Before The Muses: An Anthology Of Akkadian Literature by Benjamin R. Foster

By Benjamin R. Foster

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Such authority is referred to in Erra and Ishum, the Epic o f Creation, and implied in Atrahasis. The text can have life-giving (Ishtar Hymn) or apotropaic powers (Erra and Ishum). Its peculiar status as a “ sign” o f a god is found in Agushaya and Erra and Ishum. In the Epic o f Creation, the text is glorified as a key for humankind to understand Marduk’s reorganized universe. Erra and Ishum and the Epic o f Creation are acts o f mercy by a god, in the case o f the former by a protagonist (Ishum), in the case o f the latter by Marduk himself Traditing and dissemination o f texts are referred to in Erra and Ishum, the Epic o f Creation, Agushaya, and Atrahasis both synchronically and diachronicaUy: “ all people” are supposed to hear them, as well as succeeding generations.

J . Finkelstein, P. Hulin, S T T ; O. R . Gurney, “ The Assyrian Tablets from Sultantepe,” Proceedings of the British Academy 41 (1955), 2 1 - 4 1; Pedersen, Archives (above note i), 178—180. For identification o f the site, see Gordon, JC S 21 (1967), 85—88. 3. E. Reiner and M. Civil, “ Another Volume o f Sultantepe Tablets,” JN E S 26 (1967), 1 7 7 - 2 1 1, especially pp. 17 7 -18 0 . 4. Mayer, Baghdader Mitteilungen, Beiheft 2; Hunger, S B T U i, 1 1 - 1 3 ; Pedersen, Archives (p. 8. note 2), 20 5-213.

12); the Epic o f Creation (III. 17), and the Marduk Prophecy (III. 13). Creativity in the Mature period was not restricted to specific genres. 44a]). Other instances o f creativity are found in the works o f beginners or brilliant youngsters whose technical competence may not be equal to their literary ambiI. See K. Hecker, “ Tradition und Originalitat in der altorientalischen Literatur,” ArO r 45 (1977), 245-258; Hallo, lEJ 12 (1962), 18 - 2 1; Franke, Konigsinschriften. 22 General Introduction tions.

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