Monday, July 29

The Golden Bull + Mesopotamian Mythology

***Shout out to our 15yo for creating the Modern Mythology posts***


Between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in the area of modern-day Iraq, the Babylonian, Assyrian, Akkadian, and Sumerian civilizations all together formed ancient Mesopotamia.  Their mythologies differ a little bit, but mostly share the same stories.

This is an area of the first known human civilizations, dating to nearly 5,000 BC.  It is where three of the major world religions - Christianity, Islam, and Judaism - began.

The story of human creation begins with people coming from the mother goddess Mami.  They were created to lighten the gods' workload, and were made of clay, flesh, and the blood of a slain god.  Much later, the god Enlil tries to control their population through famine, flood, and drought.  They are saved, though, by Atrahasis, who built a boat to escape the great flood.  This is similar to the Christian story of Noah and his ark.

Another story that is similar to one in Christianity is the story of Adapa.  He was a very intelligent Sumerian who made the south wind mad.  When called forth to be judged for his actions, he was tricked by An, who offered him the food of immortality.  He had been warned not to eat or drink anything before his judgment, and so he turned down the offer.  Because of this, he never became immortal and all men had to stay mortal.  It is the explanation for man's mortality.

Read
Make / Do
Watch
Vocabulary

  • Akkadian Empire
  • Assyrian Empire
  • Babylonian Empire
  • Code of Hammurabi
  • Cuneiform
  • Cylinder seal
  • Dynasty
  • Empire
  • Fertile Crescent
  • Gilgamesh
  • Marduk
  • Mina
  • Nebuchadnezzar
  • Persian Empire
  • Shekel
  • Siege weapons
  • Sumer
  • Ziggurats
  • Zoroastrianism
Think about the Book
  • What are some of the similarities between life in Mesopotamia and our modern way of life?
  • What trait do you think is more important in acquiring new skills, natural talent or persistence?

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