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Atrahasis

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The Atrahasis Epic is another ancient Mesopotamian text, dating back to around 1700 BCE, which tells a similar story of a great flood. In this narrative, the Anunnaki create humans to serve them and perform various laborious tasks. However, the humans multiply rapidly and become too noisy, disturbing the rest of the gods.

To resolve the situation, the god Enlil proposes sending a series of plagues, famines, and droughts to control the human population. Each time, the god Enki advises a wise man, Atrahasis, on how to survive the disasters. Eventually, Enlil decides to unleash a devastating flood to annihilate humanity. Again, Enki warns Atrahasis and instructs him to build a massive boat to preserve life.

After the floodwaters subside, Atrahasis offers sacrifices, and the gods, hungry and regretful for their actions, gather around the offerings. One of the gods, Enki, suggests creating a balance between gods and humans, setting limits on human population growth to prevent future disturbances.

The Atrahasis Epic is considered one of the earliest known accounts of a great flood and shares similarities with other flood myths, including the biblical story of Noah. It reflects the ancient Mesopotamian understanding of the relationship between gods and humans, the consequences of overpopulation, and the importance of balance in the natural order.

Written down in the mid-17th century BCE, the Atrahasis can be dated by the colophon to the reign of the Babylonian King Hammurabi‘s great-grandson, Ammi-Saduqa (1646-1626 BCE) though the tale itself is considered much older, passed down through oral transmission. The Sumerian Flood Story (known as the `Eridu Genesis‘) which tells the same story, is certainly older (composed c. 2300 BCE) and Tablet XI of The Epic of Gilgamesh, which also relates the tale of the Great Flood, is even older than that.

https://geha.paginas.ufsc.br/files/2017/04/Atrahasis.pdf

Tablet I

Part I

When the gods instead of man
Did the work, bore the loads,
The gods’ load was too great,
The work too hard, the trouble too much,
The great Anunnaki made the Igigi
Carry the workload sevenfold. (Sevenfold -> Completeness)


Anu their father was king,
Their counsellor warrior Ellil,
Their chamberlain was Ninurta,
Their canal-controller Ennugi.
They took the box (of lots) … ,
Cast the lots; the gods made the division.
Anu went up to the sky,
(And Ellil (?)] took the earth for his people (?).
The bolt which bars the sea
Was assigned to far-sighted Enki.
When Anu had gone up to the sky,
(And the gods of] the Apsu had gone below,
The Anunnaki of the sky

Could Anu and Apsu refer to the spaceship?


Made the Igigi bear the workload.
The gods had to dig out canals,

Mission: Dig out canals (collecting gold and minerals)


Had to clear channels, the lifelines of the land,
The Igigi had to dig out canals,
Had to clear channels, the lifelines of the land.
The gods dug out the Tigris river (bed)


And then dug out the Euphrates.
[ ] in the deep
[ ] they set up
[ ] the Apsu
[ ] of the land
[ ] inside it
[ ] raised its top
[ ] of all the mountains
They were counting the years of loads;
[ ] the great marsh,
They were counting the years of loads.
For 3,6oo years they bore the excess,
Hard work, night and day.
They groaned and blamed each other,
Grumbled over the masses of excavated soil:
‘Let us confront our [ ] the chamberlain,
And get him to relieve us of our hard work!
Come, let us carry [the Lord (?)],
The counsellor of gods, the warrior, from his
dwelling.
Come, let us carry [Ellil],
The counsellor of gods, the warrior, from his
dwelling.’
Then Alia made his voice heard
And spoke to the gods his brothers, (gap of about 8 lines)

Part II

‘Come! Let us carry
The counsellor of gods, the warrior, from his
dwelling.
Come! Let us carry Ellil,
The counsellor of gods, the warrior, from his
dwelling.
Now, cry battle!
Let us mix fight with battle!’
The gods listened to his speech,
Set fire to their tools,
Put aside their spades for fire,
Their loads for the fire-god,
They flared up. When they reached
The gate of warrior Ellil’s dwelling,
It was night, the middle watch,
The house was surrounded, the god had not
realized.
It was night, the middle watch,
Ekur was surrounded, Ellil had not realized.
Yet Kalkal was attentive, and had it closed,
He held the lock and watched [the gate].
Kalkal roused [Nusku].
They listened to the noise of [the Igigi].
Then Nusku roused his master,

