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- The Babylonian Story of the Deluge - 8/8 -

the kingdom of the dead. The priests whom he consulted described to him the conditions under which he might hope to enter the Underworld, but he was unable to fulfil the obligations which they laid upon him, and he could not go there. Gilgamish then thought that if he could have a conversation with Enkidu, his dead friend, he might learn from him what he wanted to know. He appealed to Bl and asked him to raise up the spirit of Enkidu for him, but Bl made no answer; he then appealed to Sin, and this god also made no answer. He next appealed to Ea, who, taking pity on him, ordered the warrior god Nergal to produce the spirit of Enkidu, and this god opened a hole in the ground through which the spirit of Enkidu passed up into this world "like a breath of wind." Gilgamish began to ask the spirit of Enkidu questions, but gained very little information or satisfaction. The last lines of the tablet seem to say that the spirit of the unburied man reposeth not in the earth, and that the spirit of the friendless man wandereth about the streets eating the remains of food which are cast out from the cooking pots.

E. A. Wallis Budge.

Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum,

July 24th, 1920.


The Trustees of the British Museum have published large selections of cuneiform texts from the cylinders, tablets, etc., that were found in the ruins of Nineveh by Layard, Rassam, Smith and others, in the following works:--

CUNEIFORM INSCRIPTIONS OF WESTERN ASIA. Vol. I. 1861. Fol. Il. (Out of print.) ---- Vol. II. 1866. Fol. Il. (Out of print.) ---- Vol. III. 1870. Fol. Il. ---- Vol. IV. Second edition. 1891. Fol. Il. (Out of print.) ---- Vol. V. Plates I.-XXXV. 1880. Fol. 10S. 6d. (Out of print.) ---- Vol. V. Plates XXXVI-LXX. 1884. Fol. 10S. 6d. (Out of print.) ---- Vol. V. Plates I.-LXX. Lithographed reprint. 1909. Fol. Il. 7s. INSCRIPTIONS FROM ASSYRIAN MONUMENTS. 1851. Fol. I1. 1s. CUNEIFORM TEXTS FROM BABYLONIAN TABLETS, &C., IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM. Parts I.-V., VII.-XXIII., XXV., XXVII.-XXXIV. 50 plates each. 1896-1914.7s.6d. each. ---- Part VI. 49 plates. 1898. 7s. 6d. ---- Part XXIV. 50 plates. 1908. Fol. 10s. ---- Part XXVI. 54 plates. 1909. Fol. 12s. ANNALS OF THE KINGS OF ASSYRIA. Cuneiform texts with transliterations and translations. Vol. I. 1903. 4to. 1l. CATALOGUE OF THE CUNEIFORM TABLETS IN THE KOUYUNJIK COLLECTION. Vol. I. 8vo. 1889. 15s. ---- Vol. II. 1891. 15s. ---- Vol. III. 1894. 15s. ---- Vol. IV. 1896. 1l. ---- Vol. V. 1899. 1l. 3s. ---- Supplement. 8vo. I914. 1l.


[1] A group of Sumerian words for "library" are (girginakku), and these seem to mean "collection of writings."

[2] These bas-reliefs show that lions were kept in cages in Nineveh and let out to be killed by the King with his own hand. There seems to be an allusion to the caged lions by Nahum (ii. 11) who says, "Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid?"

[3] (Brit. Mus., No. 91,026, Col. 1, ll. 31-33).

[4] K. 1352 is a good specimen of a catalogue (see p. 10); K. 1400 and K. 1539 are labels (see p. 12).

[5] For a full description of the general contents of the two great Libraries of Nineveh, see Bezold, Catalogue of the Cuneiform Tablets of the Kouynjik. Collection, Vol. V., London, 1899, p. xviiiff.; and King, Supplement, London, 1914, p. xviiiff.

[6] Smith, Assyrian Discoveries, London, 1875, p. 97.

[7] Published by Scheil in Maspero's Recueil, Vol. XX, p. 55ff.

[8] The text is published by A. Poebel with transcription, commentary, etc., in Historical Texts, Philadelphia, 1914, and Historical and Grammatical Texts, Philadelphia, 1914.

[9] A famous work composed by members of the College of Edessa in the fifth or sixth century A.D.

[10] A transcript of the cuneiform text by George Smith, who was the first to translate it, will be found in Rawlinson, Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia, Vol. IV., plates 43 and 44; and a transcript, with transliteration and translation by the late Prof. L. W. King, is given in his First Steps in Assyrian, London, 1898, p. 161ff.

[11] The site of this very ancient city is marked by the mounds of Frah, near the Shatt al-Kr, which is probably the old bed of the river Euphrates; many antiquities belonging to the earliest period of the rule of the Sumerians have been found there.

[12] Like the habb of modern times, a sort of cyclone.

[13] The star-gods of the southern sky.

[14] The star-gods of the northern heaven.

[15] The name of Gilgamish was formerly read "Izdubar," "Gizdubar," or "Gishdubar." He is probably referred to as [GR: Gilgamos] in Aelian, De Natura Animalium, XII, 21 (ed. Didot, Paris, 1858, p. 210).

[16] Langdon, Epic of Gilgamish, pp. 207, 208.

[17] The greater number of these have been collected, grouped and published by Haupt, Das Babylonische Nimrodepos, Leipzig, 1884 and 1891; and see his work on the Twelfth Tablet in Beitrge zur Assyriologie, Vol. I, p. 49ff.

[18] See Langdon, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Philadelphia, 1917.

[19] The city of Erech was the second of the four cities which, according to Genesis x, 10, were founded by Nimrod, the son of Cush, the "mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." The Sumerians and Babylonians called the city "Uruk Ki" ; the first sign means "dwelling" or "habitation," and the second "land, country," etc., and we may regard it as the "inhabited country," par excellence, of Lower Babylonia at a very early period. The site of Erech is well-known, and is marked by the vast ruins which the Arabs call "Warkah," or Al-Warkah. These lie in 31 19' N. Lat. and 45 40' E. Long., and are about four miles from the Euphrates, on the left or east bank of the river. Sir W. K. Loftus carried out excavations on the site in 1849-52, and says that the external walls of sun-dried brick enclosing the main portion of the ruins form an irregular circle five and a half miles in circumference; in places they are from 40 to 50 feet in height, and they seem to have been about 20 feet thick. The turrets on the wall were semi-oval in shape, and about 50 feet apart. The principal ruin is that of the Ziggurat, or temple tower, which in 1850 was 100 feet high and 200 feet square. Loftus calls it "Buwrya," i.e., "reed mats," because reed mats were used in its construction, but bryah, "rush mat," is a Persian not Arabic word, and the name is more probably connected with the Arabic "Bawr," i.e., "ruin" "place of death," etc. This tower stood in a courtyard which was 350 feet long and 270 feet wide. The next large ruin is that which is called "Waswas" (plur. "Waswis"), i.e., "large stone" The "Waswas" referred to was probably the block of columnar basalt which Loftus and Mr. T. K. Lynch found projecting through the soil; on it was sculptured the figure of a warrior, and the stone itself was regarded as a talisman by the natives. This ruin is 246 feet long, 174 feet wide and 80 feet high. On three sides of it are terraces of different elevations, but the south-west side presents a perpendicular faade, at one place 23 feet in height. For further details see Loftus, Chaldea and Susiana, London, 1857, p. 159 ff. Portions of the ruins of Warkah were excavated by the German archaeologists in 1914, and large "finds" of tablets and other antiquities are said to have been made.

The Babylonian Story of the Deluge - 8/8

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