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GILGAMES AND ENGIDTJ, MESOPOTAMIAN GENII OP 

FECUNDITY 

"W. F. Albright 
American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem 

Two of the most interesting figures in ancient mythology 
are the heroes of the Babylonian national epic, Gilgames and 
Engidu. In this paper they will be studied in as objective a 
way as possible, avoiding the knotty problems connected with the 
evolution of the epic. Even on the latter, however, some light 
may be thrown. A thousand and one tempting ideas come to 
mind, but our materials are still too scanty for the composition of 
a successful history of Mesopotamian literature and religion, as 
shown by the recent attempt of the brilliant philosopher of 
Leipzig, Hermann Schneider. 1 Thanks to the discovery of the 
temple library of Nippur, Sumerian literature is swelling so 
rapidly that few theories can be regarded as established beyond 
recall. On the other hand, our knowledge is now sufficiently 
definite to permit lucrative exploitation of comparative mythol- 
ogy and civilization ; indeed, since many of these problems may 
be treated on the molecular, if not the atomic principle (cf. JBL 
37. 112), their solution is an indispensable prerequisite to the 
future history of Babylonian thought. My general attitude 
towards the methods and theories of comparative mythology is 
succinctly given JBL 37. 111-113. 

The name Gilgames is usually written d GlS-GIN {TV) -MAS, 
read Gi-il-ga-mes(s), the riAya/^os of Aelian, De natura anim., 12, 
21 (Pinches, Babylonian and Oriental Record, vol. 4, p. 264). 
CT 2 12. 50. K 4359, obv. 17, offers the equation GI8-GIN-MAS- 

1 See his KvXtur und Denken der Babylonier und Juden, Leipzig, 1910. 

2 Note the following abbreviations in addition to those listed JAOS 39. 
65, n. 2 : ABW = Archiv fur Beligionswissenschaft; BE = Publications of 
the Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania; GE = Gil- 
games-epic; HT = Poebel, Historical Texts; JEA = Journal of Egyptian 
Archaeology; KTBI = Ebeling, Keilschrifttexte aus Assur religiosen 
Inhalts; NE = Haupt, Das Babylonische Nimrodepos ; PSBA=Proceedings 
of the Society of Biblical Archaeology; BA=Bevue d'Assyriologie; EBB 
= Bevue de I'Histoire des Beligions; UG = Ungnad-Gressmann, Das GU- 
gamesch-Epos, Gottingen, 1911; ZDMG = Zeitschrift der Deutschen Mor- 
genlandischen Gesellschaft. 



308 W. F. Albright 

SI = Gis-gibil-ga-mes; CT 18. 30 ab. 6 ff. gives KALAG-GA- 
IMIN = il Gis-gibil-ga-mes, muqtablu, 'warrior,' and dlik pdna, 
'champion, leader.' 3 The latter ideogram is merely an appella- 
tive describing him as 'the seven-fold valiant.' The full form 
of his name, d Gis-gibil-ga-mes (cf. SGI 87), is often found on 
early monuments, especially seals and votive inscriptions from 
Erech and the vicinity. In a sacrificial list from Lagas (De la 
Fuye, Documents, 54. 10. 6 ; 11. 5) his name appears in the form 
d Gis-gibil-gin-mes. As the sibilant must have been primarily 
s (see below), the second element takes the variant forms ginmas, 
games, and ginmes. Since the first of these writings is late, it 
may be overlooked in fixing the original pronunciation; the 
other forms point to a precursor *ganmes, which became ginmes 
by vocalic harmony, and games by syncope. The primary form 
of the name was, therefor, *Gibilganmes, whence, by contraction, 
Gilgames, the meaning of which will be considered below. 

According to Sumerian historiographers (Poebel, HT 75), 
Gilgames was the fifth king of the dynasty of Eanna (name of 
the ziqqurat of Erech), succeeding Meskingaser son of Babbar 
(the sun-god), who reigned 325 years, Enmerkar, his son (420), 
Lugalbanda, the shepherd (1200), and Dumuzi, the palm-culti- 
vator (100). 5 The hero himself was the son of the goddess Nin- 
sun, consort of the god Lugalbanda, and of A 6 , the enu or ramku 
(isib) -priest of Kullab, a town as yet unidentified, but certainly 
near Erech. A is also called the mes-sag JJnug (CT 24. 35. 29- 
30), 'chief scribe of Erech,' an epithet translated CT 16. 3. 88 (cf. 
Schroeder, MVAG 21, 180) by nagir Kullabi (the relation of 
Erech and Kullab was like that existing between Lagas and 
Girsu). His consort is called Ningarsag, or Nin-gu-e-sir-ka, both 

3 In alik pdni as a heroic appellative we may possibly have the source of 
the Babylonian royal name Orchamus of Ovid, Met. 4, 212, since Spxapos, 
'leader of a row,' might well be a translation of the expression into Greek. 

'Langdon, Tammuz and Ishtar, p. 40, n. 1. reads the name dGi-bil-aga- 
mis, taking TV to be originally MIS, =.-aga (Br. 6945), and rendering 'The 
god Gibil is commander. ' This is mere guess-work. 

5 Poebel took Su-GAgunu to be equivalent to Btf-GA 'fisherman,' but Bar- 
ton {Archaeology and the Bible, p. 264, n. 3) is almost certainly right in 
explaining the group as St7-PES, and translating 'palm-tree-fertilizer,' 
an ideal occupation for a god of fecundity. 

e See Fortseh, OLZ 18. 367 ff. Sum. a means 'father' (for a'a, ada) ; A 
may have been himself a figure of the Attis type. Was his consort originally 
Ama, 'mother' (cf. Ama Engur) like Anatolian Mat 



Gilgames and Engidu 309 

figures closely related to Ninsun. In the Babylonian recension of 
the second tablet of GE, recently published by Langdon, the 
mother of Gilgames bears the name rimtu m sa supuri Ninsunna, 
the rimat Ninsun of the Assyrian version (Poebel, OLZ 17. 4 ff.). 
The 'wild-cow of the fold' corresponds to Leah, consort of the 
ab(b)ir Ia c aqob, 'bull Jacob,' as pointed out JBL 37. 117. 

The king-list gives Gilgames only 126 years, hardly more than 
Tammuz, who was torn away in the flower of his youth. Evi- 
dently there is a close relation between the hero 's vain search for 
immortality and the short duration of his career. Like the 
son of Peleus and Thetis he was doomed to die young, a fate 
which was presumably the original reason assigned for his quest 
of life. The morbid fear of death and the desire to be freed from 
the venereal disease, which, as Haupt has made probable, the vin- 
dictive Istar had inflicted upon him, are, at all events, secondary 
motives, characteristic of a rather corrupt and cynical society, 
such as may well have existed in Erech during the last part of 
the third millennium. From SLT, No. 5, it appears that Gil- 
games preserved the title of high-priest of Kullab (en Kul- 
ab ki -ge) after being elevated to the throne. Both in GE and its 
Sumerian prototype he appears as the builder of the wall of 
Erech, a tradition mentioned in an inscription of Anam of Erech 
(twenty-second century). According to GE 11. 322 he was 
assisted in this work by seven wise architects (note the motive of 
the seven sages). In the Sumerian text of a Gilgames-epic, pub- 
lished by Langdon, we read (obv. 15-20; Engidu seems to be 
addressing the hero) : 

Vnug ki gis-kin-ti dingir-ri-e-ne-ge 
e-an-na e-an-ta e-de 

dingir-gal-gal-e-ne me-bi ba-an-ag-es-dm 
bad- gal bad an-ni ki-us-sa 
ki-ma-mag an-ni gar-ra-ni 
sag-mu-e-sum za lugal ur-sag-bi = 

'In Erech, the handiwork 7 of the gods, 
Eanna, the temple which reaches heaven, 8 



'Sum., gis-kin-ti (literally 'wooden-work taken hold of; contrast SLT 
125), whence Tcishittu and hUTcattH (M. 753, 4033), means both 'handiwork,' 
and 'artisan'; ef. Langdon, Grammatical Texts, p. 26, n. 2. 

• Cf. Gudea, Cyl. A, 17, 18, etc, for an-ni us-sa, 'reach heaven'; the inser- 
ton of hi does not affect the sense, nor is the oxymoron intentional. 



310 W. F. Albright 

Where the great gods gave their decrees, 

The great wall, the wall which reaches heaven, 

The mighty structure, 9 of celestial construction, 

Thou hast the supremacy (hast made head) ; thou art king and 

hero. ' 
This passage implies that Gilgames, of whom it is said (obv. 10- 
11) gub-gub-bu-de su(KU)-$u-u-dd dumu-lugal-la da-ri e-ne = 
'standing or sitting, ever the son of a king is he,' built the tem- 
ple Eanna and the wall of the city. A reference to the erection 
of Eanna is found GE 1, 10 ; see Poebel, HT 123. The founding 
of the city itself is ascribed in the Sumerian chronicle to Enmer- 
kar, lu Unuga mu-un-da-du-a. 

As might be expected, Gilgames was regarded as the special 
patron of the city, a position in which he may easily have enjoyed 
more popularity than the distant god of heaven, Anu, theoretic- 
ally the patron of Erech. Several centuries before Anam, Utu- 
gegal (ca. 2600), the liberator of Babylonia from the yoke of 
Guti, says in his triumphal inscription (Col. 3, 1 &. ; see BA 9. 
115) : d Gis-gibil-ga-mes du[mu] d Nin-sun-na-ge maskim-sil ma- 
an-sum; dumu TJnug-ga dumu Kul-ab-ka sa-gul-la ba-an-gar = 
' G, the son of N, he gave him as a guardian genius ; the people of 
Erech and Kullab he (Gilgames) made joyous of heart.' He 
received divine honors at Lagas and Nippur, presumably also 
elsewhere, while his cult survived into Assyrian times; cf. the 
image (galmu) of Gilgames mentioned Harper, Letters, 1. 56. 