Made him get out of bed:
‘My lord, your house is surrounded,
A rabble is running around your door!
Ellil, your house is surrounded,
A rabble is running around your door!’
Ellil had weapons brought to his dwelling.
Ellil made his voice heard
And spoke to the vizier Nusku,
‘Nusku, bar your door,
Take up your weapons and stand in front of me.’
Nusku barred his door,
Took up his weapons and stood in front of Ellil.
Nusku made his voice heard

Part II

And spoke to the warrior Ellil,
‘0 my lord, your face is (sallow as) tamarisk!H
Why do you fear your own sons?
0 Ellil, your face is (sallow as) tamarisk!
Why do you fear your own sons?
Send for Anu to be brought down to you,
Have Enki fetched into your presence.’
He sent for Anu to be brought down to him,
Enki was fetched into his presence,
Anu king of the sky was present,
Enki king of the Apsu attended.
The great Anunnaki were present.
Ellil got up and the case was put.
Ellil made his voice heard
And spoke to the great gods,
‘Is it against me that they have risen?
Shall I do battle … ?
What did I see with my own eyes?
A rabble was running around my door!’
Anu made his voice heard
And spoke to the warrior Ellil,

Part III

‘Let Nusku go out
And [find out] word of the lgigi
Who have surrounded your door.
A command . ..
To . . . ‘
Ellil made his voice heard

And spoke to the vizier Nusku,
‘Nusku, open your door,
Take up your weapons [and stand before me!]
In the assembly of all the gods,
Bow, then stand [and tell them],
“Your father Anu,
Your counselor warrior Ellil,
Your chamberlain Ninurta
And your canal-controller EnnugiY
Have sent me to say,
Who is in charge of the rabble?
Who is in charge of the fighting?
Who declared war?
Who ran to the door of Ellil ?”‘
[Nusku opened] his door,
[Took up his weapons,] went [before ( ?)] Ellil
In the assembly of all the gods
[He bowed], then stood and told the message.
‘Your father Anu,
Your counselor warrior Ellil,
Your chamberlain Ninurta
And your canal controller Ennugi
Have sent me to say,
“Who is in charge of the rabble?
Who is in charge of the fighting?
Who declared war?
Who ran to the door of Ellil?” ‘

Elltl[ ]
‘Every single one of us gods declared war!
We have put [a stop] to the digging.
The load is excessive, it is killing us!
Our work is too hard, the trouble too much!
So every single one of us gods
Has agreed to complain to Ellil.’
Nusku took his weapons,
Went [and returned to Ellil]
‘My lord, you sent me to [ ].
I went [ ]
I explained [ J

[ l
Saying, “Every single one of us gods
Declared war.
We have put [a stop] to the digging.
The load is excessive, it is killing us,
Our work is too hard, the trouble too much,
So every single one of us gods
Has agreed to complain to Ellil! ‘”
Ellil listened to that speech.
His tears flowed.
Ellil spoke guardedly (?),
Addressed the warrior Anu,
‘Noble one, take a decree


Part IV: Creation of humans

With you to the sky, show your strength
While the Anunnaki are sitting before you
Call up one god and let them cast him for
destruction!’
Anu made his voice heard
And spoke to the gods his brothers,
‘What are we complaining of?
1J
Their work was indeed too hard, their trouble was
too much.
Every day the earth (?) [resounded (?)].
The warning signal was loud enough, we kept
hearing the noise.
] do
] tasks (?)
(gap partly filled, partly overlapped
by the following two SBV fragments)
SBV ‘(While) the Anunnaki are sitting before you,
And (while) Belet-ili the womb-goddess is
present,
Call up one and cast him for destruction!’
Anu made his voice heard and spoke to [Nusku],
‘Nusku, open your door, take up your weapons,
Bow in the assembly of the great gods, [then
stand]
And tell them [ ],
“Your father Anu, your counsellor warrior Ellil,

