Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’m nothing if not responsive to readers! The mania over the Hittite myths I’ve been examining lately shows no signs of abating so here is another look – this time at a didactic tale involving the mountain god.
Zaliyanu, the god of the mountain which bears his name, was kind enough to shelter a deer that was fleeing hunters. The pursuit had begun on a neighboring mountain whose god didn’t dare risk the wrath of the hunting god Kurunta by sheltering the terrified creature. Zaliyanu, the greatest of the mountain deities, had no such compunction.
The god sheltered the frantic deer as per its pleading prayers and forbade Kurunta or any of the hunters in the mortal world to hunt the animal who had put its faith in him. As time went on the deer got very fat off the plentiful bounty of the mountain of Zaliyanu. The beast also grew hubristic in the comfort of its immunity to hunters. Angry at how fat it had grown the deer cursed Mount Zaliyanu, blaming it for its rotundity.
In its anger the ungrateful deer even called on the storm god Tarhun to strike the trees of Mt Zaliyanu with lightning so that a fire would start and defoliate the mountain. Appalled at this ingratitude Zaliyanu lifted his protection from the deer and told the god Kurunta he could bless any favored hunter of his with the deer’s meat and hide. Kurunta did so, bringing the life of the ungrateful deer to an end.
The Hittites used this myth as a moral lesson to refugees their empire had accepted and given asylum to but who then showed ingratitude to their adopted nation in various ways, including siding with their former homelands against the country which had welcomed them. In the present day it can’t help but put you in mind of illegal immigrants to the United States who petulanty complain about every inconvenience and who want all the privileges of citizenship but none of the responsibilities. They also ungratefully issue demand after demand after demand as if WE are the ones who slipped into THEIR original country illegally and that we “owe them” whatever they want at the particular moment.
FOR MORE HITTITE DEITIES CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2014/04/22/hittite-mythology-the-top-deities/
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