|“||Anu is the head honcho of the Mesopotamian gods. A mighty and powerful bastard that guy is. Despite claiming that he isn't like his parents or grandparents in any way, many gods seem to agree that he isn't. He's much worse.||„|
|— Carl Black|
Anu was the supreme source of all authority, for the other gods and for all mortal rulers, and he is described as the one "who contains the entire universe". He is identified with the north ecliptic pole centered in the constellation Draco and, along with his sons Enlil and Enki, constitutes the highest divine triad personifying the three bands of constellations of the vault of the sky. Anu's primary role in myths is as the ancestor of the Anunnaki, the major deities of Mesopotamian religion.
Anu's consort is the goddess Ki and the goddess Antu, whose name is a feminine form of Anu. In another legend, Anu summons the mortal hero Adapa before him for breaking the wing of the south wind. Anu orders for Adapa to be given the food and water of immortality, which Adapa refuses, having been warned beforehand by Enki that Anu will offer him the food and water of death. Anu is a former ruler of the gods, who was overthrown by his son Enlil, who bit off his father's genitals and gave birth to the storm god Teshub. Teshub overthrew Enlil, avenged Anu's mutilation, and became the new king of the gods.
Powers and Abilities
At first, there is only Nammu, the primeval sea. Eventually, the birth of Anu, the sky, and Ki, the earth, happens. Anu and Ki mate with each other, causing Ki to give birth to Enlil, the god of the wind. Enlil separates Anu from Ki and carries off the earth as his domain, while Anu carries off the sky.
Ishtar petitions Anu to allow her to destroy Mount Ebih. Anu warns Ishtar not to attack the mountain, but she ignores his warning and proceeds to attack and destroy Mount Ebih regardless.
A conversation begins between Ishtar and her brother Utu in which Ishtar laments that the Eanna temple is not within their domain and resolves to claim it as her own. Ultimately, Ishtar reaches Anu, who is shocked by her arrogance, but nevertheless concedes that she has succeeded and that the temple is now her domain.
Anu's great granddaughter, Ishtar, attempts to seduce the hero Gilgamesh. When Gilgamesh spurns her advances, Ishtar angrily goes to heaven and tells Anu that Gilgamesh has insulted her. Anu asks her why she is complaining to him instead of confronting Gilgamesh herself. Ishtar demands that Anu give her the Bull of Heaven and swears that if he does not give it to her, she will break down the gates of the Underworld and raise the dead to eat the living. Anu gives Ishtar the Bull of Heaven, and Ishtar sends it to attack Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu.
Anu notices that the south wind does not blow towards the land for seven days. He asks his sukkal Ilabrat the reason. Ilabrat replies that is because Adapa, the priest of Enki, has broken the south wind's wing. Anu demands that Adapa be summoned before him, but, before Adapa sets out, Enki warns him not to eat any of the food or drink any of the water the gods offer him, because the food and water are poisoned. Adapa arrives before Anu and tells him that the reason he broke the south wind's wing was because he had been fishing for Enki and the south wind had caused a storm, which had sunk his boat. Anu's doorkeepers Dumuzid and Ningishzida speak out in favor of Adapa. This placates Anu's fury and he orders that, instead of the food and water of death, Adapa should be given the food and water of immortality as a reward. Adapa, however, follows Enki's advice and refuses the meal.
Erra and Išum
Anu gives Erra, the god of destruction, the Sebettu, which are described as personified weapons. Anu instructs Erra to use them to massacre humans when they become overpopulated and start making too much noise.