Myths of Babylonia and Assyria

Page: 82

Merodach drove on, and at length he drew nigh to the secret lair of Tiamat, and he beheld her muttering with Kingu, her consort. For a moment he faltered, and when the gods who followed him beheld this, their eyes were troubled.

Tiamat snarled nor turned her head. She uttered curses, and said: "O Merodach, I fear not thy advance as chief of the gods. My allies are assembled here, and are more powerful than thou art."

Merodach uplifted his arm, grasping the dreaded thunderstone, and spake unto Tiamat, the rebellious one, saying: "Thou hast exalted thyself, and with wrathful heart hath prepared for war against the high gods and their fathers, whom thou dost hate in thy heart of evil. Unto Kingu thou hast given the power of Anu to decree fate, because thou art hostile to what is good and loveth what is sinful. Gather thy forces together, and arm thyself and come forth to battle."

When Tiamat heard these mighty words she raved and cried aloud like one who is possessed; all her limbs shook, and she muttered a spell. The gods seized their weapons.

Tiamat and Merodach advanced to combat against one another. They made ready for battle. The lord of the high gods spread out the net which Anu had given him. He snared the dragon and she could not escape. Tiamat opened her mouth which was seven miles wide, and Merodach called upon the evil wind to smite her; he caused the wind to keep her mouth agape so that she could not close it. All the tempests and the hurricanes entered in, filling her body, and her heart grew weak; she gasped, overpowered. Then the lord of the high gods seized his dart and cast it through the lower part of her body; it tore her inward parts and severed her heart. So was Tiamat slain.

Merodach overturned the body of the dead dragon and stood upon it. All the evil gods who had followed her were stricken with terror and broke into flight. But they were unable to escape. Merodach caught them in his great net, and they stumbled and fell uttering cries of distress, and the whole world resounded with their wailing and lamentations. The lord of the high gods broke the weapons of the evil gods and put them in bondage. Then he fell upon the monsters which Tiamat had created; he subdued them, divested them of their powers, and trampled them under his feet. Kingu he seized with the others. From this god great Merodach took the tablets of fate, and impressing upon them his own seal, placed them in his bosom.

So were the enemies of the high gods overthrown by the Avenger. Ansar's commands were fulfilled and the desires of Ea fully accomplished.

Merodach strengthened the bonds which he had laid upon the evil gods and then returned to Tiamat. He leapt upon the dragon's body; he clove her skull with his great club; he opened the channels of her blood which streamed forth, and caused the north to carry her blood to hidden places. The high gods, his fathers, clustered around; they raised shouts of triumph and made merry. Then they brought gifts and offerings to the great Avenger.