Every culture has a story about creation. Why does life exist? What sacrifices were made for us to get here? If you were allowed to create your own race, how would you create the first species? How would they be created? Why would the be created? Bell Ringer #3: Tues. 3/22/11
World Mythology – Spring 2011 Babylonian creation myth:
EnumaElish – Creation myth Retold Version When on high the heaven had not been named, Firm ground below had not been called by name, Naught but primordial Apsu, their begetter, (And) Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all, Their waters commingling as a single body; No reed hut had been matted, no marsh land had appeared, When no gods whatever had been brought into being, Uncalled by name, their destinies undetermined- Then it was that the gods were formed within them. Lahmu and Lahamu were brought forth, by name they were called.
The original text was recorded on a “cuneiform” which is a wedge-shaped script, upon 7 clay tablets that were discovered in the late 1840s. Another version was later discovered in 1902 and was almost identical; however, the Assyrian god (Ashur) had been replaced for the Babylonian god (Marduk). When was it found?
Each year the Enuma elish was recited and dramatized as a part of the ten-day New year festival, which marked the beginning of the autumn season. This festival was taken very seriously and emphasized the re-establishment of order in the universe, the renewal of life, and the determination of all human destinies for the coming year. Celebration!
The myth honoring Marduk glorified the god who had created the universe and had brought order out of chaos. This myth is unique for it combines both religion and politics. Thus Enuma elish is more than just a creation myth. After taking it from the Sumerians, Babylonians created a story that would serve national, religious, and political purposes. Honoring marduk…
Anu: God of the Sky; son of Tiamet and Apsu • Enlil: God of the Air • Ea: God of the Earth - father of Marduk; ruler of the gods and sweete water after Apsu; god of wisdom, arts, and crafts • Tiamat: Mother goddess who nourishes all life and rules salt water; wife of Apsu, and mother to Anshar and Kishar • Apsu: Tiamat’s husband; ruler of the gods and sweet water • Mummu: son of Tiamat and Apsu: god of the mist • Anshar: son of Tiamat and Apsu • Kishar: son of Tiamat and Apsu • Nintu: Mother Goddess; mother to all gods; created humans out of clay • Enlil: god of the air between the earth and sky • Ishtar: Mother Goddess: goddess of love and war • Damkina: wife of Ea; mother to Marduk • Marduk: wisest and most accomplished god; becomes ruler of all gods • Kingu: commands Timat’s forces against Marduk • Sin: god of the moon • Shamash: son of Sin; god of the son; protects the poor, wronged, and the traveler
The stories of Babylonian Mythology are very old and sometimes very difficult to understand in their original format. Sometimes a retold version or summary (like the one we read today) can be easier to understand. Your assignment today asks you to create you own modernization or retold version of Enuma elish. Please pick one of the following: Newspaper Article or Broadcast Skit Journal Entry Modern-Day Version Group writing Activity:
Content: Do you include all characters, events, and morals of the original creation myth? (20 points) Creativity: Does you story help your audience understand in a new, more effective way? (20 points) Participation/Effort: Did you work with your group and put time and effort into your presentation? (10 points) Rubric:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8hgFIURgrU Creation myth