Hum," said Sir Henry, who is a scholar, having taken a high degree in classics at college, "there may be something in that; Ashtoreth
of the Hebrews was the Astarte of the Phoenicians, who were the great traders of Solomon's time.
Though pagan mythologies of ancient religions are replete with numerous examples of dangerous and seductive women like Roman goddess Diana, Cybele, Ashtoreth
, Inanna, Asherah, Ishtar, and Hathor, Fauna, Medusa, Pandora, Harpies, Sirens and Furies and the like, they are hardly demonized and denigrated in the way the transgressive women are portrayed in the Christian and the Biblical mythologies and their interpretations, as well as in the literature, after Christianization.
As such there is a section on the Christian and Jewish Pantheon, including both the early incarnations such as Ashtoreth
as well as the more familiar Eve and Mary.
Yet somehow supernatural and demigodic "angels" and "demons" are presented as independent segments of metaphysical realm--as well as the 40 or so named gods in the Bible: Ashtoreth
, Tammuz, Diana, Jupiter, Nehushtan, Remphan, Chemosh, Nisroch, Molech, Rahab, and so on.
10) In Canaan, the sexual engagement of Baal and his mate Ashtoreth
(also known as Ishtar and Astarte) defined the very essence of existence --fertility of the earth and success of the crops.
Pagan myths reflect the snake and the tree of life as divine female sources of fertility within the garden of Eden; such beliefs, together with the sacred groves of the goddess Asherah or Ashtoreth
, were crushed under Judaism.