Mot, death, the Canaanite and Phoenician god of adversity, was the representive of adversity in the natural world. He dwelled in a pit within the earth, and is responsible for its annual death from drought and heat: “he has scorched the olive, the produce of the earth, and the fruit of the trees.” He engaged in the classic confrontation with the Canaanite hero and national god, Baal. Though this duel results in the death of Baal, Baal’s demise is avenged by his twin sister Anat who then kills Mot and cleaves, winnows, burns and grinds his remains with a millstones in a ritual resembling the sowing of seed and harvesting (a tradition similar to Osiris). Baal was later resurrected. This conflicted probably formed the basis for an annual ritual drama at the Canaanite New Year, which occurred in the autumn. In text Mot is the son of Il and his mother was Aserah (Athirat). A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 170