By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Legends of Babylon and Egypt in relation to Hebrew tradition
Author: King, L. W. (Leonard William), 1869-1919
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Legends of Babylon and Egypt in relation to Hebrew tradition" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


By Leonard W. King, M.A., Litt.D., F.S.A.

Assistant Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities in the British

Professor in the University of London King's College

First Published 1918 by Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press.




     This text was prepared from a 1920 edition of the book,
     hence the references to dates after 1916 in some places.

     Greek text has been transliterated within brackets "{}"
     using an Oxford English Dictionary alphabet table.
     Diacritical marks have been lost.


In these lectures an attempt is made, not so much to restate familiar
facts, as to accommodate them to new and supplementary evidence which
has been published in America since the outbreak of the war. But even
without the excuse of recent discovery, no apology would be needed for
any comparison or contrast of Hebrew tradition with the mythological
and legendary beliefs of Babylon and Egypt. Hebrew achievements in the
sphere of religion and ethics are only thrown into stronger relief when
studied against their contemporary background.

The bulk of our new material is furnished by some early texts, written
towards the close of the third millennium B.C. They incorporate
traditions which extend in unbroken outline from their own period into
the remote ages of the past, and claim to trace the history of man back
to his creation. They represent the early national traditions of
the Sumerian people, who preceded the Semites as the ruling race in
Babylonia; and incidentally they necessitate a revision of current
views with regard to the cradle of Babylonian civilization. The most
remarkable of the new documents is one which relates in poetical
narrative an account of the Creation, of Antediluvian history, and of
the Deluge. It thus exhibits a close resemblance in structure to the
corresponding Hebrew traditions, a resemblance that is not shared by the
Semitic-Babylonian Versions at present known. But in matter the Sumerian
tradition is more primitive than any of the Semitic versions. In spite
of the fact that the text appears to have reached us in a magical
setting, and to some extent in epitomized form, this early document
enables us to tap the stream of tradition at a point far above any at
which approach has hitherto been possible.

Though the resemblance of early Sumerian tradition to that of the
Hebrews is striking, it furnishes a still closer parallel to the
summaries preserved from the history of Berossus. The huge figures
incorporated in the latter's chronological scheme are no longer to be
treated as a product of Neo-Babylonian speculation; they reappear in
their original surroundings in another of these early documents, the
Sumerian Dynastic List. The sources of Berossus had inevitably been
semitized by Babylon; but two of his three Antediluvian cities find
their place among the five of primitive Sumerian belief, and two of his
ten Antediluvian kings rejoin their Sumerian prototypes. Moreover, the
recorded ages of Sumerian and Hebrew patriarchs are strangely alike.
It may be added that in Egypt a new fragment of the Palermo Stele has
enabled us to verify, by a very similar comparison, the accuracy of
Manetho's sources for his prehistoric period, while at the same time
it demonstrates the way in which possible inaccuracies in his system,
deduced from independent evidence, may have arisen in remote antiquity.
It is clear that both Hebrew and Hellenistic traditions were modelled on
very early lines.

Thus our new material enables us to check the age, and in some measure
the accuracy, of the traditions concerning the dawn of history which
the Greeks reproduced from native sources, both in Babylonia and Egypt,
after the conquests of Alexander had brought the Near East within the
range of their intimate acquaintance. The third body of tradition, that
of the Hebrews, though unbacked by the prestige of secular achievement,
has, through incorporation in the canons of two great religious systems,
acquired an authority which the others have not enjoyed. In re-examining
the sources of all three accounts, so far as they are affected by the
new discoveries, it will be of interest to observe how the same problems
were solved in antiquity by very different races, living under widely
divergent conditions, but within easy reach of one another. Their
periods of contact, ascertained in history or suggested by geographical
considerations, will prompt the further question to what extent each
body of belief was evolved in independence of the others. The close
correspondence that has long been recognized and is now confirmed
between the Hebrew and the Semitic-Babylonian systems, as compared with
that of Egypt, naturally falls within the scope of our enquiry.

Excavation has provided an extraordinarily full archaeological
commentary to the legends of Egypt and Babylon; and when I received the
invitation to deliver the Schweich Lectures for 1916, I was reminded of
the terms of the Bequest and was asked to emphasize the archaeological
side of the subject. Such material illustration was also calculated to
bring out, in a more vivid manner than was possible with purely literary
evidence, the contrasts and parallels presented by Hebrew tradition.
Thanks to a special grant for photographs from the British Academy,
I was enabled to illustrate by means of lantern slides many of the
problems discussed in the lectures; and it was originally intended that
the photographs then shown should appear as plates in this volume.
But in view of the continued and increasing shortage of paper, it
was afterwards felt to be only right that all illustrations should
be omitted. This very necessary decision has involved a recasting of
certain sections of the lectures as delivered, which in its turn has
rendered possible a fuller treatment of the new literary evidence. To
the consequent shifting of interest is also due a transposition of names
in the title. On their literary side, and in virtue of the intimacy of
their relation to Hebrew tradition, the legends of Babylon must be given
precedence over those of Egypt.

For the delay in the appearance of the volume I must plead the pressure
of other work, on subjects far removed from archaeological study
and affording little time and few facilities for a continuance of
archaeological and textual research. It is hoped that the insertion
of references throughout, and the more detailed discussion of problems
suggested by our new literary material, may incline the reader to add
his indulgence to that already extended to me by the British Academy.





At the present moment most of us have little time or thought to spare
for subjects not connected directly or indirectly with the war. We have
put aside our own interests and studies; and after the war we shall all
have a certain amount of leeway to make up in acquainting ourselves
with what has been going on in countries not yet involved in the great
struggle. Meanwhile the most we can do is to glance for a moment at any
discovery of exceptional interest that may come to light.

The main object of these lectures will be to examine certain Hebrew
traditions in the light of new evidence which has been published in
America since the outbreak of the war. The evidence is furnished by some
literary texts, inscribed on tablets from Nippur, one of the oldest
and most sacred cities of Babylonia. They are written in Sumerian, the
language spoken by the non-Semitic people whom the Semitic Babylonians
conquered and displaced; and they include a very primitive version of
the Deluge story and Creation myth, and some texts which throw new light
on the age of Babylonian civilization and on the area within which it
had its rise. In them we have recovered some of the material from which
Berossus derived his dynasty of Antediluvian kings, and we are thus
enabled to test the accuracy of the Greek tradition by that of the
Sumerians themselves. So far then as Babylonia is concerned, these
documents will necessitate a re-examination of more than one problem.

The myths and legends of ancient Egypt are also to some extent involved.
The trend of much recent anthropological research has been in the
direction of seeking a single place of origin for similar beliefs and
practices, at least among races which were bound to one another by
political or commercial ties. And we shall have occasion to test, by
means of our new data, a recent theory of Egyptian influence. The Nile
Valley was, of course, one the great centres from which civilization
radiated throughout the ancient East; and, even when direct contact
is unproved, Egyptian literature may furnish instructive parallels and
contrasts in any study of Western Asiatic mythology. Moreover, by a
strange coincidence, there has also been published in Egypt since the
beginning of the war a record referring to the reigns of predynastic
rulers in the Nile Valley. This, like some of the Nippur texts, takes us
back to that dim period before the dawn of actual history, and, though
the information it affords is not detailed like theirs, it provides
fresh confirmation of the general accuracy of Manetho's sources, and
suggests some interesting points for comparison.

But the people with whose traditions we are ultimately concerned are the
Hebrews. In the first series of Schweich Lectures, delivered in the year
1908, the late Canon Driver showed how the literature of Assyria and
Babylon had thrown light upon Hebrew traditions concerning the origin
and early history of the world. The majority of the cuneiform documents,
on which he based his comparison, date from a period no earlier than the
seventh century B.C., and yet it was clear that the texts themselves,
in some form or other, must have descended from a remote antiquity. He
concluded his brief reference to the Creation and Deluge Tablets with
these words: "The Babylonian narratives are both polytheistic, while
the corresponding biblical narratives (Gen. i and vi-xi) are made
the vehicle of a pure and exalted monotheism; but in spite of this
fundamental difference, and also variations in detail, the resemblances
are such as to leave no doubt that the Hebrew cosmogony and the Hebrew
story of the Deluge are both derived ultimately from the same original
as the Babylonian narratives, only transformed by the magic touch of
Israel's religion, and infused by it with a new spirit."(1) Among the
recently published documents from Nippur we have at last recovered one
at least of those primitive originals from which the Babylonian accounts
were derived, while others prove the existence of variant stories of the
world's origin and early history which have not survived in the later
cuneiform texts. In some of these early Sumerian records we may trace
a faint but remarkable parallel with the Hebrew traditions of man's
history between his Creation and the Flood. It will be our task, then,
to examine the relations which the Hebrew narratives bear both to the
early Sumerian and to the later Babylonian Versions, and to ascertain
how far the new discoveries support or modify current views with regard
to the contents of those early chapters of Genesis.

     (1) Driver, _Modern Research as illustrating the Bible_ (The
     Schweich Lectures, 1908), p. 23.

I need not remind you that Genesis is the book of Hebrew origins, and
that its contents mark it off to some extent from the other books of the
Hebrew Bible. The object of the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua is to
describe in their origin the fundamental institutions of the national
faith and to trace from the earliest times the course of events which
led to the Hebrew settlement in Palestine. Of this national history
the Book of Genesis forms the introductory section. Four centuries of
complete silence lie between its close and the beginning of Exodus,
where we enter on the history of a nation as contrasted with that of
a family.(1) While Exodus and the succeeding books contain national
traditions, Genesis is largely made up of individual biography. Chapters
xii-l are concerned with the immediate ancestors of the Hebrew race,
beginning with Abram's migration into Canaan and closing with Joseph's
death in Egypt. But the aim of the book is not confined to recounting
the ancestry of Israel. It seeks also to show her relation to other
peoples in the world, and probing still deeper into the past it
describes how the earth itself was prepared for man's habitation.
Thus the patriarchal biographies are preceded, in chapters i-xi, by an
account of the original of the world, the beginnings of civilization,
and the distribution of the various races of mankind. It is, of course,
with certain parts of this first group of chapters that such striking
parallels have long been recognized in the cuneiform texts.

     (1) Cf., e.g., Skinner, _A Critical and Exegetical
     Commentary on Genesis_ (1912), p. ii f.; Driver, _The Book
     of Genesis_, 10th ed. (1916), pp. 1 ff.; Ryle, _The Book of
     Genesis_ (1914), pp. x ff.

In approaching this particular body of Hebrew traditions, the necessity
for some caution will be apparent. It is not as though we were dealing
with the reported beliefs of a Malayan or Central Australian tribe. In
such a case there would be no difficulty in applying a purely objective
criticism, without regard to ulterior consequences. But here our own
feelings are involved, having their roots deep in early associations.
The ground too is well trodden; and, had there been no new material to
discuss, I think I should have preferred a less contentious theme. The
new material is my justification for the choice of subject, and also the
fact that, whatever views we may hold, it will be necessary for us to
assimilate it to them. I shall have no hesitation in giving you my own
reading of the evidence; but at the same time it will be possible to
indicate solutions which will probably appeal to those who view the
subject from more conservative standpoints. That side of the discussion
may well be postponed until after the examination of the new evidence in
detail. And first of all it will be advisable to clear up some general
aspects of the problem, and to define the limits within which our
criticism may be applied.

It must be admitted that both Egypt and Babylon bear a bad name in
Hebrew tradition. Both are synonymous with captivity, the symbols of
suffering endured at the beginning and at the close of the national
life. And during the struggle against Assyrian aggression, the
disappointment at the failure of expected help is reflected in
prophecies of the period. These great crises in Hebrew history have
tended to obscure in the national memory the part which both Babylon
and Egypt may have played in moulding the civilization of the smaller
nations with whom they came in contact. To such influence the races of
Syria were, by geographical position, peculiarly subject. The country
has often been compared to a bridge between the two great continents of
Asia and Africa, flanked by the sea on one side and the desert on the
other, a narrow causeway of highland and coastal plain connecting the
valleys of the Nile and the Euphrates.(1) For, except on the frontier of
Egypt, desert and sea do not meet. Farther north the Arabian plateau is
separated from the Mediterranean by a double mountain chain, which runs
south from the Taurus at varying elevations, and encloses in its lower
course the remarkable depression of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and
the 'Arabah. The Judaean hills and the mountains of Moab are merely
the southward prolongation of the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, and their
neighbourhood to the sea endows this narrow tract of habitable country
with its moisture and fertility. It thus formed the natural channel of
intercourse between the two earliest centres of civilization, and was
later the battle-ground of their opposing empires.

     (1) See G. A. Smith, _Historical Geography of the Holy
     Land_, pp. 5 ff., 45 ff., and Myres, _Dawn of History_, pp.
     137 ff.; and cf. Hogarth, _The Nearer East_, pp. 65 ff., and
     Reclus, _Nouvelle Géographie universelle_, t. IX, pp. 685 ff.

The great trunk-roads of through communication run north and south,
across the eastern plateaus of the Haurân and Moab, and along the
coastal plains. The old highway from Egypt, which left the Delta at
Pelusium, at first follows the coast, then trends eastward across the
plain of Esdraelon, which breaks the coastal range, and passing under
Hermon runs northward through Damascus and reaches the Euphrates at its
most westerly point. Other through tracks in Palestine ran then as they
do to-day, by Beesheba and Hebron, or along the 'Arabah and west of the
Dead Sea, or through Edom and east of Jordan by the present Hajj route
to Damascus. But the great highway from Egypt, the most westerly of
the trunk-roads through Palestine, was that mainly followed, with some
variant sections, by both caravans and armies, and was known by the
Hebrews in its southern course as the "Way of the Philistines" and
farther north as the "Way of the East".

The plain of Esraelon, where the road first trends eastward, has been
the battle-ground for most invaders of Palestine from the north, and
though Egyptian armies often fought in the southern coastal plain, they
too have battled there when they held the southern country. Megiddo,
which commands the main pass into the plain through the low Samaritan
hills to the southeast of Carmel, was the site of Thothmes III's famous
battle against a Syrian confederation, and it inspired the writer of the
Apocalypse with his vision of an Armageddon of the future. But invading
armies always followed the beaten track of caravans, and movements
represented by the great campaigns were reflected in the daily passage
of international commerce.

With so much through traffic continually passing within her borders,
it may be matter for surprise that far more striking evidence of its
cultural effect should not have been revealed by archaeological research
in Palestine. Here again the explanation is mainly of a geographical
character. For though the plains and plateaus could be crossed by the
trunk-roads, the rest of the country is so broken up by mountain and
valley that it presented few facilities either to foreign penetration
or to external control. The physical barriers to local intercourse,
reinforced by striking differences in soil, altitude, and climate,
while they precluded Syria herself from attaining national unity, always
tended to protect her separate provinces, or "kingdoms," from the
full effects of foreign aggression. One city-state could be traversed,
devastated, or annexed, without in the least degree affecting
neighbouring areas. It is true that the population of Syria has always
been predominantly Semitic, for she was on the fringe of the great
breeding-ground of the Semitic race and her landward boundary was open
to the Arabian nomad. Indeed, in the whole course of her history the
only race that bade fair at one time to oust the Semite in Syria was the
Greek. But the Greeks remained within the cities which they founded or
rebuilt, and, as Robertson Smith pointed out, the death-rate in Eastern
cities habitually exceeds the birth-rate; the urban population must be
reinforced from the country if it is to be maintained, so that the type
of population is ultimately determined by the blood of the peasantry.(1)
Hence after the Arab conquest the Greek elements in Syria and Palestine
tended rapidly to disappear. The Moslem invasion was only the last of a
series of similar great inroads, which have followed one another since
the dawn of history, and during all that time absorption was continually
taking place from desert tribes that ranged the Syrian border. As we
have seen, the country of his adoption was such as to encourage
the Semitic nomad's particularism, which was inherent in his tribal
organization. Thus the predominance of a single racial element in the
population of Palestine and Syria did little to break down or overstep
the natural barriers and lines of cleavage.

     (1) See Robertson Smith, _Religion of the Semites_, p. 12
     f.; and cf. Smith, _Hist. Geogr._, p. 10 f.

These facts suffice to show why the influence of both Egypt and Babylon
upon the various peoples and kingdoms of Palestine was only intensified
at certain periods, when ambition for extended empire dictated the
reduction of her provinces in detail. But in the long intervals,
during which there was no attempt to enforce political control, regular
relations were maintained along the lines of trade and barter. And in
any estimate of the possible effect of foreign influence upon Hebrew
thought, it is important to realize that some of the channels through
which in later periods it may have acted had been flowing since the dawn
of history, and even perhaps in prehistoric times. It is probable that
Syria formed one of the links by which we may explain the Babylonian
elements that are attested in prehistoric Egyptian culture.(1) But
another possible line of advance may have been by way of Arabia and
across the Red Sea into Upper Egypt.

     (1) Cf. _Sumer and Akkad_, pp. 322 ff.; and for a full
     discussion of the points of resemblance between the early
     Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations, see Sayce, _The
     Archaeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions_, chap. iv, pp.
     101 ff.

The latter line of contact is suggested by an interesting piece of
evidence that has recently been obtained. A prehistoric flint knife,
with a handle carved from the tooth of a hippopotamus, has been
purchased lately by the Louvre,(1) and is said to have been found at
Gebel el-'Arak near Naga' Hamâdi, which lies on the Nile not far below
Koptos, where an ancient caravan-track leads by Wâdi Hammâmât to the
Red Sea. On one side of the handle is a battle-scene including some
remarkable representations of ancient boats. All the warriors are nude
with the exception of a loin girdle, but, while one set of combatants
have shaven heads or short hair, the others have abundant locks falling
in a thick mass upon the shoulder. On the other face of the handle is
carved a hunting scene, two hunters with dogs and desert animals
being arranged around a central boss. But in the upper field is a very
remarkable group, consisting of a personage struggling with two lions
arranged symmetrically. The rest of the composition is not very unlike
other examples of prehistoric Egyptian carving in low relief, but here
attitude, figure, and clothing are quite un-Egyptian. The hero wears
a sort of turban on his abundant hair, and a full and rounded beard
descends upon his breast. A long garment clothes him from the waist and
falls below the knees, his muscular calves ending in the claws of a bird
of prey. There is nothing like this in prehistoric Egyptian art.

     (1) See Bénédite, "Le couteau de Gebel al-'Arak", in
     _Foundation Eugène Piot, Mon. et. Mém._, XXII. i. (1916).

Perhaps Monsieur Bénédite is pressing his theme too far when he compares
the close-cropped warriors on the handle with the shaven Sumerians and
Elamites upon steles from Telloh and Susa, for their loin-girdles are
African and quite foreign to the Euphrates Valley. And his suggestion
that two of the boats, flat-bottomed and with high curved ends, seem
only to have navigated the Tigris and Euphrates,(1) will hardly command
acceptance. But there is no doubt that the heroic personage upon the
other face is represented in the familiar attitude of the Babylonian
hero Gilgamesh struggling with lions, which formed so favourite a
subject upon early Sumerian and Babylonian seals. His garment is
Sumerian or Semitic rather than Egyptian, and the mixture of human and
bird elements in the figure, though not precisely paralleled at
this early period, is not out of harmony with Mesopotamian or Susan
tradition. His beard, too, is quite different from that of the Libyan
desert tribes which the early Egyptian kings adopted. Though the
treatment of the lions is suggestive of proto-Elamite rather than
of early Babylonian models, the design itself is unmistakably of
Mesopotamian origin. This discovery intensifies the significance of
other early parallels that have been noted between the civilizations of
the Euphrates and the Nile, but its evidence, so far as it goes, does
not point to Syria as the medium of prehistoric intercourse. Yet then,
as later, there can have been no physical barrier to the use of the
river-route from Mesopotamia into Syria and of the tracks thence
southward along the land-bridge to the Nile's delta.

     (1) Op. cit., p. 32.

In the early historic periods we have definite evidence that the eastern
coast of the Levant exercised a strong fascination upon the rulers of
both Egypt and Babylonia. It may be admitted that Syria had little to
give in comparison to what she could borrow, but her local trade in wine
and oil must have benefited by an increase in the through traffic which
followed the working of copper in Cyprus and Sinai and of silver in
the Taurus. Moreover, in the cedar forests of Lebanon and the north
she possessed a product which was highly valued both in Egypt and
the treeless plains of Babylonia. The cedars procured by Sneferu from
Lebanon at the close of the IIIrd Dynasty were doubtless floated as
rafts down the coast, and we may see in them evidence of a regular
traffic in timber. It has long been known that the early Babylonian
king Sharru-kin, or Sargon of Akkad, had pressed up the Euphrates to the
Mediterranean, and we now have information that he too was fired by a
desire for precious wood and metal. One of the recently published Nippur
inscriptions contains copies of a number of his texts, collected by
an ancient scribe from his statues at Nippur, and from these we gather
additional details of his campaigns. We learn that after his complete
subjugation of Southern Babylonia he turned his attention to the west,
and that Enlil gave him the lands "from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea",
i.e. from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. Fortunately this rather
vague phrase, which survived in later tradition, is restated in greater
detail in one of the contemporary versions, which records that Enlil
"gave him the upper land, Mari, Iarmuti, and Ibla, as far as the Cedar
Forest and the Silver Mountains".(1)

     (1) See Poebel, _Historical Texts_ (Univ. of Penns. Mus.
     Publ., Bab. Sect., Vol. IV, No. 1, 1914), pp. 177 f., 222

Mari was a city on the middle Euphrates, but the name may here signify
the district of Mari which lay in the upper course of Sargon's march.
Now we know that the later Sumerian monarch Gudea obtained his cedar
beams from the Amanus range, which he names _Amanum_ and describes as
the "cedar mountains".(1) Doubtless he felled his trees on the eastern
slopes of the mountain. But we may infer from his texts that Sargon
actually reached the coast, and his "Cedar Forest" may have lain
farther to the south, perhaps as far south as the Lebanon. The "Silver
Mountains" can only be identified with the Taurus, where silver mines
were worked in antiquity. The reference to Iarmuti is interesting, for
it is clearly the same place as Iarimuta or Iarimmuta, of which we
find mention in the Tell el-Amarna letters. From the references to this
district in the letters of Rib-Adda, governor of Byblos, we may infer
that it was a level district on the coast, capable of producing a
considerable quantity of grain for export, and that it was under
Egyptian control at the time of Amenophis IV. Hitherto its position has
been conjecturally placed in the Nile Delta, but from Sargon's reference
we must probably seek it on the North Syrian or possibly the Cilician
coast. Perhaps, as Dr. Poebel suggests, it was the plain of Antioch,
along the lower course and at the mouth of the Orontes. But his further
suggestion that the term is used by Sargon for the whole stretch of
country between the sea and the Euphrates is hardly probable. For
the geographical references need not be treated as exhaustive, but as
confined to the more important districts through which the expedition
passed. The district of Ibla which is also mentioned by Narâm-Sin and
Gudea, lay probably to the north of Iarmuti, perhaps on the southern
slopes of Taurus. It, too, we may regard as a district of restricted
extent rather than as a general geographical term for the extreme north
of Syria.

     (1) Thureau-Dangin, _Les inscriptions de Sumer de d'Akkad_,
     p. 108 f., Statue B, col. v. 1. 28; Germ. ed., p. 68 f.

It is significant that Sargon does not allude to any battle when
describing this expedition, nor does he claim to have devastated the
western countries.(1) Indeed, most of these early expeditions to the
west appear to have been inspired by motives of commercial enterprise
rather than of conquest. But increase of wealth was naturally followed
by political expansion, and Egypt's dream of an Asiatic empire was
realized by Pharaohs of the XVIIIth Dynasty. The fact that Babylonian
should then have been adopted as the medium of official intercourse in
Syria points to the closeness of the commercial ties which had already
united the Euphrates Valley with the west. Egyptian control had passed
from Canaan at the time of the Hebrew settlement, which was indeed a
comparatively late episode in the early history of Syria. Whether or not
we identify the Khabiri with the Hebrews, the character of the latter's
incursion is strikingly illustrated by some of the Tell el-Amarna
letters. We see a nomad folk pressing in upon settled peoples and
gaining a foothold here and there.(2)

     (1) In some versions of his new records Sargon states that
     "5,400 men daily eat bread before him" (see Poebel, op.
     cit., p. 178); though the figure may be intended to convey
     an idea of the size of Sargon's court, we may perhaps see in
     it a not inaccurate estimate of the total strength of his
     armed forces.

     (2) See especially Professor Burney's forthcoming commentary
     on Judges (passim), and his forthcoming Schweich Lectures
     (now delivered, in 1917).

The great change from desert life consists in the adoption of
agriculture, and when once that was made by the Hebrews any further
advance in economic development was dictated by their new surroundings.
The same process had been going on, as we have seen, in Syria since the
dawn of history, the Semitic nomad passing gradually through the stages
of agricultural and village life into that of the city. The country
favoured the retention of tribal exclusiveness, but ultimate survival
could only be purchased at the cost of some amalgamation with their new
neighbours. Below the surface of Hebrew history these two tendencies
may be traced in varying action and reaction. Some sections of the
race engaged readily in the social and commercial life of Canaanite
civilization with its rich inheritance from the past. Others, especially
in the highlands of Judah and the south, at first succeeded in keeping
themselves remote from foreign influence. During the later periods of
the national life the country was again subjected, and in an intensified
degree, to those forces of political aggression from Mesopotamia and
Egypt which we have already noted as operating in Canaan. But throughout
the settled Hebrew community as a whole the spark of desert fire was
not extinguished, and by kindling the zeal of the Prophets it eventually
affected nearly all the white races of mankind.

In his Presidential Address before the British Association at
Newcastle,(1) Sir Arthur Evans emphasized the part which recent
archaeology has played in proving the continuity of human culture from
the most remote periods. He showed how gaps in our knowledge had been
bridged, and he traced the part which each great race had taken in
increasing its inheritance. We have, in fact, ample grounds for assuming
an interchange, not only of commercial products, but, in a minor degree,
of ideas within areas geographically connected; and it is surely not
derogatory to any Hebrew writer to suggest that he may have adopted, and
used for his own purposes, conceptions current among his contemporaries.
In other words, the vehicle of religious ideas may well be of composite
origin; and, in the course of our study of early Hebrew tradition, I
suggest that we hold ourselves justified in applying the comparative
method to some at any rate of the ingredients which went to form the
finished product. The process is purely literary, but it finds an
analogy in the study of Semitic art, especially in the later periods.
And I think it will make my meaning clearer if we consider for a moment
a few examples of sculpture produced by races of Semitic origin. I do
not suggest that we should regard the one process as in any way proving
the existence of the other. We should rather treat the comparison as
illustrating in another medium the effect of forces which, it is clear,
were operative at various periods upon races of the same stock from
which the Hebrews themselves were descended. In such material products
the eye at once detects the Semite's readiness to avail himself of
foreign models. In some cases direct borrowing is obvious; in others, to
adapt a metaphor from music, it is possible to trace extraneous _motifs_
in the design.(2)

     (1) "New Archaeological Lights on the Origins of
     Civilization in Europe," British Association, Newcastle-on-
     Tyne, 1916.

     (2) The necessary omission of plates, representing the
     slides shown in the lectures, has involved a recasting of
     most passages in which points of archaeological detail were
     discussed; see Preface. But the following paragraphs have
     been retained as the majority of the monuments referred to
     are well known.

Some of the most famous monuments of Semitic art date from the Persian
and Hellenistic periods, and if we glance at them in this connexion it
is in order to illustrate during its most obvious phase a tendency of
which the earlier effects are less pronounced. In the sarcophagus of the
Sidonian king Eshmu-'azar II, which is preserved in the Louvre,(1)
we have indeed a monument to which no Semitic sculptor can lay claim.
Workmanship and material are Egyptian, and there is no doubt that it was
sculptured in Egypt and transported to Sidon by sea. But the king's own
engravers added the long Phoenician inscription, in which he adjures
princes and men not to open his resting-place since there are no jewels
therein, concluding with some potent curses against any violation of his
tomb. One of the latter implores the holy gods to deliver such violators
up "to a mighty prince who shall rule over them", and was probably
suggested by Alexander's recent occupation of Sidon in 332 B.C. after
his reduction and drastic punishment of Tyre. King Eshmun-'zar was not
unique in his choice of burial in an Egyptian coffin, for he merely
followed the example of his royal father, Tabnîth, "priest of
'Ashtart and king of the Sidonians", whose sarcophagus, preserved at
Constantinople, still bears in addition to his own epitaph that of
its former occupant, a certain Egyptian general Penptah. But more
instructive than these borrowed memorials is a genuine example of
Phoenician work, the stele set up by Yehaw-milk, king of Byblos, and
dating from the fourth or fifth century B.C.(2) In the sculptured panel
at the head of the stele the king is represented in the Persian dress of
the period standing in the presence of 'Ashtart or Astarte, his "Lady,
Mistress of Byblos". There is no doubt that the stele is of native
workmanship, but the influence of Egypt may be seen in the technique of
the carving, in the winged disk above the figures, and still more in the
representation of the goddess in her character as the Egyptian Hathor,
with disk and horns, vulture head-dress and papyrus-sceptre. The
inscription records the dedication of an altar and shrine to the
goddess, and these too we may conjecture were fashioned on Egyptian

     (1) _Corp. Inscr. Semit._, I. i, tab. II.

     (2) _C.I.S._, I. i, tab. I.

The representation of Semitic deities under Egyptian forms and with
Egyptian attributes was encouraged by the introduction of their cults
into Egypt itself. In addition to Astarte of Byblos, Ba'al, Anath, and
Reshef were all borrowed from Syria in comparatively early times and
given Egyptian characters. The conical Syrian helmet of Reshef, a god
of war and thunder, gradually gave place to the white Egyptian crown,
so that as Reshpu he was represented as a royal warrior; and Qadesh,
another form of Astarte, becoming popular with Egyptian women as
a patroness of love and fecundity, was also sometimes modelled on

     (1) See W. Max Müller, _Egyptological Researches_, I, p. 32
     f., pl. 41, and S. A. Cook, _Religion of Ancient Palestine_,
     pp. 83 ff.

Semitic colonists on the Egyptian border were ever ready to adopt
Egyptian symbolism in delineating the native gods to whom they owed
allegiance, and a particularly striking example of this may be seen on
a stele of the Persian period preserved in the Cairo Museum.(1) It was
found at Tell Defenneh, on the right bank of the Pelusiac branch of the
Nile, close to the old Egyptian highway into Syria, a site which may be
identified with that of the biblical Tahpanhes and the Daphnae of the
Greeks. Here it was that the Jewish fugitives, fleeing with Jeremiah
after the fall of Jerusalem, founded a Jewish colony beside a
flourishing Phoenician and Aramaean settlement. One of the local gods of
Tahpanhes is represented on the Cairo monument, an Egyptian stele in the
form of a naos with the winged solar disk upon its frieze. He stands
on the back of a lion and is clothed in Asiatic costume with the high
Syrian tiara crowning his abundant hair. The Syrian workmanship is
obvious, and the Syrian character of the cult may be recognized in such
details as the small brazen fire-altar before the god, and the sacred
pillar which is being anointed by the officiating priest. But the god
holds in his left hand a purely Egyptian sceptre and in his right an
emblem as purely Babylonian, the weapon of Marduk and Gilgamesh which
was also wielded by early Sumerian kings.

     (1) Müller, op. cit., p. 30 f., pl. 40. Numismatic evidence
     exhibits a similar readiness on the part of local Syrian
     cults to adopt the veneer of Hellenistic civilization while
     retaining in great measure their own individuality; see
     Hill, "Some Palestinian Cults in the Graeco-Roman Age", in
     _Proceedings of the British Academy_, Vol. V (1912).

The Elephantine papyri have shown that the early Jews of the Diaspora,
though untrammeled by the orthodoxy of Jerusalem, maintained the purity
of their local cult in the face of considerable difficulties. Hence the
gravestones of their Aramaean contemporaries, which have been found in
Egypt, can only be cited to illustrate the temptations to which they
were exposed.(1) Such was the memorial erected by Abseli to the memory
of his parents, Abbâ and Ahatbû, in the fourth year of Xerxes, 481
B.C.(2) They had evidently adopted the religion of Osiris, and were
buried at Saqqârah in accordance with the Egyptian rites. The upper
scene engraved upon the stele represents Abbâ and his wife in the
presence of Osiris, who is attended by Isis and Nephthys; and in the
lower panel is the funeral scene, in which all the mourners with
one exception are Asiatics. Certain details of the rites that are
represented, and mistakes in the hieroglyphic version of the text, prove
that the work is Aramaean throughout.(3)

     (1) It may be admitted that the Greek platonized cult of
     Isis and Osiris had its origin in the fusion of Greeks and
     Egyptians which took place in Ptolemaic times (cf. Scott-
     Moncrieff, _Paganism and Christianity in Egypt_, p. 33 f.).
     But we may assume that already in the Persian period the
     Osiris cult had begun to acquire a tinge of mysticism,
     which, though it did not affect the mechanical reproduction
     of the native texts, appealed to the Oriental mind as well
     as to certain elements in Greek religion. Persian influence
     probably prepared the way for the Platonic exegesis of the
     Osiris and Isis legends which we find in Plutarch; and the
     latter may have been in great measure a development, and
     not, as is often assumed, a complete misunderstanding of the
     later Egyptian cult.

     (2) _C.I.S._, II. i, tab. XI, No. 122.

     (3) A very similar monument is the Carpentras Stele
     (_C.I.S._, II., i, tab. XIII, No. 141), commemorating Taba,
     daughter of Tahapi, an Aramaean lady who was also a convert
     to Osiris. It is rather later than that of Abbâ and his
     wife, since the Aramaic characters are transitional from the
     archaic to the square alphabet; see Driver, _Notes on the
     Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel_, pp. xviii ff., and
     Cooke, _North Semitic Inscriptions_, p. 205 f. The Vatican
     Stele (op. cit. tab. XIV. No. 142), which dates from the
     fourth century, represents inferior work.

If our examples of Semitic art were confined to the Persian and later
periods, they could only be employed to throw light on their own
epoch, when through communication had been organized, and there was
consequently a certain pooling of commercial and artistic products
throughout the empire.(1) It is true that under the Great King the
various petty states and provinces were encouraged to manage their own
affairs so long as they paid the required tribute, but their horizon
naturally expanded with increase of commerce and the necessity for
service in the king's armies. At this time Aramaic was the speech of
Syria, and the population, especially in the cities, was still
largely Aramaean. As early as the thirteenth century sections of this
interesting Semitic race had begun to press into Northern Syria from
the middle Euphrates, and they absorbed not only the old Canaanite
population but also the Hittite immigrants from Cappadocia. The latter
indeed may for a time have furnished rulers to the vigorous North Syrian
principalities which resulted from this racial combination, but the
Aramaean element, thanks to continual reinforcement, was numerically
dominant, and their art may legitimately be regarded as in great measure
a Semitic product. Fortunately we have recovered examples of sculpture
which prove that tendencies already noted in the Persian period were
at work, though in a minor degree, under the later Assyrian empire.
The discoveries made at Zenjirli, for example, illustrate the gradually
increasing effect of Assyrian influence upon the artistic output of a
small North Syrian state.

     (1) Cf. Bevan, _House of Seleucus_, Vol. I, pp. 5, 260 f.
     The artistic influence of Mesopotamia was even more widely
     spread than that of Egypt during the Persian period. This is
     suggested, for example, by the famous lion-weight discovered
     at Abydos in Mysia, the town on the Hellespont famed for the
     loves of Hero and Leander. The letters of its Aramaic
     inscription (_C.I.S._, II. i, tab. VII, No. 108) prove by
     their form that it dates from the Persian period, and its
     provenance is sufficiently attested. Its weight moreover
     suggests that it was not merely a Babylonian or Persian
     importation, but cast for local use, yet in design and
     technique it is scarcely distinguishable from the best
     Assyrian work of the seventh century.

This village in north-western Syria, on the road between Antioch and
Mar'ash, marks the site of a town which lay near the southern border or
just within the Syrian district of Sam'al. The latter is first mentioned
in the Assyrian inscriptions by Shalmaneser III, the son and successor
of the great conqueror, Ashur-nasir-pal; and in the first half of the
eighth century, though within the radius of Assyrian influence, it was
still an independent kingdom. It is to this period that we must assign
the earliest of the inscribed monuments discovered at Zenjirli and
its neighbourhood. At Gerjin, not far to the north-west, was found
the colossal statue of Hadad, chief god of the Aramaeans, which was
fashioned and set up in his honour by Panammu I, son of Qaral and king
of Ya'di.(1) In the long Aramaic inscription engraved upon the statue
Panammu records the prosperity of his reign, which he ascribes to the
support he has received from Hadad and his other gods, El, Reshef,
Rekub-el, and Shamash. He had evidently been left in peace by Assyria,
and the monument he erected to his god is of Aramaean workmanship and
design. But the influence of Assyria may be traced in Hadad's beard
and in his horned head-dress, modelled on that worn by Babylonian and
Assyrian gods as the symbol of divine power.

     (1) See F. von Luschan, _Sendschirli_, I. (1893), pp. 49
     ff., pl. vi; and cf. Cooke, _North Sem. Inscr._, pp. 159 ff.
     The characters of the inscription on the statue are of the
     same archaic type as those of the Moabite Stone, though
     unlike them they are engraved in relief; so too are the
     inscriptions of Panammu's later successor Bar-rekub (see
     below). Gerjin was certainly in Ya'di, and Winckler's
     suggestion that Zenjirli itself also lay in that district
     but near the border of Sam'al may be provisionally accepted;
     the occurrence of the names in the inscriptions can be
     explained in more than one way (see Cooke, op. cit., p.

The political changes introduced into Ya'di and Sam'al by
Tiglath-pileser IV are reflected in the inscriptions and monuments of
Bar-rekub, a later king of the district. Internal strife had brought
disaster upon Ya'di and the throne had been secured by Panammu II, son
of Bar-sur, whose claims received Assyrian support. In the words of
his son Bar-rekub, "he laid hold of the skirt of his lord, the king of
Assyria", who was gracious to him; and it was probably at this time, and
as a reward for his loyalty, that Ya'di was united with the neighbouring
district of Sam'al. But Panammu's devotion to his foreign master led to
his death, for he died at the siege of Damascus, in 733 or 732 B.C., "in
the camp, while following his lord, Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria".
His kinsfolk and the whole camp bewailed him, and his body was sent
back to Ya'di, where it was interred by his son, who set up an inscribed
statue to his memory. Bar-rekub followed in his father's footsteps, as
he leads us to infer in his palace-inscription found at Zenjirli: "I
ran at the wheel of my lord, the king of Assyria, in the midst of mighty
kings, possessors of silver and possessors of gold." It is not strange
therefore that his art should reflect Assyrian influence far more
strikingly than that of Panammu I. The figure of himself which he caused
to be carved in relief on the left side of the palace-inscription is
in the Assyrian style,(1) and so too is another of his reliefs from
Zenjirli. On the latter Bar-rekub is represented seated upon his throne
with eunuch and scribe in attendance, while in the field is the emblem
of full moon and crescent, here ascribed to "Ba'al of Harran", the
famous centre of moon-worship in Northern Mesopotamia.(2)

     (1) _Sendschirli_, IV (1911), pl. lxvii. Attitude and
     treatment of robes are both Assyrian, and so is the
     arrangement of divine symbols in the upper field, though
     some of the latter are given under unfamiliar forms. The
     king's close-fitting peaked cap was evidently the royal
     headdress of Sam'al; see the royal figure on a smaller stele
     of inferior design, op. cit., pl. lxvi.

     (2) Op. cit. pp. 257, 346 ff., and pl. lx. The general style
     of the sculpture and much of the detail are obviously
     Assyrian. Assyrian influence is particularly noticeable in
     Bar-rekub's throne; the details of its decoration are
     precisely similar to those of an Assyrian bronze throne in
     the British Museum. The full moon and crescent are not of
     the familiar form, but are mounted on a standard with

The detailed history and artistic development of Sam'al and Ya'di convey
a very vivid impression of the social and material effects upon the
native population of Syria, which followed the westward advance of
Assyria in the eighth century. We realize not only the readiness of
one party in the state to defeat its rival with the help of Assyrian
support, but also the manner in which the life and activities of the
nation as a whole were unavoidably affected by their action. Other
Hittite-Aramaean and Phoenician monuments, as yet undocumented with
literary records, exhibit a strange but not unpleasing mixture of
foreign _motifs_, such as we see on the stele from Amrith(1) in the
inland district of Arvad. But perhaps the most remarkable example
of Syrian art we possess is the king's gate recently discovered at
Carchemish.(2) The presence of the hieroglyphic inscriptions points to
the survival of Hittite tradition, but the figures represented in
the reliefs are of Aramaean, not Hittite, type. Here the king is seen
leading his eldest son by the hand in some stately ceremonial, and
ranged in registers behind them are the younger members of the royal
family, whose ages are indicated by their occupations.(3) The employment
of basalt in place of limestone does not disguise the sculptor's debt
to Assyria. But the design is entirely his own, and the combined dignity
and homeliness of the composition are refreshingly superior to the
arrogant spirit and hard execution which mar so much Assyrian work. This
example is particularly instructive, as it shows how a borrowed art may
be developed in skilled hands and made to serve a purpose in complete
harmony with its new environment.

