Asarluhi, Asalluhi

Provenance: Mesopotamia (Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian, Assyrian)
Gender: Male
Divine Attributes: Magic and Incantations
Titles, Epithets, and other Descriptors: Son of Eridu, Son of the Abzu
Descended From: Ea, or Lugaldukuga
Consort/s: Panunanki
Patron City: Eridu, Kuara
Attested in Literature: A Prayer to Asarluhi, Sumerian Temple Hymns, Sumerian Hymn to Asalluhi, Wiedner’s God List B
Regional/Cultural Identity: Asarluhi, Asalluhi (Sumerian), Asaruludu (Akkadian)

 

Asarluhi, Asalluhi
Asarluhi was described as the first born son of Enki and Damgalnuna. His Patron City: was Kuara, but he was also associated with the pantheon of Eridu. Like the gods Tutu and Enbilulu, they were all sons of Enki and by the Babylonian period, were conflated with Marduk.

Name
Spelled Asarluhi 𒀭𒍂𒇽𒄭, Asalluhi, and sometimes Namshub in Sumerian, or Asaruludu in Akkadian. The origin of this name is unclear, however according to the Enuma Elish, Asaruludu means “light of the gods” or “the shining god who illuminates our path.”

Titles and Epithets
Asarluhi is referred to as the “Son of Eridu” or “Son of the Abzu.”

Divine Portfolio
Serving as a supportive deity, he was associated with magic and incantations.

Attested Chronological Range
He was first mentioned in a processional text around 2000 BCE, but was featured more frequently in later texts recorded by Neo Assyrian and Seleucid scribes.

Ancestry
In the Sumerian tradition, Asarluhi was described as the first born son of Enki and Damgalnuna. Yet he wasn’t the only deity described as their first born son. In the Assyrian tradition, their first born son was Anshar. In the Babylonian tradition, their first born was Marduk. These deities all sharing this similarity was enough for many previous scholars to conclude the three to be the same deity, however discourse between Marduk and Anshar occurs in multiple versions of the Enuma Elish, Assyrian and Babylonian alike. While most consider Marduk and Asarluhi to be one in the same, it would be more suitable to conclude instead that Asarluhi is an aspect of Anšar, and not of Marduk.

Asarluhi was a son of Enki, but the name Enki does not always refer to the same individual. Ea acknowledged that his son Marduk had attained a title that belonged to him, known as Lord of the Earth, or Enki. This means both Marduk and Ea were referred to as Enki. In the An=Anum list, Asarluhi appears above Marduk but below Damgalnuna implying he is the older brother of Marduk and a son of Ea. This tradition also mirrors Heidel’s translation of the Enuma Elish, and the Assur version in which Marduk is implied to be the younger brother of Anshar.

Asarluhi’s siblings are Marduk, Tutu, Enbilulu, and Ninhursag/Aruru. Because of the conflation of d.nunu (Ea) and d.a.nu (Anu), Asarluhi may have also been brother to Ereshkigal, Inanna, Amurru, Nisaba, Ninsun, Ninkarrak, and Ninisina.

Syncretism
In the Enuma Elish, Marduk absorbs 50 names, in many cases names of existing gods. Marduk’s brothers Asarluhi, Enbilulu, and Tutu were all absorbed and known thereafter as an aspect of Marduk.

Attested in Literature
Most texts featuring Asarluhi portray him as a helper or assistant of Ea/Enki. These are the most complete texts featuring, or that mention Asarluhi, A Prayer to Asarluhi, Sumerian Temple Hymns, Sumerian Hymn to Asalluhi, and Wiedner’s God List B.