The Burning Sun and the Killing Resheph: Proto-Astrological Symbolism and Ugaritic Epic

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


In the mythological texts from Ugarit in modern Syria (probably 14th century BC), the motif of the deadly, drought-inducing sun plays a large part: the burning sun casts its destroying rays as a result of the power and influence of death, especially the god of death himself, Mot. However, the solar goddess Shapshu is in other cases portrayed as quite a benevolent entity. In this paper, I discuss this discrepancy in the light of an astronomical omen text that appears to mention the dangerous properties of the sun when it appears together with Resheph, the god of feverish, hot illness – probably representing the planet Mars. The presentation touches on the possibility of these motifs representing early stages of proto-astrological symbolism.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2011
EventNinth Annual Sophia Conference - Bath UK,
Duration: 2011 Jun 42011 Jun 5


ConferenceNinth Annual Sophia Conference

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Religious Studies


  • Ugarit
  • Ugaritic
  • KTU 1.78
  • CAT 1.78
  • Omen
  • Astronomy
  • Astrology
  • Eclipse
  • Resheph
  • Shapshu


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