The Seven Tablets of Creation
by Leonard William King
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This is an etext of L.W. Kings’ authoritative work on the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation myth. This etext includes the complete introduction, and the English text of the Enuma Elish and other related texts, with selected footnotes. The Enuma Elish is the earliest written creation myth, in which the God Marduk battles the chaos Goddess Tiamat and her evil minions. The name ‘Enuma Elish’ is derived from the first two words of the myth, meaning ‘When in the Height’. Tiamat takes the form of a gigantic snake, and Marduk battles and defeats her using an arsenal of super-weapons. After his victory Marduk is made the leader of the Gods by acclamation. Marduk divides Tiamat’s corpse into two portions, the upper half becoming the sky and the lower half, the earth. Marduk then creates humanity from his blood and bone.
The Enuma Elish has long been considered by scholars to be primary source material for the book of Genesis. It has also been hypothesized that this is a legend about the overthrow of the matriarchy or records of some cosmic catastrophe.
THE great Assyrian poem, or series of legends, which narrates the story of the Creation of the world and man, was termed by the Assyrians and Babylonians Enuma elish, “When in the height,” from the two opening words of the text. The poem consisted of some nine hundred and ninety-four lines, and was divided into seven sections, each of which was inscribed upon a separate Tablet. The Tablets were numbered by the Assyrian scribes, and the separate sections of the poem written upon them do not vary very much in length. The shortest Tablet contains one hundred and thirty-eight lines, and the longest one hundred and forty-six, the average length of a Tablet being about one hundred and forty-two lines. The poem embodies the beliefs of the Babylonians and Assyrians concerning the origin of the universe; it describes the coming forth of the gods from chaos, and tells the story of how the forces of disorder, represented by the primeval water-gods Apsû and Tiamat, were overthrown by Ea and Marduk respectively, and how Marduk, after completing the triumph of the gods over chaos, proceeded to create the world and man. The poem is known to us from portions of several Assyrian and late-Babylonian copies of the work, and from
extracts from it written out upon the so-called “practice-tablets,” or students’ exercises, by pupils of the Babylonian scribes. The Assyrian copies of the work are from the great library which was founded at Nineveh by Ashur-bani-pal, king of Assyria from B.C. 668 to about B.C. 626; the Babylonian copies and extracts were inscribed during the period of the kings of the Neo-Babylonian and Persian periods; and one copy of the Seventh Tablet may probably be assigned to as late a date as the period of the Arsacidae. All the tablets and fragments, which have hitherto been identified as inscribed with portions of the text of the poem, are preserved in the British Museum.
From the time of the first discovery of fragments of the poem considerable attention has been directed towards them, for not only are the legends themselves the principal source of our knowledge of the Babylonian cosmogony, but passages in them bear a striking resemblance to the cognate narratives in the Book of Genesis concerning the creation of the world. The late Mr. George Smith, who was the first to publish an account of the poem, recognized this resemblance and emphasized it in his papers on the subject in 1875. 1 In the following year in
his work “The Chaldean Account of Genesis” 1 he gave translations of the fragments of the poem which had been identified, and the copies which he had made of the principal fragments were published. 2 After Smith’s death the interest in the texts which he had published did not cease, and scholars continued to produce renderings and studies of the legends. 3
In 1883 Dr. Wallis Budge gave an account of a fine Babylonian duplicate of what proved to be the Fourth Tablet of the Creation Series; this document restored considerable portions of the narrative of the fight between Marduk and the dragon Tiamat, and added considerably to our knowledge of the story of Creation and of the order in which the events related in the story took place. 1 In the Hibbert Lectures for 1887 Professor Sayce translated the new fragment of the text, 2 and in the following year published a complete translation 3 of all fragments of the Creation Legends which had up to that time been identified. In 1890 Professor Jensen, in his studies on the Babylonian cosmogony, included a translation of the legends together with a transliteration and a number of valuable philological notes and discussion. 4 In 1895
Professor Zimmern published a translation of the legends, similar in plan to Sayce’s earlier edition; in it he took advantage of some recently identified fragments and duplicates, and put forward a number of new renderings of difficult passages. 1 In 1896 a third German translation of the legends made its appearance; it was published by Professor Delitzsch and included transliterations and descriptions of the various tablets and fragments inscribed with portions of the text. 2 Finally, in 1900 Professor Jensen published a second edition of his rendering of the legends in his Mythen und Epen; 3 this work was the best which could be prepared with the material then available. 4
In the most recent translations of the Creation Series, those of Delitzsch and Jensen, use was made in all of twenty-one separate tablets and fragments which had been identified as inscribed with portions of the text of the poem. 1 In the present work thirty-four
additional tablets and fragments, inscribed with portions of the text of the Creation Series, have been employed; but, as six of these join other similar fragments, the number of separate tablets and fragments here used for the first time is reduced to twenty-eight. The total number of separate fragments of the text of the Creation Series is thus brought up to forty-nine. 1 The new material is distributed among the Seven Tablets of the Creation Series as follows:—To the four known fragments of the First Tablet may now be added eight others, 2 consisting of two fragments of an Assyrian tablet and four Babylonian fragments and two extracts inscribed upon Babylonian “practice-tablets.” To the three known fragments of the Second Tablet may be added four others, 3 consisting of parts of one Assyrian and of three Babylonian tablets. To the four known fragments of the Third Tablet may be added five other, 4
consisting of fragments of one Assyrian and one Babylonian tablet and extracts inscribed upon three Babylonian “practice-tablets.” To the five known fragments of the Fourth Tablet only one new duplicate can be added, 1 which is inscribed upon a Babylonian “practice-tablet.” To the three known fragments of the Fifth Tablet may be added two others, 2 consisting of parts of two Assyrian tablets. Of the Sixth Tablet no fragment has previously been known, and its existence was only inferred from a fragment of the catch-line preserved on copies of the Fifth Tablet; fragments of the text of the Sixth Tablet are published for the first time in the present work from part of a Babylonian tablet. 3 Finally, to the two known fragments of the Seventh Tablet may now be added seven other 4 inscribed upon five Assyrian fragments and portions of two Babylonian tablets.
The new fragments of the text of the First and Second Tablets of the Creation Series throw light on the earlier episodes in the story of Creation, and enable us to fill up some of the gaps in the narrative. By the identification of the Tablet K. 5,419 c, 5 George Smith recovered the opening lines of the First Tablet, which describes the condition of things before Creation
when the primeval water-gods, Apsû and Tiamat, personifying chaos, mingled their waters in confusion. The text then briefly relates how to Apsû and Tiamat were born the oldest of the gods, the first pair, Lahmu and Lahamu, being followed after a long interval by Anshar and Kishar, and after a second interval by other deities, of whose names the text of K. 5,419 c only preserves that of Anu. George Smith perceived that this theogony had been reproduced by Damascius in his summary of the beliefs of the Babylonians concerning the creation of the world. 1 Now, since Damascius mentions Ἴλλινος and Ἀός along with Ἀνός, it was clear that the text of the poem included a description of the birth of the elder Bel (i.e. Enlil or Illil) and of Ea in the passage in which Anu’s name occurs. But as the text inscribed upon the obverse of K. 5,419 c,
and of its Neo-Babylonian duplicate 82-7-14, 402, 1 breaks off at l. 15, the course of the story after this point has hitherto been purely a matter for conjecture. It appeared probable that the lines which followed contained a full account of the origin of the younger gods, and from the fact that Damascius states that Βῆλος, the Creator of the world, was the son of (i.e. Ea) and Δαύκη (i.e. Damkina), it has Seen concluded that at any rate special prominence was given to the birth of Bel, i.e. Marduk, who figures so prominently in the story from the close of the Second Tablet onwards.
The new fragments of the First Tablet show that the account of the birth of the gods in the Creation Series is even shorter than that given by Damascius, for the poem contains no mention of the birth and parentage of Marduk. After mentioning the birth of Nudimmud (i.e. Ea), 2 the text proceeds to describe his marvellous wisdom and strength, and states that he had no rival among the gods; the birth of no other god is recorded after that of Ea, and, when Marduk is introduced later on, his existence, like that of Mummu and of Gaga, appears to be tacitly assumed. It would seem, therefore, that the reference made by
Damascius to Marduk’s parentage was not derived from the text of the Creation Series, but was added by him to complete his summary of the Babylonian beliefs concerning the origin of the gods.
This omission of Marduk’s name from the earlier lines of the First Tablet and the prominence given to that of Ea may at first sight seem strange, but it is in accordance with the other newly recovered portions of the text of the First and Second Tablets, which indirectly throw an interesting light on the composite character and literary history of the great poem. 1 It will be seen that of the deities mentioned in these earlier lines Nudimmud (Ea) is the only god whose characteristics are described in detail; his birth, moreover, forms the climax to which the previous lines lead up, and, after the description of his character, the story proceeds at once to relate the rebellion of the primeval gods and the part which Ea played in detecting and frustrating their plans. In fact, Ea and not Marduk is the hero of the earlier episodes of the Creation story.
The new fragments of the text show, moreover, that it was Apsû and not Tiamat who began the rebellion against the gods. While the newly created gods represented the birth of order and system in the universe, Apsû and Tiamat still remained in confusion and undiminished in might. Apsû, however, finding the earlier part
that his slothful rest was disturbed by the new order of beings whom he had begotten, summoned Mummu, 1 his minister, and the two went together to Tiamat, and lying down before her, took counsel with her
regarding the means to be adopted to restore the old order of things. It may be noted that the text contains no direct statement that it was the creation of light which caused the rebellion of the primeval gods. 1 Apsû merely states his hatred of the alkatu or “way” of the gods, in consequence of which he can get no rest by day or night; and, from the fact that he makes use of the expressions “by day” and “by night,” it may be inferred that day and night were vaguely conceived as already in existence. It was therefore the substitution of order in place of chaos which, according to the text of the poem, roused Apsû’s resentment and led to his rebellion and downfall 2
Our knowledge of the part played by Ea in the overthrow of Apsû and Mummu is still fragmentary, but we know from l. 60 of the First Tablet that it was he who detected the plot against the gods; it is also certain that the following twenty lines recorded the fate of Apsû and his minister, and there are clear indications that it was Ea to whom their overthrow was due. In Tablet II, ll. 53 E, Anshar, on learning from Ea the news of Tiamat’s preparations for battle, contrasts the conquest of Mummu and Apsû with the task of opposing Tiamat, and the former achievement he implies has been accomplished by Ea. It is clear, therefore, that Ea caused the overthrow of Apsû 1 and the capture of Mummu 2 but in what way he brought it about, whether by actual fighting or by “his pure incantation,” 3 is still a matter for conjecture. In view of the fact that Anshar at first tried peaceful means for overcoming Tiamat 4 before exhorting Marduk to wage battle against her, the latter supposition is the more probable of the two. The subjugation of Apsû by Ea explains his subsequent disappearance from the Creation story. When Apsû is next mentioned, it is as “the Deep,” 5 and not as an active and Tiamat’s malevolent deity.
After the overthrow of Apsû, Tiamat remained unconquered, and she continued to represent in her
own person the unsubdued forces of chaos. 1 But, as at first she had not herself begun the rebellion, so now her continuation of the war against the gods was due to the prompting of another deity. The speech in which this deity urges Tiamat to avenge Apsû and Mummu occurs in Tablet I, ll. 93-104, and, inasmuch as she subsequently promoted Kingu to be the leader of her forces ”because he had given her support,” it may be concluded that it was Kingu who now prompted her to avenge her former spouse. 2 Ea, however, did not cease his active opposition to the forces of disorder, but continued to play the chief rôle on the side of the gods. He heard of Tiamat’s preparations for battle, he carried the news to Anshar, his father, and he was sent by him against the monster. It was only after both he and Anu had failed in their attempts to approach and appease Tiamat 3 that Anshar appealed to Marduk to become the champion of the gods.
Another point completely explained by the new fragments of the text is the reason for the repetitions which occur in the first three tablets of the series. It will be seen that Tablet I, ll. 109-142, are repeated in Tablet II, ll. 15-48; that Tablet II, ll. 1. 1-48, are
repeated in Tablet III, ll. 15-52; and that Tablet III, ll. 15-66, are repeated in the same Tablet, II. 73-124. The lines which are repeated have reference to Tiamat’s preparations for battle against the gods, and to Anshar’s summons of the gods in order that they may confer power on Marduk as their champion. From the new fragments of the text we now know that the lines relating to Tiamat’s preparations occur on the First Tablet in the form of narrative, immediately after she had adopted Kingu’s suggestion that she should avenge the overthrow of Apsû and Mummu; and that in the Second Tablet they are repeated by Ea in his speech to Anshar, to whom he carried the news. The context of the repetitions in the Third Tablet is already known; Anshar first repeats the lines to his minister Gaga, when telling him to go and summon the gods to an assembly, and later on in the Tablet Gaga repeats the message word for word to Lahmu and Lahamu.
The constant repetition of these lines was doubtless intended to emphasize the terrible nature of the opposition which Marduk successfully overcame; and the fact that Berossus omits all mention of the part played by Ea in the earlier portions of the story is also due to the tendency of the Babylonian priests to exalt their local god at the expense of other deities. The account which we have received from Berossus of the Babylonian beliefs concerning the origin of the universe is largely taken up with a description of
the mythical monsters which dwelt in the deep at a time when the world had not come into being and when darkness and water alone existed. 1 Over these monsters, according to Berossus, reigned a woman named Ὀμόρκα, who is to be identified with Tiamat, 2
while the creatures themselves represent the monster-brood which Tiamat formed to aid her in her fight against the gods. 1 Compared with the description of the monsters, the summary from Berossus of the incidents related on the Fourth Tablet is not very full; the text states that Βῆλος (i.e. Bel) slew Ὀμόρκα,
and having cleft her in twain, 1 from one half of her he made the earth, and from the other the heavens, while he overcame the creatures that were within her, i.e. the monsters of the deep.
The actual account of the creation of the world by Marduk, as related in the Creation Series, begins towards the end of the Fourth Tablet, 2 where the narrative closely agrees with the summary from Berossus. Marduk is there related to have split Tiamat into halves, and to have used one half of her as a covering for heaven. The text then goes on to state that he founded heaven, which is termed E-shara, a mansion like unto the Deep in structure, and that he caused Anu, Bêl, and Ea to inhabit their respective districts therein. The Fifth Tablet does not begin with the account of the creation of the earth, but records the fixing of the constellations of the Zodiac, the founding of the year, and Marduk’s charge to the Moon-god and the Sun-god, to the former of whom he entrusted the night, his instructions relating to the phases of the Moon, and the relative positions of the Moon and the Sun during the month. The new fragments of the Fifth Tablet contain some interesting variants to this portion of the text, 3 but,
with the exception of the last few lines of the text, they throw no light on what the missing portions of the Tablet contained. In view, however, of the statement of Berossus that from one half of Tiamat Bêl formed the earth, we may conjecture that an account of the creation of the earth occurred upon some part of the Fifth Tablet. It is also probable that the Fifth Tablet recorded the creation of vegetation. That. this formed the subject of some portion of the poem is certain from the opening lines of the Seventh Tablet, where Marduk is hailed as “Asari, ‘Bestower of planting,’ ‘[Founder of sowing],’ ‘Creator of grain and plants,’ ‘who caused [the green herb to spring up]!'”; and the creation of plants and herbs would naturally follow that of the earth.
From the new fragment of the Sixth Tablet, No. 92,629, we know that this portion of the poem related the story of the creation of man. As at the
beginning of his work of creation Marduk is said to have “devised a cunning plan” 1 while gazing upon the dead body of Tiamat, so now, before proceeding to man’s creation, it is said that “his heart prompted him and he devised [a cunning plan].” 2 In the repetition of this phrase we may see an indication of the importance which was ascribed to this portion of the story, and it is probable that the creation of man was regarded as the culmination of Marduk’s creative work. It is interesting to note, however, that the creation of man is not related as a natural sequel to the formation of the rest of the universe, but forms the solution of a difficulty with which Marduk has been met in the course of his work as Creator. To overcome this difficulty Marduk devised the “cunning plan” already referred to; the context of this passage is not very clear, but the reason for man’s creation may be gathered from certain indications in the text.
We learn from the beginning of the Sixth Tablet that Marduk devised his cunning plan after he had “heard the word of the gods,” and from this it is clear that the Fifth Tablet ends with a speech of the gods. Now in Tablet VI, l. 8, Marduk states that he will create man “that the service of the gods may be established”; in l. 9. f., however, he adds that
he will change the ways of the gods, and he appears to threaten them with punishment. It may be conjectured, therefore, that after Marduk had completed the creation of the world, the gods came to him and complained that there were no shrines built in their honour, nor was there anyone to worship them. To supply this need Marduk formed the device of creating man, but at the same time he appears to have decided to vent his wrath upon the gods because of their discontent. It is possible, however, that Ea dissuaded Marduk from punishing the gods, though he no doubt assisted him in carrying out the first part of his proposal. 1
In ll. 5 ff. of the Sixth Tablet Marduk indicates the means he will employ for forming man, and this portion of the text corroborates in a remarkable manner the account given by Berossus of the method employed by Bêl for man’s creation. The text of the summary from Berossus, in the form in which it has come down to us, 2 is not quite satisfactory, as the
course of the narrative is confused. The confusion is apparent in the repetition of the description of man’s creation and in the interruption of the naturalistic explanation of the slaying of Omorka. An ingenious but simple emendation of the text, however, was suggested by von Gutschmidt which removes both these difficulties. The passage which interrupts the naturalistic explanation, and apparently describes a first creation of man, he regarded as having been transposed; but if it is placed at the end of the extract it falls naturally into place as a summary by Eusebius of the preceding account of man’s creation which is said by Alexander Polyhistor to have been given by Berossus in the First Book of his History. 1 By adopting this emendation we obtain the text.
a clear and consecutive account of how Bêl, after the creation of heaven and earth, perceived that the land was desolate; and how he ordered one of the gods to cut off his (i.e. Bêl’s) head, and, by mixing the blood which flowed forth with earth, to create men and animals.
This passage from Berossus has given rise to considerable discussion, and more than one scholar has attempted to explain away the beheading of Bêl, the Creator, that man might be formed from his blood. Gunkel has suggested that in the original legend the blood of Tiamat was used for this purpose; 1 Stucken, 2 followed by Cheyne, 3 has emended the text so that it may suggest that the head of Tiamat, and not that of Bel, was cut off; while Zimmern would take the original meaning of the passage to be that the god
beheaded was not Bel, but the other deity whom he addressed. 1 In l. 5 of the Sixth Tablet, however, Marduk states that he will use his own blood for creating man; 2 the text of this passage from Berossus is thus shown to be correct, and it follows that the account which he gave of the Babylonian beliefs concerning man’s creation does not require to be emended or explained away.
Jensen has already suggested 1 that the god whom Bel addressed was Ea, and the new fragment of. the Sixth Tablet proves that this suggestion is correct. In the Sixth Tablet Marduk recounts to Ea his intention of forming man, and tells him the means he will employ. We may therefore conclude that it was Ea who beheaded Marduk at his request, and, according to his instructions, formed mankind from his blood. Ea may thus have performed the actual work of making man, but he acted under Marduk’s directions, and it is clear from Tablet VII, ll. 29 and 32, that Marduk, and not Ea, was regarded as man’s Creator.
According to Berossus, man was formed from the blood of Bêl mixed with earth. The new fragment of the Sixth Tablet does not mention the mixing of the blood with earth, but it is quite possible that this detail was recounted in the subsequent narrative. On the other hand, in the Babylonian poem Marduk declares that, in addition to using his own blood, he will create bone for forming man. Berossus makes no mention of bone, but it is interesting to note that issimtu, the Assyrian word here used for “bone,” 2 is doubtless the equivalent of the Hebrew word ‘esem,
[paragraph continues] “bone,” which occurs at the end of the narrative of the creation of woman in Gen. ii, 23.
The blood of Bêl, according to Berossus, was employed not only in man’s creation but in that of animals also, and it is possible that this represents the form of the legend as it was preserved upon the Sixth Tablet. Though, in that case, the creation of animals would follow that of man, the opening lines of the Sixth Tablet prove that man’s creation was regarded as the culmination of Marduk’s creative work. The “cunning plan,” which Marduk devised in order to furnish worshippers for the gods, concerned the creation of man, and if that of animals followed it must have been recorded as a subsidiary and less important act. 1 In this connection it may be noted that the expression τὰ δυμάμενα τὸν ἀέρα φέρειν, which Berossus applies to the men and animals created from the blood of Bel, was probably not based on any description or episode in the Creation story as
recorded on the Seven Tablets, but was suggested by the naturalistic interpretation of the legend furnished by Berossus himself.
With reference to the creation of man, it was suggested by George Smith that the tablet K. 3,364 was a fragment of the Creation Series, and contained the instructions given to man after his creation by Marduk. This view has been provisionally adopted by other translators of the poem, but in Appendix II 1 I have shown by means of a duplicate, No. 33,851, that the suggestion must be given up. Apart from other reasons there enumerated, it may be stated that there would be no room upon the Sixth Tablet of the Creation Series for such a long series of moral precepts as is inscribed upon the tablets K. 3,364 and No. 33,851. It may be that Marduk, after creating man, gave him some instructions with regard to the worship of the gods and the building of shrines in their honour, but the greater part of the text must have been taken up with other matter.
The concluding lines of the Sixth Tablet are partly preserved, and they afford us a glimpse of the filial scene in the Creation story. As the gods had previously been summoned to a solemn assembly that they might confer power upon Marduk before he set out to do battle on their behalf, so now, when he had vanquished Tiamat and had finished his work of instructions to
creation, they again gathered together in Upshukki-naku, their council-chamber, and proceeded to magnify him by every title of honour. We thus obtain the context or setting of the Seventh, and last, Tablet of the Creation Series, the greater part of which consists of the hymn of praise addressed by the gods to Marduk as the conqueror of Tiamat and the Creator of the world.
The hymn of the gods takes up lines 1-124 of the Seventh Tablet, and consists of a series of addresses in Creation which Marduk is hailed by them under fifty titles of honour. The titles are Sumerian, not Semitic, and each is followed by one or more Assyrian phrases descriptive of Marduk, which either explain the title or are suggested by it. Of the fifty titles which the hymn contained, the following list of eleven occur in the first forty-seven lines of the text:—
Asari: ilu Asar-ri, Tabl. VII, l. 1; p. 92 f.Asaru-alim: ilu Asaru-alim, Tabl. VII, l. 3; p. 92 f.
Asaru-alim-nuna: ilu Asaru-alim-nun-na, Tabl. VII, l. 5; p. 92 f.
