Astarte

Astarte

(Α᾿στάρτη), the Greek form of the Heb. ASHTORETH or ASHERAH SEE ASHERAH (q.v.), Gracized also Astroarche (Α᾿στροάρχη, Herodian, v, 6, 10), the chief Syrian deity (Lucian, De dea Syr. 4), being the goddess of the Sidonians (1Ki 11:5,33), also introduced (from the Tyrians, see Josephus, Apion, i, 18) among the Philistines (1Sa 31:10), and worshipped by the apostate Israelites (2Ki 23:4; Mic 5:13). She was likewise adored by the Phoenician colony at Carthage (Augustine, Qucest. in Jud. xvi; comp. Creuzer, Symbol. ii, 270 sq.), among whom her name appears as a component of common appellations of individuals (Gesenius, in the Hall. Encycl. 21:98: comp. Abdastartus [i.e. "servant of Astarte"], in Josephus, Apion, i, 18). She was also worshipped in Phrygia and at Hierapolis (Creuzer, Symbol. ii, 61). She is usually named in connection with Baal (Jg 2:13;. 3:7; 10:6; 1Sa 7:4; 1Sa 12:10; 1Ki 18:19; 2Ki 23:24, etc.), and corresponds to the female (generative) principle, otherwise called Baaltis (Βααλτίς, worshipped especially at Bylus, see Philo, in Euseb. Praep. Evang. i, 10), the chief goddess of the Phoenicians and Syrians ("Astarte the Great," Sanchoniath. Frag. ed. Orelli, p. 34), and probably the same with the "queen of heaven" (Jer 7:18; Jer 44:17; comp. 2Ki 23:4). Many (Creuzer, Symbol. ii, 65 sq.) identify her with Atergatis (q.v.) or Derceto (comp. Herod. i, 105); but this latter, as a fish-goddess, hardly agrees with the description of Ashtoreth (q.v.) by Sanchoniathon (Frag. ed. Orelli, p. 34; and in Euseb. Prep. Ev. i, 10), nor does Astarte appear in this form on coins (see Montfaucon, Antiq. expliq. II, ii, 386; Eckhel, Doctr. Numor. I, iii, 369 sq., comp. 372; Gesenius, in the Hall. Encycl. xxi, 99). The Greeks and Romans, according to their usual method in treating foreign divinities, compare her to Venus, i.e. Urania (comp. Cic. Nat. Deor. iii, 23; Euseb. Prep. Ev. i, i0; Theodoret, iii, 50; Nonni Dionys. iii, 110); sometimes with Juno (Augustine, Quaest. in Jud. xvi; comp. Creuzer, Symbol. ii, 270); and sometimes with Luna (Lucian, De dea Syria, 4; comp. Herodian, v, 6, 10). She also appears as the Mylitta of the Babylonians (Herod. i, 131, 199), the Alytta of the Arabians and Armenians (of Anaitis, Strabo, 15:806), a general representation of the goddess of love and fruitfulness (Herod. i, 144; Baruch 6:43; Euseb. Vit. Constant. iii, 55; Val. Max. ii, 6, 15; comp. 2Ki 23:7; see Creuzer, Symbolik, ii, 23 sq.). Some also find traces of the name in the Persic and Syriac terms of the Sabian religious books (Nordberg, Onom. p. 20 sq.). Under the form Asherah (אֲשֵׁרָה) it appears to designate the goddess of good fortune (from אָשִׁר, to be happy). SEE MENII. (See generally Selden, Dz diis Syris, ii, 2; Gruber, in the Hall. Encycl. 4:135; Gesenius, Comment. z. Jesa. ii, 338; Thes. Heb. p. 1082 sq.; Hase, in the Biblioth. Brem. 8:707 sq.; also in Ugolini Thesaur. xxiii; Fourmont, Reflexions critiques sur les histoires des anciens peuples, ii, 301 sq.; Graff, Beitrige z. richtig. Beurth- ilung d. Hauptmonmente in d. alten Gesch. d. Assyrier, Babylonier, u. Meder, Wetzlar, 1828; Hug, Myth. p. 118 sq.; Movers, Phonizier, i; Miinter, Rel. d. Karthaeger; Stuhr, Relig. des Orients, p. 439; Vatke, Relig. d Alten Test. p. 372 sq.; Dupuis, Origine des Cultes, i, 181 sq.; iii, 471 sq.; Schwenk, Mythol. deri Semiten, p. 207; Van Dale, De oragine idolatries, p. 17 sq.)-Winer, i. 108. SEE ASHTORETH; SEE QUEEN OF HEAVEN.

 
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