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Ambrosia (Greek ἀμβροσία, meaning "immortality") is a food, or sometimes a drink, that confers either longevity or immortality upon consumption,[1] a practice typically reserved for divine beings. Although the word is commonly found in Greek Mythology, such as ambrosia being delivered to the Olympians by doves,[2] its equivalent is also in Hindu mythology as Amrita, and its concept for immortality has far reaching ancient roots.

Etymology Edit

In an earlier attestation of the concept for immortality food or drink, from Proto-Indo-European language, is the Sanskrit word अमृत (amṛta), from which the Greek ἀμβροσία (ambrosia) may have derived or been influenced by. In Hinduism, Amrta denotes a drink or food that gods use to achieve immortality. The term appears to derive from the Indo-European form *ṇ-mṛ-tós, meaning "un-dying"[3] (n-: negative prefix from which the prefix a- in both Greek and Sanskrit are derived; mṛ: zero grade of *mer-, "to die"; and -to-: adjectival suffix). A semantically similar etymology exists for nectar, the beverage of the gods (Greek: νέκταρ néktar) presumed to be a compound of the PIE roots *nek-, "death", and -*tar, "overcoming".

Nectar, the drink

In Greek mythology, ambrosia is closely related to another substance, the nectar of the gods. Although, their uses may have been literarily interchangeable,[4] the depictions in Homer's poems of nectar is usually the drink, and ambrosia the food of the gods; it was with ambrosia that Hera "cleansed all defilement from her lovely flesh".[5]

Ambrosia, the food

An ancient Egyptian statue of Anubis reads,"...I am death...I eat ambrosia and drink blood..." which hints that ambrosia is a food of some sort.[6]

Infant consumptionEdit

“Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.”—Genesis 6:11-13 NASB

Because ambrosia has been described as a "delightful liquid", later writers have attempted to identify it as: a sauce of oil, water, fruit juice, a medicinal draught, "sea-dew", rosemary[7], the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria[8], or a kind of bee-honey,[9] and even Manna—a food given by YHVH to the Israelites.

Ambrosia's allusive identity doesn't preclude a very ancient and prominent ritual of child sacrifice—the intent to gain immortality, as gleaned from the myths of ancient Sumer. In the influential Sumerian myth of Kiskil-lilla, (the later Semitic Lilith demon) she is described as a mother who devours her children in order that she may live forever.[10] Another Sumerian myth warns of Lamashtu who is said to feed on the blood of human infants.[11] The ancient cult practice of consuming the pure blood of infants, allegedly performed by secret societies,[10][12]
Ohboy
has notably found its way in modern science through blood transfusion techniques.[13] In Monterey, California, a private clinic led by Jesse Karmazin, is pumping blood plasma from teenagers and young adults, to be sold and transfused into older generation clients. The 2016 startup company is called Ambrosia.[14]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Griffiths, Alan H. (1996), "Ambrosia", in Hornblower, Simon; Spawforth, Anthony, Oxford Classical Dictionary (3rd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-521693-8 
  2. Homer, Odyssey xii.62
  3. Mallory, J. P. (1997). "Sacred drink". Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Taylor & Francis. p. 538.  Mallory also connects to this root an Avestan word, and notes that the root is "dialectally restricted to the IE southeast".
  4. "Attempts to draw any significant distinctions between the functions of nectar and ambrosia have failed." Clay, p. 114.
  5. Homer, Iliad xiv.170
  6. Rogers, Mark (2014). The Esoteric Codex: Magic Objects I. ISBN 1312114568. 
  7. "Ambrosia" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 1, p. 315.
  8. "it was the food of the gods, their ambrosia, and nectar was the pressed sap of its juices"—Carl A.P. Ruck and Danny Staples, The World of Classical Myth 1994:26.
  9. W. H. Roscher
  10. 10.0 10.1 Medium, The Supernatural Science of Immortality...
  11. "Ancient Near East: Lamashtu". http://www.ancientneareast.net/religion_mesopotamian/demons/lamashtu.html. 
  12. You Tube, Bohemian club scandals
  13. The Guardian, Can we reverse the ageing process by putting young blood into older people?, by Ian Sample,Tue 4 Aug 2015 01.00 EDT
  14. MIT Technology Review, Questionable “Young Blood” Transfusions Offered in U.S. as Anti-Aging Remedy, by Amy Maxmen January 13, 2017