Tutu: ilu Tu-tu, Tabl. VII, l. 9; p. 92 f.
Zi-ukkina: ilu Zi-ukkin-na, var. ilu Zi-ukkin, Tabl. VII, l. 15; p. 94f.
Zi-azag: ilu Zi-azag, Tabl. VII, l. 19; p. 36 f.; var. ilu Na-zi-azag-g[a], p. 161.
Aga-azag: ilu Aga-azag, Tabl. VII, l. 25; p. 96 f.
Mu-azag: ilu Mu(i.e. KA + LI)-azag, Tabl. VII, l. 33; var. ilu Mu(i.e. SHAR)-azag, p. 173.
Shag-zu: ilu Shag-zu, Tabl. VII, l. 35; p. 98 f.Zi-si: ilu Zi-si, Tabl. VII, l. 41; p. 100 f.
Sub-kur: ilu Suh-kur, Tabl. VII, l. 43; p. 100 f.
In the gap in the text of the Seventh Tablet, between ll. 47 and 105, occur the following ten titles of Marduk, which are taken from the fragments K. 13,761 and K. 8,519 (and its duplicate K. 13,337), and from the commentary K. 4,406:—
Agi[l . . . . ]; ilu A-gi[l– . . . . ], Tabl. VII (K. 13,761); p. 102 f.; var. ilu Gil[ ], p. 163.Zulummu: ilu Zu-lum-mu, Tabl. VII (K. 13,761); p. 102 f.
Mummu: ilu Mu-um-mu, Tabl. VII (K. 13,761); p. 102 f.
Mulil: ilu Mu-lil, Tabl. VII (K. 13,761); p. 102 f.
Gishkul: ilu Gish-kul, Tabl. VII (K. 13,761); p. 102 f.
Lugal-ab[ . . . . ]: ilu Lugad-ab-[ . . . . ], Tabl. VII (K. 13,761); p. 102 f.
Pap-[ . . . . ]: ilu Pap-[ . . . . ], Tabl. VII (K. 13,761); p. 102 f.
Lugal-durmah: ilu Lugal-dur-mah, Tabl. VII (K. 8,519), and K. 4,406, Rev., col. ii, l. 8; pp. 104f., 165.
Adu-nuna: ilu A-du-nun-na, Tabl. VII (K. 8,519) and K. 4,406, Rev., col. ii, l. 23; pp. 104f., 166.
Lugal-dul(or du)-azaga: ilu Lugal-dul-azag-ga, Tabl. VII (K. 8,519); p. 106 f.
Four other titles, occurring in the concluding portion of the text of the Seventh Tablet, are:—
Nibiru: ilu Ni-bi-ru, var. [ilu] Ne-bi-ri, Tabl. VII, l. 109; p. 108 f.Bêl-mâtâti: be-el mâtâti, var. ilu Bêl mâtâti, Tabl. VII, l. 116, p. 110 f.; cf. also EN KUR-KUR (i.e. bêl mâtâti), p. 168.
Ea: ilu E-a, Tabl. VII, l. 120; p. 100 f.
Hansha: Hanshâ A-AN, var. Ha-an-sha-a, Tabl. VII, l. 123, p. 110 f.; cf. also ilu Hanshâ, p. 178.
From the above lists it will be seen that the recovered portions of the text of the Seventh Tablet furnish twenty-five out of the fifty names of Marduk. From the list of the titles of Marduk preserved on K. 2,107 + K. 6,086, 1 and from No. 54,228, a parallel text to the Seventh Tablet, 2 seven other names may be obtained, which were probably among those occurring in the missing portion of the text; these are:—
Lugal-en-ankia: ilu Lugal-en-an-ki-a, K. 210, col. ii, l. 19; p. 173.Gugu: ilu Gu-gu, K. 2,107, col. ii, l. 22; p. 173.
Mumu: ilu Mu-mu, K. 2,107, col. ii, l. 23; p. 173.
Dutu: ilu Du-tu, K. 2,107, col. ii, l. 24; p. 173.
Dudu: ilu Du-du, K. 2,107, col. ii, l. 25; p. 173.Shag-gar(?): Shag-gar, No. 54,228, Obv., l. 13; p. 177.
En-bilulu: ilu En-bi-lu-lu, No. 54,228, Obv., l. 14; p. 178. 1
By these titles of honour the gods are represented as conferring supreme power upon Marduk, and the climax is reached in ll. 116 ff. of the Seventh Tablet, when the elder Bêl and Ea, Marduk’s father, confer their own names and power upon him. Marduk’s name of Hanshâ, “Fifty,” by which he is finally addressed, in itself sums up and symbolizes his fifty titles. At the conclusion of these addresses there follows an epilogue 2 of eighteen lines, in which the study of the poem is commended to mankind, and prosperity is promised to those that rejoice in Marduk and keep his works in remembrance.
The story of the Creation, in the form in which it has come down to us upon tablets of the seventh and later centuries before Christ, is of a distinctly
composite character, and bears traces of a long process of editing and modification at the hands of the Babylonian priests. Five principal strands may be traced which have been combined to form the poem; these may be described as (1) The Birth of the gods; parts (2 ) The Legend of Ea and Apsû; (3) The Dragon-Myth; (4) The actual account of Creation; and (5) The Hymn to Marduk under his fifty titles. Since the poem in its present form is a glorification, of Marduk as the champion of the gods and the Creator of the world, it is natural that more prominence should be given to episodes in which Marduk is the hero than is assigned to other portions of the narrative in which he plays no part. Thus the description of Tiamat and her monster-brood, whom Marduk conquered, is repeated no less than four times, 1 and the preparations of Marduk for battle and his actual fight with the dragon take up the greater part of the Fourth Tablet. On the other hand, the birth of the older gods, among whom Marduk does not figure, is confined to the first twenty-one lines of the First Tablet; and not more than twenty lines are given to the account of the subjugation of Apsû by Ea. That these elements should have been incorporated at all in the Babylonian version of the Creation story may be explained by the fact that they serve to enhance the position of prominence subsequently attained by
Marduk. Thus the description of the birth of the older gods and of the opposition they excited among the forces of disorder, was necessarily included in order to make it clear how Marduk was appointed their champion; and the account of Ea’s success against Apsû served to accentuate the terrible nature of Tiamat, whom he was unable to withstand. From the latter half of the Second Tablet onwards, Marduk alone is the hero of the poem.
The central episode of the poem is the fight between Marduk and Tiamat, and there is evidence to prove that this legend existed in other forms than that under which it occurs in the Creation Series. The conquest of the dragon was ascribed by the Babylonian priests to their local god, and in the poem the death of Tiamat is made a necessary preliminary to the creation of the world. On a fragment of a tablet from Ashur-bani-pal’s library we possess, however, part of a copy of a legend 1 which describes the conquest of a dragon by some deity other than Marduk. 2 Moreover, the fight is there described as taking place, not before creation, but at a time when men existed and cities had been built. In this version
men and gods are described as equally terrified at the dragon’s appearance, and it was to deliver the land from the monster that one of the gods went out and slew him. This fragmentary tablet serves to prove that the Dragon-Myth existed in more than one form in Babylonian mythology, and it is not improbable that, many of the great cities of Babylonia possessed local versions of the legend in each of which the city-god figured as the hero. 1
In the Creation Series the creation of the world is narrated as the result of Marduk’s conquest of the dragon, and there is no doubt that this version of the story represents the belief most generally held during the reigns of the later Assyrian and Babylonian kings. We possess, however, fragments of other legends in which the creation of the world is not connected with the death of a dragon. In one of these, which is written both in Sumerian and Babylonian, 2 the great Babylonian cities and temples are described as coming into existence in consequence of a movement in the waters which alone existed before the creation of the world. Marduk in this
version also figures as the Creator, for, together with the goddess Aruru, 1 he created man by laying a reed upon the face of the waters and forming dust which he poured out beside it; according to this version also he is described as creating animals and vegetation. In other legends which have come down to us, not only is the story of Creation unconnected with the Dragon-Myth, but Marduk does not figure as the Creator. In one of these “the gods” generally are referred to as having created the heavens and the earth and the cattle and beasts of the field; 2 while in another the creation of the Moon and the Sun is ascribed to Anu, Bel, and Ea. 3
From the variant accounts of the story of Creation and of the Dragon-Myth, which are referred to in the preceding paragraphs, it will be clear that the priests of Babylon made use of independent legends in the composition of their great poem of Creation 4; by
assigning to Marduk the conquest of the Dragon 1 and the creation of the world they justified his claim to the chief place among the gods. As a fit ending to the great poem they incorporated the hymn to Marduk, consisting of addresses to him under his fifty titles. This portion of the poem 2 is proved by the Assyrian commentary, R. 366, etc., 3 as well as by fragments of parallel, but not duplicate, texts 4 to have been an independent composition which had at one time no connection with the series Enuma elish. In the poem the hymn is placed in the mouth of the gods, who at the end of the Creation have assembled together in Upshukkinaku; and to it is added the epilogue of eighteen lines, which completes the Seventh Tablet of the series.
In discussing the question as to the date of the Creation legends, it is necessary to distinguish clearly between the date at which the legends assumed the form in which they have come down to us upon the Seven Tablets of the series Enuma elish, and the date which may be assigned to the legends themselves before they were incorporated in the poem. Of the actual tablets inscribed with portions of the text of the Creation Series we possess none which dates from an earlier period than the seventh century B.C. The tablets of this date were made for the library of Ashur-bani-pal at Nineveh, but it is obvious that the poem was not composed in Assyria at this time. The legends in the form in which we possess them are not intended to glorify Ashur, the national god of Assyria, but Marduk, the god of Babylon, and it is clear that the scribes of Ashur-bani-pal merely made copies for their master of older tablets of Babylonian origin. T o what earlier date we may assign the actual composition of the poem and its arrangement upon the Seven Tablets, is still a matter for conjecture; but it is possible to offer a conjecture, with some degree of probability, after an examination of the various indirect sources of evidence we possess with regard to the age of Babylonian legends in general, and of the Creation legends in particular.
With regard to the internal evidence of date furnished by the Creation legends themselves, we may
note that the variant forms of the Dragon-Myth and of the account of the Creation, to which reference has already been made, presuppose many centuries of tradition during which the legends, though derived probably from common originals, were handed down independently of one another. During this period we may suppose that the same story was related in different cities in different ways, and that in course of time variations crept in, with the result that two or more forms of the same story were developed along different lines. The process must have been gradual, and the considerable differences which can be traced in the resultant forms of the same legend may be cited as evidence in favour of assigning an early date to the original tradition from which they were derived.
Evidence as to the existence of the Creation legends at least as early as the ninth century B.C. may be deduced from the representations of the fight between Marduk and the dragon Tiamat, which was found sculptured upon two limestone slabs in the temple of Ninib at Nimrûd. 1 The temple was built by Ashur-nasir-pal, who reigned from B.C. 884 to B.C. 860, and across the actual sculpture was inscribed the text of a dedication to Ninib by this king. The slab therefore furnishes direct proof of the existence of the legend more than two hundred years before the
formation of Ashur-bani-pal’s library. Moreover, the fight between Marduk and Tiamat is frequently found engraved upon cylinder-seals, and, although the majority of such seals probably date from the later Assyrian and Persian periods, the varied treatment of the scene which they present points to the existence of variant forms of the legend, and so indirectly furnishes evidence of the early origin of the legend itself.
From an examination of the Babylonian historical inscriptions which record the setting up of statues and the making of temple furniture, we are enabled to trace back the existence of the Creation legends to still earlier periods. For instance, in a text of Agum, 1 a Babylonian king who reigned not later than the seventeenth century B.C., we find descriptions of the figures of a dragon 2 and of other monsters 3 which he set up in the temple E-sagil at Babylon; and in this passage we may trace an unmistakable reference to the legend of Tiamat and her monster-brood. Agum also set up in the temple beside the dragon a great basin, or laver, termed in the inscription a tâmtu, or “sea.” 4 From the name of the laver, and from its position beside the figure of the dragon,
we may conclude that it was symbolical of the abyss of water personified in the Creation legends by Tiamat and Apsû. Moreover, in historical inscriptions of still earlier periods we find allusions to similar vessels termed apsê, i.e. “deeps” or “oceans,” 1 the presence of which in the temples is probably to be traced to the existence of the same traditions.
The three classes of evidence briefly summarized above tend to show that the most important elements in the Creation legends were not of late origin, but must be traced back in some form or other to remote periods, and may well date from the first half of the third millennium B.C., or even earlier. It remains to consider to what date we may assign the actual weaving together of these legends into the poem termed by the Babylonians and Assyrians Enuma elish. Although, as has already been remarked, we do not possess any early copies of the text of the Creation Series, this is not the case with other Babylonian legends. Among the tablets found at Tell el-Amarna, which date from the fifteenth century B.C., were fragments of copies of two Babylonian legends, the one containing the story of Nergal and Ereshkigal, 2 and
the other inscribed with a part of the legend of Adapa and the South Wind. 1 Both these compositions, in style and general arrangement, closely resemble the legends known from late Assyrian copies, while of the legend of Adapa an actual fragment, though not a duplicate, exists in the library of Ashur-bani-pal. 2 Fragments of legends have also been recently found in Babylonia which date from the end of the period of the First Dynasty of Babylon, about B.C. 2100, and the resemblance which these documents bear to certain legends previously known from Assyrian copies only is not only of a general nature, but extends even to identity of language. Thus one of the recovered fragments is in part a duplicate of the so-called “Cuthaean Legend of Creation”; 3 two others contain phrases found upon the legend of Ea and Atar-hasis, while upon one of them are traces of a new version
of the Deluge-story. 1 Still more recently the Trustees of the British Museum have acquired three fragments of Babylonian legends inscribed upon tablets which date from a still earlier period, i.e. from the period of the kings of the Second Dynasty of Ur, before B.C. 2200; 2
and to the same period is to be assigned the fragment of a legend which was published a few weeks ago by Dr. Meissner, 1 and probably also the new fragment of the Etana-myth, published last year by Father Scheil. 2 These five fragments are of peculiar interest, for they show that early Semitic, as opposed to Sumerian, legends were in existence, and were carefully preserved and studied in other cities of Mesopotamia
than Babylon, and at a period before the rise of that city to a position of importance under the kings of the First Dynasty.
The evidence furnished by these recently discovered tablets with regard to the date of Babylonian legends in general may be applied to the date of the Creation legends. While the origin of much of the Creation legends may be traced to Sumerian sources, 1 it is clear that the Semitic inhabitants of Mesopotamia at a very early period produced their own versions of the compositions which they borrowed, modifying and augmenting them to suit their own legends and beliefs. The connection of Marduk with the Dragon-Myth, and with the stories of the creation of the world and
man, may with considerable probability be assigned to the subsequent period during which Babylon gradually attained to the position of the principal city in Mesopotamia. On tablets inscribed during the reigns of kings of the First Dynasty we may therefore expect to find copies of the Creation legends corresponding closely with the text of the series Enuma elish. It is possible that the division of the poem into seven sections, inscribed upon separate tablets, took place at a later period; but, be this as it may, we may conclude with a considerable degree of confidence that the bulk of the poem, as we know it from late Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian copies, was composed at a period not later than B.C. 2000.
The political influence which the Babylonians exerted over neighbouring nations during long periods of their history was considerable, and it is not surprising that their beliefs concerning the origin of the universe should have been partially adopted by the races with whom they came in contact. That Babylonian elements may be traced in the Phoenician cosmogony has long been admitted, but the imperfect, and probably distorted, form in which the latter has come down to us renders uncertain any comparison of details. 1 Some of the beliefs concerning the
creation of the world which were current among the Egyptians bear a more striking resemblance to the corresponding legends of Babylonia. Whether this resemblance was due to the proto-Semitic strain which probably existed in the ancient Egyptian race, 1 or is to be explained as the result of later Babylonian influence from without, is yet uncertain. But, whatever explanation be adopted, it is clear that the conception of chaos as a watery mass out of which came forth successive generations of primeval gods is common to both races. 2 It is in Hebrew literature, however, that the most striking examples of the influence of the Babylonian Creation legends are to be found.
The close relation existing between the Babylonian account of the Creation and the narrative in Genesis i, 1-11, 4a has been recognized from the time of the
first discovery of the former, 1 and the old and new points of resemblance between them may here be briefly discussed. According to each account the existence of a watery chaos preceded the creation of the universe; and the Hebrew word tehôm, translated “the deep” in Gen. i, 2, is the equivalent of the Babylonian Tiamat, the monster of the deep personifying chaos and confusion. In the details of the Creation there is also a close resemblance between the two accounts. In the Hebrew narrative the first act of creation is that of light (Gen. i, 3-5), and it has been suggested that a parallel possibly existed in the Babylonian account, in that the creation of light may have been the cause of the revolt of Tiamat. From the new fragments of the poem we now know that the rebellion of the forces of disorder, which was incited by Apsû and not Tiamat, was due, not to the creation of light, but to his hatred of the way of the gods which produced order in place of chaos 2 A parallelism may still be found, however; in the original form of the Babylonian myth, according to which the conqueror of the dragon was undoubtedly a solar deity. 3 Moreover, as has been pointed out above, 4 day and night are vaguely conceived in the poem as already in existence at the
time of Apsû’s revolt, so that the belief in the existence of light before the creation of the heavenly bodies is a common feature of the Hebrew and the Babylonian account.
The second act of creation in the Hebrew narrative is that of a firmament which divided the waters that were under the firmament from the waters that were above the firmament (Gen. i, 6-8). In the Babylonian poem the body of Tiamat is divided by Marduk, and from one-half of her he formed a covering or dome for heaven, i.e. a firmament, which kept her upper waters in place. Moreover, on the fragment S. 2,013 1 we find mention of a Ti-amat e-Zi-ti and a Ti-amat shap-li-ti, that is, an Upper Tiamat (or Ocean) and a Lower Tiamat (or Ocean), which are the exact equivalents of the waters above and under the firmament. 2
The third and fourth acts of creation, as narrated in Gen. i, 9-13, are those of the earth and of vegetation. Although no portion of the Babylonian poem has yet been recovered which contains the corresponding account, it is probable that these acts of creation were related on the Fifth Tablet of the series. 1 Berossus expressly states that Bel formed the earth out of one half of Omorka’s body, and as his summary of the Babylonian Creation story is proved to be correct wherever it can be controlled, it is legitimate to assume that he is correct in this detail also. More- over, in three passages in the Seventh Tablet the creation of the earth by Marduk is referred to: l. 115 reads, “Since he created the heaven and fashioned the firm earth”; 2 the new fragment K. 12,830 (restored from the commentary K. 8,299) states, “He named the four quarters (of the world)”; 3 and another new fragment, K. 13,761 (restored from the commentary K. 4,4061, definitely ascribes to Marduk the title “Creator of the earth.” 4 That the creation of vegetation by Marduk was also recorded in the poem may be concluded from the opening lines of the Seventh Tablet, which are inscribed on the new fragment K. 2,854, and (with restorations from the commentary S. II, etc.) ascribe to him the titles “Bestower of
planting,” “Founder of sowing,” ” Creator of grain and plants,” and add that he “caused the green herb to spring up.” 1
To the fifth act of creation, that of the heavenly bodies (Gen. i, 14-15), we find an exceedingly close parallel in the opening lines of the Fifth Tablet of the series. 2 In the Hebrew account, lights were created in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night, and to be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. In the Babylonian poem also the stars were created and the year was ordained at the same time; the twelve months were to be regulated by the stars; and the Moon-god was appointed “to determine the days.” As according to the Hebrew account two great lights were created in the firmament of heaven, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser to rule the night, so according to the Babylonian poem the night was entrusted to the Moon-god, and the Moon-god’s relations to the Sun-god are described in detail. On the Seventh Tablet, also, the creation of heaven and the heavenly bodies is referred t o; in l. 16 Marduk is stated “to have established for the gods the bright heavens,” 3 and l. 111 f. read, “For the stars of heaven he upheld the paths, he shepherded all the gods like sheep!” 4
To the sixth and seventh acts of creation, i.e., the creation of creatures of the sea and winged fowl, and of beasts and cattle and creeping things (Gen. i, 20-25), the Babylonian poem as yet offers no parallel, for the portion of the text which refers to the creation of animals is still wanting. But since Berossus states that animals were created at the same time as man, it is probable that their creation was recorded in a missing portion either of the Fifth or of the Sixth Tablet. If the account was on the lines suggested by Berossus, and animals shared in the blood of Bel, it is clear that their creation was narrated, as a subsidiary and less important episode, after that of man. 1 But, although this episode is still wanting in the poem, we find references on other Assyrian Creation fragments to the creation of beasts. Thus, for the creation of the creatures of the sea in Genesis, we may compare the fragmentary text K. 3445+R. 396, which records the creation of nahirê; “dolphins (?).” 2 And for the creation of beasts of the earth and cattle, we may compare the tablet D.T. 41, 3 which, after referring generally to the creation of “living creatures” by “the gods,” proceeds to classify them as the cattle and beasts of the field, and the creatures of the city, the two of animals.
classes referring respectively to wild and domesticated animals. 1
The account of the creation of man, which is recorded as the eighth and last act of creation in the Hebrew account (Gen. i, 26-31), at length finds its parallel in the Babylonian poem upon the new fragment of the Sixth Tablet, No. 92,629. 2 It has already been pointed out that the Babylonian account closely follows the version of the story handed down to us from Berossus, 3 and it may here be added that the employment by Marduk, the Creator, of his own blood in the creation of man may perhaps be compared to the Hebrew account of the creation of man in the image and after the likeness of Elohim. 4 Moreover, the use of the plural in the phrase “Let us make man” in Gen. i, 26, may be compared with the Babylonian narrative which relates that Marduk imparted his purpose of forming man to his father Ea,
whom he probably afterwards instructed to carry out the actual work of man’s creation. 1
A parallel to the charge which, according to the Hebrew account, Elohim gave to man and woman after their creation, has hitherto been believed to exist on the tablet K. 3,364, which was supposed to contain a list of the duties of man as delivered to him after his creation by Marduk. The new Babylonian duplicate of this text, No. 33,851, proves that K. 3,364 is not part of the Creation Series, but is merely a tablet of moral precepts, so that its suggested resemblance to the Hebrew narrative must be given up. It is not improbable, however, that a missing portion of the Sixth Tablet did contain a short series of instructions by Marduk to man, since man was created with the special object of supplying the gods with worshippers and building shrines in their honour. That to these instructions to worship the gods was added the gift of dominion over beasts, birds, and vegetation is possible, but it must be pointed out that the Babylonian version of man’s creation is related from the point of view of the gods, not from that of man. Although his creation forms the culmination of Marduk’s work, it was conceived, not as an end and aim in itself, but merely as an expedient to satisfy the discontented gods. 2 This expedient is referred to in the Seventh
[paragraph continues] Tablet, l. 29, in the phrase “For their forgiveness (i.e., the forgiveness of the gods) did he create mankind,” and other passages in the Seventh Tablet tend to show that Marduk’s mercy and goodness are extolled in his relations, not to mankind, but to the gods. 1 In one passage marl’s creation is referred to, but it is in connection with the charge that he forget not the deeds of his Creator. 2
The above considerations render it unlikely that the Babylonian poem contained an exact parallel to the exalted charge of Elohim in which He placed the rest of creation under man’s dominion. It is possible, however, that upon the new fragment of the Seventh Tablet, K. 12,830 (restored from the commentary K. 8,299) 3 we have a reference to the superiority of man over animals, in the phrase “mankind [he created], [and upon] him understanding [he bestowed (?) . . .]”; and if this be so, we may compare it to Gen. i, 286. Moreover, if my suggested restoration of the last word in l. 7 of the Sixth Tablet be correct, so that it may read “I will create man who shall inhabit [the earth], 4” we may
compare it to Gen. i, 28a in which man is commanded to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 1
A suggestion has been made that the prominence given to the word of the Creator in the Hebrew account may have found its parallel in the creation by a word in the Babylonian poem. It is true that the word of Marduk had magical power and could destroy and create alike; but Marduk did not employ his word in any of his acts of creation which are at present known to us. He first conceived a cunning device, and then proceeded to carry it out by hand. The only occasion on which he did employ his word to destroy and to create is in the Fourth Tablet, ll. 19-26, 2 when, at the invitation of the gods, he tested his power by making a garment disappear and then appear again at the word of his mouth. The parallelism between the two accounts under this heading is not very close.
