CLAA05 Midterm Notes 2012 - 2013.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Classical Studies
P Ferguson

CLAA05 Midterm Notes Class 1: Mesopotamia (meaning is land between two rivers) is located between the Tigris (east) and Euphrates (west) Rivers Class 3: Creation Myths Help explain origins of: 1) Gods (order and hierarchy, forms of worship) 2) Natural world (cosmos) – how the universe and world came to be, explanations for natural phenomena 3) Humanity (origins of humankind, relationships of humans with god/cosmos) 4) Human Condition (why people must suffer and die, male/female origins + relationships) 5) Cultural Institutions – traditions and social hierarchies Cosmology -Sumerians conceived the world as a flat disk surrounding by ocean. Above is the sky (heavens residence of the gods) and beneath is the netherworld (hell) with special gods. Myth #1: Theogony of Dunnu (Dunnu is a city, theogony refers to study/tracing of lines of descent) -creation story of succession including themes of incest, patricide, matricide and succession -incest taboo is almost universal among societies but occurs often in myths because of limited popul’n -Lesson: there was never just one Mesopotamian myth of creation (contrast with Epic of Creation) Summary: Plough (male) and Earth (female) were the original gods and they created  Cattle God and Sea, Cattle killed plough and married Earth, and Sea and so on.  Hayyashum marries his sister and instead of killing his father (Harhanum) he imprisons him Themes:  Succession: Sons usurp their fathers’ power (usually the father and/or mother is killed), sometimes the daughter kills mother  Movement from plant to animal to human realms (domestication of plants and animals)  Male gods: related to power, action, domestication and technology  Female gods: related to elements of nature, wildness and greater passivity  Yearly cycle: the months relate the passing of the year, presumably building to New Year in April Myth 2: The Epic of Creation: -survives on 1 millennium tablets, but from an earlier tradition -survives in two versions: Older Babylonian version has Marduk as hero Newer Assyrian version has Assur as hero -2 Parts:  Tablets I-V: creation of gods, war b/w Marduk and Tiamat, Supremacy of Marduk, Foundation of Babylon,  Tablets VI-VII: creation of humankind Summary: *Supposed to be performed as an oral tradition to praise Marduk (festival) Tablet I:  2 primevil gods: Apsu (represents fresh water) and Tiamat (oceanic water)  Several other gods are created (Ea and his brothers) who reside in Tiamat’s vast body  The yonger gods make so much noise that annoys Apsu and he wants to kill them but Tiamat disagrees  The vizier Mummu, agrees with Apsu’s plan to destroy them but Tiamat warns Ea (Enki/Nudimmud) and he uses magic to put Apsu into a deep sleep and then kills him and builds Apsu (house) over his grave  Ea and his wife give birth to Marduk, the great god of Babylon and the hero of this myth  Anu gives 4 winds to his grandson Marduk as toys and Marduk disrupts the ocean with the waves  The other gods can’t sleep and persuade Tiamat to take revenge on Ea and she creates 11 monsters (beasts and other creatures)  Tiamat promotes the god Qingu, makes him king of the gods and leader of the army  Qingu is given the Tablet of Destinies (ability to shape the future) and is a replacement for Apsu Tablet II:  Ea learns of Tiamat’s plans and asks his grandfather Anshar (god of sky) for advice which is to soothe Tiamat  Ea tries, but is scared off so Anshar sends his son Anu (Ea’s father) and has the same result as Ea  Marduk is the only hero to fight off Tiamat and he willingly offers to do this if he can be empowered with supreme power over fate Tablet III:  Anshar sends his vizier to address the gods and to tell them of the situation, the vizier does this and the gods are surprised and hold a banquet to give Marduk what he wants (repeats of Tiamat’s monsters and Qingu, and Marduk’s offer) Tablet IV:  The gods hail Marduk as their lord, and give him symbols of kingship including many weapons  Marduk leads the gods into battle and challenges Tiamat, thus destroying her (as a sea creature) by filling her with air and piercing her with an arrow  Qingu is killed, the other gods on Tiamat’s side are spared but the monsters are captures  Marduk defiles Tiamat’s body, slices her in half like a fish Tablet V:  Marduk sets up stars, constellations, moons in Tiamat’s body cavity. He makes weather from her poison and the two rivers flow from Tiamat’s eyes.  