THE FOUNDING OF ERIDU – A LATER RETELLING

Origin/Historian/Author: Early Kassite Babylonian (ca 1600 BCE)
Source: The Sacred Books and Literature of the East, By Prof. Charles F. Horne, Ph.D.

Full Text Below (3)

The holy house, the house of the gods, in the holy place
had not yet been made;
No reed had sprung up, no tree had been created.
No brick had been laid, no building had been set up;
No house had been erected, no city had been built;
5 No city had been made, no creature had been created.
Nippur had not been made, E-kur had not been built;
Uruk had not been created, E-ana had not been built;
The Deep had not been created, Eridu had not been built;
Of the holy house, the house of the gods, the habitation
had not been made.
10 All lands were sea.
At that time there was a movement in the sea;
Then was Eridu made, and E-sagil was built,
E-sagil, where in the midst of the Deep the god Lugal-dul-
azaga (4) dwelleth;
The city of Babylon was built, and E-sagil was finished.
15 The gods, the Anunnaki, he (5) created at one time;
The holy city, the dwelling of their hearts’ desire, they
proclaimed supreme.
Marduk laid a reed upon the face of the waters,
He formed dust and poured it out beside the reed.
That he might cause the gods to dwell in the habitation of
their hearts’ desire,
20 He formed mankind.
The goddess Aruru together with him (6) created the seed
of mankind.
The beasts of the field and living creatures in the field he
formed.
He created the Tigris and the Euphrates, and he set them
in their place;
Their names he declared in goodly fashion.
25 The grass, the rush of the marsh, the reed, and the forest
he created,
The green herb of the field he created,
The lands, the marshes, and the swamps;
The wild cow and her young, the wild calf; the ewe and
her young, the lamb of the fold;
Plantations and forests;
30 The he-goat and the mountain-goat . . . him.
The lord Marduk laid in a dam by the side of the sea,
He … a swamp, he made a marsh,
… he brought into existence.
Reeds he formed, trees he created;
35 … he made in their place.
Bricks he laid, buildings he set up;
Houses he made, cities he built;
Cities he made, creatures he created.
Nippur he made, E-kur he built;
40 Uruk he made, E-ana he built.

[The rest of the Obverse and the beginning of the Reverse
of the tablet are wanting.]

REVERSE

Thy exalted minister is Papsukal, the wise counselor of
the gods.
……..
5 May Nin-aha-kudu, the daughter of Ea,
Purify thee with the pure censer,
And may she cleanse thee with cleansing fire!
With a cup of pure water from the Deep shalt thou purify
thy way!
……..
10 By the incantation of Marduk, the king of the hosts of
heaven and earth,
May the abundance of the land enter into thee,
And may thy decree be accomplished forever!
O E-zida, thou glorious dwelling, thou art dear unto the
hearts of Anu and Ishtar!
……..
15 May E-zida shine like the heavens, may it be bright like
the earth, may it be glorious like the heart of heaven,
And may … be firmly established!

(3) From the translation of L. H. King.
(4) Or, Lugal-du-azaga.
(5) I.e., Marduk.
(6) The Sumerian version reads “together with the god.”