Adapa's Treatise On Sumerian Religion

Vatic Note:  One of my side interests is art, both 2 and 3 dimensional works.  I do both painting, and jewelry design and creation.  In doing this when I was in high school, I studied Art History, self taught, all the way back to the Egyptians and then the Greeks, and then the Romans.  As you can tell, I am also a history buff.  

This was my first encounter with pre-egyptian times, so this was fascinating how these people could do art work that lasts for eternity through carvings and modified sculpting.  But more importantly, how HISTORY & RELIGION was recorded through these art works.  If we had not had these, history would have been lost forever.  What is amazing about it, is this below was the first civilization in recorded history that we know about.  The first written language was done by these people and it was cuneiform, pre Egyptian hieroglyphics

This below is the telling of the origins of man as made by the Gods, using both myth/religion and art.   Almost all of ancient history was done in this manner in almost every culture.  As with the Bible,  most history was recorded in parables that the uneducated masses could relate to based on their culture.

In the Bibles' time they were an agriculture and fishing society, so the parables were relate to those topics that the people worked with every day.  As society progressed into a society with more time on their hands to develop their minds, and encourage deeper thinking and pondering, then came more philosophical concepts, that coincided with the advent of writing and thus Greek mythology were more pointed in esoteric thought.

Please enjoy the read and be amazed at some of these myths these people had. It was fascinating to me to see how they saw their world before it became commercialized with material wants and gains.  It was a much more beautiful AND MAGICAL world to live in, since so much of it was done in the mind.  I also enjoy the "mysteries" based on the meanings of these art works.

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            Adapa's Treatise On Sumerian Religion
by Adapa...of the The Twin Rivers Rising

from GatewayToBabylon Website


   From the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History - "Works of art" collection

Creation mythology is generally divisible into two types: Cosmogony - relating to the creation of the 'Cosmos', and Anthropogony - relating to the creation of humanity. The distinction is important because while specific texts exist relating to Sumerian anthropogony, no direct texts exist relating to Cosmogony. 

Rather, what we do know of their beliefs on the matter must often be gleaned from wholly unrelated texts. Though the cosmogonies presented in these texts are subject to some variation, distinct patterns can be grasped which give important insight into the Sumerian beliefs regarding the creation of the cosmos. 
Two fairly dissimilar approaches can be seen in Sumerian texts. The first, called the Eridu Model, relates to the beliefs of those situated in the southern regions of the country. The realm of the primal divine here is neither heaven, nor earth, but water. This realm is defined by the term Engur. This term is synonymous with Abzu, the "sweet waters of the deep," and is defined as the subterranean source of the waters which emerge from beneath the ground. 

This water was believed to be the source of the fertile marshes which gave life to this region of the country. The sign used for Engur can also be used for Nammu, the Mother Goddess prevalent in early Mesopotamian theology. Texts describe Engur/Nammu as 'the mother, first one, who gave birth to the gods of the universe.' 
"She is a goddess without a spouse, the self-procreating womb, the primal matter, the inherently female and fertilizing waters of the abzu."{1} The Northern Model substitutes the primacy of water with the duality of earth and sky. "Heaven and Earth here are both regarded as prima materia and generators of life; this is made explicit by the fact that they are both equated with the symbol Engur"{2} 

Sometimes one or the other is considered to have existed first. In the god-list, for example, An is said to be born of Earth, i.e. Uras (the masculine earth), and Ninuras (the feminine earth). 
A genealogy of Enlil also describes the earth as having appeared first, but focuses solely on its feminine, agricultural aspect. The text concerning the origin of the "toothworm" (thought to be the source of toothaches) lists the sky as being first, "After Anu{3} had created heaven, heaven had created earth, Earth had created rivers, rivers created canals, canals created the marsh, the marsh created the worm."{4} The most widely-accepted cosmology, however, is to be found in the text "Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld", wherein we are told:

"In primeval days, in distant primeval days, In primeval nights, in far-off primeval nights, In primeval years, in distant primeval years - In ancient days when everything vital had been brought into existence, In ancient days when everything vital had been nurtured, When bread had been tasted in the shrines of the land, When bread had been baked in the ovens of the land - When heaven had been moved away from earth, When earth had been separated from heaven, When the name of man had been fixed - When An had carried off heaven, When Enlil had carried off earth" {5} 

Cosmic creation was thus born of the separation of the Primal Unformed mass of Heaven/Earth. This mass, it appears, was given birth to by Nammu/Engur.
What we have no Sumerian source for, unfortunately, is an explanation of how Nammu/Engur was engendered, or whether on the contrary she was a preexistent force. It may well be here that the Babylonian Creation myth was seen as helpful by the semites, for there the 'Preexisting Primordial Waters' are said to have first engendered Mummu (Nammu). 