The order of the separate acts of creation is also not quite the same in the two accounts, for, while in the Babylonian poem the heavenly bodies are created immediately after the formation of the firmament, in the Hebrew account their creation is postponed until after the earth and vegetation have been made. It is possible that the creation of the earth and plants has been displaced by the writer to whom the present form of the Hebrew account is due, and that the
order of creation was precisely the same in the original forms of the two narratives. But even according to the present arrangement of the Hebrew account, there are several striking points of resemblance to the Babylonian poem. These may be seen in the existence of light before the creation of the heavenly bodies; in the dividing of the waters of the primeval flood by means of a firmament also before the creation of the heavenly bodies; and in the culminating act of creation being that of man.
It would be tempting to trace the framework of the Seven Days of Creation, upon which the narrative in Genesis is stretched, to the influence of the Seven Tablets of Creation, of which we now know that the great Creation Series was composed. The reasons for the employment of the Seven Days in the Hebrew account are, however, not the same which led to the arrangement of the Babylonian poem upon Seven Tablets. In the one the writer’s intention is to give the original authority for the observance of the Sabbath; in the other there appears to have been no special reason for this arrangement of the poem beyond the mystical nature of the number “seven.” Moreover, acts of creation are recorded on all of the first six Days in the Hebrew narrative, while in the Babylonian poem the creation only begins at the end of the Fourth Tablet. 1 The resemblance, therefore, is somewhat superficial, but
it is possible that the employment of the number “seven” in the two accounts was not fortuitous. Whether the Sabbath was of Babylonian origin (as seems probable) or not, it is clear that the writer of the narrative in Genesis was keenly interested in its propagation and its due observance. Now in Exilic and post-Exilic times the account of the Creation most prevalent in Babylonia was that in the poem Enuma elish, the text of which was at this time absolutely fixed and its arrangement upon Seven Tablets invariable. That the late revival of mythology among the Jews was partly due to their actual study of the Babylonian legends at this period is sufficiently proved by the minute points of resemblance between the accounts of the Deluge in Genesis and in the poem of Gilgamesh. 1 It is probable, therefore, that the writer who was responsible for the final form of Gen. i-ii, 4a, was familiar with the Babylonian legend of Creation in the form in which it has come down to us. The supposition, then, is perhaps not too
fanciful, that the connection of the Sabbath with the story of Creation was suggested by the mystical number of the Tablets upon which the Babylonian poem was inscribed.
Further resemblances to the Babylonian Creation legends may be traced in the second Hebrew account of the Creation which follows the first in Gen. ii, 4b-7. According to this version man was formed from the dust of the ground, which may be compared to the mixing of Bel’s blood with earth according to the account of Berossus, the use of the Creator’s blood in the one account being paralleled by the employment of His breath in the other for the purpose of giving life to the dust or earth. Earth is not mentioned in the recovered portion of the Sixth Tablet, but its use in the creation of men is fully in accordance with Babylonian beliefs. Thus, according to the second Babylonian account of the Creation, 1 Marduk formed man by pouring out dust beside a reed which he had set upon the face of the waters. Clay is also related to have been employed in the creation of special men and heroes; thus it was used in Ea-bani’s creation by Arum, 2 and it is related to have been mixed with divine blood for a similar purpose in the fragmentary legend Bu. 91-5-9, 269. 3 To the account of the creation of woman in Gen. ii, 18 ff. we find a new parallel in l. 5 of the
[paragraph continues] Sixth Tablet of the Creation Series, in the use of the word issimtu, ” bone,” corresponding to the Hebrew ‘esem which occurs in the phrase “bone of my bones ” in Gen. ii, 23.
In addition to the Babylonian colouring of much of the story of Paradise we may now add a new parallel from the Babylonian address to a mythical River of Creation, inscribed on S. 1704 and the Neo-Babylonian Tablet 82-9-18, 5311. 1 This short composition is addressed to a River to whom the creation of all things is ascribed, 2 and with this river we may compare the mythical river of Paradise which watered the garden, and on leaving it was divided into four branches. That the Hebrew River of Paradise is Babylonian in character is clear; and the origin of the Babylonian River of Creation is also to be found in the Euphrates, from whose waters southern Babylonia derived its great fertility. 3 The
life-giving stream of Paradise is met with elsewhere in the Old Testament, as, for instance, in Ezekiel xlvii, and it is probable that we may trace its influence in the Apocalypse. 1
It is unnecessary here to discuss in detail the evidence to prove that the Hebrew narratives of the influence on Creation were ultimately derived from Babylonia, and mythology. were not inherited independently by the Babylonians and Hebrews from a common Semitic ancestor. 2 For the local Babylonian colouring of the stories, and the great age to which their existence can be traced, extending back to the time of the Sumerian inhabitants of Mesopotamia, 3 are conclusive evidence against the second alternative. On the other hand, it is equally unnecessary to cite the well-known arguments to prove
the existence among the Hebrews of Creation legends similar to those of Babylonia for centuries before the Exile. The allusions to variant Hebrew forms of the Babylonian Dragon-Myth in Amos ix, 3, Isaiah li, 9, Psalm lxxiv, 13 f., and lxxxix, 9 f., and Job xxvi, 12 f., and ix, 13, may be cited as sufficient proof of the early period at which the borrowing from Babylonian sources must have taken place; and the striking differences between the Biblical and the known Babylonian versions of the legends prove that the Exilic and post-Exilic Jews must have found ready to their hand ancient Hebrew versions of the stories, and that the changes they introduced must in the main have been confined to details of arrangement and to omissions necessitated by their own more spiritual conceptions and beliefs. The discovery of the Tell el-Amarna tablets proved conclusively that Babylonian influence extended throughout Egypt and Western Asia in the fifteenth century B.C., and the existence of legends among the letters demonstrated the fact that Babylonian mythology exerted an influence coextensive with the range of her political ties and interests. We may therefore conjecture that Babylonian myths had become naturalized in Palestine before the conquest of that country by the Israelites. Many such Palestinian versions of Babylonian myths the Israelites no doubt absorbed; while during the subsequent period of the Hebrew kings Assyria and Babylonia exerted a direct influence upon them. It is clear, therefore, that at the time of their of Babylonian
exile the captive Jews did not find in Babylonian mythology an entirely new and unfamiliar subject, but recognized in it a series of kindred beliefs, differing much from their own in spiritual conceptions, but presenting a startling resemblance on many material points.
Now that the principal problems with regard to the contents, date, and influence of the Creation Series, Enuma elish, have been dealt with, it remains to describe in some detail the forty-nine fragments and tablets from which the text, transliterated and translated in the following pages, has been made up. After each registration-number is given a reference to the published copy of the text in Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets, etc., in the British Museum, pt. xiii, or in Vol. II of this work, or in Appendices I and II of this volume; a brief description of each tablet is added, together with references to any previous publication of the text. After the enumeration of the known copies of each tablet, a list is given of the authorities for the separate lines of the tablet, in order to enable the reader to verify any passage in the text with as little delay as possible.
The following twelve tablets and fragments are inscribed with portions of the text of the First Tablet of the series:—
1. K. 5,419c: Cuneiform Texts, pt. xiii (illegible), pl. I. Obverse: ll. 1-16; Reverse: catch-line and colophon.
Upper part of an Assyrian tablet, 34 in. by 1 7/8 in. For earlier publications of the text, see George Smith, T.S.B.A., vol. iv, the Creation Series, p. 363 f., pl. i; Fox Talbot, T.S.B.A., vol. v, pp. 428 ff.; Menant, Manuel de la langue Asyrienne, p. 378 f.; Delitzsch, Asyrische Lesestücke, 1st ed., p. 40, 2nd ed., p. 78, 3rd ed., p. 93; Lyon, Assyrian Manual, p. 62; and my First Steps in Assyrian, p. 122 f.
2. No. 93,015 (82-7-14, 402): Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pls. 1 and 3. Obverse: ll. 1-16; Reverse: ll. 124-142 and colophon.
Upper part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 2 1/8 in. by 2 1/4 in. For an earlier publication of the text, see Pinches, Bab. Or. Rec., vol. iv, p. 26f. The fragment is probably part of the same tablet as that to which No. 10 belonged.
3. No. 45,528 + 46,614: Vol. II, pls. i-vi. Obverse: ll. 1-48; Reverse: ll. 111-142, catch-line, and colophon.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, formed from two fragments, which I have joined; 2 1/4 in. by 5 ½ in. This text has not been previously published.
4. No. 35,134: Vol. II, pl. vii. Obverse: ll. 11-21; no reverse.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 1 3/8 in. by 2 in. This text has not been previously published.
5. No. 36,726: Vol. II, pl. viii. Obverse: ll. 28-33.
Neo-Babylonian “practice-tablet”; the text, which forms an extract, measures 2 7/8. by 1 1/4 in. This text has not been previously published.
6. 81-7-27, 80: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 2. Obverse: ll. 31-56; Reverse: ll. 118-142.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 25/8 in. by 3 in. This text, which was referred to by Pinches in the Bab. Or. Rec., vol. iv, p. 33, was used by Zimmern for his translation in Gunkel’s Schöpfung
und Chaos, p. 402 f.; it was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 25 f., and by Jensen, Mythen una Epen, pp. 2 ff.
7. K. 3,938: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 3. Obverse: ll. 33-42; Reverse: ll. 128-142.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 1/6 in. by 1 3/4 in. This fragment was used by George Smith, Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 93 f., and by subsequent translators; the text was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 27.
8. K. 7,871: Vol. I, Appendix II, pp. 183 ff. Obverse: ll. 33-47; no reverse.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 1/6 in. by 1 3/4 in. The fragment may belong to the same tablet as No. II. This text has not been previously published.
9. No. 36,688: Vol. II, pl. vii. Obverse: ll. 38-44.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian “practice-tablet”; the text, which forms an abstract, measures 1½ in. by 1 1/8 in. This text has not been previously published.
10. No. 46,803: Vol. II, pls. ix-xi. Obverse ll. 46-67; Reverse: ll. 83-103.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 2 in. by 2 in. The fragment is probably part of the same tablet as that to which No. 2 belonged. This text has not been previously published.
11. K. 4,488: Vol. I, Appendix II, pp. 185 ff. Obverse: ll. 50-63; no reverse.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 3/4 in. by 1½ in.; see above, No. 8. This text has not been previously published.
12. 82-9-18, 6,879: Vol. II, pls. xii and xiii. No obverse; Reverse: ll. 93-1 18.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 1 7/8 in. by 2 5/8 in. This text has not been previously published.
The authorities for the lines of the First Tablet are as follows:—
ll. 1-10: Nos. 1, 2, and 3.
ll. 11-16: Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4.
ll. 17-21: Nos. 3 and 4.
ll. 22-27: No. 3.
ll. 28-30: Nos. 3 and 5.
ll. 31-32: Nos. 3, 5, and 6.
l. 33: Nos. 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
ll. 34-37: Nos. 3, 6, 7, and 8.
ll. 38-42: Nos. 3, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
l. 43: Nos. 3, 6, and 8.
1. 44: Nos. 3, 6, 8, and 9.
l. 45: Nos. 3, 6, and 8.
ll. 46-47: Nos. 3, 6, 8, and 10.
l. 43: Nos. 3, 6, and 10.
l. 49: Nos. 6 and 10.
ll. 53-56: Nos. 6, 10, and 11.
ll. 57-63: Nos. 10 and 11.
ll. 64-67: No. 10.
ll. 68-82: Wanting.
ll. 83-92: No. 10.
ll. 93-103: Nos. 10 and 12.
ll. 104-110: No. 12.
ll. 111-117: Nos. 3 and 12.
l. 118: Nos. 3, 6, and 12.
ll. 119-123: Nos. 3 and 6.
ll. 124-127: Nos. 2, 3, and 6.
ll. 128-142: Nos. 2, 3, 6, and 7.
The following seven tablets and fragments are inscribed with portions of the text of the Second Tablet of the series:—
13. No. 40,559: Vol. II, pls. xiv-xxi. Obverse: ll. 1-40; Reverse: ll. (111)-(140), catch-line, and colophon.
Upper part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 2 5/8 in. by 4 1/6 in. This text has not been previously published.
14. No. 38,396: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 4. Obverse: ll. 11-29; Reverse: ll. (105)-(132).
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 3 1/4 in. by 2 in. This text has not been previously published.
15. No. 92,632 + 93,048: Vol. II, pls. xxii-xxiv. Obverse: ll. 14-29; Reverse: ll. (104)-(138).
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, formed from two fragments which I have joined; 1 7/8 in. by 1 6/8 in. This text has not been previously published.
16. K. 4,832: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 5. Obverse: ll. 32-58; Reverse: ll. (104)-(138).
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1½ in. by 3 1/4 in. This tablet was known to George Smith, see Chald. Acc. of Gen., p. 92; its text was published by S. A. Smith, Miscellaneous Texts, pl. 8 f.
17. 79-7-8, 178: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 6. Obverse: ll. (69)-(75); Reverse: ll. (76)-(85).
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 3 1/8 in. by 1 3/4 in. This text, which was identified by Pinches, was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 30, and by Jensen, Mythen und Epen, p. 10 f.
18. K. 10,008: Vol. I, App. II, pp. 187 ff. No obverse; Reverse: probably between 11.85 and 104.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 5/8 in. by 2 1/4 in This text has not been previously published.
19. K. 292: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 6. No obverse; Reverse: ll. (131)-( 140).
Lower part of an Assyrian tablet, 2½ in. by 2 1/4 in. The text of this tablet, which was known to George Smith, was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 31, and by Jensen, Mythen and Epen, p. 10.
The authorities for the lines of the Second Tablet are as follows:—
ll. 1-10: No. 13.
ll. 11-13: Nos. 13 and 14.
ll. 14-29: Nos. 13, 14, and 15.
ll. 30-31: No. 13.
ll. 32-40: Nos. 13 and 16.
ll. 41-58: No. 16.
ll. 59-(68): Wanting.
ll. (69)-(85): No. 17.
between ll. (86) and (103): No. 18.
l. (104): No. 16.
ll. (105)-(110): Nos. 14 and 16.
ll. (111)-(113): Nos. 13, 14, and 16.
ll. (114)-(126): Nos. 13, 14, 15, and 16.
l. (127): Nos. 13, 15, and 16.
ll. (128)-(129): Nos. 13, 14, 15, and 16.
l. (130): Nos. 13, 15, and 16.
l. (131): Nos. 13, 15, 16, and 19.
l. (13-2): Nos. 13, 14, 16, and 19.
ll. (133)-(138): Nos. 13, 16, and 19.
ll. (139)-(140): Nos. 13 and 19.
The following nine tablets and fragments are inscribed with portions of the text of the Third Tablet:—
20. K. 3,473 + 79-7-8, 296 + R. 615: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pls. 7-9. Obverse: ll. 1-85; Reverse: ll. 86-138.
Parts of an Assyrian tablet, 2½ in. by 8 3/8 in. The three fragments of this tablet, which have been recovered, join, but, as they are much warped by fire, they have not been stuck together. For earlier publications of the text, see S. A. Smith, Miscellaneous Texts, pls. 1-5, and my First Steps in Assyrian, pp. 124 ff. The text of K. 3,473 had been already recognized by George Smith, see Chald. Acc. Gen., p. 92 f.
21. No. 93,017 [88-4-19, 13]: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pls. 10 and 11. Obverse: ll. 47-77; Reverse: ll. 78-105.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 2½ in. by 3 5/8 in. This text, which was identified by Pinches, was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 35 f., and by Jensen, Mythen und Epen, pp. 14 ff.
22. 82-9-18, 1,403+6,316 [No. 61,429]: Vol. II, pls. xxv-xxviii. Obverse: ll. 5-15, 52-61; Reverse: ll. 62-76, 124-128.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian “practice-tablet,” inscribed with a series of five-line extracts from the text; 2 in. by 3 in. A copy of the text of 82-9-18, 1,403, is given in Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 13: since then I have joined to it the fragment 82-9-18, 6,316, and the text is therefore repeated in Vol. II. This text has not been previously published.
23. K. 8,524: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 12. Fragment from the end of Obv. or beginning of Rev.: ll. 75-86.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 7/8 n . by 1 3/8 in. The text was
referred to by Pinches in the Bab. Or. Rec., vol. iv, p. 30, and was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 31.
24. 82-9-18, 6,950+83-1-18, 1,868: Vol. II, pl. xxix. Duplicate of ll. 19-26 and 77-84; variants are noted in the text under ll. 19-26.
Neo-Babylonian “practice-tablet”; the text forms an extract measuring 2 5/8 in. by 1 1/4 in. A copy of the text of 83-1-18, 1,868, is given in Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 12; since then I have joined to it the fragment 82-9-18, 6,950, and the text is therefore repeated in Vol. II. This text has not been previously published.
25. K. 6,650: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 9. Duplicate of ll. 38-55 and 96-113; variants are noted in the text under ll. 38-55.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 3 in. by 3 3/8 in. This text has not been previously published.
26. No. 42,285: Vol. II, pls. xxx-xxxiii. Obverse: ll. 46-68; Reverse: ll. 69-87.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 2½ in. by 2 5/8 in. This text has not been previously published.
27. 82-9-18, 5,448+83-1-18, 2,116: Vol. II, pl. xxxiv. Obverse: ll. 64-72.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian “practice-tablet”; the text, which forms an extract, measures 2 3/4 in. by 1½ in. A copy of the text of 83-1-18, 2,116, is given in Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 12; since then I have joined to it the fragment 82-9-18, 5,448, and the text is therefore repeated in Vol. II. This text has not been previously published.
28. K. 8,575: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 12. Obverse: ll. 69-76; Reverse: ll. 77-85.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 2 5/8 in. by 2 1/6 in. This text, which was identified by Bezold, Catalogue, p. 941, was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 38.
The authorities for the lines of the Third Tablet are as follows:—
ll. 1-4: No. 20.
ll. 5-15: Nos. 20 and 22.
ll. 16-18: No. 20.
ll. 29-26: Nos. 20 and 24.
ll. 38-45: Nos. 20 and 25.
l. 46: Nos. 20, 25, and 26.
ll. 47-51: Nos. 20, 21, 25, and 26.
ll. 52-55: Nos. 20, 21, 22, 25, and 26.
ll. 56-63: Nos. 20, 21, 22, and 26.
ll. 64-68: Nos. 20, 21, 22, 26, and 27.
ll. 69-72: Nos. 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, and 28.
ll. 73-74: Nos. 20, 21, 22, 26, and 28.
ll. 75-76: Nos. 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, and 28.
ll. 77-84: Nos. 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, and 28.
l. 85: Nos. 20, 21, 23, 26, and 28.
l. 86: Nos. 20, 21, 23, and 26.
l. 87: Nos. 20, 21, and 26.
ll. 88-95: Nos. 20 and 21.
ll. 96-105: Nos. 20, 21, and 25.
ll. 106-113: Nos. 20 and 25.
ll. 124-128: Nos. 20 and 22.
ll. 27-37: No. 20.
ll. 114-123: No. 20.
ll. 129-138: No. 20.
The following six tablets and fragments are inscribed with portions of the text of the Fourth Tablet:—
29. No. 93,016 [82-9-18, 3,737]: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pls. 14-15. Obverse: ll. 1-44; Reverse: ll. 116-146.
Upper part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 3 3/8 in. by 4 7/8 in. For an earlier publication of the text, see Budge, P.S.B.A., vol. x, p. 86, pls. 1-6.
30. K. 3,437 + R. 641: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pls. 16-19. Obverse: ll. 36-83; Reverse: ll. 84-119.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 3 in. by 5½ in. For an earlier publication of’ the text of K. 3,437, see George Smith, T.S.B.A., vol. iv, p. 363 f., pls. 5 and 6; and of K. 3,437+R. 641, see Delitzsch, Asyrische Lesestücke, pp. 97 ff., and my First Steps in Assyrian, pp. 137 ff.
31. 79-7-8, 25 I: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 20. Obverse: ll. 35-49; Reverse: ll. 103-107.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 in. by 2 1/8 in. The text, which was identified by Pinches, was used in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, pp. 41 ff., and by Jensen, Mythen und Epen, pp. 22 ff. This fragment probably belongs to the same tablet as No. 34.
32. No. 93,051: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 20. Obverse: ll. 42-54; Reverse: ll. 85-94.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian “practice-tablet,” inscribed with the text divided into sections of five lines; 2 1/4 in. by 1 3/4 in. This text has not been previously published.
33. K. 5,420c: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 21. Obverse: ll. 74-92; Reverse: ll. 93-119.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 3 3/8 in. by 3 1/8 in. Restorations and variants were taken from this tablet by George Smith for his edition of K. 3,437; see above, No. 30.
