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A 1765 painting of Helios, the personification of the sun in Greek mythology. Wikimedia Commons

How ancient cultures explained eclipses

The sun was worshiped as a deity in many cultures – and witnessing it get extinguished could be a particularly terrifying event.
Ishtar (on right) comes to Sargon, who would later become one of the great kings of Mesopotamia. Edwin J. Prittie, The story of the greatest nations, 1913

Friday essay: the legend of Ishtar, first goddess of love and war

Love, it is said, is a battlefield, and it was no more so than for the first goddess of love and war, Ishtar. Her legend has influenced cultural archetypes from Aphrodite to Wonder Woman.

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