Anat, the sister of Baal, was principally a fertility goddess. She was frequently depicted naked with bare breasts and vaginal area prominent.

Often she wears a coiffure similar to that of the Egyptian goddess Hathor, with whom she has been closely linked at times.

Anat was described variously as «mother of the gods» and «mistress of the sky.» Besides being a fertity deity, Anat was a youthful and aggressive war goddess, a capacity in which she was adopted by Egypt in the Middle Kingdom (early 18th century BC) and particularly through the Hyksos Dynasty when she was prominent in Lower Egypt.

A sanctuary was dedicated to her in Tanis and she was identified as a daughter of the sun god Re with warlike attributes of a lance, battleaxe, and shield. She impressed Rameses II whose daughter was named Bin-Anat (daughter of Anat). And, Rameses III adopted her as his «shield» in battle.

The Ras Samra stele describes her as «Anut, queen of heaven and mistress of all the gods.» Known as «virgin Anat» she indulged in orgies of violence «wading up to her thighs in blood and gore.» There is speculation she was in a triad with goddesses Athirat and Asera.

She is prominent in the Canaanite confrontation legend, after the primordial battle between good and evil in the guise of Baal and Mot, when she searches for the body of Baal.

When finding it she buried it and continued seeking the slayer, Mot, to make appropriate retribution. She cleaved and winnowed, burned and ground Mot in a curious variation of a common theme associated elsewhere with vegetation gods (see Osiris).

In the Legend of Aqhat Anat sends an eagle to kill the youth who refuses to give her his magical bow. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, pp. 16-17