Dushara (Arabic: ذو الشرى, "Lord of the Mountain"), also transliterated as Dusares, a deity in the ancient Middle East worshipped by the Nabataeans at Petra and Madain Saleh (of which city he was the patron).
In Greek times, he was associated with Zeus because he was the chief of the Nabataean pantheon as well as with Dionysus. He is also identified with lord Shiva, Hindu god whose is also called by the name "Tushara", meaning: "one who lives on mountain". And, according to Hindu religion Mt. Kailash is his abode. Lord Shiva's idol form known as Shiva Lingam is an oval or sometimes a cubical black stone block. Dushara's sanctuary at Petra contained a great temple which also contained large cubical stone as its centrepiece.
A shrine to Dushara has been discovered in the harbour of ancient Puteoli in Italy. The city was an important nexus for trade to the Near East, and it is known to have had a Nabataean presence during the mid 1st century BCE.
The cult continued in some capacity well into the Roman period and possibly as late as the Islamic period.
This deity was mentioned by the 9th century CE Muslim historian Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, who wrote in The Book of Idols (Kitab al-Asnām) that: "The Banū al-Hārith ibn-Yashkur ibn-Mubashshir of the ʻAzd had an idol called Dū Sharā."
- AA.VV. Museo archeologico dei Campi Flegrei - Catalogo generale (vol. 2) - Pozzuoli, Electa Napoli 2008, pag. 60-63
- Peterson, Stephanie Bowers, "The Cult of Dushara and the Roman Annexation of Nabataea" (2006). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5352.
- Ibn al-Kalbī, The Book of Idols, Being a Translation from the Arabic of the Kitāb al-Asnām. Tr. and comm. Nabih Amin Faris (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1952).
- Healey, John F., The Religion of the Nabataeans: A Conspectus (Leiden, Brill, 2001) (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World, 136).
- el-Khouri, Lamia; Johnson, David, "A New Nabataean Inscription from Wadi Mataha, Petra," Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 137,2 (2005), 169-174.
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- Nabataean religion
- Kitab al-Asnam in the original Arabic (description on p. 5)
- Dhushara The Meaning of the Name
- "Solving the Enigma of Petra and the Nabataeans" Biblical Archaeology Review
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