Whilst I was gazing and wondering, suddenly it occurred to me--being familiar with the Old Testament--that Solomon went astray after strange gods, the names of three of whom I remembered--"Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh, the god of the Moabites, and Milcom, the god of the children of Ammon"--and I suggested to my companions that the figures before us might represent these false and exploded divinities.
"Hum," said Sir Henry, who is a scholar, having taken a high degree in classics at college, "there may be something in that; Ashtoreth of the Hebrews was the Astarte of the Phoenicians, who were the great traders of Solomon's time.
Came Ashtoreth, whom the Phoenicians called Astarte, Queen of Heaven, with crescent horns; To whose bright image nightly by the moon Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs."
Victoria Battershell, Shelby Bond, Donna Bradley, Jodi Brantley, Amanda Brown, Cynthia Carroll, Caitlyn Chaires, Linda Cole, Troyal Craig, Kirsten Doerfer, Ruth Elliott, Barbara Folsom, Betty Fox, Amanda Gibbs, Amy Hotchkiss, Suzanne Johnson, Hannah Kasuli, Karen Keith, Angela Kelsey, Brooke Lakin, Niki Lovelace, Ashtoreth
Macbrid, Rebecca Mackezie, George Mears, Kalie Morsch, Carrie Rogers, Janice Schwartz, Michelle Smith, Paula Sparkman, Melissa Spears, Keith Walker, Terri Whisenhunt, Sharon Young
Though pagan mythologies of ancient religions are replete with numerous examples of dangerous and seductive women like Roman goddess Diana, Cybele, Ashtoreth
, Inanna, Asherah, Ishtar, and Hathor, Fauna, Medusa, Pandora, Harpies, Sirens and Furies and the like, they are hardly demonized and denigrated in the way the transgressive women are portrayed in the Christian and the Biblical mythologies and their interpretations, as well as in the literature, after Christianization.
Scripture states: "For Solomon went after Ashtoreth
the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites" (I Kings 11: 5).
As such there is a section on the Christian and Jewish Pantheon, including both the early incarnations such as Ashtoreth
as well as the more familiar Eve and Mary.
Yet somehow supernatural and demigodic "angels" and "demons" are presented as independent segments of metaphysical realm--as well as the 40 or so named gods in the Bible: Ashtoreth
, Tammuz, Diana, Jupiter, Nehushtan, Remphan, Chemosh, Nisroch, Molech, Rahab, and so on.
It was believed that human pairs, by imitating the action of Baal and his partner, could bring the divine pair together in fertilizing union." (10) In Canaan, the sexual engagement of Baal and his mate Ashtoreth
(also known as Ishtar and Astarte) defined the very essence of existence --fertility of the earth and success of the crops.