     (1) _Collection de Clercq_, t. II, pl. xxxvi. The stele is
     sculptured in relief with the figure of a North Syrian god.
     Here the winged disk is Egyptian, as well as the god's
     helmet with uraeus, and his loin-cloth; his attitude and his
     supporting lion are Hittite; and the lozenge-mountains, on
     which the lion stands, and the technique of the carving are
     Assyrian. But in spite of its composite character the design
     is quite successful and not in the least incongruous.

     (2) Hogarth, _Carchemish_, Pt. I (1914), pl. B. 7 f.

     (3) Two of the older boys play at knuckle-bones, others whip
     spinning-tops, and a little naked girl runs behind
     supporting herself with a stick, on the head of which is
     carved a bird. The procession is brought up by the queen-
     mother, who carries the youngest baby and leads a pet lamb.

Such monuments surely illustrate the adaptability of the Semitic
craftsman among men of Phoenician and Aramaean strain. Excavation in
Palestine has failed to furnish examples of Hebrew work. But Hebrew
tradition itself justifies us in regarding this _trait_ as of more
general application, or at any rate as not repugnant to Hebrew thought,
when it relates that Solomon employed Tyrian craftsmen for work upon the
Temple and its furniture; for Phoenician art was essentially Egyptian in
its origin and general character. Even Eshmun-'zar's desire for burial
in an Egyptian sarcophagus may be paralleled in Hebrew tradition of
a much earlier period, when, in the last verse of Genesis,(1) it is
recorded that Joseph died, "and they embalmed him, and he was put in a
coffin in Egypt". Since it formed the subject of prophetic denunciation,
I refrain for the moment from citing the notorious adoption of Assyrian
customs at certain periods of the later Judaean monarchy. The two
records I have referred to will suffice, for we have in them cherished
traditions, of which the Hebrews themselves were proud, concerning the
most famous example of Hebrew religious architecture and the burial of
one of the patriarchs of the race. A similar readiness to make use of
the best available resources, even of foreign origin, may on analogy be
regarded as at least possible in the composition of Hebrew literature.

     (1) Gen. l. 26, assigned by critics to E.

We shall see that the problems we have to face concern the possible
influence of Babylon, rather than of Egypt, upon Hebrew tradition. And
one last example, drawn from the later period, will serve to demonstrate
how Babylonian influence penetrated the ancient world and has even left
some trace upon modern civilization. It is a fact, though one perhaps
not generally realized, that the twelve divisions on the dials of
our clocks and watches have a Babylonian, and ultimately a Sumerian,
ancestry. For why is it we divide the day into twenty-four hours? We
have a decimal system of reckoning, we count by tens; why then should we
divide the day and night into twelve hours each, instead of into ten or
some multiple of ten? The reason is that the Babylonians divided the day
into twelve double-hours; and the Greeks took over their ancient system
of time-division along with their knowledge of astronomy and passed it
on to us. So if we ourselves, after more than two thousand years, are
making use of an old custom from Babylon, it would not be surprising if
the Hebrews, a contemporary race, should have fallen under her influence
even before they were carried away as captives and settled forcibly upon
her river-banks.

We may pass on, then, to the site from which our new material has been
obtained--the ancient city of Nippur, in central Babylonia. Though the
place has been deserted for at least nine hundred years, its ancient
name still lingers on in local tradition, and to this day _Niffer_ or
_Nuffar_ is the name the Arabs give the mounds which cover its extensive
ruins. No modern town or village has been built upon them or in their
immediate neighbourhood. The nearest considerable town is Dîwânîyah, on
the left bank of the Hillah branch of the Euphrates, twenty miles to the
south-west; but some four miles to the south of the ruins is the village
of Sûq el-'Afej, on the eastern edge of the 'Afej marshes, which begin
to the south of Nippur and stretch away westward. Protected by its
swamps, the region contains a few primitive settlements of the wild
'Afej tribesmen, each a group of reed-huts clustering around the mud
fort of its ruling sheikh. Their chief enemies are the Shammâr, who
dispute with them possession of the pastures. In summer the marshes near
the mounds are merely pools of water connected by channels through
the reed-beds, but in spring the flood-water converts them into a vast
lagoon, and all that meets the eye are a few small hamlets built on
rising knolls above the water-level. Thus Nippur may be almost isolated
during the floods, but the mounds are protected from the waters'
encroachment by an outer ring of former habitation which has slightly
raised the level of the encircling area. The ruins of the city stand
from thirty to seventy feet above the plain, and in the north-eastern
corner there rose, before the excavations, a conical mound, known by
the Arabs as _Bint el-Emîr_ or "The Princess". This prominent landmark
represents the temple-tower of Enlil's famous sanctuary, and even after
excavation it is still the first object that the approaching traveller
sees on the horizon. When he has climbed its summit he enjoys an
uninterrupted view over desert and swamp.

The cause of Nippur's present desolation is to be traced to the change
in the bed of the Euphrates, which now lies far to the west. But in
antiquity the stream flowed through the centre of the city, along the
dry bed of the Shatt en-Nîl, which divides the mounds into an eastern
and a western group. The latter covers the remains of the city proper
and was occupied in part by the great business-houses and bazaars. Here
more than thirty thousand contracts and accounts, dating from the fourth
millennium to the fifth century B.C., were found in houses along the
former river-bank. In the eastern half of the city was Enlil's great
temple Ekur, with its temple-tower Imkharsag rising in successive stages
beside it. The huge temple-enclosure contained not only the sacrificial
shrines, but also the priests' apartments, store-chambers, and
temple-magazines. Outside its enclosing wall, to the south-west, a large
triangular mound, christened "Tablet Hill" by the excavators, yielded
a further supply of records. In addition to business-documents of the
First Dynasty of Babylon and of the later Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian,
and Persian periods, between two and three thousand literary texts and
fragments were discovered here, many of them dating from the Sumerian
period. And it is possible that some of the early literary texts that
have been published were obtained in other parts of the city.

No less than twenty-one different strata, representing separate periods
of occupation, have been noted by the American excavators at various
levels within the Nippur mounds,(1) the earliest descending to virgin
soil some twenty feet below the present level of the surrounding plain.
The remote date of Nippur's foundation as a city and cult-centre
is attested by the fact that the pavement laid by Narâm-Sin in the
south-eastern temple-court lies thirty feet above virgin soil, while
only thirty-six feet of superimposed _débris_ represent the succeeding
millennia of occupation down to Sassanian and early Arab times. In
the period of the Hebrew captivity the city still ranked as a great
commercial market and as one of the most sacred repositories of
Babylonian religious tradition. We know that not far off was Tel-abib,
the seat of one of the colonies of Jewish exiles, for that lay "by the
river of Chebar",(2) which we may identify with the Kabaru Canal in
Nippur's immediate neighbourhood. It was "among the captives by the
river Chebar" that Ezekiel lived and prophesied, and it was on Chebar's
banks that he saw his first vision of the Cherubim.(3) He and other of
the Jewish exiles may perhaps have mingled with the motley crowd that
once thronged the streets of Nippur, and they may often have gazed on
the huge temple-tower which rose above the city's flat roofs. We know
that the later population of Nippur itself included a considerable
Jewish element, for the upper strata of the mounds have yielded numerous
clay bowls with Hebrew, Mandaean, and Syriac magical inscriptions;(4)
and not the least interesting of the objects recovered was the wooden
box of a Jewish scribe, containing his pen and ink-vessel and a little
scrap of crumbling parchment inscribed with a few Hebrew characters.(5)

     (1) See Hilprecht, _Explorations in Bible Lands_, pp. 289
     ff., 540 ff.; and Fisher, _Excavations at Nippur_, Pt. I
     (1905), Pt. II (1906).

     (2) Ezek. iii. 15.

     (3) Ezek. i. 1, 3; iii. 23; and cf. x. 15, 20, 22, and
     xliii. 3.

     (4) See J. A. Montgomery, _Aramaic Incantation Texts from
     Nippur_, 1913

     (5) Hilprecht, _Explorations_, p. 555 f.

Of the many thousands of inscribed clay tablets which were found in
the course of the expeditions, some were kept at Constantinople, while
others were presented by the Sultan Abdul Hamid to the excavators, who
had them conveyed to America. Since that time a large number have been
published. The work was necessarily slow, for many of the texts were
found to be in an extremely bad state of preservation. So it happened
that a great number of the boxes containing tablets remained until
recently still packed up in the store-rooms of the Pennsylvania Museum.
But under the present energetic Director of the Museum, Dr. G. B.
Gordon, the process of arranging and publishing the mass of literary
material has been "speeded up". A staff of skilled workmen has been
employed on the laborious task of cleaning the broken tablets and
fitting the fragments together. At the same time the help of several
Assyriologists was welcomed in the further task of running over and
sorting the collections as they were prepared for study. Professor Clay,
Professor Barton, Dr. Langdon, Dr. Edward Chiera, and Dr. Arno Poebel
have all participated in the work. But the lion's share has fallen to
the last-named scholar, who was given leave of absence by John
Hopkins University in order to take up a temporary appointment at the
Pennsylvania Museum. The result of his labours was published by the
Museum at the end of 1914.(1) The texts thus made available for study
are of very varied interest. A great body of them are grammatical
and represent compilations made by Semitic scribes of the period
of Hammurabi's dynasty for their study of the old Sumerian tongue.
Containing, as most of them do, Semitic renderings of the Sumerian words
and expressions collected, they are as great a help to us in our study
of Sumerian language as they were to their compilers; in particular they
have thrown much new light on the paradigms of the demonstrative and
personal pronouns and on Sumerian verbal forms. But literary texts are
also included in the recent publications.

     (1) Poebel, _Historical Texts_ and _Historical and
     Grammatical Texts_ (Univ. of Penns. Mus. Publ., Bab. Sect.,
     Vol. IV, No. 1, and Vol. V), Philadelphia, 1914.

When the Pennsylvania Museum sent out its first expedition, lively hopes
were entertained that the site selected would yield material of interest
from the biblical standpoint. The city of Nippur, as we have seen,
was one of the most sacred and most ancient religious centres in
the country, and Enlil, its city-god, was the head of the Babylonian
pantheon. On such a site it seemed likely that we might find versions of
the Babylonian legends which were current at the dawn of history before
the city of Babylonia and its Semitic inhabitants came upon the scene.
This expectation has proved to be not unfounded, for the literary
texts include the Sumerian Deluge Version and Creation myth to which I
referred at the beginning of the lecture. Other texts of almost equal
interest consist of early though fragmentary lists of historical and
semi-mythical rulers. They prove that Berossus and the later Babylonians
depended on material of quite early origin in compiling their dynasties
of semi-mythical kings. In them we obtain a glimpse of ages more remote
than any on which excavation in Babylonia has yet thrown light, and for
the first time we have recovered genuine native tradition of early date
with regard to the cradle of Babylonian culture. Before we approach the
Sumerian legends themselves, it will be as well to-day to trace back
in this tradition the gradual merging of history into legend and myth,
comparing at the same time the ancient Egyptian's picture of his own
remote past. We will also ascertain whether any new light is thrown by
our inquiry upon Hebrew traditions concerning the earliest history of
the human race and the origins of civilization.

In the study of both Egyptian and Babylonian chronology there has been a
tendency of late years to reduce the very early dates that were formerly
in fashion. But in Egypt, while the dynasties of Manetho have been
telescoped in places, excavation has thrown light on predynastic
periods, and we can now trace the history of culture in the Nile Valley
back, through an unbroken sequence, to its neolithic stage. Quite
recently, too, as I mentioned just now, a fresh literary record of
these early predynastic periods has been recovered, on a fragment of
the famous Palermo Stele, our most valuable monument for early Egyptian
history and chronology. Egypt presents a striking contrast to Babylonia
in the comparatively small number of written records which have survived
for the reconstruction of her history. We might well spare much of
her religious literature, enshrined in endless temple-inscriptions and
papyri, if we could but exchange it for some of the royal annals of
Egyptian Pharaohs. That historical records of this character were
compiled by the Egyptian scribes, and that they were as detailed and
precise in their information as those we have recovered from Assyrian
sources, is clear from the few extracts from the annals of Thothmes
III's wars which are engraved on the walls of the temple at Karnak.(1)
As in Babylonia and Assyria, such records must have formed the
foundation on which summaries of chronicles of past Egyptian history
were based. In the Palermo Stele it is recognized that we possess a
primitive chronicle of this character.

     (1) See Breasted, _Ancient Records_, I, p. 4, II, pp. 163

Drawn up as early as the Vth Dynasty, its historical summary proves that
from the beginning of the dynastic age onward a yearly record was kept
of the most important achievements of the reigning Pharaoh. In this
fragmentary but invaluable epitome, recording in outline much of the
history of the Old Kingdom,(1) some interesting parallels have long been
noted with Babylonian usage. The early system of time-reckoning, for
example, was the same in both countries, each year being given an
official title from the chief event that occurred in it. And although in
Babylonia we are still without material for tracing the process by which
this cumbrous method gave place to that of reckoning by regnal years,
the Palermo Stele demonstrates the way in which the latter system was
evolved in Egypt. For the events from which the year was named came
gradually to be confined to the fiscal "numberings" of cattle and land.
And when these, which at first had taken place at comparatively long
intervals, had become annual events, the numbered sequence of their
occurrence corresponded precisely to the years of the king's reign. On
the stele, during the dynastic period, each regnal year is allotted its
own space or rectangle,(2) arranged in horizontal sequence below the
name and titles of the ruling king.

(1) Op. cit., I, pp. 57 ff.

(2) The spaces are not strictly rectangles, as each is divided
vertically from the next by the Egyptian hieroglyph for "year".

The text, which is engraved on both sides of a great block of black
basalt, takes its name from the fact that the fragment hitherto known
has been preserved since 1877 at the Museum of Palermo. Five other
fragments of the text have now been published, of which one undoubtedly
belongs to the same monument as the Palermo fragment, while the others
may represent parts of one or more duplicate copies of that famous text.
One of the four Cairo fragments(1) was found by a digger for _sebakh_
at Mitrahîneh (Memphis); the other three, which were purchased from a
dealer, are said to have come from Minieh, while the fifth fragment,
at University College, is also said to have come from Upper Egypt,(2)
though it was purchased by Professor Petrie while at Memphis. These
reports suggest that a number of duplicate copies were engraved and set
up in different Egyptian towns, and it is possible that the whole of the
text may eventually be recovered. The choice of basalt for the records
was obviously dictated by a desire for their preservation, but it has
had the contrary effect; for the blocks of this hard and precious
stone have been cut up and reused in later times. The largest and
most interesting of the new fragments has evidently been employed as a
door-sill, with the result that its surface is much rubbed and parts of
its text are unfortunately almost undecipherable. We shall see that the
earliest section of its record has an important bearing on our knowledge
of Egyptian predynastic history and on the traditions of that remote
period which have come down to us from the history of Manetho.

(1) See Gautier, _Le Musée Égyptien_, III (1915), pp. 29 ff., pl.
xxiv ff., and Foucart, _Bulletin de l'Institut Français d'Archéologie
Orientale_, XII, ii (1916), pp. 161 ff.; and cf. Gardiner, _Journ. of
Egypt. Arch._, III, pp. 143 ff., and Petrie, _Ancient Egypt_, 1916, Pt.
III, pp. 114 ff.

(2) Cf. Petrie, op. cit., pp. 115, 120.

From the fragment of the stele preserved at Palermo we already knew that
its record went back beyond the Ist Dynasty into predynastic times.
For part of the top band of the inscription, which is there preserved,
contains nine names borne by kings of Lower Egypt or the Delta, which,
it had been conjectured, must follow the gods of Manetho and precede
the "Worshippers of Horus", the immediate predecessors of the Egyptian
dynasties.(1) But of contemporary rulers of Upper Egypt we had hitherto
no knowledge, since the supposed royal names discovered at Abydos and
assigned to the time of the "Worshippers of Horus" are probably not
royal names at all.(2) With the possible exception of two very archaic
slate palettes, the first historical memorials recovered from the
south do not date from an earlier period than the beginning of the Ist
Dynasty. The largest of the Cairo fragments now helps us to fill in this
gap in our knowledge.

     (1) See Breasted, _Anc. Rec._, I, pp. 52, 57.

     (2) Cf. Hall, _Ancient History of the Near East_, p. 99 f.

On the top of the new fragment(1) we meet the same band of rectangles as
at Palermo,(2) but here their upper portions are broken away, and there
only remains at the base of each of them the outlined figure of a royal
personage, seated in the same attitude as those on the Palermo stone.
The remarkable fact about these figures is that, with the apparent
exception of the third figure from the right,(3) each wears, not the
Crown of the North, as at Palermo, but the Crown of the South. We have
then to do with kings of Upper Egypt, not the Delta, and it is no longer
possible to suppose that the predynastic rulers of the Palermo Stele
were confined to those of Lower Egypt, as reflecting northern tradition.
Rulers of both halves of the country are represented, and Monsieur
Gautier has shown,(4) from data on the reverse of the inscription, that
the kings of the Delta were arranged on the original stone before the
rulers of the south who are outlined upon our new fragment. Moreover, we
have now recovered definite proof that this band of the inscription is
concerned with predynastic Egyptian princes; for the cartouche of the
king, whose years are enumerated in the second band immediately below
the kings of the south, reads Athet, a name we may with certainty
identify with Athothes, the second successor of Menes, founder of the
Ist Dynasty, which is already given under the form Ateth in the Abydos
List of Kings.(5) It is thus quite certain that the first band of the
inscription relates to the earlier periods before the two halves of the
country were brought together under a single ruler.

     (1) Cairo No. 1; see Gautier, _Mus. Égypt._, III, pl. xxiv

     (2) In this upper band the spaces are true rectangles, being
     separated by vertical lines, not by the hieroglyph for
     "year" as in the lower bands; and each rectangle is assigned
     to a separate king, and not, as in the other bands, to a
     year of a king's reign.

     (3) The difference in the crown worn by this figure is
     probably only apparent and not intentional; M. Foucart,
     after a careful examination of the fragment, concludes that
     it is due to subsequent damage or to an original defect in
     the stone; cf. _Bulletin_, XII, ii, p. 162.

     (4) Op. cit., p. 32 f.

     (5) In Manetho's list he corresponds to {Kenkenos}, the
     second successor of Menes according to both Africanus and
     Eusebius, who assign the name Athothis to the second ruler
     of the dynasty only, the Teta of the Abydos List. The form
     Athothes is preserved by Eratosthenes for both of Menes'
     immediate successors.

Though the tradition of these remote times is here recorded on a
monument of the Vth Dynasty, there is no reason to doubt its general
accuracy, or to suppose that we are dealing with purely mythological
personages. It is perhaps possible, as Monsieur Foucart suggests, that
missing portions of the text may have carried the record back through
purely mythical periods to Ptah and the Creation. In that case we should
have, as we shall see, a striking parallel to early Sumerian tradition.
But in the first extant portions of the Palermo text we are already in
the realm of genuine tradition. The names preserved appear to be those
of individuals, not of mythological creations, and we may assume that
their owners really existed. For though the invention of writing had
not at that time been achieved, its place was probably taken by oral
tradition. We know that with certain tribes of Africa at the present
day, who possess no knowledge of writing, there are functionaries
charged with the duty of preserving tribal traditions, who transmit
orally to their successors a remembrance of past chiefs and some details
of events that occurred centuries before.(1) The predynastic Egyptians
may well have adopted similar means for preserving a remembrance of
their past history.

     (1) M. Foucart illustrates this point by citing the case of
     the Bushongos, who have in this way preserved a list of no
     less than a hundred and twenty-one of their past kings; op.
     cit., p. 182, and cf. Tordey and Joyce, "Les Bushongos", in
     _Annales du Musée du Congo Belge_, sér. III, t. II, fasc. i
     (Brussels, 1911).

Moreover, the new text furnishes fresh proof of the general accuracy of
Manetho, even when dealing with traditions of this prehistoric age.
On the stele there is no definite indication that these two sets of
predynastic kings were contemporaneous rulers of Lower and Upper Egypt
respectively; and since elsewhere the lists assign a single sovereign
to each epoch, it has been suggested that we should regard them as
successive representatives of the legitimate kingdom.(1) Now Manetho,
after his dynasties of gods and demi-gods, states that thirty Memphite
kings reigned for 1,790 years, and were followed by ten Thinite kings
whose reigns covered a period of 350 years. Neglecting the figures as
obviously erroneous, we may well admit that the Greek historian here
alludes to our two pre-Menite dynasties. But the fact that he should
regard them as ruling consecutively does not preclude the other
alternative. The modern convention of arranging lines of contemporaneous
rulers in parallel columns had not been evolved in antiquity, and
without some such method of distinction contemporaneous rulers, when
enumerated in a list, can only be registered consecutively. It would be
natural to assume that, before the unification of Egypt by the founder
of the Ist Dynasty, the rulers of North and South were independent
princes, possessing no traditions of a united throne on which any claim
to hegemony could be based. On the assumption that this was so, their
arrangement in a consecutive series would not have deceived their
immediate successors. But it would undoubtedly tend in course of time to
obliterate the tradition of their true order, which even at the period
of the Vth Dynasty may have been completely forgotten. Manetho would
thus have introduced no strange or novel confusion; and this explanation
would of course apply to other sections of his system where the
dynasties he enumerates appear to be too many for their period. But his
reproduction of two lines of predynastic rulers, supported as it now is
by the early evidence of the Palermo text, only serves to increase our
confidence in the general accuracy of his sources, while at the
same time it illustrates very effectively the way in which possible
inaccuracies, deduced from independent data, may have arisen in quite
early times.

     (1) Foucart, loc. cit.

In contrast to the dynasties of Manetho, those of Berossus are
so imperfectly preserved that they have never formed the basis of
Babylonian chronology.(1) But here too, in the chronological scheme,
a similar process of reduction has taken place. Certain dynasties,
recovered from native sources and at one time regarded as consecutive,
were proved to have been contemporaneous; and archaeological evidence
suggested that some of the great gaps, so freely assumed in the royal
sequence, had no right to be there. As a result, the succession of known
rulers was thrown into truer perspective, and such gaps as remained were
being partially filled by later discoveries. Among the latter the most
important find was that of an early list of kings, recently published by
Père Scheil(2) and subsequently purchased by the British Museum shortly
before the war. This had helped us to fill in the gap between the famous
Sargon of Akkad and the later dynasties, but it did not carry us
far beyond Sargon's own time. Our archaeological evidence also comes
suddenly to an end. Thus the earliest picture we have hitherto obtained
of the Sumerians has been that of a race employing an advanced system of
writing and possessed of a knowledge of metal. We have found, in short,
abundant remains of a bronze-age culture, but no traces of preceding
ages of development such as meet us on early Egyptian sites. It was
a natural inference that the advent of the Sumerians in the Euphrates
Valley was sudden, and that they had brought their highly developed
culture with them from some region of Central or Southern Asia.

     (1) While the evidence of Herodotus is extraordinarily
     valuable for the details he gives of the civilizations of
     both Egypt and Babylonia, and is especially full in the case
     of the former, it is of little practical use for the
     chronology. In Egypt his report of the early history is
     confused, and he hardly attempts one for Babylonia. It is
     probable that on such subjects he sometimes misunderstood
     his informants, the priests, whose traditions were more
     accurately reproduced by the later native writers Manetho
     and Berossus. For a detailed comparison of classical
     authorities in relation to both countries, see Griffith in
     Hogarth's _Authority and Archaeology_, pp. 161 ff.

     (2) See _Comptes rendus_, 1911 (Oct.), pp. 606 ff., and
     _Rev. d'Assyr._, IX (1912), p. 69.

The newly published Nippur documents will cause us to modify that view.
The lists of early kings were themselves drawn up under the Dynasty
of Nîsin in the twenty-second century B.C., and they give us traces of
possibly ten and at least eight other "kingdoms" before the earliest
dynasty of the known lists.(1) One of their novel features is that they
include summaries at the end, in which it is stated how often a city or
district enjoyed the privilege of being the seat of supreme authority
in Babylonia. The earliest of their sections lie within the legendary
period, and though in the third dynasty preserved we begin to note signs
of a firmer historical tradition, the great break that then occurs in
the text is at present only bridged by titles of various "kingdoms"
which the summaries give; a few even of these are missing and the
relative order of the rest is not assured. But in spite of their
imperfect state of preservation, these documents are of great historical
value and will furnish a framework for future chronological schemes.
Meanwhile we may attribute to some of the later dynasties titles in
complete agreement with Sumerian tradition. The dynasty of Ur-Engur, for
example, which preceded that of Nîsin, becomes, if we like, the Third
Dynasty of Ur. Another important fact which strikes us after a scrutiny
of the early royal names recovered is that, while two or three are
Semitic,(2) the great majority of those borne by the earliest rulers of
Kish, Erech, and Ur are as obviously Sumerian.

     (1) See Poebel, _Historical Texts_, pp. 73 ff. and
     _Historical and Grammatical Texts_, pl. ii-iv, Nos. 2-5. The
     best preserved of the lists is No. 2; Nos. 3 and 4 are
     comparatively small fragments; and of No. 5 the obverse only
     is here published for the first time, the contents of the
     reverse having been made known some years ago by Hilprecht
     (cf. _Mathematical, Metrological, and Chronological
     Tablets_, p. 46 f., pl. 30, No. 47). The fragments belong to
     separate copies of the Sumerian dynastic record, and it
     happens that the extant portions of their text in some
     places cover the same period and are duplicates of one

     (2) Cf., e.g., two of the earliest kings of Kish, Galumum
     and Zugagib. The former is probably the Semitic-Babylonian
     word _kalumum_, "young animal, lamb," the latter
     _zukakîbum_, "scorpion"; cf. Poebel, _Hist. Texts_, p. 111.
     The occurrence of these names points to Semitic infiltration
     into Northern Babylonia since the dawn of history, a state
     of things we should naturally expect. It is improbable that
     on this point Sumerian tradition should have merely
     reflected the conditions of a later period.

It is clear that in native tradition, current among the Sumerians
themselves before the close of the third millennium, their race was
regarded as in possession of Babylonia since the dawn of history. This
at any rate proves that their advent was not sudden nor comparatively
recent, and it further suggests that Babylonia itself was the cradle
of their civilization. It will be the province of future archaeological
research to fill out the missing dynasties and to determine at what
points in the list their strictly historical basis disappears. Some,
which are fortunately preserved near the beginning, bear on their face
their legendary character. But for our purpose they are none the worse
for that.

In the first two dynasties, which had their seats at the cities of Kish
and Erech, we see gods mingling with men upon the earth. Tammuz, the god
of vegetation, for whose annual death Ezekiel saw women weeping beside
the Temple at Jerusalem, is here an earthly monarch. He appears to be
described as "a hunter", a phrase which recalls the death of Adonis in
Greek mythology. According to our Sumerian text he reigned in Erech for
a hundred years.

Another attractive Babylonian legend is that of Etana, the prototype of
Icarus and hero of the earliest dream of human flight.(1) Clinging
to the pinions of his friend the Eagle he beheld the world and its
encircling stream recede beneath him; and he flew through the gate of
heaven, only to fall headlong back to earth. He is here duly entered
in the list, where we read that "Etana, the shepherd who ascended to
heaven, who subdued all lands", ruled in the city of Kish for 635 years.

     (1) The Egyptian conception of the deceased Pharaoh
     ascending to heaven as a falcon and becoming merged into the
     sun, which first occurs in the Pyramid texts (see Gardiner
     in Cumont's _Études Syriennes_, pp. 109 ff.), belongs to a
     different range of ideas. But it may well have been combined
     with the Etana tradition to produce the funerary eagle
     employed so commonly in Roman Syria in representations of
     the emperor's apotheosis (cf. Cumont, op. cit., pp. 37 ff.,

The god Lugal-banda is another hero of legend. When the hearts of the
other gods failed them, he alone recovered the Tablets of Fate, stolen
by the bird-god Zû from Enlil's palace. He is here recorded to have
reigned in Erech for 1,200 years.

Tradition already told us that Erech was the native city of Gilgamesh,
the hero of the national epic, to whom his ancestor Ut-napishtim related
the story of the Flood. Gilgamesh too is in our list, as king of Erech
for 126 years.

We have here in fact recovered traditions of Post-diluvian kings.
Unfortunately our list goes no farther back than that, but it is
probable that in its original form it presented a general correspondence
to the system preserved from Berossus, which enumerates ten Antediluvian
kings, the last of them Xisuthros, the hero of the Deluge. Indeed, for
the dynastic period, the agreement of these old Sumerian lists with the
chronological system of Berossus is striking. The latter, according to
Syncellus, gives 34,090 or 34,080 years as the total duration of the
historical period, apart from his preceding mythical ages, while the
figure as preserved by Eusebius is 33,091 years.(1) The compiler of one
of our new lists,(2) writing some 1,900 years earlier, reckons that the
dynastic period in his day had lasted for 32,243 years. Of course all
these figures are mythical, and even at the time of the Sumerian Dynasty
of Nîsin variant traditions were current with regard to the number of
historical and semi-mythical kings of Babylonia and the duration of
their rule. For the earlier writer of another of our lists,(3) separated
from the one already quoted by an interval of only sixty-seven years,
gives 28,876(4) years as the total duration of the dynasties at his
time. But in spite of these discrepancies, the general resemblance
presented by the huge totals in the variant copies of the list to the
alternative figures of Berossus, if we ignore his mythical period,
is remarkable. They indicate a far closer correspondence of the Greek
tradition with that of the early Sumerians themselves than was formerly

     (1) The figure 34,090 is that given by Syncellus (ed.
     Dindorf, p. 147); but it is 34,080 in the equivalent which
     is added in "sars", &c. The discrepancy is explained by some
     as due to an intentional omission of the units in the second
     reckoning; others would regard 34,080 as the correct figure
     (cf. _Hist. of Bab._, p. 114 f.). The reading of ninety
     against eighty is supported by the 33,091 of Eusebius
     (_Chron. lib. pri._, ed. Schoene, col. 25).

     (2) No. 4.

     (3) No. 2.

     (4) The figures are broken, but the reading given may be
     accepted with some confidence; see Poebel, _Hist. Inscr._,
     p. 103.

Further proof of this correspondence may be seen in the fact that the
new Sumerian Version of the Deluge Story, which I propose to discuss in
the second lecture, gives us a connected account of the world's history
down to that point. The Deluge hero is there a Sumerian king named
Ziusudu, ruling in one of the newly created cities of Babylonia and
ministering at the shrine of his city-god. He is continually given the
royal title, and the foundation of the Babylonian "kingdom" is treated
as an essential part of Creation. We may therefore assume that an
Antediluvian period existed in Sumerian tradition as in Berossus.(1) And
I think Dr. Poebel is right in assuming that the Nippur copies of the
Dynastic List begin with the Post-diluvian period.(2)

     (1) Of course it does not necessarily follow that the figure
     assigned to the duration of the Antediluvian or mythical
     period by the Sumerians would show so close a resemblance to
     that of Berossus as we have already noted in their estimates
     of the dynastic or historical period. But there is no need
     to assume that Berossus' huge total of a hundred and twenty
     "sars" (432,000 years) is entirely a product of Neo-
     Babylonian speculation; the total 432,000 is explained as
     representing ten months of a cosmic year, each month
     consisting of twelve "sars", i.e. 12 x 3600 = 43,200 years.
     The Sumerians themselves had no difficulty in picturing two
     of their dynastic rulers as each reigning for two "ners"
     (1,200 years), and it would not be unlikely that "sars" were
     distributed among still earlier rulers; the numbers were
     easily written. For the unequal distribution of his hundred
     and twenty "sars" by Berossus among his ten Antediluvian
     kings, see Appendix II.

     (2) The exclusion of the Antediluvian period from the list
     may perhaps be explained on the assumption that its compiler
     confined his record to "kingdoms", and that the mythical
     rulers who preceded them did not form a "kingdom" within his
     definition of the term. In any case we have a clear
     indication that an earlier period was included before the
     true "kingdoms", or dynasties, in an Assyrian copy of the
     list, a fragment of which is preserved in the British Museum
     from the Library of Ashur-bani-pal at Nineveh; see _Chron.
     conc. Early Bab. Kings_ (Studies in East. Hist., II f.),
     Vol. I, pp. 182 ff., Vol. II, pp. 48 ff., 143 f. There we
     find traces of an extra column of text preceding that in
     which the first Kingdom of Kish was recorded. It would seem
     almost certain that this extra column was devoted to
     Antediluvian kings. The only alternative explanation would
     be that it was inscribed with the summaries which conclude
     the Sumerian copies of our list. But later scribes do not so
     transpose their material, and the proper place for summaries
     is at the close, not at the beginning, of a list. In the
     Assyrian copy the Dynastic List is brought up to date, and
     extends down to the later Assyrian period. Formerly its
     compiler could only be credited with incorporating
     traditions of earlier times. But the correspondence of the
     small fragment preserved of its Second Column with part of
     the First Column of the Nippur texts (including the name of
     "Enmennunna") proves that the Assyrian scribe reproduced an
     actual copy of the Sumerian document.

Though Professor Barton, on the other hand, holds that the Dynastic
List had no concern with the Deluge, his suggestion that the early
names preserved by it may have been the original source of Berossus'
Antediluvian rulers(1) may yet be accepted in a modified form. In coming
to his conclusion he may have been influenced by what seems to me an
undoubted correspondence between one of the rulers in our list and the
sixth Antediluvian king of Berossus. I think few will be disposed to
dispute the equation

{Daonos poimon} = Etana, a shepherd.

Each list preserves the hero's shepherd origin and the correspondence of
the names is very close, Daonos merely transposing the initial vowel
of Etana.(2) That Berossus should have translated a Post-diluvian ruler
into the Antediluvian dynasty would not be at all surprising in view of
the absence of detailed correspondence between his later dynasties and
those we know actually occupied the Babylonian throne. Moreover, the
inclusion of Babylon in his list of Antediluvian cities should make us
hesitate to regard all the rulers he assigns to his earliest dynasty
as necessarily retaining in his list their original order in Sumerian
tradition. Thus we may with a clear conscience seek equations between
the names of Berossus' Antediluvian rulers and those preserved in the
early part of our Dynastic List, although we may regard the latter as
equally Post-diluvian in Sumerian belief.

     (1) See the brief statement he makes in the course of a
     review of Dr. Poebel's volumes in the _American Journal of
     Semitic Languages and Literature_, XXXI, April 1915, p. 225.
     He does not compare any of the names, but he promises a
     study of those preserved and a comparison of the list with
     Berossus and with Gen. iv and v. It is possible that
     Professor Barton has already fulfilled his promise of
     further discussion, perhaps in his _Archaeology and the
     Bible_, to the publication of which I have seen a reference
     in another connexion (cf. _Journ. Amer. Or. Soc._, Vol.
     XXXVI, p. 291); but I have not yet been able to obtain sight
     of a copy.

     (2) The variant form {Daos} is evidently a mere contraction,
     and any claim it may have had to represent more closely the
     original form of the name is to be disregarded in view of
     our new equation.

This reflection, and the result already obtained, encourage us to accept
the following further equation, which is yielded by a renewed scrutiny
of the lists:

{'Ammenon} = Enmenunna.

Here Ammenon, the fourth of Berossus' Antediluvian kings, presents a
wonderfully close transcription of the Sumerian name. The _n_ of the
first syllable has been assimilated to the following consonant in
accordance with a recognized law of euphony, and the resultant doubling
of the _m_ is faithfully preserved in the Greek. Precisely the same
initial component, _Enme_, occurs in the name Enmeduranki, borne by a
mythical king of Sippar, who has long been recognized as the original
of Berossus' seventh Antediluvian king, {Euedorakhos}.(1) There too
the original _n_ has been assimilated, but the Greek form retains no
doubling of the _m_ and points to its further weakening.

     (1) Var. {Euedoreskhos}; the second half of the original
     name, Enmeduranki, is more closely preserved in
     _Edoranchus_, the form given by the Armenian translator of

I do not propose to detain you with a detailed discussion of Sumerian
royal names and their possible Greek equivalents. I will merely point
out that the two suggested equations, which I venture to think we
may regard as established, throw the study of Berossus' mythological
personages upon a new plane. No equivalent has hitherto been suggested
for {Daonos}; but {'Ammenon} has been confidently explained as the
equivalent of a conjectured Babylonian original, Ummânu, lit. "Workman".
The fact that we should now have recovered the Sumerian original of
the name, which proves to have no connexion in form or meaning with the
previously suggested Semitic equivalent, tends to cast doubt on other
Semitic equations proposed. Perhaps {'Amelon} or {'Amillaros} may after
all not prove to be the equivalent of Amêlu, "Man", nor {'Amempsinos}
that of Amêl-Sin. Both may find their true equivalents in some of the
missing royal names at the head of the Sumerian Dynastic List. There too
we may provisionally seek {'Aloros}, the "first king", whose equation
with Aruru, the Babylonian mother-goddess, never appeared a very happy
suggestion.(1) The ingenious proposal,(2) on the other hand, that his
successor, {'Alaparos}, represents a miscopied {'Adaparos}, a Greek
rendering of the name of Adapa, may still hold good in view of Etana's
presence in the Sumerian dynastic record. Ut-napishtim's title,
Khasisatra or Atrakhasis, "the Very Wise", still of course remains
the established equivalent of {Xisouthros}; but for {'Otiartes} (?
{'Opartes}), a rival to Ubar-Tutu, Ut-napishtim's father, may perhaps
appear. The new identifications do not of course dispose of the old
ones, except in the case of Ummânu; but they open up a new line of
approach and provide a fresh field for conjecture.(3) Semitic, and
possibly contracted, originals are still possible for unidentified
mythical kings of Berossus; but such equations will inspire greater
confidence, should we be able to establish Sumerian originals for the
Semitic renderings, from new material already in hand or to be obtained
in the future.

     (1) Dr. Poebel (_Hist Inscr._, p. 42, n. 1) makes the
     interesting suggestion that {'Aloros} may represent an
     abbreviated and corrupt form of the name Lal-ur-alimma,
     which has come down to us as that of an early and mythical
     king of Nippur; see Rawlinson, _W.A.I._, IV, 60 (67), V, 47
     and 44, and cf. _Sev. Tabl. of Creat._, Vol. I, p. 217, No.
     32574, Rev., l. 2 f. It may be added that the sufferings
     with which the latter is associated in the tradition are
     perhaps such as might have attached themselves to the first
     human ruler of the world; but the suggested equation, though
     tempting by reason of the remote parallel it would thus
     furnish to Adam's fate, can at present hardly be accepted in
     view of the possibility that a closer equation to {'Aloros}
     may be forthcoming.

     (2) Hommel, _Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch._, Vol. XV (1893), p.

     (3) See further Appendix II.

But it is time I read you extracts from the earlier extant portions of
the Sumerian Dynastic List, in order to illustrate the class of document
with which we are dealing. From them it will be seen that the record
is not a tabular list of names like the well-known King's Lists of the
Neo-Babylonian period. It is cast in the form of an epitomized chronicle
and gives under set formulae the length of each king's reign, and his
father's name in cases of direct succession to father or brother. Short
phrases are also sometimes added, or inserted in the sentence referring
to a king, in order to indicate his humble origin or the achievement
which made his name famous in tradition. The head of the First Column
of the text is wanting, and the first royal name that is completely
preserved is that of Galumum, the ninth or tenth ruler of the earliest
"kingdom", or dynasty, of Kish. The text then runs on connectedly for
several lines:

     Galumum ruled for nine hundred years.
     Zugagib ruled for eight hundred and forty years.
     Arpi, son of a man of the people, ruled for seven hundred and
     Etana, the shepherd who ascended to heaven, who subdued all lands,
     ruled for six hundred and thirty-five years.(1)
     Pili . . ., son of Etana, ruled for four hundred and ten years.
     Enmenunna ruled for six hundred and eleven years.
     Melamkish, son of Enmenunna, ruled for nine hundred years.
     Barsalnunna, son of Enmenunna, ruled for twelve hundred years.
     Mesza(. . .), son of Barsalnunna, ruled for (. . .) years.
     (. . .), son of Barsalnunna, ruled for (. . .) years.

