Jessica Marchetti

Title: The god Nergal in the Sumerian-Akkadian texts (2nd-1st millennia BCE) / Le dieu Nergal dans les textes suméro-akkadiens (IIe-Ier millénaires av. J.-C.)

University: Université de Lille

Supervisor: Philippe Abrahami


The purpose of this thesis is to study the deity Nergal in all its aspects. Mainly presented as a warrior god, king of the netherworld, Nergal is also identifiable as a multifaceted deity. Thanks to the diversity of the corpus in Sumerian and Akkadian languages documenting him, such as official texts, practical texts, literary texts and scholarly texts, and thanks to iconographic sources too, it is possible to determine on the one hand his role and function in these sources, to define his personality and to distinguish the Nergal’s place face to pantheons of Ancient Near East on two millennia on the other hand. Based on archaeological data, the problematic of this research deals with different cult places too worshiped to him and the personnel dedicated to the service of this god. This work is also a mean to propose an onomastic and prosopographic study of individuals bearing a name in Nergal. It seeks to measure the popularity of the god Nergal in the individual’s names according to the treated periods and regions and to observe a possible predominance in these names in Nergal in certain socio-professional categories. The aim of this study is thus to propose a synthesis, as complete as possible, of mentions of Nergal in Sumerian-Akkadian textual and iconographic sources of the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C. The interest to study this multifaceted deity, in an expanded spatio-temporal framework is a mean to observe if there are regional and temporal contrasts on the figure of the god Nergal.

Keywords: Nergal, Erra, netherworld, cult, war, epidemic