34. R. 2, 83: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 19. No obverse; Reverse: ll. 117-129.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 2 1/4 in, by 1 5/8 in. The text, which was identified by Pinches, was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 45. This fragment probably belongs to the same tablet as No. 31.
The authorities for the lines of the Fourth Tablet are as follows:—
l. 35: Nos. 29 and 31.
ll. 36-41: Nos. 29, 30, and 31.
ll. 42-44: Nos. 29, 30, 31, and 32.
ll. 45-49: Nos. 30, 31, and 32.
ll. 50-54: Nos. 30 and 32.
ll. 55-73: No. 30.
ll. 74-84: Nos. 30 and 33.
ll. 85-94: Nos. 30, 32, and 33.
ll. 95-102: Nos. 30 and 33.
ll. 103-107: Nos. 30, 31, and 33.
ll. 108-115: Nos. 30 and 33.
l. 116: Nos. 29, 30, and 33.
ll. 117-119: Nos. 29, 30, 33, and 34.
ll. 120-129: Nos. 29 and 34.
ll. 130-146: No. 29.
ll. 1-34: No. 29.
The following five tablets and fragments are inscribed with portions of the text of the Fifth Tablet:—
35. K. 3,567 + K. 8,588: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 22. Obverse: ll. 1-26; Reverse: catch-line.
Upper part of an Assyrian tablet, 3 1/8 in. by 2 7/8 in. For earlier publications of the text, see George Smith, T.S.B.A., vol. iv, p. 363 f., pl. 2; Delitzsch, Assyrische Lesestücke, 3rd ed., p. 94; and my First Steps in Assyrian, pp. 158 ff.
36. K. 8,526: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 23. Obverse: ll. 1-18; Reverse: ll. (138)-( 140).
Upper part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 ½ in. by 2 1/4 in. The text was used by George Smith for his edition of No. 35, and in the other copies of that tablet mentioned above; it was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 48 f.
37. K. 13,774: Vol. I, Appendix II, pp. 190 ff. Obverse: ll. 6-19; no reverse.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 1/4 in. by 1½ in. This text has not been previously published.
38. K. 11,641: Vol. I, Appendix II, pp. 192 ff. Obverse: ll. 14-22; Reverse: ll. (128)-(140), catch-line, and colophon.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 2 3/4 in. by 3 3/8 in. This text has not been previously published.
39. K. 3,449a: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 23. Obverse: ll. (66)-( 74); Reverse: ll. (75)-(87).
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 2½ in. by 1½ in. This text, which was first identified and translated by George Smith, Chald. Acc. of Gen., p. 94 f., was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p, 50, and the reverse by Jensen, Mythen and Epen, p. 32.
The authorities for the lines of the Fifth Tablet are as follows:—
ll. 1-5: Nos. 35 and 36.
ll. 6-13: Nos. 35, 36, and 37.
ll. 14-18: Nos. 35, 36, 37, and 38.
1. 19: Nos. 35, 37, and 38.
ll. 20-22: Nos. 35 and 38.
ll. 23-26: No. 35.
ll. 27-(65): Wanting.
ll. (66)-(87): No. 39.
ll. (88)-( I 27): Wanting.
ll. (138)-(140): Nos. 36 and 38.
ll. (128)-( 137): No. 38.
The following fragment is inscribed with a portion of the text of the Sixth Tablet:—
40. No. 92,629: Vol. II, pls. xxxv and xxxvi. Obverse: ll. 1-21; Reverse: ll. 138-146, catch-line, and colophon,
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 2 1/8 in. by 2 1/4 in. This text has not been previously published.
The following nine tablets and fragments are inscribed with portions of the text of the Seventh Tablet:—
41. K. 2,854: Vol. I, Appendix I, p. 159. Obverse: ll. 1-18; Reverse uninscribed.
Upper part of an Assyrian tablet, 2½ in. by 1 3/4 in. This text has not been previously published.
42. No. 91, 139 + 93,073: Vol. II. pls. xxxviii-xlv. Obverse: ll. 3-40; Reverse: ll. 106-141.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 2 3/4 in. by 4 7/8 in. This text is made up of two fragments which I have joined; it has not previously been published.
43. K. 8,522: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pls. 26 and 27. Obverse: ll. 15-45; Reverse: ll. 105-137.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 2½ in. by 3 1/4 in. For earlier publications of the text, see George Smith, T.S.B.A., vol. iv, p. 363 f., pls. 3 and 4, and Delitzsch, Assyrische Lesestücke, 3rd ed., p. 95 f.
44. No. 35,506: Vol. II, pls. xlvi-xlviii. Obverse: ll. 14-36; Reverse: ll. 105-142.
Part of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, 2 1/4 in. by 4 1/4 in. This text, which probably dates from the period of the Arsacidae, has not been previously published.
45. K. 9,267: Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 28. Obverse: ll. 40-47; Reverse: ll. 109-138.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 3 5/8 in. by 2 in. Restorations and variants were taken from this tablet by George Smith for his edition of K. 8,522; see above, No. 43.
46. K. 12,830: Vol. I, Appendix I, p. 163. Obverse or Reverse: between ll. 47 and 105.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 7/8 in. by 7/8 in. This text has not been previously published.
47. K. 13,761: Vol. I, Appendix I, p. 164. End of Obverse and beginning of Reverse: between ll. 47 and 105.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 1/8 in. by 1 5/8 in. This text has not been previously published.
48. K. 8,519: Vol. I, Appendix I, p. 165. End of Obverse and beginning of Reverse: between ll. 47 and 105.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 1 3/4 in. by 1 3/8 in. This text has not been previously published. 1
49. K. 13,337: Vol. I, Appendix I, p. 166. Duplicate of No. 48; between ll. 47 and 105.
Part of an Assyrian tablet, 7/8 in. by 1 in. This text, which is a duplicate of K. 8,519, has not been previously published.
The authorities for the lines of the Seventh Tablet are as follows:—
ll. 1-2: No. 41.
ll. 3-13: Nos. 41 and 42.
l. 14: Nos. 41, 42, and 44.
ll. 15-18: Nos. 41, 42, 43, and 44.
ll. 19-36: Nos. 42, 43, and 44.
ll. 37-39: Nos. 42 and 43.
l. 40: Nos. 42, 43, and 45.
ll. 41-45: Nos. 43 and 45.
between ll. 47 and 105: Nos. 46, 47, 48, and 49.
l. 105: Nos. 43 and 44.
ll. 46-47: No. 45.
ll. 106-108: Nos. 42, 43, and 44.
ll. 109-137: Nos. 42, 43, 44, and 45.
l. 138: Nos. 42, 44, and 45.
ll. 139-141: Nos. 42 and 44.
l. 142: No. 44.
The above forty-nine tablets and fragments, inscribed with portions of the text of the Creation Series, belong to two distinct periods. The older class of tablets were made for the library of Ashur-bani-pal at Nineveh, and they are beautifully written in the Assyrian character upon tablets of fine clay. 1 The
Neo-Babylonian tablets, on the other hand, are, as a rule, less carefully written; they vary considerably in size and shape, and were made at different periods for private individuals, either for their own use, 1 or that they might be deposited in the temples as votive offerings. 2 Some of these Babylonian copies
are fine specimens of their class, e.g. Nos. 3, 13, 21, 29, and 42, 1and the characters and words upon them are carefully written and spaced; others, however, consist of small, carelessly made tablets, on to which the poem is crowded. 2On all the tablets, whether Assyrian or Babylonian, which possess colophons, the number of the Tablet in the Series is carefully given. 3 The extracts from the text, which were written out by students upon “practice-tablets,” no doubt in order to give them practice in writing and at the same time to enable them to learn the text by heart, are naturally rather rough productions. 4 One characteristic which applies to all the tablets,
whether Assyrian or Neo-Babylonian, is that the text is never written in columns, but each line of the poem is written across the tablet from edge to edge. 1 As a result, the tablets are long and narrow in shape, and are handled far more conveniently than broader tablets inscribed with two or more columns of writing on each side.
The forms of the text of the poem, which were in use in the Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian periods, are identical, and it is incorrect to speak of an Assyrian and a Babylonian “recension.” At the time of Ashur-bani-pal the text had already been definitely fixed, and, with the exception of one or two phrases, the words of each line remained unchanged from that time forward. It is true that on the Babylonian tablets the words are, as a rule, written more syllabically, but this is a general characteristic of Babylonian copies of historical and literary texts. Moreover, upon several of the more carefully written tablets, the metre is indicated by the division of the
halves of each verse, 1 an arrangement which is not met with on any of the Assyrian tablets. But both the Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian copies represent the same “recension” of the text, and, as has already been indicated, 2 are probably the descendants of a common Babylonian original. The following table will serve to show the number of Assyrian and Neo- Babylonian copies of each of the Seven Tablets under which the forty-nine separate fragments of the text may be arranged:—
In the arrangement and interpretation of the text of the Seventh Tablet we receive considerable assistance from some fragments of Assyrian commentaries which have come down to us. These were compiled by the Assyrian scribes in order to explain that composition, and they are of the greatest value for the study of the text. The contents of these documents, and their relation to the text of the Seventh
[paragraph continues] Tablet, are described in detail in Appendix I, 1 but the following facts with regard to the size of the tablets inscribed with the commentaries, and to previous publications of portions of them, may here be conveniently given.
The most important class of commentary takes the form of a bilingual list, and, as has been pointed out elsewhere, 2 presupposes the existence of a Sumerian version of part of the text of the Seventh Tablet of the Creation Series. The text of the commentary is inscribed in a series of double columns; in the left half of each column it gives a list of the Sumerian words, or ideograms, and, in the right half, opposite each word is added its Assyrian equivalent. It is noteworthy that the list is generally arranged in the order in which the words occur in the Assyrian text of the Seventh Tablet. The columns of the commentary are divided into a number of compartments, or sections, by horizontal lines impressed upon the clay, and the words within each compartment refer either to separate couplets, or to separate lines, of the Seventh Tablet. Of this class of commentary we possess six fragments of two large tablets which were inscribed with five or six double columns of writing on each side; the two tablets are duplicates of one another, having been inscribed with the same
version of the commentary. The following is a description of the six separate fragments, the two large tablets, to which they belong, being headed respectively A and B:—
A. (1) S. II + S. 980+ S. 1,416. For the text, see Vol. II, pls. li-liii and lv; cf. also App. I, pp. 158 ff., 167f.
The fragment is the top left hand portion of the tablet; it measures 4 in. by 7 in. The text of S. II + S. 980 was published in V R., pl. 21, No. 4. The fragment S. 1,416, which I have joined to the other two, has not been previously published.
(2) K. 4,406. For the text, see Vol. II, pls. liv-lv; cf. also App. I, pp. 163 ff.
The fragment is the top right hand portion of the tablet; it measures 4 1/4 in. by 4 7/8 in. The text has been previously published in II R., pl. 31, No. 2.
(3) 82-3-23, 151. For the text, see Vol. II, pl. liv; cf. also App. I, p. 162.
The fragment measures 1 3/8 in. by 2 1/8 in.; it has not been previously published.
B. (1) R. 366+80-7-19, 288t-293. For the text, see Vol. II, pls. lvi-lviii; cf. also App. I, pp. 160, 168 f.
The fragment is from the left side of the tablet; it measures 2 1/8 in. by 5 1/8 in. The fragment R. 366 was published in V R., pl. 21, No. 3; 80-7-19, 293, was joined to it by Bezold, Catalogue, p. 1,608. The third fragment, 80-7-19, 288, was identified by Zimmern and published in the Zeits. für Assyr., xii, p. 401 f.
(2) K. 2,053. For the text, see Vol. II, pls. lix-lx; cf. also App. I, pp. 161, 167 f.
This fragment measures 2 3/8 in. by 2½ in.; it has long been known to be a duplicate of S. I I + S. 980 (see Bezold, Catalogue, p. 396), but its text has not been previously published.
(3) E(. 8,299. For the text, see Vol. II, pl. lx; cf. also App. I, p. 162 f.
This fragment measures 3 in. by 1½ in.; it has not been previously published.
In addition to the above commentary in the form of a bilingual list, we possess single specimens of a second and a third class of explanatory text. The second class contains a running commentary to passages selected from other Tablets of the Creation Series in addition to the Seventh, and is represented by the tablet S. 747. 1 The third class, represented by the obverse of the tablet K. 2,1.07 + K. 6,086, 2 gives explanations of a number of titles of Marduk, several of which occur in the recovered portions of the text of the Seventh Tablet. Each of these two commentaries furnishes information on various points with regard to
the interpretation of the Seventh Tablet, but, as may be supposed, they do not approach in interest the six fragments of the commentary of the first class.
The transliteration of the text of the Creation Series, which is given in the following pages, has been made up from the tablets, fragments, and extracts enumerated on pp. xcvii ff.; while several passages in the Seventh Tablet have been conjecturally restored from the Assyrian Commentaries just described. In the reconstruction of the text preference has usually been given to the readings found upon the Assyrian tablets, and the variant readings of all duplicates, both Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian, are given in the notes at the foot of the page. The lines upon each tablet of the Series have been numbered, and, where the numbering of a line is conjectural, it is placed within parentheses. Great assistance in the numbering of the lines of detached fragments of the text has been afforded by the fact that upon many of the, Neo-Babylonian copies every tenth line is marked with a figure “10” in the left-hand margin; in but few instances can the position of a detached fragment be accurately ascertained by its shape. The lines upon the Second and Fifth Tablets have been conjecturally numbered up to one hundred and forty. Upon the Sixth Tablet the total number of lines was one hundred and thirty-six or one hundred and forty-six; and, in view of the fact that the scribe of No. 92,629 has continued the text to the bottom of
the reverse of the tablet, the larger number is the more probable of the two. The following is a list of the total number of lines inscribed upon each of the Seven Tablets of the Series:—
Although it is now possible to accurately estimate the number of lines contained by the Creation Series, there are still considerable gaps in the text of several of the Tablets. The only Tablets in which the whole or portions of every line are preserved are the Third and Fourth of the Series. Gaps, where the text is completely wanting, occur in Tablet I, ll. 68-82, and in Tablet II, ll. 59-(68). 1 The greater part of the text of Tablet V is wanting, but by roughly estimating the position of the fragment K. 3,449a, which occurs about in the centre of the text, we obtain two gaps, between ll. 26 and (66) and between ll. (87) and (128). Of Tablet VI we possess only the opening and closing lines, the rest of the text, from l. 22 to l. 137, being wanting. Finally, the gap in the text of
[paragraph continues] Tablet VII, between ll. 47 and 105, is partly filled up by the fragments KK. 12,830, 13,761, 8,519, 13,337, which together give portions of thirty-nine lines.
Upon some of the Babylonian copies the metre is indicated in writing by the division of the halves of each verse, 1 and, wherever this occurs upon any tablet or duplicate, the division has, as far as possible, been retained in the transliteration of the text. In accordance with the rules of Babylonian poetry, the text generally falls into couplets, the second verse frequently echoing or supplementing the first; each of the two verses of a couplet is divided into halves, and each half-verse may be further subdivided by an accented syllable. 2 This four-fold division of each
verse will be apparent from the following connected The metre of transliteration of the first half-dozen lines of the poem, in which the subdivisions of the verses are marked in accordance with the system of the Babylonian scribes as found upon the tablet Sp. ii, 265a 1:—
|1. f. enuma||| elish|||| lâ nabû||| shamamu|
|shaplish||| ammatum|||| shuma||| lâ zakrat|
|3. f. Apsûma||| rîshtû|||| zaru–||shun|
|mummu||| Tiamat|||| muallidat||| gimrishun|
|5. f. mê–||shunu|||| ishtenish||| ihîkûma|
|gipâra||| lâ kissura|||| susâ||| lâ she’i|
It will be seen that the second verse of each couplet balances the first, and the caesura, or division, in the centre of each verse is well marked. The second half of verse 3 and the first half of verse 5, each of which contains only one word, may appear rather short for scansion, but the rhythm is retained by dwelling on the first part of the word and treating the suffix almost as an independent word. It is unnecessary to transliterate more of the text of the poem in this manner, as the simple metre, or rather rhythm, can be detected without difficulty from the syllabic transliteration which is given in the following pages.
XXVI:1 Mr. Smith described the legends in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, published on March 4th, 1875, No. 6,158, p. 5, col. 4. He there gave a summary of the contents of the fragments, and on November and in the same year he read a paper on them before the p. XXVII Society of Biblical Archæology. In noting the resemblance between the Babylonian and the Hebrew legends it was not unnatural that he should have seen a closer resemblance between them than was really the case. For instance, he traced allusions to “the Fall of Man” in what is the Seventh Tablet of the Creation Series; one tablet he interpreted as containing the instructions given by “the Deity” to man after his creation, and another he believed to represent a version of the story of the Tower of Babel. Although these identifications were not justified, the outline which he gave of the contents of the legends was remarkably accurate. It is declared by some scholars that the general character of the larger of the Creation fragments was correctly identified by Sir H. C. Rawlinson several years before.
XXVII:1 The Chaldean Account of Genesis, London, 1876; German edition, edited by Delitzsch, Leipzig, I 876. New English edition, edited by Sayce, London, 1880.
XXVII:2 By November, 1875, Smith had prepared a series of six plates containing copies of portions of the First and Fifth Tablets, and also of the Fourth Tablet which he entitled “War between the Gods and Chaos)” and of the Seventh Tablet which he styled “Tablet describing the Fall.” These plates were published in the Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archæology, vol. iv (1876), and appeared after his death.
XXVII:3 See the papers by H. Fox Talbot in T.S.B.A., vol. iv, pp. 349 ff., and vol. v, pp. I ff., 426 ff., and Records of the Past, vol. ix (1877), pp. 115 ff., 135 ff.; and the translations made by Oppert in an appendix to Ledrain’s Histoire d’Israel, première partie (1879), pp. 411 ff., and by Lenormant in Les origines de p. XXVIII l’histoire (1880), app. i, pp. 494ff. The best discussion of the relations of the legends to the early chapters of Genesis was given by Schrader in the second edition (1883) of his Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament, English translation, 1885-1888; I hear from Professor Zimmern that the new edition of this work, a portion of which he is editing, will shortly make its appearance.
XXVIII:1 The tablet was numbered 82-9-18, 3,737; see below, p. cvi, No. 29. Budge gave a description of the tablet in the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archæology for Nov. 6th, 1883, and published the text in P.S.B.A., vol. x (1887 ), p. 86, pls. 1-6.
XXVIII:2 See Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as illustrated by the Religion of the Ancient Babylonians (Hibbert Lectures for 1887), pp. 379. ff.
XXVIII:3 In Records of the Past, new series, vol. i (1888), pp. 122 ff.
XXVIII:4 See Die Kosmologie der Babylonier (Strassburg, 1890), pp. 263 ff.
XXIX:1 Zimmern published his translation as an appendix to Gunkel’s Schöpfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit (Gottingen, 1895), pp. 401 ff.
XXIX:2 Bas Babylonische Weltschöpfungsepos, published in the Abhandlungen der philologisch-historischen Classe der Königl. Süchsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaffen, xvii, No. ii.
XXIX:3 Assyrisch-Babylonische Mythen und Epen, published as the sixth volume of Schrader’s Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek; part I, containing transliterations and translations (1900); part 2, containing commentary (1901).
XXIX:4 In addition to the translations of the legends mentioned in the text, a number of papers and works containing descriptions and discussions of the Creation legends have from time to time been published. Among those which have appeared during the last few years may be mentioned the translations of portions of the legends by Winckler in his Keilinschriftliches Textbuch zum Alten Testament, ii (1892), pp. 88 ff.; Barton’s article on Tiamat, published in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. xv (1893), pp. 1 ff.; and the translations and discussions of the p. XXX legends given in Jastrow’s Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (1898), pp. 407 ff., in my own Babylonian Religion and Mythology (1899), pp. 5 3 ff., by Muss-Arnolt in Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, edited by R. F. Harper (1901), pp. 282 ff., and by Loisy, Les mythes babyloniens et les premiers chapitres de la Genèse (1901). Discussions of the Babylonian Creation legends and their connection with the similar narratives in Genesis have been given by Lukas in Die Grundbegriffe in den Kosmogonien der alten Völker (1893), pp. 1-46, by Gunkel in Schöpfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit (1895), pp. 16 ff., by Driver in Authority and Archeology, edited by Hogarth (1899), pp. 9 ff., and by Zimmern in Biblische und babylonische Urgeschichte (Der alte Orient, 1901); an exhaustive article on “Creation” has also been contributed by Zimmern and Cheyne to the Encyclopedia Biblica, vol. i (1899), cols. 938 ff.
XXX:1 Delitzsch’s list of fragments, enumerated on pp. 7 ff. of his work, gave the total number as twenty-two. As No. 21 he included the tablet K. 3,364, but in Appendix II (pp. 201 ff.) I have proved, by means of the Neo-Babylonian duplicate No. 33,851, that this tablet is part of a long composition containing moral precepts, and has no connection with the Creation Series. H e also included K. 3,445 + R. 396 (as No. 20) but there are strong reasons for believing that this tablet does not belong to the series Enuma elish, but is part of a variant account of the story of Creation; see further, Appendix II, pp. 197 ff. On the other hand he necessarily omitted from his list an unnumbered fragment of the Seventh Tablet, which had been used by George Smith, but had been lost sight of after his death; this fragment I identified two years ago as K. 9,267. It may be added that the total number of fragments correctly identified up to that time was twenty-five, but, as four of these had been joined to others, the number of separate tablets and fragments was reduced to twenty-one.
XXXI:1 On pp. xcvii ff. brief descriptions are given of these forty- nine separate fragments of the Creation Series, together with references to previous publications in which the text of any of them have appeared. The whole of the old material, together with part of the new, was published in Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets, etc., in the British Museum, part xiii. The texts of the new tablets and fragments which I have since identified are published in the lithographed plates of Vol. II, and by means of outline blocks in Appendices I and II (see pp. 159 ff.). For the circumstances under which the new fragments were identified, see the Preface to this volume.
XXXI:2 See below, p. xcviii f., Nos. 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
XXXI:3 See below, p. ci, Nos. 13, 14, 15, and 18.
XXXI:4 See below, p. ciii f., Nos. 22, 24, 25, 26, and 27.
XXXII:1 See below, p. cvi, No. 32.
XXXII:2 See below, p. cviii, Nos. 37 and 38.
XXXII:3 See below, p. cix, No. 40.
XXXII:4 See below, p. cix f., Nos. 41, 42, 44, 46, 47, 48, and 49.
XXXII:5 See below, p. xcvii f., No. 1.