Your chamberlain Ninurta and your canal controller Ennugi
Have sent me to say,
Who is in charge of the rabble? Who will be in
charge of battle?
Which god started the war?
A rabble was running around my door!”‘
When Nusku heard this,
He took up his weapons,
Bowed in the assembly of the great gods, [then
stood]
And told them [ ],
‘Your father Anu, your counsellor warrior Ellil,
Your chamberlain Ninurta and your canalcontroller Ennugi
Have sent me to say,
“Who is in charge of the rabble? Who is in
charge of the fighting?
Which god started the war?
A rabble was running around Ellil’s door.”‘
(gap of uncertain length)
SBV Ea made his voice heard
And spoke to the gods his brothers,
‘Why are we blaming them?
Their work was too hard, their trouble was too
much.
Every day the earth (?) [resounded (?)].
The warning signal was loud enough, [we kept
hearing the noise.]
There is [ ]
Belet-ili the womb-goddess is present

Let her create primeval man
So that he may bear the yoke [( )],
So that he may bear the yoke, [the work of Ellil],
Let man bear the load of the gods!’
(gap)
OBV ‘Belet-ili the womb-goddess is present,
Let the womb-goddess create offspring,

And let man bear the load of the gods!’
They called up the goddess, asked
The midwife of the gods, wise Mami,
‘You are the womb-goddess (to be the) creator of
mankind!
Create primeval man, that he may bear the yoke!
Let him bear the yoke, the work of Ellil,
Let man bear the load of the gods!’
Nintu made her voice heard
And spoke to the great gods,
‘It is not proper for me to make him.
The work is Enki’s;
He makes everything pure!
If he gives me clay, then I will do it.’
Enki made his voice heard
And spoke to the great gods,
‘On the first, seventh, and fifteenth of the month
I shall make a purification by washing.
Then one god should be slaughtered.
And the gods can be purified by immersion.
Nintu shall mix clay
With his flesh and his blood.
Then a god and a man
Will be mixed together in clay.

Let us hear the drumbeat forever after,
Let a ghost come into existence from the god’s
flesh,
Let her proclaim it as his living sign,
And let the ghost exist so as not to forget (the
slain god).’
They answered ‘Yes!’ in the assembly,
The great Anunnaki who assign the fates.
On the first, seventh, and fifteenth of the month
He made a purification by washing.
Ilawela who had intelligence,
They slaughtered in their assembly.
Nintu mixed clay
With his flesh and blood.
They heard the drumbeat forever after.

A ghost came into existence from the god’s flesh,
And she (Nintu) proclaimed it as his living sign

Part V

The ghost existed so as not to forget (the slain god).
After she had mixed that clay,
She called up the Anunnaki, the great gods.
The Igigi, the great gods,
Spat spittle upon the clay.
Mami made her voice heard
And spoke to the great gods,
‘I have carried out perfectly
The work that you ordered of me.
You have slaughtered a god together with his
intelligence.
I have relieved you of your hard work,
I have imposed your load on man.
You have bestowed noise on mankind.
I have undone the fetter and granted freedom.’
They listened to this speech of hers,
And were freed (from anxiety), and kissed her feet:
‘We used to call you Mami
But now your name shall be Mistress of All
Gods.’
Far-sighted Enki and wise Mami
Went into the room of fate.
The womb-goddesses were assembled.
He trod the clay in her presence;
SBV She kept reciting an incantation,
For Enki, staying in her presence, made her recite
it.
When she had finished her incantation,
She pinched off fourteen pieces (of clay),
(And set) seven pieces on the right,
Seven on the left.
Between them she put down a mud brick.
She made use of (?) a reed, opened it (?) to cut the
umbilical cord,
Called up the wise and knowledgeable
Womb-goddesses, seven and seven.
Seven created males,
Seven created females,

For the womb-goddess (is) creator of fate.
He … -ed them two by two,ll
… -ed them two by two in her presence.
Mami made (these) rules for people
‘In the house of a woman who is giving birth
The mud brick shall be put down for seven days.
Belet-ili, wise Mami shall be honoured.
The midwife shall rejoice in the house of the
woman who gives birth
And when the woman gives birth to the baby,
The mother of the baby shall sever herself.
A man to a girl [ ]
OBV [ ] her bosom
A beard can be seen (?)
On a young man’s cheek.
In gardens and waysides
A wife and her husband choose each other. ‘
The womb-goddesses were assembled
And Nintu was present. They counted the months,
Called up the tenth month as the term of fates.