In a Tablet which lists the Sumerian Gods, Nammu is described as "the mother who gave birth to heaven and earth."{6} Thereafter, It was the Union of An with Ki, 'heaven' with 'earth', which produced the 'great gods', the Annunaki, as we are told in the "Myth of Cattle and Grain."{7} Enlil thus engendered, it was He who separated the two cosmic forces, "The Lord, that which is appropriate verily caused to appear, the lord whose decisions are unalterable, Enlil who brings up the seed of the land from the earth, took care to move away earth from heaven, took care to move away heaven from earth."{8} 
This Heaven/Earth mass must be viewed not as comprised of otherwise separable pieces, but as being an Essential Unity which encompasses this duad, "For the Mesopotamian, earth and the heavens above were not separate domains but were two parts of the one realm. Earth and heaven were complimentary, one depended upon the other and both were equally important."{9} 

In this way, the initial creative force, as viewed by the Sumerians, was very ³atomic² in nature: creation issued forth from a perceived whole which, nevertheless, was comprised of constituent forces; and it was the separation of these forces - "splitting the atom", so the speak - which fueled this creation. It is for this reason that such attention is paid to this act of separation itself in the creative scheme. This power, which the Ancient Sumerians saw as inherent in this separation of united forces, would continue to be important in the religious context; where incantations were generally grounded in conjuration 'by Heaven and Earth'.

The creation and propagation of plant life thereafter was seen, in contrast, to have resulted from the union, rather than the separation, of the primal Earth and Sky; the same union which had given birth to the Great Gods:

"The Great Earth made herself glorious, her body flourished with greenery. Wide Earth put on silver metal and lapis lazuli ornaments, adorned herself with diorite, calcedony, carnelian, and diamonds. Sky covered the pastures with irresistible sexual attraction, presented himself in majesty, The pure young woman showed herself to the pure Sky, the vast Sky copulated with the wide Earth, the seed of the heroes Wood and Reed he ejaculated into her womb, the Earth, the good cow, received the good seed of Sky in her womb. The Earth, for the happy birth of the Plants of Life, presented herself{10}"

Thus we see how the creative energies have been transformed from atomic (energy from separation) to sexual (energy from union) as the process of universal conception proceeded. Movement to this form of sexual imagery would continue in Sumerian accounts of the creation of man. The Etana myth gives us some insight into the shape of this created universe. 

Therein, the hero Etana was carried up into the heavens by his companion, the Eagle. Etana was thereby able to describe the shape of the world from his lofty perspective. This shape would resemble an overturned boat adrift upon the sea.{11} The great mountain which constituted the Earth was thought to be hemispherical in shape. This hemisphere floated upon the earthly sea, resting above the Deep Waters of the Apsu which supported it all. At some distance above the Earth was stretched out the Heavens, which were in the shape of a hemisphere, as well. Further:

"Above the dome of Heaven was another mass of water, a heavenly ocean, which the solid dome of Heaven supported and kept in its place, so that it might not break through and flood the Earth. On the under side of the dome the stars had their courses and the Moon god his path. In the dome, moreover, were two gates, one in the east and the other in the west, for the use of...the Sun god {12} Utu would thus step out upon the earth from the mountains of sunset, located at the eastern edge of the Earthly hemisphere; and step back down to the Great Below from the mountains of sunset, located at the western edge."

