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Mesopotamian Creation Stories

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses Mesopotamian creation stories from ancient Mesopotamian literature. Genesis conforms to its ancient Near Eastern background where creation is about the processes by which the universe reached its present form, with no attempt to delve into the question of ultimate origins. The Babylonian Epic of Creation is a narrative myth composed to assert and justify the status of Marduk as head of the pantheon, when previously even his limited promotion under Hammurabi had not in any way undermined the status as head of the pantheon of such Sumerian gods as Enlil and Anu. The exposition of the episodes of creation in the Babylonian Epic of Creation illustrates, first, that only a small amount is really about creation, and, secondly, that there existed a vast amount of floating mythological material from which each author drew, selected, combined and gave the result his own particular emphasis.

Keywords: Anu; Babylonian Epic of Creation; Enlil; Genesis; Hammurabi; Marduk; Mesopotamian creation stories



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