The Seven Tablets of Creation (Forgotten Books)
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The Seven Tablets of Creation (Forgotten Books)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  200 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The Enuma Elish is one of the most important sources which provides an understanding of the Babylonian worldview. The Babylonian worldview is centered on the supremacy of Marduk, and contributes the belief that mankind exists to service god. This Babylonian creation epic was first discovered by modern scholars in the ruins of an early library in Mosul, Iraq and its seven t...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published November 7th 2007 by Forgotten Books (first published January 1st 1989)
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Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
Read at http://www.ancient.eu.com/article/225/
See also- http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/enuma... and
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/epic...

There is definitely a sense of the work being revisionist as has been noted. The aim appears to be to supplant an older order (often violently, though Enki (Ea) and to a lesser extent Enlil for instance keep an honoured place) and elevate a new (with Marduk at the helm, for the prevailing Babylonian pantheon at least).

This is, in my view, one of the earlies...more
Skyler Myers
Oct 27, 2013 Skyler Myers rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in the most ancient creation myths
PROs:

* First detailed creation myth ever found

* Some interesting stories

CONs:

* Missing a ton of content

* Lots of gods with weird names makes it hard to follow

* Doesn't have a clear progression

The Enuma Elish is the earliest creation myth ever discovered, coming from the ancient kingdom of Babylon. It is probably most famous for its obvious influence on the Bible, which the Biblical authors would have plagiarized when they were in Babylonian captivity. The book is nowhere near as detailed as more...more
David Sarkies
When I has handed a copy of this text in Old Testament I was not sure if I had actually read this or not, knowing that I had the Oxford World Classic's Myths from Mesopotamia. However when I recently returned to that book to read the myths again (so that I could be more accurate when commenting on the myths and the book as a whole for Goodreads) I discovered that the 'Epic of Creation' as it is called in that book, is the Enuma Elish, so I guess I had read it, and I have now read it again so I...more
Cassandra Kay Silva
The edition I had included a few other tablets (such as the great deluge and some hymns to Istar) that were very interesting. The creation story itself is still fairly fragmented but there is a lot to be gathered from what was translatable. I read both the Babylonian and the Neo Babylonian account which were still fairly similar. The war in heaven theme seems to be very prominent throughout ancient history and this was no different. There were some similarities to the Hebrew account of creation...more
Ben
Although it is short and incomplete, I highly recommend the Enuma Elish because:

1. An entertaining, compelling, and very advanced (for its time) creation myth.

2. A primary source of the Biblical creation myth.

Nonetheless, I really wished the scorpion-men and eleven monsters would have taken part in the epic fight between Marduk and Tiamat. Their characters had a lot to offer and I feel they were egregiously underutilized... maybe this is just the Michael Bay in me speaking.



Aleta of the Misty Isles
The copy I read wasn't this particular one, but a Danish one, with both this and 'Gilgamesh' in it. Which is excellent, because it gives me a means of comparing the two without having to worry about whether or not it was the translations that made me love 'Gilgamesh' and only give this one two stars.

How do you rate or review a creation myth? Especially one so ancient, one of the first pieces of written text that we know of? Answer is – you don't. Instead you think of it merely as a story and go...more
Jon
Just as likely as Genesis.
John Martindale
From what I've read, Enuma Elish is the oldest creation myth that we have. The poem starts with the heavens and the earth being unnamed, when all there was, was Apsu (CHAOS and the Watery abyss) and Tiamat (A sea monster goddess of sorts). Their waters were merged into a single mass, and out of this chaos a long list of god's somehow showed up and created other gods. Eventually it seems Apsu wanted Tiamat to destroy the gods. Marduk was chosen to fight against Tiamat and the evil monsters that s...more
Valerie
Edition matters, and I'm not sure this is the one I read. I knew a woman who helped translate this, and it's a good source for the Uruk version of Mesopotamian myth.

There's evidence of considerable revisionism, as the original creator goddess Tiamat is transformed into a 'monster' who is slaughtered. But there're interesting elements, such as the journey of Inanna into Hell, or the reasons given for the creation of humanity (to maintain the irrigation ditches, so the gods wouldn't have to), and...more
Filippus Sergius Angelus
Over 110 years since the release of this translation the Enuma Elish is still one of the earliest recorded creation myths, and although this translation is dated, L.W. King does an excellent job making sense of this highly incomplete work. Reading the material that is there though, opens many avenues for comparative religion. The similarities to the Old Testament are striking, as well as to the symbolism of Norse and other European Pagan religions. This version also includes the original cuneifo...more
David Krohn
I read the Enuma Elish because I wanted an ancient text I could compare and contrast with Genesis 1-3. I enjoyed it both for its similarities and its differences. The common ideas of divine rest and the separation of the waters were especially interesting. Furthermore, reading Enuma Elish really made me appreciate the uniqueness of the monotheistic and anti-violent themes of Genesis. The Enuma Elish is polytheistic and violent creation story: the whole world is created out of the murder of elder...more
Ernest Barker
Several editions of "The Seven Tablets of Creation" Are available, they all tell the Babylon story of creation. The similarities to the creation accounts in Genesis I and II are remarkable. If you are interested in the history of the Babylonians, the Jews and Christians this is a must read. I read it as a reference to the more detailed "The Chaldean account of Genesis" by George Smith, 1876. It gives one a whole new perspective the myths that Christianity is based on.
Zach Paulson
This was a fascinating telling of the dawn of time. Filled with conquest, blood, and plotting, this myth enlightens the reader of the age-old culture of the Babylonians. The story tells the creation of the gods, a theogany, the destruction of the father and mother gods, and the installment of man to serve the gods. Overall, a violent religious view, which has many political benefits.
Eylül Çetinbaş
Enuma Elish is one of the most splendid creation epics and myths I've ever read. Based on the society's unique religion, it shows an example of gods' sincerity, a realistic world view, mutual relationships between gods and men -not found with a fatalistic and fearful scheme, it demonstrates that a belief system does not have to take the shape of a ''fear center''
Sammi
Marduk has lots of names, and while I enjoyed the beginning, the fact that the last two scrolls were nothing but names kind of turned me off. It was certainly an interesting creation myth, though.
michael k tyrell jr
Old book

Old book

l like the mythology.
however, I would rather the story to be complete. I am glad the original text is available for public reading.
Lucrecia
Interesante... saber lo que los babilonios creían acerca de la creación. Es muy cortito y entretenido.
Jesse
I enjoyed this creation myth. A quick read, with an easy and understandable set up by the author.
Rosie
truly awful: terrible grammar, rambling and incoherent, clearly hasn't been edited for sense.
Michael
Not the best book about the Enuma Elish, but interesting all the same.
Vigdis
Reading the Swedish translation of the Accadian cuneiform.
Pfanner
Cuidado: libro sobre todo para especialistas.
Don
Don marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2014
Tegan Giesel
Tegan Giesel marked it as to-read
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Mustafa Hmood
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Jul 03, 2014
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Leonard William King, M.A., F.S.A. (8 December 1869–20 August 1919) was an English archaeologist and Assyriologist educated at Rugby School and King's College in Cambridge.[1] He collected stone inscriptions widely in the Near East, taught Assyrian and Babylonian archaeology at King's College for a number of years, and published a large number of works on these subjects. He is also known for his t...more
More about Leonard William King...
Babylonian Religion and Mythology Legends of Babylon and Egypt in Relation to Hebrew Tradition The Code of Hammurabi A History of Sumer and Akkad Babylonian Magic and Sorcery: The Prayers of the Lifting of the Hand

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