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The Seven Tablets of Creation, by Leonard William King, [1902], at

p. 2 p. 3

Note: The transliteration of the Babylonian and most of the footnotes in this section have been omitted for technical reasons. All ellipsis have been turned into three periods, no matter how long in the original document. — JBH.


The Seven Tablets of the History of Creation.

The First Tablet

1. When in the height heaven was not named,

2. And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,

3. And the primeval Apsû, who begat them,

4. And chaos, Tiamat, the mother of them both,—

5. Their waters were mingled together,

6. And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;

7. When of the gods none had been called into being,

8. And none bore a name, and no destinies [were ordained];

9. Then were created the gods in the midst of [heaven],

p. 4 p. 5

10. Lahmu and Lahamu were called into being [...].

11. Ages increased, [...],

12. Then Anshar and Kishar were created, and over them [...].

13. Long were the days, then there came forth [...]

14. Anu, their son, [...]

15. Anshar and Anu [...]

16. And the god Anu [...]

17. Nudimmud, whom his fathers [his] begetters [...]

18. Abounding in all wisdom, [...]

19. He was exceeding strong [...]

20. He had no rival [...]

21. (Thus) were established and [were ... the great gods (?)].

p. 6 p. 7

22 . But T[iamat and Âpsû] were (still) in confusion [...],

23. They were troubled and [...]

24. In disorder(?) ... [...]

26. And Tiamat roared [...]

25. Apsû was not diminished in might [...]

27. She smote, and their deeds [...]

28. Their way was evil ... [...] ...

29. Then Apsû, the begetter of the great gods,

30. Cried unto Mummu, his minister, and said unto him:

31. "O Mummu, thou minister that rejoicest my spirit,

32. "Come, unto Tiamat let us [go]!"

33. So they went and before Tiamat they lay down,

34. They consulted on a plan with regard to the gods [their sons].

35. Apsû opened his mouth [and spake],

p. 8 p. 9

36. And unto Tiamat, the glistening one, he addressed [the word]:

37. "[...] their way [...],

38. "By day I cannot rest, by night [I cannot lie down (in peace)].

39. "But I will destroy their way, I will [...],

40. "Let there be lamentation, and let us lie down (again in peace)."

41. When Tiamat [heard] these words,

42. She raged and cried aloud [...].

43. [She ...] grievously [...],

44. She uttered a curse, and unto [Apsû she spake]:

45. "What then shall we [do]?

46. "Let their way be made difficult, and let us [lie down (again) in peace]."

47. Mummu answered, and gave counsel unto Apsû,

48. [...] and hostile (to the gods) was the counsel Mu[mmu gave]:

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49. "Come, their way is strong, but thou shalt destroy [it];

50. "Then by day shalt thou have rest, by night shalt thou lie down (in peace)."

51. Apsû [hearkened unto] him and his countenance grew bright,

52. [Since] he (i.e. Mummu) planned evil against the gods his sons.

53. [...] he was afraid [...],

54. His knees [became weak(?)], they gave way beneath him,

55. [Because of the evil] which their first-born had planned.

56. [...] their [...] they altered(?).

58. Lamentation [...] they sat in [sorrow] '

57. [...] they [...],

59. [...]

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60. Then Ea, who knoweth all that [is], went up and he beheld their muttering.

61. [...]

62. [...] ... his pure incantation

63. [...] ... [...]

64. [...]

65. [...] misery

66. [...]

67. [...]

[Lines 68-82 are wanting.]

83. [...]

84 [...] ...

85. [...] the god Anu,

86. [... an aven]ger.

87. [...]

88. [...] and he shall confound Tiamat.

89. [...] he ...

90. [...] for ever.

91. [...] the evil,

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92. [...] ... he spake:

93. "[...] thy [...] he hath conquered and

94. " [...] he [weepeth] and sitteth in tribulation(?).

95. "[...] of fear,

96. "[...] we shall not lie down (in peace).

97. "[...] Apsû is laid waste(?),

98. "[...] and Mummu, who were taken captive, in [...]

99. "[...] thou didst, ...

100. "[...] let us lie down (in peace).

101. "[...] ... they will smite (?) [...].

102. " [...] let us lie down (in peace).

103. "[...] thou shalt take vengeance for them,

104. "[...]unto the tempest shalt thou [...]!"

105. [And Tiamat hearkened unto] the word of the bright god, (and said):

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106. "[...] shalt thou entrust! let us wage [war]!"

107. [...] the gods in the midst of [...]

108. [...] for the gods did she create.'

109. [They banded themselves together and] at the side of Tiamat [they] advanced;

110. [They were furious, they devised mischief without resting] night and [day].

111. [They prepared for battle], fuming and raging;

112. [They joined their forces] and made war.

113. [Ummu-Hubu]r, who formed all things,

114. [Made in addition] weapons invincible, she spawned monster-serpents,

115. [Sharp of] tooth, and merciless of fang;

116. [With poison instead of] blood she filled [their] bodies.

117. Fierce [monster-vipers] she clothed with terror,

118. [With splendour] she decked them, [she made them] of lofty stature.

119. [Whoever beheld] them, terror overcame him,

120. Their bodies reared up and none could withstand [their attack].

p. 18 p. 19

121. [She set] up vipers, and dragons, and the (monster) [Lahamu],

122. [And hurricanes], and raging hounds, and scorpion-men,

123. And mighty [tempests], and fish-men, and[rams];

124. [They bore] cruel weapons, without fear of [the fight].

125. Her commands [were mighty], [none] could resist them;

126. After this fashion, huge of stature, [she made] eleven (monsters).

127. Among the gods who were her sons, inasmuch as he had given [her support],

128. She exalted Kingu; in their midst [she raised] him [to power].

129. To march before the forces, to lead [the host],

130. To give the battle-signal, to advance to the attack,

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131. To direct the battle, to control the fight,

132. Unto him she entrusted; in [costly raiment] she made him sit, (saying):

133. "I have uttered thy spell, in the assembly of the gods I have raised thee to power.

134. "The dominion over all the gods [have I entrusted unto him].

135. "Be thou exalted, thou my chosen spouse,

136. "May they magnify thy name over all [of them ... the Anunnaki]."

137. She gave him the Tablets of Destiny, on [his] breast she laid them, (saying):

138. "Thy command shall not be without avail, and[the word of thy mouth shall be established]."

139. Now Kingu, (thus) exalted, having received [the power of Anu],

140. [Decreed] the fate among the gods his sons, (saying):

141. "Let the opening of your mouth [quench] the Fire-god;

142. "Whoso is exalted in the battle, let him [display (his) might]!"

Next: The Second Tablet