In turning to consider the original nature of Gilgames, his 
solar characteristics become immediately apparent. The hero's 
adventures in the epic remind one involuntarily of the deeds of 
Heracles and Samson, whose essentially solar nature is clear, 
even after sundry adscititious elements have been eliminated; 
mythology is a liberal master, employing motives of the most 
varied origin in its service. Like the sun-god, Samas, our hero 
(see the incantatory hymn, NE 93) is the da' an Anunnaki, 'the 
judge of the A'; like the sun, again, he is the ha'it kibrdti, 'the 
overseer of the regions' ; it is expressly stated (NE 93. 8) that the 
powers of Samas are delegated to him. Gilgames figures as Ner- 
gal, lord of the underworld, in SLT, No. 6, obv. 3. 10 f., ki-ag 
d Eres-ki-gal d Gis-gibil-ga-mes lugal-kiir-ra-ge = 'the beloved of 

* Ki-ma = fci-md (Tci-gar; cf. du(l) -mar-ra and Tci-dwr, both =: Subtu) . 



Gilgames and Engidu 311 

E, Gilgames, lord of the mountain (i. e., the underworld).' In 
Langdon, Liturgies, No. 8, rev. 3, he receives the appellation 
umun-ki-ga-gd, 'lord of the underworld.' In the epic his mis- 
tress is Ishara, a form of Istar with marked chthonic associations. 
Whatever we may think of Egyptian and Greek parallels, in 
Babylonia it is the sun-god who appears as judge both of the liv- 
ing and of the dead, spending his time as he does half with the 
shades and half with mortals. "While the writing d Gis, found in 
the Meissner fragment and the Philadelphia text of the second 
tablet, is an abbreviation (cf. Poebel, OLZ 17. 5), it is interesting 
to note that d Gis is explained as Samas, and that gis also = isatu, 
'fire' (SGI 98). As these equations suggest, Gilgames stands in 
close relation to the fire-gods (naturally in many respects solar) 
Nusku (cf. Hommel, OLZ 12. 473 ff.), Gibil (cf. his name), and 
Gira (cf. Maqlu 1. 37 ff.), who shares some of his attributes. In 
fact, Gira's ideogram d GlS-BAB (for reading cf. Meissner, OLZ 
15. 117; for Gira < Gisbara cf. JA08 39. 87, note; this god 
must not be confused with d GlB, for whom see below) may be 
partly responsible for the late writing of the name of the hero as 
d GlS-GIN-BAB (MAS) . 

In the capacity of solar hero, Gilgames has much in common 
with 'his god' (ilisu, GE 6. 192) Lugalbanda. It may even be 
shown that the saga of Gilgames has been enriched by the spoils 
of the latter. In the story of the birth of Gilgamos, reported by 
Aelian, the Babylonian king Seuechoros (Seui7x o P°s) , warned by 
the astrologers that his daughter would bear a son who would 
deprive him of the kingdom, shut her up in the acropolis. How- 
ever, she was mysteriously visited, and bore a son, who was forth- 
with thrown from the tower. An eagle caught the child on its 
outstretched wings, and saved it to fulfil the decrees of fate. As 
Aelian observes, this is the well-known motive of Perseus, while 
the Babylonian sources available assign the Aeneas motive to the 
hero, who was the son of a priest of Kullab (originally a god) by 
the goddess of fertility. Lugalbanda, on the other hand, so far 
as the texts inform us, follows the Perseus recipe. He is the son 
of the sun-god, who, we may suppose, had visited his mother in 
the guise of a golden shower ; 10 he passes his youth as a shepherd 



10 The motive of the golden shower is Oriental as well as Hellenic, and 
may safely be postulated as a common explanation of the mode of solar gen- 



312 W. F. Albright 

before mounting the throne. It is very important to note that 
his predecessor, Enmerkar, is not called his father; he may 
safely, however, be regarded as his grandfather. Now, Sw^x / 305 
is to be read TZmjxopos ; the initial C is simply dittography of the 
final C in the preceding word /WiAoWtos. Euechoros bears the 
same relation to Enmerkar (pronounced Enuerkar) as Euedora- 
(n)chos does to Enmeduranki (cf. also EveSwxos for Enmeduga, 
pronounced Enuedok). We may, therefor, tentatively supply 
the missing details of the Babylonian legend. Lugalbanda was 
the son of Enmerkar 's daughter by Samas. Being thrown from 
the tower by his grandfather's command, an eagle rescues him; 
an eagle carries the related Etana to heaven in a similar story. 
Lugalbanda grows up as a shepherd, and on reaching manhood 
is elevated by the favor of the gods to his rightful throne. In 
the later form of the story, transferred to Gilgames, the hero 
becomes a gardener, since this occupation had become the legend- 
ary prerequisite of kingship, as in the sagas of Sargon the Elder 
and Ellil-bani of Isin. 

My reconstruction of the Lugalbanda myth is supported by 
the indications in the fragments published HGT, Nos. 8-11, all 
belonging to a single epic, probably part of the Lugalbanda cycle, 
as follows from the mention of the storm-bird Im-dugud (Zu) in 
11, 3. Prom this text we learn that Enmerkar, son of [Mes- 
ingaser] (8, rev. 10), was a mighty king, ruling in Kullab with- 
out a rival (8, obv. 4 if.). Unfortunately, however, the throne 
has no heir (9, rev. 5 f.: aratta [LAM-Kt/B-BV-KI] as-ba - - - 
a-bil [=i-bil (BA 10. 97)= ablu] nu-tug-da). The poem goes 
on to introduce the kurku bird (9, rev. 9 ff.) : kur-g¥> u ki-a [ ] 
pa-te-si Sumer u -ra [ ] mu-da-ku-u-de kin-gi-a En-me-ir-kdr en- 
nun [ ] = ' The kurku bird in the land [ ] the viceroy of Sumer 
[ ] to nourish [ ] the messenger of Enmerkar [held] watch.' 
Tho the name of Lugalbanda does not occur, we can hardly doubt 
that this passage alludes to the rescue of the youthful hero from 
his hostile grandfather by the kurku bird (who may be an inter- 

eration. In Hindu tales {Indian Antiquary, Vol. 20, 145; Vol 21, p. 374) 
a traveler, before setting out on a journey, tells his pregnant wife that the 
birth of a son will be announced to him by a shower of gold, of a daughter 
by a shower of silver. These showers are primarily metaphorie expressions 
for the golden and silver rays of the sun and moon, respectively male and 
female according to the most general belief. 



Gilgames and Engidu 313 

mediary for Zu, whose relations with our hero would then date 
from the latter 's infancy). 

Lugalbanda, 11 with the consort Ninsun, was the principal god 
of Marad, 12 whence he bore the name Lugal-Marada (AMAB- 
da), and of Tuplias (Asnunnak) in eastern Babylonia. He also 
received divine honors at Erech and Kullab, especially during the 
dynasty of Amnanu (ca. 2200). Accordingly he is listed among 
the legendary kings of the postdiluvian dynasty of Erech. Lugal- 
banda and Ninsun were worshiped also elsewhere, as at Lagas 
and Nippur ; a patesi of the former city bears the name Ur-Nin- 
sun. Lugalbanda belongs to the same class of modified sun-gods 
as Ninurta, and hence is combined with Ninsubur and Ningirsu, 
deities of this type (ILR 59, rev. 23 f.). In a hymn published by 
Radau (Hilprecht Anniv. Vol., Plates 6-7; cf. p. 418), he is 
addressed as hug 13 d Lugal-banda gu-ru-um kur-ra = 'holy L, 
offspring of the mountains,' and identified with Babbar (Samas) : 
sul d Babbar zi-zi-da-zu-de Tcalam igi-mu-e-da-zi-zi = ' Hero Bab- 
bar, when thou risest, over the land thy eye thou dost lift, ' etc. 
Like Gilgames, and other old gods of productivity, he came to 
occupy a prominent position in myth and legend, thanks to the 
annual celebration of his adventures in mimetic fertility rites. 
I would not attempt to decide whether his role as shepherd came 
from solar symbolism (cf. AJSL 34. 85, n. 2), or is on a par with 
the pastoral aspect of other gods of fecundity (cf. JBL 37. 116 
f.) ; both conceptions doubtless played a part. 

Around the figure of Lugalbanda seasonal and reproductive 
myths soon crystallized, later spreading from their original home, 
and developing into the heroic legend, the prototype of the true 
saga, with its historical nucleus and lavish display of mythical 
and romantic finery. The saga could not spring, as some appear 
to think, full-armed from the popular fancy, but had to grow 
apace as utilitarian cult-motives whetted the imagination. 
Lugalbanda became the focus of a legendary cycle of very great 



u Radau, EUprecht Anniv. Vol., p. 429, points out that Lugalbanda as lord 
of TupliaS is Tispak, the am-banda = rvmu eqdu (Ar. ' dqada = Sadda) ; 
hence his name means 'mighty king,' rather than 'wise king.' 

12 Modern Wannet es-Sa'dun, on the Euphrates, nearly due west of Nippur; 
see Clay, OLZ 17. 110 f., and Thureau-Dangin, BA 9. 84. 

" For reading hug cf. Luckenbill, AJSL 33. 187. 



314 W. F. Albright 

interest, 14 since its perfected form, found in the myth of Lugal- 
banda and Zu, is written in Sumerian, while our Gilgames-epic 
is a Semitic composition, however much it may have drawn on 
Sumerian sources. Besides the Assyrian translation of over a 
hundred lines (KB 6. 1. 46 ff.) we now possess goodly fragments 
of the original Sumerian : CT 15. 41-43 ; HGT, Nos. 14-19, and 
probably also 8-11 (see above) ; in Nos. 20-21 we have part of a 
chronicle dealing with events during the reigns of Lugalbanda 
and his successor Tammuz (cf. HT 117). Most of the latter text 
apparently refers to Lugalbanda, since Tammuz is not mentioned 
until the close. Along with victorious invasions of Elam, 
IJalma (=Guti), and Tidnu m (=Amuru), a disastrous flood 
which overwhelmed Eridu is described (obv. 11-12) : a-uru-gul- 
la-ge [ ] NUN-KI a-gal-la si-a [ ] <= 'the waters of the destruc- 
tive deluge Eridu, flooded by the inundation [ ].' In con- 
nection with this the deus ex machina, Ninlil, comes on the scene ; 
despite the pseudo-historical setting we are dealing with myth. 

