“Here he works along two lines: on the one hand, he demonstrates how the succession in the chain of written composition in the first millennium is dominated by Ea—apkallus—ummanus; on the other hand, he shows how the written lore of the ummanus was collected and systematized as a secret revelation belonging to this alleged chain of transmission.
He admits that there are other voices, even in the first millennium, but this is the dominant tendency. One may object to Lenzi’s work, that he goes too far in his effort to systemize the material.
If influential ummanus first in Assyria and then in Late Babylonia saw it as a priority both to bring together their lore under specific rubrics, and to establish a theology of revelation and transmission, going back to one god, Ea, they had quite a task, given the vast variety in the material they inherited from the millennium before.
We think the most important aspect of Lenzi’s impressive detailed examination of the sources is that he manages to show that there was a strong tendency toward systematization. There was an attempt to bring together the lore of the different scholarly professions into series given distinctive labels: these compositions belong to the lore of this profession–bārûtu, āšipūtu, kalûtu, asûtu, tupšarrūtu.
There was also the clear tendency to claim compositions belonging to the lore of these professions as secrets revealed by the gods in antediluvian time and restricted to the ummanus in present time.
(Cf. also Francesca Rochberg, The Heavenly Writing: Divination, Horoscopy and Astronomy in Mesopotamian Culture, Cambridge, 2004, pp. 181-5.)
At the crucial point in this chain, we find the apkallus, above all Uanadapa, who were those who brought the divine knowledge to the humans.
The analyses carried out by van der Toorn and Lenzi are fully in accord with our own observations. There is a clear division between the first group of seven apkallus and subsequent sages and scholars in all three lists: Bīt Mēseri, Berossos, and the Uruk tablet.
They express this differently, but the tendency is clear. Bīt Mēseri lists seven apkallus “born in the river” and then four apkallus “of human descent.” Berossos lists seven apkallus before the flood and then one great scholar in the tenth generation after. The Uruk tablet lists seven apkallus before the flood, one afterwards, and continues with ummanus.
The antediluvian apkallus are closely connected to the divine realm, above all to the god Ea. “To be born in the river” means to be engendered in the abode of Ea. Oannes in Berosses (sic) goes to and fro the sea, the abode of Ea. But not only Ea is involved.
In our reading of the relationship between the Adapa Myth and Bīt Mēseri we found that the first apkallu, U-an, “the light of heaven” (An), was an echo of the fate of Adapa in the myth, fragment D, where Adapa is adopted sage by Anu.
This name of the first sage is reflected both in the Catalogue, in Berossos and on the Uruk tablet.”
Helge Kvanvig, Primeval History: Babylonian, Biblical, and Enochic: An Intertextual Reading, Brill, 2011, pp. 153-4.