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  • #0836
  • Middle Eastern Middle Eastern (culture)
  • Celestial Celestial (attribute)
  • Aquatic Aquatic (attribute)
  • Humanoid Humanoid (attribute)
  • Friendly Friendly (behaviour)
  • Merfolk Merfolk (common type)

An ancient god of corn and fertility to the people of Philistine. The name ‘Dagon’ in ancient Hebrew means corn. Also the word ‘dgn’ in Ugaritic language means grain and the word ‘digan’ in the Samaritan language also translates as grain. He was one of four sons of the god Anu and was the father of Baal, a local god of the Canaanites. Dagon was associated with both corn and fish. The corn was a symbol of fertility in Philistine culture and fish was the symbol for multiplying. He was worshiped by the early inhabitants of the ancient cities Ebla and Ugaritic and also worshiped by the Amoirtes people. He was a prominent god at Ebla with sources dating back as 2500 B.C.E. His image was seen at temples with his consort Belatu which means lady.

Later he became a fish god resembling a Merman as he is now more popularly known as Dag which means fish. Rashi, the Jewish bible commentator stated the the name ‘Daon&rsquol was related to the Hebrew word ‘dag’ meaning fish. He was thus envisioned as a Merman with the upper half of a human and the lower half of a fish much like the Babylonian fish-god Oannes. Scholar H. Schmokel in 1928 stated that he was never a fish god but became one out of misinterpreting texts. Earlier scholars such as William Robertson Smith and Julius Wellhausen believed that the tradition became valid when the image of Mermen were discovered to be a prominent part of Assyrian and Phoenician culture.

The poet John Mitlon included Dagon in his poem:

... Next came one
Who mourned in earnest, when the captive ark
Maimed his brute image, head and hands lopt off,
In his own temple, on the grunsel-edge,
Where he fell flat and shamed his worshippers:
Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man
And downward fish; yet had his temple high
Reared in Azotus, dreaded through the coast
Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,
And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.

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