The story of Lugalbanda and Zu, personification of the hurri- 
cane, is primarily, as has often been observed, the contest between 

14 It is possible that the saga of Nimrod may be an offshoot of the Lugal- 
banda cycle rather than of the Gilgames cycle, especially since the former 
seems to have been much more important than the latter in early times, and 
from a home in Marad more likely to influence the west than the latter, 
whose hearth was Erech. As lord of Marad Lugalbanda is the Lugal-Mardda 
or the *Nin-Marada, just as Nergal-Lugalgira is the Nin-CHrsu, the lord of 
Girsu, and as Marduk is the Nin-Tintir (IL3 59, obv. 47), Ellil the Nin- 
Nibru, or Lord of Nippur (ibid. 9) ; cf. also Sin the Bel-garr&n, etc. The 
heroic shepherd and conqueror of wild-beasts, *Nimardd, may thus have 
become the mighty hunter, Nimrod, just as Dagdn becomes Dagdn, and 
Haddd 'ASwSos. Similarly the shepherd Damu (Tammuz) became in Byblos 
the hunter Adonis. The figure of Nimrod was probably influenced by the 
impressive monumental representations of the Assyrian Heracles; he may 
easily reflect a western 'Orion,' but Eduard Meyer's view that he was 
primarily a Libyan ' Jagdriese' is gratuitous. The recent historical theories 
are still less felicitous: Sethe (Hastings' Encyclopaedia of Religion and 
Ethics, Vol. 6, p. 650) holds that Nimrod is a corruption of the official name 
Nebmu 3c ere c of the indolent Amenophis III, appearing in cuneiform as 
Nimmurija; Van Gelderen (Expositor, 1914, pp. 274 ff.) explains Nimrod as 
a corruption of Naramsin, historically possible, but phonetically incredible. 
Jensen's explanation, deriving Nimrod from *Namurta, his reading of 
NIN-IB, is antiquated by the discovery of the correct reading Ninwrta, which 
became Inuita (JA08 38. 197), a form quite unlike Nimrod. 



Gilgames and Engidu 315 

the sun and the storm-clouds, whom he subdues, just as Marduk 
overcomes Ti'amat in the cosmogonic reflection of the motive. 
Without entering into an elaborate discussion of the myth, which 
I hope to treat elsewhere, I will call attention to an episode which 
has apparently influenced the Gilgames cycle. Lugalbanda 's 
journey to Mount Sabu, where the wine-goddess Ninkasi-Siris 
helps him to outwit Zu. and recover the tablets of fate, is in some 
respects the prototype of Gilgames' visit to the wine-goddess 
Sabitu. In OE the episode of Sabitu's mountain paradise is 
decidedly in the air ; in the older recension, however, it is clearer ; 
instead of being merely in charge of a station on the hero 's route 
to Elysium, she is his real goal. 15 Only after he despairs of 
securing from her the immortality for which he yearns does he 
undertake the perilous voyage to Utnapisti 1 ™. As I shall 
show in detail elsewhere, the wine-goddess Sabitu becomes in 
effect the divinity of life; in her hands was supposed to rest 
the bestowal of eternal life, so far as this was terrestrially 
obtainable. Her name is derived from Mount Sabu, 18 the 
abode of Ninkasi, with whom, as will be shown elsewhere, 
Siduri Sabitu is essentially identical. I have proved, AJSL 35. 
179, that the neighboring Mount Hasur, the abode of Zu, is 
Kasiari-Masius, and that Sabitu's garden lay in the same 
region, which corresponds to the northern habitat of the soma, 
as well as to the vineyard-paradise of Anatolia. As clearly 
indicated in the fragments of the myth, Lugalbanda recovers the 
dupsimdti by inviting the bird to a banquet, and intoxicating 
him with the aid of the goddess of conviviality — a motive which 
reappears in a multitude of similar tales of the Marsyas type. 
The motive is closely associated with the soma cycle of the Indo- 
Iranians, as will be shown in another article ; two distinct motives 
have evidently been fused, the eagle being the tertium compara- 
tionis. The dupsimati belong with the motive above referred to, 
as they appear also in the creation myth ; Lugalbanda originally 



15 Cf. JAOS 38. 61-64; additional evidence will be adduced in my article 
'The Mouth of the Bivers,' AJSL 35. 161-195, and in a paper entitled 'The 
Goddess of Life and Wisdom, ' to appear in AJSL. 

"Mount Sabu, probably the name of a northern mountain, near Gasur- 
Kasjari-Masius (see my article in AJSL, cited in the preceding note), was 
perhaps selected because of the paronomasia with saM, 'wine,' and its 
congeners. 



316 W . F. Albright 

goes after the fertilizing rains, symbolized by wine, just as Indra 
wrests the soma from the bird Garuda, and bestows it upon the 
thirsty land. As the draught of the gods is also the potion of 
immortality, this is at the same time a journey in search of life. 
That Gilgames' visit to Sabitu was originally vicarious, made 
on behalf of his people, is highly probable ; he was a god of fer- 
tility (see below). The individualizing of the myth naturally 
resulted in the idea that his mission was vain ; did he not die at 
a relatively early age (see above) ? The journey to the Mouth 
of the Rivers, originally to bring the inundation, has undergone 
the same modification. As Lugalbanda is a more pronounced 
sun-god than Gilgames, it is interesting to note that solar motives 
are unquestionably worked in with our episode ; GE 9, Col. 4, 46, 
the nightly journey of the sun thru the harrdn Samsi of the 
underworld, in order to be reborn from the womb of the mother- 
goddess the next morning, is expressly alluded to. It may be 
that the myth has gained admission to the epic cycle thru the 
influence of the solar analogy. 

In the cult, at least, the solar side of Gilgames was quite subordi- 
nate to his aspect as a god of fecundity. The chthonic character 
of our divinity, while in its specific development implying solar 
relationship, is no less an indication of kinship with gods of vege- 
tation. We cannot, therefore, be surprised to find many Tummuz- 
motives in the cycle of Gilgames; his amours with Ishara and 
Istar are vegetation-myths (cf. JBL 37. 115-130). Some of the 
evidence presented to show that Gilgames was primarily a god 
of vegetation by Schneider, in his suggestive essay, 17 is not valid, 
but the main thesis, if somewhat broadened to include the various 
functions of a god of fertility, is certainly correct. Equally 
cogent is Prince's view (Babyloniaca, 2. 62-64), tho the explana- 
tion of d Gl8-GIN-MA§ as 'heros divin de la production' leaves 
the older writings of the name entirely out of consideration. The 
symbol of the god was the ^a-am d Gilgames (CT 15. 14, rev. 11, 
13), with the Semitic equivalent ildaqqu (for *ig-daqqu, 'small 
tree'), 'sprout, slip.' Hommel (OLZ 12. 473 ff.) has ingeniously 
connected the e il a-am (lit. 'plant of the water of the wild bull') 
with the cylinder of Sargon the Elder, representing a hero of the 
Gilgames type watering a wild-bull from a stream, over which a 



17 Zwei Aufsatze zur Beligionsgeschiohte Vorderasiens, pp. 42-84. 



Gilgames and Engidu 317 

young shoot is growing. The scene is evidently symbolical ; the 
stream is the Euphrates, which provides growing vegetation and 
browsing cattle alike with the needful moisture. Similar repre- 
sentations, primarily serving the purpose of sympathetic magic, 
will be treated below. The a-am zi-da of Gudea, Cyl. A, 5, 8, 
and 6, 9, is a cult object, apparently a lustral laver, like the abzu; 
in Gudea 's dream it is placed before him, toward the sunrise, a 
position forcibly reminding one of the basin in the Qit Samsi of 
Silhak-in-Susinak (RT 31. 48), also, of course, placed toward 
the sunrise. The name may indicate that the basin was placed 
on the back of a bull, just as the laver of Solomon's temple was 
supported by twelve bulls, 18 symbolizing, as will be shown else- 
where, the origin of the water from the mouth of the bull Bnki, 
lord of the fresh water (see below), or his attendant bulls, the 
gud-sig-sig, donors of the fecundating water of the two rivers. 19 
The gis-a-am, which presumably derived its name from the a-am 
by its side, from which it drew moisture, like the ildaqqu on the 
bank of the river, may have been a symbolic tree or post, like the 
wooden pole of Asirat or the dd-pillar of Osiris. 20 

38 In this connection I may take up the problem touched JAOS 36. 232. 
Both kiiidr-lci-ur, 'platform,' and Tciiidr-Tciwu, 'laver,' are ultimately identi- 
cal. Primarily M-ur meant 'base, foundation-platform' (duru&su = isdu, 
temennu), whence, like Tci-gal, 'surface, site, ground,' it is used metaphori- 
cally for 'Hades' (cf. Langdon, Liturgies, p. 138). The explanation of 
ki-tir as nerib ergitim, 'entrance to the under- world, ' reminds one of the 
Egyptian mastaba, which served as a link between the two worlds. The 
shrine S-ki-ur in Mppur reminds one of a shrine near Thebes which seems 
to have been regarded as an entrance to the underworld; ef. Foucart, PSBA 
32. 102 ff. The laver Tciurv, may have received its name from being on a 
platform, or it may symbolize the lower world, like the apsu, the big laver 
from which the egubbg were replenished; see my article on 'The Mouth of 
the Rivers, ' A JSL 35. 161-195. 

19 Of., for the present, Frank, Beligion, p. 275. 

20 When a tree in which a great numen of fertility resided died, the trunk 
often remained an object of veneration, being replaced finally by a symbolic 
post, usually representing a palm or cedar. Lutz has brilliantly shown that 
the d<Z-pillar was a stereotyped palm; etymologically it belongs, as I shall 
show elsewhere, with Assyr. gaddu, 'sign-post.' It may be added that 
Osiris is the masculine counterpart to Asirat, as both Ember and myself have 
concluded for different reasons; the old "West-Semitic god Asir, a god of 
fertility with lunar associations, seems to be identical with Osiris (for 
*Asireu, Asir). Tor Osiris and the moon ef. JAOS 39. 73, n. 15. 



