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DAGON

Real Name: Enlil

Occupation: God of storm and thunder, god of the north wind, tutelary god of the Philistines, former chieftain of the Mesopotamian gods

Legal Status: Exiled citizen of Sumer and Celestial Dilmun

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Dagon except as a figure of mythological origin.

Other Aliases: Baal-Dagon, Ellil (Babylonian name), El (Phoenician name), Kumarbis (Hurrian Name), Taru, Tarhunt (Hittite names), Latipan (Semitic name), Pabilsag, Father of the Gods,

Place of Birth: Ur, Sumeria (now part of modern Iraq)

Marital Status: Separated

Known Relatives: Anu (father), Dione (mother, alias Asherah), Mami, Eriskegal (aunts), Ea (uncle, alias Enki), Ninlil (half-sister/former wife); Baal-Hadad, Ninurta, Martu (brothers), Nergal, Kinyras (half-brothers), Inanna, Ningal, Zarpandit, Gatumgug, Gula (half-sisters), Shamash/Utu, Nanna/Sin (sons by Ninlil), Ullikummis (son by Upelluri), Namtar/Mot, Shachar, Shalim (sons by Asherah or Ninhursag), Marduk (cousin), Anshar (grandfather, possibly deceased), Kishar (grandmother, alias Ki, possibly deceased), Gaea (ancestor, alias Ninhursag/Tiamat)

Group Affiliation: The Annunaki (Gods of Mesopotamian)

Base of Operations: Kurnugi, formerly Kur Mountain in Northern Hattia (now part of modern Turkey), formerly Ashdod, Philistia (now part of modern Palestine), formerly Ur, Sumeria (now part of modern Iraq)

First Appearance: (name) Conan the Barbarian I #59, (physical) Pantheons of the Megaverse by C.J. Carella

History: Enlil is the son of Anu, ruler of a race of extra-dimensional beings known as the Anunnaki who were worshipped as gods in Ancient Mesopotamia, and his wife, Asherah, who may have been Dione, one of the Titans from Greece best known as the mother of Aphrodite. As wife of Zeus, King of the Olympian Gods, Dione had been exiled from Olympus and fled to Cythera, where her daughter Aphrodite was born. Dione eventually retired far from Hera’s wrath on the island of Cyprus to protect Aphrodite. Cyprus, however, which was then under the domain of the Mesopotamian, and Dione was courted by Anu, Ruler of the Annunaki (Mesopotamian Gods), possibly because he saw could give him powerful sons with decidedly Olympian attributes. Anu and Dione had four sons, Enlil, Hadad, Ninurta and Martu, who became gods of weather and controlled the four cardinal points of Earth, respectively, North, East, South and West.

Enlil and his brothers grew up with strength and stamina above any of their fellow Mesopotamian gods. They became active adventurers defending Earth and the Gods of Mesopotamia and mortals from threats and entities from other dimensions. Enlil also had an insatiable sexual appetite and sired many children from goddesses he considered as his wives as well as from mortal women. Many of his sons became Kings of Sumer while his more divine children also became worshipped as gods. Enlil as such became known as “Father of the Gods.”

Despite being gods, Enlil and the Anunnaki were subservient to Tiamat, the great sea-mother, who may or may not have been Gaea, patron goddess of the Earth. Enlil lived on earth toiling alongside mortal men and reportedly dug out the beds of the rivers of the Tigris and the Euphrates or at least widened them near the ancient city of Ur. He eventually rebelled at this task and asked the goddess Mami to have mortals carry on the work. (Later myths claimed that Mami created mankind from mud of the earth to serve mortals, but this is obviously erroneous.) Eventually, mankind became so numerous and made so much noise that Enlil believed he had made a mistake to allow them to have a destiny. He decided to wipe them out by sending a plague, but Ea, the sea-god, his uncle and mentor, promised he could get mankind to settle down by offering sacrifices to the gods.

Enlil appreciated the sacrifices and enjoyed the catering to his ego, but eventually mankind began neglecting their worship and began getting loud again. Enlil decided to hold back rain and allow the drought to take as many mortals as possible, but Ea approached him again and reminded him that mankind would worship him again if he sent rain. It wasn't long before mortals tempted Enlil's patience again and he threatened the earth with famine. Ea came again to temper his patience, but this time, Anu allowed Enlil to amass such storms that he managed to flood the earth. Ea, meanwhile, had located an honorable man named Utnapishtim and his wife Ziusudra and instructed them on how to survive the flood by creating an ark to ride it out. Utnapishtim loaded his family and all the clean animals into the ark to survive. After seven days of torrential rain, Utnapishtim and his family eventually landed safely upon the top of Mount Nisir (now known as modern Ararat). As the waters receded, he made a sacrifice to the sun god Shamash, son of Enlil.

