The Enuma Elish (which are the first two words of the epic and mean simply “ When on high”) is the creation myth of ancient Mesopotamia. This is the Babylonian. ENUMA ELISH THE EPIC OF CREATION L.W. King Translator (from The Seven Tablets of Creation, London ). A more complete etext of the Seven Tablets. Enuma Elish. Babylonian Creation Myth. From Ancient Near Eastern Texts. Translated by N. K. Sandars. This long poem was written principally in the twelth .
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(Enūma Elish). Benjamin R. Foster. The so-called epic of Creation preserves a relatively late Babylonian conception of the creation of the physical world . it is due to the fact that Enuma elish presents quite a number of analogies to the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis. THE DISCOVERY OF THE TABLETS. The Enuma Elish. Otherwise known as. THE SEVEN BABYLONIAN TABLETS OF CREATION. Rewritten and Revised by. Denny Sargent.
That is the case, for instance, in the Asalluhi group. Here each name is As mentioned in note 15, it is possible that the names after [Neberu] refer toMarduk.
However, the column bearing the names is broken, and only the explanations are preserved. If we were to collect the names and epithets scattered in different lists, it is clear that there were many more than fifty names for Marduk. Note, for instance, that tablet VII Anum contains over 60 names for this god that are different from those listed in tablet II. Furthermore, the choice of a god list with explanations to close the composition carries further complexities because this kind of list displays certain features of lexical texts beyond the mere arrangement of names, and these features are accordingly to be found in the list of Marduk's names in Enuima elis.
This is also the case with the use of thematic associations such as hyponyms, associated pairs, synonyms, and antonyms in lines of Enuima elis not preserved in the fragments of the three-column god list known to me. Thus, under the name dZi-ku we find mu-sab-si si-im-ri u ku-bu-ut-te-emu-kin he'-gail VII: Most interesting is the fact that from the preserved lines of the three-column god list one gets the impression that certain episodes of Enuima elis have been drawn from the explanations of the god list.
This is not an innovation, for lexical lists had already inspired the composition of literary texts, as Miguel Civil has shown see also Veldhuis Aside from the praise of Marduk, specific events taken from the god list include: Thus the use of related words from the god list seems to be present in tablet V: In this instance the god list has markas and durmahhi, while tablet V: This is most likely a play of borrowing within borrowings. For the organizational principles of lexical lists, see Martha Roth's The references in parentheses correspond to the column and line numbers of the three-column god list STC 1: Although not in the available fragments of the three-column list, I suspect thatMarduk's thirty-fourth name Mummu is also derived from the god list.
Interestingly enough, another three-column list STC 2, plates lxi-lxii [K. The Fifty Names of Marduk in Enuima elis These selected examples indicate, I believe, that intertextuality in Eniima elis' is far reaching. Naturally, a thorough enumeration of intertextual examples would be far beyond the scope of this section.
For the sake of brevity, suffice it to say that Enuima elis includes allusions to a variety of traditional genres and motives as well as literary conventions. These encompass etiological myths, epic stories, phraseology from omen literature, royal inscriptions7 hymns, prayers, cosmological topics, literary devices of lexical lists, god list s , and putative genealogies.
First, there is the mention of the lack of names in the opening line: Eniima elis la nabu2 s'amaiim, "When above heaven had not been named. This betrays from the outset the intention to create a circular account, because the beginning lacks what abounds at the end.
Immediately following, from the third through the seventeenth line, there is a genealogy. Next, Nudimmud is praised above his forebears: He is wise, strong, and unrivaled among his ancestors. Genealogy is then interrupted by a pas sage that introduces the conflict. This encompasses the gods disturbing Tiamat with their noise, Ea's killing of Apsu, and his subsequent creation of his dwelling upon Apsuf. At this point, the genealogy is resumed and completed, because Marduk is born to Ea and his wife Damkina in the midst of Apsu.
Marduk is then praised even more than his father. In this genealogy, the great absent figure is, of course, Enlil, who is played down by being com pletely ignored.
He will appear later to give Marduk his own epithet, bel mdtdti, personally. Thus a relatively short passage not only introduces the important characters and the plot's conflict, but it also lays out the positive qualities of the future hero.
It shows that Marduk was the son of the most outstanding god, Ea, and that his grandfather was none other than Anu. Marduk's identity is thus established by means of ancestry. After this, however, Marduk-as would any successful Mesopotamian king-seeks out fame by un dertaking heroic deeds. He volunteers as the champion of the gods, requesting the special powers that enable him to defeat Tiamat.
