Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria

Page: 77

[1] That is, we have no definite historical notices concerning him, but we may infer from internal evidence in his saga that he possesses a certain amount of historicity.

[2] By the discovery by Mr T. Pinches in a lexicographical tablet that Gisdhubar=Gilgamesh.

[3] The inconsistency in details is caused by the composite nature of the tale, which is drawn from two different tablets.

[4] These remarks are perhaps not to be taken literally of Eabani. They represent the entirely formal manner in which any deceased Babylonian was addressed.

[Pg 184]


The reign of Khammurabi is a convenient point at which to observe general changes in and later introductions to the pantheon of the Babylonian gods. The political alterations in the kingdom were reflected in the divine circle. Certain gods were relegated to the cold shades of obscurity, whilst new deities were adopted and others, hitherto regarded as negligible quantities, were exalted to the heights of heavenly omnipotence. The worship of Merodach first came into prominence in the days of Khammurabi. But his cult is so outstanding and important that it has been deemed better to deal with it in a separate and later chapter. Meanwhile we shall examine the nature of some of the gods who sprang into importance at or about the era of the great law-maker, and note changes which took place with regard to others.

Nebo Son of Merodach, God of Wisdom, and the inventor of writing.—Photo W. A. Mansell and Co.