Baal, Son of Dagan In Search of Baal’s Double Paternity

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Noga Ayali-Darshan



The Ugaritic expression “Baal, son of Dagan” has been the subject of several studies which attempt to resolve the contradiction between the depiction of Baal as El’s son on the one hand and the expression “Baal, son of Dagan” (bʿl bn dgn) on the other. Despite the paucity of literary evidence, the majority of scholars have identified Dagan with either El or Baal, consequently attributing a single “real” father to Baal. This paper suggests a new solution in light of the literary traditions preserved in the Hurro-Hittite texts—contemporary with those from Ugarit—and the development of these traditions in the writings of Philo of Byblos (first–second centuries C.E.). Both these texts describe the storm-god as having two fathers: the grain-god (Kumarbi / Dagon) and the veteran god of the pantheon, the god of Heaven (Anu / Ouranus). Given the close relationship among Ugarit, the Hurrians, and the Phoenicians, it is difficult to regard this parallelism as coincidental.

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