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Oannes

Oannes, in Babylonian mythology, was the name given by Berossus[?] to a mythical being who taught mankind wisdom. He is identical with the god Ea, although there may not be any direct connexion between the two names.

Berossus describes Oannes as having the body of a fish but underneath the figure of a man. He is described as dwelling in the Persian Gulf, and rising out of the waters in the daytime and furnishing mankind instruction in writing, the arts and the various sciences.

The culture-myth on which the account of Berossus rests has not yet been found in Babylonian literature, but there are numerous indications in hymns and incantations that confirm the indentification with Ea, and also prove the substantial correctness of the conceptions regarding Oannes-Ea as given by Berossus.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.



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