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Assyrian Epic of Creation: Part 1

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At that time the heaven above had not yet announced, or the earth beneath recorded, a name; the unopened deep was their generator, Mummu-Tiamat (the chaos of the sea) was the mother of them all. Their waters were embosomed as one, and the corn-field was unharvested, the pasture was un-grown. At that time the gods had not appeared, any of them; by no name, were they recorded, no destiny (had they fixed). Then the (great) gods were created, Lakhmu and Lakhamu issued forth (the first), until they grew up (when) An-sar and Ki-sar were created. Long were the days, extended (was the time, until) the gods Anu, (Bel and Ea were born), An-sar and Ki-sar (gave them birth).

Second tablet missing



The gods have marched round her, all of them; up to those whom thou hast created at her side I have gone. When they were gathered (?) beside her, Tiamat they approached. The strong one (Merodach), the glorious, who desists not night or day, the exciter to battle, was disturbed in heart.  Then they marshalled (their) forces; they create darkness. The mother of Khubur, the creatress of them all, I pursued with (my) weapons unsurpassed; (then) did the great snake(s) bite. With my teeth sharpened unsparingly did I bite. With poisoned breath like blood their bodies I filled. The raging vampires I clothed with terror. I lifted up the lightning-flash, on high I launched (it). Their messenger Sar-baba ……Their bodies were struck, but it pierced not their breasts. I made ready the dragon, the mighty serpent and the god Lakha(ma), the great reptile, the deadly beast and the scorpion-man, the devouring 2 reptiles, the fish-man 1 and the gazelle-god, lifting up (my) weapons that spare not, fearless of battle, strong through the law which (yields?) not before the foe. The eleven-fold (offspring), like him (their messenger), were utterly (overthrown?). Among the gods her forces I humbled the god Kingu in the sight (of his consort?), the queen. They who went in front before the army (I smote?), lifting up (my) weapons, a snare for Tiamat.


134:1 I’skhuru-si.

134:2 Khubur is identified with ’Su-edin on the eastern side of the Babylonian plain in W.A.I., ii. 50, 51. Professor Delitzsch suggests that the expression ummu Khubur may be the origin of the name Omorôka assigned by Berôssos to Tiamat.

134:3 Ittaqur from naqaru. In Hebrew the verb is used especially of piercing the eyes.

134:4 The usumgalli or "solitary monsters" were fabulous beasts who were supposed to devour the corpses of the dead and were therefore not exactly vampires which devoured the living but corresponded rather with one of the creatures mentioned in Is. xiii. 21, 22; xxxiv. 14.

134:5 Umtas[sir].

135:1 According to the 9th tablet of the Epic of Gisdhubar, "the scorpion-men" guard the gate between "the twin mountains" through which the sun passes at its rising and setting. The fish-man was Oannes, afterwards identified with Ea, who brought wisdom and culture to Chaldea out of the Persian Gulf.

135:2 Dapruti (see W.A.I., v. 16, 80) from the same root as diparatu, "a flame."

135:3 The gazelle-god was identified by the later mythology of Babylonia, sometimes with Ea the god of Eridu, sometimes with Bel the god of Nipur: see my Lectures on the Religion of the Ancient Babylonians, pp. 283 seq.