wards the end of the journey he arrives near the sea, at a place where there is a gate guarded by a man and woman. Izdubar threatens to break the gate, which after a time is opened, and this difficulty being surmounted, he meets with a boatman named Urhamsi, who offers to navigate him to where the sage Hasisadra dwells, which, however, is still distant fifteen days' sail. During this part of the pilgrimage Urhamsi converses with his companion as to the "waters of death, which," he declares, “will not cleanse thy hands." Then follows a mysterious passage about Izdubar having twelve times "carried his breaches," and at the twelfth time he “freed his body," and " in his head affliction was ended.” He is now approaching the deified sage. Hasisadra sees Izdubar approaching through several lines, and wonders he had not sooner arrived. The story is again broken to relate that Izdubar meets with a female named Mua, to whom he describes his love and mourning for Heabani, and narrates the history of their association. After this episode, the story brings Hasisadra and Izdubar together. At first the sage, who, we are reminded, has been taken alive into Heaven, talks generalities about life and death. Izdubar becomes impatient at this, and wants more definite knowledge. Then the sage narrates to his interlocutor the story of the ark building and the deluge. In the extracts which follow, I omit the numerals which indicate the lines on the column on the tablet; the dots indicate the parts of the tablets which are undecipherable :

“Haşisadra after this manner also said to Izdubar: Be revealed to thee, Izdubar, the concealed story, and the judgment of the gods be related to thee. The city Surippak, the city where thou standest not

placed, that city is ancient ... the gods within it ... their servant, the great gods . the god Anu, ... the god Bel, . . . the god Ninip, and the good . . . lord of Hades; their will he revealed in the midst . . . and I his will was hearing, and he spake to me: Surippakite, son of Ubaratutu . . . make a ship after this ... .. I destroy the sinner and life ... cause to go in, the seed of life all of it to the midst of the ship. The ship which thou shalt make, 600 cubits shall be the measure of its length, and 60 cubits the amount of its breadth and height ... into the deep launch it. I perceived and said to Hea my lord, 'The ship making which thou commandest me, when I shall have made, young and old will deride me.' Hea opened his mouth and spake and said to me his servant: 'Thou shalt say unto them ... he has turned from me and ... fixed over me

like caves .. above and below closed the ship the flood

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

on the

.. dust

[ocr errors]

which I will send to you, into it enter, and the door of the ship turn. Into the midst of it thy grain, thy furniture, and tły goods, thy wealth, thy women servants, thy female slaves, and the young men, the beasts of the field, the animals of the field all, I will gather, and I will send to thee, and they shall be enclosed in thy door.'"

Adrahasis (the name is here spelt differently, it has before been varied to Hasisadri) continues to narrate, “strong fifth day

it in its circuits 14 measures . . . its frame. 14 measures it measured . . . over it. I placed its roof, it . . . and I enclosed it. I rode in it on the sixth time; I examined its outside on the seventh time; its inside I examined on the eighth time. Planks against the waters within it I placed. I saw rents and the wanting parts I added. 3 measures of bitumen I poured over the outside. 3 measures of bitumen I poured over the inside. 3... men carrying its baskets, they constructed boxes, I placed in the boxes the offering they sacrificed. Two measures of boxes I had distributed to the boatmen. To ... were sacrificed oxen and . . . wine in the receptacle of goats (goat-skinbottles) I collected like the waters of a river, also food like the dust of the earth, also I collected in boxes with my hand I placed . . . Shamas . material of the ship completed . . . strong and the reed oars of the ship I caused to bring above and below . . . they went in two-thirds of it.”

