Mckenzie Donald A. - Myths of Babylonia and Assyria


Author : Mckenzie Donald A.
Title : Myths of Babylonia and Assyria
Year : 1915

Link download : Mckenzie_Donald_A_-_Myths_of_Babylonia_and_Assyria.zip

This volume deals with the myths and legends of Babylonia and Assyria, and as these reflect the civilization in which they developed, a historical narrative has been provided, beginning with the early Sumerian Age and concluding with the periods of the Persian and Grecian Empires. Over thirty centuries of human progress are thus passed under review. During this vast interval of time the cultural influences emanating from the Tigro-Euphrates valley reached fardistant shores along the intersecting avenues of trade, and in consequence of the periodic and widespread migrations of peoples who had acquired directly or indirectly the leavening elements of Mesopotamian civilization. Even at the present day traces survive in Europe of the early cultural impress of the East; our "Signs of the Zodiac", for instance, as well as the system of measuring time and space by using 60 as a basic numeral for calculation, are inheritances from ancient Babylonia. As in the Nile Valley, however, it is impossible to trace in Mesopotamia the initiatory stages of prehistoric culture based on the agricultural mode of life. What is generally called the "Dawn of History" is really the beginning of a later age of progress; it is necessary to account for the degree of civilization attained at the earliest period of which we have knowledge by postulating his tribe are displaced by the war god and his fellow deities whose welfare depends on his prowess. Merodach kills the dragon, Tiamat, as the heroes of Eur-Asian folk stories kill grisly hags, by casting his weapon down her throat. He severed her inward parts, he pierced her heart, He overcame her and cut off her life; He cast down her body and stood upon it ... And with merciless club he smashed her skull. He cut through the channels of her blood, And he made the north wind to bear it away into secret places. Afterwards He divided the flesh of the Ku-pu and devised a cunning plan. Mr. L. W. King, from whose scholarly Seven Tablets of Creation these lines are quoted, notes that " Ku-pu " is a word of uncertain meaning. Jensen suggests "trunk, body". Apparently Merodach obtained special knowledge after dividing, and perhaps eating, the " Ku-pu". His "cunning plan" is set forth in detail: he cut up the dragon's body : He split her up like a flat fish into two halves. He formed the heavens with one half and the earth with the other, and then set the universe in order. His power and wisdom as the Demiurge were derived from the fierce and powerful Great Mother, Tiamat. In other dragon stories the heroes devise their plans after eating the dragon's heart. According to Philostratus, Apollonius of Tyana was worthy of being remembered for two things—his bravery in travelling among fierce robber tribes, not then subject to Rome, and his wisdom in learning the language of birds and other animals as the Arabs do. ...

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