God of the underground waters and the magic arts, the Babylonian equivalent of the Sumerian god Enki, whose main sanctuary was at Eridu in southern Mesopotamia. Being the wisest among the gods, he was also the patron of craftsmen, artisans, and exorcists. In various Akkadian myths, Ea is sought out for his advice and cunning; he alone realizes that the gods need the services of humankind and therefore helps his protege Atra-hasis to escape the flood. Likewise, he knows how to resurrect the goddess Ishtar, who was doomed to remain in the underworld.
   Ea was one of the most important Mesopotamian gods throughout history, as the many personal references (e.g., “Ea is my protection”) testify. From the mid-second millennium B.C. onward, he was primarily appealed to as a protector against evil demons. See also RELIGION.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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