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2 The Healing Goddess Gula: A Portrait

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with aspects that throw light on the motivation for Goddess Gula's appearance in cuneiform medical literature. It also deals with Gula's position in the Babylonian pantheon; discusses the significance of the healing Goddess for the lives of the 'black-headed people' and makes some observations on the association between her and the animal connected with her. The main cultic place for Gula in Ur III times was located in the city state of Umma; however, the healing Goddess was locally worshipped in other cities as well. The healing Goddess Gula is called the 'great physician', 'who revives the dead', 'gives life', and 'cares for life'. The motivation for the bond between the healing Goddess and wounds or skin sores is no longer obvious. One of the most intriguing features of Gula is her connection with a dog.

Keywords: Babylonian pantheon; cuneiform medical literature; Goddess Gula; Umma



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