Sumerian Main Page

The History of Ancient Sumeria (Sumer) including its cities, kings, religions culture and contributions or civilization

Topics

Abraham and Shinar

Calendar

Cosmology

Culture and Contributions

Cuneiform

Downloadable Cuneiform

Dictionary of  Words

Emergent Cities

Ensi - Lugal

First Historical Personalities

Flood Legends in History

Flood Story

Gods

Houses

Kish

Language

Language Two

Laws

Literary Sources

Mythologies

Sargon The Great

Shuruppak

Sumerian Creation

Territorial States

The City of Ebla

The City of Larsa

The City of Ur

Timeline

Wheel

 Sumerian Writings

Advice about Farming

Contracts (Legal)

Epic of Gilgamesh

Enki and Ninursag

Enki, The God

Hymn to Ishtar

Lament for Ur

Poem Of The Sufferer

Prayer to Shamash

Prayer to Every God

Reforms of Urukagina

Sumerian Creation

Sumerian Inscription

Sumerian King List

Sumerian Proverbs 

The Art of Sumeria

Sumerian Art

"Harpist from Ur"

 by:  Liliana Osses Adams

Other Mesopotamian Peoples

Akkad

Amorites

Assyrians

Babylonians

Chaldeans

Hittites

Kassites

Mesopotamia

 

Map

 

reconstruction_ur.gif (74457 bytes)

Ziggurat

reconstruction-zig.gif (82749 bytes)

Ziggurat

 

Please Help Keep Us On the Web.

We are a Non-Profit Organization and the cost of continuing is becoming more than we can handle.  Therefore, we are asking you to please donate anything you can to help keep us on the web

Please Help Click Here

Care to express an opinion on a current or past historical event?

Need to ask a question from our many visitors?

Just visit our Message Board and leave your message.

Message Board

Weekly Poll

Sumerian Legend of Creation

ENUMA ELISH

TABLET I

When skies above were not yet named
Nor earth below pronounced by name,
Apsu, the first one, their begetter
And maker Tiamat, who bore them all,
Had mixed their waters together,
But had not formed pastures, nor discovered reed-beds;
When yet no gods were manifest,
Nor names pronounced, nor destinies decreed,
Then gods were born within them.
Lahmu and Lahamu emerged, their names pronounced.
As soon as they matured, were fully formed,
Anshar and Kisar were born, surpassing them.
They passed the days at length, they added to the years.
Anu their first-born son rivalled his forefathers:
Anshar made his son Anu like himself,
And Anu begot Nudimmud in his likeness.
He, Nudimmud, was superior to his forefathers:
Profound of understanding, he was wise, was very strong at arms.
Mightier by far than Anshar his father's begetter,
He had no rival among the gods his peers.
The gods of that generation would meet together
And disturb Tiamat, and their clamour reverberated.
They stirred up Tiamat's belly,
They were annoying her by playing inside Anduruna.
Apsu could not quell their noise
And Tiamat became mute before them;
However grievous their behaviour to her,
However bad their ways, she would indulge them.
Finally Apsu, begetter of the great gods,
Called out and addressed his vizier Mummu,
‘O Mummu, vizier who pleases me!
Come, let us go to Tiamat!'
They went and sat in front of Tiamat,
And discussed affairs concerning the gods their sons.
Apsu made his voice heard
And spoke to Tiamat in a loud voice,
‘Their ways have become very grievous to me,
By day I cannot rest, by night I cannot sleep.
I shall abolish their ways and disperse them!
Let peace prevail, so that we can sleep.'
When Tiamat heard this,
She was furious and shouted at her lover;
She shouted dreadfully and was beside herself with rage,
But then suppressed the evil in her belly.
‘How could we allow what we ourselves created to perish?
Even though their ways are so grievous, we should bear it patiently.'
(Vizier) Mummu replied and counselled Apsu;
The vizier did not agree with the counsel of his earth mother.
‘O father, put an end to (their) troublesome ways, so that she may be allowed to rest by day and sleep at night.'
Apsu was pleased with him, his face lit up
At the evil he was planning for the gods his sons.
(Vizier) Mummu hugged him,
Sat on his lap and kissed him rapturously.
But everything they plotted between them
Was relayed to the gods their sons.
The gods listened and wandered about restlessly;
They fell silent, they sat mute.
Superior in understanding, wise and capable,
Ea who knows everything found out their plot,
Made for himself a design of everything, and laid it out correctly,
Made it cleverly, his pure spell was superb.
He recited it and it stilled the waters.
He poured sleep upon him so that he was sleeping soundly,
Put Apsu to sleep, drenched with sleep.
Vizier Mummu the counsellor (was in ) a sleepless daze.
He (Ea) unfastened his belt, took off his crown,
Took away his mantle of radiance and put it on himself.
He held Apsu down and slew him;
Tied up Mummu and laid him across him.
He set up his dwelling on top of Apsu,
And grasped Mummu, held him by a nose-rope.
When he had overcome and slain his enemies,
Ea set up his triumphal cry over his foes.
Then he rested very quietly inside his private quarters
And named them Apsu and assigned chapels,
Founded his own residence there,
And Ea and Damkina his lover dwelt in splendour.
In the chamber of destinies, the hall of designs,
Bel, cleverest of the clever, sage of the gods, was begotten.
And inside Apsu, Marduk was created;
Inside pure Apsu, Marduk was born.
Ea his father created him,
Damkina his mother bore him.
He suckled the teats of goddesses;
The nurse who reared him filled him with awesomeness.
Proud was his form, piercing his stare,
Mature his emergence, he was powerful from the start.
Anu his father's begetter beheld him,
And rejoiced, beamed; his heart was filled with joy.
He made him so perfect that his godhead was doubled.
Elevated far above them, he was superior in every way.
His limbs were ingeniously made beyond comprehension,
Impossible to understand, too difficult to perceive.
Four were his eyes, four were his ears;
When his lips moved, fire blazed forth.
The four ears were enormous
And likewise the eyes; they perceived everything.
Highest among the gods, his form was outstanding.
His limbs were very long, his height (?) outstanding.
(Anu cried out)
‘Mariutu, Mariutu, Son, majesty, majesty of the gods!'
Clothed in the radiant mantle of ten gods, worn high above his head
Five fearsome rays were clustered above him.
Anu created the four winds and gave them birth,
Put them in his (Marduk's) hand, ‘My son, let them play!'
He fashioned dust and made the whirlwind carry it;
He made the flood-wave and stirred up Tiamat.
Tiamat was stirred up, and heaved restlessly day and night.
The gods, unable to rest, had to suffer . . .
They plotted evil in their hearts, and
They addressed Tiamat their mother, saying,
‘Because they slew Apsu your lover and
You did not go to his side but sat mute,
He has created the four, fearful winds
To stir up your belly on purpose, and we simply cannot sleep!
Was your lover Apsu not in your heart?
And (vizier) Mummu who was captured? No wonder you sit alone!
Are you not a mother? You heave restlessly
But what about us, who cannot rest? Don't you love us?
Our grip (?) [is slack], (and) our eyes are sunken.
Remove the yoke of us restless ones, and let us sleep!
Set up a [battle cry] and avenge them!
Con[quer the enemy] and reduce them to nought!'
Tiamat listened, and the speech pleased her.
‘Let us act now, (?) as you were advising!
The gods inside him (Apsu) will be disturbed,
Because they adopted evil for the gods who begot them.'
They crowded round and rallied beside Tiamat.
They were fierce, scheming restlessly night and day.
They were working up to war, growling and raging.
They convened a council and created conflict.
Mother Hubur, who fashions all things,
Contributed an unfaceable weapon: she bore giant snakes,
Sharp of tooth and unsparing of fang(?).
She filled their bodies with venom instead of blood.
She cloaked ferocious dragons with fearsome rays
And made them bear mantles of radiance, made them godlike,
(chanting this imprecation)
‘Whoever looks upon them shall collapse in utter terror!
Their bodies shall rear up continually and never turn away!'
She stationed a horned serpent, a mushussu-dragon, and a lahmu-hero,
An ugallu-demon, a rabid dog, and a scorpion-man,
Aggressive umu-demons, a fish-man, and a bull-man
Bearing merciless weapons, fearless in battle.
Her orders were so powerful, they could not be disobeyed.
In addition she created eleven more likewise.
Over the gods her offspring who had convened a council for her
She promoted Qingu and made him greatest among them,
Conferred upon him leadership of the army, command of the assembly,
Raising the weapon to signal engagement, mustering combat-troops,
Overall command of the whole battle force.
And she set him upon a throne.
‘I have cast the spell for you and made you greatest in the gods' assembly!
I have put into your power rule over all the gods!
You shall be the greatest, for you are my only lover!
Your commands shall always prevail over all the Anukki!'
Then she gave him the Tablet of Destinies and made him clasp it to his breast.
‘Your utterance shall never be altered! Your word shall be law!'
When Qingu was promoted and had received the Anu-power
And had decreed destinies for the gods his sons, (he said),
‘What issues forth from your mouths shall quench Fire!
Your accumulated venom (?) shall paralyze the powerful!'

