Online Encyclopedia

OANNES

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 936 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OANNES, in Babylonian mythology, the name given by Berossus to a mythical being who taught mankind wisdom. He is identical with the god Ea (q.v.), although there may not be any direct connexion between the two names. Berossus describes Oannes as having the body of a fish but underneath the figure of a man. He is described as dwelling in the Persian Gulf, and rising out of the waters in the daytime and furnishing mankind instruction in writing, the arts and the various sciences. The culture-myth on which the account of Berossus rests has not yet been found in Babylonian literature, but there are numerous indications in hymns and incantations that confirm the indentification with Ea, and also prove the substantial correctness of the conceptions regarding Oannes-Ea as given by Berossus. (M. JA.)
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