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Mesopotamian Underworld/Egyptian Creation

by: Michaela Maynard

Mesopotamian Underworld/Egyptian Creation CLT3378

Marketplace > Florida State University > Classical Studies > CLT3378 > Mesopotamian Underworld Egyptian Creation
Michaela Maynard
GPA 3.75
Mythology: East and West
Mark Buzbee

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About this Document

This week of notes includes notes from 9/22 and 9/24. It includes both the Sumerian and Akkadian Underworld accounts, as well as the residents of the underworld. In the Egyptian Creation notes, it ...
Mythology: East and West
Mark Buzbee
Class Notes
nile, Egypt, kingdom, heliopolis, Tatum, memphis, ptah, ennead, plutarch, osiris, isis, horus, hathor, re, sekhmet, namtar, nergal, demons, ghosts, ishtar, enki, ea, dumuzi, belili, ereshkigal
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michaela Maynard on Saturday October 3, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CLT3378 at Florida State University taught by Mark Buzbee in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 151 views. For similar materials see Mythology: East and West in Classical Studies at Florida State University.


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Date Created: 10/03/15
CLT3378 Notes 92215 Mesopotamian SumerianAkkadian Underworld Mesopotamian Underworld Basics 0 Various names of the underworld Kurnugi quotland of no returnquot KurSumerian quotEarthground landquot 0 Also mountain ErkallaAkkadian quotgreat cityquot Physical place regerdlaess of de nition 0 Entrance to underworld 7 gates Each has its own guard who exacts atoll 0 Article of clothing or adornment given for payment 0 Returning how they came into the worldnaked Residents of the underworld o Ereshkigal quotgreat lady under the earthqueen of the Great Belowquot Queen of underworld has rulesay over everything PalaceEgalgina at great gateGanzir main gate 0 NamtarNamtara Son and viziermessengercounselor of Ereshkigal Able to bridge real world and underworld to share messages Name quotdecider of fatequot Commands 60 diseases in demonic form Able to send demons that cause people to fall ill quotGrimm Reaperquot of Mesopotamia o Nergalaka Erra quotLord of Erkallaquot King of the underworld consort of Erishkigal Has a lesser role than Queen God of plague war ood fertility Four pillar concepts of ancient culture many gods show these spheres of in uence Equated by Greeks with HeraclesHercules or Ares o Spirits of the Underworld 0 Demonsgallus Drag spirits down into the underworld o Spirits gidim At death lose physical being and become a spiritsou gidim Takes on memory and personality of dead person No proper burialex Death by fire no gidim Mesopotamians believed if you are cremated you will not become a gidim Gidim quotto be a sick demonquot or quotto approach blackquot 0 Not an evil being necessarily Wander in underworld eats dust always thirsty Dead live in similar way the living Cohabit live in house within a city 0 Revenants 0 Anything that comes back from the dead Believed its purpose was to terrorize living Mesopotamians obsessively feared o Ghostsgidim haunt living if Not continuous funerary offeringsfooddrink Shows that the dead were still an important part of their lives 0 Enter through ear bring misfortune and disease Magic spellsincantations used to protect self Descent of lshtar to the Underworld 0 Akkadian poemjust like Enuma Elish c 700 BCE approximately 140 lines o lshtarAkkadiannannaSumerian Most important Mesopotamian goddess Main goddess of fertility along with Nintu Three aspects 0 Sex prostitution cf Aphrodite Warcf Aphrodite s ing with AresMars 0 Planet VenusMorningEvening star Daughter of Anuusually sister of Ereshkigal Ishtar Gate 0 Giant gate to the city of Babylon576 BCE Babylonia is centered around Marduk o Built in honor of lshtar Underworld is associated with gates would make sense to dedicate a gate to her 0 Sometimes considered of the 7 Wonders of the world because it is so grand and mostly intact now Descent of lshtar to the Underworld 0 lshtar goes to Underworld why We don t