Myth – Ancient Near East

Unit 1: Enuma Elish: The Epic of Creation Focusing on the characters of Tiamat and Marduk, think about what each conveys about the nature of the world. What do they symbolize? What does their relationship reflect? What aspects of society might underly their “cosmic” battle? Unit 2: Atrahasis and the Great Flood Think about the relationship between humans and the gods as it is portrayed in Atrahasis. How would you describe the relationship? What aspects of society do you think it reflects? Think also about the significance of the character of Atrahasis and his special relationship with Enlil. For the average ancient Mesopotamian, what kind of message does this story send with respect to how one is to behave vis-a-vis the gods? Unit 3: The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Quest for Immortality One approach is to think about what the Epic of Gilgamesh is trying to say about the position of human beings in the world.