     (1) Possibly 625 years.

A small gap then occurs in the text, but we know that the last two
representatives of this dynasty of twenty-three kings are related to
have ruled for nine hundred years and six hundred and twenty-five
years respectively. In the Second Column of the text the lines are also
fortunately preserved which record the passing of the first hegemony
of Kish to the "Kingdom of Eanna", the latter taking its name from
the famous temple of Anu and Ishtar in the old city of Erech. The text

     The kingdom of Kish passed to Eanna.

     In Eanna, Meskingasher, son of the Sun-god, ruled as high
     priest and king for three hundred and twenty-five years.
     Meskingasher entered into(1) (. . .) and ascended to (. .

     Enmerkar, son of Meskingasher, the king of Erech who built
     (. . .) with the people of Erech,(2) ruled as king for four
     hundred and twenty years.

     Lugalbanda, the shepherd, ruled for twelve hundred years.

     Dumuzi,(3), the hunter(?), whose city was . . ., ruled for a
     hundred years.

     Gishbilgames,(4) whose father was A,(5) the high priest of
     Kullab, ruled for one hundred and twenty-six(6) years.

     (. . .)lugal, son of Gishbilgames, ruled for (. . .) years.

     (1) The verb may also imply descent into.

     (2) The phrase appears to have been imperfectly copied by
     the scribe. As it stands the subordinate sentence reads "the
     king of Erech who built with the people of Erech". Either
     the object governed by the verb has been omitted, in which
     case we might restore some such phrase as "the city"; or,
     perhaps, by a slight transposition, we should read "the king
     who built Erech with the people of Erech". In any case the
     first building of the city of Erech, as distinguished from
     its ancient cult-centre Eanna, appears to be recorded here
     in the tradition. This is the first reference to Erech in
     the text; and Enmerkar's father was high priest as well as

     (3) i.e. Tammuz.

     (4) i.e. Gilgamesh.

     (5) The name of the father of Gilgamesh is rather strangely
     expressed by the single sign for the vowel _a_ and must
     apparently be read as A. As there is a small break in the
     text at the end of this line, Dr. Poebel not unnaturally
     assumed that A was merely the first syllable of the name, of
     which the end was wanting. But it has now been shown that
     the complete name was A; see Förtsch, _Orient. Lit.-Zeit._,
     Vol. XVIII, No. 12 (Dec., 1915), col. 367 ff. The reading is
     deduced from the following entry in an Assyrian explanatory
     list of gods (_Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus._, Pt. XXIV, pl.
     25, ll. 29-31): "The god A, who is also equated to the god
     Dubbisaguri (i.e. 'Scribe of Ur'), is the priest of Kullab;
     his wife is the goddess Ninguesirka (i.e. 'Lady of the edge
     of the street')." A, the priest of Kullab and the husband of
     a goddess, is clearly to be identified with A, the priest of
     Kullab and father of Gilgamesh, for we know from the
     Gilgamesh Epic that the hero's mother was the goddess
     Ninsun. Whether Ninguesirka was a title of Ninsun, or
     represents a variant tradition with regard to the parentage
     of Gilgamesh on the mother's side, we have in any case
     confirmation of his descent from priest and goddess. It was
     natural that A should be subsequently deified. This was not
     the case at the time our text was inscribed, as the name is
     written without the divine determinative.

     (6) Possibly 186 years.

This group of early kings of Erech is of exceptional interest. Apart
from its inclusion of Gilgamesh and the gods Tammuz and Lugalbanda,
its record of Meskingasher's reign possibly refers to one of the lost
legends of Erech. Like him Melchizedek, who comes to us in a chapter of
Genesis reflecting the troubled times of Babylon's First Dynasty,(1)
was priest as well as king.(2) Tradition appears to have credited
Meskingasher's son and successor, Enmerkar, with the building of Erech
as a city around the first settlement Eanna, which had already given its
name to the "kingdom". If so, Sumerian tradition confirms the assumption
of modern research that the great cities of Babylonia arose around the
still more ancient cult-centres of the land. We shall have occasion
to revert to the traditions here recorded concerning the parentage of
Meskingasher, the founder of this line of kings, and that of its most
famous member, Gilgamesh. Meanwhile we may note that the closing rulers
of the "Kingdom of Eanna" are wanting. When the text is again preserved,
we read of the hegemony passing from Erech to Ur and thence to Awan:

     The k(ingdom of Erech(3) passed to) Ur.
     In Ur Mesannipada became king and ruled for eighty years.
     Meskiagunna, son of Mesannipada, ruled for thirty years.
     Elu(. . .) ruled for twenty-five years.
     Balu(. . .) ruled for thirty-six years.
     Four kings (thus) ruled for a hundred and seventy-one years.
     The kingdom of Ur passed to Awan.
     In Awan . . .

     (1) Cf. _Hist. of Bab._, p. 159 f.

     (2) Gen. xiv. 18.

     (3) The restoration of Erech here, in place of Eanna, is
     based on the absence of the latter name in the summary;
     after the building of Erech by Enmerkar, the kingdom was
     probably reckoned as that of Erech.

With the "Kingdom of Ur" we appear to be approaching a firmer historical
tradition, for the reigns of its rulers are recorded in decades, not
hundreds of years. But we find in the summary, which concludes the main
copy of our Dynastic List, that the kingdom of Awan, though it consisted
of but three rulers, is credited with a total duration of three hundred
and fifty-six years, implying that we are not yet out of the legendary
stratum. Since Awan is proved by newly published historical inscriptions
from Nippur to have been an important deity of Elam at the time of the
Dynasty of Akkad,(1) we gather that the "Kingdom of Awan" represented in
Sumerian tradition the first occasion on which the country passed for a
time under Elamite rule. At this point a great gap occurs in the text,
and when the detailed dynastic succession in Babylonia is again assured,
we have passed definitely from the realm of myth and legend into that of

     (1) Poebel, _Hist. Inscr._, p. 128.

     (2) See further, Appendix II.

What new light, then, do these old Sumerian records throw on Hebrew
traditions concerning the early ages of mankind? I think it will be
admitted that there is something strangely familiar about some of those
Sumerian extracts I read just now. We seem to hear in them the faint
echo of another narrative, like them but not quite the same.

     And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and
     thirty years; and he died.

     And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enosh:
     and Seth lived after he begat Enosh eight hundred and seven
     years, and begat sons and daughters: and all the days of
     Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

     . . . and all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five
     years: and he died.

     . . . and all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten
     years: and he died. . . . and all the days of Mahalalel were
     eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

     . . . and all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and
     two years: and he died.

     . . . and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and
     five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for
     God took him.

     . . . and all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty
     and nine years: and he died.

     . . . and all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy
     and seven years: and he died.

     And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem,
     Ham, and Japheth.

Throughout these extracts from "the book of the generations of Adam",(1)
Galumum's nine hundred years(2) seem to run almost like a refrain; and
Methuselah's great age, the recognized symbol for longevity, is even
exceeded by two of the Sumerian patriarchs. The names in the two lists
are not the same,(3) but in both we are moving in the same atmosphere
and along similar lines of thought. Though each list adheres to its own
set formulae, it estimates the length of human life in the early ages
of the world on much the same gigantic scale as the other. Our Sumerian
records are not quite so formal in their structure as the Hebrew
narrative, but the short notes which here and there relieve their stiff
monotony may be paralleled in the Cainite genealogy of the preceding
chapter in Genesis.(4) There Cain's city-building, for example, may pair
with that of Enmerkar; and though our new records may afford no precise
equivalents to Jabal's patronage of nomad life, or to the invention of
music and metal-working ascribed to Jubal and Tubal-cain, these too
are quite in the spirit of Sumerian and Babylonian tradition, in their
attempt to picture the beginnings of civilization. Thus Enmeduranki,
the prototype of the seventh Antediluvian patriarch of Berossus, was
traditionally revered as the first exponent of divination.(5) It is in
the chronological and general setting, rather than in the Hebrew names
and details, that an echo seems here to reach us from Sumer through

     (1) Gen. v. 1 ff. (P).

     (2) The same length of reign is credited to Melamkish and to
     one and perhaps two other rulers of that first Sumerian

     (3) The possibility of the Babylonian origin of some of the
     Hebrew names in this geneaology and its Cainite parallel has
     long been canvassed; and considerable ingenuity has been
     expended in obtaining equations between Hebrew names and
     those of the Antediluvian kings of Berossus by tracing a
     common meaning for each suggested pair. It is unfortunate
     that our new identification of {'Ammenon} with the Sumerian
     _Enmenunna_ should dispose of one of the best parallels
     obtained, viz. {'Ammenon} = Bab. _ummânu_, "workman" ||
     Cain, Kenan = "smith". Another satisfactory pair suggested
     is {'Amelon} = Bab. _amêlu_, "man" || Enosh = "man"; but the
     resemblance of the former to _amêlu_ may prove to be
     fortuitous, in view of the possibility of descent from a
     quite different Sumerian original. The alternative may
     perhaps have to be faced that the Hebrew parallels to
     Sumerian and Babylonian traditions are here confined to
     chronological structure and general contents, and do not
     extend to Hebrew renderings of Babylonian names. It may be
     added that such correspondence between personal names in
     different languages is not very significant by itself. The
     name of Zugagib of Kish, for example, is paralleled by the
     title borne by one of the earliest kings of the Ist Dynasty
     of Egypt, Narmer, whose carved slate palettes have been
     found at Kierakonpolis; he too was known as "the Scorpion."

     (4) Gen. iv. 17 ff. (J).

     (5) It may be noted that an account of the origin of
     divination is included in his description of the descendents
     of Noah by the writer of the Biblical Antiquities of Philo,
     a product of the same school as the Fourth Book of Esdras
     and the Apocalypse of Baruch; see James, _The Biblical
     Antiquities of Philo_, p. 86.

I may add that a parallel is provided by the new Sumerian records to the
circumstances preceding the birth of the Nephilim at the beginning
of the sixth chapter of Genesis.(1) For in them also great prowess or
distinction is ascribed to the progeny of human and divine unions. We
have already noted that, according to the traditions the records embody,
the Sumerians looked back to a time when gods lived upon the earth with
men, and we have seen such deities as Tammuz and Lugalbanda figuring as
rulers of cities in the dynastic sequence. As in later periods, their
names are there preceded by the determinative for divinity. But more
significant still is the fact that we read of two Sumerian heroes, also
rulers of cities, who were divine on the father's or mother's side
but not on both. Meskingasher is entered in the list as "son of the
Sun-god",(2) and no divine parentage is recorded on the mother's side.
On the other hand, the human father of Gilgamesh is described as the
high priest of Kullab, and we know from other sources that his mother
was the goddess Ninsun.(3) That this is not a fanciful interpretation is
proved by a passage in the Gilgamesh Epic itself,(4) in which its
hero is described as two-thirds god and one-third man. We again find
ourselves back in the same stratum of tradition with which the Hebrew
narratives have made us so familiar.

     (1) Gen. vi. 1-4 (J).

     (2) The phrase recalls the familiar Egyptian royal
     designation "son of the Sun," and it is possible that we may
     connect with this same idea the Palermo Stele's inclusion of
     the mother's and omission of the father's name in its record
     of the early dynastic Pharaohs. This suggestion does not
     exclude the possibility of the prevalence of matrilineal
     (and perhaps originally also of matrilocal and
     matripotestal) conditions among the earliest inhabitants of
     Egypt. Indeed the early existence of some form of mother-
     right may have originated, and would certainly have
     encouraged, the growth of a tradition of solar parentage for
     the head of the state.

     (3) Poebel, _Hist. Inscr._, p. 124 f.

     (4) Tablet I, Col. ii, l. 1; and cf. Tablet IX, Col. ii. l.

What light then does our new material throw upon traditional origins of
civilization? We have seen that in Egypt a new fragment of the Palermo
Stele has confirmed in a remarkable way the tradition of the predynastic
period which was incorporated in his history by Manetho. It has long
been recognized that in Babylonia the sources of Berossus must have
been refracted by the political atmosphere of that country during
the preceding nineteen hundred years. This inference our new material
supports; but when due allowance has been made for a resulting
disturbance of vision, the Sumerian origin of the remainder of his
evidence is notably confirmed. Two of his ten Antediluvian kings rejoin
their Sumerian prototypes, and we shall see that two of his three
Antediluvian cities find their place among the five of primitive
Sumerian belief. It is clear that in Babylonia, as in Egypt, the local
traditions of the dawn of history, current in the Hellenistic period,
were modelled on very early lines. Both countries were the seats of
ancient civilizations, and it is natural that each should stage its
picture of beginnings upon its own soil and embellish it with local

It is a tribute to the historical accuracy of Hebrew tradition to
recognize that it never represented Palestine as the cradle of the human
race. It looked to the East rather than to the South for evidence of
man's earliest history and first progress in the arts of life. And it
is in the East, in the soil of Babylonia, that we may legitimately seek
material in which to verify the sources of that traditional belief.

The new parallels I have to-day attempted to trace between some of
the Hebrew traditions, preserved in Gen. iv-vi, and those of the early
Sumerians, as presented by their great Dynastic List, are essentially
general in character and do not apply to details of narrative or to
proper names. If they stood alone, we should still have to consider
whether they are such as to suggest cultural influence or independent
origin. But fortunately they do not exhaust the evidence we have lately
recovered from the site of Nippur, and we will postpone formulating our
conclusions with regard to them until the whole field has been surveyed.
From the biblical standpoint by far the most valuable of our new
documents is one that incorporates a Sumerian version of the Deluge
story. We shall see that it presents a variant and more primitive
picture of that great catastrophe than those of the Babylonian and
Hebrew versions. And what is of even greater interest, it connects the
narrative of the Flood with that of Creation, and supplies a brief but
intermediate account of the Antediluvian period. How then are we to
explain this striking literary resemblance to the structure of the
narrative in Genesis, a resemblance that is completely wanting in the
Babylonian versions? But that is a problem we must reserve for the next


In the first lecture we saw how, both in Babylonia and Egypt, recent
discoveries had thrown light upon periods regarded as prehistoric, and
how we had lately recovered traditions concerning very early rulers both
in the Nile Valley and along the lower Euphrates. On the strength of
the latter discovery we noted the possibility that future excavation in
Babylonia would lay bare stages of primitive culture similar to those
we have already recovered in Egyptian soil. Meanwhile the documents from
Nippur had shown us what the early Sumerians themselves believed about
their own origin, and we traced in their tradition the gradual blending
of history with legend and myth. We saw that the new Dynastic List
took us back in the legendary sequence at least to the beginning of
the Post-diluvian period. Now one of the newly published literary texts
fills in the gap beyond, for it gives us a Sumerian account of the
history of the world from the Creation to the Deluge, at about which
point, as we saw, the extant portions of the Dynastic List take up the
story. I propose to devote my lecture to-day to this early version of
the Flood and to the effect of its discovery upon some current theories.

The Babylonian account of the Deluge, which was discovered by George
Smith in 1872 on tablets from the Royal Library at Nineveh, is, as you
know, embedded in a long epic of twelve Books recounting the adventures
of the Old Babylonian hero Gilgamesh. Towards the end of this composite
tale, Gilgamesh, desiring immortality, crosses the Waters of Death in
order to beg the secret from his ancestor Ut-napishtim, who in the past
had escaped the Deluge and had been granted immortality by the gods. The
Eleventh Tablet, or Book, of the epic contains the account of the
Deluge which Ut-napishtim related to his kinsman Gilgamesh. The close
correspondence of this Babylonian story with that contained in Genesis
is recognized by every one and need not detain us. You will remember
that in some passages the accounts tally even in minute details, such,
for example, as the device of sending out birds to test the abatement of
the waters. It is true that in the Babylonian version a dove, a swallow,
and a raven are sent forth in that order, instead of a raven and the
dove three times. But such slight discrepancies only emphasize the
general resemblance of the narratives.

In any comparison it is usually admitted that two accounts have been
combined in the Hebrew narrative. I should like to point out that this
assumption may be made by any one, whatever his views may be with
regard to the textual problems of the Hebrew Bible and the traditional
authorship of the Pentateuch. And for our purpose at the moment it is
immaterial whether we identify the compiler of these Hebrew narratives
with Moses himself, or with some later Jewish historian whose name has
not come down to us. Whoever he was, he has scrupulously preserved his
two texts and, even when they differ, he has given each as he found it.
Thanks to this fact, any one by a careful examination of the narrative
can disentangle the two versions for himself. He will find each gives a
consistent story. One of them appears to be simpler and more primitive
than the other, and I will refer to them as the earlier and the later
Hebrew Versions.(1) The Babylonian text in the Epic of Gilgamesh
contains several peculiarities of each of the Hebrew versions, though
the points of resemblance are more detailed in the earlier of the two.

     (1) In the combined account in Gen. vi. 5-ix. 17, if the
     following passages be marked in the margin or underlined,
     and then read consecutively, it will be seen that they give
     a consistent and almost complete account of the Deluge: Gen.
     vi. 9-22; vii. 6, 11, 13-16 (down to "as God commanded
     him"), 17 (to "upon the earth"), 18-21, 24; viii. 1, 2 (to
     "were stopped"), 3 (from "and after")-5, 13 (to "from off
     the earth"), 14-19; and ix. 1-17. The marked passages
     represent the "later Hebrew Version." If the remaining
     passages be then read consecutively, they will be seen to
     give a different version of the same events, though not so
     completely preserved as the other; these passages
     substantially represent the "earlier Hebrew Version". In
     commentaries on the Hebrew text they are, of course, usually
     referred to under the convenient symbols J and P,
     representing respectively the earlier and the later
     versions. For further details, see any of the modern
     commentaries on Genesis, e.g. Driver, _Book of Genesis_, pp.
     85 ff.; Skinner, _Genesis_, pp. 147 ff.; Ryle, _Genesis_, p.
     96 f.

Now the tablets from the Royal Library at Nineveh inscribed with the
Gilgamesh Epic do not date from an earlier period than the seventh
century B.C. But archaeological evidence has long shown that the
traditions themselves were current during all periods of Babylonian
history; for Gilgamesh and his half-human friend Enkidu were favourite
subjects for the seal-engraver, whether he lived in Sumerian times or
under the Achaemenian kings of Persia. We have also, for some years now,
possessed two early fragments of the Deluge narrative, proving that the
story was known to the Semitic inhabitants of the country at the time of
Hammurabi's dynasty.(1) Our newly discovered text from Nippur was
also written at about that period, probably before 2100 B.C. But the
composition itself, apart from the tablet on which it is inscribed, must
go back very much earlier than that. For instead of being composed
in Semitic Babylonian, the text is in Sumerian, the language of the
earliest known inhabitants of Babylonia, whom the Semites eventually
displaced. This people, it is now recognized, were the originators
of the Babylonian civilization, and we saw in the first lecture that,
according to their own traditions, they had occupied that country since
the dawn of history.

     (1) The earlier of the two fragments is dated in the
     eleventh year of Ammizaduga, the tenth king of Hammurabi's
     dynasty, i.e. in 1967 B.C.; it was published by Scheil,
     _Recueil de travaux_, Vol. XX, pp. 55 ff. Here the Deluge
     story does not form part of the Gilgamesh Epic, but is
     recounted in the second tablet of a different work; its hero
     bears the name Atrakhasis, as in the variant version of the
     Deluge from the Nineveh library. The other and smaller
     fragment, which must be dated by its script, was published
     by Hilprecht (_Babylonian Expedition_, series D, Vol. V,
     Fasc. 1, pp. 33 ff.), who assigned it to about the same
     period; but it is probably of a considerably later date. The
     most convenient translations of the legends that were known
     before the publication of the Nippur texts are those given
     by Rogers, _Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament_
     (Oxford, 1912), and Dhorme, _Choix de textes religieux
     Assyro-Babyloniens_ (Paris, 1907).

The Semites as a ruling race came later, though the occurrence of
Semitic names in the Sumerian Dynastic List suggests very early
infiltration from Arabia. After a long struggle the immigrants succeeded
in dominating the settled race; and in the process they in turn became
civilized. They learnt and adopted the cuneiform writing, they took over
the Sumerian literature. Towards the close of the third millennium, when
our tablet was written, the Sumerians as a race had almost ceased
to exist. They had been absorbed in the Semitic population and their
language was no longer the general language of the country. But their
ancient literature and sacred texts were carefully preserved and
continued to be studied by the Semitic priests and scribes. So the fact
that the tablet is written in the old Sumerian tongue proves that the
story it tells had come down from a very much earlier period. This
inference is not affected by certain small differences in idiom
which its language presents when compared with that of Sumerian
building-inscriptions. Such would naturally occur in the course of
transmission, especially in a text which, as we shall see, had been
employed for a practical purpose after being subjected to a process of
reduction to suit it to its new setting.

When we turn to the text itself, it will be obvious that the story also
is very primitive. But before doing so we will inquire whether this
very early version is likely to cast any light on the origin of Deluge
stories such as are often met with in other parts of the world. Our
inquiry will have an interest apart from the question itself, as it
will illustrate the views of two divergent schools among students of
primitive literature and tradition. According to one of these views,
in its most extreme form, the tales which early or primitive man tells
about his gods and the origin of the world he sees around him are never
to be regarded as simple stories, but are to be consistently interpreted
as symbolizing natural phenomena. It is, of course, quite certain that,
both in Egypt and Babylonia, mythology in later periods received a
strong astrological colouring; and it is equally clear that some legends
derive their origin from nature myths. But the theory in the hands
of its more enthusiastic adherents goes further than that. For them
a complete absence of astrological colouring is no deterrent from an
astrological interpretation; and, where such colouring does occur, the
possibility of later embellishment is discounted, and it is treated
without further proof as the base on which the original story rests. One
such interpretation of the Deluge narrative in Babylonia, particularly
favoured by recent German writers, would regard it as reflecting the
passage of the Sun through a portion of the ecliptic. It is assumed
that the primitive Babylonians were aware that in the course of ages
the spring equinox must traverse the southern or watery region of the
zodiac. This, on their system, signified a submergence of the whole
universe in water, and the Deluge myth would symbolize the safe passage
of the vernal Sun-god through that part of the ecliptic. But we need not
spend time over that view, as its underlying conception is undoubtedly
quite a late development of Babylonian astrology.

More attractive is the simpler astrological theory that the voyage of
any Deluge hero in his boat or ark represents the daily journey of
the Sun-god across the heavenly ocean, a conception which is so often
represented in Egyptian sculpture and painting. It used to be assumed by
holders of the theory that this idea of the Sun as "the god in the boat"
was common among primitive races, and that that would account for the
widespread occurrence of Deluge-stories among scattered races of
the world. But this view has recently undergone some modification in
accordance with the general trend of other lines of research. In recent
years there has been an increased readiness among archaeologists
to recognize evidence of contact between the great civilizations of
antiquity. This has been particularly the case in the area of the
Eastern Mediterranean; but the possibility has also been mooted of
the early use of land-routes running from the Near East to Central and
Southern Asia. The discovery in Chinese Turkestan, to the east of the
Caspian, of a prehistoric culture resembling that of Elam has now been
followed by the finding of similar remains by Sir Aurel Stein in the
course of the journey from which he has lately returned.(1) They were
discovered in an old basin of the Helmand River in Persian Seistan,
where they had been laid bare by wind-erosion. But more interesting
still, and an incentive to further exploration in that region, is
another of his discoveries last year, also made near the Afghan border.
At two sites in the Helmand Delta, well above the level of inundation,
he came across fragments of pottery inscribed in early Aramaic
characters,(2) though, for obvious reasons, he has left them with
all his other collections in India. This unexpected find, by the
way, suggests for our problem possibilities of wide transmission in
comparatively early times.

     (1) See his "Expedition in Central Asia", in _The
     Geographical Journal_, Vol. XLVII (Jan.-June, 1916), pp. 358

     (2) Op. cit., p. 363.

The synthetic tendency among archaeologists has been reflected in
anthropological research, which has begun to question the separate and
independent origin, not only of the more useful arts and crafts, but
also of many primitive customs and beliefs. It is suggested that too
much stress has been laid on environment; and, though it is readily
admitted that similar needs and experiences may in some cases have given
rise to similar expedients and explanations, it is urged that man is
an imitative animal and that inventive genius is far from common.(1)
Consequently the wide dispersion of many beliefs and practices, which
used generally to be explained as due to the similar and independent
working of the human mind under like conditions, is now often
provisionally registered as evidence of migratory movement or of
cultural drift. Much good work has recently been done in tabulating
the occurrence of many customs and beliefs, in order to ascertain their
lines of distribution. Workers are as yet in the collecting stage, and
it is hardly necessary to say that explanatory theories are still to
be regarded as purely tentative and provisional. At the meetings of
the British Association during the last few years, the most breezy
discussions in the Anthropological Section have undoubtedly centred
around this subject. There are several works in the field, but the most
comprehensive theory as yet put forward is one that concerns us, as it
has given a new lease of life to the old solar interpretation of the
Deluge story.

     (1) See, e.g. Marett, _Anthropology_ (2nd ed., 1914), Chap.
     iv, "Environment," pp. 122 ff.; and for earlier tendencies,
     particularly in the sphere of mythological exegesis, see S.
     Reinach, _Cultes, Mythes et Religions_, t. IV (1912), pp. 1

In a land such as Egypt, where there is little rain and the sky is
always clear, the sun in its splendour tended from the earliest period
to dominate the national consciousness. As intercourse increased along
the Nile Valley, centres of Sun-worship ceased to be merely local, and
the political rise of a city determined the fortunes of its cult. From
the proto-dynastic period onward, the "King of the two Lands" had borne
the title of "Horus" as the lineal descendant of the great Sun-god of
Edfu, and the rise of Ra in the Vth Dynasty, through the priesthood of
Heliopolis, was confirmed in the solar theology of the Middle Kingdom.
Thus it was that other deities assumed a solar character as forms of Ra.
Amen, the local god of Thebes, becomes Amen-Ra with the political rise
of his city, and even the old Crocodile-god, Sebek, soars into the sky
as Sebek-Ra. The only other movement in the religion of ancient Egypt,
comparable in importance to this solar development, was the popular cult
of Osiris as God of the Dead, and with it the official religion had to
come to terms. Horus is reborn as the posthumous son of Osiris, and Ra
gladdens his abode during his nightly journey through the Underworld.
The theory with which we are concerned suggests that this dominant trait
in Egyptian religion passed, with other elements of culture, beyond the
bounds of the Nile Valley and influenced the practice and beliefs of
distant races.

This suggestion has been gradually elaborated by its author, Professor
Elliot Smith, who has devoted much attention to the anatomical study of
Egyptian mummification. Beginning with a scrutiny of megalithic building
and sun-worship,(1) he has subsequently deduced, from evidence of common
distribution, the existence of a culture-complex, including in addition
to these two elements the varied practices of tattooing, circumcision,
ear-piercing, that quaint custom known as couvade, head-deformation, and
the prevalence of serpent-cults, myths of petrifaction and the Deluge,
and finally of mummification. The last ingredient was added after an
examination of Papuan mummies had disclosed their apparent resemblance
in points of detail to Egyptian mummies of the XXIst Dynasty. As a
result he assumes the existence of an early cultural movement, for which
the descriptive title "heliolithic" has been coined.(2) Starting with
Egypt as its centre, one of the principal lines of its advance is
said to have lain through Syria and Mesopotamia and thence along the
coastlands of Asia to the Far East. The method of distribution and the
suggested part played by the Phoenicians have been already criticized
sufficiently. But in a modified form the theory has found considerable
support, especially among ethnologists interested in Indonesia. I do
not propose to examine in detail the evidence for or against it. It will
suffice to note that the Deluge story and its alleged Egyptian origin in
solar worship form one of the prominent strands in its composition.

     (1) Cf. Elliot Smith, _The Ancient Egyptians_, 1911.

     (2) See in particular his monograph "On the significance of
     the Geographical Distribution of the Practice of
     Mummification" in the _Memoirs of the Manchester Literary
     and Philosophical Society_, 1915.

One weakness of this particular strand is that the Egyptians themselves
possessed no tradition of the Deluge. Indeed the annual inundation
of the Nile is not such as would give rise to a legend of
world-destruction; and in this respect it presents a striking contrast
to the Tigris and Euphrates. The ancient Egyptian's conception of his
own gentle river is reflected in the form he gave the Nile-god, for Hapi
is represented as no fierce warrior or monster. He is given a woman's
breasts as a sign of his fecundity. The nearest Egyptian parallel to
the Deluge story is the "Legend of the Destruction of Mankind", which
is engraved on the walls of a chamber in the tomb of Seti I.(1) The late
Sir Gaston Maspero indeed called it "a dry deluge myth", but his paradox
was intended to emphasize the difference as much as the parallelism
presented. It is true that in the Egyptian myth the Sun-god causes
mankind to be slain because of their impiety, and he eventually pardons
the survivors. The narrative thus betrays undoubted parallelism to
the Babylonian and Hebrew stories, so far as concerns the attempted
annihilation of mankind by the offended god, but there the resemblance
ends. For water has no part in man's destruction, and the essential
element of a Deluge story is thus absent.(2) Our new Sumerian document,
on the other hand, contains what is by far the earliest example yet
recovered of a genuine Deluge tale; and we may thus use it incidentally
to test this theory of Egyptian influence, and also to ascertain whether
it furnishes any positive evidence on the origin of Deluge stories in

     (1) It was first published by Monsieur Naville, _Tranc. Soc.
     Bibl. Arch._, IV (1874), pp. 1 ff. The myth may be most
     conveniently studied in Dr. Budge's edition in _Egyptian
     Literature_, Vol. I, "Legends of the Gods" (1912), pp. 14
     ff., where the hieroglyphic text and translation are printed
     on opposite pages; cf. the summary, op. cit., pp. xxiii ff.,
     where the principal literature is also cited. See also his
     _Gods of the Egyptians_, Vol. I, chap. xii, pp. 388 ff.

     (2) The undoubted points of resemblance, as well as the
     equally striking points of divergence, presented by the
     Egyptian myth when compared with the Babylonian and Hebrew
     stories of a Deluge may be briefly indicated. The impiety of
     men in complaining of the age of Ra finds a parallel in the
     wickedness of man upon the earth (J) and the corruption of
     all flesh (P) of the Hebrew Versions. The summoning by Ra of
     the great Heliopolitan cosmic gods in council, including his
     personified Eye, the primaeval pair Shu and Tefnut, Keb the
     god of the earth and his consort Nut the sky-goddess, and Nu
     the primaeval water-god and originally Nut's male
     counterpart, is paralleled by the _puhur ilâni_, or
     "assembly of the gods", in the Babylonian Version (see Gilg.
     Epic. XI. l. 120 f., and cf. ll. 10 ff.); and they meet in
     "the Great House", or Sun-temple at Heliopolis, as the
     Babylonian gods deliberate in Shuruppak. Egyptian,
     Babylonian, and Hebrew narratives all agree in the divine
     determination to destroy mankind and in man's ultimate
     survival. But the close of the Egyptian story diverges into
     another sphere. The slaughter of men by the Eye of Ra in the
     form of the goddess Hathor, who during the night wades in
     their blood, is suggestive of Africa; and so too is her
     drinking of men's blood mixed with the narcotic mandrake and
     with seven thousand vessels of beer, with the result that
     through drunkenness she ceased from slaughter. The latter
     part of the narrative is directly connected with the cult-
     ritual and beer-drinking at the Festivals of Hathor and Ra;
     but the destruction of men by slaughter in place of drowning
     appears to belong to the original myth. Indeed, the only
     suggestion of a Deluge story is suggested by the presence of
     Nu, the primaeval water-god, at Ra's council, and that is
     explicable on other grounds. In any case the points of
     resemblance presented by the earlier part of the Egyptian
     myth to Semitic Deluge stories are general, not detailed;
     and though they may possibly be due to reflection from Asia,
     they are not such as to suggest an Egyptian origin for
     Deluge myths.

The tablet on which our new version of the Deluge is inscribed was
excavated at Nippur during the third Babylonian expedition sent out by
the University of Pennsylvania; but it was not until the summer of 1912
that its contents were identified, when the several fragments of which
it was composed were assembled and put together. It is a large document,
containing six columns of writing, three on each side; but unfortunately
only the lower half has been recovered, so that considerable gaps occur
in the text.(1) The sharp edges of the broken surface, however, suggest
that it was damaged after removal from the soil, and the possibility
remains that some of the missing fragments may yet be recovered either
at Pennsylvania or in the Museum at Constantinople. As it is not dated,
its age must be determined mainly by the character of its script. A
close examination of the writing suggests that it can hardly have been
inscribed as late as the Kassite Dynasty, since two or three signs
exhibit more archaic forms than occur on any tablets of that period;(2)
and such linguistic corruptions as have been noted in its text may
well be accounted for by the process of decay which must have already
affected the Sumerian language at the time of the later kings of Nisin.
Moreover, the tablet bears a close resemblance to one of the newly
published copies of the Sumerian Dynastic List from Nippur;(3) for both
are of the same shape and composed of the same reddish-brown clay, and
both show the same peculiarities of writing. The two tablets in fact
appear to have been written by the same hand, and as that copy of the
Dynastic List was probably drawn up before the latter half of the First
Dynasty of Babylon, we may assign the same approximate date for the
writing of our text. This of course only fixes a lower limit for the age
of the myth which it enshrines.

     (1) The breadth of the tablet is 5 5/8 in., and it
     originally measured about 7 in. in length from top to
     bottom; but only about one-third of its inscribed surface is

     (2) Cf. Poebel, _Hist. Texts_, pp. 66 ff.

     (3) No. 5.

That the composition is in the form of a poem may be seen at a glance
from the external appearance of the tablet, the division of many of the
lines and the blank spaces frequently left between the sign-groups being
due to the rhythmical character of the text. The style of the poetry
may be simple and abrupt, but it exhibits a familiar feature of both
Semitic-Babylonian and Hebrew poetry, in its constant employment of
partial repetition or paraphrase in parallel lines. The story it tells
is very primitive and in many respects unlike the Babylonian Versions
of the Deluge which we already possess. Perhaps its most striking
peculiarity is the setting of the story, which opens with a record of
the creation of man and animals, goes on to tell how the first cities
were built, and ends with a version of the Deluge, which is thus
recounted in its relation to the Sumerian history of the world. This
literary connexion between the Creation and Deluge narratives is of
unusual interest, in view of the age of our text. In the Babylonian
Versions hitherto known they are included in separate epics with
quite different contexts. Here they are recounted together in a single
document, much as they probably were in the history of Berossus and as
we find them in the present form of the Book of Genesis. This fact will
open up some interesting problems when we attempt to trace the literary
descent of the tradition.

But one important point about the text should be emphasized at once,
since it will affect our understanding of some very obscure passages, of
which no satisfactory explanation has yet been given. The assumption has
hitherto been made that the text is an epic pure and simple. It is quite
true that the greater part of it is a myth, recounted as a narrative in
poetical form, but there appear to me to be clear indications that
the myth was really embedded in an incantation. If this was so, the
mythological portion was recited for a magical purpose, with the object
of invoking the aid of the chief deities whose actions in the past are
there described, and of increasing by that means the potency of the
spell.(1) In the third lecture I propose to treat in more detail the
employment and significance of myth in magic, and we shall have occasion
to refer to other instances, Sumerian, Babylonian, and Egyptian, in
which a myth has reached us in a magical setting.

     (1) It will be seen that the subject-matter of any myth
     treated in this way has a close connexion with the object
     for which the incantation was performed.

In the present case the inference of magical use is drawn from certain
passages in the text itself, which appear to be explicable only on that
hypothesis. In magical compositions of the later period intended
for recitation, the sign for "Incantation" is usually prefixed.
Unfortunately the beginning of our text is wanting; but its opening
words are given in the colophon, or title, which is engraved on the
left-hand edge of the tablet, and it is possible that the traces of
the first sign there are to be read as EN, "Incantation".(1) Should
a re-examination of the tablet establish this reading of the word,
we should have definite proof of the suggested magical setting of the
narrative. But even if we assume its absence, that would not invalidate
the arguments that can be adduced in favour of recognizing the existence
of a magical element, for they are based on internal evidence and enable
us to explain certain features which are inexplicable on Dr. Poebel's
hypothesis. Moreover, we shall later on examine another of the
newly published Sumerian compositions from Nippur, which is not only
semi-epical in character, but is of precisely the same shape, script,
and period as our text, and is very probably a tablet of the same
series. There also the opening signs of the text are wanting, but far
more of its contents are preserved and they present unmistakable traces
of magical use. Its evidence, as that of a parallel text, may therefore
be cited in support of the present contention. It may be added that in
Sumerian magical compositions of this early period, of which we have
not yet recovered many quite obvious examples, it is possible that
the prefix "Incantation" was not so invariable as in the later magical

     (1) Cf. Poebel, _Hist. Texts_, p. 63, and _Hist. and Gram.
     Texts_, pl. i. In the photographic reproduction of the edges
     of the tablet given in the latter volume, pl. lxxxix, the
     traces of the sign suggest the reading EN (= Sem. _šiptu_,
     "incantation"). But the sign may very possibly be read AN.
     In the latter case we may read, in the traces of the two
     sign-groups at the beginning of the text, the names of both
     Anu and Enlil, who appear so frequently as the two presiding
     deities in the myth.

It has already been remarked that only the lower half of our tablet
has been recovered, and that consequently a number of gaps occur in
the text. On the obverse the upper portion of each of the first three
columns is missing, while of the remaining three columns, which are
inscribed upon the reverse, the upper portions only are preserved. This
difference in the relative positions of the textual fragments recovered
is due to the fact that Sumerian scribes, like their later Babylonian
and Assyrian imitators, when they had finished writing the obverse of
a tablet, turned it over from bottom to top--not, as we should turn a
sheet of paper, from right to left. But in spite of the lacunae, the
sequence of events related in the mythological narrative may be followed
without difficulty, since the main outline of the story is already
familiar enough from the versions of the Semitic-Babylonian scribes and
of Berossus. Some uncertainties naturally remain as to what exactly was
included in the missing portions of the tablet; but the more important
episodes are fortunately recounted in the extant fragments, and these
suffice for a definition of the distinctive character of the Sumerian
Version. In view of its literary importance it may be advisable to
attempt a somewhat detailed discussion of its contents, column by
column;(1) and the analysis may be most conveniently divided into
numbered sections, each of which refers to one of the six columns of the
tablet. The description of the First Column will serve to establish
the general character of the text. Through the analysis of the tablet
parallels and contrasts will be noted with the Babylonian and Hebrew
Versions. It will then be possible to summarise, on a surer foundation,
the literary history of the traditions, and finally to estimate the
effect of our new evidence upon current theories as to the origin and
wide dispersion of Deluge stories.

     (1) In the lecture as delivered the contents of each column
     were necessarily summarized rather briefly, and conclusions
     were given without discussion of the evidence.

The following headings, under which the six numbered sections may be
arranged, indicate the contents of each column and show at a glance the
main features of the Sumerian Version:

I. Introduction to the Myth, and account of Creation.

II. The Antediluvian Cities.

III. The Council of the Gods, and Ziusudu's piety.

IV. The Dream-Warning.

V. The Deluge, the Escape of the Great Boat, and the Sacrifice to the

VI. The Propitiation of the Angry Gods, and Ziusudu's Immortality.


The beginning of the text is wanting, and the earliest lines preserved
of the First Column open with the closing sentences of a speech,
probably by the chief of the four creating deities, who are later on
referred to by name. In it there is a reference to a future destruction
of mankind, but the context is broken; the lines in question begin:

     "As for my human race, from (_or_ in) its destruction will I
     cause it to be (. . .),

     For Nintu my creatures (. . .) will I (. . .)."

From the reference to "my human race" it is clear that the speaker is a
creating deity; and since the expression is exactly parallel to the term
"my people" used by Ishtar, or Bêlit-ili, "the Lady of the gods", in the
Babylonian Version of the Deluge story when she bewails the destruction
of mankind, Dr. Poebel assigns the speech to Ninkharsagga, or Nintu,(1)
the goddess who later in the column is associated with Anu, Enlil, and
Enki in man's creation. But the mention of Nintu in her own speech
is hardly consistent with that supposition,(2) if we assume with Dr.
Poebel, as we are probably justified in doing, that the title Nintu
is employed here and elsewhere in the narrative merely as a synonym of
Ninkharsagga.(3) It appears to me far more probable that one of the two
supreme gods, Anu or Enlil, is the speaker,(4) and additional grounds
will be cited later in support of this view. It is indeed possible, in
spite of the verbs and suffixes in the singular, that the speech is to
be assigned to both Anu and Enlil, for in the last column, as we shall
see, we find verb in the singular following references to both these
deities. In any case one of the two chief gods may be regarded as
speaking and acting on behalf of both, though it may be that the
inclusion of the second name in the narrative was not original but
simply due to a combination of variant traditions. Such a conflate use
of Anu-Enlil would present a striking parallel to the Hebrew combination
Yahweh-Elohim, though of course in the case of the former pair the
subsequent stage of identification was never attained. But the evidence
furnished by the text is not conclusive, and it is preferable here and
elsewhere in the narrative to regard either Anu or Enlil as speaking and
acting both on his own behalf and as the other's representative.

