Ancient Near East / Enuma Elish

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Date: 1800 - 1750 B.C.E.

The Enuma Elish (also known as The Seven Tablets of Creation) is the Babylonian creation myth whose title is derived from the opening lines of the piece, "When on High". The myth tells the story of the great god Marduk's victory over the forces of chaos and his establishment of order at the creation of the world.

All of the tablets containing the myth, found at Ashur, Kish, Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh, Sultantepe, and other excavated sites, date to c. 1200 BCE. Their colophons, however, indicate that these are all copies of a much older version of the myth dating from long before the reign of Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 BCE), the king who elevated the god Marduk to patron deity of Babylon. The poem in its present form, with Marduk as champion, is thought to be a revision of an even older Sumerian work.