THE MESOPOTAMIAN UNDERWORLD

One of the darker posts yet. This post about the Epic of Gilgamesh describes a dream of the hero Enkidu foretelling his death.


The Mesopotamians did not believe in heaven. Instead, they thought that all souls will enter a house in the underworld, where they will lead empty, non-substantial lives for all eternity. This gloomy prospect made that Mesopotamians had to come to terms with their mortality, similar to many of us today.


The full text reads:

‘There is the house whose people sit in darkness; dust is their food and clay their meat. They are clothed like birds with wings for covering, they see no light, they sit in darkness. I entered the house of dust and I saw the kings of the earth, their crowns put away forever; rulers and princes, all those who once wore kingly crowns and ruled the world in the days of old. And there was Ereshkigal the Queen of the Underworld; and Befit-Sheri squatted in front of her, she who is recorder of the gods and keeps the book of death. She held a tablet from which she read. She raised her head, she saw me and spoke: ‘Who has brought this one here?’ Then I awoke [in terror].

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The image depicts Arzu, a demon who stole the tablet of destiny from the gods and was subsequently defeated by the god Ninurta.



the great world history book stephan dinkgreve mesopotamia sumeria babylon gilgamesh enkidu underworld

the great world history book stephan dinkgreve mesopotamia sumeria babylon gilgamesh enkidu underworld

worldhistorybook.com

"The Great World History Book"