     (1) Op. cit., p. 21 f.; and cf. Jastrow, _Hebrew and
     Babylonian Traditions_, p. 336.

     (2) It necessitates the taking of (_dingir_) _Nin-tu-ra_ as
     a genitive, not a dative, and the very awkward rendering
     "my, Nintu's, creations".

     (3) Another of the recently published Sumerian mythological
     compositions from Nippur includes a number of myths in which
     Enki is associated first with Ninella, referred to also as
     Nintu, "the Goddess of Birth", then with Ninshar, referred
     to also as Ninkurra, and finally with Ninkharsagga. This
     text exhibits the process by which separate traditions with
     regard to goddesses originally distinct were combined
     together, with the result that their heroines were
     subsequently often identified with one another. There the
     myths that have not been subjected to a very severe process
     of editing, and in consequence the welding is not so
     complete as in the Sumerian Version of the Deluge.

     (4) If Enlil's name should prove to be the first word of the
     composition, we should naturally regard him as the speaker
     here and as the protagonist of the gods throughout the text,
     a _rôle_ he also plays in the Semitic-Babylonian Version.

This reference to the Deluge, which occurs so early in the text,
suggests the probability that the account of the Creation and of the
founding of Antediluvian cities, included in the first two columns, is
to be taken merely as summarizing the events that led up to the Deluge.
And an almost certain proof of this may be seen in the opening words
of the composition, which are preserved in its colophon or title on the
left-hand edge of the tablet. We have already noted that the first two
words are there to be read, either as the prefix "Incantation" followed
by the name "Enlil", or as the two divine names "Anu (and) Enlil". Now
the signs which follow the traces of Enlil's name are quite certain;
they represent "Ziusudu", which, as we shall see in the Third Column,
is the name of the Deluge hero in our Sumerian Version. He is thus
mentioned in the opening words of the text, in some relation to one or
both of the two chief gods of the subsequent narrative. But the natural
place for his first introduction into the story is in the Third Column,
where it is related that "at that time Ziusudu, the king" did so-and-so.
The prominence given him at the beginning of the text, at nearly a
column's interval before the lines which record the creation of man, is
sufficient proof that the Deluge story is the writer's main interest,
and that preceding episodes are merely introductory to it.

What subject then may we conjecture was treated in the missing lines of
this column, which precede the account of Creation and close with the
speech of the chief creating deity? Now the Deluge narrative practically
ends with the last lines of the tablet that are preserved, and the lower
half of the Sixth Column is entirely wanting. We shall see reason
to believe that the missing end of the tablet was not left blank and
uninscribed, but contained an incantation, the magical efficacy of which
was ensured by the preceding recitation of the Deluge myth. If that were
so, it would be natural enough that the text should open with its main
subject. The cause of the catastrophe and the reason for man's rescue
from it might well be referred to by one of the creating deities in
virtue of the analogy these aspects of the myth would present to the
circumstances for which the incantation was designed. A brief account
of the Creation and of Antediluvian history would then form a natural
transition to the narrative of the Deluge itself. And even if the text
contained no incantation, the narrative may well have been introduced
in the manner suggested, since this explanation in any case fits in with
what is still preserved of the First Column. For after his reference to
the destruction of mankind, the deity proceeds to fix the chief duty
of man, either as a preliminary to his creation, or as a reassertion
of that duty after his rescue from destruction by the Flood. It is
noteworthy that this duty consists in the building of temples to the
gods "in a clean spot", that is to say "in hallowed places". The passage
may be given in full, including the two opening lines already discussed:

     "As for my human race, from (_or_ in) its destruction will I
     cause it to be (. . .), For Nintu my creatures (. . .) will
     I (. . .).

     The people will I cause to . . . in their settlements,

     Cities . . . shall (man) build, in there protection will I
     cause him to rest,

     That he may lay the brick of our houses in a clean spot,

     That in a clean spot he may establish our . . . !"

In the reason here given for man's creation, or for his rescue from
the Flood, we have an interesting parallel to the Sixth Tablet of
the Semitic-Babylonian Creation Series. At the opening of that tablet
Marduk, in response to "the word of the gods", is urged by his heart to
devise a cunning plan which he imparts to Ea, namely the creation of man
from his own divine blood and from bone which he will fashion. And the
reason he gives for his proposal is precisely that which, as we have
seen, prompted the Sumerian deity to create or preserve the human race.
For Marduk continues:

     "I will create man who shall inhabit (. . .),

     That the service of the gods may be established and that
     their shrines may be built."(1)

     (1) See _The Seven Tablets of Creation_, Vol. I, pp. 86 ff.

We shall see later, from the remainder of Marduk's speech, that the
Semitic Version has been elaborated at this point in order to reconcile
it with other ingredients in its narrative, which were entirely absent
from the simpler Sumerian tradition. It will suffice here to note that,
in both, the reason given for man's existence is the same, namely, that
the gods themselves may have worshippers.(1) The conception is in full
agreement with early Sumerian thought, and reflects the theocratic
constitution of the earliest Sumerian communities. The idea was
naturally not repugnant to the Semites, and it need not surprise us to
find the very words of the principal Sumerian Creator put into the mouth
of Marduk, the city-god of Babylon.

     (1) It may be added that this is also the reason given for
     man's creation in the introduction to a text which
     celebrates the founding or rebuilding of a temple.

The deity's speech perhaps comes to an end with the declaration of his
purpose in creating mankind or in sanctioning their survival of the
Deluge; and the following three lines appear to relate his establishment
of the divine laws in accordance with which his intention was carried
out. The passage includes a refrain, which is repeated in the Second

     The sublime decrees he made perfect for it.

It may probably be assumed that the refrain is employed in relation to
the same deity in both passages. In the Second Column it precedes
the foundation of the Babylonian kingdom and the building of the
Antediluvian cities. In that passage there can be little doubt that the
subject of the verb is the chief Sumerian deity, and we are therefore
the more inclined to assign to him also the opening speech of the First
Column, rather than to regard it as spoken by the Sumerian goddess whose
share in the creation would justify her in claiming mankind as her
own. In the last four lines of the column we have a brief record of the
Creation itself. It was carried out by the three greatest gods of the
Sumerian pantheon, Anu, Enlil and Enki, with the help of the goddess
Ninkharsagga; the passage reads:

     When Anu, Enlil, Enki and Ninkharsagga
     Created the blackheaded (i.e. mankind),
     The _niggil(ma)_ of the earth they caused the earth to
     The animals, the four-legged creatures of the field, they
     artfully called into existence.

The interpretation of the third line is obscure, but there is no doubt
that it records the creation of something which is represented as having
taken place between the creation of mankind and that of animals. This
object, which is written as _nig-gil_ or _nig-gil-ma_, is referred to
again in the Sixth Column, where the Sumerian hero of the Deluge assigns
to it the honorific title, "Preserver of the Seed of Mankind". It must
therefore have played an important part in man's preservation from the
Flood; and the subsequent bestowal of the title may be paralleled in
the early Semitic Deluge fragment from Nippur, where the boat in which
Ut-napishtim escapes is assigned the very similar title "Preserver of
Life".(1) But _niggilma_ is not the word used in the Sumerian Version
of Ziusudu's boat, and I am inclined to suggest a meaning for it in
connexion with the magical element in the text, of the existence of
which there is other evidence. On that assumption, the prominence given
to its creation may be paralleled in the introduction to a later magical
text, which described, probably in connexion with an incantation,
the creation of two small creatures, one white and one black, by
Nin-igi-azag, "The Lord of Clear Vision", one of the titles borne by
Enki or Ea. The time of their creation is indicated as after that
of "cattle, beasts of the field and creatures of the city", and the
composition opens in a way which is very like the opening of the present
passage in our text.(2) In neither text is there any idea of giving
a complete account of the creation of the world, only so much of the
original myth being included in each case as suffices for the writer's
purpose. Here we may assume that the creation of mankind and of animals
is recorded because they were to be saved from the Flood, and that of
the _niggilma_ because of the part it played in ensuring their survival.

     (1) See Hilprecht, _Babylonian Expedition_, Series D, Vol.
     V, Fasc. 1, plate, Rev., l. 8; the photographic reproduction
     clearly shows, as Dr. Poebel suggests (_Hist. Texts_, p. 61
     n 3), that the line should read: _((isu)elippu) ši-i lu
     (isu)ma-gur-gur-ma šum-ša lu na-si-rat na-piš-tim_, "That
     ship shall be a _magurgurru_ (giant boat), and its name
     shall be 'Preserver of Life' (lit. 'She that preserves

     (2) See _Seven Tablets of Creation_, Vol. I, pp. 122 ff. The
     text opens with the words "When the gods in their assembly
     had made (the world), and had created the heavens, and had
     formed the earth, and had brought living creatures into
     being . . .", the lines forming an introduction to the
     special act of creation with which the composition was

The discussion of the meaning of _niggilma_ may best be postponed till
the Sixth Column, where we find other references to the word. Meanwhile
it may be noted that in the present passage the creation of man precedes
that of animals, as it did in the earlier Hebrew Version of Creation,
and probably also in the Babylonian version, though not in the later
Hebrew Version. It may be added that in another Sumerian account of the
Creation(1) the same order, of man before animals, is followed.

     (1) Cf. _Sev. Tabl._, Vol. I, p. 134 f.; but the text has
     been subjected to editing, and some of its episodes are
     obviously displaced.


As we saw was the case with the First Column of the text, the earliest
part preserved of the Second Column contains the close of a speech by a
deity, in which he proclaims an act he is about to perform. Here we may
assume with some confidence that the speaker is Anu or Enlil, preferably
the latter, since it would be natural to ascribe the political
constitution of Babylonia, the foundation of which is foreshadowed, to
the head of the Sumerian pantheon. It would appear that a beginning had
already been made in the establishment of "the kingdom", and, before
proceeding to his further work of founding the Antediluvian cities, he
follows the example of the speaker in the First Column of the text and
lays down the divine enactments by which his purpose was accomplished.
The same refrain is repeated:

     The sub(lime decrees) he made perfect for it.

The text then relates the founding by the god of five cities, probably
"in clean places", that is to say on hallowed ground. He calls each by
its name and assigns it to its own divine patron or city-god:

     (In clean place)s he founded (five) cit(ies).

     And after he had called their names and they had been
     allotted to divine rulers(?),--

     The . . . of these cities, Eridu, he gave to the leader, Nu-

     Secondly, to Nugira(?) he gave Bad-. . .,(1)

     Thirdly, Larak he gave to Pabilkharsag,

     Fourthly, Sippar he gave to the hero, the Sun-god,

     Fifthly, Shuruppak he gave to "the God of Shuruppak",--

     After he had called the names of these cities, and they had
     been allotted to divine rulers(?),

     (1) In Semitic-Babylonian the first component of this city-
     name would read "Dûr".

The completion of the sentence, in the last two lines of the column,
cannot be rendered with any certainty, but the passage appears to have
related the creation of small rivers and pools. It will be noted that
the lines which contain the names of the five cities and their patron
gods(1) form a long explanatory parenthesis, the preceding line being
repeated after their enumeration.

     (1) The precise meaning of the sign-group here provisionally
     rendered "divine ruler" is not yet ascertained.

As the first of the series of five cities of Eridu, the seat of Nudimmud
or Enki, who was the third of the creating deities, it has been urged
that the upper part of the Second Column must have included an account
of the founding of Erech, the city of Anu, and of Nippur, Enlil's
city.(1) But the numbered sequence of the cities would be difficult to
reconcile with the earlier creation of other cities in the text, and
the mention of Eridu as the first city to be created would be quite
in accord with its great age and peculiarly sacred character as a
cult-centre. Moreover the evidence of the Sumerian Dynastic List is
definitely against any claim of Erech to Antediluvian existence. For
when the hegemony passed from the first Post-diluvian "kingdom" to the
second, it went not to Erech but to the shrine Eanna, which gave its
name to the second "kingdom"; and the city itself was apparently not
founded before the reign of Enmerkar, the second occupant of the throne,
who is the first to be given the title "King of Erech". This conclusion
with regard to Erech incidentally disposes of the arguments for Nippur's
Antediluvian rank in primitive Sumerian tradition, which have been
founded on the order of the cities mentioned at the beginning of the
later Sumerian myth of Creation.(2) The evidence we thus obtain that the
early Sumerians themselves regarded Eridu as the first city in the world
to be created, increases the hope that future excavation at Abu Shahrain
may reveal Sumerian remains of periods which, from an archaeological
standpoint, must still be regarded as prehistoric.

     (1) Cf. Poebel, op. cit., p. 41.

     (2) The city of Nippur does not occur among the first four
     "kingdoms" of the Sumerian Dynastic List; but we may
     probably assume that it was the seat of at least one early
     "kingdom", in consequence of which Enlil, its city-god,
     attained his later pre-eminent rank in the Sumerian

It is noteworthy that no human rulers are mentioned in connexion with
Eridu and the other four Antediluvian cities; and Ziusudu, the hero
of the story, is apparently the only mortal whose name occurred in
our text. But its author's principal subject is the Deluge, and the
preceding history of the world is clearly not given in detail, but is
merely summarized. In view of the obviously abbreviated form of the
narrative, of which we have already noted striking evidence in its
account of the Creation, we may conclude that in the fuller form of
the tradition the cities were also assigned human rulers, each one
the representative of his city-god. These would correspond to the
Antediluvian dynasty of Berossus, the last member of which was
Xisuthros, the later counterpart of Ziusudu.

In support of the exclusion of Nippur and Erech from the myth, it will
be noted that the second city in the list is not Adab,(1) which was
probably the principal seat of the goddess Ninkharsagga, the fourth of
the creating deities. The names of both deity and city in that line
are strange to us. Larak, the third city in the series, is of greater
interest, for it is clearly Larankha, which according to Berossus
was the seat of the eighth and ninth of his Antediluvian kings. In
commercial documents of the Persian period, which have been found during
the excavations at Nippur, Larak is described as lying "on the bank of
the old Tigris", a phrase which must be taken as referring to the Shatt
el-Hai, in view of the situation of Lagash and other early cities
upon it or in its immediate neighbourhood. The site of the city should
perhaps be sought on the upper course of the stream, where it tends
to approach Nippur. It would thus have lain in the neighbourhood of
Bismâya, the site of Adab. Like Adab, Lagash, Shuruppak, and other early
Sumerian cities, it was probably destroyed and deserted at a very early
period, though it was reoccupied under its old name in Neo-Babylonian or
Persian times. Its early disappearance from Babylonian history perhaps
in part accounts for our own unfamiliarity with Pabilkharsag, its
city-god, unless we may regard the name as a variant from of Pabilsag;
but it is hardly likely that the two should be identified.

     (1) The site of Adab, now marked by the mounds of Bismâya,
     was partially excavated by an expedition sent out in 1903 by
     the University of Chicago, and has provided valuable
     material for the study of the earliest Sumerian period; see
     _Reports of the Expedition of the Oriental Exploration Fund_
     (Babylonian Section of the University of Chicago), and
     Banks, _Bismya_ (1912). On grounds of antiquity alone we
     might perhaps have expected its inclusion in the myth.

In Sibbar, the fourth of the Antediluvian cities in our series, we
again have a parallel to Berossus. It has long been recognized that
Pantibiblon, or Pantibiblia, from which the third, fourth, fifth, sixth,
and seventh of his Antediluvian kings all came, was the city of Sippar
in Northern Babylonia. For the seventh of these rulers, {Euedorakhos},
is clearly Enmeduranki, the mythical king of Sippar, who in Babylonian
tradition was regarded as the founder of divination. In a fragmentary
composition that has come down to us he is described, not only as king
of Sippar, but as "beloved of Anu, Enlil, and Enki", the three creating
gods of our text; and it is there recounted how the patron deities of
divination, Shamash and Adad, themselves taught him to practise their
art.(1) Moreover, Berossus directly implies the existence of Sippar
before the Deluge, for in the summary of his version that has been
preserved Xisuthros, under divine instruction, buries the sacred
writings concerning the origin of the world in "Sispara", the city
of the Sun-god, so that after the Deluge they might be dug up and
transmitted to mankind. Ebabbar, the great Sun-temple, was at Sippar,
and it is to the Sun-god that the city is naturally allotted in the new
Sumerian Version.

     (1) Cf. Zimmern, _Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Bab. Relig._,
     pp. 116 ff.

The last of the five Antediluvian cities in our list is Shuruppak, in
which dwelt Ut-napishtim, the hero of the Babylonian version of the
Deluge. Its site has been identified with the mounds of Fâra, in the
neighbourhood of the Shatt el-Kâr, the former bed of the Euphrates;
and the excavations that were conducted there in 1902 have been most
productive of remains dating from the prehistoric period of Sumerian
culture.(1) Since our text is concerned mainly with the Deluge, it
is natural to assume that the foundation of the city from which the
Deluge-hero came would be recorded last, in order to lead up to the
central episode of the text. The city of Ziusudu, the hero of the
Sumerian story, is unfortunately not given in the Third Column, but, in
view of Shuruppak's place in the list of Antediluvian cities, it is
not improbable that on this point the Sumerian and Babylonian Versions
agreed. In the Gilgamesh Epic Shuruppak is the only Antediluvian city
referred to, while in the Hebrew accounts no city at all is mentioned in
connexion with Noah. The city of Xisuthros, too, is not recorded, but as
his father came from Larankha or Larak, we may regard that city as his
in the Greek Version. Besides Larankha, the only Antediluvian cities
according to Berossus were Babylon and Sippar, and the influence of
Babylonian theology, of which we here have evidence, would be sufficient
to account for a disturbance of the original traditions. At the same
time it is not excluded that Larak was also the scene of the Deluge in
our text, though, as we have noted, the position of Shuruppak at the
close of the Sumerian list points to it as the more probable of the two.
It may be added that we cannot yet read the name of the deity to whom
Shuruppak was allotted, but as it is expressed by the city's name
preceded by the divine determinative, the rendering "the God of
Shuruppak" will meanwhile serve.

     (1) See _Hist. of Sum. and Akk._, pp. 24 ff.

The creation of small rivers and pools, which seems to have followed
the foundation of the five sacred cities, is best explained on the
assumption that they were intended for the supply of water to the
cities and to the temples of their five patron gods. The creation of
the Euphrates and the Tigris, if recorded in our text at all, or in its
logical order, must have occurred in the upper portion of the column.
The fact that in the later Sumerian account their creation is related
between that of mankind and the building of Nippur and Erech cannot be
cited in support of this suggestion, in view of the absence of those
cities from our text and of the process of editing to which the later
version has been subjected, with a consequent disarrangement of its


From the lower part of the Third Column, where its text is first
preserved, it is clear that the gods had already decided to send a
Deluge, for the goddess Nintu or Ninkharsagga, here referred to also
as "the holy Innanna", wails aloud for the intended destruction of "her
people". That this decision has been decreed by the gods in council is
clear from a passage in the Fourth Column, where it is stated that the
sending of a flood to destroy mankind was "the word of the assembly (of
the gods)". The first lines preserved in the present column describe the
effect of the decision on the various gods concerned and their action at
the close of the council.

In the lines which described the Council of the Gods, broken references
to "the people" and "a flood" are preserved, after which the text

     At that time Nintu (. . .) like a (. . .),
     The holy Innanna lament(ed) on account of her people.
     Enki in his own heart (held) counsel;
     Anu, Enlil, Enki and Ninkharsagga (. . .).
     The gods of heaven and earth in(voked) the name of Anu and Enlil.

It is unfortunate that the ends of all the lines in this column are
wanting, but enough remains to show a close correspondence of the first
two lines quoted with a passage in the Gilgamesh Epic where Ishtar is
described as lamenting the destruction of mankind.(1) This will be seen
more clearly by printing the two couplets in parallel columns:


     At that time Nintu (. . .)       Ishtar cried aloud like a woman
     like a (. . .),                     in travail,
     The holy Innanna lament(ed)      Bêlit-ili lamented with a loud
     on account of her people.           voice.

     (1) Gilg. Epic, XI, l. 117 f.

The expression Bêlit-ili, "the Lady of the Gods", is attested as a title
borne both by the Semitic goddess Ishtar and by the Sumerian goddess
Nintu or Ninkharsagga. In the passage in the Babylonian Version, "the
Lady of the Gods" has always been treated as a synonym of Ishtar, the
second half of the couplet being regarded as a restatement of the first,
according to a recognized law of Babylonian poetry. We may probably
assume that this interpretation is correct, and we may conclude by
analogy that "the holy Innanna" in the second half of the Sumerian
couplet is there merely employed as a synonym of Nintu.(1) When the
Sumerian myth was recast in accordance with Semitic ideas, the _rôle_ of
creatress of mankind, which had been played by the old Sumerian goddess
Ninkharsagga or Nintu, was naturally transferred to the Semitic Ishtar.
And as Innanna was one of Ishtar's designations, it was possible to make
the change by a simple transcription of the lines, the name Nintu being
replaced by the synonymous title Bêlit-ili, which was also shared by
Ishtar. Difficulties are at once introduced if we assume with Dr.
Poebel that in each version two separate goddesses are represented as
lamenting, Nintu or Bêlit-ili and Innanna or Ishtar. For Innanna as
a separate goddess had no share in the Sumerian Creation, and the
reference to "her people" is there only applicable to Nintu. Dr. Poebel
has to assume that the Sumerian names should be reversed in order to
restore them to their original order, which he suggests the Babylonian
Version has preserved. But no such textual emendation is necessary. In
the Semitic Version Ishtar definitely displaces Nintu as the mother of
men, as is proved by a later passage in her speech where she refers to
her own bearing of mankind.(2) The necessity for the substitution of her
name in the later version is thus obvious, and we have already noted how
simply this was effected.

     (1) Cf. also Jastrow, _Hebr. and Bab. Trad._, p. 336.

     (2) Gilg. Epic, XI, l. 123.

Another feature in which the two versions differ is that in the Sumerian
text the lamentation of the goddess precedes the sending of the Deluge,
while in the Gilgamesh Epic it is occasioned by the actual advent of the
storm. Since our text is not completely preserved, it is just possible
that the couplet was repeated at the end of the Fourth Column after
mankind's destruction had taken place. But a further apparent difference
has been noted. While in the Sumerian Version the goddess at once
deplores the divine decision, it is clear from Ishtar's words in the
Gilgamesh Epic that in the assembly of the gods she had at any rate
concurred in it.(1) On the other hand, in Bêlit-ili's later speech in
the Epic, after Ut-napishtim's sacrifice upon the mountain, she appears
to subscribe the decision to Enlil alone.(2) The passages in the
Gilgamesh Epic are not really contradictory, for they can be interpreted
as implying that, while Enlil forced his will upon the other gods
against Bêlit-ili's protest, the goddess at first reproached herself
with her concurrence, and later stigmatized Enlil as the real author of
the catastrophe. The Semitic narrative thus does not appear, as has been
suggested, to betray traces of two variant traditions which have been
skilfully combined, though it may perhaps exhibit an expansion of the
Sumerian story. On the other hand, most of the apparent discrepancies
between the Sumerian and Babylonian Versions disappear, on the
recognition that our text gives in many passages only an epitome of the
original Sumerian Version.

     (1) Cf. l. 121 f., "Since I commanded evil in the assembly
     of the gods, (and) commanded battle for the destruction of
     my people".

     (2) Cf. ll. 165 ff., "Ye gods that are here! So long as I
     forget not the (jewels of) lapis lazuli upon my neck, I will
     keep these days in my memory, never will I forget them! Let
     the gods come to the offering, but let not Enlil come to the
     offering, since he took not counsel but sent the deluge and
     surrendered my people to destruction."

The lament of the goddess is followed by a brief account of the action
taken by the other chief figures in the drama. Enki holds counsel with
his own heart, evidently devising the project, which he afterwards
carried into effect, of preserving the seed of mankind from destruction.
Since the verb in the following line is wanting, we do not know what
action is there recorded of the four creating deities; but the fact that
the gods of heaven and earth invoked the name of Anu and Enlil suggests
that it was their will which had been forced upon the other gods. We
shall see that throughout the text Anu and Enlil are the ultimate rulers
of both gods and men.

The narrative then introduces the human hero of the Deluge story:

     At that time Ziusudu, the king, . . . priest of the god (. . .),

     Made a very great . . ., (. . .).

     In humility he prostrates himself, in reverence (. . .),

     Daily he stands in attendance (. . .).

     A dream,(1) such as had not been before, comes forth(2) . . .
          (. . .),

     By the Name of Heaven and Earth he conjures (. . .).

     (1) The word may also be rendered "dreams".

     (2) For this rendering of the verb _e-de_, for which Dr.
     Poebel does not hazard a translation, see Rawlinson,
     _W.A.I._, IV, pl. 26, l. 24 f.(a), _nu-e-de_ = Sem. _la us-
     su-u_ (Pres.); and cf. Brünnow, _Classified List_, p. 327.
     An alternative rendering "is created" is also possible, and
     would give equally good sense; cf. _nu-e-de_ = Sem. _la šu-
     pu-u_, _W.A.I._, IV, pl. 2, l. 5 (a), and Brünnow, op. cit.,
     p. 328.

The name of the hero, Ziusudu, is the fuller Sumerian equivalent of
Ut-napishtim (or Uta-napishtim), the abbreviated Semitic form which we
find in the Gilgamesh Epic. For not only are the first two elements of
the Sumerian name identical with those of the Semitic Ut-napishtim,
but the names themselves are equated in a later Babylonian syllabary or
explanatory list of words.(1) We there find "Ut-napishte" given as the
equivalent of the Sumerian "Zisuda", evidently an abbreviated form of
the name Ziusudu;(2) and it is significant that the names occur in
the syllabary between those of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, evidently in
consequence of the association of the Deluge story by the Babylonians
with their national epic of Gilgamesh. The name Ziusudu may be rendered
"He who lengthened the day of life" or "He who made life long of
days",(3) which in the Semitic form is abbreviated by the omission of
the verb. The reference is probably to the immortality bestowed upon
Ziusudu at the close of the story, and not to the prolongation of
mankind's existence in which he was instrumental. It is scarcely
necessary to add that the name has no linguistic connexion with the
Hebrew name Noah, to which it also presents no parallel in meaning.

     (1) Cf. _Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus._, Pt. XVIII, pl. 30,
     l. 9 (a).

     (2) The name in the Sumerian Version is read by Dr. Poebel
     as Ziugiddu, but there is much in favour of Prof. Zimmern's
     suggestion, based on the form Zisuda, that the third
     syllable of the name should be read as _su_. On a fragment
     of another Nippur text, No. 4611, Dr. Langdon reads the name
     as _Zi-u-sud-du_ (cf. Univ. of Penns. Mus. Publ., Bab. Sec.,
     Vol. X, No. 1, p. 90, pl. iv a); the presence of the
     phonetic complement _du_ may be cited in favour of this
     reading, but it does not appear to be supported by the
     photographic reproductions of the name in the Sumerian
     Deluge Version given by Dr. Poebel (_Hist. and Gramm.
     Texts_, pl. lxxxviii f.). It may be added that, on either
     alternative, the meaning of the name is the same.

     (3) The meaning of the Sumerian element _u_ in the name,
     rendered as _utu_ in the Semitic form, is rather obscure,
     and Dr. Poebel left it unexplained. It is very probable, as
     suggested by Dr. Langdon (cf. _Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch._,
     XXXVI, 1914, p. 190), that we should connect it with the
     Semitic _uddu_; in that case, in place of "breath", the
     rending he suggests, I should be inclined to render it here
     as "day", for _uddu_ as the meaning "dawn" and the sign UD
     is employed both for _urru_, "day-light", and _ûmu_, "day".

It is an interesting fact that Ziusudu should be described simply as
"the king", without any indication of the city or area he ruled; and
in three of the five other passages in the text in which his name is
mentioned it is followed by the same title without qualification. In
most cases Berossus tells us the cities from which his Antediluvian
rulers came; and if the end of the line had been preserved it might have
been possible to determine definitely Ziusudu's city, and incidentally
the scene of the Deluge in the Sumerian Version, by the name of the
deity in whose service he acted as priest. We have already noted some
grounds for believing that his city may have been Shuruppak, as in the
Babylonian Version; and if that were so, the divine name reads as "the
God of Shurrupak" should probably be restored at the end of the line.(1)

     (1) The remains that are preserved of the determinative,
     which is not combined with the sign EN, proves that Enki's
     name is not to be restored. Hence Ziusudu was not priest of
     Enki, and his city was probably not Eridu, the seat of his
     divine friend and counsellor, and the first of the
     Antediluvian cities. Sufficient reason for Enki's
     intervention on Ziusudu's behalf is furnished by the fact
     that, as God of the Deep, he was concerned in the proposed
     method of man's destruction. His rivalry of Enlil, the God
     of the Earth, is implied in the Babylonian Version (cf.
     Gilg. Epic. XI, ll. 39-42), and in the Sumerian Version this
     would naturally extend to Anu, the God of Heaven.

The employment of the royal title by itself accords with the tradition
from Berossus that before the Deluge, as in later periods, the land was
governed by a succession of supreme rulers, and that the hero of the
Deluge was the last of them. In the Gilgamesh Epic, on the other
hand, Ut-napishtim is given no royal nor any other title. He is merely
referred to as a "man of Shuruppak, son of Ubar-Tutu", and he appears in
the guise of an ancient hero or patriarch not invested with royal
power. On this point Berossus evidently preserves the original Sumerian
traditions, while the Hebrew Versions resemble the Semitic-Babylonian
narrative. The Sumerian conception of a series of supreme Antediluvian
rulers is of course merely a reflection from the historical period,
when the hegemony in Babylonia was contested among the city-states. The
growth of the tradition may have been encouraged by the early use of
_lugal_, "king", which, though always a term of secular character, was
not very sharply distinguished from that of _patesi_ and other religious
titles, until, in accordance with political development, it was required
to connote a wider dominion. In Sumer, at the time of the composition
of our text, Ziusudu was still only one in a long line of Babylonian
rulers, mainly historical but gradually receding into the realms of
legend and myth. At the time of the later Semites there had been more
than one complete break in the tradition and the historical setting
of the old story had become dim. The fact that Hebrew tradition should
range itself in this matter with Babylon rather than with Sumer is
important as a clue in tracing the literary history of our texts.

The rest of the column may be taken as descriptive of Ziusudu's
activities. One line records his making of some very great object or
the erection of a huge building;(1) and since the following lines are
concerned solely with religious activities, the reference is possibly to
a temple or some other structure of a sacred character. Its foundation
may have been recorded as striking evidence of his devotion to his god;
or, since the verb in this sentence depends on the words "at that time"
in the preceding line, we may perhaps regard his action as directly
connected with the revelation to be made to him. His personal piety
is then described: daily he occupied himself in his god's service,
prostrating himself in humility and constant in his attendance at the
shrine. A dream (or possibly dreams), "such as had not been before",
appears to him and he seems to be further described as conjuring "by
the Name of Heaven and Earth"; but as the ends of all these lines are
broken, the exact connexion of the phrases is not quite certain.

(1) The element _gur-gur_, "very large" or "huge", which occurs in the
name of this great object or building, _an- sag-gur-gur_, is employed
later in the term for the "huge boat", _(gish)ma-gur-gur_, in which
Ziusudu rode out the storm. There was, of course, even at this early
period a natural tendency to picture on a superhuman scale the lives and
deeds of remote predecessors, a tendency which increased in later times
and led, as we shall see, to the elaboration of extravagant detail.

It is difficult not to associate the reference to a dream, or possibly
to dream-divination, with the warning in which Enki reveals the purpose
of the gods. For the later versions prepare us for a reference to
a dream. If we take the line as describing Ziusudu's practice of
dream-divination in general, "such as had not been before", he may have
been represented as the first diviner of dreams, as Enmeduranki was held
to be the first practitioner of divination in general. But it seems to
me more probable that the reference is to a particular dream, by means
of which he obtained knowledge of the gods' intentions. On the rendering
of this passage depends our interpretation of the whole of the Fourth
Column, where the point will be further discussed. Meanwhile it may be
noted that the conjuring "by the Name of Heaven and Earth", which we may
assume is ascribed to Ziusudu, gains in significance if we may regard
the setting of the myth as a magical incantation, an inference in
support of which we shall note further evidence. For we are furnished
at once with the grounds for its magical employment. If Ziusudu, through
conjuring by the Name of Heaven and earth, could profit by the warning
sent him and so escape the impending fate of mankind, the application of
such a myth to the special needs of a Sumerian in peril or distress will
be obvious. For should he, too, conjure by the Name of Heaven and Earth,
he might look for a similar deliverance; and his recital of the myth
itself would tend to clinch the magical effect of his own incantation.

The description of Ziusudu has also great interest in furnishing us with
a close parallel to the piety of Noah in the Hebrew Versions. For in the
Gilgamesh Epic and in Berossus this feature of the story is completely
absent. We are there given no reason why Ut-napishtim was selected by
Ea, nor Xisuthros by Kronos. For all that those versions tell us, the
favour of each deity might have been conferred arbitrarily, and not in
recognition of, or in response to, any particular quality or action
on the part of its recipient. The Sumerian Version now restores the
original setting of the story and incidentally proves that, in this
particular, the Hebrew Versions have not embroidered a simpler narrative
for the purpose of edification, but have faithfully reproduced an
original strand of the tradition.


The top of the Fourth Column of the text follows immediately on the
close of the Third Column, so that at this one point we have no great
gap between the columns. But unfortunately the ends of all the lines
in both columns are wanting, and the exact content of some phrases
preserved and their relation to each other are consequently doubtful.
This materially affects the interpretation of the passage as a whole,
but the main thread of the narrative may be readily followed. Ziusudu is
here warned that a flood is to be sent "to destroy the seed of mankind";
the doubt that exists concerns the manner in which the warning is
conveyed. In the first line of the column, after a reference to "the
gods", a building seems to be mentioned, and Ziusudu, standing beside
it, apparently hears a voice, which bids him take his stand beside
a wall and then conveys to him the warning of the coming flood. The
destruction of mankind had been decreed in "the assembly (of the gods)"
and would be carried out by the commands of Anu and Enlil. Before the
text breaks off we again have a reference to the "kingdom" and "its
rule", a further trace of the close association of the Deluge with the
dynastic succession in the early traditions of Sumer.

In the opening words of the warning to Ziusudu, with its prominent
repetition of the word "wall", we must evidently trace some connexion
with the puzzling words of Ea in the Gilgamesh Epic, when he begins his
warning to Ut-napishtim. The warnings, as given in the two versions, are
printed below in parallel columns for comparison.(1) The Gilgamesh Epic,
after relating how the great gods in Shuruppak had decided to send a
deluge, continues as follows in the right-hand column:


     For (. . .) . . . the gods a        Nin-igi-azag,(2) the god Ea,
     . . . (. . .);                      sat with them,
     Ziusudu standing at its side        And he repeated their word to
     heard (. . .):                      the house of reeds:
     "At the wall on my left side take   "Reed-hut, reed-hut! Wall,
     thy stand and (. . .),               wall!
     At the wall I will speak a word     O reed-hut, hear! O wall,
     to thee (. . .).                    understand!
     O my devout one . . . (. . .),      Thou man of Shuruppak, son of
     By our hand(?) a flood(3) . . .     Pull down thy house, build a
     (. . .) will be (sent).             ship,
     To destroy the seed of mankind      Leave thy possessions, take
     (. . .)                             heed for thy life,
     Is the decision, the word of the    Abandon thy property, and save
     assembly(4) (of the gods)           thy life.
     The commands of Anu (and)           And bring living seed of every
     En(lil . . .)                       kind into the ship.
     Its kingdom, its rule (. . .)       As for the ship, which thou
     shalt build,
     To his (. . .)"                     Of which the measurements
     shall be carefully measured,
     (. . .)                             Its breadth and length shall
     (. . .)                             In the deep shalt thou immerse

     (1) Col. IV, ll. 1 ff. are there compared with Gilg. Epic,
     XI, ll. 19-31.

     (2) Nin-igi-azag, "The Lord of Clear Vision", a title borne
     by Enki, or Ea, as God of Wisdom.

     (3) The Sumerian term _amaru_, here used for the flood and
     rendered as "rain-storm" by Dr. Poebel, is explained in a
     later syllabary as the equivalent of the Semitic-Babylonian
     word _abûbu_ (cf. Meissner, _S.A.I._, No. 8909), the term
     employed for the flood both in the early Semitic version of
     the Atrakhasis story dated in Ammizaduga's reign and in the
     Gilgamesh Epic. The word _abûbu_ is often conventionally
     rendered "deluge", but should be more accurately translated
     "flood". It is true that the tempests of the Sumerian
     Version probably imply rain; and in the Gilgamesh Epic heavy
     rain in the evening begins the flood and is followed at dawn
     by a thunderstorm and hurricane. But in itself the term
     _abûbu_ implies flood, which could take place through a rise
     of the rivers unaccompanied by heavy local rain. The annual
     rainfall in Babylonia to-day is on an average only about 8
     in., and there have been years in succession when the total
     rainfall has not exceeded 4 in.; and yet the _abûbu_ is not
     a thing of the past.

     (4) The word here rendered "assembly" is the Semitic loan-
     word _buhrum_, in Babylonian _puhrum_, the term employed for
     the "assembly" of the gods both in the Babylonian Creation
     Series and in the Gilgamesh Epic. Its employment in the
     Sumerian Version, in place of its Sumerian equivalent
     _ukkin_, is an interesting example of Semitic influence. Its
     occurrence does not necessarily imply the existence of a
     recognized Semitic Version at the period our text was
     inscribed. The substitution of _buhrum_ for _ukkin_ in the
     text may well date from the period of Hammurabi, when we may
     assume that the increased importance of the city-council was
     reflected in the general adoption of the Semitic term (cf.
     Poebel, _Hist. Texts_, p. 53).

In the Semitic Version Ut-napishtim, who tells the story in the first
person, then says that he "understood", and that, after assuring Ea
that he would carry out his commands, he asked how he was to explain his
action to "the city, the people, and the elders"; and the god told
him what to say. Then follows an account of the building of the ship,
introduced by the words "As soon as the dawn began to break". In
the Sumerian Version the close of the warning, in which the ship was
probably referred to, and the lines prescribing how Ziusudu carried out
the divine instructions are not preserved.

It will be seen that in the passage quoted from the Semitic Version
there is no direct mention of a dream; the god is represented at first
as addressing his words to a "house of reeds" and a "wall", and then as
speaking to Ut-napishtim himself. But in a later passage in the Epic,
when Ea seeks to excuse his action to Enlil, he says that the gods'
decision was revealed to Atrakhasis through a dream.(1) Dr. Poebel
rightly compares the direct warning of Ut-napishtim by Ea in the passage
quoted above with the equally direct warning Ziusudu receives in the
Sumerian Version. But he would have us divorce the direct warning from
the dream-warning, and he concludes that no less than three different
versions of the story have been worked together in the Gilgamesh Epic.
In the first, corresponding to that in our text, Ea communicates the
gods' decision directly to Ut-napishtim; in the second he sends a dream
from which Atrakhasis, "the Very Wise one", guesses the impending peril;
while in the third he relates the plan to a wall, taking care that
Ut-napishtim overhears him.(2) The version of Berossus, that Kronos
himself appears to Xisuthros in a dream and warns him, is rejected by
Dr. Poebel, who remarks that here the "original significance of the
dream has already been obliterated". Consequently there seems to him to
be "no logical connexion" between the dreams or dream mentioned at the
close of the Third Column and the communication of the plan of the gods
at the beginning of the Fourth Column of our text.(3)

     (1) Cf. l. 195 f.; "I did not divulge the decision of the
     great gods. I caused Atrakhasis to behold a dream and thus
     he heard the decision of the gods."

     (2) Cf. Poebel, _Hist. Texts_, p. 51 f. With the god's
     apparent subterfuge in the third of these supposed versions
     Sir James Frazer (_Ancient Stories of a Great Flood_, p. 15)
     not inaptly compares the well-known story of King Midas's
     servant, who, unable to keep the secret of the king's
     deformity to himself, whispered it into a hole in the
     ground, with the result that the reeds which grew up there
     by their rustling in the wind proclaimed it to the world
     (Ovid, _Metamorphoses_, xi, 174 ff.).

     (3) Op. cit., p. 51; cf. also Jastrow, _Heb. and Bab.
     Trad._, p. 346.

