Enuma Elish: The Seven Assyrian Tablets of Creation
Enuma Elish, “WHEN THE HEAVENS ABOVE…” from the two opening words of the text that consisted of some nine hundred and ninety-four lines written in cuneiform text and was divided into seven sections, each of which was inscribed upon a separate Tablet. It was uncovered by archaeologists in the late 1800s among the ruins of the Library of King Ashurbanipal in modern-day Iraq.
The translation revealed the story of how the planets became aligned, how a cosmic catastrophe affected the earth, how mankind came upon the scene, and how the “gods” played a role in all of it. Including Marduk the Champion, the mighty slayer of the creature Tiamat, and a tale of how one man came to survive the Great Flood, brought by the gods to wipe out humankind forever. The Seven Tablets of Creation have had many profound implications since they were first discovered and subsequently published. They predate the Book of Genesis as well as other worldwide creation myths.
Translator and editor L.W. King has divided the Seven Tablets of Creation into two volumes, which are combined in this book. In Volume 1, readers will find the English translation of each of the seven tablets, plus sections on the composition of the poem, parallels in Hebrew literature, and the reconstruction and arrangement of the text.
In Volume 2, readers will find other accounts of the history of creation, an index, a glossary, and numerous indices and appendices. Religious scholars and anyone interested in human origins will enjoy King’s translation of and commentary on this classic, first published in 1902.
British classical scholar LEONARD W. KING (1869-1919) was Assistant Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum and professor of Assyrian and Babylonian archaeology at the University of London, King’s College. He also wrote Babylonian Magic and Sorcery (1896) and A History of Sumer and Akkad (1910).
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