 

TABLET II

Tiamat assembled his creatures
And collected battle-units against the gods his offspring.
Tiamat did even more evil for posterity than Apsu.
It was reported (?) to Ea that she had prepared for war.
Ea listened to that report,
And was dumbfounded and sat in silence.
When he had pondered and his fury subsided,
He made his way to Anshar his father;
Came before Anshar, the father who begot him
And began to repeat to him everything that Tiamat had planned.
‘Father, Tiamat who bore us is rejecting us!
She has convened an assembly and is raging out of control.
The gods have turned to her, all of them,
Even those whom you begot have gone over to her side,
Have crowded round and rallied beside Tiamat.
Fierce, scheming restlessly night and day,
Working up to war, growling and raging,
They have convened a council and created conflict.
Mother Hubur, who fashions all things,
Contributed an unfaceable weapon: she bore giant snakes,
Sharp of tooth and unsparing of fang(?).
She filled their bodies with venom instead of blood.
She cloaked ferocious dragons with fearsome rays
And made them bear mantles of radiance, made them godlike,
(chanting this imprecation)
"Whoever looks upon them shall collapse in utter terror!
Their bodies shall rear up continually and never turn away!"
She stationed a horned serpent, a mushussu-dragon, and a lahmu-hero,
An ugallu-demon, a rabid dog, and a scorpion-man,
Aggressive umu-demons, a fish-man, and a bull-man
Bearing merciless weapons, fearless in battle.
Her orders were so powerful, they could not be disobeyed.
In addition she created eleven more likewise.
Over the gods her offspring who had convened a council for her
She promoted Qingu and made him greatest among them,
Conferred upon him leadership of the army, command of the assembly,
Raising the weapon to signal engagement, mustering combat-troops,
Overall command of the whole battle force.
And she set him upon a throne.
"I have cast the spell for you and made you greatest in the gods' assembly!
I have put into your power rule over all the gods!
You shall be the greatest, for you are my only lover!
Your commands shall always prevail over all the Anukki!"
Then she gave him the Tablet of Destinies and made him clasp it to his breast.
"Your utterance shall never be altered! Your word shall be law!"
When Qingu was promoted and had received the Anu-power
And had decreed destinies for the gods his sons, (he said),
"What issues forth from your mouths shall quench Fire!
Your accumulated venom (?) shall paralyze the powerful!"'
Anshar listened, and the report was very disturbing.
[He twisted his fingers (?)]and bit his lip;
[His liver was inflamed (?)], his belly would not rest.
His roar to Ea his son was quite weak.
‘You must be the one who declares war!
Keep brandishing what you have made (as arms) for yourself!
[You are the hero, (?)], you slew Apsu.
Where else (will we find) someone to face Tiamat when she rages uncontrollably?'
[ ]good sense
[ of the]gods Nudimmud
[ ]
Ea made his voice heard,
‘You are the unfathomable fixer of fates!
The power to create and to destroy is yours!
O Anshar, you are the unfathomable fixer of fates!
The power to create and to destroy is yours!
[The ]which you order immediately [ ]
(5 lines very fragmentary)
Anshar listened and the speech pleased him.
His heart prompted him to speak to Ea,
‘Your courage like a god [ ]
[ ] ... [ ]
Rise up against Tiamat!'
(gap of up to 25 lines)
He (Anshar) addressed Anu his son saying,
‘This . . . is the kasusu-weapon of warriors.
Its strength is mighty, its attack unfaceable.
Go against Tiamat and stand your ground!
Let her anger abate, let her fury be quelled.
If she will not listen to your word,
Speak our words(?) to her, that she may be calmed.'
He listened to the speech of his father Anshar,
And took the road to her and made his way straight to her.
Anu set out. He was trying to find out the strategy of Tiamat.
[ and] he turned back.
[He entered the presence of] Anshar the father who begot him
[ ] he addressed him,
[‘ ] too great for me.
(short gap)
She laid(?) the . . . of her hand on top of me.'
Anshar was speechless, and stared at the ground;
He gnashed his teeth (?) And shook his head (in despair) at Ea.
Now, the Igigi assembled, all the Anukki.
They sat silently (for a while), tight-lipped.
(Finally they spoke)
‘Will no (other) god come forward? Is [fate] fixed?
Will no one go out to face Tiamat with [ ]?'
Then Ea from his secret dwelling called
[The perfect] one (?) of Anshar, father of the great gods,
Whose heart is perfect like a fellow-citizen or countryman (?),
The mighty heir who was to be his father's champion,
Who rushes (fearlessly) into battle: Marduk the Hero!
He told him his innermost design, saying,
‘O Marduk, take my advice, listen to your father!
You are the son who sets his heart at rest!
Approach Anshar, drawing near to him,
And make your voice heard, stand your ground: he will be calmed by the sight of you.'
The Lord rejoiced at the word of his father,
And he approached and stood before Anshar.
Anshar looked at him, and his heart was filled with joy.
He kissed him on the lips, put away his trepidation.
(Then Marduk addressed him, saying)
‘Father, don't stay so silent, open your lips,
Let me go, and let me fulfil your heart's desire.
Anshar, don't stay so silent, open your lips,
Let me go, and let me fulfil your heart's desire.'
(Anshar replied)
‘What kind of man has ordered you out (to) his war?
My son, (don't you realize that) it is Tiamat, of womankind, who will advance against you with arms?'
(Marduk answered)
‘Father, my creator, rejoice and be glad!
You shall soon set your foot upon the back of Tiamat!
Anshar, my creator, rejoice and be glad,
You shall soon set your foot upon the neck of Tiamat.'
(Anshar replied)
‘Then go, son, knowing all wisdom!
Quell Tiamat with your pure spell!
Set forth immediately (in) the storm chariot;
Let its [ ] be not driven out, but turn (them?) back!'
The Lord rejoiced at the word of his father;
His heart was glad and he addressed his father,
‘Lord of the gods, fate of the great gods,
If indeed I am to be your champion,
If I am to defeat Tiamat and save your lives,
Convene the council, name a special fate,
Sit joyfully together in Ubshu-ukkinakku:
My own utterance shall fix fate instead of you!
Whatever I create shall never be altered!
The decree of my lips shall never be revoked, never changed!'