have background info Total darkness no way out Residents eat clay and dust clothed with feathers Threatens gatekeeper with zombie takeoversame threat as with Gilgamesh if he doesn t let her in wo having to pay a toll To enter all 7 gates lshtar removes a garment at each gate ends up naked Because she represents sexBecause dead are naked 0 Maybe this is how she is able to coexist with dead Namtarat command of Ereshkigal sends 60 demonic diseases against lshtar They are unhappy with her threats No sex on surface of earth while lshtar in icted fertility stops for awhile 0 Animals are not mating Humans not having chidren Gods troubled EnkiEa creates quotGoodLooks the Playboyquot actual name from myth serves as the playboy for a diversion lntersex being Castrated boy 0 We only know he is very good looking Tricks Ereshkigalenamors her she swears oath to give him waters of life Water of life given to lshtar instead revives her and brings fertility back to earth reproduction begins again on earthpopulation no longer in decline Ereshkigal releases Ishtar demands Dumuzi God that will take lshtar s place in underworld Dying god fertility god shepherd of Uruk lshtar s lover Name means quotfaithful sonquotone of lshtar s loves fate is not very good for any of her lovers Dumuzilesser god spends half the year in underworld SisterBelili volunteers other half 0 Half year he is in Underworld season in which now growing 0 Half year Dumuzi is above agriculture growth Aetiological god for seasons explains why there are seasonsgrowing seasons Cf Persephone Greek mythology Nergal and Ereshkigal 0 Two versions of poem Both tell how Nergal becomes king of underworld o Amarna version C 14OOBCE approx 90 lines Amarna site in Egypt Sultantepe version 0 O C 7th century BCE approx 350 line Sultantepe in Assyria o Amarna Version 0 O O Gods having a feast Ereshkigal sends Namtar to get share of the food The good call her their sister she is highly thought of She cannot leave the Underworld Namtar approaches gods Nergal doesn t bow Namtar thought of as king Ereshkigal bring him so that I may kill him Ea realizes Ereshkigal s goal hes a type of foreseeing god Ea helps Nergal hide from Namtar Ea encourages Nergal to go to the Underworld Gives him 14 demons Nergal stations demons at 7 gates keep gates open Nergal storms Ereshkigal s chamber Grabs her by hair pulls her off throne intends to kill her Ereshkigal leads for mercy Ereshkigal offers Nergal kingship and marriage Nergal accepts becomes consort of the underworld Sultantepe Version 0 O O Gods having feast Anu has god Kakka relay message to Ereshkigal about the feast Ereshkigal sends Namtar Nergal doesn t bow EnkiEa to Nergal Are you stupid How could you have committed such an atrocity l winked at you man Enki had foresight and knew Nergal was too dumb to bow gave him a cue Build a chairghosts chair to prevent seizure by ghosts go to underworld Enki s building instructionsboat for ood he uses foresight to help not only humans but also gods 0 Nergal admitted through all 7 gates o Nergal arrives bows before Ereshkigal OOOO Nergal sees Ereshkigal bathe gives in to desire Sleeps with her for 6 days sneaks out and returns to heaven Ereshkigal distraught threatens zombie takeover sends Namtar after Nergal quotIm pregnantquot message sent with Namtar to Nergal EnkiEa disguises Nergal from Namtar at rst Nergal storms through underworld kills all 7 gate guards Laughs pulls Ereshkigal off throne by hair Sleep together for six days again CLT3378 92415 Egyption Creation 0 Ancient Egypt Geography 0 Nile River Flows south to northempties into Mediterranean Annual ooding fertility and rich soil deposits Produce exported leads to wealth and further trading Upper Egyptsouth and Lower Egypt north 0 Security of Egypt Invasion difficult o Cant sail INTO via Nile cant invade from south because desert surrounds civilization Sea desert 6 river cataractsshaowrocky stretches Can develop and continue to grow because of this secur y 0 Ancient Egypt Historical Background 0 Early dynastic period c 31002700 BCE Dynasties 12 Egypt Upper and Lower united under rule Pharaohs had a double crown