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OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ORIENTAL ARTIQUITIES, BRITISH MUSEUM,
HISTORY OF ASSURBANIPAL,
THE present age is as deficient in philosophy as was the age of Plato in knowledge of science. It follows therefore, that while the Secret Doctrine itself apprehends equally both philosophy and science, in addressing itself to the thought of an age, it must recognize here as it does everywhere, the law of cycles that rules in the intellectual development of a race no less than in the revolutions of suns and worlds, and so address the times from that p lane of thought that is in the ascendant. It is just because analytical thought is in the ascendant, because it is the thought-form of the age, that the great majority of readers are likely to overlook the broad synthesis and so miss the philosophy of the Secret Doctrine.
We are now in a transition period, and in the approaching twentieth century there will be a revival of genuine philosophy, and the Secret Doctrine will be the basis of the "New Philosophy." Science today in the persons of such advanced students as Keely, Crookes, Lodge, Richardson, and many others, already treads so close to the borders of occult philosophy that it will not be possible to prevent the new age from entering the occult realm. H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine is a storehouse of scientific facts, but this is not its chief value. These facts are placed, approximately at least, in- such relation to the synthesis or philosophy of occultism as to render comparatively easy the task of the student who is in search of real knowledge, and to further his progress beyond all preconception, provided he is teachable, in earnest, and intelligent. Nowhere else in English literature is the Law of Evolution given such sweep and swing. It reminds one of the ceaseless undertone of the deep sea, and seems to view our Earth in all its changes "from the birth of time to the crack of doom." It follows man in his triple evolution, physical, mental, and spiritual, throughout the perfect circle of his boundless life. Darwinism had reached its limits and a rebound. Man is indeed evolved from lower forms. But which man? the physical? the psychical? the intellectual? or the spiritual? The Secret Doctrine points where the lines of evolution and involution meet; where matter and spirit clasp hands; and where the rising animal stands face to face with the fallen god; for all natures meet and mingle in man.
The time must presently come when the really advanced thinkers of the age will be compelled to lay by their indifference, and their scorn and conceit, and follow the lines of philosophical investigation laid down in the Secret Doctrine. Very few seem yet to have realized how ample are these resources, because it involves a process of thought almost unknown to the present age of empiricism and induction, It is a revelation from archaic ages, indestructible and eternal, yet capable of being obscured and lost; capable of being again and again reborn, or like man himself reincarnated.
-Wm. Q. Judge (1892)
EAGLE-HEADED MAN. FROM NIMROUD SCULPTURE.
IZDUBAR STRANGLING A LION. FROM KHORSABAD SCULPTURE.
An explanation is necessary in introducing my present work. Little time has elapsed since I discovered the most important of these inscriptions, and in the intervening period I have had, amidst other work, to collect the various fragments of the legends, copy, compare, and translate, altering my matter from time to time, as new fragments turned up. Even now I have gone to press with one of the fragments of the last tablet of the Izdubar series omitted.
The present condition of the legends and their recent discovery alike forbid me to call this anything more than a provisional work; but there was so general a desire to see the translations that I have published them, hoping my readers will take them with the same reserve with which I have given them.
I have avoided some of the most important comparisons and conclusions with respect to Genesis, as my desire was first to obtain the recognition of the evidence without prejudice.
The chronological notes in the book are one of its weak points, but I may safely say that I have placed the various dates as low as I fairly could, considering the evidence, and I have aimed to do this rather than to establish any system of chronology.
I believe that time will show the Babylonian traditions of Genesis to be invaluable for the light they will throw on the Pentateuch, but at present there are so many blanks in the evidence that positive conclusions on several pints are impossible. I may add in conclusion that my present work is intended as a popular ac~unt, and I have introduced only so much explanation as seems necessary for the proper understanding of the subject. I have added translations of some parts of the legends which I avoided in my last work, desiring here to satisfy the wish to see them as perfect as possible; there still remain however some passages which I have omitted, but these are of small extent and obscure.
October 26, 1875.