 

TABLET III

Anshar made his voice heard
And addressed his speech to Kakka his vizier,
‘O Kakka, vizier who pleases me!
I shall send you to Lahmu and Lahamu.
You know how to probe, you are skilled in speaking.
Have the gods my fathers brought before me;
Let all the gods be brought to me.
Let there be conversation, let them sit at a banquet,
Let them eat grain, let them drink choice wine,
(And then) let them decree a destiny for Marduk their champion.
Set off, Kakka, go and stand before them, and
Everything that I am about to tell you, repeat to them,
"Anshar your son has sent me,
He has told me to report his heart's message,
To say, "Tiamat who bore us is rejecting us!
She has convened a council and is raging out of control.
The gods have turned to her, all of them,
Even those whom you begot have gone over to her side,
Have crowded round and rallied beside Tiamat.
They are fierce, scheming restlessly night and day,
They are working up to war, growling and raging,
They convened a council and created conflict.
Mother Hubur, who fashions all things,
Contributed an unfaceable weapon: she bore giant snakes,
Sharp of tooth and unsparing of fang(?).
She filled their bodies with venom instead of blood.
She cloaked ferocious dragons with fearsome rays
And made them bear mantles of radiance, made them godlike,
(chanting this imprecation)
"Whoever looks upon them shall collapse in utter terror!
Their bodies shall rear up continually and never turn away!"
She stationed a horned serpent, a mushussu-dragon, and a lahmu-hero,
An ugallu-demon, a rabid dog, and a scorpion-man,
Aggressive umu-demons, a fish-man, and a bull-man
Bearing merciless weapons, fearless in battle.
Her orders were so powerful, they could not be disobeyed.
In addition she created eleven more likewise.
Over the gods her offspring who had convened a council for her
She promoted Qingu and made him greatest among them,
Conferred upon him leadership of the army, command of the assembly,
Raising the weapon to signal engagement, to rise up for combat,
Overall command of the whole battle force.
And she set him upon a throne.
"I have cast the spell for you and made you greatest in the gods' assembly!
I have put into your power rule over all the gods!
You shall be the greatest, for you are my only lover!
Your commands shall always prevail over all the Anunnaki!"
Then she gave him the Tablet of Destinies and made him clasp it to his breast.
"Your utterance shall never be altered! Your word shall be law!"
When Qingu was promoted and had received the Anu-power
And had decreed destinies for the gods his sons, (he said),
"What issues forth from your mouths shall quench Fire!
Your accumulated venom (?) shall paralyze the powerful!"
I sent Anu, but he was unable to face her.
Nudimmud panicked and turned back.
Then Marduk, sage of the gods, your son, came forward.
He wanted of his own free will to confront Tiamat.
He addressed his words to me,
"If indeed I am to be your champion,
To defeat Tiamat and save your lives,
Convene the council, name a special fate,
Sit joyfully together in Ubshu-ukkinakku:
And let me, my own utterance, fix fate instead of you!
Whatever I create shall never be altered!
The decree of my lips shall never be revoked, never changed!"
Hurry and decree your destiny for him quickly,
So that he may go and face your formidable enemy!"'
Kakka set off and went on his way,
And before Lahmu and Lahamu the gods his fathers
Prostrated himself and kissed the earth in front of them,
Then straightened up and stood and spoke to them,
‘Anshar your son has sent me.
He has told me to report his personal message,
To say, "Tiamat who bore us is rejecting us!
She has convened a council and is raging out of control.
The gods have turned to her, all of them,
Even those whom you begot have gone over to her side,
Have crowded round and rallied beside Tiamat.
Fierce, scheming restlessly night and day,
Working up to war, growling and raging,
They have convened a council and created conflict.
Mother Hubur, who fashions all things,
Contributed an unfaceable weapon: she bore giant snakes,
Sharp of tooth and unsparing of fang(?).
She filled their bodies with venom instead of blood.
She cloaked ferocious dragons with fearsome rays
And made them bear mantles of radiance, made them godlike,
(chanting this imprecation)
"Whoever looks upon them shall collapse in utter terror!
Their bodies shall rear up continually and never turn away!"
She stationed a horned serpent, a mushussu-dragon, and a lahmu-hero,
An ugallu-demon, a rabid dog, and a scorpion-man,
Aggressive umu-demons, a fish-man, and a bull-man
Bearing merciless weapons, fearless in battle.
Her orders were so powerful, they could not be disobeyed.
In addition she created eleven more likewise.
Over the gods her offspring who had convened a council for her
She promoted Qingu and made him greatest among them,
Conferred upon him leadership of the army, command of the assembly,
Raising the weapon to signal engagement, to rise up for combat,
Overall command of the whole battle force.
And she set him upon a throne.
"I have cast the spell for you and made you greatest in the gods' assembly!
I have put into your power rule over all the gods!
You shall be the greatest, for you are my only lover!
Your commands shall always prevail over all the Anunnaki!"
Then she gave him the Tablet of Destinies and made him clasp it to his breast.
"Your utterance shall never be altered! Your word shall be law!"
When Qingu was promoted and had received the Anu-power
And had decreed destinies for the gods his sons, (he said),
"What issues forth from your mouths shall quench Fire!
Your accumulated venom (?) shall paralyze the powerful!"
I sent Anu, but he was unable to face her.
Nudimmud panicked and turned back.
Then Marduk, sage of the gods, your son, came forward.
He wanted of his own free will to confront Tiamat.
He addressed his words to me,
"If indeed I am to be your champion,
To defeat Tiamat and save your lives,
Convene the council, name a special fate,
Sit joyfully together in Ubshu-ukkinakku:
And let me, my own utterance, fix fate instead of you!
Whatever I create shall never be altered!
The decree of my lips shall never be revoked, never changed!"
Hurry and decree your destinies for him quickly,
So that he may go and face your formidable enemy!"'
Lahmu and Lahamu listened and cried aloud.
All the Igigi groaned dreadfully,
‘How terrible! Until he (Anshar) decided to report to us,
We did not even know what Tiamat was doing.'
They milled around and then came,
All the great gods who fix the fates,
Entered into Anshar's presence and were filled with joy.
Each kissed the other: in the assembly [ ]
There was conversation, they sat at the banquet,
Ate grain, drank choice wine,
Let sweet beer trickle through their drinking straws.
Their bodies swelled as they drank the liquor;
They became very carefree, they were merry,
And they decreed destiny for Marduk their champion.

