Mesopotamian mythology

Step into the world of Mesopotamian mythology, where the dawn of civilization is woven into the fabric of divine tales and legendary exploits. This realm is the cradle of some of the earliest cultures, including the ingenious Sumerians, the mighty Akkadians, and the formidable Babylonians.

At the heart of Mesopotamian mythology lies a complex pantheon of gods and goddesses, whose stories are as diverse as the cultures that worshipped them. These deities ruled the heavens and the earth, guiding and influencing the destinies of their mortal subjects. The pantheon was divided in the greater gods (Annunaki, such as Anu, Enki, and Enlil) and lesser gods (Igigi, such as Anzu).

The mythology also glorifies semi-divine kings, who governed with wisdom and battled with superhuman strength. They conquered lands, invented languages, and pursued immortality. And yes, they slaid colossal mythical monsters throughout their reign.

The narratives of these gods and heroes are diverse, with each culture contributing its unique flavor and perspective. This has resulted in a fascinating, albeit sometimes confusing, puzzle of genealogies and names. The ancient clay tablets on which these myths and sagas were told only survived in fragments.

Despite these challenges, the allure of Mesopotamian mythology remains the same. Join us as we delve into this ancient world, uncovering the stories of gods and kings who continue to fascinate and inspire through the ages.

Annunaki gods (the royal family of gods, judges of mortals and immortals)

  • Anu (An) – The god of the sky and the supreme authority in the pantheon, father of the gods
  • Enki (Ea) – God of water, knowledge, mischief, crafts, and creation
  • Enlil – God of air, wind, and storms, and fate
  • Inanna (Ishtar) – Goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, and political power
  • Nanna (Sin) – God of the moon.
  • Ninhursag – Goddess of the earth, fertility, and childbirth.
  • Utu (Shamash) – God of the sun and justice.

Other gods (still quite fancy, but not Annunaki)

  • Adad (Ishkur) – God of storms and rain
  • Ashnan – Goddess of grain, associated with the abundance of the earth.
  • Enbilulu – God of rivers and canals
  • Enkimdu – God of farming and irrigation.
  • Enmesharra – An underworld god associated with the enforcement of divine laws and decrees.
  • Ereshkigal – Goddess of the underworld
  • Gula – Goddess of healing
  • Ki – Goddess of the Earth
  • Lahar – God of cattle, associated with pastoralism and the wealth derived from livestock.
  • Marduk – Originally a local god of Babylon, later rose to be the king of the gods
  • Nabu – God of wisdom and writing, often associated with Marduk
  • Nammu – the primordial mother goddess
  • Namtar – God of death and pestilence, a herald of Ereshkigal in the underworld.
  • Nanshe – Goddess of social justice, prophecy, fertility, and fishing.
  • Nergal – God of plague, war, and the underworld
  • Neti – Guardian of the underworld
  • Ninazu – God of the underworld and healing, associated with snakes.
  • Ningal – Goddess of reeds
  • Ningizzida – God of the underworld and vegetation, often depicted as a serpent with a human head.
  • Ninkasi – Goddess of beer and brewing
  • Ninlil – Goddess of wheat
  • Nisaba – Goddess of writing, learning, and the harvest.
  • Ninsun – Goddess of cows (and mother of Gilgamesh)
  • Ninurta – God of agriculture and war
  • Pabilsag – A protective deity, often depicted as a centaur-like figure.
  • Shara – Minor god of war and a servant of Inanna, often involved in rituals of divine kingship.
  • Sumugan – God of the plains and rivers, overseeing the fertile aspects of the earth.
  • Tiamat – Goddess of the salt sea (primordial being)
  • Uttu – Goddess of weaving
  • Zababa – God of war and the guardian deity of the city of Kish


  • Adapa – First man to walk the earth
  • Atrahasis – he protagonist of an ancient Mesopotamian epic that details the gods’ decision to send a flood to reduce human overpopulation, and his role in preserving life on Earth
  • Dumuzid (Tammuz) – A shepherd and consort to Inanna, later ascends to godhood.
  • Enkidu – Slayer of Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven
  • Enmerkar – King and builder of Uruk
  • Ensuhgirana – King of Aratta
  • Etana – King of Kish
  • Gilgamesh – Slayer of Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven
  • Lugalbanda – Second king of Uruk and father of Gilgamesh
  • Meskiaggasher – Founder of the first dynasty of Uruk
  • Ninshubur – Sukkal of Inanna
  • Shamhat – Temple priestess (actually a prostitute)
  • Utnapishtim – Sumerian flood hero (actually should not be in this list for the avid reader)


  • Akhkhazu – demon known for grabbing and holding its victims down, causing them to develop fevers and plagues
  • Anzu – demon bird
  • Asag – demon that causes sickness, led an army of rock demons against the hero god Ninurta.
  • Galla – greater demons of the underworld
  • Gugalanna – the Bull of Heaven, sent by Anu to punish Gilgamesh and Enkidu.
  • Humbaba (Huwawa) – guardian of the Cedar Forest.
  • Lamashtu – demon who menaces women during childbirth and kidnaps infants while breastfeeding.
  • Lilu – demon associated with night, who haunts desolate places and preys on sexual energy. 
  • Lilitu – female demon associated with wind and bearer of disease, illness, and death
  • Mukil res lemutti – demon who causes benign headaches and wild swings in mood
  • Mušḫuššu – dragon, late known as servant of Marduk.
  • Namtar – disease demon, especially strongly associated with headaches and heart pain
  • Pazuzu – demon, ironically used for protection against other evil spirits and forces.
  • Rabisu – evil demon that lurks at doorways and corners to attack people
  • Scorpion men – guardians of the sun god Utu, depicted with the body of a scorpion and the torso of a human
  • Sebettu – group of demons known for their connection to storms
  • Ugallu – The “Big Weather-Beast,” a demon depicted as a lion-headed monster
  • Urmahlullu – a protective spirit, combining the features of a lion and a human.
  • Utukku – A type of demon that could be either benevolent or malevolent, associated with the dead who did not rest peacefully


  • Abzu – Primordial sea
  • Aratta – a rival city of Uruk
  • Eridu – Important city in Mesopotamian history, home to the temple of Enki
  • Kish – Important city in Mesopotamian history, home to Etana and Lugalbanda
  • Kur – The Mesopotamian underworld
  • Nippur – Important city in Mesopotamian history, home to the temple of Enlil
  • Uruk – Important city in Mesopotamian history, home to Gilgamesh