Atrahasis and The Flood
Atrahasis and The Flood CLT3378
Popular in Mythology: East and West
Popular in Classical Studies
This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michaela Maynard on Saturday September 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CLT3378 at Florida State University taught by Mark Buzbee in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 103 views. For similar materials see Mythology: East and West in Classical Studies at Florida State University.
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Date Created: 09/12/15
CLT 3378 Notes Atrahasis and the Flood 9815 What is a flood myth 0 Basic outline I A god is angry at mankind for some reason Ex Jupiter in Ovids Metamorphoses I The god sends a flood to destroy all life upon the earth I Another god warns one man of the upcoming flood The man builds a boat and loads animals onto it I The man and his wife survive the flood I The man sacrifices to the gods in thanksgiving I Gods regret sending the flood in the first place Atrahasis o Flooddestruction myth o Originated in Mesopotamiasince it is a myth there is no way to find origin I Helped to explain appearance of marine fossils in rocks high above sea level Ancients may have seen fossils in stone and needed an explanation o Involves Tigris and Euphrates Rivers 0 Myth spread around by caravan routes I Ovid Roman version of flood I Flood myth is a latecomer to Greek myth no mention by Hesiod or Homer 0 Poemfragmentary due to being written on cuneiform tablets I Old Babylonian Versionc 20001600 BCE I Standard Babylonian Versionc 1000539 BCE 0 Author or compiler I piqAya c 1700 BCE junior scribe 0 Only survived on 3 cuneiform tablets 0 Junior godsgigifollowers of Marduk digging canals at the command of the Anunnakiolder gods probably occurred before Enuma Elish possible that it just happened separately I Backbreaking labor I Clearing the channels of the Tigris and the Euphrates I gigi start a workers strike I Surround the house of Ellil God of winds and storms Boss of the working gods o Atrahasis author says gods had drawn lots for space assignmentsbasically drew straws to find out what they were in charge of I Ellil earth I Anu sky I EnkiEa apsu I Land inheritance to sons in Ancietn Mesopotamia by same practice Creation of Man 0 Ellil asks Anu and EnkiEa for advice on what to do I Both say he is wasting their time asking this quotDuh the gigi are working way too hard 0 EnkiEa s advice I Create primeval man to bear the yokeinstead of using gods for labor create a slave race I Calls upon NintuMamiBeletili wombgoddess midwife of the gods Time before modern medicine and therefore humans needed something to call on for the survival of childbirth I Nintu will create man if EnkiEa gives her clay I EnkiEa will slay one god and Nintu will mix clay with his flesh and blood 0 aweagod slain EnkiEa provides clay Nintu pinches off 14 pieces 0 14 wombgoddessesNintu s servant gods I One piece of clay each mix with blood I 7 women 7 men 0 Compare to immortlity of Greek gods I Greek athanatoi deathless gods The anger of Ellil o 600 years pass after creation of man 0 Humans overpopulated and noisy I quotlike a bellowing bull o Ellil quotlosing sleep over this racket I Cf Enuma Elish o Ellil decides to destroy humans order plague to wipe out mankind Atrahasis and Ellil s first Attempt o AtrahasisAtramHasis I quotExtra wise King of Shuruppak human I Prays to EnkiEa for help I Mesopotamian concept of personal god and worship 0 EnkiEa s response to Atrahasis stop worshipping gods I Humans brings bread offering to Namtara minor god associated with disease I Temple built for Namtara I Namtara appeased removes plague Ellil s Second plot Famine o 600 more years pass humans too noisy again 0 Ellil orders famine o EnkiEa gives same advice to Atrahasis I Humans don t worship the gods I Humans give bread offering the Adada storm god can order rain for growing crops and build him a temple I Adad appeased lifts famine I How is Atrahasis still alive Literary strategyrepetition helps with passing down myths through oral tradition Elli s third Plot Drought 0 About 3 epochs pass same noise issue 0 Ellil orders drought o Atrahasis makes sacrifice to EnkiEa I EnkiEa hanging out in apsu I Irrigation water carries gift down to apsu EnkiEa hears Atrahasis o Fragmentary textbroken tablet I Third god lifts droughtassumption due to previous repetition Ellil s fourth plot 0 600 years later same strory o Ellil orders sickness famine and drought I Cannibalism only 2 households left 0 EnkiEa still instructs Atrahasis not to worship gods 0 Fragmentary text 0 Text resumes Ellil and EnkiEa furious with each other Tension Mounts 0 Ellil to EnkiEa quotYOU created man YOU destroy them 0 EnkiEa quotnot my problem sticks up for his creation motherly qualities even though male 0 EnkiEa advises Atrahasis I Swears oath quotwall reed hut god calling upon nearby village reedinanimate object hut to be a witness to his oath I Build boat put living things on it o Atrahasis so scared he throws up New Atrahasis Fragment in course library 0 Boatbuilding instructions from EnkiEa 0 Made of palm fibres 0 Circular design giant red raftcaled coracle I New notion of quotarkquotthis story predates the Noahs Ark story Ellil s Flood 0 Ellil orders destructive flood o Nintu weeps I Motherly compassion I Humans quotlike sacrificial sheep being led to slaughter dragonflies being struck down 0 Flood rages for 7 days and 7 nights 0 Fragmentary text The flood ends 0 0 Text resumes flood has ended Boat lands Atrahasis makes sacrifice I Gods gather quotlike flies meaning unclear Ellil sees boat becomes furious EnkiEa quotI did it in defiance of you no way to predict tricksters behavior Enki and Nintu s solution to human overpopulation I Told Ellil no future floods I Infant mortality explained still born defects diseases childhood death etc I Mortal man replaces primeval manno way to die unless wiped out by godsdiseasefamineflood no natural lifespan live as long as they can but can be injuredkilled explained short life span of the Babylonians
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