Upset that one man and his family escaped his wrath, Enlil decided to strike him down, but Ea calmed him again and made Utnapishtim immortal to save face in front of the gods. Now realizing the rashness of the decisions of himself and Enlil, Anu allowed Utnapishtim to live on earth. Utnapishtim and his family started repopulating the earth with new respect to the gods. However, Enlil's ego escalated to the point that he considered his father's choice to be a sign of weakness and he overthrew his father as ruler of the gods. Anu departed Earth for another dimension, which became known as Celestial Dilmun (named for Dilmun, now modern Bahrain) and cursed Enlil to have three miserable sons for his disobedience. Anu later welcomed most of the gods loyal to himself into Celestial Dilmun.

On earth, Enlil took on the name Dagon from the ancient Hyborian god with that name, the father of the ancient deity, Baal, in order to attract more worshippers. He raped the goddess, Asherah, or Gaea in her role as Ninhursag, and had three sons, but as per Anu's curse, his three sons, Namtar, Shachar and Shalim became gods of death, plague and pestilence, and he exiled them to the underworld.

As Dagon, Enlil was opposed by his brother Hadad, who supported Anu as ruler of the gods. Hadad was endowed with weapons from Ea and overthrew Dagon as ruler of the Sumerian gods. Dagon was forced out of Sumer, but while in exile, he called up Upelluri, daughter of his father's ancient enemy, Alalu, by calling her from the sea by beating upon a rock at seashore. The two of them had a gigantic son named Ullikummis who towered over all the gods and helped him to overthrow Hadad, now known as Baal. (Later myths claimed that Ullikummis was born from the rock at which Dagon chipped.). Fleeing for Ea's realm, Baal returned with weapons enchanted to slay even Ullikummis. Severing the ankles of Dagon's giant son, Baal overthrew Dagon and became king of the gods once more. After Baal departed Earth for the last time, he was replaced with Marduk, son of Ea, who became patron god to the Babylonian Empire.

Dagon’s activities over the next few years are unrevealed. He had less influence and power on his mortal followers under the Babylonian and Assyrian Empires. He seized power of the ancient land of Kur in Northern Turkey to rule after his exile, possibly relocating to Allatum, the Mesopotamian underworld, after the Anunnaki departed Earth. (Kurnugi is the realm of the Sumerian underworld the dead entered before entering Allatum.) The Early Jewish Church erroneously denounced all the Mesopotamian gods as demons in the face of their own scriptures. Since departing Earth, Anu had resumed his role as ruler of the gods from the realm of Celestial Dilmun as a home for the Mesopotamian gods who departed Earth. The gods who entered Dilmun became known as the Igigi, while the gods bound to earth and the underworld remained as the Anunnaki. In rewriting the old Sumerian stories into their texts, the Jews might have assigned angelic roles to the former gods as members of the Elohim or archangels in order to mask their original forms.

By time the Greeks and Romans invaded Phoenicia and Canaan, bringing worship of their Olympian gods with them, Dagon had fewer and fewer worshippers and backed those Anunnaki hostile to the Olympian gods. Because of his power over rain, Dagon was worshipped as a god of corn and fertility to some extent by the Canaanites and by the Philistines, but his prominence never increased back to the level it was during the Sumerian Empire. Around 1000 BC, the Hebrew hero Samson destroyed a Philistine temple to Dagon by turning over two pillars.

Despite no longer being considered a god in the mortal realm, Dagon still retains much of his powers, but his presence on earth has almost been forgotten. His current activities are unknown.

Height: 6'5"
Weight: 425 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black

Strength Level: Dagon possesses superhuman strength approaching that of Thor who has Class 100 level strength and can lift (press) over 100 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Dagon possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Mesopotamian gods. Like all of the Annunaki, he is extremely long-lived (but not immortal like the Olympian gods). He has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable her to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god such as Anu, Ea or for a number of Mesopotamian gods working together to revive him. Dagon also possesses superhuman strength and his Annunaki metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Annunaki flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the superhuman strength and weight of the Mesopotamian Gods.)

Dagon has several abilities similar to magic in which he can mystically command and control elemental energies such as storm, wind, thunder and lightning. He can create hurricane-scale conditions at will and manipulate the wind to carry him aloft and control lightning strikes with pinpoint accuracy. He can summon rainstorms of varying size ranging from a moderate gale to a full tsunami. He can also control storms created by other means and create cataclysms on a planet wide scale such as when he flooded Mesopotamia in ancient times.