Located in this underworld was the realm of the dead, Arallu. 
We know from the myth of Inanna's Descent that this realm was girdled by 'seven walls pierced by seven gates', the first gate being known as Ganzir. At the center of these walls stood Egalkurzagin, the "lustrous mountain palace" which housed the denizens of the Underworld. Between the heavens and the Earth (though classified as a part of the "Earth") was a region in which earthly atmospheric activity took place. The foundation of the Heavens, though, rested upon the extremities of the Earth.{13} Above this foundation was the lower zone of Heaven, "Ul-gana", where the periodical motions of the planets was thought to occur. Above this region was the e-sara, where the fixed stars resided. The heavenly firmament, in turn, supported the ocean of the celestial waters, the Ziku.{14}

The source of a Sumerian Anthropogony is more direct than that which we have for Cosmogony. It is to be found in the text known as "The Birth of Man". The lesser gods, we are told, bore the lot of hard labor to support themselves and the 'great gods'.

When the gods acted like men, they did the work and labored. Their labor was enormous, the corvée too hard, the work too long because the great Anunnaki made the Igiggi carry the workload sevenfold{15} (VN: this is what our evil demons are trying to get back too.  Slavery that served them so well.  Right now they have to worry about how to steal wealth from those earning it, and how to protect it and preserve it, once they obtain it from us,  but with slavery, its always there, and you never have to worry, except in keeping the slaves under control and the RFID CHIP will do that, as the Bible says.  Without the mark of the beast you won't be able to buy or sell.

But this life of toil soon brought dissension, and the lesser gods threatened revolt. Namma, mother of Enki, brings word of this threat to her son. Enki resolves to create a substitute for the gods' harsh labors. From Enki came forth the Foetus of future mankind:

"Enki, at his mother Namma's word, rose from his bed, in Halankug, his room for pondering, he smote the thigh, the ingenious and wise one, skillful custodian of heaven and earth, creator and constructor of everything, had Imma-en and Imma-shar come out. Enki reached out his arm towards them, and a foetus was getting big there, and for Enki it was awakening to consciousness in the heart{16}" 


Enki then calls on Namma (Nammu) to 'drench the core of the Apsu clay' from whence the Gods were born. Therein Enki places the Foetus, and thus in Namma was the Embryo of mankind brought to fruition.{17} This legend is further elaborated on in the Atrahasis myth. Here again, man's creation is again necessitated by the toil's the gods are forced to endure. In response, Enki is called on to bring forth man with the help of Nintu (Mami). Enki replies:

"On the first, seventh and fifteenth of the month I shall make a purification by washing.{18} Then one God should be slaughtered. And the gods can be purified by immersion. Nintu shall mix the clay with his flesh and blood. Then a god and a man will be mixed together in clay. Let us hear the drumbeat forever after, let a ghost come into existence from the God's flesh, let her proclaim it as her living sign. Let her inform him while alive of his token. And so that there be no forgetting, the ghost shall remain{19}"

This is one of the most amazing passages, in my mind, in Sumerian literature. To even begin to pierce its depths is a difficult task. I first make note of the "ghost" which is born of Enki's ritual here described. Modern scholars generally hold this term to be a play on words between etemmu, "ghost"; and temu, "intelligence". 

This ignores the fact that "etemmu" is also the term used to describe the disembodied spirit of a man which survives after death: the Soul. Thus, it is important to realize that from the body of the slain god a Soul itself was engendered, not just some earthly creature born of transformed apsu-clay.
In addition, this Soul was to serve a greater purpose than that elaborated in "The Birth of Man"

While man was still destined to fulfill the labors once required of the gods in toiling upon the Earth, the Soul which was created was to serve as the living sign of the slain god. So that this sacrifice was never forgotten, the Soul would ever remain, "let us hear the drumbeat forever after...". Thus man was created as both a physical creature, born of the fertile clay of the apsu; and a spiritual creature, endowed with the blood of the gods, and granted an imperishable soul that he might ever serve as the living sign of this sacrifice.


Thorkild Jacobsen, in his seminal work, Treasures of Darkness, characterizes Sumerian religion in terms of the concept of "immanence". The abstraction of deity in early Sumeria, in other words, was developed from primitive attempts at conceptualizing the forces which comprised the natural world and the phenomena therein. 

