Assignment type:Essay (any type)
2 pages / 550 words (Double spacing)
Assignment topic:The Flood – Sumerian text and content from Jacobsen
The FLOOD –
The Flood to erase mankind – catastrophe that begins ‘time’ as human awareness of before and after the Flood.
2 page essay
Please content matters and is based solely on the content here with your addition from internet for recent weather or geological hazards ( such as earthquakes in Syria and Turkey).
Please be aware that Noah has several names in texts from Mesopotamia (Ataharsis in Thorkild’s 17th c BCE text and Zi-ud-sura in the earlier Sumerian text; in Gilgamesh’s epic, c. 2500 BCE, Utnapishtim). Languages and peoples change and repeatedly the Flood was cited by scribes because it was so terrible and established a sequence. Gratefully humankind survived but perhaps the awareness of the harshness of the gods was more than a warning.
Instructions: 2 page paper
These texts provide the assignment’s content – no other content or scholar. Please employ specific quoted passages as your evidence but you may explain # 1 and # 3 without a passage.
This is not a report or a summary. We are the critical readers using the actual ancient content.
Please answer following based on the ancient texts in translation (below – please read all) and the passages from the essay by Thorkild Jacobsen who translated and explained these texts.
Content of the ancient flood text emphasizes the gods, citing their cities as the Sumerians also took pride in the cities with the gods as most important.
How do the gods interact? (Rationally/ with reason or erratically? Be sure to be specific to show what a specific god said or did that shows their priorities and that you judge as…
Who has the most power among the gods (based on)? (with specific passages)
Who is the human? What is his relationship to two gods?
What do we learn of the Flood (from your choice from fragmentary texts and Thorkild?) what defines the storm? What was the warning – by means of a dream and a wall – explain with quoted passages.
From Jacobsen, how many attempts were made to control humans, what was the reason, and what was the outcome? Supply helpful passage for one of these attempts.
Bonus: Why do humans exist?
Bonus: The flood – what was its cause? Monsoons have cross continent impact and at 2800 BCE a drought impacted Egypt and this region. Sudden rain can be a catastrophe on barren land. Please find a recent flood on the internet – offer possible comparison or impact – California? Sudan?
(Translated ancient Sumerian texts are from ETCLS = Electronic Corpus of Sumerian Texts- Oxford online )
Please read all of the following (then you select passages that answer the assignment):
You should cite and quote exactly from these ancient texts in translation. Please use the heading (Flood text 1.7.3 or Jacobsen p.117..) to be the correct reference. Each quoted passage is your evidence. You then explain, use your own words to explain its content and if it causes, harms or helps .. Then your essay reveals cause and effect of the gods, the human, their interaction and of course,the impact of the FLOOD. You may raise a question or criticism. In the conclucion, when you add a recent natural disaster, please give source.
Ancient Sumerian Texts
Flood Text 1.7.3:
“All the windstorms and gales arose together, and the flood swept over the ……. After the flood had swept over the land, and waves and windstorms had rocked the huge boat for seven days and seven nights, Utu the sun god came out, illuminating heaven and earth. Zi-ud-sura / Noah could drill an opening in the huge boat and the hero Utu entered the huge boat with his rays. Zi-ud-sura the king prostrated himself before Utu. The king sacrificed oxen and offered innumerable sheep.
Text from the death of Gilgamesh:
“the Flood sweep over to destroy the seed of mankind, among us I was the only one who was for life (?), and so he remained alive (?) — Zi-ud-sura, although (?) a human being, remained alive (?). Then you made me swear by heaven and by earth, and …… that no human will be allowed to live forever?”
“After the flood had swept over, Inana, the lady of all the lands (goddess of love and heaven), from her great love of Dumuzid (her human husband), has sprinkled the water of life upon those who had stood in the face of the flood [those who were drowned!!] and made the Land subject to them.”
ETCLS sumerian texts online for the FLOODLinks to an external site.
Fragment C Sumerian fragmentary FLOOD text http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section1/tr174.htmLinks to an external site.
..”Holy Inanna (goddess of love, fertility) made a lament for its people. Enki (his Sumerian but Ea is his later name) took counsel with himself.
SKY God ANU ( An ), STORM god ENLIL, Enki and Ninhursag (mother goddess and mountain) made all the gods of heaven and earth take an oath by invoking An and Enlil.
In those days Zi-ud-sura the king, the gudu priest, — — humble, committed, reverent — Day by day, standing constantly at …….
Something that was not a dream appeared—and was then heard by a human and king named Zi-ud-sura [NOAH or Atrahasis), standing at (the wall) its side, who heard: “’ Side-wall, I will speak words to you; take heed of my words, pay attention to my instructions. A flood will sweep over — in all — A decision that the seed of mankind is to be destroyed has been made. The verdict, the word of the divine assembly, cannot be revoked. The order announced by An and Enlil cannot be overturned—‘“
“All the windstorms and gales arose together, and the flood swept over the ……. After the flood had swept over the land, and waves and windstorms had rocked the huge boat for seven days and seven nights,
Utu the sun-god came out, illuminating heaven and earth.