XXXIII:1 The following is the text of the passage in which Damascius summarizes the Babylonian beliefs:— ### —Quaestiones de primis principiis, cap 125 (ed. Kopp, p. 384). The Δαχην and Δαχον of the text should be emended to Λαχην and Λαχον, which correspond to Lahamu and Lahmu. Of the other deities, Ταυθέ corresponds to Tiamat, Ἀπασών to Apsû, Κισσαρή to Kishar, Ἀσσωρός to Anshar, and Ἀνός to Anu; Μωϋμῖς corresponds to Mummu (see below, p. xxxviii, note 1).
XXXIV:1 See below, p. xcviii, No. 2.
XXXIV:2 It is interesting to note that Ea is referred to under his own name and not by his title Nudimmud upon new fragments of the poem in Tabl. I, l.60 (p. 12 f.), Tabl. II, l. 5 (p. 22 f.), and Tabl. VI, l. 3 (p. 86 f.) and l. 11 (p. 88 f.).
XXXVII:1 See further, pp. lxvi ff.
XXXVIII:1 The Μωϋμῖσ of Damascius; see above, p. xxxiii, n. I. The title Mummu was not only borne by Apsû’s minister, who, according to Damascius, was the son of Apsû and Tiamat, but in Tabl. I, 1.4, it is employed as a prefix to the name of Tiamat herself. In this passage I have conjecturally rendered it as “chaos” (see p. 2 f.), since the explanatory text S. 747, Rev., l. 10 (see below, pp. 162, 170), gives the equation Mu-um-mu = rig-mu. There is, however, much to be said for Jensen’s suggestion of the existence of a word mummu meaning “form,” or ”mould,” or “pattern” (cf. Mythen und Epen, p. 302 f.). Jensen points out that Ea is termed mu-um-mu ba-an ka-la, “the mummu (possibly, pattern) who created all” (cf. Beiträge zur Assyriologie, ii, p. 261), and he adds that the title might have been applied in this sense to Tiamat, since in Tabl. I, l. 113, and the parallel passages, she is described as pa-ti-sha-ad ka-la-ma, and from her body heaven and earth were created; the explanation, given by Damascius, of Mummu, the son of Apsû and Tiamat, as νοητὸς κόσμος is also in favour of this suggestion. Moreover, from one of the new fragments of the Seventh Tablet, K. 13,761 (see p. 102 f.), we now know that one of Marduk’s fifty titles was Mummu, which is there explained as ba-a[n . . . . ], i.e., probably, ba-a[n ha-la], “Creator [of all]” (cf. Ea’s title, cited above). In view of the equation Mu-urn-mu = rig-mu (Jensen’s suggested alternatives shim-mu and bi-ish-mu are not probable), we may perhaps conclude that, in addition to the word mummu, “form, pattern,” there existed a word mummu, ”chaos, confusion,” and that consequently the title Mummu was capable of two separate interpretations. If such be the case, it is possible that the application of the title to Tiamat and her son was suggested by its ambiguity of meaning; while Marduk (and also Ea) might have borne the name as the “form” or “idea” of order and system, Tiamat and her son might have been conceived as representing the opposing “form” or ”idea” of chaos and confusion.
XXXIX:1 Jensen’s translation of what is l. 50 of the First Tablet represents Mummu as urging Apsû to make the way of the gods “like night,” and implies that it was the creation of light which caused the rebellion. L. 5 0, however, is parallel to l. 38, and it is certain that the adv. mu-shish is to be rendered “by night,” and not “like night.” In l. 38 Apsû complains that “by day” he cannot rest, and “by night” he cannot lie down in peace; Mummu then counsels him to destroy the way of the gods, adding in l. 50, “Then by day shalt thou have rest, by night shalt thou lie down (in peace)”; see pp. 8 ff. Jensen’s suggested rendering of im-ma as-ru-nim-ma, in place of im-ma-as-ru-nim-ma, in Tabl. I, l. 109 and the parallel passages, is therefore also improbable.
XXXIX:2 This fact does not preclude the interpretation of the fight between Marduk and Tiamat as based upon a nature-myth, representing the disappearance of mist and darkness before the rays of the sun. For Marduk was originally a solar deity, and Berossus himself mentions this interpretation of the legend (see further, p. lxxxii, and the quotation on p. liv f., notes 2 and 1).
XL:1 Cf. Tabl. I, l. 97.
XL:2 Cf. Tabl. I, l. 62.
XL:3 Cf. Tabl. IV, l. 142.
XL:4 Cf. Tabl. I, l. 98.
XL:5 Cf. Tabl. II, ll. 75 ff.
XLI:1 It is possible that the fragments of l. 88 f. of Tabl. I are not to be taken as part of a speech, but as a description of Tiamat’s state of confusion and restlessness after learning of Apsû’s fate.
XLI:2 See also p. 14, n. 1.
XLI:3 On the probable order of the attempts made by Ea and Anu respectively to oppose Tiamat, see Appendix II, p. I 88, n. 1.
XLV:1 The account of the Creation given by Berossus in his history of Babylonia was summarized by Alexander Polyhistor, from whom Eusebius quotes in the first book of his Chronicon; the following is his description of the mythical monsters which existed before the creation of the world:— ### Eusebi chronicorum liber prior, ed. Schoene, col. 14 f.
XLV:2 The reading Ὀμόρκα is an emendation for ομορωκα, cf. op. cit., col. 16, n. 6; while for Θαλατθ we should probably read Θαμτέ, i.e., the Babylonian Tâmtu, “sea, ocean” = Tiamat, cf. Robertson-Smith, Zeits. für Assyr., vi, p. 339. The name Ὀμόρκα may probably be identified with Ummu-Hubur, ”the Mother-Hubur,” a title of Tiamat which occurs in Tabl. I, l. 113 and the parallel passages. The first part of the name gives the equation Ομ =Ummu, but how Hubur has given rise to the transcription ορκα is not clear. Jensen has attempted to explain the difficulty p. XLVI by suggesting that Ὀμόρκα = Ummu-urki, and urki he takes as an Assyrian translation of Hubur. For Hubur he suggests the meaning “that which is above, the North” (mainly from the occurrence of Hu-bu-ur KI = Su-bar-tum, the Upper or Northern part of Mesopotamia, in II R, pl. 50, l. 51, cf. also V R, pl. 16, l. 19); and, since what is in the North would have been regarded by the Babylonians as “behind,” the title Hubur might have been rendered in Babylonian as urku. This explanation is ingenious, but that the title Hubur, as applied to Tiamat, had the meaning “that which is above, the North,” cannot be regarded as proved (cf. also Mythen, p. 564). Gunkel and Zimmern, on the other hand, see in Ὀμόρκα the equivalent of the Aramaic words ‘Om ‘orqa, “Mother of the Deep,” the existence of which they trace to the prevalence of the Aramaic dialect in Babylonia at the time of Berossus (see Schöpfung und Chaos, p. 18 f., n. 1); according to this explanation the title Ὀμόρκα would be the Aramaic equivalent of Ummu-Hubur, for Hubur may well have had the meaning “deep, depth.” Thus, on the fragment S. 2,013 (see below, p. 196 f.) the meaning “depth,” rather than “the North,” is suggested by the word; in l. 9 of this fragment the phrase Hu-bur pal-ka-ti, “the broad Hubur,” is employed in antithesis to shamê(e) ru-ku-u-ti, “the distant heavens,” precisely as in the following couplet Ti-amat shap-li-ti, “the Lower Ocean (Tiamat),” is opposed to Ti-amat e-zi-ti, “the Upper Ocean (Tiamat).” For a possible connection between the lower waters of Tiamat and Hubur, the River of the Underworld, see below, p. lxxxiii, n. 2, and p. xciv f., n. 3.
XLVI:1 According to the poem, Tiamat is definitely stated to have created eleven kinds of monsters. The summary from Berossus bears only a general resemblance to the description of the monsters in the poem.
XLIX:1 See below, p. liv f., note 1.
XLIX:2 cf. ll. 135 ff.
XLIX:3 For instance, the fragment K. 13,774 (see below, pp. 190 ff.) in l. 8, in place of “He set the stations of Bel and Ea along with him,” reads “He set the stations of Bel and Anu along with him.” According to the text Marduk appoints Nibir (Jupiter), Bêl (the p. L north pole of the equator), and Ea (probably a star in the extreme south of the heavens) as guides to the stars, proving that they were already thus employed in astronomical calculations. In place of Ea, K. 13,774 substitutes Anu, who, as the pole star of the ecliptic, would be of equal, if not greater, importance in an astronomical sense. Another variant reading on K. 13,754 is the substitution of kakkaba-shu, “his star,” in place of ilu Nannar-ru, the Moon-god, in l. 12; the context is broken, but we cannot doubt that shuk-nat mu-shi, “a being of the night,” in l. 13 refers to the Moon-god, and that Marduk entrusted the night to the Moon-god according to this version also. Further variants occur in l. 17 f. in the days enumerated in the course of Marduk’s address to the Moon-god; see below, p. 191 f.
LIII:1 See Tabl. IV, l. 136.
LIII:2 See Tabl. VI, l. 2
LIV:1 See below, p. lviii.
LIV:2 After the description of the monsters of the deep referred to above (see p. xlv), the summary from Berossus records the creation by Bel of the earth, and the heavens, and mankind, and animals, as follows:— ### p. LV.—Euseb. chron. lib. pri., ed. Schoene, col. 16 f. For the probable transposition of the passage which occurs in the text after γεγεννημένων, see the following note.
LV:1 The transposition of the passage suggested by von Gutschmidt necessitates only one emendation of the text, viz. the reading of τοιωνδε in place of τον δε before Βῆλον. The context of this passage would then read ### and the summary by Eusebius, at the end of the extract, would read ### cf. Schoene, op. cit., col. 16 f., note 9. The emendation has been accepted by Budde, Die Biblische Urgeschichte, p. 477 f.:, by Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 292, and by Gunkel and Zimmern, Schöpfung und Chaos, p. 19 f.
LVI:1 Cf. Schöpfung und Chaos, p. 20 f.
LVI:2 For ἑαυτοῦ in both passages Stucken would read αὐτῆς; cf. Astralmythen der Hebaeer, Babylonier und Aegypter, i, p. 55.
LVI:3 Cheyne, who adopts Stucken’s suggestion, remarks: “It stands to reason that the severed head spoken of in connection with the creation of man must be Tiâmat’s, not that of the Creator”; cf. Encyclopædia Biblica, i, col. 947, note.
LVII:1 In the Zeits. für Assyr., xiv, p. 282, Zimmern remarks: “Somit darf man wol doch nicht . . . . annehmen, dass ursprünglich das Blut der Tiâmat gemeint sei, allerdings auch nicht das Blut des Schöpfergottes selbst, sondern das irgend eines Gottes . . ., der zu diesem Zwecke geschlachtet wird.” In making this suggestion Zimmern was influenced by the episode related in col. iii of the fragmentary and badly preserved legend Bu. 91-5-9, 269 (cf. Cuneiform Texts, pt. vi, and Mythen, p. 275, note), which he pointed out contained a speech by a deity in which he gives orders for another god to be slain that apparently a man may be formed from his blood mixed with clay (cf. Z.A., xiv, p. 281). The episode, however, has no connection with the first creation of man, but probably relates to the creation of a man or hero to perform some special exploit, in the same way as Uddushu-namir was created by Ea for the rescue of Ishtar from the Underworld, and as Ea-bani was created by the goddess Aruru in the First Tablet of the Gilgamesh-epic (cf. also Jensen’s remarks in his Mythen und Epen, p. 275 f.). I learn from Professor Zimmern and Professor Bezold that it was the tablet Bu. 91-5-9, 269, and not an actual fragment of the Creation Series, to which Professor Zimmern refers on p. 14 of his Biblische una’ babylonische Urgeschichte. Although, as already stated, this fragment is not, strictly speaking, part of a creation-legend, it illustrates the fact that the use of the blood of a god for the creation of man was fully in accordance with Babylonian beliefs.
LVII:2 See below, p. 86 f., n. 7.
LVIII:1 See Kosmologie, p. 293.
LVIII:2 The word is here met with for the first time, the reading of GIR-PAD-DU (var. DA), the ideogram for “bone,” not having been known previously.
LIX:1 On p. 200 it is remarked that, until more of the text of the Fifth and Sixth Tablets is recovered, it would be rash to assert that the fragment K. 3,445 + R. 396 (cf. Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 24 f.) cannot belong to the Creation Series. The phrase is-‘Runkakkada (Obv., l. 35 ) might perhaps refer to the head of Tiamat (cf. ru-pu-ush-tu sha Ti-a[mat], in l. 19), which would not be inconsistent with the fragment forming part of the Fifth Tablet as suggested on p. 198. If the fragment were part of the Sixth Tablet, the kakkadu in l. 35 might possibly be Marduk’s head (compare also ik-sur-ma in l. 31 with lu-uk-sur in Tabl. VI, l. 5 ). In view, however, of the inconsistencies noted on p. 199 f., it is preferable to exclude the fragment at present from the Creation Series.
LX:1 See pp. 201 ff.
LXV:1 See pp. 171 ff.
LXV:2 See pp. 175 ff.
LXVI:1 In view of the fact that the Semitic name Bêl-mâtâti occurs as one of Marduk’s titles, it is not impossible that the title Bêl-ilâni, which is applied to him in the Epilogue to the Seventh Tablet (l. 129, see p. 112), also occurred as one of his fifty titles in the body of the text. It is unlikely that the name Marduk itself was included as one of the fifty titles, and in support of this view it may be noted that the colophon to the commentary R. 366, etc. (see p. 169), makes mention of “fifty-one names” of Marduk, which may be most easily explained by supposing that the scribe reckoned in the name Marduk as an additional title.
LXVI:2 See below, p. 169.
LXVII:1 See above, p. xli f.
LXVIII:1 See below, pp. 1-16 ff.
LXVIII:2 Jensen makes Bel the slayer of the dragon in this legend (cf. Mythen und Epen, p. 46), from which it might be argued that Marduk is the hero in both versions of the story. But Jensen’s identification of the deity as Bêl was due to a mistake of Delitzsch, who published an inaccurate copy of the traces of the deity’s name upon the tablet; see below, p. 120, n. 1.
LXIX:1 The so-called “Cuthaean Legend of the Creation” (cf. pp. 140 ff.) was at one time believed to represent another local version of the Creation story, in which Nergal, the god of Cuthah, was supposed to take the place of Marduk. But it has been pointed out by Zimmern that the legend concerns the deeds of an Old-Babylonian king of Cuthah, and is not a Creation legend; see below, p. 140 f., note 1.
LXIX:2 See below, pp. 130 ff.
LXX:1 Elsewhere this goddess figures in the rôle of creatress, for from the First Tablet of the Gilgamesh-epic, col. ii, ll. 30 ff., we learn that she was credited with the creation of both Gilgamesh and Ea-bani. Her method of creating Ea-bani bears some resemblance to that employed in the creation of man according to the Sumerian and Babylonian version above referred to; she first washed her hands, and then, breaking off a piece of clay, she cast it upon the ground and thus created Ea-bani (cf. Jensen, Mythen und Epen, p. 120 f.).
LXX:2 See below, p. 122 f.
LXX:3 See below, pp. 124 ff.
LXX:4 In addition to the five principal strands which have been described above as forming the framework of the Creation Series, p. LXXI it is possible to find traces of other less important traditions which have been woven into the structure of the poem. Thus the association of the god Kingu with Tiamat is probably due to the incorporation of a separate legend with the Dragon-Myth.
LXXI:1 It may be here noted that the poem contains no direct description of Tiamat, and it has been suggested that in it she was conceived, not as a dragon, but as a woman. The evidence from sculpture and from cylinder-seals, however, may be cited against this suggestion, as well as several phrases in the poem itself (cf. e.g., Tabl. IV, ll. 97 ff.). It is true that in one of the new fragments of the poem Tiamat is referred to as sinnishatu, i.e. “woman” or “female” (cf. Tabl. II, l. 122), but the context of this passage proves that the phrase is employed with reference to her sex and not to her form.
LXXI:2 Tabl. VII, ll. 1-124.
LXXI:3 See below, p. 169.
LXXI:4 See below, pp. 175 ff.
LXXIII:1 The slabs are preserved in the British Museum, Nimroud Gallery, Nos. 28 and 29.
LXXIV:1 An Assyrian copy of this inscription, which was made for the library of Ashur-bani-pal, is preserved in the British Museum, and is numbered K. 4,149; the text is published in V R, pl. 33.
LXXIV:2 Cf. col. iii, l. 13.
LXXIV:3 Cf. col. iv, ll. 50 ff.
LXXIV:4 Cf. col. iii, l. 33.
LXXV:1 Such “deeps” were set up by Bur-Sin, King of Ur about B.C. 2500 (cf. I R, pl. 3, No. xii, 1), and by Ur-Ninâ, a still earlier king of Shirpurla (cf. De Sarzec, Découveries en Chaldée, pl. ii, No. I, col. iii, l. 5 f.).
LXXV:2 Two separate fragments of this legend were found, of which one is in the British Museum and the other, made up of four p. LXXVI smaller fragments, is in Berlin. Their texts are published by Budge and Bezold, The Tell el-Amarna Tablets, p. 140 f. and pl. 17 (Bu. 88-10-13, 69), and by Winckler and Abel, Beer Thonfafelfund von El-Amarna, p. 164f. (Nos. 2 3 4, 236, 237, and 239); cf. also Knudtzon, Beiträge Zur Assyr., iv, pp. 130 ff. For a translation of the fragments, see Jensen, Mythen und Epen, pp. 74 ff.
LXXVI:1 For the text, see Winckler and Abel, op. cit., p. 166 a and b, and cf. Knudtzon, B.A., iv, pp. 128 ff. For translations, see E. T. Harper, B.A., ii, pp. 420 ff., Zimmern in Gunkel’s Schöpfung und Chaos, pp. 420 ff., and Jensen, Mythen und Epen, pp. 94 ff.
LXXVI:2 K. 8,214, published by Strong, P.S.B.A., xvi, p. 274f.; see Jensen, Mythen und Epen, pp. 98 ff.
LXXVI:3 See below, p. 146 f., n. 4.
LXXVII:1 The old Babylonian fragment Bu. 91-5-9,269 (cf. Cun. Texts, vi, and see above, p. lvii; n. 1), and the Deluge-fragment of the reign of Ammizaduga (published by Scheil, Receueil de travaux, xx, pp. 55 ff.) both contain phrases found upon the legend of Atar-basis, K. 3,399; cf. Zimmern, Zeits. fur Assyr., xiv, p. 278 f. The text of K. 3,399, which has not hitherto been published, is included as plate 49 in part xv of Cuneiform Texts; for translations, see Zimmern, op. cit., pp. 287 ff., and Jensen, Mythen, pp. 274 ff.
LXXVII:2 The tablets are numbered 87,535, 93,828, and 87,521, and they are published in Cuneiform Texts, pt. xv (1092), plates 1-6. The opening addresses, especially that upon No. 87,535, are of considerable interest; in this tablet the poet states that he will sing the song of Mama, the Lady of the gods, which he declares to be better than honey and wine, etc. (col. i, (I ) [z]a-ma-ar ilu Bi-li-it-ili a-za-ma-ar (2) ib-ru us–si-ra ku-ra-du 5-me-a (3 ) Ilu Ma-ma za-ma-ra-la-ma e-li di-ish-pi-i-im u ka-ra-nim ta-bu (4) [a-du-u e-Zi di-ish-pi u ka-ra-ni-i-im, etc.). The goddess Mama is clearly to be identified with Mami, who also bore the title Bêlit-ili (cf. Jensen, Mythen, p. 286 f., n. 11); and with the description of her offspring in col. i, ll. 8 ff. (ilu Ma-ma ish-ti-na-am u-li-id-ma . . . . ilu Ma-ma shi-e-na u-Zi-id-ma . . . . ilu Ma-ma sha-la-ti u-l[i]-i[d-ma]) we may compare Mami’s creation of seven men and seven women in the legend of Atar-hasis (cf. Jensen, op. cit., p. 286 f.). The legend No. 93,828 also concerns a goddess referred to as Bêlit-ili, whom Bel summons into his presence (cf. col. i, ll. 10 ff.). The texts are written syllabically almost throughout, and simple syllables preponderate; and it is interesting to note that the ending ish with the force of a preposition, which occurs in the Creation legends, is here also employed, cf. No. 87,521, col. iii, l. 4, mu-ut-ti-is’ um-mi-shu and possibly col. vi, l. 3, gi-ir-di-ish The texts are p. LXXVIII carefully written (it may be noted that a na has been omitted by the scribe in No. 93,828, col. i, l. 7), the lines vary considerably in length, and the metre is not indicated by the arrangement of the text. Though fragmentary the episodes described or referred to in the texts are of considerable interest, perhaps the most striking being the reference to the birth of Ishum in col. viii of No. 87,521, and the damming of the Tigris with which the text of No. 87,535 concludes. I intend elsewhere to publish translations of the fragments.
LXXVIII:1 Ein altbabylonisches Fragment des Gilgamosepos, in the Mitteilungen der Voderasiatischen Gesellschaft, 1902, I. The fragment here published refers to episodes in the Gilgamesh-epic, the name of Gilgamesh being written ilu GISH, i.e. ilu GISH–TU-BAR. From the photographic reproductions published by Dr. Meissner, it is clear that the Gilgamesh fragment, in the nature of the clay employed, and in the archaic forms of the characters, resembles the three fragments in the British Museum. Unlike them, however, the lines of its text do not appear to be separated by horizontal lines ruled upon the clay.
LXXVIII:2 Father Scheil has published the text in late Assyrian characters in the Recueil de travaux, xxiii, pp. 18 ff., and he does not give a photograph of the tablet. From his description (“C’était une belle grande tablette de terre cuite, avec, par face, trois ou quatre colonnes . . . L’écriture en est archaïque et, sans aucun doute possible, antérieure à Hammurabi”), we may conclude that it dates from the same period as the three tablets in the British Museum described above.
LXXIX:1 See above, p. lxxv. Cf. also the Sumerian influence exhibited by the names of the older pairs of deities Lahmu and Lahamu, Anshar and Kishar, as well as in the names of Kingu, Gaga, etc.; while the ending ish, employed as it constantly is in the Creation Series with the force of a preposition, may probably be traced to the Sumerian ku, later shu, shi (cf. Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 266). The Assyrian commentaries to the Seventh Tablet, moreover, prove the existence of a Sumerian version of this composition, and as the hymn refers to incidents in the Creation legends, the Sumerian origin of these, too, is implied. The Sumerian version of the story of the Creation by Marduk and Aruru (see below, pp. 130 ff.) cannot with certainty be cited as evidence of its Sumerian origin, as from internal evidence it may well be a later and artificial composition on Sumerian lines. That we may expect, however, one day to find the original Sumerian versions of the Creation legends is not unreasonable; with respect to the recovery of the ancient religious literature of the Sumerians, the remarkable series of early Sumerian religious texts published in Cun. Texts, pt. xv, plates 7-30, may be regarded as an earnest of what we may look for in the future.
