Dushara is known first from epigraphic
Nabataean sources who invariably spell the name dwsrʾ
, the Nabataean script
denoting only consonants. He appears in Classical Greek sources Δουσάρης (Dousárēs
) and in Latin as Dusares
. The original meaning is disputed, but early Muslim historian Ibn al-Kalbi
in his "Book of Idols
" explains the name as Dhū l-Šarā
: ذو الشرى
), meaning likely "The One from Shara", Shara being a mountain range south-east of the Dead Sea
. If this interpretation is correct, Dushara
would be more of a title than a proper name, but both the exact form of the name and its interpretation are disputed.
In Greek times, he was associated with Zeus
because he was the chief of the Nabataean pantheon as well as with Dionysus
A shrine to Dushara has been discovered in the harbour
of ancient Puteoli
in Italy. The city was an important nexus for trade to the Near East, and it is known to have had a Nabataean presence during the mid 1st century BCE.
The cult continued in some capacity well into the Roman period and possibly as late as the Islamic period.
This deity was mentioned by the 9th century CE Muslim historian Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi
, who wrote in The Book of Idols
) that: "The Banū al-Hārith ibn-Yashkur ibn-Mubashshir of the ʻAzd had an idol called Dū Sharā."
inscriptions mention animal sacrifices to Dushara, asking for a variety of services.
- ^ a b "Discussion: The Religion and Rituals of the Nomads of Pre-Islamic Arabia: A Reconstruction based on the Safaitic Inscriptions - Academia.edu". www.academia.edu. Retrieved 2021-03-14.
- ^ F., Healey, John (10 May 2001). The religion of the Nabataeans : a conspectus. Leiden. pp. 85–97. ISBN 9789004301481. OCLC 944920100.
- ^ Lewis, B. (1991). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. II: C–G (New ed.). Leiden: Brill. pp. 246–247. ISBN 9004070265. OCLC 399624.
- ^ AA.VV. Museo archeologico dei Campi Flegrei - Catalogo generale (vol. 2) - Pozzuoli, Electa Napoli 2008, pag. 60-63
- ^ Peterson, Stephanie Bowers, "The Cult of Dushara and the Roman Annexation of Nabataea" (2006). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5352.
- Ibn al-Kalbī, The Book of Idols, Being a Translation from the Arabic of the Kitāb al-Asnām. Tr. and comm. Nabih Amin Faris (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1952).
- Healey, John F., The Religion of the Nabataeans: A Conspectus (Leiden, Brill, 2001) (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World, 136).
- el-Khouri, Lamia; Johnson, David, "A New Nabataean Inscription from Wadi Mataha, Petra," Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 137,2 (2005), 169–174.
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Last edited on 14 March 2021, at 21:59
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