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Lecture 3

CLAA05 - lecture 3.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Jonathan Tracy

CLAA05 – Lecture 3 – Creation Myths The Birth of Man (Enki and Ninmah) mesopotamian-mythology.html Enki is the sweet water god who is wise. In the beginning of time … Gods had to work and they grew tired and complained The gods blamed Enki Namma (primeval mother of gods) woke Enki up and told him to make a substitute for the gods. Enki decided to make a creature to bare the work of god All the gods were happy and were celebrating Enki needed Ninmah help to create man Ninmah said whether man is good or bad depends on her Enki challenged her saying he could change their fate Ninmah made a man who could not bend his arms Enki appointed him as the servant of the king Nimah made a man who was blind Enki made him the king’s musician Nimah made a man with broken feet and another with paralyzed feet Enki made them silversmiths Nimah made a man who couldn’t hold his bladder (urine) Enki bathed him in enchated water and drove out namtar (disease) demon, the man was cured Ninmah made a woman who couldn’t give birth Enki made her a weaver at the queen’s household Ninmah made a person without male or female genitalia Enki called it Nibru eunuch and made it the king’s person Enki told Ninmah that he had changed the fate of all the people she created and that now he will make one that she will have to fix (the fate) He created Umul (who is premature) Eyes and neck were afflicted Couldn’t breath properly Ribs were shaky It couldn’t feed itself It couldn’t walk Ninmah tried to care for the creature but she couldn’t She told Enki that it was neither alive nor dead Enki is praised Enki says that this creature is incomplete because it needed Ninmah *both partners are needed to create man CLAA05 – Lecture 3 – Creation Myths Enki and Ninsikila Story occurs in Dilmun (modern day Bahrain) Dilmun lay at sunrise (shamash comes) The land was pure (no disease) Enki slept with Ninsikila/Ninhursaga Ninsikila was the queen of Dilmun At this time she complained to Enki because there was nothing Enki knew that the land only needed water so he told Ninsikila to Wait for Utu (sun god) and as he rises he will bring water from the ground He told her that the pool of salt water would become fresh water Dilmun had irrigated fields and crafted homes; it would become the trade center of the lower sea Enki tried to sleep with Ninhursag but she wouldn’t allow it Eventually he convinced her and she bore Ninnisig after 9 days Ninnisig (greenery) grew old and went to the riverbank Enki saw her and went to go sleep with her On the ninth day she gave birth to Ninkura (c
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