Tiamat

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For other uses, see Tiamat (disambiguation).

Tiamat is a primeval goddess in Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, and a central figure in the Enma Elish creation epic. John C. L. Gibson, in the Ugaritic glossary of Canaanite Myths and Legends, notes that "tehom" appears in the Ugaritic texts, c. 1400–1200 BCE, simply meaning the "sea". Such a depersonalized Tiamat (the -at ending makes her feminine) is "The Deep" (Hebrew tehom), present at the beginning of the book of Genesis.

Apsu (or Abzu) fathered upon Tiamat the heavens and the earth. She brought forth the Elder gods, the grandparents of Anu and Ea. Tiamat was the "shining" goddess of salt water who roared and smote in the chaos of original creation. She and Apsu filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters. She is "Ummu-Hubur who formed all things".

The god Enki (later Ea), believing correctly that Apsu was planning to murder the younger gods, slew him. This angered Tiamat, whereupon she fashioned monsters to battle the gods. These were her own offspring, sea-serpents of terrifying size, storms and fish-men and scorpion-men. Tiamat had the Tablets of Destiny, and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, the god she had chosen for her lover. But Anu (replaced by Marduk, the son of Enki, in the late version that has survived) overcame Kingu and then her, armed with the winds and a net and an invincible spear.

And the lord stood upon Tiamat's hinder parts,
And with his merciless club he smashed her skull.
He cut through the channels of her blood,
And he made the North wind bear it away into secret places.

Slicing Tiamat in half, he made from the two halves heaven and earth. He took from Kingu the Tablets of Destiny, with the approval of the elder gods.

External links

fa:تیامات nl:Tiamat (band) pl:Tiamat (bogini) sl:Tiamat

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