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Telepinu

Telepinu

Telepinu was the god of agriculture of the Hittites, people who lived in the ancient Near East in what is now Syria and Turkey. Like his father the storm god, Telepinu had a quick temper. When he was angry, plants and animals ceased to grow and people suffered.

According to a Hittite legend, Telepinu awoke one day in such a terrible mood that he put his boots on the wrong feet. Enraged, he stormed off into the countryside. After a while he became tired and lay down in a meadow to sleep.

While Telepinu was away, the earth dried up completely. All the plants and trees died for lack of water. Animals and humans stopped giving birth. The land was barren and nearly lifeless. Alarmed, the sun god sent an eagle to find Telepinu, but the eagle could not locate him. Then the great mother goddess Hannahanna asked the storm god to find his son, but he too failed.

deity god or goddess

Finally Hannahanna sent a bee to seek the missing god. The other deities thought the plan was crazy. If they could not locate Telepinu, how could a mere bee do so? But the bee searched in places the gods did not think to look and eventually found Telepinu asleep in the meadow. Following Hannahanna's instructions, the bee stung Telepinu several times. Although the stings woke the god, they only made him angrier. So the sun god sent Kamrusepas, the goddess of healing, to soothe Telepinu's temper. When Telepinu returned to his temple, the plants and animals resumed their growth, and the people thrived again.

See also Semitic Mythology.

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