Part VI

When the tenth month came,
She slipped in (?) a staff and opened the womb.
Her face was glad and joyful.
She covered her head,
Performed the midwifery,
Put on her belt, said a blessing.
She made a drawing in flour and put down a mud
brick:
‘I myself created (it), my hands made (it).
The midwife shall rejoice in the house of the
qadistu-priestess.
Wherever a woman gives birth
And the baby’s mother severs herself,
The mud brick shall be put down for nine days.
Nintu the womb-goddess shall be honoured.
She shall call their … “Mami”.
She shall [ ] the womb-goddess,
Lay down the linen cloth (?).
When the bed is laid out in their house,
A wife and her husband shall choose each other.

Ishtar shall rejoice in the wife-husband
relationship
In the father-in-law’s house.
Celebration shall last for nine days,
And they shall call Ishtar “Ishhara” .
[On the fifteenth day (?)], the fixed time of fate
She shall call [ ].
(gap of about 2 3 lines)
A man [
Clean the home [
The son to his father [
[
They sat and [
He was carrying [

Part VII

He saw [
Ellil [
They took hold of … ,
Made new picks and spades,
Made big canals
To feed people and sustain the gods.
(gap of about 13 lines)
6oo years, less than 6oo, passed,
And the country became too wide, the people too
numerous.
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.
Give the order that suruppu-disease shall break
out,
(gap of about 3 lines)
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 !

Part VIII

Start [an uprising] in your own house,
Let 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 a baked loaf into his presence.
May the flour offering reach him,
May he be shamed by the presents
And wipe away his ” hand”. ‘
Atrahasis took the order,
Gathered the elders to his door.
Atrahasis made his voice heard
And spoke to the elders,
‘1 have called the elders, the senior men!
vm Start [an uprising] in your own house,
Let heralds proclaim .. .
Let them make a loud noise in the land:
Do not revere your gods !
Do not pray to your goddesses!
Search out the door of Namtara.
Bring a baked loaf into his presence.
May the flour offering 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,
Did not pray to their goddess,
But searched out the door of Namtara,
Brought a baked loaf into his presence.

The flour offering 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]
(2 lines missing to end of column)
( Catchline)
6oo years, less than 6oo passed.

Tablet 2

6oo years, less than 6oo, passed
And the country became too wide, the people too
numerous.
The country was as noisy as a bellowing bull.
The God grew restless at their clamour,
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.
Cut off food supplies to the people!
Let the vegetation be too scant for their hunger !
Let Adad wipe away his rain.
Below (?) let no flood-water flow from the
springs.
Let wind go, let it strip the ground bare,
Let clouds gather (but) not drop rain,
Let the field yield a diminished harvest,
Let Nissaba stop up her bosom.
No happiness shall come to them.
Let their [ ] be dejected.’
(gap of about 34 lines to end of column)
u (gap of about 12 lines at beginning of
column)
‘Call the [elders, the senior men],
Start an uprising in your house,
Let heralds proclaim …

Let them make a loud noise in the land :
Do not revere your god(s)!
Do not pray to your goddess!
Search out the door of Adad,
Bring a baked loaf into his presence.
May the flour offering reach him,
May he be shamed by the presents
And wipe away his “hand”.’
(Then) he will make a mist form in the morning
And in the night he will steal out and make dew
drop,
Deliver (?) the field (of its produce) ninefold, like
a thief.
They built a temple for Adad in the city,
Ordered heralds to proclaim
And make a loud noise in the land.
They did not revere their god(s),
Did not pray to their goddess,
But searched out the door of Adad,
Brought a baked (loaf) into his presence.
The flour offering reached him;
He was shamed by the presents
And wiped away his ‘hand’.
He made mist form in the morning
And in the night he stole out and made dewdrop,
Delivered (?) the field (of its produce) ninefold, like
a thief.
[The drought] left them,
[The gods] went back [to their (regular) offerings].

A temple (factory) that creates water (from mist form in the morning, and dewdrop at night) With this ‘product’ there was a ninefold increase in yield.

Part III

Not three epochs had passed.
The country became too wide, the people too
numerous.
The country was as noisy as a bellowing bull.
The gods grew restless at their noise.
Enlil organized his assembly again,
Addressed the gods his sons:
‘The noise of mankind has become too much,
Sleep cannot overtake me because of their racket.
Command that Anu and Adad keep the (air)
above (earth) locked,
Sin and Nergal keep the middle earth locked.

