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Goddess of northern Syria who was worshiped at Hierapolis, northeast of Aleppo, along with her consort, Hadad. Primarily a goddess of fertility, she was also mistress of the city and its people. She was often depicted wearing a crown and carrying a sheaf of grain, and her throne was supported by lions, suggesting her power over nature. Considered a combination of Anath and Astarte, she also showed kinship with the Anatolian Cybele (Great Mother of the Gods). Merchants and mercenaries carried her cult throughout the Greek world, where she was considered a form of Aphrodite.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Atargatis, visit Britannica.com.
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