Anat was one of the chief deities of the Canaanites, a people of Syria and Palestine in the ancient Near East. A goddess of love, fertility, and war, she was the sister and wife of the god Baal*. Although best known as a warrior goddess, Anat was also worshiped as the queen of heaven and as a mother goddess. In art, she often appears as a young woman wearing a helmet and armed with a shield, battle ax, and spear.

deity god or goddess

underworld land of the dead

Canaanite myths show Anat as a fierce and pitiless warrior who destroyed Baal's enemies. According to one tale, Baal was taken to the underworld and killed by Mot, the god of death. Furious, Anat descended to the underworld and killed Mot, ripped his body

* See Names and Places at the end of this volume for further information.

apart, and scattered the pieces over the earth. Her efforts restored Baal to life, and they emerged together from the underworld.

pharaoh ruler of ancient Egypt

Anat became a favorite goddess of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II because of her warlike nature and her role as a protector in battle. Various ancient cultures worshiped similar goddesses, including the Semitic Astarte, the Sumerian Inanna, and the Babylonian Ishtar. Anat's counterpart in Greek mythology was Athena*.

See also Athena ; Baal ; Ishtar .

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