Treasures of Darkness ch. 6: Enuma Elish.
The Babylonian Enuma Elish a story that took shape in the centuries after Hammurabi
(ca. 1750) but clearly prefigured in the prologue to his Code (p.188).
[Click here for Sandars' translation]
As preface to Jacobsen's synopsis of the EE, consider the following fragment from a much
older Sumerian story of creation (preserved in the Gilgamesh saga):
After heaven had been moved away from earth,
After earth had been separated from heaven,
After the name of man had been fixed;
After An had carried off heaven,
After Enlil carried off Earth
After Ereshkigal had been carried to Kur as its prize;
After he had set sail, after he had set sail,
After the father for Kur had set sail,
After Enki for Kur had set sail;
Against the king the small ones [Kur] hurled,
Against Enki, the large ones it hurled;
...stones of the hand ...stones of [the river bed?]
The keel of the boat of Enki,
In battle, like attacking storm, o'erwhelm...
As you read Jacobsen's ch. 6, bear in mind the older story and consider these questions:
1) What geological model suggested the formation of primal characters:
Lahmu & Lahamu .... Anshar & Kishar
2) Identify key characters:
Apsu & Tiamat
An(u) & Nudimmud (=Ea/Enki)
Mummu & Kingu
...Who is left out (from the Sumerian pantheon) and why?
3) Outline the plot: what causes of conflict, and how was each battle decided?
4) Summarize Jacobsen's interpretation of the poem as a political progression.
.....How is this idea foreshadowed in Hammurabi's prologue?
5) Jacobsen suggests that EE softens the parricide theme. How so?