LXXX:1 For the account of the Phoenician cosmogony according to Sanchuniathon, see Eusebius, Praep. ev., i, 9 f., who quotes from the Greek translation of Philo Byblius; the accounts of Eudemus and Mochus are described by Damascius, cap. 125 (ed. Kopp, p. LXXXI p. 385). For summaries and comparisons of these cosmogonies, see Lukas, Die Grundbegriffe in den Kosmogonien der alten Völker, pp. 139 ff.
LXXXI:1 Cf. Budge, History of Egypt, vol. i, pp. 39 ff.
LXXXI:2 Other Egyptian beliefs, according to which the god Shû separated heaven and earth and upheld the one above the other, may be compared to the Babylonian conception of the malting of heaven and earth by the separation of the two halves of Tiamat’s body. For detailed descriptions of the Egyptian cosmogonies, see Brugsch, Religion und Mythologie der alten Aegypter, pp. 100 ff.; and for a convenient summary of the principal systems, see Lukas, op. cit., pp. 47 ff. Though the Babylonian and Egyptian cosmogonies, in some of their general features, resemble one another, the detailed comparisons of the names of deities, etc., which Hommel attempts in his Babylonische Ursprung der ägyptischen Kultur, are rather fanciful.
LXXXII:1 See above, p. xxvi f.
LXXXII:2 See above, p. xxxix, and below, p, 10, n. 1.
LXXXII:3 See above, p. xxxix, n. 2.
LXXXII:4 See above, p. xxxix.
LXXXIII:1 See below, p. 196 f.
LXXXIII:2 According to Babylonian belief the upper waters of Tiamat formed the heavenly ocean above the covering of heaven; but it is not clear what became of her lower waters. It is possible that they were vaguely identified with those of Apsû, and were believed to mingle with his around and beneath the earth. It may be suggested, however, that perhaps all or part of them were identified with Hubur, the River of the Underworld which was believed to exist in the depths of the earth (cf. Jensen, Mythen, p. 307). The fact that Tiamat bore the title Ummu-Hubur, “the Mother Hubur,” may be cited in support of this suggestion, as well as the occurrence upon S. 2,013 (cf. p. 197) of the phrases shamê(e) ru-ku-u-ti and Hu-bur pal-ka-ti, corresponding to Ti-amat e-Zi-ti and Ti-amat shap-li-ti respectively; see also p. xlvi, note.
LXXXIV:1 See above, p. 1.
LXXXIV:2 See below, p. 109.
LXXXIV:3 See below, p. 101.
LXXXIV:4 See below, p. 103.
LXXXV:1 See above, p. 1, and below, p. 93.
LXXXV:2 See below, pp. 78 ff.
LXXXV:3 See below, p. 95.
LXXXV:4 See below, p. 109.
LXXXVI:1 See above, p. lix.
LXXXVI:2 See above, p. lix, n. 1, and below, p. 198.
LXXXVI:3 See below, p. 122 f.
LXXXVII:1 The portion of the text on which this reference to the creation of beasts is inscribed forms an introduction to what is probably an incantation, and may be compared to the Creation legend of Marduk and Aruru which is employed as an introduction to an incantation to be recited in honour of the temple E-zida (see below, p. 130 f., n. 1). The account given of the creation of the beasts is merely incidental, and is introduced to indicate the period of the creation by Nin-igi-azag of two small creatures, one white and one black, which were probably again referred to in the following section of the text.
LXXXVII:2 See below, pp. 86 ff.
LXXXVII:3 See above, pp. liv ff.
LXXXVII:4 See also below, p. xciii. It may be also noted that, according to Babylonian belief, the great gods (cf. the plural of Elohim) were always pictured in human form.
LXXXVIII:1 See above, p. lviii.
LXXXVIII:2 See above, p. liii f., and below, p. 85, note 3, and p. 88 f., notes 1 and 3.
LXXXIX:1 See especially, ll. 7 f., 9 ff., 15 ff., 23, and 27 f.
LXXXIX:2 L. 31 f., which read, “May his (i.e. Marduk’s) deeds endure, may they never be forgotten in the mouth of mankind whom his hands have made!”
LXXXIX:3 See below, p. 100 f.
LXXXIX:4 See below, p. 87; the account of Berossus is in favour of this restoration.
XC:1 The new parallel to Gen. ii, 23, furnished by l. 5 of the Sixth Tablet, is referred to below, p. xciv.
XC:2 See below, p. 60 f.
XCI:1 There is, however, a parallel between the Seventh Day on p. XCII which Elohim rested from all His work, and the Seventh Tablet which records the hymns of praise sung by the gods to Marduk after his work of creation was ended.
XCII:1 See my Babylonian Religion and Mythology, pp. 138 ff. The fact that the Jews of the Exile were probably familiar with the later forms of Babylonian legends explains some of the close resemblances in detail between the Babylonian and Hebrew versions of the same story. But this is in perfect accordance with the borrowing of that very story by the Hebrews many centuries before; indeed, to the previous existence of ancient Hebrew versions of Babylonian legends may be traced much of the impetus given to the revival of mythology among the exiled Jews.
XCIII:1 See below, pp. 130 ff.
XCIII:2 See above, p. lxx, n. 1.
XCIII:3 See above, p. lvii, n. 1.
XCIV:1 See below, p. 128 f.
XCIV:2 With the Babylonian River of Creation, suggested by the Euphrates, we may compare the Egyptian beliefs concerning Hâp or Hâpi, the god of the Nile, who became identified with most of the great primeval Creation gods and was declared to be the Creator of all things. Considering the importance of the Nile for Egypt, it is easy to understand how he came to attain this position. Brugsch sums up his account of this deity in the words: “So ist der Nilgott im letzten Grunde der geheimnissvolle Urheber aller Wohlthaten, welche die von ihm befruchtete ägyptische Erde den Göttern und Menschen zu bieten vermag, er ist ‘der starke Schopfer von allem'”; see Religion und Mythologie der alten Aegypter, p. 641.
XCIV:3 It is possible that this River, though suggested by the p. XCV Euphrates, is to be identified with Hubur, the River of the Underworld, to whom an incantation in the terms of the one under discussion might well have been addressed. A connection between Tiamat and the river Hubur has been suggested above (cf. p. lxxxiii, n. 2), and, should this prove to be correct, we might see in the phrase banat(at) ka-la-ma, applied to the River, a parallel to pa-ti-ka-at ka-la-ma, the description of Ummu-Hubur (Tiamat) in Tablet I, l. 113 and the parallel passages.
XCV:1 The connection which Gunkel and Zimmern would trace between the River of Paradise and the River of Water of Life in the Apocalypse on the one side and the “water of life,” mentioned in the legend of Adapa, on the other, cannot be regarded as proved. The resemblance in the expressions may well be fortuitous, since there are few other points of resemblance between the narratives in which the expressions occur.
XCV:2 On these subjects, see my Bab. Rel. and Myth., pp. 108 ff.
XCV:3 See above, pp. lxxv and lxxix.
CX:1 I learn from Professor Zimmern that he also has identified this fragment as part of the Seventh Tablet by its correspondence with the commentary K. 4,406, published in II R, pl. 31 (see below, p. cxviii).
CXI:1 That the copies were not always made from Babylonian tablets is proved by the colophon of K. 292 (cf. Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 6), which states that this copy of the Second Tablet was made from p. CXII an Assyrian archetype (gab-ri mâtu Ashshur KI). Upon some tablets Ashur-bani-pal’s label was scratched after the tablet had been baked, e.g., K. 3,567 + K. 8,588 (Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 22). Other Assyrian copies, though giving the catch-line to the next tablet, are without colophons, e.g., K. 3,473, etc. (cf. Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 9), and K. 8,526 (cf. Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 23); the copy of the last tablet, K. 2,854 (see below, p. 159), the reverse of which is blank, was probably also without a colophon.
CXII:1 Cf. No. 40,559 (vol. ii, pl. xxi), a copy of the Second Tablet which was made for a certain Nabû-ahê-iddina; and No. 45,528f 46,614 (vol. ii, pl. vi), a copy of the First Tablet, which is described as the property of Nabû-meshêtik-urri, a worshipper of Marduk and Sarpanitu, and is said to have been copied from an original at Babylon on the ninth day of Iyyar, in the twenty-seventh year of Darius. A certain Nabû-balâtsu-ikbi, the son of Na’id-Marduk, appears to have owned a complete set of the Seven Creation Tablets, for we possess fragments of the First and of the Sixth Tablet in the series which belonged to him (cf. No. 93,015, Cun. Texts, pl. 3, where the first word of the second line of the colophon, which puzzled Delitzsch, is clearly bushû; No. 46,803, vol. ii, pls. ix ff.; and No. 92,629, vol. ii, pl. xxxvii).
CXII:2 Thus the fine copy of the Fourth Tablet, No. 93,016, which was written by the scribe Nabû-bêlishu, was, according to its colophon (cf. Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 15), deposited by the smith Na’id-Marduk as a votive offering in the temple E-zida. In his transliteration of this colophon Delitzsch has made an odd blunder; he has not recognized the common phrase ana balât napshâti pl –shu, “for the preservation of his life,” which occurs at the end of line 3 of the colophon, and has taken it as a proper name p. CXIII m TIN-ZI pl –shu (see Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 41), a transliteration which turns the sentence into nonsense.
CXIII:1 See pls. ii, iii, iv, and vi, and the frontispiece to Vol. II. Photographic reproductions of the reverse of No. 21 and the obverse of No. 29 are given in the Guide to the Babylonian and Assyrian Antiquities in the British Museum, pls. vi and vii.
CXIII:2 Cf. e.g., Nos. 93,015 (No. 2), 46,803 (No. 10), and 92,629 (No. 40), all of which were probably written by the same scribe.
CXIII:3 Cf. the notes duppu I KAN E-nu-ma e-lish on No. 45,528, etc. (vol. ii, pl. vi); duppu E-nu-ma e-lish ri-esh on No. 93,015 (Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 3); [dupp]u II KAN E-nu-ma e-lish; on K. 292 (Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 6); duppu IV KAN-MA E-nu-ma e-lish, which follows a note as to the number of lines in the text upon No. 93,016 (Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 15); and dup-pi V KAM-ME E-nu-ma e-lish on K. 3,567 (Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, pl. 22).
CXIII:4 The “practice-tablets” fall into two classes. In one class the tablets are wholly taken up with portions of the text of the Creation Series, which is written out upon them in sections of five verses separated by horizontal lines; cf. Nos. 82-9-18, p. CXIV 1,403 + 6,361 (No. 22) and 93,051 (No. 32). In the other class short extracts from the text are inscribed upon tablets containing other matter, all of which the pupil has written out for practice; cf. Nos. 36,726 (No. s), 36,688 (No. 9), 82-9-18, 6,950 + 83-1-18, 1,868 (No. 241, and 82-9-18, 5,448 + 83-1-18, 2,116 (No. 27). The second class are the more carelessly written of the two.
CXIV:1 The only apparent exceptions to this rule occur on some of the Neo-Babylonian tablets, in which two lines of the text are occasionally written on one line of the tablet when they are separated from each other by a division-mark. This is simply due to want of space, which necessitated the crowding of the text.
CXV:1 See below, p. cxxii.
CXV:2 See above, pp. lxxii ff.
CXVII:1 See below, pp. 157 ff.
CXVII:2 See above, p. lxxix, n. 1, and below, p. 158.
CXIX:1 The tablet S. 747, which measures 49 in. by 3 1/8 in., is published in Cun. Texts, pt. xiii, p1. 32, and its connection with the text of the Creation Series is described in Appendix I, p. 170 f. The text was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 58f.
CXIX:2 The tablet K. 2,107+K. 6,086, which measures 4 in. by 5½ in., is published in Vol. II, plate lxi f., and a transliteration and a translation of the text are given in Appendix I, pp. 171 ff. Col. ii of the single fragment K. 2, 107 was given in transliteration by Delitzsch, Weltschöpfungsepos, p. 155.
CXXI:1 In the gap in Tablet II, ll. 86-103, may probably be inserted the new fragment K. 10,008; see Appendix II, pp. I 87 ff.
CXXII:1 On Nos. 45,528 + 46,614 (No. 3), 82-9-18, 6,879 (No. 12), 38,396 (No. 14), 42,285 (No. 26), and 93,016 (No. 29); cf. also the “practice-tablets,” Nos. 82-9-18, 1,403 + 6,316 (No. 22) and 82-9-18, 5,448 + 83-1-18, 2,116 (No. 27).
CXXII:2 For the first description of the metre of the poem, see Budge, P.S.B.A., vol. vi, p. 7; and for later discussions of the metre of Babylonian poetry in general, see Zimmern’s papers in the Zeits. für Assyr., viii, pp. 121 ff., x, pp. 1 ff., xi, pp. 86 ff., and xii, pp. 382 ff.; cf. also D. M. Mueller, Die Propheten in ihrer ursprünglichen Form, i, pp. 5 ff. It may be noted that in addition to the division of the text into couplets, the poem often falls naturally into stanzas of four lines each. That the metre was not very carefully studied by the Neo-Babylonian scribes is proved by the somewhat faulty division of the verses upon some of the tablets on which the metre is indicated, and also by the fact that the pupils of the scribes were allowed, and perhaps told, to write out portions of the poem in sections, not of four, but of five lines each (see above, p. cxiii f., n. 4).
CXXIII:1 Published by Zimmern, Z.A., x, p. 17 f.
Note: The transliteration of the Babylonian and most of the footnotes in this section have been omitted for technical reasons. All ellipsis have been turned into three periods, no matter how long in the original document. — JBH.
The Seven Tablets of the History of Creation.
The First Tablet
1. When in the height heaven was not named,
2. And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
3. And the primeval Apsû, who begat them,
4. And chaos, Tiamat, the mother of them both,—
5. Their waters were mingled together,
6. And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;
7. When of the gods none had been called into being,
8. And none bore a name, and no destinies [were ordained];
9. Then were created the gods in the midst of [heaven],
10. Lahmu and Lahamu were called into being […].
11. Ages increased, […],
12. Then Anshar and Kishar were created, and over them […].
13. Long were the days, then there came forth […]
14. Anu, their son, […]
15. Anshar and Anu […]
16. And the god Anu […]
17. Nudimmud, whom his fathers [his] begetters […]
18. Abounding in all wisdom, […]
19. He was exceeding strong […]
20. He had no rival […]
21. (Thus) were established and [were … the great gods (?)].
22 . But T[iamat and Âpsû] were (still) in confusion […],
23. They were troubled and […]
24. In disorder(?) … […]
26. And Tiamat roared […]
25. Apsû was not diminished in might […]
27. She smote, and their deeds […]
28. Their way was evil … […] …
29. Then Apsû, the begetter of the great gods,
30. Cried unto Mummu, his minister, and said unto him:
31. “O Mummu, thou minister that rejoicest my spirit,
32. “Come, unto Tiamat let us [go]!”
33. So they went and before Tiamat they lay down,
34. They consulted on a plan with regard to the gods [their sons].
35. Apsû opened his mouth [and spake],
36. And unto Tiamat, the glistening one, he addressed [the word]:
37. “[…] their way […],
38. “By day I cannot rest, by night [I cannot lie down (in peace)].
39. “But I will destroy their way, I will […],
40. “Let there be lamentation, and let us lie down (again in peace).”
41. When Tiamat [heard] these words,
42. She raged and cried aloud […].
43. [She …] grievously […],
44. She uttered a curse, and unto [Apsû she spake]:
45. “What then shall we [do]?
46. “Let their way be made difficult, and let us [lie down (again) in peace].”
47. Mummu answered, and gave counsel unto Apsû,
48. […] and hostile (to the gods) was the counsel Mu[mmu gave]:
49. “Come, their way is strong, but thou shalt destroy [it];
50. “Then by day shalt thou have rest, by night shalt thou lie down (in peace).”
51. Apsû [hearkened unto] him and his countenance grew bright,
52. [Since] he (i.e. Mummu) planned evil against the gods his sons.
53. […] he was afraid […],
54. His knees [became weak(?)], they gave way beneath him,
55. [Because of the evil] which their first-born had planned.
56. […] their […] they altered(?).
58. Lamentation […] they sat in [sorrow] ‘
57. […] they […],
60. Then Ea, who knoweth all that [is], went up and he beheld their muttering.
62. […] … his pure incantation
63. […] … […]
65. […] misery
[Lines 68-82 are wanting.]
84 […] …
85. […] the god Anu,
86. [… an aven]ger.
88. […] and he shall confound Tiamat.
89. […] he …
90. […] for ever.
91. […] the evil,
92. […] … he spake:
93. “[…] thy […] he hath conquered and
94. ” […] he [weepeth] and sitteth in tribulation(?).
95. “[…] of fear,
96. “[…] we shall not lie down (in peace).
97. “[…] Apsû is laid waste(?),
98. “[…] and Mummu, who were taken captive, in […]
99. “[…] thou didst, …
100. “[…] let us lie down (in peace).
101. “[…] … they will smite (?) […].
102. ” […] let us lie down (in peace).
103. “[…] thou shalt take vengeance for them,
104. “[…]unto the tempest shalt thou […]!”
105. [And Tiamat hearkened unto] the word of the bright god, (and said):
106. “[…] shalt thou entrust! let us wage [war]!”
107. […] the gods in the midst of […]
108. […] for the gods did she create.’
109. [They banded themselves together and] at the side of Tiamat [they] advanced;
110. [They were furious, they devised mischief without resting] night and [day].
111. [They prepared for battle], fuming and raging;
112. [They joined their forces] and made war.
113. [Ummu-Hubu]r, who formed all things,
114. [Made in addition] weapons invincible, she spawned monster-serpents,
115. [Sharp of] tooth, and merciless of fang;
116. [With poison instead of] blood she filled [their] bodies.
117. Fierce [monster-vipers] she clothed with terror,
118. [With splendour] she decked them, [she made them] of lofty stature.
119. [Whoever beheld] them, terror overcame him,
120. Their bodies reared up and none could withstand [their attack].
121. [She set] up vipers, and dragons, and the (monster) [Lahamu],
122. [And hurricanes], and raging hounds, and scorpion-men,
123. And mighty [tempests], and fish-men, and[rams];
124. [They bore] cruel weapons, without fear of [the fight].
125. Her commands [were mighty], [none] could resist them;
126. After this fashion, huge of stature, [she made] eleven (monsters).
127. Among the gods who were her sons, inasmuch as he had given [her support],
128. She exalted Kingu; in their midst [she raised] him [to power].
129. To march before the forces, to lead [the host],
130. To give the battle-signal, to advance to the attack,
131. To direct the battle, to control the fight,
132. Unto him she entrusted; in [costly raiment] she made him sit, (saying):
133. “I have uttered thy spell, in the assembly of the gods I have raised thee to power.
134. “The dominion over all the gods [have I entrusted unto him].
135. “Be thou exalted, thou my chosen spouse,
136. “May they magnify thy name over all [of them … the Anunnaki].”
137. She gave him the Tablets of Destiny, on [his] breast she laid them, (saying):
138. “Thy command shall not be without avail, and[the word of thy mouth shall be established].”
139. Now Kingu, (thus) exalted, having received [the power of Anu],
140. [Decreed] the fate among the gods his sons, (saying):
141. “Let the opening of your mouth [quench] the Fire-god;
142. “Whoso is exalted in the battle, let him [display (his) might]!”
The Second Tablet
1. Tiamat made weighty her handiwork,
2. [Evil] she wrought against the gods her children.
3. [To avenge] Apsû, Tiamat planned evil,
4. But how she had collected her [forces, the god …] unto Ea divulged.
5. Ea [hearkened to] this thing, and
6. He was [grievous]ly afflicted and he sat in sorrow.
7. [The days] went by, and his anger was appeased,
8. And to [the place of] Anshar his father he took[his way].
9. [He went] and standing before Anshar, the father who begat him,
10. [All that] Tiamat had plotted he repeated unto him,
11. [Saying, “Ti]amat our mother hath conceived a hatred for us,
12. “With all her force she rageth, full of wrath.
13. “All the gods have turned to her,
14. “[With] those, whom ye created, they go at her side.
15. “They are banded together and at the side of Tiamat they advance;
16. “They are furious, they devise mischief without resting night and day.
17. “They prepare for battle, fuming and raging;
18. “They have joined their forces and are making war.
19. “Ummu-Hubur, who formed all things,
20. “Hath made in addition weapons invincible, she hath spawned monster-serpents,
21. “Sharp of tooth, and merciless of fang.
22. “With poison instead of blood she hath filled their bodies.
23. “Fierce monster-vipers she hath clothed with terror,
24. “With splendour she hath decked them, she hath made them of lofty stature.
25. “Whoever beholdeth them is overcome by terror,”
26. “Their bodies rear up and none can withstand their attack.
27. “She hath set up vipers, and dragons, and the
28. “And hurricanes and raging hounds, and scorpion-men,
29. “And mighty tempests, and fish-men and rams;
30. “They bear cruel weapons, without fear of the fight.
31. “Her commands are mighty, none can resist them;
32. “After this fashion, huge of stature, hath she made eleven (monsters).
33. “Among the gods who are her sons, inasmuch as he hath given her support,
34. She hath exalted Kingu; in their midst she hath raised him to power.
35. “To march before the forces, to lead the host,
36. “To give the battle-signal, to advance to the attack,
37. “[To direct] the battle, to control the fight,
38. “Unto him [hath she entrusted]; in costly raiment she hath made him sit, (saying):
39. “‘[I have uttered] thy [spell], in the assembly of the gods I have raised thee to power,
40. “‘[The dominion over all] the gods have I entrusted [unto thee].
41. “‘[Be thou exalted], thou [my chosen spouse],
42. “‘[May they magnify thy name over all of them …] …’
43. “[She hath given him the Tablets of Destiny, on his breast she] laid them, (saying):
44. “‘[Thy command shall not be without avail], and the [word] of thy mouth shall be established.’
45. “[Now Kingu, (thus) exalted], having received the power of Anu,
46. “Decreed the fate [for the gods, her sons], (saying):
47. “‘Let [the opening of your mouth] quench the Fire-god;
48. “‘[Whoso is exalted in the battle], let him display (his) might!'”
