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Zeus and Hades, The Brotherly Feud

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The feud between Zeus and Hades is far older than Greek Mythology alone. From Sumerian to Hittite, Zoroastrian to Roman, Biblical to Gnostic, we follow these brothers and their feud from beginning to end.

Origins of Zeus

The origins of Zeus come from a Hittite Myth called The Song of Ulikummi. This tale, recorded by the Hittites in approximately 1400 BCE, precedes Greek mythology by about 600 years. To summarize the tale, A sky god is overthrown and castrated by his son, who is then overthrown by his son, a storm god. This is the source of the Greek Ouranos, Cronos, and Zeus tale. In the tale, Anu is Ouranos, Kumarbi is Cronos, and Tessub is Zeus. Adad is the Mesopotamian counterpart of Tessub, making the original Zeus none other than Adad. Tessub does have 2 other siblings, but they aren’t listed in the myth. There are no references to any quarrels between the Zeus and Hades of Hittite myth. The quarrel appears to occur after 1400BCE. 
The Titanomachy

According to Thallus

“Thallus makes mention of Belus, the king of the Assyrians, and Cronus the Titan; and says that Belus, with the Titans, made war against Zeus…” “According to the history of Thallus, Belus preceded the Trojan war 322 years. (1500BCE)” -Theoph. ad Aut. 281,282.
Cross referencing these texts with the historical expansion of empires we can draw some parallels. The initial struggle of Assyria and rise in power of Hittites coincides with the proposed time of the Titanomachy. If this is correct, we can assume Zeus fought to grow the Hittite empire. Later we see that the rise of Assyria and fall of the Hittites coincides with the birth of Greek city states. Eventually the Roman Empire absorbed the Greek Cities. Again Zeus appears to have fled west. The war between the gods spanned through various empires and factions. From Rome, worship of Zeus spread further north and west through the Germanic tribes as Woden and Britannia as Belanus.

Greek Zeus

The surrounding areas had influenced Greek Mythology and its earliest tales. The Muses dictated the Greek Theogony to Hesiod around 800 BCE. The Muses were the daughters of the main protagonist in the previous Hurrian tale, Tessub. To draw more parallels we can also consider a direct quote from Eupolemus.
“For the Babylonians say that the first was Belus, who is the same as Cronus. And from him descended Belus…”
Adad (Zeus) with his Lurid Thunderbolt

Greco-Egyptian Gnostic Zeus

Usurped by his brother, then demoted to a planetary genius, the Pistis Sophia does acknowledge Zeus but not in as high regard as Serapis. Some Abraxoid talismans from about 50BCE acknowledge Zeus as Adonai. The Pistis Sophia states that sometime between 200-300 AD his younger brother Serapis (Hades) overthrew him.

Origins of Hades

Hades’ origins are found in the oldest known pantheon of gods. He is the Sumerian God Nergal, in some myths son of Enlil, in others he is the Son of Enki. Younger brother of Marduk the Supreme, and older brother to Ninagal, Prince of the Great Waters. Grandson of Anu, the Sky god, and Antu, the Earth Goddess. Nergal’s Sumerian and Greek counterparts are in perfect alignment with each other.

Other Parallels

Throughout various mythologies, we can reveal a common pattern. Hades had a strong resentment for his brother and his rights to rule. The feud between Zeus and Hades resembles the Enki and Enlil quarrel, but with more open violence. In Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda (Zeus) faces the evil forces of Angra Mainyu (Hades), the lord of the underworld. In the Testaments of Solomon, Beelzebub (Zeus) acknowledges another fallen angel. He says that this other holds the key to unlocking the Titans, whom Beelzebub himself locked up. This other “ungodly” fallen angel of course is Nergal.
Loki, Jormungand, and Fenrir

In the Pistis Sophia, Hades/Nergal takes the name Serapis. Iconography of Serapis is quite similar to Hades. While there is no 3 headed Cerebus, it is represented by a 3 headed figure. It consists of a canine, a wolf and snake. As mentioned above, Serapis eventually usurps Zeus. He takes the title of “Jupiter Dis” or Aidoneus, a variant of Adonai.
In Norse Mythology, the All Father was Odin. In Greek Mythology the Father of all was Zeus. Contrary to popular belief, Odin is Zeus, not Thor. Iconography of Loki is exactly identical to Serapis, they have the same motive, and achieved the same thing. Loki has a snake, a canine, and Hel serving as queen of the underworld. Hades and Nergal’s counterpart both have their own queen who ruled the underworld.


The Marduk and Adad Discrepancy

These characters appear to contradict each other. They share the same traits while never coexisting or interacting with one another. Some ancient texts refer to Enki as Saturn, making his counterpart in Greek Myth Cronus. This places Marduk as Zeus. With Marduk’s brother Nergal as Hades and Ninagal as Poseidon, this lineage is appropriate. It appears that the children of Enki and Enlil were assigned different fathers in some myths. Nergal being a perfect example of this. So would it be too far fetched to think Adad the storm god and Marduk the storm god could be the same god? What do you think? 


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