Tag Archives: Illuyanka

HITTITE MYTHS: THE SECOND VERSION OF TARHUN VERSUS ILLUYANKA

TarhunAs promised here is Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of the second of two different versions of the ancient myth about the Hittite storm god Tarhun battling the supreme serpent Illuyanka. Both versions tie in with the Purulli Festival.

VERSION TWO – Illuyanka, a miles- long serpent, emerged from his lair in the depths of the sea (NOT the Netherworld like in the first version) and unleashed havoc and disorder. Tarhun the storm god clashed with Illuyanka in Kiskilussa and, unexpectedly, the serpent was triumphant. Illuyanka plucked out Tarhun’s eyes and his heart and left him to live blind and helpless (yes, even though he had no heart).

The difference in the two versions centers around the way in which Tarhun eventually gets revenge on Illuyanka. In this version the defeated, blind and “heartless” storm god, seemingly living in exile from his heavenly kingdom following his defeat, marries “the daughter of a poor man”. Neither the name of the daughter or the father is mentioned in the surviving fragments of the myth. Continue reading

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HITTITE MYTHOLOGY: THE STORM GOD VERSUS THE SERPENT DEITY

Tarhun and his vizier Suwaliyut confronting Illuyanka

Tarhun and his vizier Suwaliyut confronting Illuyanka

The readers of Balladeer’s Blog have spoken! You want more Hittite mythology! I’m always responsive to my readers so I will now examine two different versions of the ancient myth about the Hittite storm god Tarhun battling the supreme serpent Illuyanka. Both versions tie in with the Purulli Festival.

VERSION ONE – Illuyanka, a miles- long serpent, emerges from his lair in the Netherworld (making him another ally and possible son of the god Kumarbi) and unleashes havoc and disorder. Tarhun the storm god clashes with Illuyanka in Kiskilussa and, unexpectedly, the serpent is triumphant. Illuyanka plucks out Tarhun’s eyes and his heart and leaves him to live blind and helpless (yes, even though he has no heart now). Continue reading

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