As for the bolt that bars the sea,
Ea with his lahmu-creatures shall keep it locked’
He ordered, and Anu and Adad kept the (air) above
(earth) locked
,
Sin and Nergal kept the middle earth locked.
As for the bolt that bars the sea,
Ea with his lahmu-creatures kept it locked.
Then the very wise man Atra-hasis
Wept daily.
He would carry a massakku-offering along the
riverside pasture,
Although the irrigation-water was silent.
Half-way through the night he offered a sacrifice.
As sleep began to overtake him (?)
He addressed the irrigation-water:
‘May the irrigation-water take it, may the river
carry it,
May the gift be placed in front of Ea my lord.
May Ea see it and think of me!
So may I see a dream in the night.’
When he had sent the message by water,
He sat facing the river, he wept (?),
The man wept (?) facing the river
As his plea went down to the Apsu.
Then Ea heard his voice.
[He summoned his Lahmu-creaturesl and addressed
them.
(jar the next 36/ines see Supplement 1. on pp. 338-9)

Part iv

Above, [rain did not fill the canals(?)]
Below, flood-water did not flow from the springs.
Earth’s womb did not give birth,
No vegetation sprouted …
People did not look [ ]
The dark pastureland was bleached,
The broad countryside filled up with alkali.
In the first year they ate old grain
In the second year they depleted the storehouse.
When the third year came,
Their looks were changed by starvation,

Their faces covered with scabs (?) like malt.
They stayed alive by . . . . .. life.
Their faces looked sallow.
They went out in public hunched,
Their well-set shoulders slouched,
Their upstanding bearing bowed.
They took a message [from Atrahasis to the gods].
In front of [the assembly of the great gods],
They stood [and ]
The orders [of Atrahasis they repeated]
In front of [ ]
(gap of about 32 lines to end of column)

Part IV

[6oo years, less than 6oo years, passed.
The country became too wide, the people too
numerous.]
He grew restless at their noise.
Sleep could not overtake him because of their
racket.
Ellil organized his assembly,
Addressed the gods his sons,
‘The noise of mankind has become too much.
I have become restless at their noise.
Sleep cannot overtake me because of their racket.
Give the order that suruppu-disease shall break
out,
Let Namtar put an end to their noise straight
away!
Let sickness: headache, suruppu, asakku,
Blow in to them like a storm.’
They gave the order, and suruppu-disease did break
out.
Namtar put an end to their noise straight away.
Sickness: headache, suruppu, asakku,
Blew into them like a storm.
The thoughtful man, Atrahasis
Kept his ear open to his master Ea;
He would speak with his god,

[And his god (?)] Ea would speak with him.
Atrahasis made his voice heard and spoke,
Said to Ea his master,
‘Oh Lord, people are grumbling!
Your [sickness] is consuming the country!
Oh Lord Ea, people are grumbling!
[Sickness] from the gods is consuming the
country!
Since you created us
[You ought to] cut off sickness: headache,
suruppu and asakku. ‘
Ea made his voice heard and spoke,
Said to Atrahasis,
‘Order the heralds to proclaim,
To make a loud noise in the land:
Do not revere your gods,
Do not pray to your goddesses!
[ ] withhold his rites!
[ ] the flour as an offering
[ ] to her presence
[ ] say a prayer
[ ] the presents [
his “hand” .’
Ellil organized his assembly,
Addressed the gods his sons,
‘You are not to inflict disease on them again,
(Even though) the people have not diminished
they are more than before!
I have become restless at their noise,
Sleep cannot overtake me because of their racket!
Cut off food from the people,
Let vegetation be too scant for their stomachs!
Let Adad on high make his rain scarce,
Let him block below, and not raise flood-water
from the springs!

So if the temple of Adad was a water producing factory, it was connected through a network of channels


Let the field decrease its yield,
Let Nissaba turn away her breast,
Let the dark fields become white,
Let the broad countryside breed alkali
Let earth clamp down her womb

So that no vegetation sprouts, no grain grows.
Let asakku be inflicted on the people,
Let the womb be too tight to let a baby out!’
They cut off food for the people,
Vegetation . . . became too scant for their stomachs.
Adad on high made his rain scarce,
Blocked below, and did not raise flood-water from
the springs.
The field decreased its yield,
Nissaba turned away her breast,
The dark fields became white,
The broad countryside bred alkali.
Earth clamped down her womb:
No vegetation sprouted, no grain grew.
Asakku was inflicted on the people.
The womb was too tight to let a baby out.

