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Dingir (𒀭, usually transliterated DIĜIR,[1] Sumerian pronunciation: [tiŋiɾ]) is a Sumerian word for "god" or "goddess." Its cuneiform sign is most commonly employed as the determinative for religious names and related concepts, in which case it is not pronounced and is conventionally transliterated as a superscript "D" as in e.g. DInanna.

The cuneiform sign by itself was originally an ideogram for the Sumerian word an ("sky" or "heaven");[2] its use was then extended to a logogram for the word diĝir ("god" or goddess)[3] and the supreme deity of the Sumerian pantheon An, and a phonogram for the syllable /an/. Akkadian took over all these uses and added to them a logographic reading for the native ilum and from that a syllabic reading of /il/. In Hittite orthography, the syllabic value of the sign was again only an.

The concept of "divinity" in Sumerian is closely associated with the heavens, as is evident from the fact that the cuneiform sign doubles as the ideogram for "sky", and that its original shape is the picture of a star. It is also of note that the eight-pointed star was a chief symbol for the goddess Inanna. The original association of "divinity" is thus with "bright" or "shining" hierophanies in the sky.

Cuneiform sign

Sumerian

Middle Bronze Age form of the sign

The Sumerian sign DIĜIR Cuneiform sumer dingir.svg originated as a star-shaped ideogram indicating a god in general, or the Sumerian god An, the supreme father of the gods. Dingir also meant sky or heaven in contrast with ki which meant earth. Its emesal pronunciation was dimer. (The use of m instead of ĝ [ŋ] was a typical phonological feature in emesal dialect.)

The plural of diĝir can be diĝir-diĝir, among others. Cuneiform sumer dingir.svgCuneiform sumer dingir.svg

Assyrian

Late Bronze Age to Iron Age form of the signThe cuneiform sign by itself was originally an ideogram for the Sumerian word an ("sky" or "heaven");[2] its use was then extended to a logogram for the word diĝir ("god" or goddess)[3] and the supreme deity of the Sumerian pantheon An, and a phonogram for the syllable /an/. Akkadian took over all these uses and added to them a logographic reading for the native ilum and from that a syllabic reading of /il/. In Hittite orthography, the syllabic value of the sign was again only an.

The concept of "divinity" in Sumerian is closely associated with the heavens, as is evident from the fact that the cuneiform sign doubles as the ideogram for "sky", and that its original shape is the picture of a star. It is also of note that the eight-pointed star was a chief symbol for the goddess Inanna. The original association of "divinity" is thus with "bright" or "shining" hierophanies in the sky.

Middle Bronze Age form of the sign

The Sumerian sign DIĜIR Cuneiform sumer dingir.svg originated as a star-shaped ideogram indicating a god in general, or the Sumerian god An, the supreme father of the gods. Dingir also meant sky or heaven in contrast with ki which meant earth. Its emesal pronunciation was dimer. (The use of m instead of ĝ [ŋ] was a typical phonological feature in emesal dialect.)

The plural of diĝir can be diĝir-diĝir, among others. Cuneiform sumer dingir.svgCuneiform sumer dingir.svgSumerian sign DIĜIR Cuneiform sumer dingir.svg originated as a star-shaped ideogram indicating a god in general, or the Sumerian god An, the supreme father of the gods. Dingir also meant sky or heaven in contrast with ki which meant earth. Its emesal pronunciation was dimer. (The use of m instead of ĝ [ŋ] was a typical phonological feature in emesal dialect.)

The plural of diĝir can be diĝir-diĝir, among others. Cuneiform sumer dingir.svgCuneiform sumer dingir.svg

Late Bronze Age to Iron Age form of the sign The Assyrian sign DIĜIR could mean: