Reading Guide for Mesopotamian Primary Sources

Reading Guide for Mesopotamian Primary Sources - Reading...

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Reading Guide for Mesopotamian Primary Sources Enuma Elish The title “Enuma Elish” comes from the Akkadian language and means “When on high,” so titled after the opening words of the story. This cosmogonic myth, written on cuneiform tablets, narrates the struggle between order and chaos in the universe. Scholars think this drama was recited to renew and celebrate the turn of each new year during the New Year’s festival. In 1849 seven clay tablets, each measuring thirty inches in height, were discovered at the ancient city of Ashur, at Koujunjik, Iraq. These tablets were copies that were produced to be part of the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (668-627 BCE ) at Nineveh. The story itself is much older. While there is no consensus on its date of origin, scholars tend date the Enuma Elish prior to the 1 st millennium BCE because of its emphasis on Babylon and Babylon’s high god Marduk. Mesopotamia’s rise to power came over time and over great struggle amongst its many city-states. Babylon was small and its vie for power was late. It came under Hammurabi (1792-1750 BCE ) who, when he assumed the throne, proclaimed Marduk, Babylon’s patron deity, as head of the divine assembly. The written form of the Enuma Elish may have occurred much later, perhaps around 1100 BCE . The stories were compiled from different Sumerian and Amorites stories that
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Reading Guide for Mesopotamian Primary Sources - Reading...

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