(sprout of life), properly "the Tammuz," the article indicating that at some time or other the word had been regarded as an appellative. (Ezekiel 8:14) Jerome identifies Tammuz with Adonis, of Grecian mythology, who was fabled to have lost his wife while hunting, by a wound from the tusk of a wild boar. He was greatly beloved by the goddess Venus, who was inconsolable at his loss. His blood according to Ovid produced the anemone, but according to others the adonium, while the anemone sprang from the tears of Venus. A festival in honor of Adonis was celebrated at Byblus in Phoenicia and in most of the Grecian cities, and even by the Jews when they degenerated into idolatry. It took place in July, and was accompanied by obscene rites.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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