318 W. F. Albright 

In view of the close relation of Gilgames to the gods Gibil, 
Samas, and Tammuz, I would explain the name* Gis-gibil-gan-mes 
(see above) as meaning primarily 'torch-feeundating hero' (i. e., 
the hero who fecundates with the torch of fertility). 21 Accord- 
ing to a vocabulary cited SGI 68, gis-gibil = igcu kabbu and 
0' s gibil = icgu irru, both meaning 'fire-stick,' or 'fire-brand.' In 
the above-quoted hymn, Gilgames is called rabbu 22 sa tfise, 'the 
torch (which illumines) the people. ' Similarly we read KTBI 1, 
No. 32, obv. 33 ; Samas diparka kdtim mtitati =' Samas, thy torch 
overwhelms the lands. ' The metaphoric allusion to the sun as a 
lamp is familiar; cf. Swra 25, 62, where the sun is called sirag, 
and note that Gibil was symbolized by a lamp. This explanation 
of gis-gibil is much more likely than the one advanced SGI 87 ; 
at the same time it is perfectly possible that the name Gilgames 
was later thought to mean 'ancestral hero,' or the like. My 
translation of gan as 'fecundity' is strongly favored by the names 
Sagan and Sumugan (see below). Our name falls in the same 
category as Dumu-zi-abzu (Tammuz), 'the loyal child of the sub- 
terranean lake' representing vegetation as perennial, never-fail- 
ing, a happy state which the auspicious name of the god was 
fancied to aid in producing. 23 Gilgames was worshiped as 
patron of the growing forces of nature, felt to emanate from the 
warm rays of the sun. Hence he is a vegetation god, and, like 
the plants over which he presides, his quest of eternal life is 
doomed to failure. Thru his association with the sprouting and 
vigorous, instead of with the fading and dying, with the virile 
male rather than with the ewe and lamb, he is placed in con- 
scious opposition to Tammuz, the darling of women, who comes 
to grief thru the wiles of Istar. 

21 Contrast the formation of the name with others in the same royal list: 
Mes-anni-pada, 'Hero chosen by heaven; ' Mes-Jciag-wma, 'Hero: loved by the 
prince' (Ana, god of heaven) ; Meskingaser, perhaps 'Hero sent by the lord' 
(Mnga=zkin-g£-a; ser older form of tier). Even in name these are lay 
figures. 

a Bead rabbit, from rbb, 'shoot arrow, flash,' instead of rappu, as in 
Delitzsch, Lesestiicht?, p. 178a; cf. ndblu, 'flame,' from nbl, 'shoot arrow,' 
etc. I shall discuss the word elsewhere. 

3 Dumu-zi-abzu is thus a name like Apam-napdt, ' offspring of the water, ' 
an Indo-Iranian genius of fecundity (cf. Gray, ABW 3. 18 ff.). In the 
arid lands of Central Asia the subterranean water-supply was all-important, 
and the vegetation which depends on it was most appropriately termed 
'child of the water.' 



Cfilgames and Engidu 319 

It is also theoretically possible that the name Gilgames means 
'Torch of the (god) "Hero of fecundity," ' a theophorous for- 
mation containing the divine name Gan-mes?* It is noteworthy 
that a god Games seems to have been known, to judge from the 
city-name Kargamis, Karkemis (the shift in sibilants is regular 
in northern Mesopotamia), 'quay of Games.' Virtually all the 
names of river-ports beginning with har (Assyr. haru), 'quay,' 
have a divine name as second element ; thus, to illustrate without 
attempting to exhaust the list, we find in the Kossean period Kar- 
Adad, Kar-Baniti, Kar-Bau, Kar-Bel-mdtdti, Kar-Damu, Kar- 
Dunias, 25 Kar-Ndbu, Kar-NinlU, Kar-Ninurta, Kar-Nusku, Kar- 
Samas. For various reasons, which I will not give here, I am 
inclined to see in Games 28 the precursor of the great Euphratean 
god Dagan. 27 

The most sympathetic feature of the Gilgames-epic is the 
enduring intimacy between the king of Erech and his companion, 
the erstwhile wild-man Engidu. So harmonious is their friend- 
ship that the latter almost seems a mere shadow, designed solely 

"Gan-mes would be a form like ukTan-mes, 'senator' (purSumu). The 
word gan, 'fertility' (=0$), is found especially in ama-gan (see below), 
and in Sa-gan, Sumu-gan, and Gan, names of the god of fertility. 

!5 There can be little doubt that Streok 's explanation of Eardunias is bet- 
ter than Hiising'a (see ZA 21. 255 ff., and contrast OLZ 11. 160, n. 1). Kar- 
DuniaS may have been originally the Kossean name of a city in north-eastern 
Babylonia, on the frontier. 

26 It is not impossible that our Games, later pronounced *Gayis, is the GS of 
Brgs (Assyr. Mar Gusi) in the Zakir inscription. The older form may 
survive in the Moabite Kcmmds' (Assyr. Kammusu), for *KammeS, like 
Sargdn for SarTcen, etc. — it was long ago suggested that EarkemiS meant 
'fortress of Chemosh' — which would then belong to the Amorite period of 
contact with Mesopotamia, like Damn and Lafymu (Schroder, OLZ 18. 291 
f., 294 f.), Isftara and Dagan, while G6s would be a much later, Aramaean 
loan, like ll^N for IlumSr, Iluuer, Nikhal for Ningal, Nsk for Nusku, etc. 

27 Dagan, like Adad, with whom he alternates, was originally a weather- 
god; his name is connected with the root dg, 'be cloudy, rainy' (Ar. dagga, 
d&ga, ddgana). From the nature of things most gods of productivity are 
also regents of the weather, and conversely. The ichthyoid development of 
Dagan in Palestine is due to popular etymology connecting the name with 
dag, 'fish,' as natural for a maritime people. Heb. dagan, 'grain,' is 
probably on a par with Lat. Ceres, Assyr. Nisaba; ef. the precisely similar 
use of Pales, Sumuqan, and Heb. *a$tarot haggSn. Sanchuniathon 's explana- 
tion of the name Aayoiv from dagan, iireiSr) etipe olrov, is another artificial 
etymology, impossible from the Assyrian standpoint. 



320 W. F. Albright 

to act as the hero's mentor, a reflection of his buoyant ideal of 
life and dismal picture of death. The parallelism is so close 
that the complementary element found, for example in the story 
of David and Jonathan, or in that of Btana and the eagle, where 
one supplies the lacks of the other, is wanting. Gressmann has 
happily directed attention to the contrast between Gilgames, the 
exponent of civilization, and Engidu, the child of nature, who 
develops successively thru the stages of love for animals, for 
woman, and for a friend (UG 92 ff.). The discovery of the 
Babylonian text of the second tablet has confirmed Gressmann 's 
view; after the vivid description of Engidu 's initiation into the 
benefits and snares of civilization, and his grapple with Gilgames 
to free the latter from the allurements of Ishara, there can be no 
doubt that the thought of the gifted poet has been correctly 
divined. Here, however, as in the story of Joseph, we must not 
rate the inventive genius of ancient rhapsodists too highly, tho 
they were sometimes able to construct surpassingly beautiful 
edifices when the material lay at hand. Engidu is not, as might 
be fancied from the standpoint of literary analysis alone, an arti- 
ficial creation of the poet ; he is a figure of independent origin, 
related in charaoter to Gilgames, and attracted to him under the 
influence of the motive of the Dioscuri ; Engidu corresponds to 
Castor, while his companion, who remains inconsolable after the 
death of his 'younger brother', is Polydeuces. 28 

The fundamental identity of Engidu with Gira-Sakan-Sumu- 
qan is now generally recognized (cf. Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 480 
f.). Their resemblance is indicated in the epic by the phrase 
lubusti labis kima il GlB (I, Col. 2, 38), 'he is dressed in a gar- 
ment like Sumuqan, ' which is naturally a euphemism for 'naked.' 
Both Sumuqan -and Engidu are patrons and protectors of the 
bul geri, especially of the gazelle ; after death the latter descends 
to Hades to live with the former, who, being a god of fertility, 
must die. 

It is impossible to reach a definite conclusion in regard to the 

28 The most popular conception of the heavenly twins exhibits them as 
the sun and moon, so it is by no means improbable that Gilgames and Engidu 
in this role represent the sun and moon, respectively, as suggested by Lutz. 
It is, at all events, clear from the present investigation that all Gilgames ' 
astral affinities appear to be with the sun, while part, at least, of Engidu 's 
are with the moon. 



Gilgames and Engidu 321 

oldest name of our deity, as a result of the welter of names and 
the confusion of ideograms which greet us. Thureau-Dangin 
(Lettres et contrats, p. 60; BA 11. 103) thinks that the most 
ancient reading is Gir, but the reading T7g is also possible. CT 
12. 31, the god's name is written with the character ANSU; Sa 
IV, 11 gives the value anse to GIB, a confusion due to the close 
resemblance in form between the signs. As the original form of 
GIR, a lion's head (Barton, No. 400), shows, our god was pri- 
marily leonine (ug = labbu, nesu, umu, 'lion' ; umu, nunc, Samas, 
'light, sun') ; from Sum. gir is derived girru, 'lion,' properly 'the 
mighty one,' like Ar. 'asad. The lion is, of course, a typically 
solar animal (see below). The vocabularies give for d GlB the 
pronunciations Sakan (CT 12. 31, 38177.4), Sakkan (CT 29. 46. 
9), and Sumuqan (CT 24. 32. 112), Sumugga (CT 29. 46. 8), a 
reading which was perhaps the most common, as it appears writ- 
ten phonetically 8u-mu-un-ga-an (8LT, No. 13, rev. 12). 
Sumugan (Akkadian Sumuqan) is probably equivalent to later 
Sumerian gan-sum-mu, 'giver of fecundity' ; Sagan (later Sakan, 
Sakkan, like Makkan for Magan) is an abbreviation of Ama- 
sagan-gub (CT 29. 46. 12), written Ama-GAN '+ SA-gub in a cyl- 
inder published by Thureau-Dangin (BA 11, 103 f.), a name 
which means 'He who assists mothers in child-birth' (ama-gan = 
ummu tilittu; see above). CT 29. 46 gives as ideographic equiva- 
lents of GIB, G1B-GAZI AM, GAN, and MAS, all referring to 
his functions as patron of animal productivity. 