Part V

Ea kept guard over the bolt that bars the sea,
Together with his lahmu-heroes.
Above, Adad made his rain scarce,
Blocked below, and did not raise flood-water from
the springs.
The field decreased its yield,
Nissaba turned away her breast,
The dark fields became white,
The broad countryside bred alkali.
Earth clamped down her womb:
No vegetation sprouted, no grain grew.
Asakku was inflicted on the people,
The womb was too tight to let a baby out.
(gap of 2 lines)
When the second year arrived
They had depleted the storehouse.
When the third year arrived
[The people’s looks] were changed [by starvation].
When the fourth year arrived
Their upstanding bearing bowed,
Their well-set shoulders slouched,
People went out in public hunched over.
When the fifth year arrived,

A daughter would eye her mother coming in;
A mother would not even open her door to her
daughter.
A daughter would watch the scales (at the sale of
her) mother,
A mother would watch the scales (at the sale of her)
daughter.
When the sixth year arrived
They served up a daughter for a meal,
Served up a son for food .
[ l
Only one or two households were left.
Their faces were covered with scabs (?) like malt.
People stayed alive by . . . . .. life.
The thoughtful man Atrahasis
Kept his ear open to his master Ea.
He would speak with his god,
And his god Ea would speak with him.
He left the door of his god,
Put his bed right beside the river,
(For even) the canals were quite silent.
(gap of about 25 lines)

Part VI

When the second year arrived, they had depleted
the storehouse.
When the third year arrived
The people’s looks were changed by starvation.
When the fourth year arrived
Their upstanding bearing bowed,
Their well-set shoulders slouched,
People went out in public hunched over.
When the fifth year arrived,
A daughter would eye her mother coming in;
A mother would not even open her door to her
daughter.
A daughter would watch the scales (at the sale) of
her mother,
A mother would watch the scales (at the sale) of her
daughter.
When the sixth year arrived,

They served up a daughter for a meal,
Served up a son for food.
[ l
Only one or two households were left.
Their faces were covered with scabs (?) like malt,
The people stayed alive by . . . . .. life.
They took a message ( ]
Entered and [ ]
The order of Atrahasis [ ]
Saying, ‘How long [ ]
(gap of about 36 lines to end of tablet)

It seems like Ea gave the humans access to water

Part V

He (Eilil) was furious (with the Igigi,]
‘We, the great Anunna, all of us,
Agreed together on [a plan].
Anu and [Adad] were to guard [above],
I was to guard the earth [below].

Where Enki (went],
He was to undo the [chain and set (us) free],
He was to release [produce for the people].
He was to exercise [control ( ?) by holding the
balance ( ?)]. ‘ 34
Ellil made his voice heard
And [spoke] to the vizier Nusku,
‘Have the fifty (?) lahmu-heroes (?) . . . fetched
for me!
Have them brought in to my presence!’
The fifty (?) lahmu-heroes (?) were fetched for him.
The warrior [Ellil] addressed them,
‘We, the great Anunna, [all of us],
Agreed together on a plan.
Anu and Adad were to guard above,
I was to guard the earth below.
Where you [went],
[You were to undo the chain and set (us) free],
(You were to release produce for the people],
(You were to exercise control (?) by holding the
balance ( ?) ]. ‘
].

The warrior Ellil [ ].
(gap of about 34 lines)

Part VI

‘Adad made his rain pour down,
[ ] filled the pasture land
And clouds ( ?) veiled [ ]
Do not feed his people,
And do not give Nissaba’s corn, luxury for
people, to eat.’
Then [the god (?)] grew anxious as he sat,
In the gods’ assembly worry gnawed at him.
[Enki (?)] grew anxious as he sat,
In the gods’ assembly worry gnawed at him.
(3 lines fragmentary)
[They were furious with each other], Enki and Ellil.
‘We, the great Anunna, all of us,
[
Agreed together on a plan.
Anu and Adad were to guard above,
I was to guard the earth below.
Where you went,
You were to undo the chain and set (us) free!
You were to release produce for the people!
[You were to exercise control (?)] by holding the
balance (?).’
The warrior Ellil [
].
l
(gap of 30 lines)

