Utu is the Mesopotamian sun god. He is the son of Ningal and an unknown father (either Anu, Enlil or Nanna). He is the twin brother of Inanna.

Utu, also known as Shamash in Akkadian, is a significant deity in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, revered as the god of the sun, justice, and the underworld. His role spans various aspects of life and the cosmos, making him one of the central figures in the Mesopotamian pantheon.

Utu is depicted as the radiant sun god who traverses the sky each day, illuminating the world and ensuring the continuation of life. His journey across the heavens symbolizes the cycle of day and night and the eternal struggle between order and chaos.

As a god of justice, Utu is portrayed as a fair and impartial judge who sees through deceit and administers justice to gods and humans alike. His association with the underworld also highlights his role as a judge of the dead, maintaining moral order in both the living world and the afterlife

Myths in which he features

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh: he aids Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu in their quest to defeat the monster Humbaba.
  • Inanna’s descent into the Underworld: In this myth, Utu shows his protective side by helping his sister Inanna escape from the underworld. When Inanna’s husband, Dumuzid, is targeted by demons, Utu transforms him into a snake, allowing him to evade capture.
  • Enki and the World Order: In this myth, the god Enki assigns Utu the role of overseeing the entire universe, highlighting his importance in maintaining cosmic order.

Modern appearances