The Role of Creation in Enūma eliš

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Abstract

The seven tablets of Enūma eliš, “The Chaldean Genesis,” contain multiple creations artfully woven in a story that has the god Marduk as the hero. Most creation accounts found in Enūma eliš are reminiscent of earlier traditions. Former narratives as well as related themes and motives are adopted and adapted by means of intentional alterations to suit the purpose of the new text. In this paper I study the ways in which various creations are included, tailored, and arranged to promote Marduk’s position as the head of the Babylonian pantheon.

The Role of Creation in Enūma eliš

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

Sections

References

AbuschT. van der ToornK.BeckingB.van der HorstP. Marduk Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible 1999 Leiden E. J. Brill 543 549 Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans (1st edition 1995)

AlsterB.VanstiphoutH. Lahar and Ashnan. Presentation and Analysis of a Sumerian Disputation ASJ 1987 9 1 43

BidmeadJ. The Akītu Festival. Religious Continuity and Royal Legitimation in Mesopotamia 2002 Piscataway Gorgias Press

BlackJ. The Literature of Ancient Sumer 2004 Oxford Oxford University Press

BorgerR. Die Inschriften Asarhaddons Königs von Assyrien AfO Beiheft 9 1967 Osnabrück Biblio-Verlag (1st edition 1956)

BorgerR. Tonmannchen und Puppen BiOr 1973a 30 176 183

BorgerR. BeekM. A. Keilschrifttexte verschiedenen Inhalts Symbolae Biblicae et Mesopotamicae: Francisco Mario Theodoro de Liagre Böhl Dedicatae 1973b Leiden E. J. Brill 38 55

BottéroJ. Mythes et rites de Babylone 1985 Genève-Paris Slatkine-Champion

BottéroJ. La plus vieille religion en Mésopotamie 1998 Paris Gallimard

BottéroJ.KramerS. N. Mythologie Mésopotamienne Lorsque les dieux faisaient l’homme 1989 Paris Gallimard

ÇarğirganG.LambertW. G. The Late Babylonian Kislīmu Ritual for Esagil JCS 1991–3 43 5 89 106

DalleyS. Statues of Marduk and the Date of Enuma eliš AfO 1997 24 163 171

DietrichM. DietrichM.LoretzO. ina ūmī ullûti “An jenen (fernen) Tagen”. Ein sumerisches kosmogonisches Mythologem in babylonischer Tradition Vom Alten Orient zum Alten Testament: Festschrift für Wolfram Freiherrn von Soden zum 85. Geburtstag am 19. Juni 1993 1995 Kevelaer Verlag Butzon und Bercker 57 72 AOAT 240 Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag

FosterB. Before the Muses. An Anthology of Akkadian Literature 2005 Bethesda, Maryland CDL Press (1st edition 1993)

GellerM. Forerunners to Udug-ḫul: Sumerian Exorcistic Incantations 1985 Wiesbaden Franz Steiner Verlag

GeorgeA. R. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 40 Babylonian Topographical Texts 1992 Leuven Peeters and Departement Oriëntalistiek

GeorgeA. R. House Most High. The Temples of Ancient Mesopotamia. 1993 Winona Lake Eisenbrauns

GeorgeA. R. WilhelmG. ‘Bond of the Lands’: Babylon, the Cosmic Capital Die orientalische Stadt: Kontinuität Wandel Bruch 1997 Saarbrücken SDV, Saarbrücker Druckerei und Verlag 125 146

GeorgeA. R. The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts 2003 2 vols New York-Oxford Oxford University Press

GeorgeA. R.Al-RawiF. N. H. Tablets from the Sippar Library VI. Atra-ḫasīs Iraq 1996 58 147 190

GinzburgC. Il formaggio e i vermi: il cosmo di un mugnaio del ‘500 1976 Torino Einaudi

HeckerK. HeckerK. Kleinere Schöpfungserzählungen Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments: Weisheitstexte Mythen und Epen 1994 Gütersloh Gütersloher Verlaghaus 603 611 TUAT 3/4

