Taanith

The worship of a goddess, called Tanath or Tanith, by the later Phoenicians, is certain, since, besides the evidence furnished by the name Abd-Tanith, i.e. ’ servant of Tanith,’ 1 the name Tanith itself is dis tinctly read on a number of votive tablets brought from Carthage, in a connection which clearly implies her recognition, not only as a goddess, but as a great goddess, the principal object of Carthaginian worship. The form of the inscription on the tablets is, ordin arily, as follows : — 2 ’ To the great [goddess], Tanith, and To our lord and master Baal-Hammon. The offerer is * * * * * , Son of * , son of * * * * .’ Tanith is invariably placed before Baal, as though superior to him, and can be no other than the celes tial goddess (Dea coelestis), whose temple in the Eoman Carthage was so celebrated.3 The Greeks regarded her as equivalent to their Artemis ; 4 the Eomans made her Diana, or Juno, or Venus.5 Prac tically she must at Carthage have taken the place of Ashtoreth. Apuleius describes her as having a lunar character, like Ashtoreth, and calls her ’ the parent of all things, the mistress of the elements, the initial offspring of the ages, the highest of the deities, the queen of the Manes, the first of the celestials, the single representative of all the gods and goddesses, the one divinity whom all the world worships in many shapes, with varied rites, and under a multitude of names. ’ 6 He says that she was represented as riding upon a lion, and it is probably her form which appears upon some of the later coins of Cartilage, as well as upon a certain number of gems.1 The origin of the name is uncertain. Gesenius would connect it at once with the Egyptian Neith (Nit), and with the Syrian Ana’itis or Tanaitis ; 2 but the double identi fication is scarcely tenable, since Ana’itis was, in Egypt, not Neith, but Anta.:i The subject is very obscure, and requires further investigation.

Taanith

Judges GuyPRunkle