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Chapter 6

This chapter deals with an ancient creation text from the same general geographic area as the Bible. Its importance for us as students of mythology rests on its rich descriptions of the religion and culture of that Mesopotamian area, which can also be viewed in Chapter 16, which presents the story of the hero Gilgamesh.

You can get a more complete picture of the culture by comparing this description of creation with others—especially the Bible (Chapter 5), Snorri's Edda (Chapter 7), and stories about the Chinese goddess Nü Kwa (Chapter 10). Note how and why the world (actually the universe) is created, the role of—or absence of—violence in the process, and the underlying reasons for creation.

Enuma Elish is also a political document, considered by the followers of Marduk to show why their home and culture center, Babylon, deserves the highest respect and honor. By showing that Babylon was founded by Marduk and that he is the premier deity and creator of all, they elevate their own position in both religious and political realms.



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