Cosmogony of Berosus. -- Discovery of Cuneiform Inscriptions. -- Historical Text -- Babylonian origin of Assyrian literature. -- Mythological tablets. -- Discovery of Deluge texts. -- Izdubar, his exploits. -- Mutilated condition of tablets. -- Lecture on Deluge tablets. -- "Daily Telegraph" offer. -- Expedition to Assyria. -- Fragments of Creation tablets. -- Solar Myth. -- Second journey to Assyria. -- Tower of Babel. -- Clay records. -- Account of creation in "Telegraph." -- "Daily Telegraph" collection. -- Interest of Creation legends. -- The Fall. -- New fragments. -- List of texts
Babylonian literature. -- Kouyunjik library. -- Fragmentary condition. -- Arrangement of tablets. -- Subjects. -- Dates. -- Babylonian source of literature. -- Literary period. -- Babylonian Chronology. -- Akkad. -- Sumir. -- Urukh, king of Ur. -- Hammurabi. -- -Babylonian astrology. -- War of Gods. -- Iadubar legends. -- Creation and fail. -- Syllabaries and bilingual tablets. -- Assyrian copies. -- Difficulties as to date. -- Mutilated condition. -- Babylonian library. -- Assyrian empire. -- Ciiy of Assur. -- Library at Calah. -- Sargon of Assyria -- Sennacherib. -- Removal of Library to Nineveh. -- Assurbanipal or Sardanapalus. -- His additions to library. -- Description of contents. -- Later Babylonian libraries.
Berosus and his copyists. -- Cory's translation. -- Alexander Polyhistor. -- Babylonia. -- Oannes, his teaching. -- Creation. -- Belus. -- Chaldean kings. -- Xisuthrus. -- Deluge. -- The Ark. - Return to Babylon. -- Apollodorus. -- Pantibiblon. -- Laraucha. -- Abydenus. -- Alorus, first king. -- Ten kings. -- Xisithrus. -- Deluge. -- Armenia. -- Tower of Babel. -- Cronos and Titan. -- Nicolaus Damascenus. -- Dispersion from Hestiaeus. -- Babylonian colonies. -- Tower of Babel. -- The Sibyl. -- Titan and Prometheus. -- Damascius. -- Tauthe. -- Moymis. -- Kissare and Assorus. -- Triad. -- Bel
Greek accounts. -- Mythology local in origin. -- Antiquity. -- Conquests. -- Colonies. -Three great gods. -- Twelve great gods. -- Angels. -- Spirits. -- Anu. -- Anatu. -- Vul. -- Ishtar. -- Equivalent to Venus. -- Hea. -- Oannes. -- Merodaeh. -- Bel or Jupiter. -- Ziratbanit, Succoth Benoth. -- Elu. -- Sin the moon god. -- Ninir. -- Shamas. -- Nergal. -- Anunit. -- Table of gods.
Mutilated condition of tablets. -- List of subjects. -- Description of chaos. -- Tiamat. -- Generation of gods. -- Damascius. -- Comparison with Genesis. -- Three great gods. -- Doubtful fragments. -- Fifth tablet. -- Stars. -- Planets. -- Moon . -- Sun. -- Abyss or chaos . -- Creation of moon. -- Creation of animals. -- Man. -- His duties. -- Dragon of sea. -- Fall. -- Curse for disobedience. -- Discussion. -- Sacred tree. -- Dragon or serpent. -- War with Tiamat. -- Weapons. -- Merodach. -- Destruction of Tiamat. -- Mutilation of documents. -- Parallel Biblical account. -- Age of story .
Cuneiform accounts originally traditions. -- Variations. -- Account of Berosus. -- Tablet from Cutha. -- Translation. -- Cornposite animals. -- Eagle-headed men. -- Seven brothers. -- Destruction of men. -- Seven wicked spirits. -- War in heaven. -- Variations of story. -- Poetical account of Creation.
God Zu. -- Obscurity of legend. -- Translation. -- Siu of Zu. -- Anger of the gods. -- Speeches of Ann to Vul. -- Vul's answer. -- Speech of Ann to Nebo. -- Answer of Nebo. -- Sarturda. -- Changes to a bird. -- The Zu bird. -- Bird of prey. -- Sarturda lord of Amarda
Lubara. -- God of Pestilence. -- Itak. -- The Plague. -- Seven warrior gods. -- Destruction of people. -- Anu. -- Goddess of Karrak. -- Speech of Elu. -- Sin and destruction of Babylonians. -- Shamas. -- Sin and destruction of Erech. -- Ishtar. -- The great god and Duran. -- Cutha. -- Internal wars. -- ltak goes to Syria. -- Power and glory of Lubara. -- Song of Lubara. -- Blessings on his worship. -- God Ner. -- Prayer to arrest the Plague.
