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Μάρκος Αυρήλιος

Σάββατο, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Babylonian creation myths


 
The Babylonian 'Epic of Creation - Enuma Elish' is written on seven tablets, each are between 115 and 170 lines long (see below).

It supposedly was written no later than the reign of Nebuchadrezzar in the 12th century B.C. But there is also little doubt that this story was written much earlier, during the time of the Sumerians. Drawing some new light on the ancients, Henry Layard found within the ruins of the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh, texts that were not unlike the Genesis creation in the Bible. George Smith first published these text in 1876 under the title, The Chaldean Genesis. Akkadian text written in the old Babylonian dialect.

The Babylonian god finished his work within the span of 6 tablets of stone. The last and 7th stone exalted the handiwork and greatness of the deity's work. Thus the comparison must be made that the 7 days of creation found in the Bible, borrowed its theme from the Babylonians and them form the Sumerians.

The Sumerian epic places Anu, Enil and Ninurta as the heroes. The Babylonian epic stars Marduk. The Babylonian epic is the one you are about to read. Though it would be easy to say that this again is mere 'myth', what if it is not? What if one is looking here at a technical report, a report on the origins of our Solar System, our planet Earth, and the creation of mankind.

The epos is written in a style which is different from every day speech at the time. It uses an extended word variation with literary words that are normally not very frequent. This is characteristic for poetry. In prose texts there is no such inclination to use alternative formulations, like in the bible in Genesis I: ''And God saw ..., and God saw ..., and God created ..., and God created ....'' with little variation.

The text is constructed from two-line verses (sentence units). A concept is explained in two lines, a distich (from Greek di 'two' and stichos 'verse'). The two members maintain a relation that one could call ''rhyme in an abstract sense'' on the level of meaning. The meaning content of each verse appears in two parallel formulations often separated by leaving a blanc space, the so called parallelismus membrorum. The second part either emphasize the first part in different wording thereby extending the meaning, or the second part is an opposite statement, contrasting the first part. Compare the opening verse:
When above: the heaven has not been named
Nor earth below: pronounced by name
Metre in the strict sense in which Greek and Latin literature is composed (groups of long and short syllables) was not used, but a line often has three to four (rarely five) stresses/beats. End rhyme nor alliteration occurs. 

  http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/mitos_creacion/esp_mitoscreacion_3.htm

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