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Deities & Heros >> Mesopotamian
faint echoes, monstrous creatures, heaven and earth, surface ocean


Author: Obsidian

(Sumerian) A primordial entity. At the beginning of creation there were but two entities, Abzu and Tiamat, representing respectively the freshwater underworld sea and the saltwater surface ocean. Between them, many of the earliest entities were created, including An and Ki (Heaven and Earth). When Abzu was slain, Tiamat released monstrous creatures in vengeance, and was in turn slain by, as later version have it, Marduk. He used her corpse to form the world (her back the sky, her belly the earth, her breasts the mountains, etc. There are faint echoes in this of other mythoi, see Ymir for a particularly striking resonance

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Similarly in Babylonia, Tiamat, the water monster enters Euphrates and triggers a flood. She is then slain by Merodach and the situation is normalised. In Egypt, the story appears in a slightly different form.