49. [When Anshar heard how Tiamat] was mightily in revolt,
50. […], he bit his lips,
51. […], his mind was not at peace,
52. His […], he made a bitter lamentation:
53. […] battle,
54. “[…] thou ….
55. “[Mummu and] Apsû thou hast smitten,
56. “[But Tiamat hath exalted Kin]gu, and where is one who can oppose her?”
57. […] deliberation
58. [ … the … of] the gods, N[u]di[mmud]
[A gap of about ten lines occurs here.]
(72) [Anshar unto] his son addressed [the word]:
(73) “[…] … my mighty hero,
(74) “[Whose] strength [is great] and whose onslaught cannot be withstood,
(75) “[Go] and stand before Tiamat,
(76) “[That] her spirit [may be appeased], that her heart may be merciful.
(77) “[But if] she will not hearken unto thy word,
(78) “Our [word] shalt thou speak unto her, that she may be pacified.”
(79) [He heard the] word of his father Anshar
(80) And [he directed] his path to her, towards her he took the way.
(81) Anu [drew nigh], he beheld the muttering of Tiamat,
(82) [But he could not withstand her], and he turned back.
(83) […] Anshar
(84) […] he spake unto him:
(85) “[…] upon me
[A gap of about twenty lines occurs here.]
(105) […] an avenger […]
(106) […] va[liant]
(107) […] in the place of his decision
(108) […] he spake unto him:
(109) “[…] thy father
(110) “Thou art my son, who maketh merciful his heart.
(111) ” […] to the battle shalt thou draw nigh,
(112) “[…] he that shall behold thee shall have peace.”
(113) And the lord rejoiced at the word of his father,
(114) And he drew nigh and stood before Anshar.
(115) Anshar beheld him and his heart was filled with joy,
(116) He kissed him on the lips and his fear departed from him.
(117) “[O my father], let not the word of thy lips be overcome,
(118) “Let me go, that I may accomplish all that is in thy heart.
(119). “[O Anshar], let not the word of thy lips be overcome,
(120) “. [Let me] go, that I may accomplish all that is in thy heart.”
(121) “What man is it, who hath brought thee forth to battle?
(122) “[…] Tiamat, who is a woman, is armed and attacketh thee.”
(123) “[…] … rejoice and be glad;
(124) “The neck of Tiamat shalt thou swiftly trample under foot.
(125) “[…] … rejoice and be glad;
(126) “[The neck] of Tiamat shalt thou swiftly trample under foot.
(127) “O my [son], who knoweth all wisdom,
(128) “Pacify [Tiama]t with thy pure incantation.
(129) “Speedily set out upon thy way,
(130) “For [thy blood (?)] shall not be poured out, thou shalt return again.”
(131) The lord rejoiced at the word of his father,
(132) His heart exulted, and unto his father he spake:
(133) “O Lord of the gods, Destiny of the great gods,
(134) “If I, your avenger,
(135) “Conquer Tiamat and give you life,
(136) “Appoint an assembly, make my fate preeminent and proclaim it.
(137) “In Upshukkinaku seat yourselves joyfully together,
(138) “With my word in place of you will I decree fate.
(139) “May whatsoever I do remain unaltered,
(140) “May the word of my lips never be changed nor made of no avail.”
The Third Tablet
1. Anshar opened his mouth, and
2. [Unto Gaga], his [minister], spake the word:
3. “[O Gaga, thou minis]ter that rejoicest my spirit,
4. ”[Unto Lahmu and Lah]amu will I send thee.
5. “[…] thou canst attain,
6. ”[…] thou shalt cause to be brought before thee.
7. [… let] the gods, all of them,
8. “[Make ready for a feast], at a banquet let them sit,
9. “[Let them eat bread], let them mix wine,
10. ”[That for Marduk], their avenger, they may decree the fate.
11. “[Go,] Gaga, stand before them,
12. ”[And all that] I, tell thee, repeat unto them, (and say):
13. “[Anshar], your son, hath sent me,
14. “[The purpose] of his heart he hath made known unto me.
15. “[He saith that Tia]mat our mother hath conceived a hatred for us,
16. “[With all] her force she rageth, full of wrath.
17. “All the gods have turned to her,
18. “With those, whom ye created, they go at her side.
19. ”They are banded together, and at the side of Tiamat they advance;
20 . “They are furious, they devise mischief without resting night and day.
21. ”They prepare for battle, fuming and raging;
22. “They have joined their forces and are making war.
23. “Ummu-Hubur, who formed all things,
24. “Hath made in addition weapons invincible, she hath spawned monster-serpents,
25. “Sharp of tooth and merciless of fang.
26. “With poison instead of blood she hath filled heir bodies.
27. “Fierce monster-vipers she hath clothed with terror,
28. “With splendour she hath decked them, she hath made them of lofty stature.
29. “Whoever beholdeth them, terror overcometh him,
30. “Their bodies rear up and none can withstand their attack.
31. “She hath set up vipers, and dragons, and the (monster) Lahamu,
32. “And hurricanes, and raging hounds, and scorpion-men,
33. “And mighty tempests, and fish-men, and rams;
34. They bear merciless weapons, without fear of the fight.
35. “Her commands are mighty, none can resist them;
36. “After this fashion, huge of stature, hath she made eleven (monsters).
37. “Among the gods who are her sons, inasmuch as he hath given her [support],
38. “She hath exalted Kingu; in their midst she hath raised [him] to power.
39. ”To march before the forces, [to lead the host],
40. “[To] give the battle-signal, to advance [to the attack],
41. “[To direct] the battle, to control the [fight],
42. “Unto him [hath she entrusted; in costly raiment] she hath made him sit, (saying):
43. “‘[I have] uttered thy spell, in the assembly of the gods [I have raised thee to power],
44. “‘[The] dominion over all the gods [have I entrusted unto thee].
45. “‘[Be] thou exalted, [thou] my chosen spouse,
46. “‘ May they magnify thy name over all of [them … the Anunnaki].’
47. “She hath given him the Tablets of Destiny, on his breast she laid them, (saying):
48. “‘Thy command shall not be without avail, and the word of [thy] mouth shall be established.’
49. “Now Kingu, (thus) exalted, having received [the power of Anu],
50. “Decreed the fate for the gods, her sons, (saying):
51. “‘Let the opening of your mouth quench the Fire-god;
52. “‘Whoso is exalted in the battle, let him display (his) might! ‘
53. ”I sent Anu, but he could not withstand her;
54. “Nudimmud was afraid and turned back.
55. “But Marduk hath set out, the director of the gods, your son;
56. ”To set out against Tiamat his heart hath prompted (him).
57. “He opened his mouth and spake unto me, (saying):
58. “‘If I, your avenger,
59. “‘Conquer Tiamat and give you life,
60. “‘Appoint an assembly, make my fate preeminent and proclaim it.
61. “‘In Upshukkinaku seat yourselves joyfully together;
62. “‘With my word in place of you will I decree fate.
63. “‘May whatsoever I do remain unaltered,
64. “‘May the word of my lips never be changed nor made of no avail.’
65. “Hasten, therefore, and swiftly decree for him the fate which you bestow,
66. “That he may go and fight your strong enemy!”
67. Gaga went, he took his way and
68. Humbly before Lahmu and Lahamu, the gods, his fathers,
69. He made obeisance, and he kissed the ground at their feet.
70. He humbled himself; then he stood up and spake unto them, (saying):
71. “Anshar, your son, hath sent me,
72. ”The purpose of his heart he hath made known unto me.
73. “He saith that Tiamat our mother hath conceived a hatred for us,
74. “With all her force she rageth, full of wrath.
75. “All the gods have turned to her,
76. “With those, whom ye created, they go at her side.
77. “They are banded together and at the side of Tiamat they advance;
78. ”They are furious, they devise mischief without resting night and day.
79. “They prepare for battle, fuming and raging;
80. ”They have joined their forces and are making war.
81. ”Ummu-Hubur, who formed all things,
82. “Hath made in addition weapons invincible, she hath spawned monster-serpents,
83. “Sharp of tooth and merciless of fang.
84. “With poison instead of blood she hath filled their bodies.
85. ”Fierce monster-vipers she hath clothed with terror,
86. “With splendour she hath decked them, she hath made them of lofty stature.
87. ”Whoever beholdeth them, terror overcometh him,
88. “Their bodies rear up and none can withstand their attack.
89. ”She hath set up vipers, and dragons, and the (monster) Lahamu,
90. “And hurricanes, and raging hounds, and scorpion-men,
91. ”And mighty tempests, and fish-men, and [rams];
92. “They bear merciless weapons, without fear of the fight.
93. “Her commands are mighty, none can resist them;
94. ”After this fashion, huge of stature, hath she made eleven (monsters).
95. ”Among the gods who are her sons, inasmuch as he hath given her support,
96. “She hath exalted Kingu; in their midst she hath raised him to power.
97. “To march before the forces, to lead the host,
98. ”To give the battle-signal, to advance to the attack,
99. “To direct the battle, to control the fight,
100. ”Unto him hath she entrusted; in costly raiment she hath made him sit, (saying):
101. “‘I have uttered thy spell, in the assembly of the gods I have raised thee to power,
102. “‘The dominion over all the gods have I entrusted unto thee.
103. “‘Be thou exalted, thou my chosen spouse,
104. “‘May they magnify thy name over all of them … the Anunna[ki].’
105. “She hath given him the Tablets of Destiny, on [his] breast [she laid them], (saying):
106. “‘Thy command shall not be without avail, [and the word of thy mouth shall be established].
107. “Now Kingu, (thus) exalted, [having received the power of Anu],
108. “[Decreed the fate] for the gods, her sons, (saying):
109. “‘Let the opening of your mouth [quench] the Fire-god;
110. “‘Whoso is exalted in the battle, [let him display] (his) might!’
111. “I sent Anu, but he could not [withstand her];
112. “Nudimmud was afraid and [turned back].
113. “But Marduk hath set out, the director of the[gods, your son];
114. “T o set out against Tiamat [his heart hath prompted (him)].
115. “He opened his mouth [and spake unto me], (saying):
116. “‘If I, [your avenger],
117. “‘Conquer Tiamat and [give you life],
118. “‘Appoint an assembly, [make my fate preeminent and proclaim it].
119. “‘In Upshukkinaku [seat yourselves joyfully together];
120. “‘With my word in place of [you will I decree fate].
121. “‘May whatsoever [I] do remain unaltered,
122. “‘May the word of [my lips] never be changed nor made of no avail.’
123. ”Hasten, therefore, and swiftly [decree for him] the fate which you bestow,
124. “That he may go and fight your strong enemy!”
125. Lahmu and Lahamu heard and cried aloud,
126. All of the Igigi wailed bitterly, (saying):
127. ”What has been altered so that they should … […]
128. ”We do not understand the d[eed] of Tiamat!”
129. Then did they collect and go,
130. The great gods, all of them, who decree [fate].
131. They entered in before Anshar, they filled […];
132. They kissed one another, in the assembly […].
133. They made ready for the feast, at the banquet [they sat];
134. They ate bread, they mixed [sesame-wine].
135. The sweet drink, the mead, confused their […],
136. They were drunk with drinking, their bodies were filled.
137. They were wholly at ease, their spirit was exalted;
138. Then for Marduk, their avenger, did they decree the fate.
The Fourth Tablet
1. They prepared for him a lordly chamber,
2 . Before his fathers as prince he took his place.
3. “Thou art chiefest among the great gods,
4. “Thy fate is unequalled, thy word is Anu!
5. “O Marduk, thou art chiefest among the great gods,
6. “Thy fate is unequalled, thy word is Anu!
7. “Henceforth not without avail shall be thy command,
8. “In thy power shall it be to exalt and to abase.
9. “Established shall be the word of thy mouth, irresistible shall be thy command;
10. “None among the gods shall transgress thy boundary.
11. “Abundance, the desire of the shrines of the gods,
12. “Shall be established in thy sanctuary, even though they lack (offerings).
13. “O Marduk, thou art our avenger!
14. “We give thee sovereignty over the whole world.
15. “Sit thou down in night, be exalted in thy command.
16. “Thy weapon shall never lose its power, it shall crush thy foe.
17. “O lord, spare the life of him that putteth his trust in thee,
18. “But as for the god who began the rebellion, pour out his life.”
19. Then set they in their midst a garment,
20. And unto Marduk their first-born they spake:
21. “May thy fate, O lord, be supreme among the gods,
22. “To destroy and to create; speak thou the word, and (thy command) shall be fulfilled.
23. “Command now and let the garment vanish;
24. “And speak the word again and let the garment reappear!”
25. Then he spake with his mouth, and the garment vanished;
26. Again he commanded it, and the garment reappeared.
27. When the gods, his fathers, beheld (the fulfilment of) his word,
28. They rejoiced, and they did homage (unto him, saying), ” Marduk is king! ”
29. They bestowed upon him the sceptre, and the throne, and the ring,
30. They give him an invincible weapon, which overwhelmeth the foe.
31. “Go, and cut off the life of Tiamat,
32. “And let the wind carry her blood into secret places.”
33. After the gods his fathers had decreed for the lord his fate,
34. They caused him to set out on a path of prosperity and success.
35 . He made ready the bow, he chose his weapon,
36. He slung a spear upon him and fastened it . . .
37. He raised the club, in his right hand he grasped (it),
38. The bow and the quiver he hung at his side.
39. He set the lightning in front of him,
40. With burning flame he filled his body.
41. He made a net to enclose the inward parts of Tiamat,
42. The four winds he stationed so that nothing of her might escape;
43. The South wind and the North wind and the East wind and the West wind
44. He brought near to the net, the gift of his father Anu.
45. He created the evil wind, and the tempest, and the hurricane,
46. And the fourfold wind, and the sevenfold wind, and the whirlwind, and the wind which had no equal;
47. He sent forth the winds which he had created, the seven of them;
48. T o disturb the inward parts of Tiamat, they followed after him.
49. Then the lord raised the thunderbolt, his mighty weapon,
50. He mounted the chariot, the storm unequalled for terror,
51. He harnessed and yoked unto it four horses,
52. Destructive, ferocious, overwhelming, and swift of pace;
53. […] were their teeth, they were flecked with foam;
54. They were skilled in […], they had been trained to trample underfoot.
55. […], mighty in battle,
56. Left and [right …
57. His garment was […], he was clothed with terror,
58. With overpowering brightness his head was crowned.
59. Then he set out, he took his way,
60. And towards the [rag]ing Tiamat he set his face.
61. On his lips he held […],
62. … […] he grasped in his hand.
63. Then they beheld him, the gods beheld him,
64. The gods his fathers beheld him, the gods beheld him.
65. And the lord drew nigh, he gazed upon the inward parts of Tiamat,
66. He perceived the muttering of Kingu, her spouse.
67. As (Marduk) gazed, (Kingu) was troubled in his gait,
68. His will was destroyed and his motions ceased.
69. And the gods, his helpers, who marched by his side,
70. Beheld their leader’s […], and their sight was troubled.
71. But Tiamat […], she turned not her neck,
72. With lips that failed not she uttered rebellious words:
73. “[…] thy coming as lord of the gods,
74. “From their places have they gathered, in thy place are they!”
75. Then the lord [raised] the thunderbolt, his mighty weapon,
76. [And against] Tiamat, who was raging, thus he sent (the word):
77. “[Thou] art become great, thou hast exalted thyself on high,
78. “And thy [heart hath prompted] thee to call to battle.
79. “[…] their fathers […],
80. “[…] their […] thou hatest […].
81. “[Thou hast exalted King]u to be [thy] spouse,
82. “[Thou hast . . . ] him, that, even as Anu, he should issue decrees.
83. “[…] thou hast followed after evil,
84. “And [against] the .gods my fathers thou hast contrived thy wicked plan.
85. “Let then thy host be equipped, let thy weapons be girded on!
86. “Stand! I and thou, let us join battle!”
87. When Tiamat heard these words,
88. She was like one possessed, she lost her reason.
89. Tiamat uttered wild, piercing cries,
90. She trembled and shook to her very foundations.
91. She recited an incantation, she pronounced her spell,
92. And the gods of the battle cried out for their weapons.
93. Then advanced Tiamat and Marduk, the counsellor of the gods;
94. To the fight they came on, to the battle they drew nigh.
95. The lord spread out his net and caught her,
96. And the evil wind that was behind (him) he let loose in her face.
97. As Tiamat opened her mouth to its full extent,
98. He drove in the evil wind, while as yet she had not shut her lips.
99. The terrible winds filled her belly,
100. And her courage was taken from her, and her mouth she opened wide.
101. He seized the spear and burst her belly,
102. He severed her inward parts, he pierced (her) heart.
103. He overcame her and cut off her life;
104. He cast down her body and stood upon it.
105. When he had slain Tiamat, the leader,
106. Her might was broken, her host was scattered.
107. And the gods her helpers, who marched by her side,
108. Trembled, and were afraid, and turned back.
109. They took to flight to save their lives;
110. But they were surrounded, so that they could not escape.
111. He took them captive, he broke their weapons;
112. In the net they were caught and in the snare they sat down.
113. The […] … of the world they filled with cries of grief.
114. They received punishment from him, they were held in bondage.
115. And on the eleven creatures which she had filled with the power of striking terror,
116. Upon the troop of devils, who marched at her […],
117. He brought affliction, their strength [he …];
118. Them and their opposition he trampled under his feet.
119. Moreover, Kingu, who had been exalted over them,
120. He conquered, and with the god Dug-ga he counted him.
121. He took from him the Tablets of Destiny that were not rightly his,
122. He sealed them with a seal and in his own breast he laid them.
123. Now after the hero Marduk had conquered and cast down his enemies,
124. And had made the arrogant foe even like …,
125. And had fully established Anshar’s triumph over the enemy,
126. And had attained the purpose of Nudimmud,
127. Over the captive gods he strengthened his durance,
128. And unto Tiamat, whom he had conquered, he returned.
129. And the lord stood upon Tiamat’s hinder parts,
130. And with his merciless club he smashed her skull.
131. He cut through the channels of her blood,
132. And he made the North wind bear it away into secret places.
133. His fathers beheld, and they rejoiced and were glad;
134. Presents and gifts they brought unto him.
135. Then the lord rested, gazing upon her dead body,
136. While he divided the flesh of the …, and devised a cunning plan.
137. He split her up like a flat fish into two halves;
138. One half of her he stablished as a covering for heaven.
139. He fixed a bolt, he stationed a watchman,
140. And bade them not to let her waters come forth.
141. He passed through the heavens, he surveyed the regions (thereof),
142. And over against the Deep he set the dwelling of Nudimmud.
143. And the lord measured the structure of the Deep,
144. And he founded E-shara, a mansion like unto it.
145. The mansion E-shara which he created as heaven,
146. He caused Anu, Bêl, and Ea in their districts to inhabit.
The Fifth Tablet
1. He.(i.e. Marduk) made the stations for the great gods;
2. The stars, their images, as the stars of the Zodiac, he fixed.
3. He ordained the year and into sections he divided it;
4. For the twelve months he fixed three stars.
5. After he had […] the days of the year […] images,
6. He founded the station of Nibir 1to determine their bounds;
7. That none might err or go astray,
8. He set the station of Bêl and Ea along with him.
9. He opened great gates on both sides,
10. He made strong the bolt on the left and on the right.
11. In the midst thereof he fixed the zenith;
12. The Moon-god he caused to shine forth, the night he entrusted to him.
13. He appointed him, a being of the night, to determine the days;
14. Every month without ceasing with the crown he covered(?) him, (saying):
15. “At the beginning of the month, when thou shinest upon the land,
16. “Thou commandest the horns to determine six days,
17. “And on the seventh day to [divide] the crown.
18. “On the fourteenth day thou shalt stand opposite, the half […].
19. “When the Sun-god on the foundation of heaven […] thee,
20. “The […] thou shalt cause to …, and thou shalt make his […].
21. “[…] … unto the path of the Sun-god shalt thou cause to draw nigh,
22. “[And on the … day] thou shalt stand opposite, and the Sun-god shall … […]
23. “[…] to traverse her way.
24. “[…] thou shalt cause to draw nigh, and thou shalt judge the right.
25. “[…] to destroy
26. “[…] me.
[The following twenty-two lines are taken from K. 3,449a,
and probably form part of the Fifth Tablet.]
(66 ). […]
(68 ) From […]
(69) In E-sagil […]
(70) To establish […]
(71) The station of […]
(72) The great gods […]
(73) The gods […]
(74) He took and […]
(75) The gods [his fathers] beheld the net which he had made,
(76) They beheld the bow and how [its work] was accomplished.
(77) They praised the work which he had done […]
(78) Then Anu raised [the …] in the assembly of the gods.
(79) H e kissed the bow, (saying), “It is […]!”
(80) And thus he named the names of the bow, (saying),
(81) “‘Long-wood’ shall be one name, and the second name [shall be …]
(82) “And its third name shall be the Bow-star, in heaven [shall it …]”
(83) Then he fixed a station for it […]
(84) Now after the fate of […]
(85) [He set] a throne […]
(86) […] in heaven […]
(87) […] … […]
[The following traces of the last thirteen lines of the Fifth Tablet are taken from the reverse of K. 11,641 and from the reverse of K. 8,526.]
(128) “[…] him […]”
(129) “[…] them […]”
(130) “[…] him […]”
(131) “[…] them […]”
(132) “[…] their […] may […]”
(133) […] the gods spake,
(134) […] the heavens […]: 1
(135) “[… your] son […]”
(136) “[…] our […] hath he […]”
(137) “[…] he hath caused to live […]”
(138) “[…] splendour […]”
(139) “[…] not […]!”
(140) “[…] we […]!”
85:1 In the speech that follows it may be conjectured that the gods complained that, although Marduk had endowed the heavens with splendour and had caused plants to live upon the earth, yet there were no shrines built in honour of the gods, and there were no worshippers devoted to their service; see below, p. 88, note 1
The Sixth Tablet
1. When Marduk heard the word of the gods,
2. His heart prompted him and he devised [a cunning plan].
3. He opened his mouth and unto Ea [he spake],
4. [That which] he had conceived in his heart he imparted [unto him]:
5. “My blood will I take and bone will I [fashion],
6. “I will make man, that man may … […].
7. “I will create man who shall inhabit [the earth],”
8. “That the service of the gods may be established, and that [their] shrines 1 [may be built].
9. “But I will alter the ways of the gods, and I will change [their paths];
10. “Together shall they be oppressed 2, and unto evil shall [they …].”
