Atra Haziz, Tablet, Ellil, Enki, Namtara, Lakshmi, Gods
Atra Haziz Tablet
A man... A man... The son to his father... They sat and... He was carrying... He saw... Ellil... They took hold of... Made new picks and spades, Made big canals, To feed people and sustain the gods. 600 years, less than 600, passed, And the country was as noisy as a bellowing bull.
The god grew restless at their racket, Ellil had to listen to their noise. He addressed the great gods, The noise of mankind has become too much, I am losing sleep over their racket. Top left Sumerian God Enki/Enlil and next to it Atrahasis tablets.
Give the order that suruppu-disease shall break out, Now there was one Atrahasis Whose ear was open to his god Enki. He would speak with his god And his god would speak with him. Atrahasis made his voice heard And spoke to his lord, How long will the gods make us suffer? Will they make us suffer illness forever? Enki made his voice heard And spoke to his servant: Call the elders, the senior men! Start an uprising in your own house, Let the heralds proclaim... Let them make a loud noise in the land:
Do not revere your gods, Do not pray to your goddesses, But search out the door of Namtara. Bring as baked loaf into his presence. May the flour offerings reach him. May he be shamed by the presents And wipe away his hand. Left Sumerian Sky God.
Atrahasis took the order, Gathered the elders to his door. Atrahasis made his voice heard And spoke to the elders: I have called the elders, the senior men! Start an uprising in your own house, Let the heralds proclaim... Let them make a loud noise in the land:
Do not revere your gods, Do not pray to your goddesses, But search out the door of Namtara. Bring as baked loaf into his presence. May the flour offerings reach him. May he be shamed by the presents And wipe away his hand. The elders listened to his speech; They built a temple for Namtara in the city. Heralds proclaimed... They made a loud noise in the land. They did not revere their god, they did not pray to their goddess, But searched out the door of Namtara, Brought a baked loaf into his presence The flour offerings reached him. And he was shamed by the presents. And wiped away his hand. The suruppu-disease left them. The gods went back to their regular offerings.
Etana, Eagle, Igigi, Shamash, Ishtar, Muanna, God, Fly, Kish
The Igigi, the gods of creation, created a city and laid its foundation, and called it Kish. But the people were without a king, so the gates were barred against the world. Then Ishtar searched the land for a king, and Inninna searched the land for a king, and Ellil searched the land for a king, and they found Etana, a shepherd, and led him into the city. The two images to the left are Sumerian depiction of Etana.
They built his dais, and gave him his scepter, and made him king over all the land. But Etana feared for his kingdom, for he had no son and heir. His wife Muanna, called Sherbi’anni, had an illness and could not carry a child to term. One day Muanna was visited with a powerful dream, and she spoke to Etana, saying unto him that only with the shammu sha aladi, the plant of birth that grows in the heavens, would she be able to bear him a son and heir.
For many months Etana scoured the land from one end to the other in search of the plant of birth, but he found it not. Then Etana returned to Kish and offered up many sacrifices to Shamash, and beseeched his aid, saying,
“Mighty Shamash, god of the sun, god of justice, you have dined on the flesh of my fattest sheep and drunk the blood of my lambs, and inhaled the scent of my last fragment of incense. Deliver unto me the plant of birth, that my wife might bear a child!” Shamash took pity on Etana, and said unto him, “Follow the road into the mountain region, and on the slopes there is a pit. Search therein, and you will find that which you require.”
Etana followed the long road until he reached the mountain region. Searching the slopes of the mountains he found a pit, and within the pit he found an eagle. The eagle called out to Etana, saying, “My prayers to Shamash have been answered! Free me from this pit, and we will be friends forever.” Etana descended into the pit, and found the eagle’s wings were cut off, and its feathers all plucked forth, and it was dying of hunger and thirst.
Etana brought water unto the eagle until its thirst was slaked, and he brought food unto the eagle until its hunger was sated. Then Etana saw that the eagle was recovered enough to cling to him, and Etana ascended the pit with the eagle on his back. For seven months, Etana brought food and water to the eagle as it healed, and its wings grew, and it learned again how to fly.
In the eighth month the eagle was fully healed, and it spoke to Etana, and asked of him, “How can I repay your kindness?” Etana said unto the eagle, “I need the plant of birth that grows in the heavens, that my wife might give birth to our child.” The eagle replied, “I have never flown so high, but lie on my back and grip my wings, and I will carry you there.”
Etana laid his body on the eagle’s back, and stretched his arms along its wings, and grasped its feathers. Then the eagle flew up into the sky. And when it had flown one league up into the sky the eagle spoke to Etana, saying, “Look down at the land below! How small it has become.” And Etana looked, and saw that all the land now looked no larger than a hill, and the broad rivers were narrow streams.
When the eagle had flown a second league up into the sky, it spoke to Etana, saying, “Look, look my friend! How small the land is now.” And Etana looked, and saw that all the land now looked no larger than a garden, and the broad rivers were tiny trickles. When the eagle had flown a third league up into the sky, and they were at the very gates of heaven, it spoke once more to Etana, saying,
“Now look, my dearest friend! See how tiny the land has become.” And Etana looked, and saw that the land was smaller than an anthill, and the broad rivers could not be seen. And he trembled in his fear, and his hands grew cold and lost their grip, and he fell. One league Etana fell, and the eagle flew down and caught him, and stopped his fall, but a fierce wind struck them and forced them apart.
A second league Etana fell, and the eagle caught him, and stopped his fall, but the swirling gusts blew them apart. The final league Etana fell, and the eagle caught him, and stopped his fall only a few cubits above the ground.