), an Asiatic divinity, whose name appears in various modifications, sometimes written Anaea (Strab. xvi. p.738
), sometimes Aneitis (Plut. Art. 27
), sometimes Tanais (Clem. Alex. Protrept.
p. 43), or Nanaea. (Maccab. 2.1, 13.) Her worship was spread over several parts of Asia, such as Armenia, Cappadocia, Assyria, Persis, &c. (Strab. xi. p.512
, xii. p. 559. xv. p. 733.)
In most places where she was worshipped we find numerous slaves (ἱερόδουλοι
) of both sexes consecrated to her, and in Acilisene these slaves were taken from the most distinguished families.
The female slaves prostituted themselves for a number of years before they married.
These priests seem to have been in the enjoyment of the sacred land connected with her temples, and we find mention of sacred cows also being kept at such temples. (Plut. Luc. 24
.) From this and other circumstances it has been inferred, that the worship of Anaitis was a branch of the Indian worship of nature.
It seems, at any rate, clear that it was a part of the worship so common among the Asiatics, of the creative powers of nature, both male and female. The Greek writers sometimes identify Anaitis with their Artemis (Paus. 3.16.6
; Plut. l.c.
), and sometimes with their Aphrodite. (Clem. Alex. l.c. ;
Agathias, 1.2; Ammian. Marc. 23.3; Spartian. Carac.
7; comp. Creuzer, Symbol.
ii. p. 22, §c.)