It is a naturally pantheistic mindset, subject to plurality limited only by the extent of intelligible divisions in nature itself. These early deities took forms which were intrinsically tied to the phenomena they represented; hence Ninurta, the ancient Sumerian thunder-god, was conceptualized as a great winged lion, whose roars thundered across the lands in times of storm. 
As the society developed, these deities gradually anthropomorphized; slowly taking human form, and attendant human personas, "The gods were detached gradually from the phenomena of nature and of culture to which they had been tied and took a certain distance from them."{20} With these broadened personalities came broadened roles, as the germ of the numinal phenomena blossomed to cover a wide range of related abstractions. 
Thus, as the concept of the deity Ninurta progressed, for example, he came to be viewed as possessing a human form; and his role broadened from that of a primitive thunder god, to a God of war and of the spring storms which brought fertility to the land. While society's views of the divine and their roles in the cosmos were expanding, however, the strong ties of these gods to the related numina of the deity would remain a central feature of the Sumerian religion. The central role of mankind in this cosmic scheme was service to the gods.{21}

The theocentric liturgy, as we would call it, was entirely identified with the "support of the gods," in other words with the provision to these high personalities of all that was needed or useful to lead an opulent and agreeable life entirely devoted to the government of the universe, a life even better and more blessed than that of the kings of the earth{22} 

This service generally took two forms : provision and worship. Mankind was charged with providing the daily necessities of the gods; food, water, beer. Mankind was also bound to the worship of the gods. This generally took the form of sacrificial offerings (both in the form of animal sacrifice, and offerings of incense and such), prayers and hymns, and prescribed cyclical rituals. Central to both forms of service was the cult statue:

"Fundamentally, the deity was considered present in its image if it showed certain specific features and paraphernalia and was cared for in the appropriate manner, both established and sanctified by the tradition of the sanctuary. The god moved with the image when the latter was carried off - expressing thus his anger against his city or an entire country. Only on the mythological level were the deities thought to reside in cosmic localities{23}"

The creation of these 'divine receptacles', as it were, was painstaking. Careful attention was paid to the ritualistic metamorphosis which would transform the lifeless statue into the manifestation of the god it represented, "during these nocturnal ceremonies they were endowed with 'life', their eyes and mouths were 'opened' so that the images could see and eat, and they were subject to the 'washing of the mouth,' a ritual thought to impart special sanctity."{24} 

The latter ceremony, sacred to Enki, was related to the sacred immersion in the blood of a slain god which was said to purify the divine, "On the first, seventh and fifteenth of the month I shall make a purification by washing.
Then one God should be slaughtered, and the gods can be purified by immersion."{25} Central to the maintenance of the divine figure were its daily meals. 

This generally consisted of a morning meal, brought in when the temple opened for the day; and an evening meal, served immediately before the closing of the sanctuary doors. These meals appear to have been served in a very precise manner, likely mirroring the custom of such meals at the royal households:

"First, a table was brought in and placed before the image, then water for washing was offered in a bowl. A number of liquid and semi liquid dishes in appropriate serving vessels were placed on the table in a prescribed arrangement, and containers with beverages were likewise set out. Next, specific cuts of meat were served as a main dish. Finally, fruit was brought in in what one of the texts takes the trouble to describe as a beautiful arrangement, thus adding an esthetic touch comparable to the Egyptian use of flowers on such occasions. Musicians performed, and the cella was fumigated{26}...Eventually, the table was cleared and removed and water in a bowl again offered to the image for the cleansing of the fingers{27}"

The food ritually partaken of by the deity was thereby thought to be blessed by such divine contact. As the food was considered capable of transferring this blessing to the person who was to eat it, the food was sent on to the king. Similarly, the water from the bowl which touched the images fingers was sprinkled upon the king and the priests to confer blessings.

That man was mortal, this the ancient Sumerians knew. They attempt to explain this mortal state in both the Atrahasis and Adapa myths. However, that man's Soul was immortal, of this they were equally certain.{28} The life led by these etemmu was, however, not an enviable one. The voyage upon this new life began at after the funerary rites, when the shade would begin its journey to the netherworld through an aperture which would open in the tomb allowing access to the Great Below.{29} If the proper funerary rites were not offered; or even worse, if the body was not buried; the Etemmu would remain upon the earth, wandering aimlessly, forced to eat only the gutter scraps and dirty water it might happen upon.{30} 

