Ancient Near Eastern Mythology
I sneezed Shu and spat Tefnut.
It is my father, the Waters, that tended them,
with my Eye after them since the time they became apart from me.
After I evolved as one god,
that was three gods with respect to me.
The sun (27, 2–4)
When I evolved into this world,
Shu and Tefnut grew excited in the inert waters in which they were,
and brought me my Eye after them.
And after I joined together my parts,
I wept over them:
that is the evolution of people,
from the tears that came from my Eye.
The Epic of Atra-hasis
The seven (?) great Anunna–gods were burdening
The Igigi–gods with forced labor.
[The gods] were digging watercourses,
[Canals they opened, the] life of the land.
[The Igigi–gods] were digging watercourses,
[Canals they opened, the] life of the land.
(25) [The Igigi–gods dug the Ti]gris river,
[And the Euphrates there]after.
[Springs they opened up from] the depths,
[Wells …] they established.
[They heaped up] all the mountains.
[ years] of drudgery,
(35) [ ] the vast marsh.
They [cou]nted years of drudgery,
[ and] forty years, too much!
[ ] forced labor they bore night and day.
[They were com]plaining, denouncing,
(40) [Mut]tering down in the ditch:
“Let us face up to our [foreman] the prefect,
He must take off (this) our [he]avy burden upon us!
[ ], counsellor of the gods, the warrior,
Come, let us remove (him) from his dwelling;
(45) Enlil, counsellor of the gods, the warrior,
Come, let us remove (him) from his dwelling!”
(a) Ea made ready to speak,
And said to the gods [his brothers]:
“What calumny do we lay to their charge?
Their forced labor was heavy, [their misery too much]!
(e) Every day [ ]
The outcry [was loud, we could hear the clamor].
There is [ ]
[Belet–ili, the midwife], is present.
Let her create, then, a hum[an, a man],
(j) Let him bear the yoke [ ],
Let him bear the yoke [ ]!
[Let man assume the drud]gery of god …”
The great Anunna–gods, who administer destinies,
(220) Answered “yes!” in the assembly.
On the first, seventh, and fifteenth days of the month,
He established a purification, a bath.
They slaughtered Aw–ilu, who had the inspiration, in their assembly.
(225) Nintu mixed clay with his flesh and blood.
<That same god and man were thoroughly mixed in the clay.>
For the rest [of time they would hear the drum],
From the flesh of the god [the] spi[rit remained].
It would make the living know its sign,
(230) Lest he be allowed to be forgotten, [the] spirit remained.
After she had mixed that clay,
She summoned the Anunna, the great gods.
The Igigi, the great gods, spat upon the clay.
(235) Mami made ready to speak,
And said to the great gods:
“You ordered me the task and I have completed (it)!
You have slaughtered the god, along with his inspiration.
(240) I have done away with your heavy forced labor,
I have imposed your drudgery on man.
You have bestowed (?) clamor upon mankind.
I have released the yoke, I have [made] restoration.”
They heard this speech of hers,
(245) They ran, free of care, and kissed her feet, (saying):
“Formerly [we used to call] you Mami,
Now let your n[am]e be “Mistress–of–All–the Gods (Belet-kala–ili)”
(1) When [Mar]duk heard the speech of the gods,
He was resolving to make artful things:
He would tell his idea to Ea,
What he thought of in his heart he proposes,
(5) “I shall compact blood, I shall cause bones to be,
I shall make stand a human being, let ‘Man’ be its name.
I shall create humankind,
They shall bear the gods’ burden that those may rest.
I shall artfully double the ways of the gods:
(10) Let them be honored as one but divided in twain.”
Ea answered him, saying these words,
He told him a plan to let the gods rest,
“Let one, their brother, be given to me,
Let him be destroyed so that people can be fashioned.
(15) Let the great gods convene in assembly,
Let the guilty one be given up that they may abide.”
Marduk convened the great gods in assembly,
He spoke to them magnanimously as he gave the command,
The gods heeded his utterance,
(20) As the king spoke to the Anunna–gods (these) words,
“Let your first reply be the truth!
Do you speak with me truthful words!
Who was it that made war,
Suborned Tiamat and drew up for battle?
(25) Let him be given over to me, the one who made war,
I shall make him bear his punishment, you shall be released.”
The Igigi, the great gods answered him,
To Lugaldimmerankia, sovereign of all the gods, their lord,
“It was Qingu who made war,
(30) Suborned Tiamat and drew up for battle.”
They bound and held him before Ea,
They imposed the punishment on him and shed his blood.
From his blood he made mankind,
He imposed the burden of the gods and exempted the gods.
(35) After Ea the wise had made mankind,
They imposed the burden of the gods on them!