Of the various spellings of the name, Astarte is found in the Tel Amara letters. The Hebrew Ashtoreth arose when the rabbinical school of the Massoretes in the sixth century decided to adopt a conventional system to compensate for the lack of vowels in written Hebrew, and at the same time to insert in the names of foreign divinities the vowels from the word ‘boshet’, meaning abomination. Asherah is the Ugarit version, while by Lucian she is called Syria Dea. The use of the name Atargatis appears to have arisen from a conflation of Astarte and Anat.
   She was the fertility goddess of the Semitic races, her cult having spread throughout the whole Middle East. In Babylonia she became Ishtar. By the Greeks she was equated with Aphrodite, who would appear to be the same but in a new setting. As the goddess of the planet Venus she would appear to be a variant of Athar the South Semitic Venus god. As Ashtoreth she was a goddess of war in Egypt from 1800 BC until the coming of Christianity. She was known as the lady of horses and chariots, and depicted as lioness-headed and mounted on a quadriga, although it is possible that this is a confusion with Anthat.
   In the Ugarit texts she is also Asheratian (the Aserah of the Sea), wife of El, creatress of the gods, being the mother of seventy gods and goddesses.

Who’s Who in non-classical mythology . . 2014.

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  • Astarte — altsyrische Darstellung einer Liebesgöttin Astarte, phönizisch: ʿštrt, griechisch: Αστάρτη (Astártē), hebräisch Aschtoret, aramäisch: Athtar; war die Himmelskönigin und Liebesgöttin mehrerer westsemitischer Völker. Auf einer Inschrift von Delos… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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