Those fortunate enough to be buried properly did not fare much better for food, as is attested by numerous myths, such as the Gilgamesh epic; "Earth is their food, their nourishment clay; ghosts like birds flutter their wings there, on the gate-posts the dust lies undisturbed."{31} As a result, food and water funerary offerings were of great importance, and as such were an important obligation of surviving friends and family. Countless grave sites uncovered in the region include ritual platforms and containers in which food and water offerings were made, apparently at prescribed times of the month or year. 
While such offerings could make life in the underworld more bearable, in the end the lot of those below was dreary and monotonous, and surely to be avoided.{32} "The Sumerians had a very hazy idea about any other life than this. For them there was no Hell, and no Paradise; the spirit of man lived after death but at best in a ghostly and a miserable world"{33} Such a view of the afterlife would appear to foreclose the possibility of reincarnation as a possible tenant of Sumerian Religion, and indeed there is little or no explicit reference to this belief in existing texts. This would indeed be ironic, however, given what we know of the religion:

"The belief in resurrection was so well suited to the Mesopotamian view of life, that the wonder would be, not that they should have conceived of it, but rather that they should not. For to them, more than any other people of antiquity, this belief lay ready to hand. They saw the sun rise and set from day to day, and to them it was a mystery requiring explanation. They pondered over it and found its place in their mythology and religion. 

They saw the passage of the sun from the summer to the winter solstice and back again, year after year; the cycle of the moon's phases; and venus disappear as the evening star only to reappear as the morning star. All these changes represented to them the life and death of the gods, and their restoration to life. It would be strange indeed if the Mesopotamians, with such a lively conception of the return to life of the gods above them, and the animals and plants below, never asked themselves, "will not man too sometimes come forth from the underworld?{34}"

The answer may simply be that they did believe in personal reincarnation, despite the lack of explicit reference to such belief. Indeed, in an obscure myth we are told, "After the Watcher and the Turnkey have greeted a man, the Annunaki, the Great Gods, assemble; Mammi, the one who fixes the fate, decides the fates with them. They determine death and life, but the days of death they do not fix."{35} Here, the gods determine not life and death , but death and life, i.e that these gods determine whether a man is to be restored to life after his days in the underworld are at an end, though the number of these days they do not determine.{36} 

Indeed, to speak of the 'days of death' would seem to imply that they are not without end. Additionally, we know from several myths of the existence of the Waters of Life in the Underworld. In the Gilgamesh epic, for example, we are told how Gilgamesh is brought to a source of water, and there allowed to wash - returning to him the life he had lost in his journey below:

"Ur-Shanabi took him and brought him to a wash-bowl and he washed in water his filthy hair, as clean as possible. He threw away his skins, and the sea carried them off. His body was soaked until it was fresh. He put a new headband on his head. He wore a robe as a proud garment until he came to his city, until he reached his journey's end. The garment would not discolor, and stayed absolutely new{37}"

But why were the waters of life located in the underworld if not that they bore a direct relationship to it's denizens: the dead? Accepting this, what other conclusion can be reached but that the reincarnation of the dead was an actual principal of Mesopotamian theology? Such an explanation sheds more light on the Adapa myth. Here, Enki creates his chief priest Adapa, "He (Ea) made broad understanding perfect in him, to disclose the design of the land. To him he gave wisdom, but did not give eternal life."{38} It is Adapa who tends the rites of Enki's temple; who bakes the daily bread and gathers the fish to feed the temple-priests. On one such journey upon the sea, seeking fish, Adapa's boat is overturned by the South Wind. In his anger, Adapa breaks the South Wind's wings. 

An, when he discovers this, sends for Adapa to face his wrath. Enki teaches Adapa how to avoid An's anger by enlisting the aid of Dumuzi and Ningiszida, but he instructs Adapa not to eat the food they offer for it is the bread of death, nor take the drink they offer for it is the water of death. This Adapa does, "They fetched him the bread of life, but he would not eat. They fetched him the water of life, but he would not drink. They fetched him a garment, and he put it on himself. They fetched him oil, and he anointed himself. Anu watched him and laughed at him. 'Come Adapa, why didn't you eat? Why didn't you drink? Didn't you want to be immortal?"{39} 

Adapa explains that his lord, Enki, has instructed him not to take the food or water, and then takes his leave, "O Anu, I salute thee! The privilege of godhead I must indeed forego, but never shall I forget the honor that thou wouldst have conferred upon me. Ever in my heart shall I keep the words though hast spoken, and the memory of thy kindness shall I ever retain. Blame me not exceedingly, I pray thee. My lord Ea awaiteth my return."{40} 
Scholars generally explain Enki's denial of immortality to Adapa as being a prank: Enki is known as the trickster, after all. This 'prank' is thus supposed to serve as some type of cursory explanation for mankind's mortality. But I find this explanation difficult to accept. This is Enki's most trusted priest, his wisest son. Playing a joke of this magnitude is out of character. 