The name Engidu (CT 18. 30. 10) is written in the Assyrian 
recension of GE d En-ki-du, in the southern text d En-ki-du(g) ; 
we also find the writing with a parasitic nasal d En-ki-im-du(SLT 
178, n. 2). Langdon's explanation as belu sa ergita m utahhadu 
(du = tahddu), 'Lord who fructifies the earth,' may be correct. 
In view, however, of KI-Dt7 = KI-GAL, both pronounced sur 
(SGI 252) = berutu, 'depths' (mat berutu = qibiru, 'grave' 
= aralu; note that Heb. bor and sahat =se'6l), Zimmern's 
idea 29 seems preferable, and Engidu may be rendered 'Lord of 
the underworld,' like Enki, which almost certainly has this 
meaning. Enki-Ba and Gira-Sumuqan were originally related 

29 See KB 6. 1. 571 f., and KAT° 568, n. 6. Svr means 'depth, source' 
(asurralcu is 'ground-water, source- wa ter ' contrast SGI 251), 'gulch' (J^arrv,, 
SGI 252), and perhaps 'submerge' (sur = ZAB = tardru [AJ8L 34. 244. 
91], otherwise gigri, loc. tit.). 

81 JAOS 40 



322 W. F. Albright 

figures; the latter is mentioned after Ea-bel-hasisi, 'Ea the lord 
of wisdom,' in the Mattiuaza treaty. 30 Most interesting is the 
divine name d 8um,ugan-sigga-bar, ' Sumuqan the wild-goat, ' since 
it virtually identifies our deity with Ea. 31 In an incantation over 
the holy water (ASKT 77, No. 9, 6) we read: a sigga-bar-ra-mi sz 
-zid-de-es-dug- [ga] = 'water' which by the wild goat (Ea; cf. 
next line: ka-kug d En-ki-ge na-ri-ga-dm, 'the holy mouth of Enki 
is pure') is continually made soft (Akkadian very free, mu sa ina 
apsi kenis kunnu).' Engidu's own character as donor of fertil- 
izing water to vegetation is clear from SLT, No. 13, rev. 13 : [En- 
ki]-im-du ab-si-im-ma e-pa-ri gi-ir-za-al [se-gu]-nu ma-a = 
'Engidu, who makes abundant (zal = sutabru, 'be sated with') 
the irrigating ditches and canals for the herbage, who causes the 
sesame ( ?) 33 to grow.' He also appears as a satyr, or vegetation 
spirit GE I, Col. 2, 36 f . ; ubbus piritu kima sinnisti; [pi] tiq pir- 
tisu uhtannaba kima Nisaba = 'he is decked with hair like a 
woman : the growth (lit. formation) of his hair is as luxuriant as 
(standing) grain.' 

60 OLZ 13, 296. 

81 Ea is given the name dDdr, the divine wild-goat (ibex), IVB 25, 40a. 
and dD&r-abzu, 'ibex of the nether sea,' HE 55, 27c, whence in the list of 
divine barks, K 4378, his ship is called the giimd-ddr-abzu. The ddr-abzu 
appears in art as a goat-fish, sugur-m&i (cf. JAOS 39. 71, n. 12.) 

^Delitzsch (SOI 146) prefers to read geme (dug-ga), but the parallel 
form gis-dug-ga does not make this necessary. The reading mi is proved by 
the gloss mi to SAL in SAL-zid-dug in a text published by Thureau-Dangin 
in MA 11. 144. 14. Some of the passages where our word occurs will not admit 
Delitzsch's rendering. Assyr. kunnu (cf. KB 6. 1. 435), from TcawH, means 
properly 'fix, appoint, assign, apply' (the root Ten, whence Tcanu and sak&nu, 
means 'set, establish'), hence 'apply a name' in Ar. and Heb., 'count' in 
Eg. (cnu), and in Assyr. 'make fitting, suitable, adorn, care for' (like 
n|3. Job 32, 21; this illustrates the connection between Ar. 'dhaba, 'pre- 
pare,' and Heb. 3nK, 'love'). Eth. mekeni&t, 'cause, opportunity, pre- 
text, ' seems to afford a parallel to Lat. opportunitas, properly ' fitness. ' 

88 Barton's explanation of gv, as 'sesame' (BA 9. 2. 252) seems plausible; 
the ideogram means 'oil of heaven,' corresponding to Sem. Samassammu 
('sun-plant,' Haupt). Sum. gunu may even stand for *muSni (the oldest 
form of the word, reflected by the ideogram SE-GIS-NI) > *mwni (like 
mutin, 'vine,' for mu$tin> gestin)> *munu (by vocalic harmony) > gunu. 
An increasing number of parallels, which I am collecting, shows that such 
a relation between EME-KU and EME-SAL, or litanic (Haupt) forms is 
quite regular. 



Gilgames and Engidu 323 

Like Tammuz, the d Sib ( = re'u), Si Sumuqan is a shepherd, 
guardian of all animal life, wild as well as tame. KTBI, No. 19, 
obv. 2 f., Sumuqan is called ndqidu ellu m massu sa Ani sa ina put 
karsi nam sibirra = ' holy shepherd, leading goat of Anu, who 
carries the shepherd's staff before the flock ( ?).' In 13 we hear 
of the bul Sumuqan, his cattle, and in 15 his name is followed by 
nam(m)aste sa Qi[ri m ], 'the beasts of the plain.' The text is a 
hymn to Samas; in the first line we must read ^Sumuqan ma 
(!)r[u] naramka, 'S, the son whom thou lovest'; Sumuqan 
•was the son of the sun. Similarly, 8LT, No. 13, rev. 13, we 
find Su-mit-un-ga-anzi-gal si-in-ba-ar u-si-im-dib-a = ' S, who 
oversees living creatures and provides them with herbage.' 
Accordingly, when wild animals were needed for sacrificial pur- 
poses, Sumuqan had first to be appeased, that his dire wrath over 
the slaughter of his creatures might be averted. In the interest- 
ing 'scape-goat' incantation (ASKT, No. 12), S5 Enki, after giv- 
ing Marduk his commission, instructs him: d Sumuqan dumu 
d Babbar sib-nig-nam-ma-ge mas-da d Edin-na gu-mu-ra-ab-tum- 
ma; d Nin-ildu (IGI-LAMGA-GID) lamga-gal-an-na-gl illuru 3B 
su-kug-dim-ma-na gu-mu-ra-ab-tum-ma; mas-da d Edin-na du-a 
igi- d Babbar-su u-me-ni-gub. lugal-e - - - mas-da igi- d Babbar-su 
ge-en-slg-ga (rev. 10 ff.) = 'Let Sumuqan, sun of Samas, shepherd 
of everything, bring a gazelle of the desert; let Ninildu, the 
great artificer of heaven, bring a bow made by his pure hands ; 

place the gazelle toward the sun. Let the king shoot the 

gazelle, (facing) toward the sun.' When the gazelle is shot, the 
sin and sickness of the king leave him and enter the beast. 
Zimmern, Ritualtafeln, No. 100, 25, a wild-sheep, [sa] ibbanu ina 
supuri elli ina tarba$i sa Gira (written Gir-ra) = 'which was 
created in the pure enclosure, in the fold of Gira' (i. e., in the 
wilderness), is presented for sacrifice. 

Sumuqan is in a special sense the god of animal husbandry, the 
fecundity of cattle, and even their fructification being ascribed to 



34 Cf. Zimmern, TamUz (Abh. Sachs. Ges. Wiss., VoL 27), p. 8. 

85 While it must be admitted that the mds-gul-dub-ba was killed before the 
termination of the ceremony, the seape-goat was turned loose to be devoured 
by wild-beasts, which amounts to the same thing, so Prince and Langdon are 
justified in employing the term. For the debate between Prince and Fossey 
see JA, 1903, 133 ff. 

30 For reading see Langdon, MA 12. 74. 17, and 79, n. 7. 



324 W. F. Albright 

his agency. 37 Thus we read (ibid. 35 ff.) : andsikunusi - - - 

puhdtta sa azlu Id ishitu elisa, rihut Sumuqan Id imquta ana 

libbisa = 'I bring you a ewe-lamb, upon which a wild-sheep has 
not yet leaped, into which the sperm of Sumuqan has not yet 
fallen.' The most important passage is Maqlu, 7, 23-30, hith- 
erto misunderstood : — siptu : ardhika rdmdni ardhika pagri kima 
Sumuqan irhu bulsu lahru immersa Qabitu armasa atdnu mursa, 
nartabu ergiti m irhu ergiti™ imhuru z$rsa. addi sipta ana 
rdmdni' a; lirhi rdmdnima lisegi lumnu, u kispi sa zumri'a lis- 
suhu Hani rabuti = Incantation : I impregnate thee, myself ; I 
impregnate thee, my body, just as Sumuqan impregnates his cat- 
tle, and the ewe (conceives) her lamb, the gazelle her fawn, the 
she-ass her colt, (just as) the noria 38 impregnates the earth, and 
the earth conceives her seed. I apply the incantation to myself ; 
may it impregnate me and remove the evil; may the great gods 
extirpate the enchantment from my body. ' In the same way we 
have, PSBA 23, 121, rev. 11, kima samu irhu ir$iti im'idu sammu 
= 'just as heaven impregnates earth (with rain) and herbage 
increases.' The passage has been misunderstood also by Lang- 
don, Tammuz and Ishtar, p. 93, n. 8 ; rahu has just as concrete 
a meaning here as GE I, Col. 4, 21. 