HobermanB. BA Portrait: George Smith (1840–1876) Pioneer Assyriologist The Biblical Archaeologist 1983 46 1 41 42

HorowitzW. Antiochus I, Esagil and A Celebration of the Ritual for the Renovation of Temples RA 1991 85 75 77

HorowitzW. Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography 2011 Winona Lake Eisenbrauns (1st edition 1998)

HungerH.PingreeD. MUL.APIN. An Astronomical Compendium in Cuneiform 1989Horn Verlag Ferdinand Berger & Söhne AfO Beiheft 24

JacobsenTh. The Battle between Marduk and Tiamat JAOS 1968 88 104 108

KatzD. Cancik-KirschbaumE.van EssM.MarzahnJ. Reconstructing Babylon: Recycling Mythological Traditions Toward a New Theology Babylon: Wissenskultur in Orient und Okzident 2011 Berlin-Boston De Gruyter 123 134

KingL. W. Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum 1901 Part 13 (CT 13) London Trustees of the British Museum

KochJ. Der Marduk Stern Nēberu WO 1991 22 48 72

KöcherF. Die Babylonisch-assyrische Medizin in Texten und Untersuchungen Band IV Keilschrifttexte aus Assur 4. Babylon Nippur Sippar Uruk und unbekannter Herkunft (BAM 4) 1971Berlin De Gruyter

LambertW. G. McCulloughW. The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar I: A Turning Point in the History of Ancient Mesopotamian Religion The Seed of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of T. J. Meek 1964 Toronto University of Toronto Press 3 13

LambertW. G. BlackerC.LoeweM. The Cosmology of Sumer and Babylon Ancient Cosmologies 1975 London George Allen and Unwin Ltd. 42 63

LambertW. G. HeckerK.SommerfeldW. Ninurta Mythology in the Babylonian Epic of Creation Keilschriftliche Literaturen 1985 Berlin D. Reimer Verlag 55 60 Ausgewählte Vorträge der XXXIIe Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Münster 8. 12.7.1985

LambertW. G. GellerM.SchipperM. Mesopotamian Creation Stories Imagining Creation 2008 Leiden-Boston Brill 15 59

LambertW. G.MillardA. R. Atra-ḫasīs. The Babylonian Story of the Flood 1999 Winona Lake, Ind. Eisenbrauns (1st edition 1969)

LandsbergerB. “An Old Babylonian Charm Against merḫu,” JNES 1958 14 56 58 Corrections to the Article

LandsbergerB.JacobsenTh. An Old Babylonian Charm against merḫu JNES 1955 14 14 21

LandsbergerB.Kinnier-WilsonV. The Fifth Tablet of Enūma eliš JNES 1961 20 154 179

LitkeR. A Reconstruction of the Assyro-Babylonian God-Lists An: dA-nu-um and An: Anu ša amēli 1998 New Haven Yale Babylonian Collection

LivingstonA. Mystical and Mythological Explanatory Works of Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars 2007 Winona Lake Eisenbrauns (1st edition 1986)

MayerW. R. Seleukidische Rituale aus Warka mit Emesal-Gebeten Or NS 1978 47 3 431 458

OppenheimA. L. The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near East 1956 Philadelphia The American Philosophical Society

PettinatoG. Das altorientalische Menschenbild und die sumerischen und akkadischen Schöpfungsmythen 1971 Heidelberg Carl Winter—Universitätsverlag

RagavanD. 2010 The Cosmic Imagery of the Temple in Sumerian Literature. Ph.D. dissertation Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Harvard University

Rochberg-HaltonF. Aspects of Babylonian Celestial Divination: The Lunar Eclipse Tablets of Enūma Anu Enlil AfO Beiheft 22. Horn Verlag F. Berger & Söhne Gesellschaft M.B.H. 1988

SchottA. Marduk und sein Stern ZA 1936 43 124 145

SeriA. Borrowings to Create Anew: Intertextuality in the Babylonian Poem of “Creation” (Enūma eliš) forthcoming

