Babylonian Cosmology

Babylonian creation story is referred at, as one of the many old stories in the world. The Babylonian Cosmology is widely known as “Enuma Elis”. “Enuma Elis” is a collection of seven clay tablets which were recovered from the ruins of a library in Nineveh, Iraq.

Enuma Elis, written in Akkadian dialect, begins with the creation of the universe, with the birth of Gods and humans. It is categorized as one of the most important epics to understand Babylonian Cosmology.

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It speaks of the period when time and space were non-existent but the chaos. The universe was brimming with chaos and that chaos was full of water. This water was divided into two flavors. Sweet fresh water represented God Apsu, whereas the bitter salty water represented Tiamat; God Apsu’s wife.

Eventually, the union of Apsu and Tiamat gave birth to younger gods. These younger gods were loud with their cries that it disturbed Apsu’s sleep. Apsu’s anger lead him into planning to kill the younger gods. On hearing this news, Tiamat, being their mother couldn’t let them die. So she warned her eldest Ea about Apsu’s plan. As a result,Ea succeeded in killing Apsu during his sleep.

Tiamat got furious by the death of Apsu, and she got restless to take revenge from her children for the crime they committed. She consulted with God Quingo, and they both conspired against younger Gods. they planned to kill them. Tiamat rewarded Quingo with the tablets of Destiny which made him the legitimate God and the controller of the fates.

Tiamat, with Quingo by her side created some monsters to wage a war against her children. Ea fought futilely until Marduk, one of the younger and the most powerful god among all swore to kill the monsters. He is also mentioned as the God of Babylon in ancient texts. Marduk succeeded in killing Tiamat. the legend states that from Tiamat’s eyes flow the water of river Tigris and Eupharates. Marduk created Heaven and Earth out of Tiamat’s corpse. He took the tablets of Destiny from Quingu and legitimized his Godhood. He tied the monsters to his feet as an accolade, which were created by Tiamat. Later Quingo was killed and with his corpse the first man was ever created to assist gods in keeping order.

Enuma Elis held a certain importance during the Mesopotamian times. It was widely read and celebrated at the New year Eve’s in Babylon. During the festival the statue of Marduk was paraded through the streets and the praise to Marduk was chanted from Enuma Elis.

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