Myths of Babylonia and Assyria
Page: 117This myth may be an echo of Nergal's raid against Eresh-ki-gal. Or, being associated with Cuthah, it may have been composed to encourage burial in that city's sacred cemetery, which had been cleared by the famous old king of the evil demons which tormented the dead and made seasonal attacks against the living.
Last eventideBrian an augury hath tried....The Taghairm called; by which afarOur sires foresaw the events of war.Duncraggan's milk-white bull they slew....
Decline and Fall of Sumerian Kingdoms--Elamites and Semites strive for Supremacy--Babylon's Walls, Gates, Streets, and Canals--The Hanging Gardens--Merodach's Great Temple--The Legal Code of Hammurabi--The Marriage Market--Position of Women--Marriage brought Freedom--Vestal Virgins--Breach of Promise and Divorce--Rights of Children--Female Publicans--The Land Laws--Doctors legislated out of Existence--Folk Cures--Spirits of Disease expelled by Magical Charms--The Legend of the Worm--"Touch Iron"--Curative Water--Magical Origin of Poetry and Music.
The rise of Babylon inaugurated a new era in the history of Western Asia. Coincidentally the political power of the Sumerians came to an end. It had been paralysed by the Elamites, who, towards the close of the Dynasty of Isin, successfully overran the southern district and endeavoured to extend their sway over the whole valley. Two Elamite kings, Warad-Sin and his brother Rim-Sin, struggled with the rulers of Babylon for supremacy, and for a time it appeared as if the intruders from the East were to establish themselves permanently as a military aristocracy over Sumer and Akkad. But the Semites were strongly reinforced by new settlers of the same blended stock who swarmed from the land of the Amorites. Once again Arabia was pouring into Syria vast hordes of its surplus population, with the result that ethnic disturbances were constant and widespread. This migration is termed the Canaanitic or Amorite: it flowed into Mesopotamia and across Assyria, while it supplied the "driving power" which secured the ascendancy of the Hammurabi Dynasty at Babylon. Indeed, the ruling family which came into prominence there is believed to have been of Canaanitic origin.