To find your way in the vast Hittite Pantheon is by no means an easy task. In his
Onomasticon of the Hittite Pantheon Ben van Gessel lists all Hittite gods as known from primary sources. Their names are listed as written in Hittite, Sumerian and Akkadian. Moreover, deities not mentioned by a proper name are given. The work ends with the unclassifiable fragments of names.
Apart from answering questions about the (often confusing) orthography of the gods' names, each entry categorizes information on their
epithets, shrines, priests and servants, cult places, attributes and feasts, as well as about the actual locations in the texts. Where necessary, the author refers to relevant literature.
Ben H.L. van Gessel worked from 1958 until 1996 at the Fons Vitae Lyceum in Amsterdam, teaching ancient Greek and Latin, to become headmaster in 1968. Throughout those years he also devoted much of his time to studying Hittite texts.
...van Gessel's book is one of the main auxiliary materials for further research. Presently nobody can do without it when being concerned with Anatolian religions in the second millennium BCE because - as in a generalistic way during the founding period of Religionswissenschaft
- philological and historical research are still the basic prerogatives for studying Anatolian religions.'
The author must have devoted a tremendous amount of time to compile these magnificent volumes, for which he deserves the thanks and congratulations of every Hittitologist.'
Edgar G. Polomé,
The Journal of Indo-European Studies, 1999.
Das Werk wird sich auch für den religionsgeschichtlich arbeitenden Alttestamentler als nutzliches Hilfsmittel erwisen.'
Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft.
…we must be grateful to van Gessel for providing us with this thorough, accurate, and useful compilation that for many years will be a basic research tool for Hittologists and all those interested in the Anatolian pantheon of the second millennium B.C. 'Giuseppe F. del Monte,
Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1999.
Its author has earned our congratulations and our gratitude. This compendium should find a place on the desk of all Hittitologists and on the shelves of every research library for biblical, classical, and cuneiform studies.'
Journal of Biblical Literature, 1999.
In short, this Onomasticon is an indispensable
reference work for both scholars and students active in the field of Hittite religion in particular, and in the history of the Ancient Near East in general.