11. And Ea answered him and spake the word:
12. “[…] the […] of the gods I have [changed]
13. […] … and one … […]
14. […shall be de]stroyed and men will I […]
15. […] and the gods […]
16. […] … and they […]
17. […] … and the gods […]
18. […] …. […]
19. […] the gods […]
20. […] the Anunnaki […]
21. […] … […]
[The rest of the text is wanting 1 with the exception of the last few lines of the tablet, which read as follows.]
138. […] … […]
139. […] … […]
140. When […] … […]
141. They rejoiced […] … […]
142. In Upshukkinnaku they set [their dwelling].
143. Of the heroic son, their avenger, [they cried]:
144. “We, whom he succoured, … […]!”
145. They seated themselves and in the assembly they named [him …],
146. They all [cried aloud (?), they exalted [him …]. 2
89:1 … literally the line reads “Let the service of the gods be established, and as for them let [their] shrines be built. It is interesting to note the reason that is here implied for the creation of mankind, i.e., that the gods my have worshipers. There is clearly a reference to this in l. 29 of the Seventh Tablet, where, after referring to Marduk’s mercy upon the gods, the text goes on … “For their forgiveness did he create mankind.”
89:2 It seems preferable to assign to the Piel of [kabâtu] its usual meaning “to oppress,” rather than to render the passage as “Together shall they be honoured.” The sense seems to be that Marduk, by the creation of man, will establish the worship of the gods, but at the same time will punish the gods for their complaints. It is possible that in his speech that follows Ea dissuades Marduk from carrying out the second part of his proposal.
91:1 It is probable that the missing portion of the text corresponded closely with the account of the creation of man and animals given by Berossus; for a further discussion of this subject, see the Introduction. The tablet K. 3,364 (Cun. Texts, part xiii, pl. 24 f.) has been thought to belong to the Creation Series, and to contain the instructions given by Marduk to man after his creation. Had this been so, it would have formed part of the Sixth Tablet. On plates lxiv ff. of Vol. II is published the text of a Neo-Babylonian tablet, No. 33,851, which gives a duplicate text to K. 3,364; and in Appendix II I have given reasons for believing that the text inscribed upon K. 3,364 and No. 33,851 has no connection with the Creation Series, but is part of a long composition containing moral precepts. Another fragment which it has been suggested belongs to one of the later tablets of the Creation Series is K. 3,445 + R. 396 (Cun. Texts, part xiii, pl. 24 f.; cf. also its duplicate K. 14,949, pl. 24); but there are strong reasons against the identification of the text as a fragment of the series Enuma elish, though it may well be part of a parallel version of the Creation story (see further, Appendix II).
91:2 The address of the gods to Marduk forms the subject of the Seventh Tablet of the series.
The Seventh Tablet
1. O Asari, “Bestower of planting,” “[Founder of sowing],”
2. “Creator of grain and plants,” “who caused [the green herb to spring up]!”
3. O Asaru-alim, “who is revered in the house of counsel,” “[who aboundeth in counsel],”
4. The gods paid homage, fear [took hold upon them]!
5. O Asaru-alim-nuna, “the mighty one,” “the Light of [the father who begat him],”
6. Who directeth the decrees of Anu, Bel, [and Ea]!”
7. He was their patron, he ordained [their . . . . ];
8. He, whose provision is abundance, goeth forth […]!
9. Tutu [is] 1 “He who created them anew;”
10. Should their wants be pure, then are they [satisfied];
11. Should he make an incantation, then are the gods [appeased];
12 . Should they attack him in anger, he withstandeth [their onslaught]!
13. Let him therefore be exalted, and in the assembly of the gods [let him …];
14. None among the gods can [rival him]!
15. Tutu is Zi-ukkina, “the Life of the host [of the gods],”
16. Who established for the gods the bright heavens.
17. He set them on their way, and ordained [their path (?)]
18. Never shall his […] deeds be forgotten among men.
19. Tutu as Zi-azag thirdly they named, “the Bringer 1 of Purification,”
20. “The God of the Favouring Breeze,” “the Lord of Hearing and Mercy,”
21. “The Creator of Fulness and Abundance,” “the Founder of Plenteousness,”
22. “Who increaseth all that is small.”
23. “In sore distress we felt his favouring breeze,”
24. Let them say, let them pay reverence, let them bow in humility before him!
25. Tutu as Aga-azag may mankind fourthly magnify!
26. “The Lord of the Pure Incantation,” “the Quickener of the Dead,”
27. “Who had mercy upon the captive gods,”
28. “Who removed the yoke from upon the gods his enemies,”
29. “For their forgiveness did he create mankind,”
30. “The Merciful One, with whom it is to bestow life!”
31. May his deeds endure, may they never be forgotten
32. In the mouth of mankind 1 whom his hands have made!
33. Tutu as Mu-azag, fifthly, his “Pure Incantation” may their mouth proclaim,
34. “Who through his Pure Incantation hath destroyed all the evil ones!”
35. Shag-zu, “who knoweth the heart of the gods,” “who seeth through the innermost part!”
36. “The evil-doer he hath not caused to go forth with him!”
37. “Founder of the assembly of the gods,” “[who …] their heart! ”
38. “Subduer of the disobedient,” “[…]!”
39. “Who rebellion and […]!”
41. Tutu as Zi-si, “the […],
42. “Who put an end to anger,” “[who …]!”
43. Tutu as Suh-kur, thirdly, “the [Destroyer of the foe],”
44. “Who put their plans to confusion,” “[…],”
45. “Who destroyed all the wicked,” “[…],”
46. […] let them […]!
47. […] … […]
[The following lines are taken from the fragment K. 12,830, but their position in the text is uncertain.]
[He named the four quarters (of the world)], mankind [he created],
[And upon] him understanding […]
[…] … […]
[…] Tiamat […]
[…] … […]
[…] distant […]
[…] may […].
[The following lines are taken from the fragment K. 13,761.]
(10) 1 […]
“The mighty one […]!”
… Agi[l …],
“The Creator of [the earth …]!”
Zulummu … […],
“The Giver of counsel and of whatsoever […]!”
Mummu, “the Creator [of …]!”
Mulil, the heavens […], “Who for … […]!”
Gishkul, let […],
(10) “Who brought the gods to naught[…]!”
“Who in [ ………… ]!”
“Who in […]!”
[The following lines are taken from the fragment K. 8,519 and its duplicate K. 13,337; this portion of the text was not separated by much from that preserved by K. 13,761.]
[… the Chief (?) of] all lords,”
[… supreme] is his might!
[Lugal-durmah, “the King] 1 of the band of the gods,” “the Lord of rulers,”
“Who is exalted in a royal habitation,”
“[Who] among the gods is gloriously supreme!”
[Adu-nuna], “the Counsellor of Ea,” who created the gods his fathers,
Unto the path of whose majesty
[No] god can ever attain!
[… in] Dul-azag he made it known,
[…] pure is his dwelling!
[… the …] of those without understanding is Lugal-dul-azaga!
[…] supreme is his might!
[…] their […] in the midst of Tiamat,
[…] … of the battle!
[The numbering of the following lines is based on the marginal numbers upon No. 91,139. + 93,073.]
105. […] … […] him,
106. […] … the star, which [shineth in the heavens].
108. Saying, “He who forced his way through the midst of Tiamat [without resting],
109. “Let his name be Nibiru, ‘the Seizer of the Midst’!
110. “For the stars of heaven he upheld the paths,
111. “He shepherded all the gods like sheep!
112. “He conquered Tiamat, he troubled and ended her life,”
113. In the future of mankind, when the days grow old,
114. May this be heard without ceasing, may it hold sway for ever!
115. Since he created the realm (of heaven) and fashioned the firm earth,
116. “The Lord of the World,” the father Bêl hath called his name.
117. (This) title, which all the Spirits of Heaven proclaimed,
118. Did Ea hear, and his spirit was rejoiced, (and he said):
119. “He whose name his fathers have made glorious,
120. “Shall be even as I, his name shall be Ea!
121. “The binding of all my decrees shall he control,
122. “All my commands shall he make known! ”
123. By the name of “Fifty” did the great gods
124. Proclaim his fifty names, they made his path pre-eminent.” 1
125. Let them 2 be held in remembrance, and let the first man proclaim them;
126. Let the wise and the understanding consider them together!
127. Let the father repeat them and teach them to his son;
128. Let them be in the ears of the pastor and the shepherd!
129. Let a man rejoice in Marduk, the Lord of the gods,
130. That he may cause his land to be fruitful, and that he himself may have prosperity!
131. His word standeth fast, his command is unaltered;
132. The utterance of his mouth hath no god ever annulled.
133. He gazed in his anger, he turned not his neck;
134. When he is wroth, no god can withstand his indignation.
135. Wide is his heart, broad is his compassion;
136. The sinner and evil-doer in his presence […].
137. They received instruction, they spake before him,
138. […] unto […].
139. […] of Marduk may the gods […].
140. [May] they [… his ] name […]!
141. […] they took and […];
142. […]! 1
93:1 The title Tutu is there explained as ba-a-nu, ” creator,” while its two component parts (TU + TU) occur in the Sumerian version of the line as the equivalents of la-nu-u and e-di-shu.
97:1 The text of the commentary read mu-kin, i.e. “the Founder of Purification”; for other variant readings in the line, see Appendix I.
99:1 Literally, “the black-headed ones.”
103:1 In the margin of the fragment K. 13,761 every tenth line is indicated by the figure “10.”
105:1 The word durmahu was employed as a Babylonian priestly title. It may here be rendered by some such general phrase as “ruler,” unless it is to be taken as a proper name.
107:1 … The expression rêshu-arkât, literally “the beginning—the future,” may be taken as implying Marduk’s complete control over the world, both at its creation and during its subsequent existence. It is possible that s’u-nu is the pronominal suffix and should be attached to the preceding word, i.e. rêsh-arkâtu-shu-nu, “their beginning and future,” that is, “the beginning and future of mankind.”
107:2 I.e., mankind.
111:1 From the commentary R. 366, etc., and the explanatory text S. 747, it may be concluded that the Seventh Tablet, in its original form, ended at 1. 124. It is probable that ll. 125-142 were added as an epilogue at the time when the composition was incorporated in the Creation Series (see Appendix I).
111:2 I.e., the names of Marduk.
115:1 This is probably the last line of the tablet. It may here be noted that, for the text of the Seventh Tablet given in the preceding pages, only those fragments have been used which are proved by the commentaries to contain missing portions of the text. Several other fragments, which from their contents and style of writing may possibly belong to copies of the text, have not been. included. The text of one such fragment (S. 2,013) is of peculiar interest and is given in Appendix II; in l. 10 f. it refers to Ti-amat e-li-ti and Ti-amat shap-li-ti, “The Ocean (Tiamat) which is above” and “The Ocean (Tiamat) which is beneath,” a close parallel to “the waters which were above the firmament” and “the waters which were under the firmament” of Gen. i, 7; see the Introduction.
Other Accounts of the History of Creation
I. Another Version of the Dragon-Myth 1
I. The cities sighed, men […],
2. Men uttered lamentation, [they …],
3. For their lamentation there was none [to help],
4. For their grief there was none to take [them by the hand].
5. Who was the dragon […]?
6. Tiamat 2 was the dragon […]!
7. Bêl in heaven hath formed […].
8. Fifty kaspu in his length, one kaspu [his height], 3
9. Six cubits is his mouth, twelve cubits [his …],
10. Twelve cubits is the circuit of his [ears …];
11. For the space of sixty cubits he […] a bird;
12. In water nine cubits deep he draggeth […].
13. He raiseth his tail on high […];
14. All the gods of heaven […].
15. In heaven the gods bowed themselves down before [the Moon-god …];
16. The border of the Moon-god’s robe they hasti[ly grasped]:
17. “Who will go and [slay] the dragon, 1
18. “And deliver the broad land [from …],
19. “And become king [over …]?”
20. “Go, Tishhu, [slay] the dragon,
21. “And deliver the broad land [from …],
22. “And become king [over …]?”
23. “Thou hast sent me, O lord, [to …] the raging (creatures) 2 of the river,
24. “But I know not the […] of the Dragon!”
[The rest of the Obverse and the upper part of the Reverse of the tablet are wanting.]
1. [And …] opened his mouth and [spake] unto the god 1[…]:
2 . “Stir up cloud, and storm [and tempest]!
3. “The seal of thy life [shalt thou set] before thy face,
4. “Thou shalt grasp it, and thou shalt [slay] the dragon.”
5. He stirred up cloud, and storm [and tempest],
6. He [set] the seal of his life before his face,
7. He grasped it, and [he slew] the dragon.
8. For three years and three months, one day and [one night] 2
9. The blood of the dragon flowed […] 3
117:1 For the text, see Cuneiform Texts, part xiii, pl. 33 f., Rm. 282; for a previous publication, cf. Delitzsch, Assyrisches Wörterbuch, p. 390 f.; translations have been given by Zimmern in Gunkel’s Schöpfung und Chaos, pp. 417 ff., and by Jensen in Schrader’s Keilins. Bibl., vi, pp. 44 ff. Strictly speaking, the text is not a creation legend, though it gives a variant form of the principal incident in the history of creation according to the version Enuma elish. In the tablet Rm. 282 the fight with the dragon did not precede the creation of the world, but took place after men had been created and cities had been built; see further the Introduction.
117:2 The form of the name here used is Tâmtu, i.e., the Sea.”
117:3 The kaspu is the space that can be covered in two hours travelling, i.e., about six or seven miles. These general dimensions of the size of the dragon are in accordance with the statement made in l. 8f. of the reverse to the effect that after the dragon had been slain his blood flowed for more than three years. The. second measurement in the line is taken by Zimmern to refer to the dragon’s breadth, but, as Jensen points out, this is not consistent with the measurement of the mouth given in the following line. Even Zimmern’s readings of 60 GAR in l. 10 and 65 GAR in l. 11 do not explain, but render still more anomalous, the ½ GAR in l. 9. Without going into the question of the probable length of the Babylonian cubit, it is obvious that the dragon’s breadth can hardly have been given as so many miles, if its mouth only measures so many feet. This difficulty can be got over by restoring sîrûtishu in place of the suggested rupussu at the end of l. 8. We then have a consistent picture of the dragon as a long thin snake, rearing his head on high; his coils might well have been believed to extend for three hundred or three hundred and fifty miles, and the raising of his head in the air to a height of six or seven miles would not be inconsistent with the measurement of his mouth as six cubits, i.e., some ten feet or more across.
119:1 Lines 17-19 are the appeal of the gods to the Moon-god; ll. 20-22 contain the address of the Moon-god to Tishhu; and ll. 23 ff. give Tishhu’s answer to the Moon-god.
119:2 Jensen, ri-hu-ut, which he renders as “moisture.” The plural, dalhûti, may perhaps be explained by supposing that, according to this version also, the dragon had other creatures to help her in the fight.
121:1 Jensen suggests the restoration ilu B[êl], which he deduces from the traces upon the tablet as published by Delitzsch; for, as he states, the only other restoration possible would be ilu I[shtaar], and this is rendered unlikely by the masculine form of the imperatives in ll. 2 and 4. This would prove that the slayer of the dragon was Bêl, or Marduk, in both the versions of the story. As a matter of fact, the traces are incorrectly given by Delitzsch; they represent the sign AN and not the conflate sign AN +EN (cf. Cun. Txts., pt. xiii, pl. 34), and it is not possible to conclude from the text who is the hero of this version.
121:2 Jensen suggests the restoration u [ . KAS-PU], i.e., “for three years, three months, a day and [ . hours].” The trace of the next character after u is the single diagonal wedge (cf. Cun. Txts., pt. xiii, pl. 34); according to Jensen’s restoration this sign can only be the number “10,” i.e. X KAS-PU, “twenty hours,” a not very probable reading. The diagonal wedge is more probably the beginning of the sign MI, i.e. mûshu, and the end of the line may be restored as umu IKAN u [mûshu IKAN]; this may be rendered “one day and one night,” or possibly, as Zimmern in his translation suggests, “day and night.”
121:3 The lower part of the tablet is taken up with the common colophon found upon tablets from Ashur-bani-pal’s palace.
II. A Reference to the Creation of the Cattle and the Beasts of the Field 1
1. When the gods in their assembly had made [the world],
2. And had created the heavens, and had formed [the earth], 2
3. And had brought living creatures into being […],
4. And [had fashioned] the cattle of the field, and the beasts of the field, and the creatures [of the city],—
5. After [they had …] unto the living creatures […],
6. [And between the beasts] of the field and the creatures of the city had divided […]
7. [And had …] all creatures, the whole of creation […],
8. [And had …], which in the whole of my family […],
9. [Then did] Nin-igi-azag [fashion] two small creatures […].
10. [Among] all the beasts he made [their form] glorious
11. […] the goddess Gula … […]
12. […] … one white [and one black …]
13. […] … one white and one black […]
14. […] … […]
[The rest of the text is wanting.]
123:1 For the text, see Cuneiform Texts, part xiii, pl. 34, D.T. 41; for a previous publication, cf. Delitzsch, Assyrische Lesestücke, 3rd ed., p. 34 f.; and for previous translations, see George Smith, The Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 76f., Zimmern in Gunkel’s Schöpfung und Chaos, and Jensen in Schrader’s Keilins. Bibl., vi, p. 42 f. This fragment, which George Smith suggested might be part of the Seventh Tablet of the Creation Series, does not belong to that series; it contains the introduction or opening lines of a text, and describes the creation of two small creatures by Nin-igi-azag, “The lord of clear vision.” The reference to the creation of cattle and beasts of the field is merely incidental; it occurs in the long opening sentence and indicates the period at which the two small creatures were made; see further the Introduction.
123:2 It is probable, that the second section of the text also dealt with the two small creatures whose creation is described in the first paragraph.
III. A reference to the Creation of the Moon and the Sun
1. When the gods Ana, Enlil, and Enki
2. Through their sure counsel and by their great commands
3. Ordained the renewal of the Moon-god,
4. The reappearance of the moon, and the creation of the month,
5. And ordained the oracle of heaven and earth,
6. The New Moon did Ana cause to appear,
7. In the midst of heaven he beheld it come forth.
8. [Version]. When Anu, Bêl and Ea,
9. The great gods, through their sure counsel
10. Fixed the bounds of heaven and earth,
11. (And) to the hands of the great gods entrusted
12. The creation of the day and the renewal of the month which they might behold,
13. (And) mankind beheld the Sun-god 1 in the gate of his going forth,
14. In the midst of heaven and earth they duly created (him).
127:1 I is interesting to note that in the Semitic version the creation of the sun is substituted for that of the moon, although in the preceding line the renewal of the month is referred to.
IV. An Address to the River of Creation 1
1. O, thou River, who didst create all things,
2. When the great gods dug thee out,
3. They set prosperity upon thy banks,
4. Within thee Ea, the King of the Deep, created his dwelling,
5. The deluge they sent not before thou wert!
6. Fire, and wrath, and splendour, and terror
7. Have Ea and Marduk presented unto thee!
8. Thou judgest the cause of mankind!
9. O, River, thou art mighty! O River, thou art supreme! O River, thou art righteous!
129:1 This mystical river of creation was evidently suggested by the Euphrates, on the waters of which the fertility of Babylonia so largely depended; for a comparison of similar conceptions of a river of creation both in Egyptian and in Hebrew mythology, see the Introduction. The text forms the opening words of an incantation…
V. Another Version of the Creation of the World by Marduk. 1
1. The holy house, the house of the gods, in the holy place had not yet been made;
2 . No reed had sprung up, no tree had been created.
3. No brick had been laid, no building had been set up;
4. No house had been erected, no city had been built;
5. No city had been made, .no creature had been created.
6. Nippur had not been made, E-kur had not been built;
7. Erech had not been created, E-ana had not been built;
8. The Deep had not been created, Eridu had not been built;
9. Of the holy house, the house of the gods, the habitation had not been made.
10. All lands were sea.
11. At that time there was a movement in the sea;
12 . Then was Eridu made, and E-sagil was built,
13. E-sagil, where in the midst of the Deep the god Lugal-dul-azaga 1 dwelleth;
14. The city of Babylon was built, and E-sagil was finished.
15. The gods, the Anunnaki, he 2 created at one time;
16. The holy city, the dwelling, of their hearts’ desire, they proclaimed supreme.
17. Marduk laid a reed upon the face of the waters,
18. He formed dust and poured it out beside the reed.
19. That he might cause the gods to dwell in the habitation of their hearts’ desire,
20. He formed mankind.
21. The goddess Aruru together with him 1 created the seed of mankind.
22. The beasts of the field and living creatures in the field he formed.
23. H e created the Tigris and the Euphrates, and he set them in their place;
24. Their names he declared in goodly fashion.
25. The grass, the rush of the marsh, the reed, and the forest he created,
26. The green herb of the field he created,
27. The lands, the marshes, and the swamps;
28. The wild cow and her young, the wild calf; the ewe and her young, the lamb of the fold;
29. Plantations and forests;
30. The he-goat and the mountain-goat … him.
31. The Lord Marduk laid in a dam by the side of the sea,
32. [He …] a swamp, he made a marsh,
33. […] he brought into existence.
34. [Reeds he form]ed, trees he created;
35. […] he made in their place.
36. [Bricks he laid], buildings he set up;
37. [Houses he made], cities he built;
38. [Cities he made], creatures he created.
39. [Nippur he made], E-kur he built;
40. [Erech he made, E-an]a he built.
[The rest of the Obverse and the beginning of the Reverse of the tablet are wanting.]
1. […] the decree […]
2. […] … […]
3f. Thy exalted minister is Papsukal, the wise counsellor of the gods.
5. May Nin-aha-kudû, the daughter of Ea,
6. Purify thee with the pure censer,
7. And may she cleanse thee with cleansing fire!
8f. With a cup of pure water from the Deep shalt thou purify thy way!
10. By the incantation of Marduk, the king of the hosts of heaven and earth,
11. May the abundance of the land enter into thee,
12. And may thy decree be accomplished for ever!
13f. O E-zida, thou glorious dwelling, thou art dear unto the hearts of Anu and Ishtar!
15. May (Ezida) shine like the heavens, may it be bright like the earth, may it [be glorious] like the heart of heaven,
16. [And may …] be firmly established!
131:1 …[This] is merely an elaborate introduction to an incantation which was intended to be recited in honour of E-zida, the great temple of Nabû at Borsippa. The reverse of the tablet contains the concluding lines of the incantation. For a further discussion of the legend on the obverse, see the Introduction.
133:1 Or, Lugal-du-azaga,
133:2 I.e., Marduk.
135:1 The Sumerian version reads “together with the god.”