So far from Berossus having missed the original significance of the
narrative he relates, I think it can be shown that he reproduces
very accurately the sense of our Sumerian text; and that the apparent
discrepancies in the Semitic Version, and the puzzling references to
a wall in both it and the Sumerian Version, are capable of a simple
explanation. There appears to me no justification for splitting the
Semitic narrative into the several versions suggested, since the
assumption that the direct warning and the dream-warning must be
distinguished is really based on a misunderstanding of the character of
Sumerian dreams by which important decisions of the gods in council were
communicated to mankind. We fortunately possess an instructive Sumerian
parallel to our passage. In it the will of the gods is revealed in
a dream, which is not only described in full but is furnished with a
detailed interpretation; and as it seems to clear up our difficulties,
it may be well to summarize its main features.

The occasion of the dream in this case was not a coming deluge but a
great dearth of water in the rivers, in consequence of which the crops
had suffered and the country was threatened with famine. This occurred
in the reign of Gudea, patesi of Lagash, who lived some centuries before
our Sumerian document was inscribed. In his own inscription(1) he
tells us that he was at a loss to know by what means he might restore
prosperity to his country, when one night he had a dream; and it was
in consequence of the dream that he eventually erected one of the most
sumptuously appointed of Sumerian temples and thereby restored his land
to prosperity. Before recounting his dream he describes how the gods
themselves took counsel. On the day in which destinies were fixed
in heaven and earth, Enlil, the chief of the gods, and Ningirsu, the
city-god of Lagash, held converse; and Enlil, turning to Ningirsu,
described the sad condition of Southern Babylonia, and remarked that
"the decrees of the temple Eninnû should be made glorious in heaven and
upon earth", or, in other words, that Ningirsu's city-temple must be
rebuilt. Thereupon Ningirsu did not communicate his orders directly to
Gudea, but conveyed the will of the gods to him by means of a dream.

     (1) See Thureau-Dangin, _Les inscriptions de Sumer et
     d'Akkad_, Cyl. A, pp. 134 ff., Germ. ed., pp. 88 ff.; and
     cf. King and Hall, _Eg. and West. Asia_, pp. 196 ff.

It will be noticed that we here have a very similar situation to that in
the Deluge story. A conference of the gods has been held; a decision
has been taken by the greatest god, Enlil; and, in consequence, another
deity is anxious to inform a Sumerian ruler of that decision. The only
difference is that here Enlil desires the communication to be made,
while in the Deluge story it is made without his knowledge, and
obviously against his wishes. So the fact that Ningirsu does not
communicate directly with the patesi, but conveys his message by means
of a dream, is particularly instructive. For here there can be no
question of any subterfuge in the method employed, since Enlil was a
consenting party.

The story goes on to relate that, while the patesi slept, a vision of
the night came to him, and he beheld a man whose stature was so great
that it equalled the heavens and the earth. By the diadem he wore upon
his head Gudea knew that the figure must be a god. Beside the god
was the divine eagle, the emblem of Lagash; his feet rested upon the
whirlwind, and a lion crouched upon his right hand and upon his left.
The figure spoke to the patesi, but he did not understand the meaning of
the words. Then it seemed to Gudea that the Sun rose from the earth; and
he beheld a woman holding in her hand a pure reed, and she carried also
a tablet on which was a star of the heavens, and she seemed to take
counsel with herself. While Gudea was gazing, he seemed to see a second
man, who was like a warrior; and he carried a slab of lapis lazuli, on
which he drew out the plan of a temple. Before the patesi himself it
seemed that a fair cushion was placed, and upon the cushion was set
a mould, and within the mould was a brick. And on the right hand the
patesi beheld an ass that lay upon the ground. Such was the dream of
Gudea, and he was troubled because he could not interpret it.(1)

     (1) The resemblance its imagery bears to that of apocalyptic
     visions of a later period is interesting, as evidence of the
     latter's remote ancestry, and of the development in the use
     of primitive material to suit a completely changed political
     outlook. But those are points which do not concern our

To cut the long story short, Gudea decided to seek the help of Ninâ,
"the child of Eridu", who, as daughter of Enki, the God of Wisdom, could
divine all the mysteries of the gods. But first of all by sacrifices
and libations he secured the mediation of his own city-god and goddess,
Ningirsu and Gatumdug; and then, repairing to Ninâ's temple, he
recounted to her the details of his vision. When the patesi had
finished, the goddess addressed him and said she would explain to him
the meaning of his dream. Here, no doubt, we are to understand that
she spoke through the mouth of her chief priest. And this was the
interpretation of the dream. The man whose stature was so great, and
whose head was that of a god, was the god Ningirsu, and the words which
he uttered were an order to the patesi to rebuild the temple Eninnû. The
Sun which rose from the earth was the god Ningishzida, for like the
Sun he goes forth from the earth. The maiden who held the pure reed and
carried the tablet with the star was the goddess Nisaba; the star was
the pure star of the temple's construction, which she proclaimed. The
second man, who was like a warrior, was the god Nibub; and the plan of
the temple which he drew was the plan of Eninnû; and the ass that lay
upon the ground was the patesi himself.(1)

     (1) The symbolism of the ass, as a beast of burden, was
     applicable to the patesi in his task of carrying out the
     building of the temple.

The essential feature of the vision is that the god himself appeared to
the sleeper and delivered his message in words. That is precisely the
manner in which Kronos warned Xisuthros of the coming Deluge in
the version of Berossus; while in the Gilgamesh Epic the apparent
contradiction between the direct warning and the dream-warning at once
disappears. It is true that Gudea states that he did not understand the
meaning of the god's message, and so required an interpretation; but
he was equally at a loss as to the identity of the god who gave it,
although Ningirsu was his own city-god and was accompanied by his own
familiar city-emblem. We may thus assume that the god's words, as words,
were equally intelligible to Gudea. But as they were uttered in a dream,
it was necessary that the patesi, in view of his country's peril, should
have divine assurance that they implied no other meaning. And in his
case such assurance was the more essential, in view of the symbolism
attaching to the other features of his vision. That this is sound
reasoning is proved by a second vision vouchsafed to Gudea by Ningirsu.
For the patesi, though he began to prepare for the building of the
temple, was not content even with Ninâ's assurance. He offered a prayer
to Ningirsu himself, saying that he wished to build the temple, but had
received no sign that this was the will of the god; and he prayed for a
sign. Then, as the patesi lay stretched upon the ground, the god again
appeared to him and gave him detailed instructions, adding that he would
grant the sign for which he asked. The sign was that he should feel his
side touched as by a flame,(1) and thereby he should know that he was
the man chosen by Ningirsu to carry out his commands. Here it is the
sign which confirms the apparent meaning of the god's words. And Gudea
was at last content and built the temple.(2)

     (1) Cyl. A., col. xii, l. 10 f.; cf. Thureau-Dangin, op.
     cit., p. 150 f., Germ. ed., p. 102 f. The word translated
     "side" may also be rendered as "hand"; but "side" is the
     more probable rendering of the two. The touching of Gudea's
     side (or hand) presents an interesting resemblance to the
     touching of Jacob's thigh by the divine wrestler at Peniel
     in Gen. xxxii. 24 ff. (J or JE). Given a belief in the
     constant presence of the unseen and its frequent
     manifestation, such a story as that of Peniel might well
     arise from an unexplained injury to the sciatic muscle,
     while more than one ailment of the heart or liver might
     perhaps suggest the touch of a beckoning god. There is of
     course no connexion between the Sumerian and Hebrew stories
     beyond their common background. It may be added that those
     critics who would reverse the _rôles_ of Jacob and the
     wrestler miss the point of the Hebrew story.

     (2) Even so, before starting on the work, he took the
     further precautions of ascertaining that the omens were
     favourable and of purifying his city from all malign

We may conclude, then, that in the new Sumerian Version of the Deluge we
have traced a logical connexion between the direct warning to Ziusudu in
the Fourth Column of the text and the reference to a dream in the broken
lines at the close of the Third Column. As in the Gilgamesh Epic and
in Berossus, here too the god's warning is conveyed in a dream; and
the accompanying reference to conjuring by the Name of Heaven and Earth
probably represents the means by which Ziusudu was enabled to verify its
apparent meaning. The assurance which Gudea obtained through the priest
of Ninâ and the sign, the priest-king Ziusudu secured by his own act,
in virtue of his piety and practice of divination. And his employment of
the particular class of incantation referred to, that which conjures by
the Name of Heaven and Earth, is singularly appropriate to the context.
For by its use he was enabled to test the meaning of Enki's words, which
related to the intentions of Anu and Enlil, the gods respectively of
Heaven and of Earth. The symbolical setting of Gudea's vision also finds
a parallel in the reed-house and wall of the Deluge story, though in the
latter case we have not the benefit of interpretation by a goddess. In
the Sumerian Version the wall is merely part of the vision and does
not receive a direct address from the god. That appears as a later
development in the Semitic Version, and it may perhaps have suggested
the excuse, put in that version into the mouth of Ea, that he had not
directly revealed the decision of the gods.(1)

     (1) In that case the parallel suggested by Sir James Frazer
     between the reed-house and wall of the Gilgamesh Epic, now
     regarded as a medium of communication, and the whispering
     reeds of the Midas story would still hold good.

The omission of any reference to a dream before the warning in the
Gilgamesh Epic may be accounted for on the assumption that readers of
the poem would naturally suppose that the usual method of divine warning
was implied; and the text does indicate that the warning took place at
night, for Gilgamesh proceeds to carry out the divine instructions at
the break of day. The direct warning of the Hebrew Versions, on the
other hand, does not carry this implication, since according to Hebrew
ideas direct speech, as well as vision, was included among the methods
by which the divine will could be conveyed to man.


The missing portion of the Fourth Column must have described Ziusudu's
building of his great boat in order to escape the Deluge, for at the
beginning of the Fifth Column we are in the middle of the Deluge itself.
The column begins:

     All the mighty wind-storms together blew,
     The flood . . . raged.
     When for seven days, for seven nights,
     The flood had overwhelmed the land
     When the wind-storm had driven the great boat over the mighty
     The Sun-god came forth, shedding light over heaven and earth.
     Ziusudu opened the opening of the great boat;
     The light of the hero, the Sun-god, (he) causes to enter into the
     interior(?) of the great boat.
     Ziusudu, the king,
     Bows himself down before the Sun-god;
     The king sacrifices an ox, a sheep he slaughters(?).

The connected text of the column then breaks off, only a sign or two
remaining of the following half-dozen lines. It will be seen that in the
eleven lines that are preserved we have several close parallels to
the Babylonian Version and some equally striking differences. While
attempting to define the latter, it will be well to point out how close
the resemblances are, and at the same time to draw a comparison between
the Sumerian and Babylonian Versions of this part of the story and the
corresponding Hebrew accounts.

Here, as in the Babylonian Version, the Flood is accompanied by
hurricanes of wind, though in the latter the description is worked up
in considerable detail. We there read(1) that at the appointed time the
ruler of the darkness at eventide sent a heavy rain. Ut-napishtim saw
its beginning, but fearing to watch the storm, he entered the interior
of the ship by Ea's instructions, closed the door, and handed over the
direction of the vessel to the pilot Puzur-Amurri. Later a thunder-storm
and hurricane added their terrors to the deluge. For at early dawn a
black cloud came up from the horizon, Adad the Storm-god thundering in
its midst, and his heralds, Nabû and Sharru, flying over mountain and
plain. Nergal tore away the ship's anchor, while Ninib directed the
storm; the Anunnaki carried their lightning-torches and lit up the
land with their brightness; the whirlwind of the Storm-god reached the
heavens, and all light was turned into darkness. The storm raged the
whole day, covering mountain and people with water.(2) No man beheld his
fellow; the gods themselves were afraid, so that they retreated into
the highest heaven, where they crouched down, cowering like dogs. Then
follows the lamentation of Ishtar, to which reference has already been
made, the goddess reproaching herself for the part she had taken in the
destruction of her people. This section of the Semitic narrative closes
with the picture of the gods weeping with her, sitting bowed down with
their lips pressed together.

     (1) Gilg. Epic, XI, ll. 90 ff.

     (2) In the Atrakhasis version, dated in the reign of
     Ammizaduga, Col. I, l. 5, contains a reference to the "cry"
     of men when Adad the Storm-god, slays them with his flood.

It is probable that the Sumerian Version, in the missing portion of its
Fourth Column, contained some account of Ziusudu's entry into his
boat; and this may have been preceded, as in the Gilgamesh Epic, by a
reference to "the living seed of every kind", or at any rate to "the
four-legged creatures of the field", and to his personal possessions,
with which we may assume he had previously loaded it. But in the Fifth
Column we have no mention of the pilot or of any other companions who
may have accompanied the king; and we shall see that the Sixth Column
contains no reference to Ziusudu's wife. The description of the storm
may have begun with the closing lines of the Fourth Column, though it
is also quite possible that the first line of the Fifth Column actually
begins the account. However that may be, and in spite of the poetic
imagery of the Semitic Babylonian narrative, the general character of
the catastrophe is the same in both versions.

We find an equally close parallel, between the Sumerian and Babylonian
accounts, in the duration of the storm which accompanied the Flood, as
will be seen by printing the two versions together:(3)


     When for seven days, for seven   For six days and nights
     The flood had overwhelmed the    The wind blew, the flood, the
     land,                            tempest overwhelmed the land.
     When the wind-storm had driven   When the seventh day drew near,
     the great boat over the          the tempest, the flood, ceased
     mighty waters,                   from the battle
     In which it had fought like a
     The Sun-god came forth shedding  Then the sea rested and was
     light over heaven and earth.     still, and the wind-storm, the
     flood, ceased.

     (3) Col. V, ll. 3-6 are here compared with Gilg. Epic, XI,
     ll. 128-32.

The two narratives do not precisely agree as to the duration of the
storm, for while in the Sumerian account the storm lasts seven days and
seven nights, in the Semitic-Babylonian Version it lasts only six days
and nights, ceasing at dawn on the seventh day. The difference, however,
is immaterial when we compare these estimates with those of the Hebrew
Versions, the older of which speaks of forty days' rain, while the later
version represents the Flood as rising for no less than a hundred and
fifty days.

The close parallel between the Sumerian and Babylonian Versions is not,
however, confined to subject-matter, but here, even extends to some
of the words and phrases employed. It has already been noted that
the Sumerian term employed for "flood" or "deluge" is the attested
equivalent of the Semitic word; and it may now be added that the word
which may be rendered "great boat" or "great ship" in the Sumerian text
is the same word, though partly expressed by variant characters, which
occurs in the early Semitic fragment of the Deluge story from Nippur.(1)
In the Gilgamesh Epic, on the other hand, the ordinary ideogram for
"vessel" or "ship"(2) is employed, though the great size of the vessel
is there indicated, as in Berossus and the later Hebrew Version, by
detailed measurements. Moreover, the Sumerian and Semitic verbs,
which are employed in the parallel passages quoted above for the
"overwhelming" of the land, are given as synonyms in a late syllabary,
while in another explanatory text the Sumerian verb is explained as
applying to the destructive action of a flood.(3) Such close linguistic
parallels are instructive as furnishing additional proof, if it were
needed, of the dependence of the Semitic-Babylonian and Assyrian
Versions upon Sumerian originals.

     (1) The Sumerian word is _(gish)ma-gur-gur_, corresponding
     to the term written in the early Semitic fragment, l. 8, as
     _(isu)ma-gur-gur_, which is probably to be read under its
     Semitized form _magurgurru_. In l. 6 of that fragment the
     vessel is referred to under the synonymous expression
     _(isu)elippu ra-be-tu_, "a great ship".

     (2) i.e. (GISH)MA, the first element in the Sumerian word,
     read in Semitic Babylonian as _elippu_, "ship"; when
     employed in the early Semitic fragment it is qualified by
     the adj. _ra-be-tu_, "great". There is no justification for
     assuming, with Prof. Hilbrecht, that a measurement of the
     vessel was given in l. 7 of the early Semitic fragment.

     (3) The Sumerian verb _ur_, which is employed in l. 2 of the
     Fifth Column in the expression _ba-an-da-ab-ur-ur_,
     translated as "raged", occurs again in l. 4 in the phrase
     _kalam-ma ba-ur-ra_, "had overwhelmed the land". That we are
     justified in regarding the latter phrase as the original of
     the Semitic _i-sap-pan mâta_ (Gilg. Epic, XI, l. 129) is
     proved by the equation Sum. _ur-ur_ = Sem. _sa-pa-nu_
     (Rawlinson, _W.A.I._, Vol. V, pl. 42, l. 54 c) and by the
     explanation Sum. _ur-ur_ = Sem. _ša-ba-tu ša a-bu-bi_, i.e.
     "_ur-ur_ = to smite, of a flood" (_Cun. Texts_, Pt. XII, pl.
     50, Obv., l. 23); cf. Poebel, _Hist. Texts_, p. 54, n. 1.

It may be worth while to pause for a moment in our study of the text, in
order to inquire what kind of boat it was in which Ziusudu escaped the
Flood. It is only called "a great boat" or "a great ship" in the
text, and this term, as we have noted, was taken over, semitized, and
literally translated in an early Semitic-Babylonian Version. But the
Gilgamesh Epic, representing the later Semitic-Babylonian Version,
supplies fuller details, which have not, however, been satisfactorily
explained. Either the obvious meaning of the description and figures
there given has been ignored, or the measurements have been applied to
a central structure placed upon a hull, much on the lines of a
modern "house-boat" or the conventional Noah's ark.(1) For the latter
interpretation the text itself affords no justification. The statement
is definitely made that the length and breadth of the vessel itself are
to be the same;(2) and a later passage gives ten _gar_ for the height of
its sides and ten _gar_ for the breadth of its deck.(3) This description
has been taken to imply a square box-like structure, which, in order to
be seaworthy, must be placed on a conjectured hull.

     (1) Cf., e.g., Jastrow, _Hebr. and Bab. Trad._, p. 329.

     (2) Gilg. Epic, XI, ll. 28-30.

     (3) L. 58 f. The _gar_ contained twelve cubits, so that the
     vessel would have measured 120 cubits each way; taking the
     Babylonian cubit, on the basis of Gudea's scale, at 495 mm.
     (cf. Thureau-Dangin, _Journal Asiatique_, Dix. Sér., t.
     XIII, 1909, pp. 79 ff., 97), this would give a length,
     breadth, and height of nearly 195 ft.

I do not think it has been noted in this connexion that a vessel,
approximately with the relative proportions of that described in the
Gilgamesh Epic, is in constant use to-day on the lower Tigris and
Euphrates. A _kuffah_,(1) the familiar pitched coracle of Baghdad, would
provide an admirable model for the gigantic vessel in which Ut-napishtim
rode out the Deluge. "Without either stem or stern, quite round like a
shield"--so Herodotus described the _kuffah_ of his day;2() so, too, is
it represented on Assyrian slabs from Nineveh, where we see it employed
for the transport of heavy building material;(3) its form and structure
indeed suggest a prehistoric origin. The _kuffah_ is one of those
examples of perfect adjustment to conditions of use which cannot be
improved. Any one who has travelled in one of these craft will agree
that their storage capacity is immense, for their circular form and
steeply curved side allow every inch of space to be utilized. It is
almost impossible to upset them, and their only disadvantage is lack
of speed. For their guidance all that is required is a steersman with a
paddle, as indicated in the Epic. It is true that the larger kuffah of
to-day tends to increase in diameter as compared to height, but
that detail might well be ignored in picturing the monster vessel
of Ut-napishtim. Its seven horizontal stages and their nine lateral
divisions would have been structurally sound in supporting the vessel's
sides; and the selection of the latter uneven number, though prompted
doubtless by its sacred character, is only suitable to a circular craft
in which the interior walls would radiate from the centre. The use of
pitch and bitumen for smearing the vessel inside and out, though unusual
even in Mesopotamian shipbuilding, is precisely the method employed in
the _kuffah's_ construction.

     (1) Arab. _kuffah_, pl. _kufaf_; in addition to its common
     use for the Baghdad coracle, the word is also employed for a
     large basket.

     (2) Herodotus, I, 194.

     (3) The _kuffah_ is formed of wicker-work coated with
     bitumen. Some of those represented on the Nineveh sculptures
     appear to be covered with skins; and Herodotus (I, 94)
     states that "the boats which come down the river to Babylon
     are circular and made of skins." But his further description
     shows that he is here referred to the _kelek_ or skin-raft,
     with which he has combined a description of the _kuffah_.
     The late Sir Henry Rawlinson has never seen or heard of a
     skin-covered _kuffah_ on either the Tigris or Euphrates, and
     there can be little doubt that bitumen was employed for
     their construction in antiquity, as it is to-day. These
     craft are often large enough to carry five or six horses and
     a dozen men.

We have no detailed description of Ziusudu's "great boat", beyond the
fact that it was covered in and had an opening, or light-hole, which
could be closed. But the form of Ut-napishtim's vessel was no doubt
traditional, and we may picture that of Ziusudu as also of the _kuffah_
type, though smaller and without its successor's elaborate internal
structure. The gradual development of the huge coracle into a ship would
have been encouraged by the Semitic use of the term "ship" to describe
it; and the attempt to retain something of its original proportions
resulted in producing the unwieldy ark of later tradition.(1)

     (1) The description of the ark is not preserved from the
     earlier Hebrew Version (J), but the latter Hebrew Version
     (P), while increasing the length of the vessel, has
     considerably reduced its height and breadth. Its
     measurements are there given (Gen. vi. 15) as 300 cubits in
     length, 50 cubits in breadth, and 30 cubits in height;
     taking the ordinary Hebrew cubit at about 18 in., this would
     give a length of about 450 ft., a breadth of about 75 ft.,
     and a height of about 45 ft. The interior stories are
     necessarily reduced to three. The vessel in Berossus
     measures five stadia by two, and thus had a length of over
     three thousand feet and a breadth of more than twelve

We will now return to the text and resume the comparison we were making
between it and the Gilgamesh Epic. In the latter no direct reference
is made to the appearance of the Sun-god after the storm, nor is
Ut-napishtim represented as praying to him. But the sequence of events
in the Sumerian Version is very natural, and on that account alone,
apart from other reasons, it may be held to represent the original
form of the story. For the Sun-god would naturally reappear after the
darkness of the storm had passed, and it would be equally natural that
Ziusudu should address himself to the great light-god. Moreover, the
Gilgamesh Epic still retains traces of the Sumerian Version, as will be
seen from a comparison of their narratives,(1) the Semitic Version being
quoted from the point where the hurricane ceased and the sea became

     (1) Col. V, ll. 7-11 are here compared with Gilg. Epic, XI,
     ll. 133-9.


     When I looked at the storm, the
     uproar had ceased,
     And all mankind was turned into
     In place of fields there was a
     Ziusudu opened the opening of     I opened the opening (lit.
     the great boat;                     "hole"), and daylight fell
     upon my countenance.
     The light of the hero, the Sun-
     god, (he) causes to enter into
     the interior(?) of the great
     Ziusudu, the king,
     Bows himself down before the      I bowed myself down and sat down
     Sun-god;                            weeping;
     The king sacrifices an ox, a      Over my countenance flowed my
     sheep he slaughters(?).             tears.
     I gazed upon the quarters (of
     the world)--all(?) was sea.

It will be seen that in the Semitic Version the beams of the Sun-god
have been reduced to "daylight", and Ziusudu's act of worship has become
merely prostration in token of grief.

Both in the Gilgamesh Epic and in Berossus the sacrifice offered by the
Deluge hero to the gods follows the episode of the birds, and it takes
place on the top of the mountain after the landing from the vessel. It
is hardly probable that two sacrifices were recounted in the Sumerian
Version, one to the Sun-god in the boat and another on the mountain
after landing; and if we are right in identifying Ziusudu's recorded
sacrifice with that of Ut-napishtim and Xisuthros, it would seem that,
according to the Sumerian Version, no birds were sent out to test the
abatement of the waters. This conclusion cannot be regarded as quite
certain, inasmuch as the greater part of the Fifth Column is waning. We
have, moreover, already seen reason to believe that the account on our
tablet is epitomized, and that consequently the omission of any episode
from our text does not necessarily imply its absence from the original
Sumerian Version which it follows. But here at least it is clear that
nothing can have been omitted between the opening of the light-hole and
the sacrifice, for the one act is the natural sequence of the other. On
the whole it seems preferable to assume that we have recovered a simpler
form of the story.

As the storm itself is described in a few phrases, so the cessation
of the flood may have been dismissed with equal brevity; the gradual
abatement of the waters, as attested by the dove, the swallow, and the
raven, may well be due to later elaboration or to combination with some
variant account. Under its amended form the narrative leads naturally up
to the landing on the mountain and the sacrifice of thanksgiving to
the gods. In the Sumerian Version, on the other hand, Ziusudu regards
himself as saved when he sees the Sun shining; he needs no further tests
to assure himself that the danger is over, and his sacrifice too is one
of gratitude for his escape. The disappearance of the Sun-god from the
Semitic Version was thus a necessity, to avoid an anti-climax; and the
hero's attitude of worship had obviously to be translated into one of
grief. An indication that the sacrifice was originally represented as
having taken place on board the boat may be seen in the lines of
the Gilgamesh Epic which recount how Enlil, after acquiescing in
Ut-napishtim's survival of the Flood, went up into the ship and led
him forth by the hand, although, in the preceding lines, he had already
landed and had sacrificed upon the mountain. The two passages are hardly
consistent as they stand, but they find a simple explanation of we
regard the second of them as an unaltered survival from an earlier form
of the story.

If the above line of reasoning be sound, it follows that, while the
earlier Hebrew Version closely resembles the Gilgamesh Epic, the later
Hebrew Version, by its omission of the birds, would offer a parallel to
the Sumerian Version. But whether we may draw any conclusion from this
apparent grouping of our authorities will be best dealt with when we
have concluded our survey of the new evidence.

As we have seen, the text of the Fifth Column breaks off with Ziusudu's
sacrifice to the Sun-god, after he had opened a light-hole in the boat
and had seen by the god's beams that the storm was over. The missing
portion of the Fifth Column must have included at least some account of
the abatement of the waters, the stranding of the boat, and the
manner in which Anu and Enlil became apprised of Ziusudu's escape, and
consequently of the failure of their intention to annihilate mankind.
For in the Sixth Column of the text we find these two deities reconciled
to Ziusudu and bestowing immortality upon him, as Enlil bestows
immortality upon Ut-napishtim at the close of the Semitic Version. In
the latter account, after the vessel had grounded on Mount Nisir and
Ut-napishtim had tested the abatement of the waters by means of the
birds, he brings all out from the ship and offers his libation and
sacrifice upon the mountain, heaping up reed, cedar-wood, and myrtle
beneath his seven sacrificial vessels. And it was by this act on his
part that the gods first had knowledge of his escape. For they smelt
the sweet savour of the sacrifice, and "gathered like flies over the

     (1) Gilg. Epic, XI, l. 162.

It is possible in our text that Ziusudu's sacrifice in the boat was also
the means by which the gods became acquainted with his survival; and
it seems obvious that the Sun-god, to whom it was offered, should have
continued to play some part in the narrative, perhaps by assisting
Ziusudu in propitiating Anu and Enlil. In the Semitic-Babylonian
Version, the first deity to approach the sacrifice is Bêlit-ili or
Ishtar, who is indignant with Enlil for what he has done. When Enlil
himself approaches and sees the ship he is filled with anger against the
gods, and, asking who has escaped, exclaims that no man must live in the
destruction. Thereupon Ninib accuses Ea, who by his pleading succeeds in
turning Enlil's purpose. He bids Enlil visit the sinner with his sin and
lay his transgression on the transgressor; Enlil should not again send a
deluge to destroy the whole of mankind, but should be content with less
wholesale destruction, such as that wrought by wild beasts, famine, and
plague. Finally he confesses that it was he who warned Ziusudu of the
gods' decision by sending him a dream. Enlil thereupon changes his
intention, and going up into the ship, leads Ut-napishtim forth.
Though Ea's intervention finds, of course, no parallel in either Hebrew
version, the subject-matter of his speech is reflected in both. In the
earlier Hebrew Version Yahweh smells the sweet savour of Noah's burnt
offering and says in his heart he will no more destroy every living
creature as he had done; while in the later Hebrew Version Elohim,
after remembering Noah and causing the waters to abate, establishes his
covenant to the same effect, and, as a sign of the covenant, sets his
bow in the clouds.

In its treatment of the climax of the story we shall see that the
Sumerian Version, at any rate in the form it has reached us, is on
a lower ethical level than the Babylonian and Hebrew Versions. Ea's
argument that the sinner should bear his own sin and the transgressor
his own transgression in some measure forestalls that of Ezekiel;(1)
and both the Hebrew Versions represent the saving of Noah as part of the
divine intention from the beginning. But the Sumerian Version introduces
the element of magic as the means by which man can bend the will of the
gods to his own ends. How far the details of the Sumerian myth at this
point resembled that of the Gilgamesh Epic it is impossible to say, but
the general course of the story must have been the same. In the latter
Enlil's anger is appeased, in the former that of Anu and Enlil; and it
is legitimate to suppose that Enki, like Ea, was Ziusudu's principal
supporter, in view of the part he had already taken in ensuring his

     (1) Cf. Ezek. xviii, passim, esp. xviii. 20.


The presence of the puzzling lines, with which the Sixth Column of
our text opens, was not explained by Dr. Poebel; indeed, they would be
difficult to reconcile with his assumption that our text is an epic pure
and simple. But if, as is suggested above, we are dealing with a myth in
magical employment, they are quite capable of explanation. The problem
these lines present will best be stated by giving a translation of
the extant portion of the column, where they will be seen with their
immediate context in relation to what follows them:

     "By the Soul of Heaven, by the soul of Earth, shall ye conjure him,
     That with you he may . . . !
     Anu and Enlil by the Soul of Heaven, by the Soul of Earth, shall ye
     And with you will he . . . !

     "The _niggilma_ of the ground springs forth in abundance(?)!"
     Ziusudu, the king,
     Before Anu and Enlil bows himself down.
     Life like (that of) a god he gives to him,
     An eternal soul like (that of) a god he creates for him.
     At that time Ziusudu, the king,
     The name of the _niggilma_ (named) "Preserver of the Seed of

     In a . . . land,(1) the land(1) of Dilmun(?), they caused him to

     (1) Possibly to be translated "mountain". The rendering of
     the proper name as that of Dilmun is very uncertain. For the
     probable identification of Dilmun with the island of Bahrein
     in the Persian Gulf, cf. Rawlinson, _Journ. Roy. As. Soc._,
     1880, pp. 20 ff.; and see further, Meissner, _Orient. Lit-
     Zeit._, XX. No. 7, col. 201 ff.

The first two lines of the column are probably part of the speech of
some deity, who urges the necessity of invoking or conjuring Anu and
Enlil "by the Soul of Heaven, by the Soul of Earth", in order to secure
their support or approval. Now Anu and Enlil are the two great gods
who had determined on mankind's destruction, and whose wrath at his own
escape from death Ziusudu must placate. It is an obvious inference that
conjuring "by the Soul of Heaven" and "by the Soul of Earth" is either
the method by which Ziusudu has already succeeded in appeasing their
anger, or the means by which he is here enjoined to attain that end.
Against the latter alternative it is to be noted that the god is
addressing more than one person; and, further, at Ziusudu is evidently
already pardoned, for, so far from following the deity's advice,
he immediately prostrates himself before Anu and Enlil and receives
immortality. We may conjecture that at the close of the Fifth Column
Ziusudu had already performed the invocation and thereby had appeased
the divine wrath; and that the lines at the beginning of the Sixth
Column point the moral of the story by enjoining on Ziusudu and his
descendants, in other words on mankind, the advisability of employing
this powerful incantation at their need. The speaker may perhaps
have been one of Ziusudu's divine helpers--the Sun-god to whom he had
sacrificed, or Enki who had saved him from the Flood. But it seems to me
more probable that the words are uttered by Anu and Enlil themselves.(1)
For thereby they would be represented as giving their own sanction
to the formula, and as guaranteeing its magical efficacy. That the
incantation, as addressed to Anu and Enlil, would be appropriate is
obvious, since each would be magically approached through his own sphere
of control.

     (1) One of them may have been the speaker on behalf of both.

It is significant that at another critical point of the story we have
already met with a reference to conjuring "by the Name of Heaven and
Earth", the phrase occurring at the close of the Third Column after the
reference to the dream or dreams. There, as we saw, we might possibly
explain the passage as illustrating one aspect of Ziusudu's piety:
he may have been represented as continually practising this class of
divination, and in that case it would be natural enough that in the
final crisis of the story he should have propitiated the gods he
conjured by the same means. Or, as a more probable alternative, it was
suggested that we might connect the line with Enki's warning, and assume
that Ziusudu interpreted the dream-revelation of Anu and Enlil's purpose
by means of the magical incantation which was peculiarly associated with
them. On either alternative the phrase fits into the story itself, and
there is no need to suppose that the narrative is interrupted, either
in the Third or in the Sixth Column, by an address to the hearers of the
myth, urging them to make the invocation on their own behalf.

On the other hand, it seems improbable that the lines in question formed
part of the original myth; they may have been inserted to weld the myth
more closely to the magic. Both incantation and epic may have originally
existed independently, and, if so, their combination would have been
suggested by their contents. For while the former is addressed to Anu
and Enlil, in the latter these same gods play the dominant parts: they
are the two chief creators, it is they who send the Flood, and it is
their anger that must be appeased. If once combined, the further step
of making the incantation the actual means by which Ziusudu achieved
his own rescue and immortality would be a natural development. It may be
added that the words would have been an equally appropriate addition if
the incantation had not existed independently, but had been suggested
by, and developed from, the myth.

In the third and eleventh lines of the column we have further references
to the mysterious object, the creation of which appears to have been
recorded in the First Column of the text between man's creation and
that of animals. The second sign of the group composing its name was not
recognized by Dr. Poebel, but it is quite clearly written in two of the
passages, and has been correctly identified by Professor Barton.(1)
The Sumerian word is, in fact, to be read _nig-gil-ma_,(2) which, when
preceded by the determinative for "pot", "jar", or "bowl", is given in
a later syllabary as the equivalent of the Semitic word _mashkhalu_.
Evidence that the word _mashkhalu_ was actually employed to denote a jar
or vessel of some sort is furnished by one of the Tel el-Amarna letters
which refers to "one silver _mashkhalu_" and "one (or two) stone
_mashkhalu_".(3) In our text the determinative is absent, and it is
possible that the word is used in another sense. Professor Barton, in
both passages in the Sixth Column, gives it the meaning "curse"; he
interprets the lines as referring to the removal of a curse from the
earth after the Flood, and he compares Gen. viii. 21, where Yahweh
declares he will not again "curse the ground for man's sake". But this
translation ignores the occurrence of the word in the First Column,
where the creation of the _niggilma_ is apparently recorded; and his
rendering "the seed that was cursed" in l. 11 is not supported by the
photographic reproduction of the text, which suggests that the first
sign in the line is not that for "seed", but is the sign for "name", as
correctly read by Dr. Poebel. In that passage the _niggilma_ appears to
be given by Ziusudu the name "Preserver of the Seed of Mankind", which
we have already compared to the title bestowed on Uta-napishtim's ship,
"Preserver of Life". Like the ship, it must have played an important
part in man's preservation, which would account not only for the
honorific title but for the special record of its creation.

     (1) See _American Journal of Semitic Languages_, Vol. XXXI,
     April 1915, p. 226.

     (2) It is written _nig-gil_ in the First Column.

     (3) See Winckler, _El-Amarna_, pl. 35 f., No. 28, Obv., Col.
     II, l. 45, Rev., Col. I, l. 63, and Knudtzon, _El-Am. Taf._,
     pp. 112, 122; the vessels were presents from Amenophis IV to

It we may connect the word with the magical colouring of the myth, we
might perhaps retain its known meaning, "jar" or "bowl", and regard it
as employed in the magical ceremony which must have formed part of
the invocation "by the Soul of Heaven, by the Soul of Earth". But
the accompanying references to the ground, to its production from the
ground, and to its springing up, if the phrases may be so rendered,
suggest rather some kind of plant;(1) and this, from its employment in
magical rites, may also have given its name to a bowl or vessel which
held it. A very similar plant was that found and lost by Gilgamesh,
after his sojourn with Ut-napishtim; it too had potent magical power and
bore a title descriptive of its peculiar virtue of transforming old age
to youth. Should this suggestion prove to be correct, the three passages
mentioning the _niggilma_ must be classed with those in which the
invocation is referred to, as ensuring the sanction of the myth to
further elements in the magic. In accordance with this view, the fifth
line in the Sixth Column is probably to be included in the divine
speech, where a reference to the object employed in the ritual would not
be out of place. But it is to be hoped that light will be thrown on
this puzzling word by further study, and perhaps by new fragments of
the text; meanwhile it would be hazardous to suggest a more definite

     (1) The references to "the ground", or "the earth", also
     tend to connect it peculiarly with Enlil. Enlil's close
     association with the earth, which is, of course,
     independently attested, is explicitly referred to in the
     Babylonian Version (cf. Gilg. Epic. XI, ll. 39-42).
     Suggested reflections of this idea have long been traced in
     the Hebrew Versions; cf. Gen. viii. 21 (J), where Yahweh
     says he will not again curse the ground, and Gen. ix. 13
     (P), where Elohim speaks of his covenant "between me and the

With the sixth line of the column it is clear that the original
narrative of the myth is resumed.(1) Ziusudu, the king, prostrates
himself before Anu and Enlil, who bestow immortality upon him and cause
him to dwell in a land, or mountain, the name of which may perhaps be
read as Dilmun. The close parallelism between this portion of the text
and the end of the myth in the Gilgamesh Epic will be seen from the
following extracts,(2) the magical portions being omitted from the
Sumerian Version:

     (1) It will also be noted that with this line the text again
     falls naturally into couplets.

     (2) Col. VI, ll. 6-9 and 12 are there compared with Gilg.
     Epic, XI, ll. 198-205.


     Then Enlil went up into the
     Ziusudu, the king,                  He took me by the hand and led
     me forth.
     Before Anu and Enlil bows himself   He brought out my wife and
     down.                               caused her to bow down at my
     He touched our brows, standing
     between us and blessing us:
     Life like (that of) a god he        "Formerly was Ut-napishtim of
     gives to him.                       mankind,
     An eternal soul like (that of) a    But now let Ut-napishtim be
     god he creates for him.             like the gods, even us!
     And let Ut-napishtim dwell afar
     off at the mouth of the
     In a . . . land, the land of(1)     Then they took me and afar off,
     Dilmun(?), they caused him to       at the mouth of the rivers,
     dwell.                              they caused me to dwell.

     (1) Or, "On a mountain, the mountain of", &c.

The Sumerian Version thus apparently concludes with the familiar ending
of the legend which we find in the Gilgamesh Epic and in Berossus,
though it here occurs in an abbreviated form and with some variations in
detail. In all three versions the prostration of the Deluge hero before
the god is followed by the bestowal of immortality upon him, a fate
which, according to Berossus, he shared with his wife, his daughter, and
the steersman. The Gilgamesh Epic perhaps implies that Ut-napishtim's
wife shared in his immortality, but the Sumerian Version mentions
Ziusudu alone. In the Gilgamesh Epic Ut-napishtim is settled by the gods
at the mouth of the rivers, that is to say at the head of the Persian
Gulf, while according to a possible rendering of the Sumerian Version he
is made to dwell on Dilmun, an island in the Gulf itself. The fact that
Gilgamesh in the Epic has to cross the sea to reach Ut-napishtim may be
cited in favour of the reading "Dilmun"; and the description of the sea
as "the Waters of Death", if it implies more than the great danger
of their passage, was probably a later development associated with
Ut-napishtim's immortality. It may be added that in neither Hebrew
version do we find any parallel to the concluding details of the
original story, the Hebrew narratives being brought to an end with the
blessing of Noah and the divine promise to, or covenant with, mankind.

Such then are the contents of our Sumerian document, and from the
details which have been given it will have been seen that its story, so
far as concerns the Deluge, is in essentials the same as that we already
find in the Gilgamesh Epic. It is true that this earlier version has
reached us in a magical setting, and to some extent in an abbreviated
form. In the next lecture I shall have occasion to refer to another
early mythological text from Nippur, which was thought by its first
interpreter to include a second Sumerian Version of the Deluge legend.
That suggestion has not been substantiated, though we shall see that
the contents of the document are of a very interesting character. But
in view of the discussion that has taken place in the United States
over the interpretation of the second text, and of the doubts that have
subsequently been expressed in some quarters as to the recent discovery
of any new form of the Deluge legend, it may be well to formulate
briefly the proof that in the inscription published by Dr. Poebel an
early Sumerian Version of the Deluge story has actually been recovered.
Any one who has followed the detailed analysis of the new text which
has been attempted in the preceding paragraphs will, I venture to think,
agree that the following conclusions may be drawn:

(i) The points of general resemblance presented by the narrative to that
in the Gilgamesh Epic are sufficiently close in themselves to show
that we are dealing with a Sumerian Version of that story. And this
conclusion is further supported (a) by the occurrence throughout the
text of the attested Sumerian equivalent of the Semitic word, employed
in the Babylonian Versions, for the "Flood" or "Deluge", and (b) by the
use of precisely the same term for the hero's "great boat", which is
already familiar to us from an early Babylonian Version.

