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Full Access How to Start a Cosmogony: On the Poetics of Beginnings in Greece and the Near East

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How to Start a Cosmogony: On the Poetics of Beginnings in Greece and the Near East

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AbstractIn this essay I explore the beginning lines of the most relevant cosmogonies from the eastern Mediterranean, focusing on the Enuma Elish, Genesis 1 and Hesiod’s Theogony. These opening lines reveal some of the challenges faced by the authors of these texts when committing to the written word their version of the beginning of the universe. Hesiod’s Theogony will be treated in more length as it presents an expanded introduction to the creation account. This close reading is followed by a few reflections on the question of authorship of these and other Greek and Near Eastern cosmogonies.

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