ADONIS ə dō’ nĭs (̓Άδωνις, from אָדוֹן, H123, lord). The Syrian deity of vegetation which wilts under the hot summer sun. He was called tammuzu or dūzi in Akkad.; tammuz in Heb. In Syria and Phoenicia he was known as ’adōnī, from which comes his Gr. name Adonis. He was venerated throughout the Near East, Egypt, and Greece. A feast in his honor was celebrated in June/July. When the vegetation wilted under the scorching heat and he descended into the nether world, his wife, the goddess Ishtar, went down too in order to revive him the following spring. The two were fertility gods, symbolizing the death and restoration of life in nature.
J. G. Frazer, Adonis, Attis, and Osiris: Studies in the History of Oriental Religions (1906); S. A. Cook, The Religion of Ancient Palestine in the Light of Archaeology (1930), 139, 140; W. Eichrodt, Theology of the, I (1961).
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
a-do’-nis: A name for the Babylonian god TAMMUZ, which see. The word occurs only in the English