishtar and bulls for Adad.  From the super in-depth website Ancient History Encyclopedia, a non-profit in the U.K.:

The Ishtar Gate was constructed by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II circa 575 BCE. It was the eighth gate of the city of Babylon (in present day Iraq) and was the main entrance into the city. … The magnificence of the Ishtar Gate was so well known that it made the initial list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Ishtar Gate Model

In my historical fantasy novel, Finding Dragonsmy main characters will eventually travel from their remote hunter-gatherer society and find themselves in an ancient walled city not unlike ancient Babylon, complete with an impressive entrance gate modeled on this ancient wonder.

For another ancient dragon image, check out my February post, Ninurta Fighting a Seven-Headed Dragon (Ancient Mesopotamian Art).

Stay tuned for tomorrow and the second day of the Challenge, and thanks for reading!

Image credits:
Ancient Snake-Dragon
Model of the Ishtar Gate

Wow!  I just saw that this is my exact 100th blog post!
What a way to start the A to Z Challenge!  Only 25 more to go… 🙂


10 thoughts on “AtoZ: A is for Ancient Snake-Dragon from the Ishtar Gate in Babylon

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