Asalluhi (god)

Asalluhi is the son of Enki/Ea and a god of incantations and magic, sometimes merged with Marduk. The etymology and meaning of his name are unclear.


It is unclear whether Asalluhi was from his earliest attestations associated with incantations and magic. Asalluhi's role as an exorcist TT  is absent from the Sumerian literary references (see below). This evidence associates him with the city of Kuara. Geller 1985: 13 proposed that Asalluhi, as the patron deity of Kuara, may have been subsumed into the pantheon of Eridu (Enki's city) and thus acquired his role as a god of incantations. Asalluhi shares Enki/Ea's qualities of intelligence, counsel and "wide reason", as well as expertise in incantations. The common formulaic ending in incantations, "The incantation is not mine, it is the incantation of DN TT ", often names Enki/Ea and Asalluhi as a pair. Sometimes Asalluhi plays an intermediary role, introducing the patient to Enki/Ea (Geller 1985: 13). In keeping with his mastery over incantations, which seek to cleanse the afflicted patient from impurity, Asalluhi is also ascribed the special status as "supervisor of the purification priests of E-abzu" (A Hymn to Asarluhi: Asarluhi A, lines 29-36, ETCSL 4.01.1).

Divine Genealogy and Syncretisms

It has been suggested that Asalluhi's identification as the son of Enki/Ea may have been a secondary development (Edzard 1965: 43; also see above). He was often called "son of Eridu" or the "son of Abzu," Enki/Ea's realm of subterranean waters (Geller 1985: 13). It is not entirely clear yet when Asalluhi was syncretized TT  with Marduk. It is possible that this already took place in the Old Babylonian Period (Sommerfeld 1987-90: 362), as visible from the Sumerian literary letter from Sin-iddinam to the goddess Ninisinna (Brisch 2007: 142-156) as well as other texts (Richter 2004: 462 n.1956). In the Babylonian myth Enūma eliš TT , which is often called the "Babylonian Epic of Creation," Asalluhi becomes one of Marduk's fifty names, which the gods bestow upon Marduk to establish his supremacy as the highest god in the pantheon (see Enūma eliš Tablet 6, lines 101 and 147; see Foster 2005: 472 and 475).

Cult Place(s)

Asalluhi was originally associated with the city of Kuara (Geller 1985: 13), as the Sumerian Temple Hymns, lines 135-146 (ETCSL 4.80.1) and the Sumerian hymn to Asalluhi (ETCLS 4.01.1) attest to.

Time Periods Attested

Asalluhi is first attested in the Ur III period (Geller 1985: 12-15; Cunningham 1997: 65). He is frequently mentioned in incantations of the first millennium dating to the Neo-Assyrian, the Achaemenid, and the Seleucid periods. The so-called "Weidner god list" (e.g., SpTU 3, 108 on CAMS), mentions Asalluhi right before Marduk.


Asalluhi's iconography is unknown as yet.

Name and Spellings

Written forms:
dasar-lú-hi, dasal-lú-hi
Normalized forms:
Asarluhi, Asalluhi

Asalluhi in Online Corpora

References and Further Reading

Yaǧmur Heffron & Nicole Brisch

Yaǧmur Heffron & Nicole Brisch, 'Asalluhi (god)', Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses, Oracc and the UK Higher Education Academy, 2019 []

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