 

TABLET IV

They founded a princely shrine for him.
And he took up residence as ruler before his fathers,
(who proclaimed)
‘You are honoured among the great gods.
Your destiny is unequalled, your word (has the power of) Anu!
O Marduk, you are honoured among the great gods.
Your destiny is unequalled, your word (has the power of) Anu!
From this day onwards your command shall not be altered.
Yours is the power to exalt and abase.
May your utterance be law, your word never be falsified.
None of the gods shall transgress your limits.
May endowment, required for the gods' shrines
Wherever they have temples, be established for your place.
O Marduk, you are our champion!
We hereby give you sovereignty over the whole universe.
Sit in the assembly and your word shall be pre-eminent!
May your weapons never miss (the mark), may they smash your enemies!
O lord, spare the life of him who trusts in you,
But drain the life of the god who has espoused evil!'
They set up in their midst one constellation,
And then they addressed Marduk their son,
‘May your decree, O lord, impress the gods!
Command to destroy and to recreate, and let it be so!
Speak and let the constellation vanish!
Speak to it again and let the constellation reappear.'
He spoke, and at his word the constellation vanished.
He spoke to it again and the constellation was recreated.
When the gods his fathers saw how effective his utterance was,
They rejoiced, they proclaimed: ‘Marduk is King!'
They invested him with sceptre, throne, and staff-of-office.
They gave him an unfaceable weapon to crush the foe.
‘Go, and cut off the life of Tiamat!
Let the winds bear her blood to us as good news!'
The gods his fathers thus decreed the destiny of the lord
And set him on the path of peace and obedience.
He fashioned a bow, designated it as his weapon,
Feathered the arrow, set it in the string.
He lifted up a mace and carried it in his right hand,
Slung the bow and quiver at his side,
Put lightning in front of him,
His body was filled with an ever-blazing flame.
He made a net to encircle Tiamat within it,
Marshalled the four winds so that no part of her could escape:
South Wind, North Wind, East Wind, West Wind,
The gift of his father Anu, he kept them close to the net at his side.
He created the imhullu-wind (evil wind), the tempest, the whirlwind,
The Four Winds, the Seven Winds, the tornado, the unfaceable facing wind.
He released the winds which he had created, seven of them.
They advanced behind him to make turmoil inside Tiamat.
The lord raised the flood-weapon, his great weapon,
And mounted the frightful, unfaceable storm-chariot.
He had yoked to it a team of four and had harnessed to its side
‘Slayer', ‘Pitiless', ‘Racer', and ‘Flyer';
Their lips were drawn back, their teeth carried poison.
They know not exhaustion, they can only devastate.
He stationed on his right Fiercesome Fight and Conflict,
On the left Battle to knock down every contender (?).
Clothed in a cloak of awesome armour,
His head was crowned with a terrible radiance.
The Lord set out and took the road,
And set his face towards Tiamat who raged out of control.
In his lips he gripped a spell,
In his hand he grasped a herb to counter poison.
Then they thronged about him, the gods thronged about him;
The gods his fathers thronged about him, the gods thronged about him.
The Lord drew near and looked into the middle of Tiamat:
He was trying to find out the strategy of Qingu her lover.
As he looked, his mind became confused,
His will crumbled and his actions were muddled.
As for the gods his helpers, who march(ed) at his side,
When they saw the warrior, the leader, their looks were strained.
Tiamat cast her spell. She did not even turn her neck.
In her lips she was holding falsehood, lies, (wheedling),
‘[How powerful is] your attacking force, O lord of the gods!
The whole assembly of them has gathered to your place!'
(But he ignored her brandishments)
The Lord lifted up the flood-weapon, his great weapon
And sent a message to Tiamat who feigned goodwill, saying:
‘Why are you so friendly on the surface
When your depths conspire to muster a battle force?
Just because the sons were noisy (and) disrespectful to their fathers,
Should you, who gave them birth, reject compassion?
You named Qingu as your lover,
You appointed him to rites of Anu-power, wrongfully his.
You sought out evil for Anshar, king of the gods,
So you have compounded your wickedness against the gods my fathers!
Let your host prepare! Let them gird themselves with your weapons!
Stand forth, and you and I shall do single combat!'
When Tiamat heard this,
She went wild, she lost her temper.
Tiamat screamed aloud in a passion,
Her lower parts shook together from the depths.
She recited the incantation and kept casting her spell.
Meanwhile the gods of battle were sharpening their weapons.
Face to face they came, Tiamat and Marduk, sage of the gods.
They engaged in combat, they closed for battle.
The Lord spread his net and made it encircle her,
To her face he dispatched the imhullu-wind so that she could not close her lips.
Fierce winds distended her belly;
Her insides were constipated and she stretched her mouth wide.
He shot an arrow which pierced her belly,
Split her down the middle and split her heart,
Vanquished her and extinguished her life.
He threw down the corpse and stood on top of her.
When he had slain Tiamat, the leader,
He broke up her regiments; her assembly was scattered.
Then the gods her helpers, who had marched at her side,
Began to tremble, panicked, and turned tail.
Although he allowed them to come out and spared their lives,
They were surrounded, they could not flee.
Then he tied them up and smashed their weapons.
They were thrown into the net and sat there ensnared.
They cowered back, filled with woe.
They had to bear his punishment, confined to prison.
And as for the dozens of creatures, covered in fearsome rays,
The gang of demons who all marched on her right,
He fixed them with nose-ropes and tied their arms.
He trampled their battle-filth (?) Beneath him.
As for Qingu, who had once been the greatest among them,
He defeated him and counted him among the dead gods,
Wrested from him the Tablet of Destinies, wrongfully his,
Sealed it with (his own) seal and pressed it to his breast.
When he had defeated and killed his enemies
And had proclaimed the submissive (?) foe his slave,
And had set up the triumphal cry of Anshar over all the enemy,
And had achieved the desire of Nudimmud, Marduk the warrior
Strengthened his hold over the captive gods,
And to Tiamat, whom he had ensnared, he turned back.
The Lord trampled the lower part of Tiamat,
With his unsparing mace smashed her skull,
Severed the arteries of her blood,
And made the North Wind carry it off as good news.
His fathers saw it and were jubilant: they rejoiced,
Arranged to greet him with presents, greetings gifts.
The Lord rested, and inspected her corpse.
He divided the monstrous shape and created marvels (from it).
He sliced her in half like a fish for drying:
Half of her he put up to roof the sky,
Drew a bolt across and made a guard hold it.
Her waters he arranged so that they could not escape.
He crossed the heavens and sought out a shrine;
He levelled Apsu, dwelling of Nudimmud.
The Lord measured the dimensions of Apsu
And the large temple (Eshgalla), which he built in its image, was Esharra:
In the great shrine Esharra, which he had created as the sky,
He founded cult centres for Anu, Ellil, and Ea.