Dagon is also physically stronger, faster and invulnerable to injury than the majority of the Mesopotamian gods with the possible exception of Ninurta, Hadad and Martu. He is virtually tireless and his stamina allows him to perform at top levels without tiring.

Limitations: Dagon seems inexplicably vulnerable to objects of potential positive mystical energy such a symbols of the Hebrew and Christian faiths. During the reign of King David of Israel, an idol of Dagon worshipped by the Philistines was toppled by simply having the Ark of the Covenant placed next to it. Whether this is any indication of Dagon having degenerated into a demonic form or of another demonic being having usurped his worship is unrevealed.

Comments: In the Marvel Universe, there has been a number of beings identified as Dagon. Among them, there is Dagon, son of Baal, a god of death for the Ancient Kushite tribes of the Hyborian Age, who took the goddess Derketa as his mate. He was represented by a crystal stolen from the Kush and returned to them by the warrior-woman, Belit. Belit and Conan the Barbarian later encountered statues of Dagon and Belit in the Temple of a Thousand Gods. There was also Dagon, a demonic entity worshipped by the Deep Ones cult who wished to return all life to the sea, slaying all life on Earth in order to assimilate it back to the sea. The cult sacrificed to fish demons presiding in the ocean. Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan, probably did not intend for any of his creations to be the same as the mythological gods of Mesopotamian myth. It is quite likely that Dagon (Enlil) has yet to appear in the Marvel Universe; he has not been seen in the DC Universe. In the DC Universe, he was impersonated by Dagon (Enlil), a member of the Oan race.

Dagon’s depiction as a fish-god originated when his worship merged with that of El, known to the Sumerians as Ea (Enki), the god of the sea. Ea was often depicted as a fish-god under the name Oannes, but after their rituals were merged. Dagon lost more of his original thunder-god attributes and was transformed into a water-god toward the end of his worship, almost entirely usurping all traces of worship to El.

There is some confusion in the broken texts of the Mesopotamian hieroglyphics regarding the relationships of Dagon (Enlil) to Baal-Hadad, Martu, Ninurta and Anu, especially where it concerns their multiple aliases, conflicting importance in different religions and the various translations and possible misinformation over thousands of years. Dagon (Enlil) is quite often called the son of Baal (Hadad), while Enlil (Dagon) is often called the father of Hadad (Baal). In Hittite and Hurrian myth, they are referred to as brothers. In addition, Ninurta, the god of storm, is often called protector of the south wind and his brother Martu, protector of the west wind. If Baal-Hadad and Dagon-Enlil represent east and north, it would render them all sons of Anu, god of sky and heaven. In truth, their relationships to each other tend to vary by story and translation depending on the importance of the character involved. For that matter, the identity of their mother varies just as much as their relationships. Ninhursag, Ki (Kishar), Astarte and other goddesses are often named. Asherah, the female counterpart of Anu, is typically Queen of the Mesopotamian Gods, superseding all the other mother-goddesses.

For that matter, Asherah barely has any role in the myths besides that as mother of the goddess known as Ishtar, taken by the Greeks and worshipped as Aphrodite. In Greek mythology, the goddess Dione was the mother of Aphrodite; she was pretty much the female form of Zeus just as Asherah was a female form of Anu. Neither Dione/Asherah or Aphrodite/Ishtar have a definite strong connection to the family trees of their perspective pantheons, but Hesiod in his Theogony goes one better by identifying Dione as one of the Titans. (Apollodorus later presumed Dione to even possibly be one of the Oceanides, who included Metis, mother of Athena, and Pleione, grandmother of Hermes). In modern texts, it is presumed that Asherah could be another name of Gaea, also identified as Ninhursag, but this is a much more modern translation. Given Gaea’s possible animosity to the Anunnaki as Tiamat, this scenario appears contradictory amidst myths and stories that are already contradictory.

The Sumerians are considered the oldest of all human empires, although even the Egyptians just as ancient. The Sumerians were overthrown by the Babylonians and then by the Assyrians. There was then an interim as several races kept preventing each other from developing an empire as great as the previous rules. This includes the Hittites, Hurrians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, and Philistines. The Greeks and the resulting Roman Empire subjugated them all and made the region part of what later became the Byzantine Empire, later conquered by the Turks as part of the Ottoman Empire and now known as Iraq.

Clarifications: Dagon probably should not be confused with:

 

Last updated: 03/21/08

 

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