Gods throw a party for Marduk, and he reveals his plans to found Babylon (to be his home) END of original version Tablet VI- VII(names of Marduk): Creation of humankind  Marduk decides to create mankind to work so the gods can live a life of leisure (uses blood of Qingu). They build Babylon for 2 years  Gods throw a party to celebrate Babylon, Anshar decides that mankind should worship Marduk and recites 50 names Greek connections Sumerian Language  Sumerian is the oldest written language  Akkadian is a semitic language and includes Babylonian and Assyrian dialects Myth 3: Atrahasis (similar to Noah’s Ark) Tablet I:  Anu (god of sky), Ellil (god of wind) and Enki (god of water) are the three main gods  Starts with gods already established. Annunaki (older generation of gods) make the Igigi (younger generation) dig for 3,600 years doing farm work and maintaining river/canals but the younger gods strike  Enki propose creating mankind to do the work for the gods and asks Nintu (mother goddess) to create mankind but she replies only if Enki supplies the clay  Mankind was made of (clay, blood, spit) and humans were formed  Myth explains the biology and customs of childbirth (humans carried for 9 months by midwife goddesses)  Humans work for the gods, digging canals for 1200 years until they are too numerous and noisy  Ellil tries to control popula’n with disease/famine but Enki tells Atrahasis (Noah) to save mankind Tablet II:  Ellil sends disease -> Atrahasis asks Enki for help, who says to revolt  Humans revolt by worshiping Namtara (god of fate/underworld) who removes disease  Repeat 1200 years later, (2 attempt destruction), Ellil sends drought/famine but Enki advises man to revolt by worshiping Adad (storm god) who sends mist to grow crops and this saves humankind  3 attempt: Ellil makes rivers dry up, but this time Enki says mankind deserves it and 3 years of drought follow. Gap -> saved th  4 attempt: Ellil sends disease, Atrahasis again asks for Enki’s help and he says to revolt while Ellil met with an assembly of gods because of his failed plans  5 attempt: continue with drought/famine but Adad stops the rain but still due to salt on crops humans deteriorate -> drought, famine, people resort to cannibalism  Ellil is not happy that humans are still living and decides to kill them all with a flood. Enki is found out and is required to swear in favour of the flood Tablet III:  Atrahasis has a dream, asks Enki meaning of the dream but Enki can’t tell him directly so he speaks to his hut (walls) so that Atrahasis can hear  Enki says to dismantle the huts to make a boat, two decks  Atrahasis gets help to build the boat and gathers animals, and his househould for a feast  The storm gods begin the flood but Atrahasis shuts the door to his boat while the gods become unhappy and mourn the loss of humans (lack of sacrifices)  Gap : assume end of flood after 7 days/nights  Atrahasis makes a sacrifice to the gods, and Ellil is furious that humans have survived -> blames it on Enki but he dares them to punish him  Enki arranges for Nintu to limit population by making humans grow old (have destinies) and die naturally, 1/3 of people being infertile, infant mortality (demon snatches baby) and temple priestesses will abstain from marriage. -> This explains human condition of aging, infertility and child death Class 4: Myth:  Can be described as a “traditional” story, not something untrue  Different versions of the same myth can coexist  3 main types: Divine myths, Legends and folktales Divine Myths: -main characters are divine or supernatural -include creation myths -gods may be natural elements and/or real personalities with human weaknesses Legends: -concern the great deeds of human heroes of the past, although gods can play a role -Heroes often semi-divine and are members of royalty or the nobi
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