The Creation Of Enuma Elish, The Babylonian Creation Myth

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Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation myth, is among the oldest stories concerning the birth of the world and universe. The epic tells the story of the formation of the Babylonian gods, most of which represent a physical aspect of nature. The title is derived from the opening words of the myth which translates to “When on high”. Archeological excavations such as: Ashurbanipal’s library, Ashur and Kish, have dated the epic to the 11th century BCE, although it is believed to have transcended from an older version. The piece is separated into seven different tablets, known as the Seven Tablets of Creation, each of which is comprised of roughly 150 lines (Bratcher).
On tablet one, the myth begins in a world without shape or form. In the beginning, all that existed was a homogenous mass of chaotic waters. Out of the chaos, the waters separated into the freshwater god, Apsu, and the salt water goddess, Tiamat. As a result of their courtship, Tiamat gives birth to the gods Anshar and Kishar, who represent the separation of the Earth and sky on the horizon. Anshar and Kishar bear the god of the sky, Anu, who then bears Ea. The children of the gods disturbed Apsu, so he devises a plan to destroy them. Ea soon learns of Apsu’s plan and kills him before Apsu has a chance to act on his plan. Ea and his wife, Damkina, then establish a residence above the body of Apsu, where Damkina gives birth to their son, Madruk. Outraged by the death of Apsu, Tiamat creates eleven monsters to avenge her husband, and puts her new husband, Kingu, in charge of her army. In tablet two, Tiamat unleashes her power as the goddess of chaos. Both Ea and Anu attempt to challenge Tiamat, yet neither can end her rampage. In tablet three, Gaga, a messenger for Anshar...

... middle of paper ... accurately predict the weather of the year. The cyclical weather patterns described made planning crops and harvest more efficient for the people.
The Enuma Elish is among one of the oldest recorded creation myths. It tells the story of the salt water and fresh water primeval gods, Tiamat and Apsu, and the journey of Madruk, who ends the wrath of Tiamat and creates humanity. The myth establishes Madruk as the primary god of the Babylonian religion, which is a characteristic unique to Babylonia that surrounding Mesopotamia did not share. Enuma Elish allowed the people of the Ancient Babylonian era to explain their surroundings and bring order to chaos. The myth is also speculated to have influences on the book of Genesis in Judaism. The ancient cuneiforms on which Enuma Elish hold some of the most valuable insight available into the world of Ancient Mesopotamia.

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