The Legend of Etana and the history and decipherment of Sumerian and The Epic of Gilgamesh ( BC) was perhaps the first literary work in history. by Aaron Wyckoff. The Igigi, the gods of creation, created a city and laid its foundation, and called it Kish. But the people were without a king. Etana was according to the legend, the first king after the Flood. In the Epic, Etana is childless; meanwhile an eagle has ignored his own children’s advice and.

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Furthermore, the eagle seems to be a more stable character in comparison to the snake. As regards the text editions used, the article is based mainly on M. It is a new, well done contract, in contrast to the broken oath between the eagle and the snake. This, ftana, always needs to stay in mutual contact with both the godly and the natural sphere. BC and AD it is.

Enuma Elish (The Babylonian Epic of Creation) | ETANA

She rose to her feet, the lions did not stir, and to his utter amazement, She moved towards the large window on the Western Quarter and sat graciously on the window sill, Efana back to the twilit skies.

Argu- ments against this view can be found in Haul In front of him, the elegant lapis lazuli walls carved with golden lions and rosettes were a sight to behold.

She was asking and giving at the same time the Key to HerSelf, the key he had kept hidden for so long within his very Self. Then birds of prey will fly down to eat from it, including the malevolent eagle.

Etana Epic

His flight is depicted on several cylinder seals of the period. This is the development of the story described according to the Standard Babylonian version. No matter what, he proceeded to kneel and bow to the ground respectfully in front of Her.


From this I would infer that only at the end does the hero obtain his royal insignia. Therefore, one level of the myth can consist of an explanation of this symbolic function of eagles.

The text seems to consist of two separate stories.

Here are a few from Ranier Beer:. Rencontre assyriologique internationale 60th: A metaphor for me to understand the meaning of power and the exercise of justice between irreconcilable oppositions within a nation that was being built?

William Shakespeare, English poet, dramatist, and actor, often called the English national poet and considered…. Seen in this light, the myth becomes closely related to the Gilgamesh Epic in substance, and in presenting Etana as the first man to achieve the ascent, it forcefully contributes to the notion of the Mesopotamian king as the Perfect Man.

It is not only the eagle who is healed, but the whole relationship between the natural and the human world undergoes a heal- ing process. As the character of Etana primarily mediates between gods and men, as best portrayed in his flight to heaven, his goal consists on the one hand of a godly blessing of his office and on the other hand of a totally human begetting of a child.

It is possible to encounter a Myth, an Epic, and even a Legend of Etana. His breath caught for a second. All the versions are rather fragmentary, and the placing of some fragments is still disputed. There is no objective description, followed by a subjective interpretation as an overlay, simply because ot is not possible. His heart knew who She was, etans so he proceeded. Shamashin Mesopotamian religion, the god of the sun, who, with the moon god, Sin Sumerian: University of Chicago Press.

From the oldest historical document of Mesopotamia, the Sumerian King List, right after the great flood a dynasty of 23 kings ruled from the city of Kish. In this way, the help becomes mutual.

Fortune and Misfortune of the Eagle in the Myth of Etana | Evelyne Koubková –

One unworthy flight after another? Michael Haul says this about it: Treatment of the Sumerian King List or based on the classic edition by T. The motif of a man flying on an eagle can also be found on Akkadian cylinder seals see Boehmer But, again consulting the King List, the next ruler of Sumeria was Balih, the son of Etana, so make of this what you will. Even so, written sources such as the so-called Sumerian King List attest the name of Etana in connection with his flight to heaven from very early on.


The Code of Hammurabi BC was the first codification of law. He remembered Her so well, and She had not changed at all. The several heavens and heavenly palaces which Etana passes are commonplace in Hekhalot texts and later mystical literature.

In the detailed form of the legend, there is a tree with the eagle’s nest at the top, and a serpent at the base. In some versions he is successful, in other he falls back to Earth.

To bring this full circle it should be noted that beer was invented or, more likely, discovered by the Sumerians ca. The eagle might not be allowed to proceed through, because it had killed the offspring of his friend!

Tablet Inscribed in Akkadian

The list goes on, but you get the idea. Fortune and misfortune in the Ancient Near East: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh and Others. Earlier it was assumed to belong to the Standard Babylonian version.

The acquisition of the plant of birth is just another facet of the same process which can also be depicted through Etana obtaining the insignia and epc king.