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Gender Masculine
Other Forms FormsNirgali, Nirgal, Nergel

Meaning & History

In Mesopotamian mythology he is a deity of Akkad, Assyria, and Babylonia, with the main seat of his cult at Cutha, represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim. He is the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and is sometimes associated with Shamash. Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle, and was also the deity who presides over the netherworld, and who stands at the head of the special pantheon assigned to the government of the dead.

Being a deity of the desert, god of fire, which is one of negative aspects of the sun, god of the underworld, and also being a god of one of the religions which rivaled Christianity and Judaism, Nergal was sometimes called a demon and even identified with Satan. According to Collin de Plancy and Johann Weyer, Nergal was depicted as the chief of Hell's 'secret police', and worked as an "'an honorary spy in the service of Beelzebub'.
Added 5/16/2014 by LMS
Edited 12/16/2022 by Mike C, LMS and Ora