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By Gwendolyn Leick

The Dictionary of historic close to japanese Mythology covers assets from Mesopotamia, Syro-Palestine and Anatolia, from round 2800 to three hundred BC. It includes entries on gods and goddesses, giving facts in their worship in temples, describing their 'character', as documented by way of the texts, and defining their roles in the physique of mythological narratives; synoptic entries on myths, giving where of beginning of major texts and a quick background in their transmission in the course of the a long time; and entries explaining using professional terminology, for things like different types of Sumerian texts or different types of mythological figures.

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A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology

The Dictionary of old close to jap Mythology covers resources from Mesopotamia, Syro-Palestine and Anatolia, from round 2800 to three hundred BC. It comprises entries on gods and goddesses, giving facts in their worship in temples, describing their 'character', as documented through the texts, and defining their roles in the physique of mythological narratives; synoptic entries on myths, giving where of starting place of major texts and a quick background in their transmission throughout the a long time; and entries explaining using professional terminology, for things like different types of Sumerian texts or kinds of mythological figures.

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Sample text

There he lies down to sleep. He awakes panic-stricken, having just had four frightening dreams which he relates in great detail to his sister. The dreams involve a series of destructions, affecting uncultivated plants such as rushes, trees and reeds and the vital tools of the sheepfold. He also saw four birds of evil portent. Geštinanna explains that the destruction will be performed by the demons and that it will concern Dumuzi himself. She advises her frightened brother to hide among some plants and promises not to betray his hiding place.

The text becomes almost unintelligible at this point. ), the other is called Umul (from Sumerian u4-mu-ul, ‘my day is remote’). He is very sick, suffers from headaches and his eyes and neck, heart, lungs and bowels are afflicted. He cannot feed himself, his arms and legs are weak. He is unable to walk. Enki now approaches Ninmah and asks her to decree a good fate for Umul. Ninmah questions him but he is unable to answer. She brings bread and he cannot stretch out his hands to take it. ’ Enki taunts Ninmah with his success at decreeing a good fate for the people she created and—here the text is damaged again—seems to arouse the anger of Ninmah.

During the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian periods, when the collections for the royal archives were being made, literary texts from different scribal centres were copied and occasionally amended to reflect contemporary attitudes (see for instance the Gilgameš Epic, which was given a new ending by the addition of another tablet). The Babylonians inherited the culture and religious structures of the Sumerians. The scribes of the Old Babylonian period copied and translated a number of Sumerian mythological texts (see Ištar’s Descent, the Flood-myths and parts of the Gilgameš epic).

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