the-babylonians

revelationdis asked:

(Last ask from me for the night) Now that I saw that whole bit about Sugar being inspired by Babylonian mythology, I'm starting to think that my theory that the placement of each Gem's respective gem corresponding to Sephiroth (Kabbalah, tree of life) may not be too far off the mark.

I’d wager there’s a good chance that the Sephirot played some role in the concept of the gem placements and whatnot. As we’ve established, Babylonian mythology was definitely an influence so anything that may branch off of that could certainly be referenced.

I think it may be a blending of different mythologies and idealogies, along with original concepts. Like, I’d be really surprised if the gem placements don’t have something to do with chakras but I could definitely see them also being influenced by other mythologies. Making it very intricate and not something you can point to one concept and say “this is what it is”, y’know?

As a side note, I’ve always wondered about how Gems may be related to the Jewish folklore of the golem, which are magically created beings of inanimate matter. Golems are present in Babylonian mysticism and if that’s a major influence it seems possible some inspiration was taken from the concept.

The Oldest Love Poem.

The world’s oldest known love poem. According to the Sumerian belief, it was a sacred duty for the king to marry every year a priestess instead of Inanna, the goddess of fertility and sexual love, in order to make the soil and women fertile. This poem was most probably written by a bride chosen for Shu-Sin in order to be sung at the New Year festival and it was sung at banquets and festivals accompanied by music and dance.

Its translation:

Bridegroom, dear to my heart,

Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,

Lion, dear to my heart,

Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet.

[…]

Bridegroom, let me caress you,

My precious caress is more savory than honey,

In the bedchamber, honey-filled, In the bedchamber, honey-filled,

Let me enjoy your goodly beauty,

Lion, let me caress you,

My precious caress is more savory than honey.

Bridegroom, you have taken your pleasure of me,

Tell my mother, she will give you delicacies,

My father, he will give you gifts.

[…]

You, because you love me,

Give me pray of your caresses,

My lord god, my lord protector,

My SHU-SIN, who gladdens ENLIL’s heart,

Give my pray of your caresses. (x)

Courtesy & currently located at the Museum Of The Ancient Orient, Istanbul Archaeology Museums. Photo taken by Yuxuan Wang.

The figure could be an aspect of the goddess Ishtar, Mesopotamian goddess of sexual love and war, or Ishtar’s sister and rival, the goddess Ereshkigal who ruled over the Underworld, or the demoness Lilitu, known in the Bible as Lilith. The plaque probably stood in a shrine. 

Old Babylonian era, 1800-1750 BCE, from southern Iraq (place of excavation is unknown), Mesopotamia, Iraq. (The British Museum, London).

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[Mythological Female Figures 1/?]

TIAMAT
Mesopotamian Dragon Goddess of Primordial Chaos and the Sea

In the Enûma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, she gives birth to the first generation of deities; she later makes war upon them and is killed by the storm-god Marduk. The heavens and the earth are formed from her divided body.

Ummu-Hubur [Tiamat], who formed all things,
Hath made in addition weapons invincible;
she hath spawned monster-serpents,
Sharp of tooth, and merciless of fang.
With poison, instead of blood, she hath filled their bodies.
Fierce monster-vipers she hath clothed with terror,
With splendor she hath decked them; she hath made them of lofty stature.
Whoever beholdeth them is overcome by terror,
Their bodies rear up and none can withstand their attack.
She hath set up vipers, and dragons, and the monster Lahamu,
And hurricanes and raging hounds, and scorpion-men,
And mighty tempests, and fish-men and rams;
They bear cruel weapons, without fear of the fight.

Cuneiform tablet with the Atrahasis Epic. Babylonian, about 17th century BC, from Sippar, southern Iraq.

A version of the Flood story

The story outlines the structure of the universe according to Babylonian beliefs. Heaven is ruled by the god Anu, the earth by Enlil and the subterranean sweet water by Enki. The text then explains how the minor gods work in the fields but then rebel. As a result, humans are made from clay, saliva and divine blood to act as servants of the gods.

This does not prove a perfect solution, as the humans reproduce and their noise disturbs Enlil’s sleep. He decides to destroy them with plague, famine, drought and finally a flood. However, each time Enki instructs one of the humans, Atrahasis, to survive the disasters. The god gives Atrahasis seven days warning of the flood, and he builds a boat, loads it with his possessions, animals and birds. He is subsequently saved while the rest of humankind is destroyed. However, the gods are unhappy as they no longer receive the offerings they used to. There is a gap in the text at this point but it does end with Atrahasis making an offering and Enlil accepting the existence and usefulness of humans.

Copies of this story have survived from the seventeenth to the seventh century BC showing that it was copied and re-copied over the centuries. This is the most complete version. There are clear similarities between this Flood story and others known in Mesopotamian literature, for example, the Epic of Gilgamesh. (BM)

Courtesy of & currently located at the British Museum, London, ME 78941. Photo taken by Popolon.

Neo-Assyrian Head of Pazuzu, Circa 8th-7th Century BC

Pazuzu was an Assyrian and Babylonian demonic god of the 1st millennium BC. He normally has a dog-like face like here, and where his body is depicted he has a scaly torso, a snake-headed penis, the talons of a bird and usually wings.

Although Pazuzu was a malevolent force, his image was used on amulets to ward off his enemy Lamashtu, a female demon that preyed on newborn babies and their mothers. The amulet was either worn by the mother or child and larger ones were placed above their bed on a wall.

His legend was adapted and used in The Exorcist films.

Bilingual Sumerian Proverbs, Babylonia c. 2000-1700 BC

Written in Neo Sumerian and Old Babylonian cuneiform on clay, containing 42 proverbs, a folk tale and a fable. This is the only known major bilingual proverb tablet of Old Babylonian origin.

Some of the proverbs say:

-Strength does not compare to the possession of intelligence.

- My strength is my god, but it is finished by myself.

- A swift one caught a gazelle, but a strong man carried it away.

- The small pig roots, “I will not eat it for pleasure” he said.

The folk tale is about a man getting increasingly old, his declining physical abilities, and the effect of a young girl on him. It is the oldest known example of a theme well attested in later world literature. The best known examples are 1 Kings 1:1 ff. and 2:17 ff., Eccl. 12: 1-7, and the Merchant’s Tale in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.