(ii) The close correspondence in language between portions of the
Sumerian legend and the Gilgamesh Epic suggest that the one version was
ultimately derived from the other. And this conclusion in its turn is
confirmed (a) by the identity in meaning of the Sumerian and Babylonian
names for the Deluge hero, which are actually found equated in a
late explanatory text, and (b) by small points of difference in the
Babylonian form of the story which correspond to later political and
religious developments and suggest the work of Semitic redactors.

The cumulative effect of such general and detailed evidence is
overwhelming, and we may dismiss all doubts as to the validity of Dr.
Poebel's claim. We have indeed recovered a very early, and in some of
its features a very primitive, form of the Deluge narrative which till
now has reached us only in Semitic and Greek renderings; and the stream
of tradition has been tapped at a point far above any at which we have
hitherto approached it. What evidence, we may ask, does this early
Sumerian Version offer with regard to the origin and literary history of
the Hebrew Versions?

The general dependence of the biblical Versions upon the Babylonian
legend as a whole has long been recognized, and needs no further
demonstration; and it has already been observed that the parallelisms
with the version in the Gilgamesh Epic are on the whole more detailed
and striking in the earlier than in the later Hebrew Version.(1) In the
course of our analysis of the Sumerian text its more striking points of
agreement or divergence, in relation to the Hebrew Versions, were noted
under the different sections of its narrative. It was also obvious that,
in many features in which the Hebrew Versions differ from the Gilgamesh
Epic, the latter finds Sumerian support. These facts confirm the
conclusion, which we should naturally base on grounds of historical
probability, that while the Semitic-Babylonian Versions were derived
from Sumer, the Hebrew accounts were equally clearly derived from
Babylon. But there are one or two pieces of evidence which are
apparently at variance with this conclusion, and these call for some

     (1) For details see especially Skinner, _Genesis_, pp. 177

Not too much significance should be attached to the apparent omission of
the episode of the birds from the Sumerian narrative, in which it would
agree with the later as against the earlier Hebrew Version; for, apart
from its epitomized character, there is so much missing from the text
that the absence of this episode cannot be regarded as established with
certainty. And in any case it could be balanced by the Sumerian order
of Creation of men before animals, which agrees with the earlier Hebrew
Version against the later. But there is one very striking point in which
our new Sumerian text agrees with both the Hebrew Versions as against
the Gilgamesh Epic and Berossus; and that is in the character of
Ziusudu, which presents so close a parallel to the piety of Noah. As we
have already seen, the latter is due to no Hebrew idealization of the
story, but represents a genuine strand of the original tradition, which
is completely absent from the Babylonian Versions. But the Babylonian
Versions are the media through which it has generally been assumed that
the tradition of the Deluge reached the Hebrews. What explanation have
we of this fact?

This grouping of Sumerian and Hebrew authorities, against the extant
sources from Babylon, is emphasized by the general framework of the
Sumerian story. For the literary connexion which we have in Genesis
between the Creation and the Deluge narratives has hitherto found no
parallel in the cuneiform texts. In Babylon and Assyria the myth of
Creation and the Deluge legend have been divorced. From the one
a complete epic has been evolved in accordance with the tenets of
Babylonian theology, the Creation myth being combined in the process
with other myths of a somewhat analogous character. The Deluge legend
has survived as an isolated story in more than one setting, the
principal Semitic Version being recounted to the national hero
Gilgamesh, towards the close of the composite epic of his adventures
which grew up around the nucleus of his name. It is one of the chief
surprises of the newly discovered Sumerian Version that the Hebrew
connexion of the narratives is seen to be on the lines of very primitive
tradition. Noah's reputation for piety does not stand alone. His line of
descent from Adam, and the thread of narrative connecting the creation
of the world with its partial destruction by the Deluge, already appear
in Sumerian form at a time when the city of Babylon itself had
not secured its later power. How then are we to account for this
correspondence of Sumerian and Hebrew traditions, on points completely
wanting in our intermediate authorities, from which, however, other
evidence suggests that the Hebrew narratives were derived?

At the risk of anticipating some of the conclusions to be drawn in the
next lecture, it may be well to define an answer now. It is possible
that those who still accept the traditional authorship of the Pentateuch
may be inclined to see in this correspondence of Hebrew and Sumerian
ideas a confirmation of their own hypothesis. But it should be pointed
out at once that this is not an inevitable deduction from the evidence.
Indeed, it is directly contradicted by the rest of the evidence we have
summarized, while it would leave completely unexplained some significant
features of the problem. It is true that certain important details of
the Sumerian tradition, while not affecting Babylon and Assyria,
have left their stamp upon the Hebrew narratives; but that is not an
exhaustive statement of the case. For we have also seen that a more
complete survival of Sumerian tradition has taken place in the
history of Berossus. There we traced the same general framework of the
narratives, with a far closer correspondence in detail. The kingly rank
of Ziusudu is in complete harmony with the Berossian conception of
a series of supreme Antediluvian rulers, and the names of two of the
Antediluvian cites are among those of their newly recovered Sumerian
prototypes. There can thus be no suggestion that the Greek reproductions
of the Sumerian tradition were in their turn due to Hebrew influence. On
the contrary we have in them a parallel case of survival in a far more
complete form.

The inference we may obviously draw is that the Sumerian narrative
continued in existence, in a literary form that closely resembled the
original version, into the later historical periods. In this there would
be nothing to surprise us, when we recall the careful preservation
and study of ancient Sumerian religious texts by the later Semitic
priesthood of the country. Each ancient cult-centre in Babylonia
continued to cling to its own local traditions, and the Sumerian desire
for their preservation, which was inherited by their Semitic guardians,
was in great measure unaffected by political occurrences elsewhere.
Hence it was that Ashur-bani-pal, when forming his library at Nineveh,
was able to draw upon so rich a store of the more ancient literary texts
of Babylonia. The Sumerian Version of the Deluge and of Antediluvian
history may well have survived in a less epitomized form than that
in which we have recovered it; and, like other ancient texts, it was
probably provided with a Semitic translation. Indeed its literary study
and reproduction may have continued without interruption in Babylon
itself. But even if Sumerian tradition died out in the capital under
the influence of the Babylonian priesthood, its re-introduction may
well have taken place in Neo-Babylonian times. Perhaps the antiquarian
researches of Nabonidus were characteristic of his period; and in any
case the collection of his country's gods into the capital must have
been accompanied by a renewed interest in the more ancient versions
of the past with which their cults were peculiarly associated. In
the extant summary from Berossus we may possibly see evidence of a
subsequent attempt to combine with these more ancient traditions the
continued religious dominance of Marduk and of Babylon.

Our conclusion, that the Sumerian form of the tradition did not die out,
leaves the question as to the periods during which Babylonian influence
may have acted upon Hebrew tradition in great measure unaffected; and
we may therefore postpone its further consideration to the next lecture.
To-day the only question that remains to be considered concerns the
effect of our new evidence upon the wider problem of Deluge stories as
a whole. What light does it throw on the general character of Deluge
stories and their suggested Egyptian origin?

One thing that strikes me forcibly in reading this early text is the
complete absence of any trace or indication of astrological _motif_.
It is true that Ziusudu sacrifices to the Sun-god; but the episode
is inherent in the story, the appearance of the Sun after the storm
following the natural sequence of events and furnishing assurance to the
king of his eventual survival. To identify the worshipper with his
god and to transfer Ziusudu's material craft to the heavens is surely
without justification from the simple narrative. We have here no
prototype of Ra sailing the heavenly ocean. And the destructive flood
itself is not only of an equally material and mundane character, but is
in complete harmony with its Babylonian setting.

In the matter of floods the Tigris and Euphrates present a striking
contrast to the Nile. It is true that the life-blood of each country is
its river-water, but the conditions of its use are very different, and
in Mesopotamia it becomes a curse when out of control. In both countries
the river-water must be used for maturing the crops. But while the rains
of Abyssinia cause the Nile to rise between August and October, thus
securing both summer and winter crops, the melting snows of Armenia and
the Taurus flood the Mesopotamian rivers between March and May. In Egypt
the Nile flood is gentle; it is never abrupt, and the river gives ample
warning of its rise and fall. It contains just enough sediment to enrich
the land without choking the canals; and the water, after filling its
historic basins, may when necessary be discharged into the falling river
in November. Thus Egypt receives a full and regular supply of water, and
there is no difficulty in disposing of any surplus. The growth in such a
country of a legend of world-wide destruction by flood is inconceivable.

In Mesopotamia, on the other hand, the floods, which come too late for
the winter crops, are followed by the rainless summer months; and not
only must the flood-water be controlled, but some portion of it must be
detained artificially, if it is to be of use during the burning months
of July, August, and September, when the rivers are at their lowest.
Moreover, heavy rain in April and a warm south wind melting the snow in
the hills may bring down such floods that the channels cannot contain
them; the dams are then breached and the country is laid waste. Here
there is first too much water and then too little.

The great danger from flood in Babylonia, both in its range of action
and in its destructive effect, is due to the strangely flat character
of the Tigris and Euphrates delta.(1) Hence after a severe breach in
the Tigris or Euphrates, the river after inundating the country may
make itself a new channel miles away from the old one. To mitigate the
danger, the floods may be dealt with in two ways--by a multiplication
of canals to spread the water, and by providing escapes for it into
depressions in the surrounding desert, which in their turn become
centres of fertility. Both methods were employed in antiquity; and it
may be added that in any scheme for the future prosperity of the country
they must be employed again, of course with the increased efficiency of
modern apparatus.(2) But while the Babylonians succeeded in controlling
the Euphrates, the Tigris was never really tamed,(3) and whenever it
burst its right bank the southern plains were devastated. We could not
have more suitable soil for the growth of a Deluge story.

     (1) Baghdad, though 300 miles by crow-fly from the sea and
     500 by river, is only 120 ft. above sea-level.

     (2) The Babylonians controlled the Euphrates, and at the
     same time provided against its time of "low supply", by
     escapes into two depressions in the western desert to the
     NW. of Babylon, known to-day as the Habbânîyah and Abu Dîs
     depressions, which lie S. of the modern town of Ramâdi and
     N. of Kerbela. That these depressions were actually used as
     reservoirs in antiquity is proved by the presence along
     their edges of thick beds of Euphrates shells. In addition
     to canals and escapes, the Babylonian system included well-
     constructed dikes protected by brushwood. By cutting an
     eight-mile channel through a low hill between the Habbânîyah
     and Abu Dîs depressions and by building a short dam 50 ft.
     high across the latter's narrow outlet, Sir William
     Willcocks estimates that a reservoir could be obtained
     holding eighteen milliards of tons of water. See his work
     _The Irrigations of Mesopotamia_ (E. and F. N. Spon, 1911),
     _Geographical Journal_, Vol. XL, No. 2 (Aug., 1912), pp. 129
     ff., and the articles in _The Near East_ cited on p. 97, n.
     1, and p. 98, n. 2. Sir William Willcocks's volume and
     subsequent papers form the best introduction to the study of
     Babylonian Deluge tradition on its material side.

     (3) Their works carried out on the Tigris were effective for
     irrigation; but the Babylonians never succeeded in
     controlling its floods as they did those of the Euphrates. A
     massive earthen dam, the remains of which are still known as
     "Nimrod's Dam", was thrown across the Tigris above the point
     where it entered its delta; this served to turn the river
     over hard conglomerate rock and kept it at a high level so
     that it could irrigate the country on both banks. Above the
     dam were the heads of the later Nahrwân Canal, a great
     stream 400 ft. wide and 17 ft. deep, which supplied the
     country east of the river. The Nâr Sharri or "King's Canal",
     the Nahar Malkha of the Greeks and the Nahr el-Malik of the
     Arabs, protected the right bank of the Tigris by its own
     high artificial banks, which can still be traced for
     hundreds of miles; but it took its supply from the Euphrates
     at Sippar, where the ground is some 25 ft. higher than on
     the Tigris. The Tigris usually flooded its left bank; it was
     the right bank which was protected, and a breach here meant
     disaster. Cf. Willcocks, op. cit., and _The Near East_,
     Sept. 29, 1916 (Vol. XI, No. 282), p. 522.

It was only by constant and unremitting attention that disaster from
flood could be averted; and the difficulties of the problem were and are
increased by the fact that the flood-water of the Mesopotamian rivers
contains five times as much sediment as the Nile. In fact, one of
the most pressing of the problems the Sumerian and early Babylonian
engineers had to solve was the keeping of the canals free from silt.(1)
What the floods, if left unchecked, may do in Mesopotamia, is well
illustrated by the decay of the ancient canal-system, which has been
the immediate cause of the country's present state of sordid desolation.
That the decay was gradual was not the fault of the rivers, but was
due to the sound principles on which the old system of control had been
evolved through many centuries of labour. At the time of the Moslem
conquest the system had already begun to fail. In the fifth century
there had been bad floods; but worse came in A.D. 629, when both rivers
burst their banks and played havoc with the dikes and embankments. It
is related that the Sassanian king Parwiz, the contemporary of Mohammed,
crucified in one day forty canal-workers at a certain breach, and yet
was unable to master the flood.(2) All repairs were suspended during the
anarchy of the Moslem invasion. As a consequence the Tigris left its
old bed for the Shatt el-Hai at Kût, and pouring its own and its
tributaries' waters into the Euphrates formed the Great Euphrates Swamp,
two hundred miles long and fifty broad. But even then what was left of
the old system was sufficient to support the splendour of the Eastern

     (1) Cf. _Letters of Hammurabi_, Vol. III, pp. xxxvi ff.; it
     was the duty of every village or town upon the banks of the
     main canals in Babylonia to keep its own section clear of
     silt, and of course it was also responsible for its own
     smaller irrigation-channels. While the invention of the
     system of basin-irrigation was practically forced on Egypt,
     the extraordinary fertility of Babylonia was won in the
     teeth of nature by the system of perennial irrigation, or
     irrigation all the year round. In Babylonia the water was
     led into small fields of two or three acres, while the Nile
     valley was irrigated in great basins each containing some
     thirty to forty thousand acres. The Babylonian method gives
     far more profitable results, and Sir William Willcocks
     points out that Egypt to-day is gradually abandoning its own
     system and adopting that of its ancient rival; see _The Near
     East_, Sept. 29, 1916, p. 521.

     (2) See Le Strange, _The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate_, p.

The second great blow to the system followed the Mongol conquest, when
the Nahrwân Canal, to the east of the Tigris, had its head swept away
by flood and the area it had irrigated became desert. Then, in about
the fifteenth century, the Tigris returned to its old course; the Shatt
el-Hai shrank, and much of the Great Swamp dried up into the desert
it is to-day.(1) Things became worse during the centuries of Turkish
misrule. But the silting up of the Hillah, or main, branch of the
Euphrates about 1865, and the transference of a great part of its stream
into the Hindîyah Canal, caused even the Turks to take action. They
constructed the old Hindîyah Barrage in 1890, but it gave way in 1903
and the state of things was even worse than before; for the Hillah
branch then dried entirely.(2)

     (1) This illustrates the damage the Tigris itself is capable
     of inflicting on the country. It may be added that Sir
     William Willcocks proposes to control the Tigris floods by
     an escape into the Tharthâr depression, a great salt pan at
     the tail of Wadi Tharthâr, which lies 14 ft. below sea level
     and is 200 ft. lower than the flood-level of the Tigris some
     thirty-two miles away. The escape would leave the Tigris to
     the S. of Sâmarra, the proposed Beled Barrage being built
     below it and up-stream of "Nimrod's Dam". The Tharthâr
     escape would drain into the Euphrates, and the latter's
     Habbânîyah escape would receive any surplus water from the
     Tigris, a second barrage being thrown across the Euphrates
     up-stream of Fallûjah, where there is an outcrop of
     limestone near the head of the Sakhlawîyah Canal. The
     Tharthâr depression, besides disposing of the Tigris flood-
     water, would thus probably feed the Euphrates; and a second
     barrage on the Tigris, to be built at Kût, would supply
     water to the Shatt el-Hai. When the country is freed from
     danger of flood, the Baghdad Railway could be run through
     the cultivated land instead of through the eastern desert;
     see Willcocks, _The Near East_, Oct. 6, 1916 (Vol. XI, No.
     283), p. 545 f.

     (2) It was then that Sir William Willcocks designed the new
     Hindîyah Barrage, which was completed in 1913. The Hindîyah
     branch, to-day the main stream of the Euphrates, is the old
     low-lying Pallacopas Canal, which branched westward above
     Babylon and discharged its waters into the western marshes.
     In antiquity the head of this branch had to be opened in
     high floods and then closed again immediately after the
     flood to keep the main stream full past Babylon, which
     entailed the employment of an enormous number of men.
     Alexander the Great's first work in Babylonia was cutting a
     new head for the Pallacopas in solid ground, for hitherto it
     had been in sandy soil; and it was while reclaiming the
     marshes farther down-stream that he contracted the fever
     that killed him.

From this brief sketch of progressive disaster during the later
historical period, the inevitable effect of neglected silt and flood, it
will be gathered that the two great rivers of Mesopotamia present a very
strong contrast to the Nile. For during the same period of misgovernment
and neglect in Egypt the Nile did not turn its valley and delta into
a desert. On the Tigris and Euphrates, during ages when the earliest
dwellers on their banks were struggling to make effective their first
efforts at control, the waters must often have regained the upper hand.
Under such conditions the story of a great flood in the past would not
be likely to die out in the future; the tradition would tend to gather
illustrative detail suggested by later experience. Our new text
reveals the Deluge tradition in Mesopotamia at an early stage of
its development, and incidentally shows us that there is no need to
postulate for its origin any convulsion of nature or even a series of
seismic shocks accompanied by cyclone in the Persian Gulf.

If this had been the only version of the story that had come down to us,
we should hardly have regarded it as a record of world-wide catastrophe.
It is true the gods' intention is to destroy mankind, but the scene
throughout is laid in Southern Babylonia. After seven days' storm,
the Sun comes out, and the vessel with the pious priest-king and his
domestic animals on board grounds, apparently still in Babylonia, and
not on any distant mountain, such as Mt. Nisir or the great mass of
Ararat in Armenia. These are obviously details which tellers of the
story have added as it passed down to later generations. When it
was carried still farther afield, into the area of the Eastern
Mediterranean, it was again adapted to local conditions. Thus
Apollodorus makes Deucalion land upon Parnassus,(1) and the
pseudo-Lucian relates how he founded the temple of Derketo at Hierapolis
in Syria beside the hole in the earth which swallowed up the Flood.(2)
To the Sumerians who first told the story, the great Flood appeared to
have destroyed mankind, for Southern Babylonia was for them the
world. Later peoples who heard it have fitted the story to their own
geographical horizon, and in all good faith and by a purely logical
process the mountain-tops are represented as submerged, and the ship,
or ark, or chest, is made to come to ground on the highest peak known to
the story-teller and his hearers. But in its early Sumerian form it is
just a simple tradition of some great inundation, which overwhelmed
the plain of Southern Babylonia and was peculiarly disastrous in its
effects. And so its memory survived in the picture of Ziusudu's solitary
coracle upon the face of the waters, which, seen through the mists of
the Deluge tradition, has given us the Noah's ark of our nursery days.

     (1) Hesiod is our earliest authority for the Deucalion Flood
     story. For its probable Babylonian origin, cf. Farnell,
     _Greece and Babylon_ (1911), p. 184.

     (2) _De Syria dea_, 12 f.

Thus the Babylonian, Hebrew, and Greek Deluge stories resolve
themselves, not into a nature myth, but into an early legend, which has
the basis of historical fact in the Euphrates Valley. And it is probable
that we may explain after a similar fashion the occurrence of tales of
a like character at least in some other parts of the world. Among races
dwelling in low-lying or well-watered districts it would be surprising
if we did not find independent stories of past floods from which few
inhabitants of the land escaped. It is only in hilly countries such
as Palestine, where for the great part of the year water is scarce and
precious, that we are forced to deduce borrowing; and there is no doubt
that both the Babylonian and the biblical stories have been responsible
for some at any rate of the scattered tales. But there is no need
to adopt the theory of a single source for all of them, whether in
Babylonia or, still less, in Egypt.(1)

     (1) This argument is taken from an article I published in
     Professor Headlam's _Church Quarterly Review_, Jan., 1916,
     pp. 280 ff., containing an account of Dr. Poebel's

I should like to add, with regard to this reading of our new evidence,
that I am very glad to know Sir James Frazer holds a very similar
opinion. For, as you are doubtless all aware, Sir James is at present
collecting Flood stories from all over the world, and is supplementing
from a wider range the collections already made by Lenormant, Andree,
Winternitz, and Gerland. When his work is complete it will be possible
to conjecture with far greater confidence how particular traditions or
groups of tradition arose, and to what extent transmission has taken
place. Meanwhile, in his recent Huxley Memorial Lecture,(1) he has
suggested a third possibility as to the way Deluge stories may have

     (1) Sir J. G. Frazer, _Ancient Stories of a Great Flood_
     (the Huxley Memorial Lecture, 1916), Roy. Anthrop. Inst.,

Stated briefly, it is that a Deluge story may arise as a popular
explanation of some striking natural feature in a country, although to
the scientific eye the feature in question is due to causes other than
catastrophic flood. And he worked out the suggestion in the case of
the Greek traditions of a great deluge, associated with the names of
Deucalion and Dardanus. Deucalion's deluge, in its later forms at
any rate, is obviously coloured by Semitic tradition; but both Greek
stories, in their origin, Sir James Frazer would trace to local
conditions--the one suggested by the Gorge of Tempe in Thessaly, the
other explaining the existence of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. As
he pointed out, they would be instances, not of genuine historical
traditions, but of what Sir James Tyler calls "observation myths".
A third story of a great flood, regarded in Greek tradition as the
earliest of the three, he would explain by an extraordinary inundation
of the Copaic Lake in Boeotia, which to this day is liable to great
fluctuations of level. His new theory applies only to the other two
traditions. For in them no historical kernel is presupposed, though
gradual erosion by water is not excluded as a cause of the surface
features which may have suggested the myths.

This valuable theory thus opens up a third possibility for our analysis.
It may also, of course, be used in combination, if in any particular
instance we have reason to believe that transmission, in some vague
form, may already have taken place. And it would with all deference
suggest the possibility that, in view of other evidence, this may have
occurred in the case of the Greek traditions. With regard to the theory
itself we may confidently expect that further examples will be found in
its illustration and support. Meanwhile in the new Sumerian Version I
think we may conclude that we have recovered beyond any doubt the
origin of the Babylonian and Hebrew traditions and of the large group of
stories to which they in their turn have given rise.


In our discussion of the new Sumerian version of the Deluge story we
came to the conclusion that it gave no support to any theory which
would trace all such tales to a single origin, whether in Egypt or in
Babylonia. In spite of strong astrological elements in both the Egyptian
and Babylonian religious systems, we saw grounds for regarding the
astrological tinge of much ancient mythology as a later embellishment
and not as primitive material. And so far as our new version of the
Deluge story was concerned, it resolved itself into a legend, which had
a basis of historical fact in the Euphrates Valley. It will be obvious
that the same class of explanation cannot be applied to narratives of
the Creation of the World. For there we are dealing, not with legends,
but with myths, that is, stories exclusively about the gods. But where
an examination of their earlier forms is possible, it would seem to
show that many of these tales also, in their origin, are not to be
interpreted as nature myths, and that none arose as mere reflections of
the solar system. In their more primitive and simpler aspects they
seem in many cases to have been suggested by very human and terrestrial
experience. To-day we will examine the Egyptian, Sumerian, and
Babylonian myths of Creation, and, after we have noted the more striking
features of our new material, we will consider the problem of foreign
influences upon Hebrew traditions concerning the origin and early
history of the world.

In Egypt, as until recently in Babylonia, we have to depend for our
knowledge of Creation myths on documents of a comparatively late period.
Moreover, Egyptian religious literature as a whole is textually corrupt,
and in consequence it is often difficult to determine the original
significance of its allusions. Thanks to the funerary inscriptions and
that great body of magical formulae and ritual known as "The Chapters
of Coming forth by Day", we are very fully informed on the Egyptian
doctrines as to the future state of the dead. The Egyptian's intense
interest in his own remote future, amounting almost to an obsession, may
perhaps in part account for the comparatively meagre space in the extant
literature which is occupied by myths relating solely to the past. And
it is significant that the one cycle of myth, of which we are fully
informed in its latest stage of development, should be that which gave
its sanction to the hope of a future existence for man. The fact that
Herodotus, though he claims a knowledge of the sufferings or "Mysteries"
of Osiris, should deliberately refrain from describing them or from
even uttering the name,(1) suggests that in his time at any rate some
sections of the mythology had begun to acquire an esoteric character.
There is no doubt that at all periods myth played an important part in
the ritual of feast-days. But mythological references in the earlier
texts are often obscure; and the late form in which a few of the stories
have come to us is obviously artificial. The tradition, for example,
which relates how mankind came from the tears which issued from Ra's eye
undoubtedly arose from a play upon words.

     (1) Herodotus, II, 171.

On the other hand, traces of myth, scattered in the religious literature
of Egypt, may perhaps in some measure betray their relative age by the
conceptions of the universe which underlie them. The Egyptian idea that
the sky was a heavenly ocean, which is not unlike conceptions current
among the Semitic Babylonians and Hebrews, presupposes some thought and
reflection. In Egypt it may well have been evolved from the probably
earlier but analogous idea of the river in heaven, which the Sun
traversed daily in his boats. Such a river was clearly suggested by the
Nile; and its world-embracing character is reminiscent of a time when
through communication was regularly established, at least as far south
as Elephantine. Possibly in an earlier period the long narrow valley, or
even a section of it, may have suggested the figure of a man lying prone
upon his back. Such was Keb, the Earth-god, whose counterpart in the
sky was the goddess Nut, her feet and hands resting at the limits of
the world and her curved body forming the vault of heaven. Perhaps still
more primitive, and dating from a pastoral age, may be the notion that
the sky was a great cow, her body, speckled with stars, alone visible
from the earth beneath. Reference has already been made to the dominant
influence of the Sun in Egyptian religion, and it is not surprising
that he should so often appear as the first of created beings. His orb
itself, or later the god in youthful human form, might be pictured as
emerging from a lotus on the primaeval waters, or from a marsh-bird's
egg, a conception which influenced the later Phoenician cosmogeny. The
Scarabaeus, or great dung-feeding beetle of Egypt, rolling the ball
before it in which it lays its eggs, is an obvious theme for the early
myth-maker. And it was natural that the Beetle of Khepera should
have been identified with the Sun at his rising, as the Hawk of Ra
represented his noonday flight, and the aged form of Attun his setting
in the west. But in all these varied conceptions and explanations of the
universe it is difficult to determine how far the poetical imagery of
later periods has transformed the original myths which may lie behind

As the Egyptian Creator the claims of Ra, the Sun-god of Heliopolis,
early superseded those of other deities. On the other hand, Ptah of
Memphis, who for long ages had been merely the god of architects and
craftsmen, became under the Empire the architect of the universe and is
pictured as a potter moulding the world-egg. A short poem by a priest of
Ptah, which has come down to us from that period, exhibits an attempt to
develop this idea on philosophical lines.(1) Its author represents
all gods and living creatures as proceeding directly from the mind and
thought of Ptah. But this movement, which was more notably reflected in
Akhenaton's religious revolution, died out in political disaster, and
the original materialistic interpretation of the myths was restored with
the cult of Amen. How materialistic this could be is well illustrated
by two earlier members of the XVIIIth Dynasty, who have left us vivid
representations of the potter's wheel employed in the process of man's
creation. When the famous Hatshepsut, after the return of her expedition
to Punt in the ninth year of her young consort Thothmes III, decided to
build her temple at Deir el-Bahari in the necropolis of Western Thebes,
she sought to emphasize her claim to the throne of Egypt by recording
her own divine origin upon its walls. We have already noted the
Egyptians' belief in the solar parentage of their legitimate rulers,
a myth that goes back at least to the Old Kingdom and may have had its
origin in prehistoric times. With the rise of Thebes, Amen inherited the
prerogatives of Ra; and so Hatshepsut seeks to show, on the north side
of the retaining wall of her temple's Upper Platform, that she was the
daughter of Amen himself, "the great God, Lord of the sky, Lord of
the Thrones of the Two Lands, who resides at Thebes". The myth was no
invention of her own, for obviously it must have followed traditional
lines, and though it is only employed to exhibit the divine creation of
a single personage, it as obviously reflects the procedure and methods
of a general Creation myth.

     (1) See Breasted, _Zeitschrift fur Aegyptische Sprache_,
     XXXIX, pp. 39 ff., and _History of Egypt_, pp. 356 ff.

This series of sculptures shared the deliberate mutilation that all
her records suffered at the hands of Thothmes III after her death, but
enough of the scenes and their accompanying text has survived to render
the detailed interpretation of the myth quite certain.(1) Here, as in a
general Creation myth, Amen's first act is to summon the great gods
in council, in order to announce to them the future birth of the great
princess. Of the twelve gods who attend, the first is Menthu, a form of
the Sun-god and closely associated with Amen.(2) But the second deity
is Atum, the great god of Heliopolis, and he is followed by his cycle of
deities--Shu, "the son of Ra"; Tefnut, "the Lady of the sky"; Keb,
"the Father of the Gods"; Nut, "the Mother of the Gods"; Osiris, Isis,
Nephthys, Set, Horus, and Hathor. We are here in the presence of cosmic
deities, as befits a projected act of creation. The subsequent scenes
exhibit the Egyptian's literal interpretation of the myth, which
necessitates the god's bodily presence and personal participation.
Thoth mentions to Amen the name of queen Aahmes as the future mother of
Hatshepsut, and we later see Amen himself, in the form of her husband,
Aa-kheperka-Ra (Thothmes I), sitting with Aahmes and giving her the
Ankh, or sign of Life, which she receives in her hand and inhales
through her nostrils.(3) God and queen are seated on thrones above a
couch, and are supported by two goddesses. After leaving the queen, Amen
calls on Khnum or Khnemu, the flat-horned ram-god, who in texts of
all periods is referred to as the "builder" of gods and men;(4) and he
instructs him to create the body of his future daughter and that of her
_Ka_, or "double", which would be united to her from birth.

     (1) See Naville, _Deir el-Bahari_, Pt. II, pp. 12 ff.,
     plates xlvi ff.

     (2) See Budge, _Gods of the Egyptians_, Vol. II, pp. 23 ff.
     His chief cult-centre was Hermonthis, but here as elsewhere
     he is given his usual title "Lord of Thebes".

     (3) Pl. xlvii. Similar scenes are presented in the "birth-
     temples" at Denderah, Edfu, Philae, Esneh, and Luxor; see
     Naville, op. cit., p. 14.

     (4) Cf. Budge, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 50.

The scene in the series, which is of greatest interest in the present
connexion, is that representing Khnum at his work of creation. He is
seated before a potter's wheel which he works with his foot,(1) and on
the revolving table he is fashioning two children with his hands, the
baby princess and her "double". It was always Hatshepsut's desire to be
represented as a man, and so both the children are boys.(2) As yet they
are lifeless, but the symbol of Life will be held to their nostrils
by Heqet, the divine Potter's wife, whose frog-head typifies birth and
fertility. When Amenophis III copied Hatshepsut's sculptures for his own
series at Luxor, he assigned this duty to the greater goddess Hathor,
perhaps the most powerful of the cosmic goddesses and the mother of the
world. The subsequent scenes at Deir el-Bahari include the leading of
queen Aahmes by Khnum and Heqet to the birth-chamber; the great birth
scene where the queen is attended by the goddesses Nephthys and Isis, a
number of divine nurses and midwives holding several of the "doubles"
of the baby, and favourable genii, in human form or with the heads of
crocodiles, jackals, and hawks, representing the four cardinal points
and all bearing the gift of life; the presentation of the young child
by the goddess Hathor to Amen, who is well pleased at the sight of his
daughter; and the divine suckling of Hatshepsut and her "doubles". But
these episodes do not concern us, as of course they merely reflect the
procedure following a royal birth. But Khnum's part in the princess's
origin stands on a different plane, for it illustrates the Egyptian myth
of Creation by the divine Potter, who may take the form of either Khnum
or Ptah. Monsieur Naville points out the extraordinary resemblance in
detail which Hatshepsut's myth of divine paternity bears to the Greek
legend of Zeus and Alkmene, where the god takes the form of Amphitryon,
Alkmene's husband, exactly as Amen appears to the queen;(3) and it may
be added that the Egyptian origin of the Greek story was traditionally
recognized in the ancestry ascribed to the human couple.(4)

     (1) This detail is not clearly preserved at Deir el-Bahari;
     but it is quite clear in the scene on the west wall of the
     "Birth-room" in the Temple at Luxor, which Amenophis III
     evidently copied from that of Hatshepsut.

     (2) In the similar scene at Luxor, where the future
     Amenophis III is represented on the Creator's wheel, the
     sculptor has distinguished the human child from its
     spiritual "double" by the quaint device of putting its
     finger in its mouth.

     (3) See Naville, op. cit., p. 12.

     (4) Cf., e.g., Herodotus, II, 43.

The only complete Egyptian Creation myth yet recovered is preserved in
a late papyrus in the British Museum, which was published some years ago
by Dr. Budge.(1) It occurs under two separate versions embedded in "The
Book of the Overthrowing of Apep, the Enemy of Ra". Here Ra, who utters
the myth under his late title of Neb-er-tcher, "Lord to the utmost
limit", is self-created as Khepera from Nu, the primaeval water; and
then follow successive generations of divine pairs, male and female,
such as we find at the beginning of the Semitic-Babylonian Creation
Series.(2) Though the papyrus was written as late as the year 311 B.C.,
the myth is undoubtedly early. For the first two divine pairs Shu and
Tefnut, Keb and Nut, and four of the latter pairs' five children, Osiris
and Isis, Set and Nephthys, form with the Sun-god himself the Greater
Ennead of Heliopolis, which exerted so wide an influence on Egyptian
religious speculation. The Ennead combined the older solar elements with
the cult of Osiris, and this is indicated in the myth by a break in the
successive generations, Nut bringing forth at a single birth the five
chief gods of the Osiris cycle, Osiris himself and his son Horus, with
Set, Isis, and Nephthys. Thus we may see in the myth an early example of
that religious syncretism which is so characteristic of later Egyptian

     (1) See _Archaeologia_, Vol. LII (1891). Dr. Budge published
     a new edition of the whole papyrus in _Egyptian Hieratic
     Papyri in the British Museum_ (1910), and the two versions
     of the Creation myth are given together in his _Gods of the
     Egyptians_, Vol. I (1904), Chap. VIII, pp. 308 ff., and more
     recently in his _Egyptian Literature_, Vol. I, "Legends of
     the Gods" (1912), pp. 2 ff. An account of the papyrus is
     included in the Introduction to "Legends of the Gods", pp.
     xiii ff.

     (2) In _Gods of the Egyptians_, Vol. I, Chap. VII, pp. 288
     ff., Dr. Budge gives a detailed comparison of the Egyptian
     pairs of primaeval deities with the very similar couples of
     the Babylonian myth.

The only parallel this Egyptian myth of Creation presents to the Hebrew
cosmogony is in its picture of the primaeval water, corresponding to
the watery chaos of Genesis i. But the resemblance is of a very general
character, and includes no etymological equivalence such as we find
when we compare the Hebrew account with the principal Semitic-Babylonian
Creation narrative.(1) The application of the Ankh, the Egyptian sign
for Life, to the nostrils of a newly-created being is no true parallel
to the breathing into man's nostrils of the breath of life in the
earlier Hebrew Version,(2) except in the sense that each process was
suggested by our common human anatomy. We should naturally expect to
find some Hebrew parallel to the Egyptian idea of Creation as the work
of a potter with his clay, for that figure appears in most ancient
mythologies. The Hebrews indeed used the conception as a metaphor
or parable,(3) and it also underlies their earlier picture of man's
creation. I have not touched on the grosser Egyptian conceptions
concerning the origin of the universe, which we may probably connect
with African ideas; but those I have referred to will serve to
demonstrate the complete absence of any feature that presents a detailed
resemblance of the Hebrew tradition.

     (1) For the wide diffusion, in the myths of remote peoples,
     of a vague theory that would trace all created things to a
     watery origin, see Farnell, _Greece and Babylon_, p. 180.

     (2) Gen. ii. 7 (J).

     (3) Cf., e.g., Isaiah xxix. 16, xlv. 9; and Jeremiah xviii.

When we turn to Babylonia, we find there also evidence of conflicting
ideas, the product of different and to some extent competing religious
centres. But in contrast to the rather confused condition of Egyptian
mythology, the Semitic Creation myth of the city of Babylon, thanks
to the latter's continued political ascendancy, succeeded in winning a
dominant place in the national literature. This is the version in which
so many points of resemblance to the first chapter of Genesis have long
been recognized, especially in the succession of creative acts and their
relative order. In the Semitic-Babylonian Version the creation of the
world is represented as the result of conflict, the emergence of order
out of chaos, a result that is only attained by the personal triumph
of the Creator. But this underlying dualism does not appear in the more
primitive Sumerian Version we have now recovered. It will be remembered
that in the second lecture I gave some account of the myth, which occurs
in an epitomized form as an introduction to the Sumerian Version of
the Deluge, the two narratives being recorded in the same document and
connected with one another by a description of the Antediluvian cities.
We there saw that Creation is ascribed to the three greatest gods of
the Sumerian pantheon, Anu, Enlil, and Enki, assisted by the goddess

It is significant that in the Sumerian version no less than four deities
are represented as taking part in the Creation. For in this we may see
some indication of the period to which its composition must be assigned.
Their association in the text suggests that the claims of local gods
had already begun to compete with one another as a result of political
combination between the cities of their cults. To the same general
period we must also assign the compilation of the Sumerian Dynastic
record, for that presupposes the existence of a supreme ruler among
the Sumerian city-states. This form of political constitution must
undoubtedly have been the result of a long process of development,
and the fact that its existence should be regarded as dating from the
Creation of the world indicates a comparatively developed stage of the
tradition. But behind the combination of cities and their gods we may
conjecturally trace anterior stages of development, when each local
deity and his human representative seemed to their own adherents the
sole objects for worship and allegiance. And even after the demands of
other centres had been conceded, no deity ever quite gave up his local

Enlil, the second of the four Sumerian creating deities, eventually
ousted his rivals. It has indeed long been recognized that the _rôle_
played by Marduk in the Babylonian Version of Creation had been borrowed
from Enlil of Nippur; and in the Atrakhasis legend Enlil himself appears
as the ultimate ruler of the world and the other gods figure as "his
sons". Anu, who heads the list and plays with Enlil the leading part
in the Sumerian narrative, was clearly his chief rival. And though
we possess no detailed account of Anu's creative work, the persistent
ascription to him of the creation of heaven, and his familiar title,
"the Father of the Gods", suggest that he once possessed a corresponding
body of myth in Eanna, his temple at Erech. Enki, the third of the
creating gods, was naturally credited, as God of Wisdom, with
special creative activities, and fortunately in his case we have some
independent evidence of the varied forms these could assume.

According to one tradition that has come down to us,(1) after Anu had
made the heavens, Enki created Apsû or the Deep, his own dwelling-place.
Then taking from it a piece of clay(2) he proceeded to create the
Brick-god, and reeds and forests for the supply of building material.
From the same clay he continued to form other deities and materials,
including the Carpenter-god; the Smith-god; Arazu, a patron deity
of building; and mountains and seas for all that they produced; the
Goldsmith-god, the Stone-cutter-god, and kindred deities, together with
their rich products for offerings; the Grain-deities, Ashnan and Lakhar;
Siris, a Wine-god; Ningishzida and Ninsar, a Garden-god, for the sake of
the rich offerings they could make; and a deity described as "the
High priest of the great gods," to lay down necessary ordinances and
commands. Then he created "the King", for the equipment probably of a
particular temple, and finally men, that they might practise the cult in
the temple so elaborately prepared.

     (1) See Weissbach, _Babylonische Miscellen_, pp. 32 ff.

