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Title: Gurzil  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Berber people, Limes Tripolitanus
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Gurzil or Agurzil was a war deity of the ancient Berbers.

In Berber mythology, Gurzil was a bull-shaped war god who became identified with the son of Amun (Ammon). He was taken by the Berbers to their battles against the Romans.

In the 6th century, Corippus mentioned that Iarna -- chief of the Berber tribe known as the Laguatans (or Luwata as they were later known to the Arabs) -- took his god "Gurzil" into battle against the Byzantines. Iarna was a Moorish ruler and a high priest of Gurzil. After the Moors where defeated he fled with the "sacred image" of Gurzil, but was caught and killed and the image destroyed.[1] Gurzil was later taken by the Berber queen Dihya (Kahina) into her battles against the Muslims.

There was among the ruins of Ghirza in Libya a temple, which may have been dedicated to Gurzil, and the name of the town itself may even be related to his name.[2]



  1. ^ John Morris, Arnold Hugh Martin Jones, John Robert: The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire p. 612
  2. ^ René Basset (1910). "Recherches Sur La Religion Des Berberes" [Research on Berber Religion]. Revue de L’Histoire des Religions. Retrieved October 3, 2011.  (French)

Other sources

  • Modéran, Yves. (2005). Article 'Kahena (Al-Kâhina)', Encyclopédie Berbère; vol. 27, p. 4102-4111. (Points out that according to the 6th-century historian Procopius, a Berber king carried an idol of the god Gurzil.)

See also

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