The Sumerian Pantheon were the collective gods of Mesopotamia, particularly in Sumeria and Babylon. Not much about their history is known since so few records of their existence exist, but some details survive in ancient hieroglyphics.
Unlike the Olympians, the Sumerian gods once lived on Earth as rulers and kings to their worshipers. According to ancient myths, they were descended from Tiamat, the great sea-goddess, who sired the gods of Sumeria. Anu, the sky-god, slew his father, Anshar, for control of Earth, and became ruler of the gods, but he was overthrown and driven from Earth by his son, Enlil, who was later in turn overthrown by Hadad. During the Babylonian Empire, Marduk, the god of wisdom, replaced Hadad. Over time, the Sumerian gods left rule of Earth to their mortal descendants, and the Sumerian gods departed Earth for Dilmun (Sumerian heaven). Enlil and Hadad, meanwhile, retreated to Allatum (the Sumerian underworld). It is not known how these events unfolded in the Xenaverse.
In the Xenaverse, the Sumerian Pantheon were the gods worshiped by the multiple tribes and empires of Mesopotamia, which included Sumeria, Babylonia, Assyria and Phoenicia. They were ruled over by Ra and held evil gods, such as Dahak, in check. They were also rendered immortal by the Sumerian Chalice of the Gods which provided the nectar that granted their immortality. However, one of Ra's mortal sons, Gilgamesh, became a secret follower of Dahak and betrayed Hercules to help Dahak fight the gods, who (in Gilgamesh's words) turned against the humans of Mesopotamia and caused destruction. With the destruction of the Chalice of the Gods to provide its nectar it, many of the Sumerian gods died out. (HTLJ "Faith").
One of the few examples of them to live on was the god, Dumuzi, the beloved of the goddess, Inanna, who became gatekeeper of the underworld and replaced the nectar of the chalice with the souls of the dead. He eventually came into a conflict with the Hercules, who bitterly searched for Iolaus's soul in the Sumerian Underworld. Dumuzi was later killed by souls trapped there, who escaped his body, resulting in a lack of sustainment (HTLJ "Descent").
Much like the Olympian gods, the Sumerian gods were worshiped in Mesopotamia and through Asia Minor, sometimes infringing on the lands of Ancient Greece, Egypt and India. The Sumerians praised and prayed to these gods and their temples often making offerings, sometimes with sacrifices of animals, despite some of the gods caring and helping little about them in return. The people believed the gods to be the bringers of all forms of matter and life whether they were suffering through hard ships or going through great times. The Sumerians were first to develop a written language, calendar and develop large cities. With the possible exception of the Egyptian gods, they are considered among the oldest gods in the universe.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
The Sumerian gods seem to possess many of the same superhuman Powers and Abilities of the Olympian gods, but at unknown levels. These powers include at least functional immortality, regeneration, flight, the ability to become invisible to the human eye, telekinesis, superhuman strength, stamina, heightened senses, speed and the ability to change their physical appearance and teleport from Earth to the heavens and reverse. They also have the ability to manipulate matter and the elements of nature on a level close to magic, as well as to tap into mystical energies for various spells and abilities.
The full limitations of the Sumerians gods are unrevealed. Just as the Norse Gods were limited to Apples of Immortality, they were limited to drinking from the chalice of the Gods to sustain their immortality and existence.
Behind the scenesEdit
- In reality, Ra is the head of the Egyptian pantheon. Anu was the official king of heaven to the Sumerians, but Enki and Enlil were sometimes considered more important.
- In Sumerian myth, the Sumerian gods were known as the Anunnaki ("People of Anu") and to the Babylonians as the Igigi ("Heavenly Ones"). They were also revered under separate names by the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Hittites and other cultures of the Middle East.