As if this were not enough, he creates the heavens and earth out of his rival's corpse. At this point, the last portion of tablet four mirrors Ea's deeds in the first tablet. Marduk establishes dwelling places in the enemy's body, as Ea had done before him, but Marduk does this in a grandiose way, superseding his father.
He then proceeds to fashion the stars, the planets, and the rest of the universe. The exaltation of Marduk has several stages. He has the right ancestry and successfully undertakes heroic deeds. Both facts convey the ideal background of aMesopotamian ruler. But additionally he becomes a demiurge, and this obviously places him far above his human counterparts.
This progression moves from kinship to kingship. The transition is expressed in such a manner that the ultimate caesura is unambiguous. This is presented in the shape of an address to the Igigi-gods: The gods further bestow upon him his second name, Lugaldimmerankia, "king of the gods of heaven and earth.
From the beginning, Gil games is presented as the son of Lugalbanda and the goddess Ninsun, two-thirds god and one-third human. He decides to undertake heroic deeds and seeks advice from the elders and the young men of Uruk. Gilgame's aims at immortality like Uta-napistim, while Marduk aspires to become Enlil. In his search for fame, Gilgames kills the innocent Humbaba, whose role had been to protect the Forest of Cedar, and Marduk kills Tiamat, who was legitimately avenging the murder of Apsu'.
Whereas Gilgames fails, Marduk succeeds. Finally, both Gilgame-s's and Marduk's deeds are meant to be transmitted to future genera tions. Gilgame's's travails were recorded and enshrined in a foundation deposit in the wall of Uruk, and the narrator invites his audience to read out from a lapis-lazuli tablet the story of the king of Uruk.
Similarly, Marduk's story and names were written on seven tablets, and the narrator urges future generations to remember, study, transmit, and repeat those names. The names are strategically listed at the end of the composition in order to celebrate Marduk's greatness and to install him unequivocally as the head of the Babylonian pantheon.
But having the names at the very end is also intended, I think, to highlight the contrast with the first tablet.
It further implies that towards the end of Eniuma elis Marduk's genealogical filiation becomes less relevant because by defeating Tiamat and creating the universe he is able to establish a reputation for himself. It is in this sense that names replace genealogy. But here the composer plays yet another of his tricks, because, as Lambert b has convincingly shown, the list of ancestors in the first tablet was fashioned after the genealogical tradition of god lists.
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Bethesda, Md.: CDL Press. Geller, M. Forerunners to Udug-hul: Sumerian Exorcistic Incantations.
Franz Steiner Verlag. Heidel, A. The Babylonian Genesis, the Story of Creation. Jacobsen, Th. The Battle between Marduk and Tiamat. JAOS This passage reads: The translation is by Michalowski Luzac and Co. The British Museum. Labat, R. Le poeme babylonien de la creation. Librarie d'Amerique et d'Orient. Les origins et la formation de la terre dans le poeme babylonien de la creation. Headrick, Steven W.
Hirsch, Lyman L. Johnson, and David Northrup. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Heidel, Alexander. The Babylonian Genesis; the Story of the Creation. Chicago,: University of Chicago Press, Jacobsen, Thorkild.
Milton Karl Munitz, pp. Glencoe, Ill. Webster, Michael. Grand Valley State University. Lewis, Theodore J. Muss-Arnolt, W. A divine hero-king on the left, likely Marduk or a similar deity, is seen locked in combat with the forces of chaos, seen here as a lion-dragon, possibly Tiamat or basmu [Tablet I. Notice how the lion-dragon-serpent is in the shape of a crescent moon. This may reflect the Babylonian poetic tradition that lunar eclipses were caused by celestial demons attacking the moon.
The creation of Earth Enuma Elish according to the Sumerian tablets begins like this: When in the height heaven was not named, And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name, And the primeval Apsu, who begat them, And chaos, Tiamut, the mother of them both Their waters were mingled together, And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen; When of the gods none had been called into being, And none bore a name, and no destinies were ordained; Then were created the gods in the midst of heaven, Lahmu and Lahamu were called into being Sumerian mythology claims that, in the beginning, human-like gods ruled over Earth.
When they came to the Earth, there was much work to be done and these gods toiled the soil, digging to make it habitable and mining its minerals. The texts mention that at some point the gods mutinied against their labour. When the gods like men Bore the work and suffered the toll The toil of the gods was great, The work was heavy, the distress was much. Anu , the god of gods, agreed that their labour was too great.