It was Enki, after all, who saved mankind from the flood in the Atrahasis myth. Could he not have tricked Atrahasis (the Sumerian Noah), and thus allowed humanity to die? Even in the myth of Enki and Ninmah, when he creates a creature Ninmah cannot control, after tricking her into accepting a bet from him, he uses the opportunity to teach a lesson - that it takes Both their efforts to craete a 'whole' being. 
Further, in that myth, he takes due care to alleviate the destruction his prank has wrought. To accept that Enki would not only trick Adapa, but lie to him by claiming he would be offered the bread and water of death, when he was to be offered the bread and water of Life seems implausible. We must therefore take Enki at his word, and assume that to eat the bread of immortal life is to eat the bread of death; to drink the water of eternal life is to drink the water of death. 

Indeed, Anu offers the bread and water of life to Adapa only after he discovers the wisdom granted him (and thus, to mankind) by Enki, "Why did Ea disclose to wretched mankind the ways of heaven and earth, give them a heavy heart? It was He who did it! What can we do for him?"{41} Enki, besides being the trickster, is a god most cunning; and a god who has gone to much pain and effort to serve and protect mankind. It is hard to imagine that such an effort was made on behalf of mankind to preserve for him a sentence of eternal ennui.

No, inherent in the Adapa myth is the belief that there is something which awaits mankind for which death is a necessary step; and that denying man 'immortality', the supposed god-like state, he had preserved mankind's destiny. Death, then, is truly a beginning in the eyes of the Sumerians; a beginning which the gods themselves have preserved for us.


The Sumerians, like the Greeks, commenced the counting of each day ("U-mu"), at sunset ("Kid-da-at u-mu"). Each day, then, was reckoned as the period from sunset to sunset. The months ("Itu") were begun in the period of the new moon ("Bu-ub-bu-lum", literally the 'time of the ravishment of the moon'), literally commencing at the time of the moons emergence in the heaven's following it's disappearance at the new moon ("U-na-am", literally the day of the moons renewal).

At the end of each month, the astrologers of ancient Mesopotamia would man the parapets of their temples to watch for this 'first appearance', and in this way they would note the beginning of each new month.{42} These months were generally about 30 days long, with the first quarter occurring on the 7th, and the full moon on the 15th. These days, together with the period of the new moon, formed the sacred cycle of the month. 

The Sumerians celebrated these aspects of the moon's phases on the first, seventh, and fifteenth of each month. These three days formed the monthly "Essesu" Festival. The importance of these sacred days is articulated in the Atrahasis myth, Tablet I, columns 204-207, as Enki sets about the creation of man, "Enki opened his mouth and addressed the great Gods, 'On the first, seventh, and fifteenth day of the month I will make a purifying bath"{43} The necessity for observation of these sacred days is reiterated in a number of collected Mesopotamian letters which refer to the necessity of 'passing the first, seventh, and fifteenth as you have been taught.' This observance, in the minimum, included a ritual bath: a sacred immersion in the symbolic 'Waters of Life'.

The first month of the year, Barag-Zag-Gar, began in the period of the first new moon following the barley harvest (our March-April). The months would then proceed apace at 30 days each, spanning 12 months. This wholly lunar cycle, however, invariably left a gap within the Solar year to be filled. To cure this problem, and be sure that the first month continued to follow the barley harvest, the Sumerians placed an intervening intercalary month known as Itu-diri BEFORE the twelfth month, Itu-Se-Gur-Kud, the 'month of the harvesting of the barley.' This intercalary month was used only when, upon examination of the length of time remaining in the barley season, it was determined that Barag-Zag-Gar would not fall directly after the barley harvest. Under the Meton Cycle, such intercalary months would be utilized at a frequency of roughly seven per nineteen years.

In the same way they were able to unify their year with the Circle of Life, so to did the Sumerians operate a system of time-keeping quite literally within the confines of a circle. Time was related to the degree of apparent motion of the sun, Samas, as it traveled across the heavens each day. Each degree of motion was calculated as 4 minutes, called one "Us." The entire circle was said to comprise 12 'temporal hours', or "Beru," which were literally double-hours of 30 Us each (see Fig. 3). 