to represent both 0 Old Kingdom c 27002200 BCE Centralized authority rises and breaks down Dynasties 36 Great Pyramids built Old Kingdom is to Ancient Greece as Ancient Greece istoday 0 First Intermediate Period greater dynasty rulings break down Loca rulers 0 Middle Kingdom c 210017OOBCE Dynasties 1113 0 Second Intermediate Period 0 New Kingdom c 15501000 BCE Dynasties 1820 Tutankhamun c13321323 Ramses the Great 1279121BBCE Third Intermediate Period 0 Late Period 672332 BCE Control by foreign powers Alexander the Great 0 Stable Periods 0 Egyptian Creation Heliopolitan Creation Myth 0 0 Not in course reader Earliest Egyptian creation myth Old Kingdom Centered on Heliopolissuncity In the beginning NuNungod name means abyss Binatural primordial waters of chaos Once life springs up Nu s water exists on edges of universe surrounds quotlife bubblequot 0 As life forms from middle of abyss a life bubble will surround it Mound of earth rises out of water Located in Heliopolis Cf Nile ood as ood waters recede land quotarisesquot Since this was how the ood ended every year it made sense that creation would begin like so Heliopolitan Creation Myth 0 OO Atum quotthe allquot Creative force selfcreated was not created by Nu Appears on mound but had always existed Associated with sun settingevening Patron god of Heliopolis quotsun cityquot in Greek Such like Marduk is to Babylon Atum produces two godscreative force does not need other half to procreate Shu god of air Tefnut goddess of moisture Creation by masturbationhand is inherent female principle OR sneezingShuspittingTefnut Onomatopoeia ShuTefnut produceincest seen throughout Mesopotamian myth have to start somewhere Geb earth god rst male god in this class to represent earthfertility Nut sky goddess GebNut produce Sons Osiris and Sethbrothers Daughters lsis and Nephthys sisters All togethernot including Nu 9 gods Atum Shu Tefnut Geb Nut Osiris lsis Seth Nephthys Ennead meaning 9 0 Memphis Creation Myth 0 0 Creation myth from New Kingdom Centers on Ptah O O Craftsman god Patron god of Memphis centers of royal craft shops 0 Everyone wants to give credence to their city wants their city to be the center of the universe Ptah creates entire worldincuding Ennead Intellectual creationthe way Ptah created vs physical creationmasturbationspittingsneezingetc Creation formed when ideas in quotheartquotmind are pronounced by Ptah s quottonguequotspeech Creates Atum Atum created Ennead Cf Creation by Atum Primeval mound located in Memphis Plutarch s lsis and Osiris O O O No full Egyptian mythological account of Isis and Osiris Best existing account Written by Plutarch46120CE Greek writer during Roman Empire Compiled from personal experiences in Egypt Plutarch calls Egyptian gods by Greek names SethTyphonserpent gure First succession myth Osiris King of Egypt overthrown by brother Seth Osiris succeeded by Horus Osiris marries lsissister Seth marries Nephthyssister all siblingsincest Osiris becomes King of Egypt civilizes Egypt and the known world through persuasion Osiris is the rst pharaoh Seth Trickster god of chaos and violenceout of controlamoral originally of desert and storms Becomes jealous of Osiris since there are two in this generation Creates chest the size of Osiris many other gods try to t and cant tricks Osiris into chest Nails chest shut sends it out to sea on the Nile Chest washes ashore at ByblosPhoenician City lsis searches for chest after nding out becomes close to royal family at Byblos Chest has washed up and a tree has grown around it Disguises herself and gets involved with family becomes a maid gure Raises queens baby burns away child s mortality slowly changing child into a god 0 Cf Demeter in Greek mythology o Isis is discovered and is scornedcondemned child does not become immortal She then reveals herself and nds chest hidden in pillar of the royal house 0 Osiris has been in chest so long he has perished lsis has sex with corpse of Osiris bears son Horus hides chest elsewhere Seth nds it cuts up body of Osiris into 14 pieces scatters them throughout Nile swamps o In Egyptiannot Greek versions No chest in story Seth just