As patron of animal husbandry Sumuqan becomes the princi- 
ple of virility. Hence his association with the remarkable rite of 
masturbation, by the ceremonial practise of which evil was 
expelled. We need not suppose that in Assyrian times the rite 
was more than symbolical ; originally, however, it must have been 
actually performed. In Egypt one of the most popular myths 
represented the creator, Atum, as creating the gods in this way 
(cf. Apophis-book, 26, 24 f. ; Pyramid 1248: 'Atum became an 
onanist [iws'w] while he was in Heliopolis. He put his phallus in 
his fist, in order to satisfy his hist with it [udnf hnnf m hf'f, irf 

" To use current terminology, he is the mana residing in the male. 

68 The gi&apin = nartabu was probably a great undershot water-wheel, Ar. 
na 'ura; Heb 'of an, 'wheel' may be derived from epinnu (of. Maynar'd, 
AJSL 34. 29) < apin (in this connection I would like to point out another 
Hebrew word derived from Sumerian [cf . AJSL 34. 209] : moraj, ' threshing 
sledge, ' is Sum. marra§ = narpasu, with the same sense, as is certain from 
the ideogram (cf. SGI 175), which means 'sledge to thresh grain,' or tribula). 
The ancient Babylonians may also have employed the cerd (Meissner, BA 
5. 1. 104 f.). 



Gilgames and Engidu 325 

ndm nit imf]. The two twins, §u and Tefene, were born'). 8 * 
The Aegaean peoples doubtless possessed similar ideas about the 
origin of life, preserved in a modified form in the hermaphrodite 
god of fecundity, Phanes, who, according to Suidas, was por- 
trayed atSoioc ix<ov irepl rrjv irvyijv, 'penent habens iuxta nates.' 40 
There is no direct trace of an onanistic theory of creation in Baby- 
lonia ; the magical ceremony in Maqlu is evidently based on a fer- 
tility charm, not dissimilar to the many eases gathered by Frazer, 
Schroder, and others, where a sexual union of some kind is exe- 
cuted or symbolized in order to induce fertility by homeopathic 
magic. We may safely trace our peculiar brand of symbolic 
magic to pastoral customs ; both in Babylonia and in Greece the 
practise of onanism is connected with the satyr-shepherds Sumu- 
qan and Pan. 41 A curious aetiological explanation of the custom 
is given by Dion Chrysostom (Boscher, III, 1397) : e\tye Sk W£a>v 

Tqv o~vvovo~iav TavTtjv evprjjxa elvai tov Ilavds, ore rrjs 'H^ovs ipturOtls ovk 

i&waro Xafiiiv** * rote ovv tov *Epp.rjv (the ithyphallic, like Eg. Min) 

Si8a£<u avTov * * * air' €KCivov 8e tovs irot/ae'ras XpfjcrOai padovras. 

The story is perhaps late; the idea that Pan's TaXanrwpCa conse- 
quent on the escape of the elusive nymph was cured in this way is 
sufficiently grotesque to be ancient, but hardly naive enough. 
Onanism was, of course, common among shepherds, a virile race, 
often deprived of female companionship, and forced to while 
away tedious siestas with the flocks, a necessity which gave rise to 

W A similar conception is reflected in Pyr. 701: su'd It% - - - r 'gbi tp 
m'stf, r bnit imit Wf = 'Make Teti more flourishing (greener) than the 
flood of Osiris that is upon his lap (the Nile) , more than the date which is in 
his fist' (the date, like the fig, has phallic significance). According to this 
extraordinary conception, the Nile arises thru the continuous masturbation of 
Osiris; later the grossness of the symbolism was softened by speaking merely 
of the efllux (rdy,) of the god's body, which does not, of course, refer to the 
ichor of the decomposing corpse, but to the fecundizing seed. The Egyptians 
also fancied that the Nile was the milk of Isis (Pyr. 707, etc.). The Sumer- 
ians fancied that the silt in the rivers was caused by Innina's washing her 
hair in the sources (see especially ASKT, No. 21), and that the rivers were 
the menstrual flow from the lap of the earth-goddess (JAOS 39. 70). 

40 In art, at least, Hermaphrodite is less grotesque, resembling rather Eg. 
H'pj, the Nile-god. 

41 Pan stands for *IIawi', connected with pastor and Pales; Sumuqan and 
Nisaba are employed for 'cattle,' and 'grain,' precisely like Pales and 
Ceres. Both Engidu and Pan are associated with springs and fountains, 
where their 'heart became merry, in the companionship of the beasts.' 



326 W. F. Albright 

bestiality as well (see below), as illustrated by an amusing story 
in Aelian, De nat. anim., 6, 42. 

The relation of Sumuqan to the reproduction of animals is 
drastically represented in archaic seal-cylinders (cf. Ward, Seal 
Cylinders, No. 197, etc., and especially the beautiful seal in De la 
Fuye, Documents, 1, plate 9), where a naked god with a long 
beard and other marks of virility (the heroic type) grasps a gazelle 
by the horns and tail in such a way that the sexual parts come 
into contact. 42 The reason for the frequency of this motive on the 
early cylinders is not hard to find. Many, if not most of the seals 
in a pastoral country like early Babylonia belonged to men who 
had an active interest in the prosperity of the flocks and herds. 
Our scene belongs primarily to the category of sympathetic 
magic ; by depicting the lord of increase in his fecundating capac- 
ity the flock would become more prolific. The origin of many 
similar representations on the monuments must be explained on 
this principle. One of the clearest cases is the scene showing two 
genii of fertility (Heb. Kerubim) shaking the male inflorescence 
over the blossoms of the female date-palm, with the winged solar 
disk above to bestow early maturity of fruit (cf. Von Luschan, 
Die ionische Saule, pp. 25 ft 3 .) 43 The Sumuqan motive was as 
completely misunderstood in the process of mechanical imitation 

42 In this connection may be mentioned two cylinders published by Tos- 
canne, BA 7. 61 ff., so far unexplained. One represents a female squatting 
over a prostrate man, while another man seizes her wrist with his right hand, 
drawing a dagger with his left. The second shows a similar nude figure 
hovering in the air (so; contrast Toscanne) before a man, who holds a lance 
to ward her off. These creatures are ghouls, the Babylonian arddt HU; 
the seals, which belonged to harem officials, may have had apotropaeic pur- 
pose. A commentary is provided by Langdon, Liturgies, No. 4, 14 ff . : 

sd-teirdg "bdr-bdr-ri-dS 

sd-lci-dg ur-i-ri-dd (for u-ri-ri = u-Tcu-Tcu?) 

sd-M-dg an-ta im-du-dim dub sa ( ?) 

[ ] halag a-gi-dim ge-ra-ra = 
'When the beloved (of the Ulit) was stretched (in sleep), 
When the beloved lay sleeping (?), 

Upon the beloved like a storm from above coming down ( ?) , 
[ ] the man like a flood verily she overwhelmed. ' 

43 A similar motive is found on a cylinder in the collection of Dr. J. B. 
Nies, representing a figure stretching out his hands, from which sprouts 
grow, over a flock, as if in blessing. 



Gilgames and Engidu 327 

as the palm-tree motive.** The phallism disappears ; the gazelle 
even becomes bearded, and is transformed into a bull-man wrest- 
ling with the hero (contamination with the beast-combat motive). 
In some of the cylinders the latter seems to be protecting the 
gazelle from a lion which is in the act of springing upon her. 

The hero in this scene is unquestionably Sumuqan-Engidu, 
whose association with the gazelle is familiar from the epic as 
well as from the passages cited above. 45 Jastrow pointed out 
long ago (AJSL 15. 201) that Engidu, like Adam, was supposed 
to have had intercourse with the beasts before knowing woman. 
GE 2 describes very vividly how Engidu lived with the gazelles, 
protecting them from the hunter, accompanying them to the 
watering place, and drinking milk from their teats (GE, Lang- 
don, Col. 3, 1-2). "When he returned after his adventure with 
the courtesan to consort with the gazelles, they failed to recog- 
nize him, as his wild odor had been corrupted by the seven days ' 
liaison with the emissary of civilization. So fixed was his semi- 
bestial character that he apparently follows the mos pecudum 
even with the samhat (Jensen, KB 6. 1. 428). Of course, the 
above described representation is not purely symbolical in char- 
acter; the idea doubtless came from current practises. The 
gazelle, so beautiful and graceful, and so easily tamed, was pre- 
sumably employed in the ancient Orient for the same purpose as 
the goat in Mediterranean countries, and the llama or alpaca in 
Peru. An anatomical reason for the superiority of the gazelle 
in this respect is stated in the Talmudic tractate 'Erubim, fol. 
54 b, commenting on the significant expression D'DHK Ph^ii • 
Prov. 5, 19, in the usual fashion : PD^m IV HOPP H^'K HO 

rrnn nm ept ,-uwjo nytso nyen rryc *» rfrjro ty 
• ruitrm njwa nyen nw ^ \mn1? ty paon 

The gazelle was associated with the cult of the goddess of 
fecundity among the Western Semites and in Arabia ; some refer- 
ences to the older literature are given by Wood, JBL 35. 242 f. 
At Mekka small golden images of the gazelle were worshiped. 

"As a sequel to the series of illustrations given by Von Luschan, note a 
relief from the Parthian period, figured in Andrae, Satra, II, 149, forming 
a sort of transition to the familiar heraldic group of the lion and unicorn, 
' fighting for the crown. ' 

45 Sura 11, 59, ' There is not a beast whose forelock (n&giia) he does not 
grasp, ' might almost have referred to Sumuqan, so similar is the posture. 



