The personification of the two great luminaries - the sun and the moon - was the first step in the unfolding of this system, and this was followed by placing the other deities where Shamash and Sin had their seats.
The sun-god Shamash calls upon Eabani to remain with Gilgamesh, who pays him all honours in his palace at Erech.
In the 3rd tablet, very imperfectly preserved, Gilgamesh appeals through a Shamash priestess Rimat-Belit to the sun-god Shamash for his aid in the proposed undertaking.
The older incantations, associated with Ea, were re-edited so as to give to Marduk the supreme power over demons, witches and sorcerers; the hymns and lamentations composed for the cult of Bel, Shamash and of Adad were transformed into paeans and appeals to Marduk, while the ancient myths arising in the various religious and political centres underwent a similar process of adaptation to changed conditions, and as a consequence their original meaning was obscured by the endeavour to assign all mighty deeds and acts, originally symbolical of the change of seasons or of occurrences in nature, to the patron deity of Babylon - the supreme head of the entire Babylonian pantheon.
Associated with Marduk was his consort Sarpanit, and grouped around the pair as princes around a throne were the chief deities of the older centres, like Ea and Damkina of Eridu, Nebo and Tashmit of Borsippa, Nergal and Allatu of Kutha, Shamash and A of Sippar, Sin and Ningal of Ur, as well as pairs like Ramman (or Adad) and Shala whose central seat is unknown to us.
At all events, when one considers the Babylonian-Assyrian conceptions of Shamash as the supreme and righteous judge, god of truth and justice, or the monotheism of Amenophis IV.
Whether the will of the gods is determined through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal, through observing the action of oil bubbles in a basin of water or through the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, it is Shamash and Adad who, in the ritual connected with divination, are invariably invoked.
Together with Sin and Ishtar, Shamash forms a second triad by the side of Anu, Bel and Ea.
In the systematized pantheon, Ninib survives the tendency towards centralizing all sun cults in Shamash by being made the symbol of a certain phase of the sun.
Indeed, the other gods, Sin, Shamash (Samas), Adad, Ninib and Nergal, and even Ea, take on the warlike traits of Assur in the epithets and descriptions given of them in the annals and votive inscriptions of Assyrian rulers to such an extent as to make them appear like little Assurs by the side of the great one.