Mesopotamian mythology

Mesopotamian mythology, the mythsepics, hymns, lamentations, penitential psalms, incantations, wisdom literature, and handbooks dealing with rituals and omens of ancient Mesopotamia.

Mesopotamian mythology

Sumerian and Akkadian Myths Myths The Akkadian myths are in many ways dependent on Sumerian materials, but they show originality and a broader scope in their treatment of the earlier Sumerian concepts and forms; they address themselves more often to existence as a whole.

Also important is an Old Babylonian "Myth of Atrahasis," which, in motif, shows a relationship with the account of the creation of man to relieve the gods of toil in the "Enki and Ninmah" myth, and with a Sumerian account of the Flood in the "Eridu Genesis. It relates, first, how the gods originally had to toil for a living, how they rebelled and went on strike, how Enki suggested that one of their number--the god We, apparently the ringleader who "had the idea"--be killed and mankind created from clay mixed with his flesh and blood, so that the toil of the gods could be laid on man and the gods left to go free.

But after Enki and the birth goddess Nintur another name for Ninmah had created man, man multiplied at such a rate that the din he made kept Enlil sleepless.

At first Enlil had Namtar, the god of death, cause a plague to diminish mankind's numbers, but the wise Atrahasis, at the advice of Enki, had man concentrate all worship and offerings on Namtar. Namtar, embarrassed at hurting people who showed such love and affection for him, stayed his hand.

Next Enlil had Adad, the god of rains, hold back the rains and thus cause a famine, but, because of the same stratagem, Adad was embarrassed and released the rains.

Mesopotamian mythology

After this, Enlil planned a famine by divine group action that would not be vulnerable as the earlier actions by individual gods had been. Anu and Adad were to guard the heavens, he himself earth, and Enki the waters underground and the sea so that no gift of nature could come through to man.

The ensuing famine was terrible. By the seventh year one house consumed the other and people began eating their own children. At that point Enki--accidentally he maintained--let through a wealth of fish from the sea and so saved man.

With this, however, Enlil's patience was at an end and he thought of the Flood as a means to get rid of humanity once and for all. Enki, however, warned Atrahasis and had him build a boat in which he saved himself, his family, and all animals. After the flood had abated and the ship was grounded, Atrahasis sacrificed, and the hungry gods, much chastened, gathered around the offering.

Only Enlil was unrelenting until Enki upbraided him for killing innocent and guilty alike and--there is a gap in the text--suggested other means to keep human numbers down. In consultation with the birth goddess Nintur, Enki then developed a scheme of birth control by inventing the barren woman, the demon Pashittu who kills children at birth, and the various classes of priestesses to whom giving birth was taboo.

The myth uses the motif of the protest of the gods against their hard toil and the creation of man to relieve it, which was depicted earlier in the Sumerian myth of "Enki and Ninmah," and also the motif of the Flood, which occurred in the "Eridu Genesis.

He must stay within bounds; there are limits set for his self-expression. A far more trustful and committed attitude toward the powers that rule existence finds expression in the seemingly slightly later Babylonian creation story, Enuma elish, which may be dated to the later part of the 1st dynasty of Babylon c.

Babylon's archenemy at that time was the Sealand, which controlled Nippur and the country south of it--the ancestral country of Sumerian civilization. This lends political point to the battle of Marduk thunder and rain deitythe god of Babylon, with the Sea, Tiamat; it also accounts for the odd, almost complete silence about Enlil of Nippur in the tale.

The myth tells how in the beginning there was nothing but Apsu, the sweet waters underground, and Tiamat, the sea, mingling their waters together. In these waters the first gods came into being, and generation followed generation. The gods represented energy and activity and thus differed markedly from Apsu and Tiamat, who stood for rest and inertia.

True to their nature the gods gathered to dance, and in so doing, surging back and forth, they disturbed the insides of Tiamat. Finally, Apsu's patience was at an end, and he thought of doing away with the gods, but Tiamat, as a true mother, demurred at destroying her own offspring.

Apsu, however, did not swerve from his decision, and he was encouraged in this by his page Mummu, "the original watery form. He seized Mummu and held him captive by a nose rope. In the temple thus built the hero of the myth, Marduk, was born. From the first he was the darling of his grandfather, the god of heaven, Anu, who engendered the four winds for him to play with.

As they blew and churned up waves, the disturbing of Tiamat--and of a faction of the gods who shared her desire for rest--became more and more unbearable. At last these gods succeeded in rousing her to resistance, and she created a mighty army with a spearhead of monsters to destroy the gods.

She placed her consort Kingu "Task[?Story. A Mesopotamian myth about how and why humans were created. Explore. Compare the different gods, goddesses, demons and monsters of Mesopotamia.

Inanna - Eanna

Sumerian Main Page. The History of Ancient Sumeria (Sumer) including its cities, kings, religions culture and contributions or civilization. Topics.


Mesopotamian mythology from Godchecker - the legendary mythology encyclopedia. Your guide to the Mesopotamian gods, spirits, demons and legendary monsters.

Our unique mythology dictionary includes original articles, pictures, facts and information from Mesopotamian Mythology: the ancient Gods of Babylon.

Mesopotamian mythology

Since we have been used as a research reference by discerning writers, . Author's Note: While I may have taken a few minor historic liberties concerning the legends of ancient Sumerian and Babylonian mythology, much of what was .

Mesopotamian mythology is essentially the combination of the ancient Babylonian, Assyrian, Akkadian and Sumerian myths. Each of these peoples developed their own religions, but due to their proximity to one another, their mythology became intertwined and are collectively presented in this section.

Mesopotamian religion refers to the religious beliefs and practices of the civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia, particularly Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia between circa BC and AD, after which they largely gave way to Syriac religious development of Mesopotamia and Mesopotamian culture in general was not particularly influenced by the movements of the various.

Sumerian Gods and Goddesses - Anunnaki - Crystalinks