cuts up Osiris and scatters him 0 lsis nds all but the phallusmale genetalia 1314 pieces of Osiris creates replica Important symbol for fertility goddess must nd a way for procreation to happen even if she doesn t have all the pieces 0 lsis reanimate Osiris performs rites for his eternal life Osiris is now alive in a sense Osiris is technically dead becomes king of the underworld o Laternot in myth Horus grows up lsis presents Horus as heir to Osiris throne Seth refutes and claims throne as his since he killed Osiris Horus and Seth battle in court Horus eventually awarded Osiris throne by the gods 0 He is the legitimate heir power awarded to son before given to 0 Kings of Egypt become avatars of Horus Horus is the epitome of the pharaoh s ideology Egyptians modeled themselves after Horus succession 0 Ancient Egyptian Rule Pharaoh and Horus 0 King of Ancient Egyptpharaoh Believed to be incarnation quotembodiment in eshquot of god Horus o Horus Early Egyptian god Depicted as falconfalconheaded man Associated with the sunsky war and protection n u o Hor quotfalcon the distant onequot 0 Two representations of Horususually combined Horus depiction depends on age of pharaoh Horus as a chidyoung pharaoh son of Isis and Osiris Horus as an adultadult pharaoh falcon Sunright eye and Moon left eye Hovers over and protects Pharaoh Re Egyptian Sun God 0 ReRa Egyptian word for quotsunquot Sun god often a creator god 0 Overall most important god in Ancient Egypt Importance of sun for daily life Without sun no warmthfoodcivilization o Rarely seen alone often associatedmerged with other gods especially Horus o Often depicted with solar disc surrounded by coiled serpents Solar disc quotEye of Requot Somewhat separate god female counterpart of Repersoni ed by Egyptian goddesses Allows him to carry out actions Violent nature helps Re to subdue his enemies 0 Human creation Humans tears of Re s eye solar disc Associated with creation of seasons months and other living creatures o Often identi ed with patron god of a city Patron god of city can claim creator role through association with Re Ex AtumRa at Heliopolis Stages of the Sun 0 Morning rising Reborn in east 0 Two main gods depict morning Re Horakhty falcon quotHorus of the two horizonsquot Khepri scarab dung beetle ball of dung like orb of sun 0 Midday sun Re 0 Eveningsetting sun Atum ram 0 Composite god ReHorakhtyAtumHorusKhepri The journey of the sun 0 Sun travels by boat By day across the sky By night through the underworld river Cf Men on Nile any great distance in quick time a boat was needed Shamash 0 When in underworld sun attacked ApophisAapep a serpent Re always victorious since sun rises every morning Occasional solar eclipseearthquake Re has temporarily lost battle 0 Western side of Nile River Sun s setting associated with death Where Egyptian tombs were located believe this was the entrance to underworld o Rebirth of sun each day Hope for human rebirth human life will still continue in underworld Cf Rebirth of Osiris o Deliverance of Mankind from Destruction 0 Humans pot rebellion against Re 0 Re sends his Eye to destroy them Eye is female counter part sent to do his bidding Eye of Re morphs into goddess Hathor o Hathor Cow goddess with horns Linked to female sexuality and motherhood Sometimes viewed as mother or wife of falcon god Horus Hathor quothouse of Horusquot o Hathor slew mankind in the desert Wipes out almost all of mankind Re not satis ed still and sends Sekhmet o Hathor merges in to goddess Sekhmet Lionheaded goddess Associated with healing and war Re concerned bc she is associated with war and therefore will have less mercy on humankind Fears she will wipe out every last human 0 Re has second thoughts about destruction Orders massive amounts of red dye Dye mixed with beer makes 7k jars of red beer made 0 Choice drink in western ancient cultures 0 Re has red beer poured out where Sekhmet attempts to kill mankind When Sekhmet looks down she sees nothing but rivers of human blood is tricked o Sekhmet gets drunk off beer forgets her duty 0 Reverse ood myth humans saved


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