SjöbergÅ. AbuschT. In the Beginning Riches Hidden in Secret Places. Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Memory of Thorkild Jacobsen 2002 Winona Lake Eisenbrauns 229 247

SmithG. The Chaldean Account of Genesis 1876 London Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington Containing the Description of the Creation the Fall of Man the Deluge the Tower of Babyl the Times of the Patriarchs and Nimrod; from the Cuneiform Inscriptions

SommerfeldW. Der Aufstieg Marduks AOAT 213 1982 Neukirchen-Vluyn Neukirchener Verlag

TalonP. The Standard Babylonian Creation Myth Enūma eliš 2005 Helsinki The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project

ThompsonR. C. Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum 1903 Part 17 (CT 17) London Trustees of the British Museum

Thureau-DanginF. Tablettes Ḫurrites provenant de Mâri RA 1939 36 1 28

ToornK. van der EmertonJ. A. The Babylonian New Year Festival: New Insights from the Cuneiform Texts and Their Bearing on Old Testament Study Congress Volume Leuven 1989 Vetus Testamentum 1991 Leiden E. J. Brill 331 334

VerbruggheG.WickershamJ. Berossos and Manetho Introduced and Translated: Native Traditions in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt 2000 Ann Arbor The University of Michigan Press

WeidnerE. Die astrologische Serie Enūma Anu Enlil AfO 1954–6 17 71 89 Tafel 15–22: Texte über Mondfinsternisse

WeissbachF. H. Babylonische Miscellen 1903 Leipzig J. C. Hinrichs

WinterI. WinterI. “Women in Public: The Disk of Enheduanna, the Beginning of the Office of EN-Priestess, and the Weight of Visual Evidence.” On Art in the Ancient Near East. From the Third Millennium B.C.E. 2010 vol 2 Boston—Leiden E. J. Brill 65 83 (First published in 1987 under the same title. In La Femme dans le proche orient antique. Proceedings of the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Paris July 1986 edited by J.-M. Durand pp. 189–201. Paris: A.D.P.F.)

4

Recently D. Katz 2011: 127 pointed out three differences between the beginning of Enūma eliš and Mesopotamian literary conventions: the introduction goes back earlier than other accounts Enlil is not mentioned and Anu is not the head of the pantheon as in the Sumerian tradition.

8

Note already the observation by Lambert 2008: 26: “(. . .) are Anšar—Kišar the third generation in turn offspring of Laḫmu—Laḫamu or a second pair born to Apsû—Tiāmat?”

17

For Lambert 1975: 57 and Livingston [1986] 2007: 80–81 Ešara is not the earth but an extra layer of the universe. See my discussion towards the end of this paper under the section “Stage 3: The Creation of the World” subheading c.4. “The creation of Babylon and Esaĝila” footnote 28.

20

As pointed out by George 1992: 296 when commenting on Enūma eliš IV: 137–40 “E-sagil and Babylon are thus to be at the center of the Universe above Apsû Ea’s domain but below the heavens (. . .).”

23

As George 1997: 129–130 explained in the Nippur tradition Nippur was the oldest city; whereas in other texts such as the Sumerian King List that privilege was attributed to Eridu. Although Uruk Keš and Sippar were also each considered to be the oldest city in other texts in Enūma eliš Babylon displaces Nippur and assimilates with Eridu. The choice of Eridu and Nippur is not coincidental for they represent the city of Marduk’s father and the city of the god Marduk seeks to replace.

24

Alster and Vanstiphout 1987: 2 have compared the introduction of the Debate between Ewe and Grain with the opening of Enūma eliš. They pointed out that the absence of Ewe and Wheat is repeated twice and that “it is an inversion of the scheme used in Enūma eliš” because in the Debate “not-yet-being is followed by not-being-named.”

Figures

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 43 43 28
Full Text Views 42 42 22
PDF Downloads 35 35 23
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0