Samizdat

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Sargon and the Observations of Bel

“We know that Sargon’s patronage of science produced the great standard Babylonian work on astronomy and astrology, in seventy-two books, which went under the name of the Observations of Bel. It was translated into Greek by the Chaldean historian Bêrôssos, and large portions of it, including a table of contents, are among the tablets found on the […]

Melvin: On the Tower of Babel

“The story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1–9 provides further evidence for the human origin of civilization in the form of city-building. As Theodore Hiebert notes, the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1–9 is not chiefly concerned with the construction of a tower, but rather with the founding of the […]

Babylonian Astro-Theology

“In the Observations of Bel the stars are already invested with a divine character. The planets are gods like the sun and moon, and the stars have already been identified with certain deities of the official pantheon, or else have been dedicated to them. The whole heaven, as well as the periods of the moon, has been divided between […]

Babylonian Astrology

“With the Semitic domination of Sargon of Accad, however, Babylonian astronomy entered upon a new phase. To him, tradition ascribed the compilation of the standard work on Babylonian astronomy and astrology called the Observations of Bel, and afterwards translated into Greek by Berossos (Editorial note: a book by Johannes Haubold, et al, The World of Berossos, 2013, which […]

Sacrifice of Children was a Babylonian Institution

” … But although the Assyrian kings are fond of boasting of their exploits in massacring or torturing their defeated enemies in honour of Assur, we find no allusions in the inscriptions of the historical period to human sacrifice. That human sacrifices, however, were known as far back as the Accadian era, is shown by […]

More on Sargon

“But in spite of the atmosphere of myth which came to enshroud him, as it enshrouded the persons of Kyros, of Charlemagne, and of other heroes of popular history, Sargon was a historical monarch and the founder of a really great empire. The British Museum actually possesses an inscribed egg of veined marble which he dedicated […]

Sargon: Conquerer, Librarian

“But the first great Semitic empire in Babylonia was that founded by the famous Sargon of Akkad. As is the case with many popular heroes and monarchs whose deeds are remembered in song and story— for example, Perseus, Oedipus, Cyrus, Romulus, and our own King Arthur—the early years of Sargon were passed in obscurity. Sargon […]

Cicada Files: Z 3301 et al

Thomas Schoenberger in his own words.

On Prognostication

And Divinity I was talking with my old friend Ranger Harry Hunter, formerly a senior medical sergeant at the 1st Ranger Battalion, a veteran of Operation Urgent Fury. Harry and I share some history that will only be interesting to old Rangers, but he was the senior sergeant in my 300F1 class at Fort Sam […]

Eco: Translation

“Today more than ever before, at the end of its long search, European culture is in urgent need of a common language that might heal its linguistic fractures. Yet, at the same time, Europe needs to remain true to its historic vocation as the continent of different languages, each of which, even the most peripheral, […]

Eco: Descartes and Mersenne

“More or less at the same period, the problem of a real character was discussed in France, with a more skeptical attitude. In 1629, Father Marin Mersenne sent Descartes news of a project for a nouvelle langue invented by a certain des Vallées. We are told by Tallemant des Réau that this des Vallées was […]

Eco: Perfection and Secrecy

“We might think it is a pity that the search for a language that was as perfect as it was universal should lead to such a conception of a tongue reserved for the “happy few.” But it is perhaps nothing more than our “democratic” illusion to imagine that perfection must imply universality. In order to […]

Eco: Conventionalism, Epicureanism and Polygenesis, 2

“During these same years, thinkers also returned to reflect upon an older suggestion by Epicurus, who, in a letter to Herodotus, gave his opinion that the names of things were not  originally due to convention; human beings themselves had rather created them from their own natures. Those of differing tribes, “under the impulse of special […]

Melvin: Divine or Semi-Divine Intermediaries

The Divine Source of Civilization in Mesopotamian Myths “The motif of the divine origin of civilization is common in the ancient Near East, especially in Mesopotamia, and it stands in stark contrast to the portrayal of the rise of civilization in Genesis 1– 11. (Although many of my observations with regard to the view of […]

Izre’el: Listing the Fragments

Previous Studies and the Present Study “The scholarly world first became aware of the myth of Adapa and the South Wind when its largest fragment was discovered among the scholarly tablets of the El-Amarna archive in 1887 (Harper 1891; Scheil 1891; cf. Zimmern 1892; Sayce 1892; Izre’el 1997: 1-13, 43-50). A fragment of the myth […]

Kvanvig: On the Correspondences Between Antediluvian Myths

Is Anu never portrayed in Mesopotamian art?

Curnow: Atrahasis is More Historical than Noah

“Atrahasis is an interesting figure. By surviving the flood he and his wife became the living links between the antediluvian and postdiluvian ages. They also seem to have been the only human beings to have been made immortal (Leick 2001, p. 83). More than once the narrative presents Atrahasis talking to Ea, the god of […]

Timeline: Sumer

Timeline: Sumer 5400 BCE: The City of Eridu is founded. 5000 BCE: Godin Tepe settled. 5000 BCE – 1750 BCE: Sumerian civilization in the Tigris-Euphrates valley. 5000 BCE: Sumer inhabited by Ubaid people. 5000 BCE – 4100 BCE: The Ubaid Period in Sumer. 5000 BCE: Evidence of burial in Sumer. 4500 BCE: The Sumerians built their first temple. 4500 BCE: The City of Uruk founded. […]

Lahmu, “The Hairy One,” is Not Apkallu

“The Babylonian scientific and religious texts reveal the names of over three thousand gods and demons, members of local and national pantheons. Most, if not all, play a part in cult or magic, and must have been represented in some form. Gods and demons, cult and magic, are the main subjects of Babylonian art, but generally […]

Who Was Berossus?

“This volume is devoted to a man whose work is largely lost, whose life is shrouded in mys­tery, and whose real name we do not know. (‘Berossos’ is a Greek rendering of an Akkadian name. Our best guess at the moment is that his fellow Babylonians would have known him as Bēl-rē ‘ûšunu (‘Bel is […]

Tracing the Doctrine of Cataclysms of Berossus

“The context in Censorinus shows that the interval of 2434 years was in Aristarchus’s opinion the interval between alternate conflagrations and inundations of the world when the sun, moon, and stars all return to the same zodiacal sign. It is very difficult to trace exactly the adoption of Babylonian ideas by the Greek astronomers. An […]

The Babylonian Zodiac is 1000 Years Older than Sargon of Accad

“The contents of the fifth tablet introduce us to a side of Babylonian religion which occupied an important and prominent position, at all events in the official cult. At the beginning of the present century, writers upon the ancient East were fond of enlarging upon a Sabaistic system of faith which they supposed had once […]

Nascence of the Babylonian Zodiac

“ANCIENT Chaldea was undoubtedly the birth place of that mysterious science of astrology which was destined to exert such influence upon the European mind during the Middle Ages, and which indeed has not yet ceased to amuse the curious and flatter the hopes of the credulous. Whether any people more primitive than the Akkadians had […]

More on the Babylonian Zodiac

” … Then returning to the dead body of Tiâmat he smashed her skull with his club and scattered her blood to the north wind, and as a reward for his destruction of their terrible foe, he received gifts and presents from the gods his fathers. The text then goes on to say that Marduk […]

The Seven Hathors

“The Seven Hathor goddesses also could predict the future of a human being, for in the well-known “Tale of Two Brothers” it is related that, when the god Khnemu, at the request of Râ-Harmachis, had created for Bata a wife “who was more beautiful in her person than any other woman in all the earth, […]