Ancient Mythology

Enuma elish | Mesopotamian Mythology

The Enuma elish is an old Akkadian story which tells of the creation. This is the best known Mesopotamian creation myth, which dates back to about 1900 BCE. The name of this story comes from the opening words of its present form, “Enuma elish”, which means “When on high …”

The Enuma elish tells that the primal form of existence was the fresh waters, Apsu, and the salt waters, Tiamat. It was told that the two waters came together to create Lahmu and Lahamu, to which Tiamat gave birth. Gradually, these new gods gave birth to more gods, and the world evolved.

The present form of the Enuma elish was probably composed in approximately 1100 BCE, when the people of Babylon recovered the statue of the god Marduk from Assyrians, who had held it for a century. The story was likely re-recorded as a celebration of the statue's return to its home Babylon.


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