Dove περιστερά
(1,415 words)

I. Name

Although the derivation of the Greek word from the (unattested) Semitic peraḥ-Istar, ‘bird of Ishtar’, is probably mistaken, there can be no doubt that the dove in the Eastern Mediterranean world was the bird of the mother-and love goddess (Aphrodite) in various forms. That the dove also was regarded as soul-bird is shown by dove-grottos in burial grounds (Greeven 1968:65) and funerary inscriptions, Jewish as well as Gentile (Greeven 1968:67). In Israel, turtledoves and pigeons were …

Cite this page
J. Fossum, “Dove περιστερά”, in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online, Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter W. van der Horst. Consulted online on 20 January 2019 <>

▲   Back to top   ▲