Colossal statue of the god Nabu, 8th century BC, from Nimrud, on display in the National Museum of Iraq
|Symbol||Clay tablet and stylus|
|Parents||Marduk and Sarpanitum|
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|Part of the myth series on|
|Religions of the|
ancient Near East
|Pre-Islamic Arabian deities|
|Arabian deities of foreign origin|
The Akkadian "nabu" means "to announce, prophesize", derived from the Semitic root N-B. It's cognate with the Arabic نبي (nabiyy) and the Hebrew נביא (naví), all meaning "prophet".
Nabu was worshiped by the Babylonians and the Assyrians. Nabu was known as Nisaba in the Sumerian pantheon and gained prominence among the Babylonians in the 1st millennium BC when he was identified as the son of the god Marduk.
Nabu was worshipped in Babylon's sister city Borsippa, where his statue was moved to Babylon each New Year so that he could pay his respects to his father. Nabu's symbol was a stylus resting on a tablet. Clay tablets with especial calligraphic skill were used as offerings at Nabu's temple. His wife was the Akkadian goddess Tashmet.
Nabu was the patron god of scribes, literacy, and wisdom. He was also the inventor of writing, a divine scribe, the patron god of the rational arts, and a god of vegetation. As the god of writing, Nabu inscribed the fates assigned to men and he was associated with the scribe god Ninurta. As an oracle he was associated with the Mesopotamian moon god Sin.
Nabu wore a horned cap, and stood with his hands clasped in the ancient gesture of priesthood. He rode on a winged dragon known as Sirrush that originally belonged to his father Marduk. In Babylonian astrology, Nabu was identified with the planet Mercury.
nbʾ To name, proclaim, summon."