NES (ACABS 314): 611

Akkadian Documents

Fall 2000

Instructor: N Yoffee

Office hrs: T 2-3, W 11-12, Th 2-3 or by appt (

Frieze Bldg B-188

Class meetings: Wed 2-5 (room B-188)


This term we shall read the "Babylonian epic of creation" (enuma elish). Toward the end of the term, we may read some Old Babylonian legal texts in anticipation of the Winter semester (612) when we'll concentrate on such texts. (Optionally, we can survey Akkadian dialects and scripts).


Grading will be based on in-class recitations and a term paper (5000 words minimum).


ENUMA ELISH. The Babylonian Epic of Creation. The Cuneiform Text. Text established by W.G. Lambert and copied out by Simon B. Parker. Oxford: Clarendon Press (1966 with several reprintings)

Enuma Elish. Booklet of photocopied texts prepared by Aaron Shafer. Jerusalem (undated)

F.N.H. al-Rawi and A.R. George

1990 Tablets from the Sippar Library II: Tablet II of the Babylonian Creation Epic. Iraq 52: 149-157

F.N.H. al-Rawi and J.A. Black

1994 A New Manuscript of enma eliš, Tablet VI. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 46: 131-139


Date of the text

Language of the text

Creation motifs in Mesopotamian literature

En.el. in the aktu festival

Literary/religious precursors of the text

Western motifs in the text

Select bibliography

Black, Jeremy

1981 The New Year Ceremonies in Ancient Babylon: 'Taking Bel by the Hand' and a Cultic Picnic. Religion 11: 39-59

(See also F. Thureau-Dangin [1921], Rituels accadiens and S. Pallis [1926], The Babylonian akitu Festival)

(See Mark Cohen, The Cultic Calendars of the Ancient Near East (1993), pp. 400-453 on aktu festival)

Böhl, F.

1936/7 Die fünfzig Namen des Marduk. Archiv für Orientforschung 11: 191-217

Bottéro, J.

1977 Les noms de Marduk. Essays on the Ancient Near East in Memory of Jacob J. Finkelstein, ed. by Maria deJ. Ellis (and Jerrold Cooper and Norman Yoffee), pp. 5-28. Hamden: American Oriental Society

(Essays on en.el. and on cosmogony appear in B's Mythes et rites de Babylone, Paris, 1985)

Dalley, S.

1989 Myths from Mesopotamia. Oxford: Oxford University Press

1997 Statues of Marduk in Enuma eliš. Archiv für Orientforschung 24: 163-171

Foster, Benjamin

1993 Before the Muses. Bethesda: CDL (see pp. 351-402 also for bibliography)

Frymer-Kensky, Tikvah

1983 The Tribulations of Marduk: The So-called "Marduk Ordeal Text." Journal of the American Oriental Society 131-141

Heidel, Alexander

1951 The Babylonian Genesis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Jacobsen, T.

1968 The Battle Between Marduk and Tiamat. Journal of the American Oriental Society 88: 104-108

1977 Religious Drama in ancient Mesopotamia. In Unity and Diversity: Essays in the History, Literature, and Religion of the Ancient Near East, ed. by H. Goedicke and J. Roberts, pp. 65-97. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press

(See also J-M Durand, "Le mythogème du combat entre le Dieu de l'Orage et la Mer en Mésopotamie". MARI 7 (1993): 41-61)

Labat, R.

1935 Le poème babylonien de la création. Paris.

Lambert, W.G.

1957 Ancestors, Authors, and Canonicity. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 11: 1-9

1963 The Great Battle of the Mesopotamian Religious Year: The Conflict in the Akitu House. Iraq 25: 189-90

1964 The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar I: A Turning Point in the History of Ancient Mesopotamian Religion. In The Seed of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of T.J. Meek, ed. By W.S. McCullough, pp. 3-13. Toronto: Toronto University Press

1965 A New Look at the Babylonian Background of Genesis. Journal of Theological Studies 16: 123-132

1975 The Cosmology of Sumer and Babylon. In Ancient Cosmologies, ed. By C. Blacker and M. Loewe, pp. 42-65. London: George Allen and Unwin

1986 Ninurta Mythology in the Babylonian Epic of Creation. In Keilschriftliche Literaturen (RAI), ed by K. Hecker and W. Sommerfeld, pp. 55-60. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer

1991 The Relationship of Sumerian and Babylonian Myth as Seen in Accounts of Creation. In La circulation des biens, des personnes et des idées dans le proche-orient ancien, ed. D. Charpin and F. Joannès, pp. 129-135. Paris

199 translation in Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments III/4

Lambert, W.G. and P. Walcott

1965 A New Babylonian Theogony and Hesiod. Kadmos 4: 30-34

Landsbarger, B. and J.V. Kinnier-Wilson

1961 The Fifth Tablet of Enuma Eliš. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 20: 154-

Matouš, L.

1961 Zur Datierung von enma eliš. Archiv Orientalni 30-34\\

Michalowski, P.

1990 Presence at the Creation. In Lingering Over Words: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran, eds. T. Abusch, J. Huehnergard, P. Steinkeller, pp. 381-396. Atlanta: Scholars Press

Pongratz-Leisten, B.

1994 Ina Šulmi Irub: Die kulttopographische und ideologische Programmatik der akit-Prozession in Babylonien und Assyrien im 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr.. Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern

(See review by a. George, BiOr 53: 363-395 (1996)

von Soden, W.

1931 and 1933 Der hymnische-epische Dialekt des Akkadischen. Zeitschrift der Assyriologie 40: 163-227 and ZA 41: 90-183

Sommerfeld, W.

1982 Der Aufstieg Marduks. AOAT 213. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchner Verlag

(See review of W.G. Lambert, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 47 (1984):4-6)

Speiser, E.A.

1967 The "Elative" in West Semitic and Akkadian. In Oriental and Biblical Studies: Collected Writings of E.A. Speiser, ed by J.J. Finkelstein and M. Greenberg, pp. 465-493. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press