Part VII

‘[You] imposed your loads on man,
You bestowed noise on mankind,
You slaughtered a god together with his
intelligence,
You must … and [create a flood] .
It is indeed your power that shall be used against
[your people!]
You agreed to [the wrong (?)] plan!
Have it reversed! (?)
Let us make far-sighted Enki swear . .. an oath.’
Enki made his voice heard

And spoke to his brother gods,
‘Why should you make me swear an oath?
Why should I use my power against my people?
The flood that you mention to mt.~
What is it? I don’t even know!
Could I give birth to a flood?
That is Ellil’ s kind of work!

Let him choose [ ]
Let Shullat and [Hanish] march [ahead]
[Let Erakal pull out] the mooring poles
Let [Ninurta] march, let him make [the weirs]
overflow.
(gap of 2 or 3 lines to end of column)

(gap of 31 lines)

PART VIII

The assembly [
Do not listen to [
The gods gave an explicit command.
Ellil performed a bad deed to the people.’
(Catch/inc)
Atrahasis made his voice heard
And spoke to his master,

TABLET III

The Atrahasis III Tablet

(gap of about 10 lines)
Atrahasis made his voice heard
And spoke to his master,
‘Indicate to me the meaning of the dream,
[ J let me find out its portent ( ?)’
Enki made his voice heard
And spoke to his servant,
‘You say, “I should find out in bed (?)”
Make sure you attend to the message I shall tell
you!
Wall, listen constantly to me!
Reed hut, make sure you attend to all my words!
Dismantle the house, build a boat,

Reject possessions, and save living things.
The boat that you build
[
[
Roof it like the Apsu
So that the Sun cannot see inside it!
Make upper decks and lower decks.
The tackle must be very strong,

The bitumen strong, to give strength.
I shall make rain fall on you here,
A wealth of birds, a hamper ( ?) of fish.’
He opened the sand clock and filled it,
He told him the sand (needed) for the Flood was
Seven nights’ worth.

Atrahasis received the message.
He gathered the elders at his door.
Atrahasis made his voice heard
And spoke to the elders,
‘My god is out of favour with your god.
Enki and [Ellil (?)] have become angry with each
other.
They have driven me out of [my house].
Since I always stand in awe of Enki,
He told (me) of this matter.
I can no longer stay in [ J
I cannot set my foot on Ellil’s territory (again).
[I must go down to the Apsu and stay] with (my)
god(?).
This is what he told me.’
(gap of 4 or 5 lines to end of column)
n (gap of about 9 lines)
The elders [
The carpenter [brought his axe,]
The reed worker [brought his stone,]
[A child brought] bitumen.
The poor [fetched what was needed.]

Everything there was [
Everything there was [
Pure ones [
Fat ones [ ]
He selected [and put on board.]
[The birds] that fly in the sky,
Cattle [of Shak]kan,
Wild animals (?) [
l
[
] of open country,
he] put on board
l … He invited his people [
[ ] to a feast.
[ ] he put his family on board.
They were eating, they were drinking.
But he went in and out,
Could not stay still or rest on his haunches,
His heart was breaking and he was vomiting bile.
The face of the weather changed.
Adad bellowed from the clouds.
When (?) he (Atrahasis) heard his noise,
Bitumen was brought and he sealed his door.
While he was closing up his door
Adad kept bellowing from the clouds.
The winds were raging even as he went up
(And) cut through the rope, he released the boat.

m (6 lines missing at beginning of column)
Anzu was tearing at the sky with his talons,
[ ] the land,
He broke [
[ ] the Flood [came out (?)].
Jl
The kasiisu-weapon went against the people like an
army.
No one could see anyone else,
They could not be recognized in the catastrophe.
The Flood roared like a bull,
Like a wild ass screaming the winds [howled]
The darkness was total, there was no sun.
[ ] like white sheep.
[ ] of the Flood.

[
[
[
[
Myths from Mesopotamia
l
l
] the noise of the Flood.
l
[Anu (?)] went berserk,
[The gods (?)] .. . his sons .. . before him
As for Nintu the Great Mistress,
Her lips became encrusted with rime. 37
The great gods, the Anunna,
Stayed parched and famished.
The goddess watched and wept,
Midwife of the gods, wise Mami:
‘Let daylight (?) .. .
Let it return and . .. !
However could I, in the assembly of gods,
Have ordered such destruction with them?
Ellil was strong enough (?) to give a wicked
order.