The Sumerians had no concept of daylight savings, though they were well aware of the variances in the length of daylight and nighttime hours during the year. Thus, throughout the year the Day was held to be composed of 6 Beru of daytime and 6 Beru of nighttime, though the actual, or real hour, lengths varied. To correct for these differences, adjustments to the real hours, as opposed to temporal hours, were made. To this end, a series of associations was expounded. 

For example, a temporal hour of daylight plus a temporal hour of nighttime always equals 2 REAL hours. Thus, a measurement of the length in real hours of either daylight or nighttime will yield the solution to the length of the inverse. In addition, there were specific relations observed between and among the months of the year. 
Specifically, in the month of the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, the length of daylight and nighttime real hours was assumed equal. Conversely, in the month of the Summer Solstice daylight was held to be twice the length of nighttime real hours, and in the month of the Winter Solstice, Nighttime was held to be twice the length of the daylight real hours. 

In addition, the months preceding the equinoxes were held to have the same ratio of daylight to nighttime real hours as the month following the Equinoxes, and the month preceding the solstices were similarly held to possess the same ratio of daylight to nighttime real hours' ratio as the month following the Solstices. With this complex system of relations, the calculation of the length of real daylight and nighttime hours was extremely simplified

{1} Gwendolyn Leick, Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature, p. 13-14
{2} Id at 16
{3} the term "Anu" here should not be confused with the deity An (or Anu). The term, rather, refers generically to the heavens or 'sky', much the same way as Enki is used to denote the deity of the earth in the Enlil genealogy though this Enki is differentiated from the Deity "Enki".
{4} A. Heidel, A Babylonian Genesis, p. 51
{5} S.N. Kramer, From the Poetry of Sumer: Creation, Glorification, Adoration, p. 23
{6} S. N. Kramer, Sumerian Mythology, p. 39
{7} Ibid
{8} Id at 40
{9} Michael Baigent, From The Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia, p. 41
{10} J. Van Dijk, "The Birth of Wood and Reed", Acta Orientaliia 28 I, p.45
{11} L.W. King, Babylonian Religion and Mythology, p.28
{12} Id at 31
{13} François Lenerment, Chaldean Magic and Sorcery, p. 153
{14} Ibid.
{15} Jean Bottéro, Mesopotamia: Witing, Reasoning, and The Gods, p. 222
{16} T. Jacobsen, The Harps That Once...Sumerian poetry in Translation, p. 155-156
{17} Id at p.156-157
{18} for an explanation of the significance of the 1st, 7th, and 15th of the month, see the section entitled 'The Signs of Heaven and Earth'
{19} Stephanie Dalley, Myths From Mesopotamia, p.15, note however that I have altered the last three lines, substituting the 1970 Moran translation , as I feel it protects the integrity of the meaning of this portion of the passage to a greater extent. {20} Jean Bottéro, Mesopotamia : Writing, Reasoning, and The Gods, p. 217
{21} see preceding section
{22} Bottéro, Supra note 12, at 225
{23} Leo Oppenheim, Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization, p. 184
{24} Id at 186
{25} Supra note 16; see also previous and proceeding sections, generally
{26} this fumigation was not a religious act, but was done to control the odors of the foods.
{27} Oppenhiem, Supra note 19, at 188
{28} see previous section
{29} Bottéro, Supra note 12, at 230
{30} A. Jeremias, The Babylonian Conception of Heaven and Hell, p. 14-15
{31} Leonard Wooley, The Sumerians, p. 120
{32} Bottéro, Supra note 12, at 277
{33} Ibid.
{34} J. Morgenstern, "The Use of Water in The Asipu Ritual", Volume I of The Doctrine of Sin in The Babylonian Religion, p.32
{35} E. Schrader, "Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek", Vol. VI, I, 228
{36} Ibid
{37} Stephanie Dalley, Myths From Mesopotamia, p. 118
{38} Id at 184
{39} Id at 187
{40} Lewis Spence, Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria, p. 120
{41} Dalley, Supra note 37
{42} M. Baigent, Supra note 9. p. 50
{43} Dalley, Supra note 13

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