Fables. -- Common in the East. -- Description. -- Power of speech in animals. -- Story of the eagle. -- Serpent. Shamas. -- The eagle caught. -- Eats the serpent. -- Anger of birds. -- Etana -- Seven gods. -- Third tablet. -- Speech of eagle. -- Story of the fox-His cunning. -- Judgment of Shamas. -- His show of sorrow -- His punishment. -- Speech of fox. -- Fable of the horse and ox. -- They consort together. -- Speech of the ox. -- His good fortune. -- Contrast with the horse. -- Hunting the ox. -- Speech of the horse. -- Offers to recount story. -- Story of Ishtar. -- Further tablets.
Atarpi. -- Sin of the world. -- Mother and daughter quarrel. -- Zamu. -- Punishment of world. -- Hea. -- Calls his sons. -- Orders drought. -- Famine. -- Building. -- Nusku. -- Riddle of wise man. -- Nature and universal presence of air. -- Gods. -Sinuri. -- Divining by fracture of reed. -- Incantation. -- Dream. -- Tower of Babel. -- Obscurity of legend. -- Not noticed by Berossus. -- Fragmentary tablet. -- Destruction of Tower. -- Dispersion. -- Locality of Babylon. -- Birs Nimrud. -- Babil. -- Assyrian representations .
Account of Deluge. -- Nimrod. -- Izdubar. -- Age of Legends. -- Babylonian cylinders. -- Notices of Jzdubar. -- Surippak. -- Ark City. -- Twelve tablets. -- Extent of Legend -- Description. -- Introduction. -- Meeting of Heabani and Izdubar. -- Destruction of tyrant Humbaba. -- Adventures of Ishtar. -- Illness and wanderings of Izdubar. -- Description of Deluge and conclusion. -- First Tablet. -- Kingdom of Nimrod. -- Traditions. -- Identifications. -- Translation. -- Elamite Conquest. -- Dates
Dream of lzdubar. -- Heabani. -- His wisdom. -- His solitary life. -- Izdubar's petition. -- Zaidu. -- Harimtu and Samhat. -- Tempt Heabani. -- Might and fame of Izdubar. -- Speech of Heabani. -- His journey to Erech. -- The midannu or tiger. -- Festival at Erech. -- Dream of Izdubar. -- Friendship with Heabani .
Elamite dominion. -- Forest region . -- Humbaba. -- Conversation. -- Petition to Shaxnas. -- Journey to forest. -- Dwelling of Humbaba. -- Entrance to forest. -- Meeting with Humbaba. -- Death of Humbaba. -- Izdubar king .
Triumph of Izdubar. -- Ishtar's love. -- Her offer of marriage. -- Her promises. -- Isdubar's answer. -- Tammuz. -- Amours of Ishtar. -- His refusal. -- Ishtar's anger. -- Ascends to Heaven. -- The bull. -- Slain by Izdubar. -- Ishtar's curse. -- Izdubar's triumph. -- The feast. -- Ishtar's despair. -- Her descent to Hades. -- Description. -- The seven gates. -- The curses. -- Uddusunamir. -- Sphinx. -- Release of Ishtar. -- Lament for Tammuz.
Heabani and the trees. -- Illness of Izdubar. -- Death of Heabani. -- Journey of Izdubar. -- His dream. -- Scorpion men. -- The Desert of Mat. -- The paradise. -- Siduri and Sabitu. -- Urhamsi. -- Water of death. -- Ragmu. -- The conversation. -- Hasisadra.
Eleventh tablet. -- The gods. -- Sin of the world. -- Command to build the ark. -- Its contents. -- The building. -- The Flood. -- Destruction of people. -- Fear of the gods. -- End of Deluge. -- Nizir. -- Resting of Ark. -- The birds. -- The descent from the ark. -- The sacrifice. -- Speeches of god. -- Translation of Hasisadra. -- Cure of Izdubar. -- His return. -- Lament over Heabani. -- Resurrection of Heabani. -- Burial of warrior. -- Comparison with Genesis -- Syrian nation. -- Connection of legends. -- Points of contact. -- Duration of deluge. -- Mount of descent. -- Ten generations. -- Early cities. -- Age of Izdubar.
Notices of Genesis. -- Correspondence of names. -- Abram. -- Ur of Chaldees. -- Ishmael. -- Sargon. -- His birth. -- Concealed in ark. -- Age of Nimrod. -- Doubtful theories. -- Creation. -- Garden of Eden. -- Oannes. -- Berosus. -- Izdubar legends. -- Urukh of Ur. -- Babylonian seals. -- Egyptian names. -- Assyrian sculptures.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Photograph. Izdubar (Nimrod) in conflict with a lion, from an early Babylonian cylinder.