328 W. F. Albright 

The West-Semitic god Resep was a gazelle- god ; a gazelle is 
carved on the forehead of his statuettes (Miiller, Egyptological 
Researches, Vol. 1, p. 33) . Of special importance is the fact that 
the gazelle was sacred to the ithyphallic Min of Koptos, also an 
onanist, and presumably equally devoted to his favorites, who 
enjoyed the honors of mummification. The gazelles were later, 
in the interests of decency ( ? ) , and in accordance with ideas 
elsewhere, transferred to Isis (Aelian, op. cit. 10, 23) : vifiown Se 

apa oi avrol Ko7rrtTai Kal OrjKtias SopicdSas Kal fK$tov(Tiv airas, Tovs oe 
appevas (naturally !) Karadvovcriv. afivpfm 8e e'voi tos B-qXtias rijs "IeriSds 
<£ao*iv. 

It may further be shown that our divinity was regarded in one 
important myth as the son of the sun-god by a gazelle. First, 
however, we must return to the lion-god, tig or Gira, 4 * who repre- 
sents the solar heat both in its destructive and in its fecundating 
aspects. Hence the god of pestilence, the lion {KB 6. 1. 60.3) 
Irra or Nergal, is associated with Gir-ra {CT 25. 50. 15), and 
Ninurta is compared (Radau, BE 29, No. 4, 1) to the lion-god 
who prowls in the night looking for prey ( d Gir-ra-dim ge-a 
du-du). The lion-god is found elsewhere, especially in Asia 
Minor, where the Anatolian Heracles (Sandon, etc.) is repre- 
sented standing on a lion (see Frazer, Adonis, Attis, and Osiris? 
pp. 127, 139, 184). In Egypt the ferocious goddess of war and 
destroyer of mankind, Shmt, is lion-headed. The intimate rela- 
tion between Gira and Nergal (Lugalgira) appears from the fact 
that both are gazelles as well as lions ; Nergal is called the masda 
in the vocabularies CT 11. 40, K 4146. 22-23, and CT 12. 16b. 
38-39. As a gazelle-god he is patron of productivity ; his special- 
ized aspect of lord of the underworld was developed after he had 
been admitted to the greater pantheon of Babylonia. 

"We should certainly expect to find some reflection of so popular 
a deity and hero as Sumuqan-Engidu in the list of post-diluvian 
kings, along with Tammuz, Lugalbanda, and Gilgames. Nor are 
we deceived; one can hardly doubt that Gira is the successor of 
Qalumu m , 'ymuig ram,' and Zuqdqip, 'scorpion,' and the pre- 
decessor of Btana, whose name is variously written Ar-uu, Ar- 
uu-u, and Ar-hu-um. The word was also used commonly as a per- 



"Engidu is called nimru sa geri, 'panther of the desert' (GE 10. 46). 
Sum. tig or gvr seems to have denoted both ' lion ' and ' panther. ' 



Gilgames and Engidu 329 

sonal name ; see Chiera, Personal Names, Part I, p. 64, No. 275 : 
Ar-uu-um," Ar-bu[-um], Ar-mu-e-um (No. 276 is the correspond- 
ing fern., Ar-ui-tum, Ar-mi-tum). We can identify our name 
without hesitation with Heb. 'arje, 'lion,' Eth. arue, 'beast,' Ar. 
arud, 'ibex' ; 4S aruu stands for *aruaiu, a form like amain, 'hare' 
(Ar. 'arnab), which also is a common proper name (cf. Chiera, 
No. 277, Arnabtu m ). Now, Aruu m is called the son of a gazelle 
in HGT, Nos. 2 and 5. It is true that in No. 3 we have mas-en-da 
= muskenu, for mas-dd = cabitu, but this is evidently a scribal 
error. 49 The existence of a predecessor of Gilgames named 
'Lion' appears further from GE 6. 51-52; rationalism has trans- 
formed the lion-god into an animal loved by Istar, more Pasi- 
phaes. Fecundizing demigods were often regarded as born of 
animal mothers ; cf. JBL 37. 117. The father of Aruu m was, of 
course, Samas, also the parent of the related Meskingaser and 
Lugalbanda, as well as of the bull-god a GVD mar il Samas (Den- 
nefeld, Geburtsomina, p. 37, 19). In this connection it may be 
noted that these three Semitic animal names all belong to the 
dynasty of Kis, while the rulers of the following kingdom of 
Banna are all Sumerian. This is probably due to the fact that 
the Sumerian legends current in northern Babylonia, which 
became predominantly Semitic long before the south, were early 
Semitized. 

A most curious reflection of the cycle of Sumuqan-Engidu is 
found in the popular Indian story of 'Gazelle-horn' {Bsya- 
srnga),™ best treated by Liiders (Nach. Gott. Ges. Wiss., Phil.- 
hist. Klasse, 1897, pp. 87 ff.) and Von Schroder (Mysterium und 
Mimus, pp. 292-303). There are two principal recensions, San- 
skrit and Pali, both based upon a common prototype, now lost, 
as Liiders has shown. Schroder has adopted the dramatic 
theory of Hertel, and pointed out further that the representation 
was a mimetic fertility charm. According to the first recension, 



47 Cf. CT 4. 50, and 6. 42a, where the name also occurs. 

48 For the development 'ibex,' cf. Eg. m'hd, 'oryx antelope,' lit. 'white 
lion. ' 

49 There is much confusion between masda, ' gazelle, ' and maSenda = 
muskenu; ef. CT 11. 40, K 4146, 25-26, and CT 12. 16. 41-42. 

w Cf. also Jensen, ZDMG 67, 528, who, as often, goes altogether too far 
in the exuberance of discovery. 



330 W . F. Albright 

Esyasrnga is the son of a gazelle, made pregnant by drinking 
from water in which a holy man has bathed. He grows up to be a 
hermit (wild man) in the forest, associating with animals and 
ignorant of woman. When a drought afflicts the land, the king 
is informed by the Brahmans that it cannot be checked until the 
hermit is brought to the court. After a courtesan has seduced 
him from his ascetic life, rain falls. In the Buddhist Jdtaka, 
Sakra (Indra) sends a three years' famine upon the land, and 
refuses to remove the ban until the obnoxious hermit is seduced 
by the king's daughter. The princess succeeds, by a familiar 
ruse,, and Sakra is pacified. The hermit relates the experience 
to his father, who admonishes him, and draws him back to his 
ascetic career; the last is naturally a Buddhistic modification, 
quite foreign to the original tale. The ascetic character of 
'Gazelle-horn' is on a par with the Sicilian Santa Venera 
(Venus), and cannot be regarded seriously. His wild character 
is original, as also, evidently, his intimate association with 
gazelles; on a relief of Amaravati (Liiders, p. 133) he is por- 
trayed as a man with long braided hair, a skin over his shoulder 
and a girdle about his hips, in the company of three gazelles. 

In the Gilgames-epic Engidu is molded by Aruru, the creatress 
of man ; he lives in the wilderness, consorting with the gazelles, 
and protecting them against the hunter. The latter protests to 
Gilgames, who sends a courtesan to seduce the wild man, a com- 
mission which is duly executed. As seduction of the male is a 
very common motive in the cult-legends of Oriental gods of fer- 
tility (see JBL 37. 123 f.), we may safely assume that the 
theme was once the subject of mimetic representation in Baby- 
lonia. The form of the story which has been incorporated into 
GE is much modified to suit the new situation. Moreover, it is 
here associated with the motive of the creation of the first man, 
describing his intercourse with animals, his seduction, and the 
fall from primitive innocence which ensued (Jastrow, loc. cit.). 
The myth current among the worshipers of Sumuqan must have 
been somewhat different. In the first place, the hero is a child of 
the sun by a gazelle. Being a demi-god, he is not content with 
breaking the snares of the hunter, and filling up his pits; he 
sends a famine against the land. This is a motive familiar else- 
where, as in the legends of Brauron and Munichia, whose inhabi- 
tants kill a she-bear and are punished by Artemis with famine 



Gilgames and Engidu 331 

and pestilence. Similarly, according to a legend preserved in 
the Qur'dn, God sent a supernatural camel to test the Thamudites 
(7, 71 ff.; 11, 67 ff.; 26, 155 ff.; 54, 27 ff.), imposing the condi- 
tion that they must share their fountain with the naqatu 'llahi 
alternate days. Disregarding warnings, they houghed the camel, 
and were destroyed by a cataclysm. Another parallel is found in 
Persia, if we accept Carnoy's doubtful explantion of the punish- 
ment of Masya and Masyoi (JAOS 36. 315) . 

We may reconstruct the myth of Sumuqan very plausibly, 
after making the necessary alterations in the form found in GE. 
The king sends a courtesan to seduce the god or hero of fertility ; 
with sexual union the charm is broken, and rain returns to the 
land. Whether this was the exact form of the myth or not is, 
of course, doubtful; it is, however, evident that all the elements 
are here from which precisely such a tale as the Rsyasrnga-story 
may be derived in the most natural way. Jensen is certainly 
wrong in seeing here a direct loan from GE, as the gazelle-mother 
does not occur in the latter. But it is very probable that our 
story goes back eventually to a Mesopotamian origin ; in no other 
case that I have seen is the likelihood so great. Indologists who 
regard all Hindu fiction as autochthonous would do well to read 
Gaston Paris' posthumous monograph on the origin and dif- 
fusion of the 'Treasury of Ehampsinitus' (BHB 55. 151 ff., 267 
ff.). No doubt a few stories retold in other countries originated 
in the prolific climate of Babylonia. 

The conceptions of Sumuqan hitherto considered exhibit him 
as a lion, like Nergal, a wild-goat, like Ea, a gazelle, like Nergal, 
Kesep, and Min. Besides these three animal incarnations, we 
have a fourth, the ass, as appears from the vocabulary CT 12. 31, 
38177, 4-5, where d AN5TJ has the pronunciation Sakan (see 
above). That this datum is not due to graphic corruption with 
GIB is perfectly evident from the context, which is devoted to 
ass-names. Moreover, the d ANSU appears in early proper 
names. 