Like Tiruru he ought to have cancelled that
wicked order!
I heard their cry levelled at me,
Against myself, against my person.
Beyond my control ( ?) my offspring have become
like white sheep.
As for me, how am I to live (?) in a house of
bereavement?
My noise has turned to silence.
Could I go away, up to the sky
And live as in a cloister(?)?
What was Anu’s intention as decision-maker?
It was his command that the gods his sons
obeyed,
He who did not deliberate, but sent the Flood,
He who gathered the people to catastrophe
[ l

Part IV


(3 lines missing at beginning of column)
Nintu was wailing [ ]
‘Would a true father (?) have given birth to the
[rolling (?)] sea

(So that) they could clog the river like
dragonflies ?
They are washed up (?) like a raft on [a bank (?)],
They are washed up like a raft on a bank in open
country!
I have seen, and wept over them!
Shall I (ever) finish weeping for them?’
She wept, she gave vent to her feelings,
Nintu wept and fuelled her passions.
The gods wept with her for the country.
She was sated with grief, she longed for beer (in
vain).

Where she sat weeping, (there the great gods) sat
too,
But, like sheep, could only fill their windpipes (with
bleating).
Thirsty as they were, their lips
Discharged only the rime of famine.
For seven days and seven nights
The torrent, storm and flood came on.
(gap of about 58 lines)

Part V

He put down [ J,
Provided food [ J
[ J
The gods smelt the fragrance,
Gathered like flies over the offering.
When they had eaten the offering,
Nintu got up and blamed them all,
‘Whatever came over Anu who makes the
decisions?
Did Ellil (dare to) come for the smoke offering?
(Those two) who did not deliberate, but sent the
Flood,
Gathered the people to catastrophe

You agreed the destruction.
(Now) their bright faces are dark (forever).’
Then she went up to the big flies
Which Anu had made, and (declared) before the
gods,

‘His grief is mine! My destiny goes with his!
He must deliver me from evil, and appease me!
Let me go out in the morning ( ?) [ ]
[ ]

Part VI

Let these flies be the lapis lazuli of my necklace
By which I may remember it (?) daily (?)
[forever (?)].’
The warrior Ellil spotted the boat
And was furious with the Igigi.
‘We, the great Anunna, all of us,
Agreed together on an oath!
No form of life should have escaped!

How did any man survive the catastrophe?’
Anu made his voice heard
And spoke to the warrior Ellil,
‘Who but Enki would do this?
He made sure that the [reed hut] disclosed the
order.’
Enki made his voice heard
And spoke to the great gods,
‘I did it, in defiance of you!

I made sure life was preserved [
(5 lines missing)
Exact your punishment from the sinner.
And whoever contradicts your order
(12 lines missing)
I have given vent to my feelings!’
Ellil made his voice heard
And spoke to far-sighted Enki,
‘Come, summon Nintu the womb-goddess!
Confer with each other in the assembly. ‘
Enki made his voice heard
And spoke to the womb-goddess Nintu,
‘You are the womb-goddess who decrees destinies.
[ ] to the people.
[Let one-third of them be ]
l l
[Let another third of them be ]

Part VII

In addition let there be one-third of the people,
Among the people the woman who gives birth yet
does

Not give birth (successfully);
Let there be the pasittu-demon among the people,
To snatch the baby from its mother’s lap.
Establish ugbabtu, entu, egi~ltu-women :45
They shall be taboo, and thus control childbirth.’
(26 lines missing to end of column)

Part VIII

(8 lines missing at beginning of column)
How we sent the Flood.
But a man survived the catastrophe.
You are the counsellor of the gods;
On your orders I created conflict.
Let the Igigi listen to this song
In order to praise you,
And let them record (?) your greatness.
I shall sing of the Flood to all people: 46
Listen!
(Colophon) 47
The End.

Tablet III


‘When the gods instead of man’
390 lines,
Total1245
For the three tablets.
Hand of Ipiq-Aya, junior scribe.
Month Ayyar [x day],
Year Ammi-?aduqa was king.
A statue of himself [

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