In Babylonian custom, Adapa was recognized
as a clever man or sage from the early Sumerian metropolis of Eridu. The fable of Adapa offers with the subject of mortality.
The Sumerian kings checklist, an historical text itemizing the kings of Sumer, data the existence of ﬁve cities that predate the Flood. These early cities had been dominated by eight legendary kings, every of whom reigned for a number of centuries. The ﬁrst seven of these antediluvian rulers had been served by semidivine counselors, known as apkallu, who launched studying and the humanities to Sumer. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, the apkallu are mentioned to have laid the muse for the wall that surrounded Uruk. According to Babylonian legend, Adapa was one of many clever apkallu from the preﬂood metropolis of Eridu.
An unnamed Babylonian poet penned a mythic story about Adapa that explores the enduring theme of human mortality. Why, the story asks, ought to people be mortal and the gods immortal? The story opens with an outline of Adapa as an excellent human being: ritually observant and excellent in knowledge. As a servant of the god Ea, Adapa carried out the divine rites with nice care, baking bread, getting ready food and drink, setting the desk with clear fingers, and catching ﬁsh for Ea’s cult at Eridu.
One day whereas Adapa was out ﬁshing, a south wind got here up and capsized his boat. Adapa was thrown overboard and spent the day “in the home of the ﬁsh.” Wet and indignant, he cursed the wind, and the facility of his spell broke its wings. For seven days, the wind was incapacitated, and the air was nonetheless over the land.
Annoyed, the supreme god, Anu, summoned Adapa to seem earlier than him. Ea, realizing that Adapa could be granted an viewers in heaven and never wishing to lose his companies, suggested Adapa to humble himself and stand in mourning garb together with his hair matted as an indication of grief earlier than Anu’s gatekeepers, Dumuzi and Gishzida. Ea’s plan was to so bemuse these two deities that they might intercede on Adapa’s behalf and plead his case earlier than Anu. Ea additionally suggested Adapa not to settle for heaven’s hospitality and to reject any food or drink provided to him, for such choices had been the food and drink of loss of life.
Upon his arrival in heaven, Adapa adopted Ea’s recommendation. He so amused the gatekeepers that they interceded and pleaded his case. When Adapa appeared earlier than Anu, the supreme god provided him food and drink, a ceremony of hospitality carried out just for visiting deities. Adapa declined the providing, not realizing that acceptance would have granted him everlasting life.
Anu laughed on the sage’s naïveté and requested him why he didn’t eat or drink. Adapa answered that Ea had suggested him within the methods of heaven and that he was merely following Ea’s directions. Anu advised Adapa that he had provided him everlasting life and that his refusal meant that he would stay a mortal.
And so, due to Adapa’s selection, all people are mortal.