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Abzu/Apsu: Sumerian and Babylonian Mythology

In the mythology of Sumer and Babylon, the creature known as Abzu in Sumerian and Apsu in Akkadian was believed to be an enormous ocean of freshwater mendacity beneath the earth. Water from this supply sprang forth to the floor via springs, wells, streams, rivers, and lakes. Several Mesopotamian gods have been thought to have inhabited the Apsu, together with Enki; his spouse, Damgalnuna; Enki’s minister, Isimud; and various lesser deities.

In the Babylonian fable Enuma Elish, Apsu was the identify of a primeval creature of the freshwater that lived earlier than the creation of the world. From the mingling of Apsu and Tiamat, who was the primal goddess of fertility and the saltwater sea, the lesser gods have been born. These deities created an uproar that disturbed Apsu, their begetter, and prevented him from resting throughout the day and sleeping at night time. Apsu resolved to dispose of them. When the gods heard about Apsu’s plan, they have been shocked and angered.

Ea, the god of knowledge and magic, offspring of Anu, chief of the gods, got here up with a plan to save the lesser gods. He solid a spell on Apsu, inserting him in a deep slumber, and killed him. After the homicide, Ea arrange his dwelling on the lifeless god’s physique and known as his new abode the Apsu. Ea and his spouse, Damkina, settled there. Their son, Marduk, was shaped within the Apsu and was often known as the “firstborn son of the Apsu.”

In Sumerian fable, the E-abzu (Apsu House) was the identify of Enki’s temple within the Sumerian metropolis of Eridu. (Enki was the Sumerian type of the Babylonian Ea.) Abzu shrines even have been present in cult facilities in a number of Mesopotamian cities.

In Mesopotamian thought, the Apsu was a spot linked with demons, from which varied evil gods and monsters have been stated to have come forth. The so-called Land of No Return, or the realm of the lifeless, lay beneath it. The apsu was additionally the identify given to a big water basin present in some Mesopotamian temple courtyards.