 

TABLET V

He fashioned stands for the great gods.
As for the stars, he set up constellations corresponding to them.
He designated the year and marked out its divisions,
Apportioned three stars each to the twelve months
When he had made plans of the days of the year,
He founded the stand of Neberu to mark out their courses,
So that none of them could go wrong or stray.
He fixed the stand of Ellil and Ea together with it,
Opened up gates in both ribs,
Made strong bolts to left and right,
With her liver he located the Zenith;
He made the crescent moon appear, entrusted night (to it)
And designated it the jewel of night to mark out the days.
‘Go forth every month without fail in a corona,
At the beginning of the month, to glow over the land.
You shine with horns to mark out six days;
On the seventh day the crown is half.
The fifteenth day shall always be the mid-point, the half of each month.
When Shamash looks at you from the horizon,
Gradually shed your visibility and begin to wane.
Always bring the day of disappearance close to the path of Shamash,
And on the thirtieth day, the [year] is always equalized, for Shamash is (responsible for) the year.
A sign [shall appear (?)]: sweep along its path.
Then always approach the [ ] and judge the case.
[ ] the Bowstar to kill and rob.
(15 lines broken)
At the New Year's Festival
Year [ ]
May [ ]
The bolt of the exit [ ]
From the days [ ]
The watches of night and day [ ]
The spittle of Tiamat [ ]
Marduk [ ]
He put into groups and made clouds scud.
Raising winds, making rain,
Making fog billow, by collecting her poison,
He assigned for himself and let his own hand control it.
He placed her head, heaped up [ ]
Opened up springs: water gushed out.
He opened the Euphrates and the Tigris from her eyes,
Closed her nostrils, [ ].
He piled up clear-cut mountains from her udder,
Bored waterholes to drain off the catchwater.
He laid her tail across, tied it fast as the cosmic bond (?),
And [ ] the Apsu beneath his feet.
He set her thigh to make fast the sky,
With half of her he made a roof; he fixed the earth.
He [ ] the work, made the insides of Tiamat surge,
Spread his net, made it extend completely.
He . . . [ ] heaven and earth
[ ] their knots, to coil [ ]
When he had designed its cult, created its rites,
He threw down the reins (and) made Ea take (them).
The Tablet of Destinies, which Qingu had appropriated, he fetched
And took it and presented it for a first reading (?) to Anu.
[The gods (?) of] battle whom he had ensnared were disentangled (?);
He led (them) as captives into the presence of his fathers.
And as for the eleven creatures that Tiamat had created, he [ ],
Smashed their weapons, tied them at his feet,
Made images of them and had them set up at the door of Apsu.
‘Let this be a sign that will never in future be forgotten!'
The gods looked, and their hearts were full of joy at him.
Lahmu and Lahamu and all his fathers
Embraced him, and Anshar the king proclaimed that there should be a reception for him.
Anu, Enlil, and Ea each presented him with gifts.
[ ] Damkina his mother exclaimed with joy at him;
She made him beam [inside (?)] his fine (?) house.
He (Marduk) appointed Usmu, who had brought his greetings present as good news,
To be vizier of the Apsu, to take care of shrines.
The Igigi assembled, and all of them did obeisance to him.
The Anunnaki, each and every one, kissed his feet.
The whole assembly collected together to prostrate themselves.
[ ] they stood, they bowed, ‘Yes, King indeed!'
[ ] his fathers took their fill of his manliness,
[They took off his clothes] which were enveloped in the dust of combat.
[ ] the gods were attentive to him.
With cypress [ ] they sprinkled (?) his body.
He put on a princely garment,
A royal aura, a splendid crown.
He took up a mace and grasped it in his right hand.
[ ] his left hand.
[ ]
He set a [mushussu-dragon (?)] at his feet,
Placed upon [ ]
Slung the staff of peace and obedience at his side.
When the mantle of radiance [ ]
And his net was holding (?) fearful Apsu,
A bull [ ]
In the inner chamber of his throne [ ]
In his cellar [ ]
The gods, all that existed, [ ]
Lahmu and Lahamu [ ]
Made their voices heard and spoke to the Igigi,
‘Previously Marduk was (just) our beloved son
But now he is your king. Take heed of his command.'
Next they spoke and proclaimed in unison,
‘LUGAL-DIMMER-ANKIA is his name. Trust in him!
When they gave kingship to Marduk,
They spoke an oration for him, for blessing and obedience.
Henceforth you shall be the provider of shrines for us.
Whatever you command, we shall perform ourselves.'
Marduk made his voice heard and spoke,
Addressed his words to the gods his fathers,
‘Over the Apsu, the sea-green dwelling,
In front of (?) Esharra, which I created for you,
(Where) I strengthened the ground beneath it for a shrine,
I shall make my house to be a luxurious dwelling for myself
And shall found his cult centre within it,
And I shall establish my private quarters, and confirm my kingship.
Whenever you come up from the Apsu for an assembly,
Your night's resting place shall ve in it, receiving you all.
I hereby name it Babylon, home of the great gods.
We shall make it the centre of religion.'
The gods his fathers listened to this command of his,
‘[ ]...
Who has [ ] your [ ]
More than you by yourself have created?
Babylon, whose name you have just pronounced,
Found there our night's resting place forever!
[ ] let them bring our regular offerings
[ ]
Whatever our work that we [ ]
There [ ] his toil [ ].'
They rejoiced [ ]
The gods [ ] them
Who knows [ ] them light
He made his voice heard, his command [ ]
[ ] them [ ]
[ ]
They did obeisance to him and the gods spoke to him,
They addressed their lord Lugal-dimmer-ankia,
‘Previously the Lord was [our beloved] son.
But now he is our king. We shall take heed of his command.
[ ] gave long life [ ]
[ ] the mantle of radiance, the mace, and staff.
[ ] all the lore of sages.
We [ ].