     (2) One of the titles of Enki was "the Potter"; cf. _Cun.
     Texts_ in the Brit. Mus., Pt. XXIV, pl. 14 f., ll. 41, 43.

It will be seen from this summary of Enki's creative activities, that
the text from which it is taken is not a general Creation myth, but
in all probability the introductory paragraph of a composition which
celebrated the building or restoration of a particular temple; and the
latter's foundation is represented, on henotheistic lines, as the main
object of creation. Composed with that special purpose, its narrative
is not to be regarded as an exhaustive account of the creation of the
world. The incidents are eclective, and only such gods and materials are
mentioned as would have been required for the building and adornment of
the temple and for the provision of its offerings and cult. But even so
its mythological background is instructive. For while Anu's creation of
heaven is postulated as the necessary precedent of Enki's activities,
the latter creates the Deep, vegetation, mountains, seas, and mankind.
Moreover, in his character as God of Wisdom, he is not only the
teacher but the creator of those deities who were patrons of man's own
constructive work. From such evidence we may infer that in his temple at
Eridu, now covered by the mounds of Abu Shahrain in the extreme south of
Babylonia, and regarded in early Sumerian tradition as the first city in
the world, Enki himself was once celebrated as the sole creator of the

The combination of the three gods Anu, Enlil, and Enki, is persistent
in the tradition; for not only were they the great gods of the universe,
representing respectively heaven, earth, and the watery abyss, but
they later shared the heavenly sphere between them. It is in their
astrological character that we find them again in creative activity,
though without the co-operation of any goddess, when they appear as
creators of the great light-gods and as founders of time divisions, the
day and the month. This Sumerian myth, though it reaches us only in an
extract or summary in a Neo-Babylonian schoolboy's exercise,(1) may well
date from a comparatively early period, but probably from a time when
the "Ways" of Anu, Enlil, and Enki had already been fixed in heaven and
their later astrological characters had crystallized.

     (1) See _The Seven Tablets of Creation_, Vol. I, pp. 124 ff.
     The tablet gives extracts from two very similar Sumerian and
     Semitic texts. In both of them Anu, Enlil, and Enki appear
     as creators "through their sure counsel". In the Sumerian
     extract they create the Moon and ordain its monthly course,
     while in the Semitic text, after establishing heaven and
     earth, they create in addition to the New Moon the bright
     Day, so that "men beheld the Sun-god in the Gate of his
     going forth".

The idea that a goddess should take part with a god in man's creation
is already a familiar feature of Babylonian mythology. Thus the goddess
Aruru, in co-operation with Marduk, might be credited with the creation
of the human race,(1) as she might also be pictured creating on her own
initiative an individual hero such as Enkidu of the Gilgamesh Epic. The
_rôle_ of mother of mankind was also shared, as we have seen, by the
Semitic Ishtar. And though the old Sumerian goddess, Ninkharsagga, the
"Lady of the Mountains", appears in our Sumerian text for the first time
in the character of creatress, some of the titles we know she enjoyed,
under her synonyms in the great God List of Babylonia, already reflected
her cosmic activities.(2) For she was known as

     "The Builder of that which has Breath",
     "The Carpenter of Mankind",
     "The Carpenter of the Heart",
     "The Coppersmith of the Gods",
     "The Coppersmith of the Land", and
     "The Lady Potter".

     (1) Op. cit., p. 134 f.

     (2) Cf. _Cun. Texts in the Brit. Mus._, Pt. XXIV, pl. 12,
     ll. 32, 26, 27, 25, 24, 23, and Poebel, _Hist. Texts_, p.

In the myth we are not told her method of creation, but from the above
titles it is clear that in her own cycle of tradition Ninkhasagga was
conceived as fashioning men not only from clay but also from wood, and
perhaps as employing metal for the manufacture of her other works of
creation. Moreover, in the great God List, where she is referred to
under her title Makh, Ninkhasagga is associated with Anu, Enlil, and
Enki; she there appears, with her dependent deities, after Enlil and
before Enki. We thus have definite proof that her association with the
three chief Sumerian gods was widely recognized in the early Sumerian
period and dictated her position in the classified pantheon of
Babylonia. Apart from this evidence, the important rank assigned her
in the historical and legal records and in votive inscriptions,(1)
especially in the early period and in Southern Babylonia, accords fully
with the part she here plays in the Sumerian Creation myth. Eannatum and
Gudea of Lagash both place her immediately after Anu and Enlil, giving
her precedence over Enki; and even in the Kassite Kudurru inscriptions
of the thirteenth and twelfth centuries, where she is referred to, she
takes rank after Enki and before the other gods. In Sumer she was known
as "the Mother of the Gods", and she was credited with the power
of transferring the kingdom and royal insignia from one king to his

     (1) See especially, Poebel, op. cit., pp. 24 ff.

Her supreme position as a goddess is attested by the relative
insignificance of her husband Dunpae, whom she completely overshadows,
in which respect she presents a contrast to the goddess Ninlil, Enlil's
female counterpart. The early clay figurines found at Nippur and on
other sites, representing a goddess suckling a child and clasping one of
her breasts, may well be regarded as representing Ninkharsagga and not
Ninlil. Her sanctuaries were at Kesh and Adab, both in the south, and
this fact sufficiently explains her comparative want of influence in
Akkad, where the Semitic Ishtar took her place. She does indeed appear
in the north during the Sargonic period under her own name, though later
she survives in her synonyms of Ninmakh, "the Sublime Lady", and Nintu,
"the Lady of Child-bearing". It is under the latter title that Hammurabi
refers to her in his Code of Laws, where she is tenth in a series
of eleven deities. But as Goddess of Birth she retained only a pale
reflection of her original cosmic character, and her functions were
gradually specialized.(1)

     (1) Cf. Poebel, op. cit., p. 33. It is possible that, under
     one of her later synonyms, we should identify her, as Dr.
     Poebel suggests, with the Mylitta of Herodotus.

From a consideration of their characters, as revealed by independent
sources of evidence, we thus obtain the reason for the co-operation of
four deities in the Sumerian Creation. In fact the new text illustrates
a well-known principle in the development of myth, the reconciliation
of the rival claims of deities, whose cults, once isolated, had been
brought from political causes into contact with each other. In this
aspect myth is the medium through which a working pantheon is evolved.
Naturally all the deities concerned cannot continue to play their
original parts in detail. In the Babylonian Epic of Creation, where
a single deity, and not a very prominent one, was to be raised to
pre-eminent rank, the problem was simple enough. He could retain his own
qualities and achievements while borrowing those of any former rival. In
the Sumerian text we have the result of a far more delicate process of
adjustment, and it is possible that the brevity of the text is here not
entirely due to compression of a longer narrative, but may in part
be regarded as evidence of early combination. As a result of the
association of several competing deities in the work of creation, a
tendency may be traced to avoid discrimination between rival claims.
Thus it is that the assembled gods, the pantheon as a whole, are
regarded as collectively responsible for the creation of the universe.
It may be added that this use of _ilâni_, "the gods", forms an
interesting linguistic parallel to the plural of the Hebrew divine title

It will be remembered that in the Sumerian Version the account of
Creation is not given in full, only such episodes being included as were
directly related to the Deluge story. No doubt the selection of men and
animals was suggested by their subsequent rescue from the Flood; and
emphasis was purposely laid on the creation of the _niggilma_ because of
the part it played in securing mankind's survival. Even so, we noted one
striking parallel between the Sumerian Version and that of the Semitic
Babylonians, in the reason both give for man's creation. But in the
former there is no attempt to explain how the universe itself had come
into being, and the existence of the earth is presupposed at the moment
when Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Ninkharsagga undertake the creation of man.
The Semitic-Babylonian Version, on the other hand, is mainly occupied
with events that led up to the acts of creation, and it concerns our
problem to inquire how far those episodes were of Semitic and how far of
Sumerian origin. A further question arises as to whether some strands
of the narrative may not at one time have existed in Sumerian form
independently of the Creation myth.

The statement is sometimes made that there is no reason to assume a
Sumerian original for the Semitic-Babylonian Version, as recorded on
"the Seven Tablets of Creation";(1) and this remark, though true of that
version as a whole, needs some qualification. The composite nature of
the poem has long been recognized, and an analysis of the text has shown
that no less than five principal strands have been combined for its
formation. These consist of (i) The Birth of the Gods; (ii) The Legend
of Ea and Apsû; (iii) The principal Dragon Myth; (iv) The actual account
of Creation; and (v) the Hymn to Marduk under his fifty titles.(2) The
Assyrian commentaries to the Hymn, from which considerable portions of
its text are restored, quote throughout a Sumerian original, and explain
it word for word by the phrases of the Semitic Version;(3) so that for
one out of the Seven Tablets a Semitic origin is at once disproved.
Moreover, the majority of the fifty titles, even in the forms in which
they have reached us in the Semitic text, are demonstrably Sumerian, and
since many of them celebrate details of their owner's creative work, a
Sumerian original for other parts of the version is implied. Enlil and
Ea are both represented as bestowing their own names upon Marduk,(4)
and we may assume that many of the fifty titles were originally borne by
Enlil as a Sumerian Creator.(5) Thus some portions of the actual account
of Creation were probably derived from a Sumerian original in which
"Father Enlil" figured as the hero.

     (1) Cf., e.g., Jastrow, _Journ. of the Amer. Or. Soc._, Vol.
     XXXVI (1916), p. 279.

     (2) See _The Seven Tablets of Creation_, Vol. I, pp. lxvi
     ff.; and cf. Skinner, _Genesis_, pp. 43 ff.

     (3) Cf. _Sev. Tabl._, Vol. I, pp. 157 ff.

     (4) Cf. Tabl. VII, ll. 116 ff.

     (5) The number fifty was suggested by an ideogram employed
     for Enlil's name.

For what then were the Semitic Babylonians themselves responsible?
It seems to me that, in the "Seven Tablets", we may credit them with
considerable ingenuity in the combination of existing myths, but
not with their invention. The whole poem in its present form is
a glorification of Marduk, the god of Babylon, who is to be given
pre-eminent rank among the gods to correspond with the political
position recently attained by his city. It would have been quite out of
keeping with the national thought to make a break in the tradition,
and such a course would not have served the purpose of the Babylonian
priesthood, which was to obtain recognition of their claims by the older
cult-centres in the country. Hence they chose and combined the more
important existing myths, only making such alterations as would fit
them to their new hero. Babylon herself had won her position by her own
exertions; and it would be a natural idea to give Marduk his opportunity
of becoming Creator of the world as the result of successful conflict.
A combination of the Dragon myth with the myth of Creation would have
admirably served their purpose; and this is what we find in the Semitic
poem. But even that combination may not have been their own invention;
for, though, as we shall see, the idea of conflict had no part in the
earlier forms of the Sumerian Creation myth, its combination with the
Dragon _motif_ may have characterized the local Sumerian Version
of Nippur. How mechanical was the Babylonian redactors' method of
glorifying Marduk is seen in their use of the description of Tiamat
and her monster brood, whom Marduk is made to conquer. To impress the
hearers of the poem with his prowess, this is repeated at length no less
than four times, one god carrying the news of her revolt to another.

Direct proof of the manner in which the later redactors have been
obliged to modify the original Sumerian Creation myth, in consequence of
their incorporation of other elements, may be seen in the Sixth Tablet
of the poem, where Marduk states the reason for man's creation. In the
second lecture we noted how the very words of the principal Sumerian
Creator were put into Marduk's mouth; but the rest of the Semitic god's
speech finds no equivalent in the Sumerian Version and was evidently
inserted in order to reconcile the narrative with its later ingredients.
This will best be seen by printing the two passages in parallel

     (1) The extract from the Sumerian Version, which occurs in
     the lower part of the First Column, is here compared with
     the Semitic-Babylonian Creation Series, Tablet VI, ll. 6-10
     (see _Seven Tablets_, Vol. I, pp. 86 ff.). The comparison is
     justified whether we regard the Sumerian speech as a direct
     preliminary to man's creation, or as a reassertion of his
     duty after his rescue from destruction by the Flood.


     "The people will I cause to . . .  "I will make man, that man may
     in their settlements,               (. . .).
     Cities . . . shall (man) build,    I will create man who shall
     in their protection will I cause    inhabit (. . .),
     him to rest,
     That he may lay the brick of our   That the service of the gods may
     house in a clean spot,              be established, and that
     (their) shrines (may be
     That in a clean spot he may        But I will alter the ways of the
     establish our . . . !"             gods, and I will change (their
     Together shall they be
     oppressed, and unto evil shall
     (they . . .)!"

The welding of incongruous elements is very apparent in the Semitic
Version. For the statement that man will be created in order that the
gods may have worshippers is at once followed by the announcement that
the gods themselves must be punished and their "ways" changed. In the
Sumerian Version the gods are united and all are naturally regarded as
worthy of man's worship. The Sumerian Creator makes no distinctions; he
refers to "our houses", or temples, that shall be established. But in
the later version divine conflict has been introduced, and the future
head of the pantheon has conquered and humiliated the revolting deities.
Their "ways" must therefore be altered before they are fit to receive
the worship which was accorded them by right in the simpler Sumerian
tradition. In spite of the epitomized character of the Sumerian
Version, a comparison of these passages suggests very forcibly that the
Semitic-Babylonian myth of Creation is based upon a simpler Sumerian
story, which has been elaborated to reconcile it with the Dragon myth.

The Semitic poem itself also supplies evidence of the independent
existence of the Dragon myth apart from the process of Creation, for the
story of Ea and Apsû, which it incorporates, is merely the local Dragon
myth of Eridu. Its inclusion in the story is again simply a tribute to
Marduk; for though Ea, now become Marduk's father, could conquer Apsû,
he was afraid of Tiamat, "and turned back".(1) The original Eridu myth
no doubt represented Enki as conquering the watery Abyss, which became
his home; but there is nothing to connect this tradition with his
early creative activities. We have long possessed part of another local
version of the Dragon myth, which describes the conquest of a dragon by
some deity other than Marduk; and the fight is there described as taking
place, not before Creation, but at a time when men existed and cities
had been built.(2) Men and gods were equally terrified at the monster's
appearance, and it was to deliver the land from his clutches that one
of the gods went out and slew him. Tradition delighted to dwell on the
dragon's enormous size and terrible appearance. In this version he is
described as fifty _bêru_(3) in length and one in height; his mouth
measured six cubits and the circuit of his ears twelve; he dragged
himself along in the water, which he lashed with his tail; and, when
slain, his blood flowed for three years, three months, a day and a
night. From this description we can see he was given the body of an
enormous serpent.(4)

     (1) Tabl. III, l. 53, &c. In the story of Bel and the
     Dragon, the third of the apocryphal additions to Daniel, we
     have direct evidence of the late survival of the Dragon
     _motif_ apart from any trace of the Creation myth; in this
     connexion see Charles, _Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha_, Vol.
     I (1913), p. 653 f.

     (2) See _Seven Tablets_, Vol. I, pp. 116 ff., lxviii f. The
     text is preserved on an Assyrian tablet made for the library
     of Ashur-bani-pal.

     (3) The _bêru_ was the space that could be covered in two
     hours' travelling.

     (4) The Babylonian Dragon has progeny in the later
     apocalyptic literature, where we find very similar
     descriptions of the creatures' size. Among them we may
     perhaps include the dragon in the Apocalypse of Baruch, who,
     according to the Slavonic Version, apparently every day
     drinks a cubit's depth from the sea, and yet the sea does
     not sink because of the three hundred and sixty rivers that
     flow into it (cf. James, "Apocrypha Anecdota", Second
     Series, in Armitage Robinson's _Texts and Studies_, V, No.
     1, pp. lix ff.). But Egypt's Dragon _motif_ was even more
     prolific, and the _Pistis Sophia_ undoubtedly suggested
     descriptions of the Serpent, especially in connexion with

A further version of the Dragon myth has now been identified on one of
the tablets recovered during the recent excavations at Ashur,(1) and in
it the dragon is not entirely of serpent form, but is a true dragon with
legs. Like the one just described, he is a male monster. The description
occurs as part of a myth, of which the text is so badly preserved that
only the contents of one column can be made out with any certainty. In
it a god, whose name is wanting, announces the presence of the dragon:
"In the water he lies and I (. . .)!" Thereupon a second god cries
successively to Aruru, the mother-goddess, and to Pallil, another deity,
for help in his predicament. And then follows the description of the

     In the sea was the Serpent cre(ated).
     Sixty _bêru_ is his length;
     Thirty _bêru_ high is his he(ad).(2)
     For half (a _bêru_) each stretches the surface of his ey(es);(3)
     For twenty _bêru_ go (his feet).(4)
     He devours fish, the creatures (of the sea),
     He devours birds, the creatures (of the heaven),
     He devours wild asses, the creatures (of the field),
     He devours men,(5) to the peoples (he . . .).

     (1) For the text, see Ebeling, _Assurtexte_ I, No. 6; it is
     translated by him in _Orient. Lit.-Zeit._, Vol. XIX, No. 4
     (April, 1916).

     (2) The line reads: _30 bêru ša-ka-a ri-(ša-a-šu)_. Dr.
     Ebeling renders _ri-ša-a_ as "heads" (Köpfe), implying that
     the dragon had more than one head. It may be pointed out
     that, if we could accept this translation, we should have an
     interesting parallel to the description of some of the
     primaeval monsters, preserved from Berossus, as {soma men
     ekhontas en, kephalas de duo}. But the common word for
     "head" is _kakkadu_, and there can be little doubt that
     _rîšâ_ is here used in its ordinary sense of "head, summit,
     top" when applied to a high building.

     (3) The line reads: _a-na 1/2 ta-am la-bu-na li-bit ên(a-
     šu)_. Dr. Ebeling translates, "auf je eine Hälfte ist ein
     Ziegel (ihrer) Auge(n) gelegt". But _libittu_ is clearly
     used here, not with its ordinary meaning of "brick", which
     yields a strange rendering, but in its special sense, when
     applied to large buildings, of "foundation, floor-space,
     area", i.e. "surface". Dr. Ebeling reads _ênâ-šu_ at the end
     of the line, but the sign is broken; perhaps the traces may
     prove to be those of _uzn⠚u_, "his ears", in which case
     _li-bit uz(nâ-šu)_ might be rendered either as "surface of
     his ears", or as "base (lit. foundation) of his ears".

     (4) i.e. the length of his pace was twenty _bêru_.

     (5) Lit. "the black-headed".

The text here breaks off, at the moment when Pallil, whose help against
the dragon had been invoked, begins to speak. Let us hope we shall
recover the continuation of the narrative and learn what became of this
carnivorous monster.

There are ample grounds, then, for assuming the independent existence of
the Babylonian Dragon-myth, and though both the versions recovered
have come to us in Semitic form, there is no doubt that the myth itself
existed among the Sumerians. The dragon _motif_ is constantly recurring
in descriptions of Sumerian temple-decoration, and the twin dragons
of Ningishzida on Gudea's libation-vase, carved in green steatite and
inlaid with shell, are a notable product of Sumerian art.(1) The very
names borne by Tiamat's brood of monsters in the "Seven Tablets" are
stamped in most cases with their Sumerian descent, and Kingu, whom she
appointed as her champion in place of Apsû, is equally Sumerian. It
would be strange indeed if the Sumerians had not evolved a Dragon
myth,(2) for the Dragon combat is the most obvious of nature myths and
is found in most mythologies of Europe and the Near East. The trailing
storm-clouds suggest his serpent form, his fiery tongue is seen in the
forked lightning, and, though he may darken the world for a time,
the Sun-god will always be victorious. In Egypt the myth of "the
Overthrowing of Apep, the enemy of Ra" presents a close parallel to that
of Tiamat;(3) but of all Eastern mythologies that of the Chinese
has inspired in art the most beautiful treatment of the Dragon, who,
however, under his varied forms was for them essentially beneficent.
Doubtless the Semites of Babylonia had their own versions of the Dragon
combat, both before and after their arrival on the Euphrates, but the
particular version which the priests of Babylon wove into their epic is
not one of them.

     (1) See E. de Sarzec, _Découvertes en Chaldée_, pl. xliv,
     Fig. 2, and Heuzey, _Catalogue des antiquités chaldéennes_,
     p. 281.

     (2) In his very interesting study of "Sumerian and Akkadian
     Views of Beginnings", contributed to the _Journ. of the
     Amer. Or. Soc._, Vol. XXXVI (1916), pp. 274 ff., Professor
     Jastrow suggests that the Dragon combat in the Semitic-
     Babylonian Creation poem is of Semitic not Sumerian origin.
     He does not examine the evidence of the poem itself in
     detail, but bases the suggestion mainly on the two
     hypotheses, that the Dragon combat of the poem was suggested
     by the winter storms and floods of the Euphrates Valley, and
     that the Sumerians came from a mountain region where water
     was not plentiful. If we grant both assumptions, the
     suggested conclusion does not seem to me necessarily to
     follow, in view of the evidence we now possess as to the
     remote date of the Sumerian settlement in the Euphrates
     Valley. Some evidence may still be held to point to a
     mountain home for the proto-Sumerians, such as the name of
     their early goddess Ninkharsagga, "the Lady of the
     Mountains". But, as we must now regard Babylonia itself as
     the cradle of their civilization, other data tend to lose
     something of their apparent significance. It is true that
     the same Sumerian sign means "land" and "mountain"; but it
     may have been difficult to obtain an intelligible profile
     for "land" without adopting a mountain form. Such a name as
     Ekur, the "Mountain House" of Nippur, may perhaps indicate
     size, not origin; and Enki's association with metal-working
     may be merely due to his character as God of Wisdom, and is
     not appropriate solely "to a god whose home is in the
     mountains where metals are found" (op. cit., p. 295). It
     should be added that Professor Jastrow's theory of the
     Dragon combat is bound up with his view of the origin of an
     interesting Sumerian "myth of beginnings", to which
     reference is made later.

     (3) Cf. Budge, _Gods of the Egyptians_, Vol. I, pp. 324 ff.
     The inclusion of the two versions of the Egyptian Creation
     myth, recording the Birth of the Gods in the "Book of
     Overthrowing Apep", does not present a very close parallel
     to the combination of Creation and Dragon myths in the
     Semitic-Babylonian poem, for in the Egyptian work the two
     myths are not really combined, the Creation Versions being
     inserted in the middle of the spells against Apep, without
     any attempt at assimilation (see Budge, _Egyptian
     Literature_, Vol. I, p. xvi).

We have thus traced four out of the five strands which form the
Semitic-Babylonian poem of Creation to a Sumerian ancestry. And we now
come back to the first of the strands, the Birth of the Gods, from which
our discussion started. For if this too should prove to be Sumerian, it
would help to fill in the gap in our Sumerian Creation myth, and might
furnish us with some idea of the Sumerian view of "beginnings", which
preceded the acts of creation by the great gods. It will be remembered
that the poem opens with the description of a time when heaven and earth
did not exist, no field or marsh even had been created, and the universe
consisted only of the primaeval water-gods, Apsû, Mummu, and Tiamat,
whose waters were mingled together. Then follows the successive
generation of two pairs of deities, Lakhmu and Lakhamu, and Anshar and
Kishar, long ages separating the two generations from each other and
from the birth of the great gods which subsequently takes place. In
the summary of the myth which is given by Damascius(1) the names of the
various deities accurately correspond to those in the opening lines of
the poem; but he makes some notable additions, as will be seen from the
following table:

     DAMASCUS                            "SEVEN TABLETS" I

     {'Apason---Tauthe}                       Apsû---Tiamat
     {Moumis}                               Mummu
     {Lakhos---Lakhe}(2)                   Lakhmu---Lakhamu
     {'Assoros---Kissare}                    Anshar---Kishar
     {'Anos, 'Illinos, 'Aos}              Anu, ( ), Nudimmud (= Ea)

     (1) _Quaestiones de primis principiis_, cap. 125; ed. Kopp,
     p. 384.

     (2) Emended from the reading {Dakhen kai Dakhon} of the

In the passage of the poem which describes the birth of the great gods
after the last pair of primaeval deities, mention is duly made of Anu
and Nudimmud (the latter a title of Ea), corresponding to the {'Anos}
and {'Aos} of Damascius; and there appears to be no reference to Enlil,
the original of {'Illinos}. It is just possible that his name occurred
at the end of one of the broken lines, and, if so, we should have a
complete parallel to Damascius. But the traces are not in favour of the
restoration;(1) and the omission of Enlil's name from this part of
the poem may be readily explained as a further tribute to Marduk, who
definitely usurps his place throughout the subsequent narrative. Anu and
Ea had both to be mentioned because of the parts they play in the Epic,
but Enlil's only recorded appearance is in the final assembly of the
gods, where he bestows his own name "the Lord of the World"(2) upon
Marduk. The evidence of Damascius suggests that Enlil's name was here
retained, between those of Anu and Ea, in other versions of the poem.
But the occurrence of the name in any version is in itself evidence
of the antiquity of this strand of the narrative. It is a legitimate
inference that the myth of the Birth of the Gods goes back to a time at
least before the rise of Babylon, and is presumably of Sumerian origin.

     (1) Anu and Nudimmud are each mentioned for the first time
     at the beginning of a line, and the three lines following
     the reference to Nudimmud are entirely occupied with
     descriptions of his wisdom and power. It is also probable
     that the three preceding lines (ll. 14-16), all of which
     refer to Anu by name, were entirely occupied with his
     description. But it is only in ll. 13-16 that any reference
     to Enlil can have occurred, and the traces preserved of
     their second halves do not suggestion the restoration.

     (2) Cf. Tabl. VII, . 116.

Further evidence of this may be seen in the fact that Anu, Enlil, and Ea
(i.e. Enki), who are here created together, are the three great gods of
the Sumerian Version of Creation; it is they who create mankind with the
help of the goddess Ninkharsagga, and in the fuller version of that myth
we should naturally expect to find some account of their own origin. The
reference in Damascius to Marduk ({Belos}) as the son of Ea and Damkina
({Dauke}) is also of interest in this connexion, as it exhibits a
goddess in close connexion with one of the three great gods, much as
we find Ninkharsagga associated with them in the Sumerian Version.(1)
Before leaving the names, it may be added that, of the primaeval
deities, Anshar and Kishar are obviously Sumerian in form.

     (1) Damkina was the later wife of Ea or Enki; and
     Ninkharsagga is associated with Enki, as his consort, in
     another Sumerian myth.

It may be noted that the character of Apsû and Tiamat in this portion of
the poem(1) is quite at variance with their later actions. Their revolt
at the ordered "way" of the gods was a necessary preliminary to the
incorporation of the Dragon myths, in which Ea and Marduk are the
heroes. Here they appear as entirely beneficent gods of the primaeval
water, undisturbed by storms, in whose quiet depths the equally
beneficent deities Lakhmu and Lakhamu, Anshar and Kishar, were
generated.(2) This interpretation, by the way, suggests a more
satisfactory restoration for the close of the ninth line of the poem
than any that has yet been proposed. That line is usually taken to imply
that the gods were created "in the midst of (heaven)", but I think the
following rendering, in connexion with ll. 1-5, gives better sense:

     When in the height heaven was not named,
     And the earth beneath did not bear a name,
     And the primaeval Apsû who begat them,(3)
     And Mummu, and Tiamat who bore them(3) all,--
     Their waters were mingled together,
     . . .
     . . .
     . . .
     Then were created the gods in the midst of (their waters),(4)
     Lakhmu and Lakhamu were called into being . . .

     (1) Tabl. I, ll. 1-21.

     (2) We may perhaps see a survival of Tiamat's original
     character in her control of the Tablets of Fate. The poem
     does not represent her as seizing them in any successful
     fight; they appear to be already hers to bestow on Kingu,
     though in the later mythology they are "not his by right"
     (cf. Tabl. I, ll. 137 ff., and Tabl. IV, l. 121).

     (3) i.e. the gods.

     (4) The ninth line is preserved only on a Neo-Babylonian
     duplicate (_Seven Tablets_, Vol. II, pl. i). I suggested the
     restoration _ki-rib š(a-ma-mi)_, "in the midst of heaven",
     as possible, since the traces of the first sign in the last
     word of the line seemed to be those of the Neo-Babylonian
     form of _ša_. The restoration appeared at the time not
     altogether satisfactory in view of the first line of the
     poem, and it could only be justified by supposing that
     _šamâmu_, or "heaven", was already vaguely conceived as in
     existence (op. cit., Vol. I, p. 3, n. 14). But the traces of
     the sign, as I have given them (op. cit., Vol. II, pl. i),
     may also possibly be those of the Neo-Babylonian form of the
     sign _me_; and I would now restore the end of the line in
     the Neo-Babylonian tablet as _ki-rib m(e-e-šu-nu)_, "in the
     midst of (their waters)", corresponding to the form _mu-u-
     šu-nu_ in l. 5 of this duplicate. In the Assyrian Version
     _mé(pl)-šu-nu_ would be read in both lines. It will be
     possible to verify the new reading, by a re-examination of
     the traces on the tablet, when the British Museum
     collections again become available for study after the war.

If the ninth line of the poem be restored as suggested, its account of
the Birth of the Gods will be found to correspond accurately with
the summary from Berossus, who, in explaining the myth, refers to the
Babylonian belief that the universe consisted at first of moisture
in which living creatures, such as he had already described, were
generated.(1) The primaeval waters are originally the source of life,
not of destruction, and it is in them that the gods are born, as in
Egyptian mythology; there Nu, the primaeval water-god from whom Ra was
self-created, never ceased to be the Sun-god's supporter. The change in
the Babylonian conception was obviously introduced by the combination of
the Dragon myth with that of Creation, a combination that in Egypt
would never have been justified by the gentle Nile. From a study of some
aspects of the names at the beginning of the Babylonian poem we have
already seen reason to suspect that its version of the Birth of the Gods
goes back to Sumerian times, and it is pertinent to ask whether we have
any further evidence that in Sumerian belief water was the origin of all

     (1) {ugrou gar ontos tou pantos kai zoon en auto
     gegennemenon (toionde) ktl}. His creatures of the primaeval
     water were killed by the light; and terrestrial animals were
     then created which could bear (i.e. breathe and exist in)
     the air.

For many years we have possessed a Sumerian myth of Creation, which has
come to us on a late Babylonian tablet as the introductory section of
an incantation. It is provided with a Semitic translation, and to judge
from its record of the building of Babylon and Egasila, Marduk's temple,
and its identification of Marduk himself with the Creator, it has
clearly undergone some editing at the hands of the Babylonian priests.
Moreover, the occurrence of various episodes out of their logical order,
and the fact that the text records twice over the creation of swamps and
marshes, reeds and trees or forests, animals and cities, indicate that
two Sumerian myths have been combined. Thus we have no guarantee that
the other cities referred to by name in the text, Nippur, Erech, and
Eridu, are mentioned in any significant connexion with each other.(1) Of
the actual cause of Creation the text appears to give two versions also,
one in its present form impersonal, and the other carried out by a
god. But these two accounts are quite unlike the authorized version
of Babylon, and we may confidently regard them as representing genuine
Sumerian myths. The text resembles other early accounts of Creation by
introducing its narrative with a series of negative statements, which
serve to indicate the preceding non-existence of the world, as will be
seen from the following extract:(2)

     No city had been created, no creature had been made,
     Nippur had not been created, Ekur had not been built,
     Erech had not been created, Eanna had not been built,
     Apsû had not been created, Eridu had not been built,
     Of the holy house, the house of the gods, the habitation had not
     been created.
     All lands(3) were sea.
     At the time when a channel (was formed) in the midst of the sea,
     Then was Eridu created, Esagila built, etc.

Here we have the definite statement that before Creation all the world
was sea. And it is important to note that the primaeval water is not
personified; the ordinary Sumerian word for "sea" is employed, which
the Semitic translator has faithfully rendered in his version of
the text.(4) The reference to a channel in the sea, as the cause of
Creation, seems at first sight a little obscure; but the word implies
a "drain" or "water-channel", not a current of the sea itself, and the
reference may be explained as suggested by the drainage of a flood-area.
No doubt the phrase was elaborated in the original myth, and it is
possible that what appears to be a second version of Creation later on
in the text is really part of the more detailed narrative of the
first myth. There the Creator himself is named. He is the Sumerian god
Gilimma, and in the Semitic translation Marduk's name is substituted. To
the following couplet, which describes Gilimma's method of creation,
is appended a further extract from a later portion of the text, there
evidently displaced, giving additional details of the Creator's work:

     Gilimma bound reeds in the face of the waters,
     He formed soil and poured it out beside the reeds.(5)
     (He)(6) filled in a dike by the side of the sea,
     (He . . .) a swamp, he formed a marsh.
     (. . .), he brought into existence,
     (Reeds he form)ed,(7) trees he created.

     (1) The composite nature of the text is discussed by
     Professor Jastrow in his _Hebrew and Babylonian Traditions_,
     pp. 89 ff.; and in his paper in the _Journ. Amer. Or. Soc._,
     Vol. XXXVI (1916), pp. 279 ff.; he has analysed it into two
     main versions, which he suggests originated in Eridu and
     Nippur respectively. The evidence of the text does not
     appear to me to support the view that any reference to a
     watery chaos preceding Creation must necessarily be of
     Semitic origin. For the literature of the text (first
     published by Pinches, _Journ. Roy. Asiat. Soc._, Vol. XXIII,
     pp. 393 ff.), see _Sev. Tabl._, Vol. I, p. 130.

     (2) Obv., ll. 5-12.

     (3) Sum. _nigin-kur-kur-ra-ge_, Sem. _nap-har ma-ta-a-tu_,
     lit. "all lands", i.e. Sumerian and Babylonian expressions
     for "the world".

     (4) Sum. _a-ab-ba_, "sea", is here rendered by _tâmtum_, not
     by its personified equivalent Tiamat.

     (5) The suggestion has been made that _amu_, the word in the
     Semitic version here translated "reeds", should be connected
     with _ammatu_, the word used for "earth" or "dry land" in
     the Babylonian Creation Series, Tabl. I, l. 2, and given
     some such meaning as "expanse". The couplet is thus
     explained to mean that the god made an expanse on the face
     of the waters, and then poured out dust "on the expanse".
     But the Semitic version in l. 18 reads _itti ami_, "beside
     the _a._", not _ina ami_, "on the _a._"; and in any case
     there does not seem much significance in the act of pouring
     out specially created dust on or beside land already formed.
     The Sumerian word translated by _amu_ is written _gi-dir_,
     with the element _gi_, "reed", in l. 17, and though in the
     following line it is written under its variant form _a-dir_
     without _gi_, the equation _gi-a-dir_ = _amu_ is elsewhere
     attested (cf. Delitzsch, _Handwörterbuch_, p. 77). In favour
     of regarding _amu_ as some sort of reed, here used
     collectively, it may be pointed out that the Sumerian verb
     in l. 17 is _kešda_, "to bind", accurately rendered by
     _rakašu_ in the Semitic version. Assuming that l. 34 belongs
     to the same account, the creation of reeds in general beside
     trees, after dry land is formed, would not of course be at
     variance with the god's use of some sort of reed in his
     first act of creation. He creates the reed-bundles, as he
     creates the soil, both of which go to form the first dike;
     the reed-beds, like the other vegetation, spring up from the
     ground when it appears.

     (6) The Semitic version here reads "the lord Marduk"; the
     corresponding name in the Sumerian text is not preserved.

     (7) The line is restored from l. 2 o the obverse of the

Here the Sumerian Creator is pictured as forming dry land from the
primaeval water in much the same way as the early cultivator in the
Euphrates Valley procured the rich fields for his crops. The existence
of the earth is here not really presupposed. All the world was sea until
the god created land out of the waters by the only practical method that
was possible in Mesopotamia.

In another Sumerian myth, which has been recovered on one of the early
tablets from Nippur, we have a rather different picture of beginnings.
For there, though water is the source of life, the existence of the
land is presupposed. But it is bare and desolate, as in the Mesopotamian
season of "low water". The underlying idea is suggestive of a period
when some progress in systematic irrigation had already been made, and
the filling of the dry canals and subsequent irrigation of the parched
ground by the rising flood of Enki was not dreaded but eagerly desired.
The myth is only one of several that have been combined to form the
introductory sections of an incantation; but in all of them Enki, the
god of the deep water, plays the leading part, though associated with
different consorts.(1) The incantation is directed against various
diseases, and the recitation of the closing mythical section was
evidently intended to enlist the aid of special gods in combating them.
The creation of these deities is recited under set formulae in a sort of
refrain, and the divine name assigned to each bears a magical connexion
with the sickness he or she is intended to dispel.(2)

     (1) See Langdon, Univ. of Penns. Mus. Publ., Bab. Sect.,
     Vol. X, No. 1 (1915), pl. i f., pp. 69 ff.; _Journ. Amer.
     Or. Soc._, Vol. XXXVI (1916), pp. 140 ff.; cf. Prince,
     _Journ. Amer. Or. Soc._, Vol. XXXVI, pp. 90 ff.; Jastrow,
     _Journ. Amer. Or. Soc._, Vol. XXXVI, pp. 122 ff., and in
     particular his detailed study of the text in _Amer. Journ.
     Semit. Lang._, Vol. XXXIII, pp. 91 ff. Dr. Langdon's first
     description of the text, in _Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch._, Vol.
     XXXVI (1914), pp. 188 ff., was based on a comparatively
     small fragment only; and on his completion of the text from
     other fragments in Pennsylvania. Professor Sayce at once
     realized that the preliminary diagnosis of a Deluge myth
     could not be sustained (cf. _Expos. Times_, Nov., 1915, pp.
     88 ff.). He, Professor Prince, and Professor Jastrow
     independently showed that the action of Enki in the myth in
     sending water on the land was not punitive but beneficent;
     and the preceding section, in which animals are described as
     not performing their usual activities, was shown
     independently by Professor Prince and Professor Jastrow to
     have reference, not to their different nature in an ideal
     existence in Paradise, but, on familiar lines, to their non-
     existence in a desolate land. It may be added that Professor
     Barton and Dr. Peters agree generally with Professor Prince
     and Professor Jastrow in their interpretation of the text,
     which excludes the suggested biblical parallels; and I
     understand from Dr. Langdon that he very rightly recognizes
     that the text is not a Deluge myth. It is a subject for
     congratulation that the discussion has materially increased
     our knowledge of this difficult composition.

     (2) Cf. Col. VI, ll. 24 ff.; thus _Ab_-u was created for the
     sickness of the cow (_ab_); Nin-_tul_ for that of the flock
     (u-_tul_); Nin-_ka_-u-tu and Nin-_ka_-si for that of the
     mouth (_ka_); Na-zi for that of the _na-zi_ (meaning
     uncertain); _Da zi_-ma for that of the _da-zi_ (meaning
     uncertain); Nin-_til_ for that of _til_ (life); the name of
     the eighth and last deity is imperfectly preserved.

We have already noted examples of a similar use of myth in magic, which
was common to both Egypt and Babylonia; and to illustrate its employment
against disease, as in the Nippur document, it will suffice to cite
a well-known magical cure for the toothache which was adopted in
Babylon.(1) There toothache was believed to be caused by the gnawing of
a worm in the gum, and a myth was used in the incantation to relieve
it. The worm's origin is traced from Anu, the god of heaven, through
a descending scale of creation; Anu, the heavens, the earth, rivers,
canals and marshes are represented as each giving rise to the next in
order, until finally the marshes produce the worm. The myth then relates
how the worm, on being offered tempting food by Ea in answer to her
prayer, asked to be allowed to drink the blood of the teeth, and the
incantation closes by invoking the curse of Ea because of the worm's
misguided choice. It is clear that power over the worm was obtained by a
recital of her creation and of her subsequent ingratitude, which led to
her present occupation and the curse under which she laboured. When the
myth and invocation had been recited three times over the proper mixture
of beer, a plant, and oil, and the mixture had been applied to the
offending tooth, the worm would fall under the spell of the curse and
the patient would at once gain relief. The example is instructive,
as the connexion of ideas is quite clear. In the Nippur document the
recital of the creation of the eight deities evidently ensured their
presence, and a demonstration of the mystic bond between their names
and the corresponding diseases rendered the working of their powers
effective. Our knowledge of a good many other myths is due solely to
their magical employment.

     (1) See Thompson, _Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia_,
     Vol. II, pp. 160 ff.; for a number of other examples, see
     Jastrow, _J.A.O.S._, Vol. XXXVI, p. 279, n. 7.