Zi-ud-sura could drill an opening in the huge boat and hero Utu (sun god) entered the huge boat with his rays. Zi-ud-sura the king prostrated himself before Utu. The king sacrificed oxen and offered innumerable sheep.”
Thorkild Jacobsen, Treasures of Darkness (Yale Univ 1976) “Story of Atrahasis” (Noah)
Thorkild p. 117
‘Before man was created’ the gods had to work.. to ‘dig canals’ and farm, to dig the path for the rivers Tigris and Euphrates!!..
The three highest gods divided the universe: .. Anu their father and king got heaven (ANU sky god), the warrior (and storm god) ENLIL received the earth, Enki/Ea the clever one (god of wisdom) received the waters (ABYSS – deep and original water) and the sea.
The gods labored endlessly day and night, year after year.. under the management of Enlil and finally they grumbled and wanted to complain directly to Enlil, but one of them argued that they would only get more work. (Thorkild does not identify this god) a god ‘advocated a show of violence, attack the house of Enlil. The gods listened. They burned their tools and surrounded Enlil’s house. It was the middle of the night when the doorkeeper heard them. He rushed to lock the gate and sent the vizier (high official and god) Nusku to wake the god Enlil. Thoroughly alarmed, Enlil had to be reminded by Nusku that the gods were Enlil’s children and Enlil should not fear them. Nusku also suggested a council with gods Anu and Ea.
(based on Thorkild’s) Once Anu and Enki arrived, Anu asked that Nusku [god of writing] would be sent to the protesting gods to learn who the instigator was. The gods did not reveal the identity of the instigator and replied that they all were tired of the endless labor and refused to ever dig or work again. So frustrated Enlil weeps and ‘at once offers his resignation. He would retire to heaven and stay with Anu. At this point the diplomatic Enki (in Thorkild’s essay) intervened and proposed a compromise.’
p. 118 ..(Enki’s solution to request the Birth Goddess NINTUR to create man).
Let man be created to ‘bear the yoke so that the gods would be free.’
‘Nintur was willing if Enki would help.. At his suggestion, the gods then killed one of their number – apparently the ringleader of the rebellion – one We-e had the idea.’ Enki instituted rituals 1st, 7th and 15th day of each month’ to absolve the gods of this murder. With the slain god’s flesh and blood, Nintur mixed the clay from which man was to be fashioned.’…
7 pairs of clay separated by a BRICK to create 7 male and 7 female embryos.
Thorkild relates that the humans multiplied so rapidly that in 1,200 years the din of the population prevented the god Enlil from sleeping. The land was like ‘a bellowing bull’ !! Enlil, thoroughly vexed, asked the gods to send a plague to reduce the population of Humans.
A very wise man named Atrahasis asked his god Enki to help stop the plague. Enki suggested to him to consult with the elders and have the heralds announce to the people to make less noise. People were advised to not make offerings to their personal gods but to Namtar (god of the plague). Namtar then was embarrassed by the endless offerings and stopped the plague.
After another 1,200 years, the people multiplied and made noise keeping Enlil awake. Drought resulted from Enlil’s anger. Enki then advised Atrahasis to have all people make offerings to the god of rain ADAD. The embarrassed god Adad then permitted rain.
Fragmentary text suggests that a 3rd time the humans were so noisy that Enlil forced the gods to starve the humans .. 5 years no crops.. [ what in terms of weather or natural resources ??]
p.120 Furious beyond limit, Enlil forced the gods to be bound by an oath and to bring on the FLOOD. Enlil wanted Birth goddess Nintur and Enki to create the flood, but Enki responded that it should be Enlil, his responsibility.
Bound by the oath not to tell any human, Enki managed to warn Atrahasis by pretending to speak to a hut (the wall in the fragmentary Sumerian text) where Atrahasis was sleeping.
This was overheard by the wise human, Atrahasis, who then built a huge ship. Atrahasis told his townsmen that he was leaving because the gods Enlil and Enki/Ea were in disagreement. Atrahasis loaded up the ship with animals and lastly his family. Sick with foreknowledge, he closed the hatch to the ship and – the flood raged over the land, drowning all in its path.
The gods were horrified with the death to the humans.. the flood raged for seven nights and seven days. Finally the ship of Atrahasis was grounded. He made offerings of thanks and the gods gratefully ate the offerings – all but Enlil ! He was furious and asked how could any human survive? Anu answered – why of course, Enki!
Enki did not deny but argued that Enlil had .. hurt the innocent as well as the troublesome. Enlil finally calms down. ..
p.121 .. the gods and terrible consequences for humans, Thorkild observed, were harsh reality. What is is.
Assignment type:Essay (any type)