 

 

TABLET VI

When Marduk heard the speech of the gods,
He made up his mind to perform miracles.
He spoke his utterance to Ea,
And communicated to him the plan that he was considering.
‘Let me put blood together, and make bones too.
Let me set up primeval man: Man shall be his name.
Let me create a primeval man.
The work of the gods shall be imposed (on him), and so they shall be at leisure.
Let me change the ways of the gods miraculously,
So they are gathered as one yet divided in two.'
Ea answered him and spoke a word to him,
Told him his plan for the leisure of the gods.
‘Let one who is hostile to them be surrendered (up),
Let him be destroyed, and let people be created (from him).
Let the great gods assemble,
Let the culprit be given up, and let them convict him.'
Marduk assembled the great gods,
Gave (them) instructions pleasantly, gave orders.
The gods paid attention to what he said.
The king addressed his words to the Anunnaki,
‘Your election of me shall be firm and foremost.
I shall declare the laws, the edicts within my power.
Whosoever started the war,
And incited Tiamat, and gathered an army,
Let the one who started the war be given up to me,
And he shall bear the penalty for his crime, that you may dwell in peace.'
The Igigi, the great gods, answered him,
Their lord Lugal-dimmer-ankia, counsellor of the gods,
‘It was Qingu who started the war,
He who incited Tiamat and gathered an army!'
They bound him and held him in front of Ea,
Imposed the penalty on him and cut off his blood.
He created mankind from his blood,
Imposed the toil of the gods (on man) and released the gods from it.
When Ea the wise had created mankind,
Had imposed the toil of the gods on them -
That deed is impossible to describe,
For Nudimmud performed it with the miracles of Marduk -
Then Marduk the king divided the gods,
The Anunnaki, all of them, above and below.
He assigned his decrees to Anu to guard,
Established three hundred as a guard in the sky;
Did the same again when he designed the conventions of earth,
And made the six hundred dwell in both heaven and earth.
When he had directed all the decrees,
Had divided lots for the Anunnaki, of heaven and of earth,
The Anunnaki made their voices heard
And addressed Marduk their lord,
‘Now, O Lord, that you have set us free,
What are our favours from you?
We would like to make a shrine with its own name.
We would like our night's resting place to be in your private quarters, and to rest there.
Let us found a shrine, a sanctuary there.
Whenever we arrive, let us rest within it.'
When Marduk heard this,
His face lit up greatly, like daylight.
‘Create Babylon, whose construction you requested!
Let its mud bricks be moulded, and build high the shrine!'
The Anunnaki began shovelling.
For a whole year they made bricks for it.
When the second year arrived,
They had raised the top of Esagila in front of (?) the Apsu;
They had built a high ziggurat for the Apsu.
They founded a dwelling for Anu, Ellil, and Ea likewise.
In ascendancy he settled himself in front of them,
And his ‘horns' look down at the base of Esharra.
When they had done the work on Esagila,
(And) the Anunnaki, all of them, had fashioned their individual shrines,
The three hundred Igigi of heaven and the Anunnaki of the Apsu assembled.
The Lord invited the gods his fathers to attend a banquet
In the great sanctuary which he and created as his dwelling.
‘Indeed, Bab-ili (is) your home too!
Sing for joy there, dwell in happiness!'
The great gods sat down there,
And set out the beer mugs; they attended the banquet.
When they had made merry within,
They themselves made a taqribtu-offering in splendid Esagila.
All the decrees (and) designs were fixed.
All the gods divided the stations of heaven and earth.
The fifty great gods were present, and
The gods fixed the seven destinies for the cult.
The Lord received the bow, and set his weapon down in front of them.
The gods his fathers looked at the net which he had made,
Looked at the bow, how miraculous her construction,
And his fathers praised the deeds that he had done.
Anu raised (the bow) and spoke in the assembly of gods,
He kissed the bow. ‘May she go far!'
He gave to the bow her names, saying,
‘May Long and Far be the first, and Victorious the second;
Her third name shall be Bowstar, for she shall shine in the sky.'
He fixed her position among the gods her companions.
When Anu had decreed the destiny of the bow,
He set down her royal throne. ‘You are highest of the gods!'
And Anu made her sit in the assembly of gods.
The great gods assembled
And made Marduk's destiny highest; they themselves did obeisance.
They swore an oath for themselves,
And swore on water and oil, touched their throats.
Thus they granted that he should exercise the kingship of the gods
And confirmed for him mastery of the gods of heaven and earth.