Ass-worship did not, so far as we know now, attain much 
importance in any Mediterranean country except Anatolia, 
where we find the Phrygian ass-divinity Silenus, reflected in the 
legendary Midas, whose person, despite its mythical robe, is a 
reminiscence of a historical dynasty of Phrygian kings (Mita of 
Muske). Another ass-god was Priapus, whose cult centered in 



332 W. F. Albright 

Lydia and Mysia (Lampsacus), to whom the ass was sacrificed, 
and who in some myths was the son of an ass (Roscher, III, 2970) . 
In Egypt, from the Hyksos period on, Set (§ts, Sth) of Avaris 
was worshiped as lord of Asia under the form of an ass(t?tO),) 
which led to the Egypto-Hellenistic libels regarding the worship 
of Iaho as an ass in Jerusalem. The beast of Set was originally 
perhaps an ant-bear (Schweinfurth), at all events not an ass, so 
we may ascribe the identification of the no longer recognized 
figure with the ass to Hyksos (i. e. Anatolian) influence. 51 The 
association of the ass with fecundity might be illustrated by a 
mass of evidence, mythological, pornographic, and philological. 
The quasi-divine nature of the ass appears from Juvenal's state- 
ment (6, 334) that prominent Roman matrons consorted with the 
animal at the orgies of the 'Bona Dea.' That bestiality of this 
sort was practised elsewhere is clear from Apuleius, Met., 10, 
22, and Lucian's Aowaos rj ovoi, which draws freely from Syro- 
Anatolian tales and customs. 

As might be expected, the fecundizing sun was symbolized as 
an ass, and c l was, accordingly, one of the solar names in the 
Egyptian litany (PSBA 15. 225) . Solar eclipses were fancied to 
be caused by a huge serpent (hiu), which swallowed the ass of 
heaven, a catastrophe depicted most vividly in the vignettes 
accompanying the text of the Book of the Dead (ibid. pi. 13, fac- 
ing p. 219). 52 

We have also direct evidence that the ass-god Sakan was identi- 
fied with the moon in the name d EN-ZU- d ANSU — Sin-§akan, 
'Sakan is the moon.' 53 The only other clear lunar ass with 

51 Cf . also MuUer, OLZ 16. 433-6. Schiffer 's Marsyas theory (cf . OLZ 16. 
232) is untenable; while an ass-god may well have been worshiped in Damas- 
cus, the Assyrian name Sa imeresu, ' (City) of asses,' refers to the extensive 
caravan trade of the latter (Haupt, ZDMG 69, 168-172). Another alu sa 
imere, in the Zagros, is mentioned among the conquests of the Elamite king 
gilhak-in-8usinak (BT 33. 213. 14) . 

02 The Egyptians also believed in an obscene ass-demon ; cf . Moller, Sitz. 
Berl. Alcad., 1910, p. 945. 

63 Pinches, PSBA 39, PI. 10, rev. 37. The suggestion (Hid. p. 94) that 
'Sakkan - - - would seem to be a parallel to the Hebrew Shekinah, and - - - 
comes from the same root' would probably be rejected by the author now. 
Even this is superior to the views expressed by Ball, PSBA 32. 64-72, where 
among other gems we find the idea that Sekem ben Samor is Saltan mar 
imSri. 



Oilgames and Engidu 333 

which I am acquainted is the Iranian three-legged Khara (i. e. 
'ass,' mod. har), standing in the cosmic sea Vourukasa, related 
both to the three-fold moon (cf. Siecke, Hermes, pp. 67 ff.) and to 
the three-legged Priapus, 54 whose phallic nature shows transpar- 
antly thru the metonymy. The motive was familiar to the Indo- 
Iranians, as appears from the three-legged Indian Kubera (cf. 
Hopkins, JA08 33. 56, n. 1). 

Finally I will call attention to some curious parallels between 
Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Indo-Iranian mythology, sug- 
gested by the equation Sin = Sakan. Blackman, in a valuable 
article, JEA 3, 235-249, has proved that one of the writings of 
the name of the moon-god Hnsu, 'the wanderer,' represents him 
as the royal placenta, hi-nisut, hnsu, a conception paralleled 
among the Baganda. The real meaning of the idea has been 
cleared up by Van der Leeuw's happy suggestion (JEA 5. 64) 
that, since the Pharaoh was the incarnation of the sun-god Be c , 
his astral placenta, in which his k' was embodied, was the moon, 
often considered by the Egyptians as the k' of the sun. The 
moon's shape is such that it might easily be compared to a pla- 
cental cake, or a womb, as was commonly done in Babylonia. In 
the great hymn to Sin {IVB 9), the moon is called (line 24) : 
ama-gan-nigin-na mulu si-ma-al-la-da (so SGI 223) ki-dur-mag 
ne-in-ri 'Mother (Sem. rimu, 'womb') who bears all life, who 
together with living creatures dwells in an exalted habita- 
tion.' The idea that the moon is the womb whence all life 
springs is most natural; does not the roscida luna exhibit 
a monthly failing and dimming corresponding often exactly to 
the menstrual period? Hence, by a most natural development 
under the influence of the life-index motive, the moon becomes 
the index of human life, 55 and especially of the permanence of 
the reigning dynasty ; an eclipse foretokened disaster to the state. 
These conceptions may easily be illustrated from the inscriptions. 
CT 16. 21. 184 f. we have : lugal-e dumu-dingir-ra-na ud-sar d Sin- 
na-dlm zi-kalam-ma su-du = ' The king, son of his god, who like 
the crescent moon holds the life of the land. ' The principle that 
the mutations of the moon are an index to the health and pros- 
perity of men could hardly be stated more clearly. The moon 



■ See Theocritus, Ep. 4, 2-3, ovkipov dpTiy\v<pes ibavov, rpioKthh. 
M I hope to discuss this Babylonian conception elsewhere. 



334 W. F. Albright 

is the index of the dynasty in the text of Agum II, Col. 8, 3 ff. ; 
il Sin il Nannar same zer sarruti ana ume ruquti liddis — 'May Sin, 
divine luminary of heaven, renew the royal seed to distant days, ' 
i. e., may the dynasty renew itself spontaneously like the moon 
(Vedic tanunapdt, 'self-created'), which is called (IVB. 9. 22) 
gi-rim ni-ba mu-un-dtm-ma, ' fruit which thru itself is created. ' 58 
To appreciate the intimate relationship between the Babylonian 
and the Egyptian conceptions it must be remembered that the 
placenta and navel-string are among the most primitive of life- 
indices; see Hartland, in Hastings' Encyclopaedia of Religion 
and Ethics, Vol. 8, p. 45 a. 

A further striking parallel to these conceptions is found in 
Indo-Iranian mythology. The lunar genius Narasahsa- Nair- 
yosanha (Neryosang) is called 'the king-navel' (cf. Gray, ABW 
3. 45-49), properly 'the royal navel-string' (the umbilical cord 
often takes the place of the placenta in folklore). After Hille- 
brandt's treatment of Naraiansa (Vedische Mythologj-e, II, pp. 
98 ff.) , his lunar character is certain ; in the Eg-veda, 3. 29. 11, he 
is called 'son of his own body, the heavenly embryo' (or 'womb,' 
garbho asuro) ; his title gndspati, 'lord of women,' reflects the 
widespread popular view that female life varies with the moon. 
The Bundahisn, Ch. 15, tells us that Neryosang received two- 
thirds of Gayomart's semen for preservation; elsewhere we learn 
that the seed of the primeval bull was kept in the moon, whence, 
therefore, the race of animals sprang, just as the moon was the 
father of Apis in Egyptian mythology (cf. JAOS 39. 87, n. 42). 
I am not competent to decide whether Carnoy is justified in com- 
bining the motives of Gaya and the bull, thus deriving the seed 
of man from the moon (JAOS 36. 314) . At all events the theory 
is good Indo-European, as is the association of the placenta with 
the moon ; cf . ' Mondkalb, ' referring to a false conception (Kalb 
connected with garbha, 8e\<f>v<s, 'womb'), but originally, perhaps, 
to the placenta. 

In concluding this paper, I wish to repeat, with emphasis, the 
remarks made JAOS 39. 90, regarding the vital importance of 
combining the philological and comparative mythological 



"Note ideogram for Zirru {SGI 225), 'priest of Sin,' EN-NVNUZ-ZI, 
literally 'priest of the constant offspring (of heaven) '. Sum. nwwz means 
also 'egg'; the moon might easily be called 'egg of heaven.' 



Gil games and Engidu 335 

methods in the study of cuneiform religious literature. Surely 
it is no longer necessary to stress the unique significance of the 
latter for the solution of comparative religious problems. 57 

" In the year that has elapsed between the preparation of the paper and 
the correction of the proofs, much new material has become available some 
of which should be mentioned. 

The Sumerians had a special word for 'life-index,' for so I would inter- 
pret izkim-tila, lit. 'sign, index' of life,' rendered inadequately in Babylonian 
by tukultu, 'support,' and giptu, 'pledge.' Sometimes the king is the isMm- 
tUa of the god (especially Samas), and at times the god is the izkim-tila of 
the king, respectively as the soul of the god was thought to reside in the king, 
or the soul of the king in the god. For passages cf. SGI 28 and Zimmern, 
Konig Lipit-lstars Vergottlichung , p. 25. 

In a Neo-Babylonian text published by Thureau-Dangin, BA 16. 145. 8-9, 
Lugal-gir-ra is identified with Sin, Gilgames with Meslamtaea and Nergal 
of the underworld. As pointed out above, Lugal-gira is identical with Gira- 
Sakan, so our association of Engidu-Sakan with the moon is confirmed. In 
the same way, as Thureau-Dangin observes (p. 149), Gilgames 'est ainsi 
nettement caracterise comme dieu solaire. ' 

Schroeder, MVAG 21. 180 f., shows that the reading Lugalbanda is gratu- 
itous, and that we must read Lugalmarda, or Lugalmarada, identified in his 
vocabulary with Ninurta. As late as the second century A. D. Ninmarada 
seems to have been worshiped under the name of Nimrod by the Aramaean 
population of Hatra {OLZ 23. 37). Kraeling's suggestion En-marad, 
quoted by Prince in his article JA08 40. 201-203, is nearly correct; Prince 
suggests that the name stands for Sum. ning-ty ud = nin-Qud, ' brilliant 
hunter. '