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4 5 The account of the creation epic Enuma Elish the Babylonian genesis was discovered in the form of a long poem on seven tablets excavated at Ninevah in Iraq. The inscriptions date from the 2nd millennium BC, and, when translated, brought the story of the dragoness Tiamat to light. The tablets tell how in the beginning there was nothing but two elements Apsu, the spirit of fresh water, and , the spirit of salt water and chaos, portrayed as a dragoness with a serpentine body, horns, and a long tail. In the myth Tiamat gives birth to many children, the Gods, who kill their father to prevent him from destroying them. Their mothers rage at this act leads her to make war against her brood and she spawns eleven monsters the viper, shark, scorpion man, storm demon, great lion, dragon, mad dog and four nameless ones. The God Marduk then agrees to fight Tiamat. Armed with a bow and arrows, lightning and a net of four winds, he advances upon his enemy, and after an epic struggle manages to catch Tiamat in his net and drive an evil wind into her mouth, rendering her powerless and destroying her life. He divides Tiamats body into two parts which become the upper and lower firmaments the earth and skythe Babylonian world order. Tiamat thus symbolises primeval chaos, water and darkness. tIamat Opposite Marduk and Dragon. Upper, above The imperfect fusion of the traditions of Babylonian and Egyptian mythology created Tiamat, seen here fighting Marduk drawing based on a design from the second millennium B.C. Lower, above Head of Tiamat, and scorpion man from a Babylonian boundary stone.
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