Anshar gave him another name: ASARLUHI.
‘At the mention of his name we shall bow down!
The gods are to pay heed to what he says:
His command is to have priority above and below.
The son who avenged us shall be the highest!
His rule shall have priority; let him have no rival!
Let him act as shepherd over the black-headed people, his creation.
Let his way be proclaimed in future days, never forgotten.
He shall establish great nindabu-offerings for his fathers.
He shall take care of them, he shall look after their shrines.
He shall let them smell the qutrinnu-offering, and make their chant joyful.
Let him breathe on earth as freely as he always does in heaven.
Let him designate the black-headed people to revere him,
That mankind may be mindful of him, and name him as their god.
Let their (interceding) goddess pay attention when he opens his mouth.
Let nindabu-offerings be brought [to] their god (and) their goddess.
Let them never be forgotten! Let them cleave to their god.
Let them keep their country preeminent, and always build shrines.
Though the black-headed people share out the gods,
As for us, no matter by which name we call him, he shall be our god.
Come, let us call him by his fifty names!
His ways shall be proclaimed, and his deeds likewise!
MARDUK
Whose father Anu designated him at the moment of his birth, To be in charge of pasturage and watering places, to enrich their stalls,
Who overwhelmed the riotous ones with his flood-weapon?

And saved the gods his fathers from hardship.
Let THE SON, MAJESTY OF THE GODS be his name!
In his bright light may they walk forever more:
The people whom he created, the form of life that breathes.
He imposed the work of the gods (on them) so that they might rest.
Creation and abolition, forgiveness and punishment -
Such are at his disposal, so let them look to him.
MARUKKA---he is the god who created them.
He pleases the Anunnaki and gives rest to the Igigi
MARUTUKKU---he is the help of country, city, and his people.
Him shall the people revere forever.
MERSHAKUSHU---fierce yet considerate, furious yet merciful.
Generous is his heart, controlled are his emotions.
LUGAL-DIMMER-ANKIA---his name which we gave him in our assembly.
We made his command higher than the gods his fathers'.
He is indeed BEL of the gods of heaven and earth, all of them,
The king at whose instruction the gods are awed above and below.
NARI-LUGAL-DIMMER-ANKIA is a name that we have given him as director of the gods,
Who founded our dwellings in heaven and earth out of difficulties,
And who shared out the stations for the Igigi and Anunnaki.
At his names may the gods tremble and quake in (their) dwellings.

ASARLUHI (first) is his name which his father Anu gave him,
He shall be the light of the gods, strong leader,
Who like his name is the protecting spirit of god and country.
He spared our dwellings in the great battle despite difficulties.
Second, they called him Asarluhi as NAMTILA, the god who gives life,
Who restored all the damaged gods as if they were his own creation.
Bel, who revives dead gods with his pure incantation,
Who destroys those who oppose him but . . . s the enemy.
Asarluhi third as NAMRU, whose name was given (thus),
The pure god who purifies our path.'

Anshar, Lahmu, and Lahamu called his three names;
They pronounced them to the gods their sons,
'We have given him each of these three names.
Now you, pronounce his names as we did!'
The gods rejoiced, and obeyed their command.
In Ubshu-ukkinakku they deliberated their counsel.
‘Let us elevate the name of the son, the warrior,
Our champion who looks after us!'
They sat in their assembly and began to call out the destinies,
Pronounced his name in all their rites.

 

 

TABLET VII

‘ASARE, bestower of ploughland, who fixes (its) boundaries,
Creator of grain and linseed, producer of vegetation.
ASAR-ALIM, whose weighty counsel in the Chamber of Council is most valued;
The gods, even those who know no fear, pay heed to him.
ASAR-ALIM-NUNA, the honoured one, the light of the father who begot him,
Who directs the orders of Anu, Ellil, Ea, and D[amkina?].
He indeed is their provider, who allocates their incomes,
Whose farmland makes a surplus for the country.

He is TUTU, (first) as creator of their renewal.
He shall purify their shrines, that they may stay at rest.
He shall invent an incantation, that the gods may be at peace.
Even if they should rise up in anger, he shall turn them back.
He shall be pre-eminent in the assembly of the gods his fathers;
None among the gods shall rival him.
He is Tutu, (second) as ZI-UKKINA, the inspiration of his people,
Who fixed pure skies for the gods,
Who set their ways and marked out their stations.
May he not be forgotten by teeming humanity, may they uphold his work.
Thirdly, they named him Tutu and ZIKU, upholder of purification,
They god of sweet breath, lord of obedience and consent,
Producer of riches and abundance, who maintains a surplus,
Who turns whatever is scant into plenty.
Even in the worst hardship we can smell his sweet breath!
May they speak in worship and sing his praises!
Fourthly, let the people glorify Tutu as AGAKU,
Lord of the pure incantation, who revives the dying,
Who showed mercy even to the captured gods,
Who removed the yoke imposed upon the gods his enemies,
Who created mankind to set them free,
The merciful one who has the power to give life!
His words shall be firm; they shall never be forgotten
In the mouth of the black-headed people whom he created with his own hands.
Fifthly, let their mouths show forth Tutu as TUKU, whose spell (is) pure,
Who uprooted all the wicked with his pure incantation.