Perhaps the most interesting section of the new text is one in which
divine instructions are given in the use of plants, the fruit or roots
of which may be eaten. Here Usmû, a messenger from Enki, God of the
Deep, names eight such plants by Enki's orders, thereby determining the
character of each. As Professor Jastrow has pointed out, the passage
forcibly recalls the story from Berossus, concerning the mythical
creature Oannes, who came up from the Erythraean Sea, where it borders
upon Babylonia, to instruct mankind in all things, including "seeds and
the gathering of fruits".(1) But the only part of the text that concerns
us here is the introductory section, where the life-giving flood, by
which the dry fields are irrigated, is pictured as following the union
of the water-deities, Enki and Ninella.(2) Professor Jastrow is right in
emphasizing the complete absence of any conflict in this Sumerian
myth of beginnings; but, as with the other Sumerian Versions we have
examined, it seems to me there is no need to seek its origin elsewhere
than in the Euphrates Valley.

     (1) Cf. Jastrow, _J.A.O.S._, Vol. XXXVI, p. 127, and
     _A.J.S.L._, Vol. XXXIII, p. 134 f. It may be added that the
     divine naming of the plants also presents a faint parallel
     to the naming of the beasts and birds by man himself in Gen.
     ii. 19 f.

     (2) Professor Jastrow (_A.J.S.L._, Vol. XXXIII, p. 115)
     compares similar myths collected by Sir James Frazer (_Magic
     Art_, Vol. II, chap. xi and chap. xii, § 2). He also notes
     the parallel the irrigation myth presents to the mist (or
     flood) of the earlier Hebrew Version (Gen. ii. 5 f). But
     Enki, like Ea, was no rain-god; he had his dwellings in the
     Euphrates and the Deep.

Even in later periods, when the Sumerian myths of Creation had been
superseded by that of Babylon, the Euphrates never ceased to be regarded
as the source of life and the creator of all things. And this is
well brought out in the following introductory lines of a Semitic
incantation, of which we possess two Neo-Babylonian copies:(1)

     O thou River, who didst create all things,
     When the great gods dug thee out,
     They set prosperity upon thy banks,
     Within thee Ea, King of the Deep, created his dwelling.
     The Flood they sent not before thou wert!

Here the river as creator is sharply distinguished from the Flood; and
we may conclude that the water of the Euphrates Valley impressed the
early Sumerians, as later the Semites, with its creative as well as with
its destructive power. The reappearance of the fertile soil, after the
receding inundation, doubtless suggested the idea of creation out of
water, and the stream's slow but automatic fall would furnish a model
for the age-long evolution of primaeval deities. When a god's active and
artificial creation of the earth must be portrayed, it would have been
natural for the primitive Sumerian to picture the Creator working as
he himself would work when he reclaimed a field from flood. We are thus
shown the old Sumerian god Gilimma piling reed-bundles in the water and
heaping up soil beside them, till the ground within his dikes dries off
and produces luxuriant vegetation. But here there is a hint of struggle
in the process, and we perceive in it the myth-redactor's opportunity
to weave in the Dragon _motif_. No such excuse is afforded by the other
Sumerian myth, which pictures the life-producing inundation as the gift
of the two deities of the Deep and the product of their union.

But in their other aspect the rivers of Mesopotamia could be terrible;
and the Dragon _motif_ itself, on the Tigris and Euphrates, drew its
imagery as much from flood as from storm. When therefore a single deity
must be made to appear, not only as Creator, but also as the champion
of his divine allies and the conqueror of other gods, it was inevitable
that the myths attaching to the waters under their two aspects should be
combined. This may already have taken place at Nippur, when Enlil
became the head of the pantheon; but the existence of his myth is
conjectural.(1) In a later age we can trace the process in the light of
history and of existing texts. There Marduk, identified wholly as the
Sun-god, conquers the once featureless primaeval water, which in the
process of redaction has now become the Dragon of flood and storm.

     (1) The aspect of Enlil as the Creator of Vegetation is
     emphasized in Tablet VII of the Babylonian poem of Creation.
     It is significant that his first title, Asara, should be
     interpreted as "Bestower of planting", "Founder of sowing",
     "Creator of grain and plants", "He who caused the green herb
     to spring up" (cf. _Seven Tablets_, Vol. I, p. 92 f.). These
     opening phrases, by which the god is hailed, strike the key-
     note of the whole composition. It is true that, as Sukh-kur,
     he is "Destroyer of the foe"; but the great majority of the
     titles and their Semitic glosses refer to creative
     activities, not to the Dragon myth.

Thus the dualism which is so characteristic a feature of the
Semitic-Babylonian system, though absent from the earliest Sumerian
ideas of Creation, was inherent in the nature of the local rivers, whose
varied aspects gave rise to or coloured separate myths. Its presence
in the later mythology may be traced as a reflection of political
development, at first probably among the warring cities of Sumer, but
certainly later in the Semitic triumph at Babylon. It was but to
be expected that the conqueror, whether Sumerian or Semite, should
represent his own god's victory as the establishment of order out of
chaos. But this would be particularly in harmony with the character of
the Semitic Babylonians of the First Dynasty, whose genius for method
and organization produced alike Hammurabi's Code of Laws and the
straight streets of the capital.

We have thus been able to trace the various strands of the
Semitic-Babylonian poem of Creation to Sumerian origins; and in the
second lecture we arrived at a very similar conclusion with regard to
the Semitic-Babylonian Version of the Deluge preserved in the Epic of
Gilgamesh. We there saw that the literary structure of the Sumerian
Version, in which Creation and Deluge are combined, must have survived
under some form into the Neo-Babylonian period, since it was reproduced
by Berossus. And we noted the fact that the same arrangement in Genesis
did not therefore prove that the Hebrew accounts go back directly to
early Sumerian originals. In fact, the structural resemblance presented
by Genesis can only be regarded as an additional proof that the
Sumerian originals continued to be studied and translated by the Semitic
priesthood, although they had long been superseded officially by their
later descendants, the Semitic epics. A detailed comparison of the
Creation and Deluge narratives in the various versions at once discloses
the fact that the connexion between those of the Semitic Babylonians
and the Hebrews is far closer and more striking than that which can be
traced when the latter are placed beside the Sumerian originals. We may
therefore regard it as certain that the Hebrews derived their knowledge
of Sumerian tradition, not directly from the Sumerians themselves, but
through Semitic channels from Babylon.

It will be unnecessary here to go in detail through the points of
resemblance that are admitted to exist between the Hebrew account of
Creation in the first chapter of Genesis and that preserved in the
"Seven Tablets".(1) It will suffice to emphasize two of them, which gain
in significance through our newly acquired knowledge of early Sumerian
beliefs. It must be admitted that, on first reading the poem, one is
struck more by the differences than by the parallels; but that is due
to the polytheistic basis of the poem, which attracts attention when
compared with the severe and dignified monotheism of the Hebrew writer.
And if allowance be made for the change in theological standpoint, the
material points of resemblance are seen to be very marked. The outline
or general course of events is the same. In both we have an abyss of
waters at the beginning denoted by almost the same Semitic word, the
Hebrew _tehôm_, translated "the deep" in Gen. i. 2, being the equivalent
of the Semitic-Babylonian _Tiamat_, the monster of storm and flood who
presents so striking a contrast to the Sumerian primaeval water.(2) The
second act of Creation in the Hebrew narrative is that of a "firmament",
which divided the waters under it from those above.(3) But this, as we
have seen, has no parallel in the early Sumerian conception until it was
combined with the Dragon combat in the form in which we find it in the
Babylonian poem. There the body of Tiamat is divided by Marduk, and from
one half of her he constructs a covering or dome for heaven, that is to
say a "firmament", to keep her upper waters in place. These will suffice
as text passages, since they serve to point out quite clearly the
Semitic source to which all the other detailed points of Hebrew
resemblance may be traced.

     (1) See _Seven Tablets_, Vol. I, pp. lxxxi ff., and Skinner,
     _Genesis_, pp. 45 ff.

     (2) The invariable use of the Hebrew word _tehôm_ without
     the article, except in two passages in the plural, proves
     that it is a proper name (cf. Skinner, op. cit., p. 17); and
     its correspondence with _Tiamat_ makes the resemblance of
     the versions far more significant than if their parallelism
     were confined solely to ideas.

     (3) Gen. i. 6-8.

In the case of the Deluge traditions, so conclusive a demonstration is
not possible, since we have no similar criterion to apply. And on one
point, as we saw, the Hebrew Versions preserve an original Sumerian
strand of the narrative that was not woven into the Gilgamesh Epic,
where there is no parallel to the piety of Noah. But from the detailed
description that was given in the second lecture, it will have been
noted that the Sumerian account is on the whole far simpler and more
primitive than the other versions. It is only in the Babylonian Epic,
for example, that the later Hebrew writer finds material from which to
construct the ark, while the sweet savour of Ut-napishtim's sacrifice,
and possibly his sending forth of the birds, though reproduced in the
earlier Hebrew Version, find no parallels in the Sumerian account.(1) As
to the general character of the Flood, there is no direct reference to
rain in the Sumerian Version, though its presence is probably implied in
the storm. The heavy rain of the Babylonian Epic has been increased
to forty days of rain in the earlier Hebrew Version, which would be
suitable to a country where local rain was the sole cause of flood. But
the later Hebrew writer's addition of "the fountains of the deep" to
"the windows of heaven" certainly suggests a more intimate knowledge of
Mesopotamia, where some contributary cause other than local rain must be
sought for the sudden and overwhelming catastrophes of which the rivers
are capable.

     (1) For detailed lists of the points of agreement presented
     by the Hebrew Versions J and P to the account in the
     Gilgamesh Epic, see Skinner, op. cit., p. 177 f.; Driver,
     _Genesis_, p. 106 f.; and Gordon, _Early Traditions of
     Genesis_ (1907), pp. 38 ff.

Thus, viewed from a purely literary standpoint, we are now enabled to
trace back to a primitive age the ancestry of the traditions, which,
under a very different aspect, eventually found their way into Hebrew
literature. And in the process we may note the changes they underwent
as they passed from one race to another. The result of such literary
analysis and comparison, so far from discrediting the narratives in
Genesis, throws into still stronger relief the moral grandeur of the
Hebrew text.

We come then to the question, at what periods and by what process did
the Hebrews become acquainted with Babylonian ideas? The tendency of the
purely literary school of critics has been to explain the process by the
direct use of Babylonian documents wholly within exilic times. If the
Creation and Deluge narratives stood alone, a case might perhaps be made
out for confining Babylonian influence to this late period. It is
true that during the Captivity the Jews were directly exposed to
such influence. They had the life and civilization of their captors
immediately before their eyes, and it would have been only natural
for the more learned among the Hebrew scribes and priests to interest
themselves in the ancient literature of their new home. And any previous
familiarity with the myths of Babylonia would undoubtedly have been
increased by actual residence in the country. We may perhaps see
a result of such acquaintance with Babylonian literature, after
Jehoiachin's deportation, in an interesting literary parallel that has
been pointed out between Ezek. xiv. 12-20 and a speech in the Babylonian
account of the Deluge in the Gilgamesh Epic, XI, ii. 180-194.(1) The
passage in Ezekiel occurs within chaps. i-xxiv, which correspond to
the prophet's first period and consist in the main of his utterances in
exile before the fall of Jerusalem. It forms, in fact, the introduction
to the prophet's announcement of the coming of "four sore judgements
upon Jerusalem", from which there "shall be left a remnant that shall
be carried forth".(2) But in consequence, here and there, of traces of a
later point of view, it is generally admitted that many of the chapters
in this section may have been considerably amplified and altered by
Ezekiel himself in the course of writing. And if we may regard the
literary parallel that has been pointed out as anything more than
fortuitous, it is open to us to assume that chap. xiv may have been
worked up by Ezekiel many years after his prophetic call at Tel-abib.

     (1) See Daiches, "Ezekiel and the Babylonian Account of the
     Deluge", in the _Jewish Quarterly Review_, April 1905. It
     has of course long been recognized that Ezekiel, in
     announcing the punishment of the king of Egypt in xxxii. 2
     ff., uses imagery which strongly recalls the Babylonian
     Creation myth. For he compares Pharaoh to a sea-monster over
     whom Yahweh will throw his net (as Marduk had thrown his
     over Tiamat); cf. Loisy, _Les mythes babyloniens et les
     premiers chaptires de la Genèse_ (1901), p. 87.

     (2) Ezek. xiv. 21 f.

In the passage of the Babylonian Epic, Enlil had already sent the Flood
and had destroyed the good with the wicked. Ea thereupon remonstrates
with him, and he urges that in future the sinner only should be made to
suffer for his sin; and, instead of again causing a flood, let there be
discrimination in the divine punishments sent on men or lands. While
the flood made the escape of the deserving impossible, other forms of
punishment would affect the guilty only. In Ezekiel the subject is the
same, but the point of view is different. The land the prophet has in
his mind in verse 13 is evidently Judah, and his desire is to explain
why it will suffer although not all its inhabitants deserved to share
its fate. The discrimination, which Ea urges, Ezekiel asserts will be
made; but the sinner must bear his own sin, and the righteous, however
eminent, can only save themselves by their righteousness. The general
principle propounded in the Epic is here applied to a special case.
But the parallelism between the passages lies not only in the general
principle but also in the literary setting. This will best be brought
out by printing the passages in parallel columns.

     Gilg. Epic, XI, 180-194             Ezek. xiv. 12-20

     Ea opened his mouth and spake,      And the word of the Lord came
     He said to the warrior Enlil;         unto me, saying,
     Thou director of the gods! O        Son of man, when a land sinneth
     warrior!                            against me by committing a
     Why didst thou not take counsel       trespass, and I stretch out
     but didst cause a flood?            mine hand upon it, and break
     On the transgressor lay his           the staff of the bread
     transgression!                      thereof, and send _famine_
     Be merciful, so that (all) be not     upon it, and cut off from it
     destroyed! Have patience, so        man and beast; though these
     that (all) be not (cut off)!        three men, Noah, Daniel, and
     Instead of causing a flood,           Job, were in it, they should
     Let _lions_(1) come and diminish      deliver but their own souls by
       mankind!                            their righteousness, saith the
     Instead of causing a flood,           Lord God.
     Let _leopards_(1) come and          If I cause _noisome beasts_ to
     diminish mankind!                   pass through the land, and
     Instead of causing a flood,           they spoil it, so that it be
     Let _famine_ be caused and let it     desolate, that no man may pass
     smite the land!                     through because of the beasts;
     Instead of causing a flood,           though these three men were in
     Let the _Plague-god_ come and         it, as I live, saith the Lord
     (slay) mankind!                     God, they shall deliver
     neither sons nor daughters;
     they only shall be delivered,
     but the land shall be
     Or if I bring a _sword_ upon
     that land, and say, Sword, go
     through the land; so that I
     cut off from it man and beast;
     though these three men were in
     it, as I live, saith the Lord
     God, they shall deliver
     neither sons nor daughters,
     but they only shall be
     delivered themselves.
     Or if I send a _pestilence_ into
     that land, and pour out my
     fury upon it in blood, to cut
     off from it man and beast;
     though Noah, Daniel, and Job,
     were in it, as I live, saith
     the Lord God, they shall
     deliver neither son nor
     daughter; they shall but
     deliver their own souls by
     their righteousness.

     (1) Both Babylonian words are in the singular, but probably
     used collectively, as is the case with their Hebrew
     equivalent in Ezek. xiv. 15.

It will be seen that, of the four kinds of divine punishment mentioned,
three accurately correspond in both compositions. Famine and pestilence
occur in both, while the lions and leopards of the Epic find an
equivalent in "noisome beasts". The sword is not referred to in the
Epic, but as this had already threatened Jerusalem at the time of the
prophecy's utterance its inclusion by Ezekiel was inevitable. Moreover,
the fact that Noah should be named in the refrain, as the first of the
three proverbial examples of righteousness, shows that Ezekiel had the
Deluge in his mind, and increases the significance of the underlying
parallel between his argument and that of the Babylonian poet.(1) It may
be added that Ezekiel has thrown his prophecy into poetical form, and
the metre of the two passages in the Babylonian and Hebrew is, as Dr.
Daiches points out, not dissimilar.

     (1) This suggestion is in some measure confirmed by the
     _Biblical Antiquities of Philo_, ascribed by Dr. James to
     the closing years of the first century A.D.; for its writer,
     in his account of the Flood, has actually used Ezek. xiv. 12
     ff. in order to elaborate the divine speech in Gen. viii. 21
     f. This will be seen from the following extract, in which
     the passage interpolated between verses 21 and 22 of Gen.
     viii is enclosed within brackets: "And God said: I will not
     again curse the earth for man's sake, for the guise of man's
     heart hath left off (sic) from his youth. And therefore I
     will not again destroy together all living as I have done.
     (But it shall be, when the dwellers upon earth have sinned,
     I will judge them by _famine_ or by the _sword_ or by fire
     or by _pestilence_ (lit. death), and there shall be
     earthquakes, and they shall be scattered into places not
     inhabited (or, the places of their habitation shall be
     scattered). But I will not again spoil the earth with the
     water of a flood, and) in all the days of the earth seed
     time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and autumn, day and
     night shall not cease . . ."; see James, _The Biblical
     Antiquities of Philo_, p. 81, iii. 9. Here wild beasts are
     omitted, and fire, earthquakes, and exile are added; but
     famine, sword, and pestilence are prominent, and the whole
     passage is clearly suggested by Ezekiel. As a result of the
     combination, we have in the _Biblical Antiquities_ a
     complete parallel to the passage in the Gilgamesh Epic.

It may of course be urged that wild beasts, famine, and pestilence are
such obvious forms of divine punishment that their enumeration by
both writers is merely due to chance. But the parallelism should be
considered with the other possible points of connexion, namely, the fact
that each writer is dealing with discrimination in divine punishments
of a wholesale character, and that while the one is inspired by the
Babylonian tradition of the Flood, the other takes the hero of the
Hebrew Flood story as the first of his selected types of righteousness.
It is possible that Ezekiel may have heard the Babylonian Version
recited after his arrival on the Chebar. And assuming that some form of
the story had long been a cherished tradition of the Hebrews themselves,
we could understand his intense interest in finding it confirmed by the
Babylonians, who would show him where their Flood had taken place. To
a man of his temperament, the one passage in the Babylonian poem that
would have made a special appeal would have been that quoted above,
where the poet urges that divine vengeance should be combined with
mercy, and that all, righteous and wicked alike, should not again be
destroyed. A problem continually in Ezekiel's thoughts was this very
question of wholesale divine punishment, as exemplified in the case of
Judah; and it would not have been unlikely that the literary structure
of the Babylonian extract may have influenced the form in which he
embodied his own conclusions.

But even if we regard this suggestion as unproved or improbable,
Ezekiel's reference to Noah surely presupposes that at least some
version of the Flood story was familiar to the Hebrews before the
Captivity. And this conclusion is confirmed by other Babylonian
parallels in the early chapters of Genesis, in which oral tradition
rather than documentary borrowing must have played the leading part.(1)
Thus Babylonian parallels may be cited for many features in the story
of Paradise,(2) though no equivalent of the story itself has been
recovered. In the legend of Adapa, for example, wisdom and immortality
are the prerogative of the gods, and the winning of immortality by man
is bound up with eating the Food of Life and drinking the Water of
Life; here too man is left with the gift of wisdom, but immortality is
withheld. And the association of winged guardians with the Sacred Tree
in Babylonian art is at least suggestive of the Cherubim and the Tree
of Life. The very side of Eden has now been identified in Southern
Babylonia by means of an old boundary-stone acquired by the British
Museum a year or two ago.(3)

     (1) See Loisy, _Les mythes babyloniens_, pp. 10 ff., and cf.
     S. Reinach, _Cultes, Mythes et Religions_, t. II, pp. 386

     (2) Cf. especially Skinner, _Genesis_, pp. 90 ff. For the
     latest discussion of the Serpent and the Tree of Life,
     suggested by Dr. Skinner's summary of the evidence, see
     Frazer in _Essays and Studies presented to William Ridgeway_
     (1913), pp. 413 ff.

     (3) See _Babylonian Boundary Stones in the British Museum_
     (1912), pp. 76 ff., and cf. _Geographical Journal_, Vol. XL,
     No. 2 (Aug., 1912), p. 147. For the latest review of the
     evidence relating to the site of Paradise, see Boissier, "La
     situation du paradis terrestre", in _Le Globe_, t. LV,
     Mémoires (Geneva, 1916).

But I need not now detain you by going over this familiar ground. Such
possible echoes from Babylon seem to suggest pre-exilic influence rather
than late borrowing, and they surely justify us in inquiring to what
periods of direct or indirect contact, earlier than the Captivity, the
resemblances between Hebrew and Babylonian ideas may be traced. One
point, which we may regard as definitely settled by our new material, is
that these stories of the Creation and of the early history of the
world were not of Semitic origin. It is no longer possible to regard
the Hebrew and Babylonian Versions as descended from common Semitic
originals. For we have now recovered some of those originals, and they
are not Semitic but Sumerian. The question thus resolves itself into an
inquiry as to periods during which the Hebrews may have come into direct
or indirect contact with Babylonia.

There are three pre-exilic periods at which it has been suggested the
Hebrews, or the ancestors of the race, may have acquired a knowledge
of Babylonian traditions. The earliest of these is the age of the
patriarchs, the traditional ancestors of the Hebrew nation. The second
period is that of the settlement in Canaan, which we may put from 1200
B.C. to the establishment of David's kingdom at about 1000 B.C. The
third period is that of the later Judaean monarch, from 734 B.C. to 586
B.C., the date of the fall of Jerusalem; and in this last period there
are two reigns of special importance in this connexion, those of Ahaz
(734-720 B.C.) and Manasseh (693-638 B.C.).

With regard to the earliest of these periods, those who support the
Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch may quite consistently assume that
Abraham heard the legends in Ur of the Chaldees. And a simple retention
of the traditional view seems to me a far preferable attitude to any
elaborate attempt at rationalizing it. It is admitted that Arabia was
the cradle of the Semitic race; and the most natural line of advance
from Arabia to Aram and thence to Palestine would be up the Euphrates
Valley. Some writers therefore assume that nomad tribes, personified
in the traditional figure of Abraham, may have camped for a time in
the neighbourhood of Ur and Babylon; and that they may have carried
the Babylonian stories with them in their wanderings, and continued to
preserve them during their long subsequent history. But, even granting
that such nomads would have taken any interest in traditions of settled
folk, this view hardly commends itself. For stories received from
foreign sources become more and more transformed in the course of
centuries.(1) The vivid Babylonian colouring of the Genesis narratives
cannot be reconciled with this explanation of their source.

     (1) This objection would not of course apply to M. Naville's
     suggested solution, that cuneiform tablets formed the medium
     of transmission. But its author himself adds that he does
     not deny its conjectural character; see _The Text of the Old
     Testament_ (Schweich Lectures, 1915), p. 32.

A far greater number of writers hold that it was after their arrival in
Palestine that the Hebrew patriarchs came into contact with Babylonian
culture. It is true that from an early period Syria was the scene of
Babylonian invasions, and in the first lecture we noted some newly
recovered evidence upon this point. Moreover, the dynasty to which
Hammurabi belonged came originally from the north-eastern border of
Canaan and Hammurabi himself exercised authority in the west. Thus a
plausible case could be made out by exponents of this theory, especially
as many parallels were noted between the Mosaic legislation and that
contained in Hammurabi's Code. But it is now generally recognized that
the features common to both the Hebrew and the Babylonian legal systems
may be paralleled to-day in the Semitic East and elsewhere,(1) and
cannot therefore be cited as evidence of cultural contact. Thus the
hypothesis that the Hebrew patriarchs were subjects of Babylon in
Palestine is not required as an explanation of the facts; and our first
period still stands or falls by the question of the Mosaic authorship of
the Pentateuch, which must be decided on quite other grounds. Those who
do not accept the traditional view will probably be content to rule this
first period out.

     (1) See Cook, _The Laws of Moses and the Code of Hammurabi_,
     p. 281 f.; Driver, _Genesis_, p. xxxvi f.; and cf. Johns,
     _The Laws of Babylonia and the Laws of the Hebrew Peoples_
     (Schweich Lectures, 1912), pp. 50 ff.

During the second period, that of the settlement in Canaan, the Hebrews
came into contact with a people who had used the Babylonian language as
the common medium of communication throughout the Near East. It is an
interesting fact that among the numerous letters found at Tell el-Amarna
were two texts of quite a different character. These were legends, both
in the form of school exercises, which had been written out for practice
in the Babylonian tongue. One of them was the legend of Adapa, in which
we noted just now a distant resemblance to the Hebrew story of Paradise.
It seems to me we are here standing on rather firmer ground; and
provisionally we might place the beginning of our process after the time
of Hebrew contact with the Canaanites.

Under the earlier Hebrew monarchy there was no fresh influx of
Babylonian culture into Palestine. That does not occur till our last
main period, the later Judaean monarchy, when, in consequence of the
westward advance of Assyria, the civilization of Babylon was once more
carried among the petty Syrian states. Israel was first drawn into the
circle of Assyrian influence, when Arab fought as the ally of Benhadad
of Damascus at the battle of Karkar in 854 B.C.; and from that date
onward the nation was menaced by the invading power. In 734 B.C., at the
invitation of Ahaz of Judah, Tiglath-Pileser IV definitely intervened
in the affairs of Israel. For Ahaz purchased his help against the allied
armies of Israel and Syria in the Syro-Ephraimitish war. Tiglath-pileser
threw his forces against Damascus and Israel, and Ahaz became his
vassal.(1) To this period, when Ahaz, like Panammu II, "ran at the
wheel of his lord, the king of Assyria", we may ascribe the first marked
invasion of Assyrian influence over Judah. Traces of it may be seen in
the altar which Ahaz caused to be erected in Jerusalem after the pattern
of the Assyrian altar at Damascus.(2) We saw in the first lecture, in
the monuments we have recovered of Panammu I and of Bar-rekub, how the
life of another small Syrian state was inevitably changed and thrown
into new channels by the presence of Tiglath-pileser and his armies in
the West.

     (1) 2 Kings xvi. 7 ff.

     (2) 2 Kings xvi. 10 ff.

Hezekiah's resistance checked the action of Assyrian influence on Judah
for a time. But it was intensified under his son Manasseh, when Judah
again became tributary to Assyria, and in the house of the Lord altars
were built to all the host of heaven.(1) Towards the close of his long
reign Manasseh himself was summoned by Ashur-bani-pal to Babylon.(2) So
when in the year 586 B.C. the Jewish exiles came to Babylon they could
not have found in its mythology an entirely new and unfamiliar subject.
They must have recognized several of its stories as akin to those they
had assimilated and now regarded as their own. And this would naturally
have inclined them to further study and comparison.

     (1) 2 Kings xxi. 5.

     (2) Cf. 2 Chron. xxxiii. 11 ff.

The answer I have outlined to this problem is the one that appears to
me most probable, but I do not suggest that it is the only possible
one that can be given. What I do suggest is that the Hebrews must have
gained some acquaintance with the legends of Babylon in pre-exilic
times. And it depends on our reading of the evidence into which of the
three main periods the beginning of the process may be traced.

So much, then, for the influence of Babylon. We have seen that no
similar problem arises with regard to the legends of Egypt. At first
sight this may seem strange, for Egypt lay nearer than Babylon to
Palestine, and political and commercial intercourse was at least as
close. We have already noted how Egypt influenced Semitic art, and how
she offered an ideal, on the material side of her existence, which
was readily adopted by her smaller neighbours. Moreover, the Joseph
traditions in Genesis give a remarkably accurate picture of ancient
Egyptian life; and even the Egyptian proper names embedded in that
narrative may be paralleled with native Egyptian names than that to
which the traditions refer. Why then is it that the actual myths and
legends of Egypt concerning the origin of the world and its civilization
should have failed to impress the Hebrew mind, which, on the other hand,
was so responsive to those of Babylon?

One obvious answer would be, that it was Nebuchadnezzar II, and not
Necho, who carried the Jews captive. And we may readily admit that the
Captivity must have tended to perpetuate and intensify the effects of
any Babylonian influence that may have previously been felt. But I think
there is a wider and in that sense a better answer than that.

I do not propose to embark at this late hour on what ethnologists know
as the "Hamitic" problem. But it is a fact that many striking parallels
to Egyptian religious belief and practice have been traced among races
of the Sudan and East Africa. These are perhaps in part to be explained
as the result of contact and cultural inheritance. But at the same time
they are evidence of an African, but non-Negroid, substratum in the
religion of ancient Egypt. In spite of his proto-Semitic strain, the
ancient Egyptian himself never became a Semite. The Nile Valley, at
any rate until the Moslem conquest, was stronger than its invaders; it
received and moulded them to its own ideal. This quality was shared in
some degree by the Euphrates Valley. But Babylonia was not endowed with
Egypt's isolation; she was always open on the south and west to the
Arabian nomad, who at a far earlier period sealed her Semitic type.

To such racial division and affinity I think we may confidently trace
the influence exerted by Egypt and Babylon respectively upon Hebrew

                                 APPENDIX I


      N.B.--Parallels with the new Sumerian Version are in upper-case.

   Sumerian Version.       Seven Tablets           Gilgamesh Epic, XI      Berossus('Damscius)     Earlier Heb. (J)        Later Heb. (P)
   (No heaven or earth     No heaven or earth                              Darkness and water      Creation of earth       Earth without form
   First Creation from     Primaeval water-                                  (Primaeval water-        and heaven              and void; darkness
    primaeval water         gods: Apsû-Tiamat,                              gods: {'Apason-        No plant or herb         on face of _tehôm_,
    without conflict;       Mummu                                           Tauthe}, {Moumis}      Ground watered by        the primaeval water
    cf. Later Sum. Ver.    Generation of:                                    Generation of:           mist (or flood)        Divine spirit moving
                            Lakhmu-Lakhamu                                  {Lakhos-Lakhe}          (cf. Sumerian           (hovering, brooding)
                            Anshar-Kishar                                   {'Assoros-Kissare}      irrigation myth of      upon face of waters

   The great gods:         Birth of great gods:                            Birth of great gods:
     ANU, ENLIL, ENKI,      ANU, Nudimmud (=EA)                             {'Anos, 'Illinos,
     and Ninkharsagga,     Apsû and Tiamat                                  'Aos, 'Aois-Lauke,
     creating deities       revolt                                          Belos)
                           Conquest of Tiamat                              Conquest of {'Omorka},                          Creation of light
                            by Marduk as Sun-                               or {Thamte}, by
                            god                                             {Belos}
                           Creation of covering                            Creation of heaven and                          Creation of firmament,
                            for heaven from                                 earth from two halves                           or heaven, to divide
                            half of Tiamat's                                of body of Thamte                               waters; followed by
                            body, to keep her                                                                               emergence of land
                            waters in place                                                                                Creation of vegetation
                           Creation of luminaries                          Creation of luminaries                          Creation of luminaries
                           (Creation of                                     (probable order)                               Creation of animals

    CREATION: worship of    CREATION: worship of
    gods                    gods
   Creation of MAN         Creation of MAN from                            Creation of MAN from    Creation of MAN from    Creation of MAN in
                            Creator's blood and                             Creator's blood and     dust and Creator's      image of Creator, to
                            from bone                                       from earth              breath of life          have dominion
   Creation of ANIMALS     (Creation of animals)                           Creation of ANIMALS     Creation of vegetation
                           Hymn on Seventh Tablet                           able to bear the air    ANIMALS, and woman     Rest on Seventh Day

   Creation of KINGDOM                                                     10 Antediluvian KINGS   The line of Cain        Antediluvian
   5 ANTEDILUVIAN CITIES:                          Antediluvian city:      3 ANTEDILUVIAN CITIES:  The Nephilim (cf.        patriarchs (cf.
    Eridu, Bad.., LARAK,                            SHURUPPAK               Babylon, SIPPAR,        Sumerian Dynastic       Sumerian Dynastic
    SIPPAR, SHURUPPAK                                                       LARANKHA                List)                   List)

   Gods decree MANKIND'S                           Gods decree flood,                              Destruction of MAN      Destruction of all
    destruction by flood,                           goddess ISHTAR                                  decreed, because of     flesh decreed, because
    NINTU protesting                                protesting                                      his wickedness          of its corruption

   ZIUSUDU, hero of                                UT-NAPISHTIM, hero      {Xisouthros}            Noah, hero of Deluge    Noah, hero of Deluge
    Deluge, KING and                                of Deluge               (=Khasisatra), hero
    priest                                                                  of Deluge, KING

   Ziusudu's PIETY                                                                                 Noah's FAVOUR           Noah's RIGHTEOUSNESS

   WARNING of Ziusudu by                           WARNING of Ut-nap-      WARNING of Xisuthros                            WARNING of Noah, and
    Enki in DREAM                                   ishtim by Ea in DREAM   by Kronos in DREAM                              instructions for ark

   Ziusudu's vessel a                              SHIP: 120x120x120       Size of SHIP: 5x2       Instructions to enter   Size of ARK: 300x50x30
    HUGE SHIP                                       cubits; 7 stories; 9    stadia                  ark                     cubits; 3 stories

                                                   All kinds of animals    All kinds of animals    7(x2) clean, 2 unclean  2 of all animals

   Flood and STORM for 7                           FLOOD from heavy rain   FLOOD                   FLOOD from rain for 40  FLOOD; founts. of deep
    days                                            and STORM for 6 days                            days                    and rain, 150 days

                                                   Ship on Mt. Nisir                                                        Ark on Ararat

                                                   Abatement of waters     Abatement of waters     Abatement of waters     Abatement of waters
                                                    tested by birds         tested by birds         tested by birds         through drying wind

   SACRIFICE to Sun-god                            SACRIFICE with sweet    SACRIFICE to gods,      SACRIFICE with sweet    Landing from ark (after
     in ship                                        savour on mountain      after landing and       savour after landing    year (+10 days))
                                                                            paying adoration to

   Anu and Enlil appeased                          Ea's protest to ENLIL   APOTHEOSIS of X.,       Divine promise to Noah  Divine covenant not
    (by "Heaven and Earth")                         IMMORTALITY of Ut-nap-   wife, daughter, and     not again to curse      again to destroy EARTH
   IMMORTALITY of Ziusudu                           ishtim and his wife     pilot                   the GROUND              by flood; bow as sign

                             APPENDIX II

                      THE SUMERIAN DYNASTIC LIST

It may be of assistance to the reader to repeat in tabular form the
equivalents to the mythical kings of Berossus which are briefly
discussed in Lecture I. In the following table the two new equations,
obtained from the earliest section of the Sumerian Dynastic List, are in
upper-case.(1) The established equations to other names are in normal
case, while those for which we should possibly seek other equivalents
are enclosed within brackets.(2) Aruru has not been included as a
possible equivalent for {'Aloros}.(3)

      1. {'Aloros}
      2. {'Alaparos (? 'Adaparos)}, _Alaporus_, _Alapaurus_      (Adapa)
      3. {'Amelon, 'Amillaros}, _Almelon_                        (Amêlu)
      4. {'Ammenon}                                              ENMENUNNA
      5. {Megalaros, Megalanos}, _Amegalarus_
      6. {Daonos, Daos}                                          ETANA
      7. {Euedorakhos, Euedoreskhos}, _Edoranchus_               Enmeduranki
      8. {'Amemphinos}, _Amemphsinus_                            (Amêl-Sin)
      9. {'Otiartes (? 'Opartes)}                                (Ubar-Tutu)
     10. {Xisouthros, Sisouthros, Sisithros}                     Khasisatra, Atrakhasis(4)

     (1) For the royal names of Berossus, see _Euseb. chron. lib.
     pri._, ed. Schoene, cols. 7 f., 31 ff. The latinized
     variants correspond to forms in the Armenian translation of

     (2) For the principal discussions of equivalents, see
     Hommel, _Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch._, Vol. XV (1893), pp. 243
     ff., and _Die altorientalischen Denkmäler und das Alte
     Testament_ (1902), pp. 23 ff.; Zimmern, _Die Keilinschriften
     und das Alte Testament_, 3rd ed. (1902), pp. 531 ff.; and
     cf. Lenormant, _Les origines de l'histoire_, I (1880), pp.
     214 ff. See also Driver, _Genesis_, 10th ed. (1916), p. 80
     f.; Skinner, _Genesis_, p. 137 f.; Ball, _Genesis_, p. 50;
     and Gordon, _Early Traditions of Genesis_, pp. 46 ff.

     (3) There is a suggested equation of Lal-ur-alimma with

     (4) The hundred and twenty "sars", or 432,000 years assigned
     by Berossus for the duration of the Antediluvian dynasty,
     are distributed as follows among the ten kings; the numbers
     are given below first in "sars", followed by their
     equivalents in years within brackets: 1. Ten "sars"
     (36,000); 2. Three (10,800); 3. Thirteen (46,800); 4. Twelve
     (43,200); 5. Eighteen (64,800); 6. Ten (36,000); 7. Eighteen
     (64,800); 8. Ten (36,000); 9. Eight (28,800); 10. Eighteen

For comparison with Berossus it may be useful to abstract from the
Sumerian Dynastic List the royal names occurring in the earliest
extant dynasties. They are given below with variant forms from
duplicate copies of the list, and against each is added the number of
years its owner is recorded to have ruled. The figures giving the
total duration of each dynasty, either in the summaries or under the
separate reigns, are sometimes not completely preserved; in such cases
an x is added to the total of the figures still legible. Except in
those cases referred to in the foot-notes, all the names are written
in the Sumerian lists without the determinative for "god".

                                KINGDOM OF KISH
                 (23 kings; 18,000 + x years, 3 months, 3 days)

     . . .(1)
      8. (. . .)                             900(?) years
      9. Galumum, Kalumum                    900      "
     10. Zugagib, Zugakib                    830      "
     11. Arpi, Arpiu, Arbum                  720      "
     12. Etana(2)                            635 (or 625) years
     13. Pili . . .(3)                       410 years
     14. Enmenunna, Enmennunna(4)            611   "
     15. Melamkish                           900   "
     16. Barsalnunna                       1,200   "
     17. Mesza(. . .)                     (. . .)  "
     . . .(5)
     22. . . .                               900 years
     23. . . .                               625   "

                          KINGDOM OF EANNA (ERECH)(6)
                      (About 10-12 kings; 2,171 + x years)

      1. Meskingasher                        325 years
      2. Enmerkar                            420   "
      3. Lugalbanda(7)                     1,200   "
      4. Dumuzi(8) (i.e. Tammuz)             100   "
      5. Gishbilgames(9) (i.e. Gilgamesh)    126 (or 186) years
      6. (. . .)lugal                     (. . .) years
     . . .(10)

                                 KINGDOM OF UR
                              (4 kings; 171 years)

      1. Mesannipada                          80 years
      2. Meskiagnunna                         30   "
      3. Elu(. . .)                           25   "
      4. Balu(. . .)                          36   "

                                KINGDOM OF AWAN
                              (3 kings; 356 years)
     . . .(11)

     (1) Gap of seven, or possibly eight, names.

     (2) The name Etana is written in the lists with and without
     the determinative for "god".

     (3) The reading of the last sign in the name is unknown. A
     variant form of the name possibly begins with Bali.

     (4) This form is given on a fragment of a late Assyrian copy
     of the list; cf. _Studies in Eastern History_, Vol. III, p.

     (5) Gap of four, or possibly three, names.

     (6) Eanna was the great temple of Erech. In the Second
     Column of the list "the kingdom" is recorded to have passed
     from Kish to Eanna, but the latter name does not occur in
     the summary.

     (7) The name Lugalbanda is written in the lists with and
     without the determinative for "god".

     (8) The name Dumuzi is written in the list with the
     determinative for "god".

     (9) The name Gishbilgames is written in the list with the
     determinative for "god".

     (10) Gap of about four, five, or six kings.

     (11) Wanting.

At this point a great gap occurs in our principal list. The names of
some of the missing "kingdoms" may be inferred from the summaries, but
their relative order is uncertain. Of two of them we know the duration,
a second Kingdom of Ur containing four kings and lasting for a hundred
and eight years, and another kingdom, the name of which is not
preserved, consisting of only one king who ruled for seven years. The
dynastic succession only again becomes assured with the opening of the
Dynastic chronicle published by Père Scheil and recently acquired by the
British Museum. It will be noted that with the Kingdom of Ur the
separate reigns last for decades and not hundreds of years each, so that
we here seem to approach genuine tradition, though the Kingdom of Awan
makes a partial reversion to myth so far as its duration is concerned.
The two suggested equations with Antediluvian kings of Berossus both
occur in the earliest Kingdom of Kish and lie well within the Sumerian
mythical period. The second of the rulers concerned, Enmenunna
(Ammenon), is placed in Sumerian tradition several thousand years before
the reputed succession of the gods Lugalbanda and Tammuz and of the
national hero Gilgamesh to the throne of Erech. In the first lecture
some remarkable points of general resemblance have already been pointed
out between Hebrew and Sumerian traditions of these early ages of the

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Legends of Babylon and Egypt in relation to Hebrew tradition" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.