He is SHAZU, aware of the gods' intentions, who can see emotions,
Who does not allow evil-doers to escape him,
Establisher of the gods' assembly, gratifier of their wishes,
Who makes the arrogant kneel beneath his wide canopy.
Director of justice, who plucks out crooked speech,
In whose place lies can be distinguished from truth.
Secondly, let them worship Shazu as ZISI, silencer of the aggressor,
Expeller of deathly silence from the bodies of the gods his fathers.
Thirdly, he is Shazu as SUHRIM, uprooter of all the foe by force of arms,
Dispelling their plots, scattering them to the winds,
Extinguishing all the wicked, wherever they may be.
May the gods always proclaim the triumph in the assembly!
Fourthly, he is Shazu as SUHGURIM, responsible for the obedience of the gods his fathers.
Uprooter of the foe, destroyer of their offspring,
Dispeller of their works, who left no trace of them.
Let his name be proclaimed and spoken in the land.
Fifthly, let future generations consider Shazu as ZAHRIM,
Destroyer of all enemies, every one of them arrogant,
Who brought all the refugee gods into shrines:
Let this be established as his name.
Sixthly, let them all praise Shazu as ZAHGURIM too,
Who destroyed all the foe by himself in battle.

He is ENBILULU, the lord, their enricher;
Their deity is mighty, responsible for sacrificial omens,
Who looks after pasturage and watering places, establishes them for the land,
Who opens up wells (?) and apportions the waters of abundance.
Secondly, let them address Enbilulu as EPADUN, lord of the countryside and . . . ,
Canal-controller of heaven and earth, establisher of the furrow,
Who maintains pure ploughland in the countryside,
Who directs ditches and canals and marks out the furrows.
Thirdly, let them praise Enbilulu as GUGAL ("canal-controller") of the gods' irrigated land.
Lord of abundance and the luxuriance of great grain-piles.
Responsible for riches, who gives surplus to homes,
Giver of cereals, producer of grain.
Fourthly (?), he is Enbilulu as HEGAL ("Abundance"), who heaps up a surplus for people,
Who brings rain of abundance over the broad earth, and makes vegetation grow profusely.

He is SIRSIR, who piled a mountain over Tiamat,
And took as booty the corpse of Tiamat, by his force of arms.
Governor of the land, their righteous shepherd,
Whose gifts are cultivation, garden plots and ploughland,
Who waded into the broad Sea-Tiamat in his fury:
Like a bridge he spanned her battlefield.
Secondly, they maned Sirsir as MALAH ("Boatman")---may she, Tiamat,
Be his barque forever, and he her sailor.

He is GIL, who amasses mighty heaps and mounds of grain.
Producer of cereals and flocks, giver of the land's seed.
He is GILIMA, who established the cosmic bond of the gods, who created stability;
The ring that encompasses them, who prepares good things,
He is AGILIMA, the lofty, who pulled the crown from the wicked,
And built the earth above the water, established the upper regions.

He is ZULUM who designated fields for the gods, and divided up what he had created.
Bestower of incomes and food offerings, supplier of shrines.
He is MUMMU, fashioner of heaven and earth, director of . . .
The god who purifies heaven and earth, secondly as ZULUM-UMMU
Whom no other god equals for strength.

GISH-NUMUN-AB, creator of all people, maker of the world's quarters,
Destroyer of Tiamat's gods, maker of people in their entirety.
LUGAL-AB-DUBUR, the king who scattered Tiamat's brood and snatched her weapon,
Who made a firm base in the van and the rear.
PAGAL-GUENA, leader of all lords, whose might is supreme,
Who is greatest of the gods his brothers, prince of them all.
LUGAL-DURMAH, king, bond of gods, lord of the cosmic bond,
Who is greatest in the royal abode, highest of the gods by far.
ARANUNA, counsellor of Ea, creator of the gods [his (?)] fathers,
Whom no god equals in his princely way.
DUMU-DUKU, whose pure dwelling is marked out for him on the holy mound,
Dumu-duku, without whom rules cannot be decided, LUGAL-DUKU.
LUGAL-SHANNA, king whose might is supreme among the gods.
Lord, might of Anu, who is pre-eminent as the namesake (?) of Anshar.
IRUGA, who took them all captive from inside Tiamat,
Who unites all wisdom, and is broad of understanding.
IRQINGU, who took Qingu captive as foe (?) in (?) battle,
Who administers decrees for everything, who confirms supremacy.
KINMA, director of the gods, giver of counsel,
At whose name the gods themselves quake in fear as in a tempest.
As E-SIZKUR, he shall sit highest in the house of prayer,
And the gods shall bring their presents before him,
As long as he accepts revenues from them.
None may perform miracles without him.
No (other) god shall designate the revenues of the black-headed people, his own creation,
Without him, nor decisions about their lifetimes.
GIBIL, who establishes the . . . of weapon(s),
Who performed miracles in the battle with Tiamat.
Profound in wisdom, skilled in understanding,
(So) profound, that none of the gods can comprehend.
ADDU shall be his name: let him cover all the sky,
And may his fine noise rumble over the earth.
May he shed water (?) from the clouds,
And give sustenance to the people below.
ASHARU, who like his name is responsible for the gods of destinies:
He does indeed take charge over every single person.
NEBERU: he does indeed hold the crossings of heaven and earth.
Neither up nor down shall they cross over; they must wait on him.
Neberu is the star which is bright in the sky.
He controls the crossroads; they must look to him,
Saying: "He who kept crossing inside Tiamat without respite,
Shall have Neberu as his name, grasping her middle.
May he establish the paths of the heavenly stars,
And may he shepherd all the gods like sheep.
Let him defeat Tiamat, constrict her breath and shorten her life,
So that for future people, till time grows old,
She shall be far removed, not kept here, distant forever,
Because he created a place, he fashioned Dannina."
ENKURKUR, father Ellil named him.
Ea heard that name, by which the Igigi all called him,
And was delighted, saying,
"He whose fathers have given him such a splendid name
Shall have the name Ea, just like me.
He shall have mastery over the arrangement of all my rites,
And shall direct every one of my decrees."'

With fifty epithets the great gods
Called his fifty names, making his way supreme.
May they always be cherished, and may the older explain (to the younger).
Let the wise and learned consult together,
Let the father repeat them and teach them to the son.
Let the ear of shepherd and herdsman be open,
Let him not be negligent to Marduk, the Ellil of the gods.
May his country be made fertile, and himself be safe and sound.
His word is firm, his command cannot alter;
No god can change his utterance.
When he is angry, he does not turn his neck (aside);
In his rage and fury no god dare confront him.
His thoughts are deep, his emotions profound;
Criminals and wrongdoers pass before him.
He (the scribe?) wrote down secret instruction which older men had recited in his presence,
And set it down for future men to read.
May the [people?]s of Marduk whom the Igigi gods created
Weave the [tale?] and call upon his name
In remembrance of the song of Marduk
Who defeated Tiamat and took the kingship.

Main Page

World History Center