Into this ship Hasisadra collected all he possessed of silver, gold, seeds, all his male and female servants, beasts of the field, animals of the field, and the sons of the people “all of them,” and in order to induce Buzur-sadirabi, the boatman, to close the ship, he gave him “the palace with all its goods." The flood came, it destroyed the earth, and drove the gods in terror to the heaven of Anu; Ishtar “spake like a child.” The deluge lasted six days and nights, and on the seventh in its course was calmed. Hasisadra opened the window and saw the floating corpses of mankind. The ship stranded on the mountain of Nizir, and, seven days after, Hasisadra sent forth a dove, which returned, and afterwards a swallow, which also returned ; then he sent forth a raven, which did not return, finding food and restingplaces on the floating carcases. Then he sent the animals forth, he poured out a libation, he built an altar, and offered burnt sacrifice, at the burning of which the gods gathered “like flies," and even Anu, the "great brightness" of whom had been created from of old by “the great god in His course." Hasisadra wore a charm round his neck, but it “could not repel the glory” of some of the gods. To the virtues of this charm he added prayer : he prayed that all the gods might come to his altar except Bel : "may Bel not come to my altar, for he did not consider and had made a deluge, and my people he had consigned to the deep. From of old also Bel in his course saw the ship, and went Bel, with anger filled, to the gods and spirits : ‘Let not any one come out alive, let not a man be saved from the deep.' Ninip his mouth opened, and spake and said to the warrior Bel ; “Who then will be saved !' Hea the words understood, and Hea knew all things. Hea his mouth opened and spake and said to the warrior Bel: 'Thou prince of the gods warrior, when thou art angry a deluge thou makest; the doer of sin did his sin, the doer of evil did his evil. May the exalted not be broken, may the captive not be delivered. Instead of thee making a deluge, may lions be increased and men be reduced; instead of thee making a deluge, may leopards increase and men be reduced,' ” and so on, “may a famine happen and men be destroyed,” “may pestilence increase and men be destroyed.Hasisadra heard this conversation among the gods in a dream : “I did not peer into the judgment of the gods. Adrahasis a dream they sent and the judgment of the gods he heard." The judgment being accomplished, Bel went up to the midst of the ship, took the hand of Hasisadra, raised him up, brought his wife to his side, and then “purified the country, established in a covenant and took the people in the presence of Hasisadra and the people.”

The apotheosis of Hasisadra and his companions is thus briefly described : “When Hasisadra, and his wife, and the people, to be like the gods were carried away; then dwelt Hasisadra in a remote place at the mouth of the rivers. They took me and in a remote place at the mouth of the rivers they seated me."

The story once more turns abruptly to Izdubar and his disease, and to him it is announced that the gods have also chosen him, “. When to thee whom the gods have chosen also, for the health which thou seekest and askest, this do six days and seven nights, like in a seat also in bonds bind him, the way like a storm shall be laid upon him.' His wife after this manner also said to Hasisadra afar off, ‘Purify him, and let the man be set away; the road that he came may he return in peace, the great gate open, and may he return to his country."" Then follows a process of purification, but which is incomprehensible; she clothed him with various garments in six stages, and “ seventh in the opening she purified him and let the man go free.” Izdubar wishes to come to Hasisadra after death, and Hasisadra charges Urhamsi the boatman to complete the work of purification that he and his wife have begun—"the man whom thou comest before, disease has filled his body : illness has destroyed the strength of his limbs. Carry him Urhamsi, to cleanse take him ; his disease in the water to beauty may it turn, may he cast off his illness, and the sea carry it away, may health cover his skin; may it restore the hair of his head, hanging to cover the cloak of his body. That he may go to his country, that he may take his road, the hanging cloak may he not cast off, but alone may he leave." These instructions Urhamsi faithfully obeyed. He did not abandon the king at the sea-shore, but accompanied him to Erech Suburi, “ the blessed."

Here the flood legends properly close. On the next, the sixth tablet, the story goes back to Heabani, the lamentation of Izdubar over his deceased friend, and the conflicts involved in obtaining the dismissal of Heabani's soul from hell (or the intermediate state) and its final admission into heaven. As the most ancient elegy in existence, the lamentation of Izdubar over his friend is deeply interesting, and for pathos and rhythm deserves to be regarded as a poem. I copy some of the lines, the numerals against which indicate, I suppose-for Mr. Smith's description of the tablets is singularly meagre, he not even explaining his authority for beginning every alternate line with a capital letter, and not giving any authority or reason for the method of punctuation he has adopted—the lines on the tablet.

“6. The noble banquet thou dost not share,

7. to the assembly they do not call thee ; 8. The bow from the ground thou dost not lift, 9. what the bow should strike surrounds thee; 10. The mace in thy hand thou dost not grasp, 11. the spoil defies thee ; 12. Shoes on thy feet thou dost not wear, 13. the slain on the ground thou dost not stretch. 14. Thy wife whom thou lovest thou dost not kiss, 15. thy wife whom thou hatest thou dost not strike ; 16. The child whom thou lovest thou dost not kiss, 17. the child whom thou hatest thou dost not strike; 18. The arms of the earth have taken thee. 19. O darkness, O darkness, mother Ninazu, O darkness ! | 20. Her noble stature as his mantle covers him, 21. her feet like a deep well enclose him.”

" 8. Then Heabani from the earth

9. Simtar did not take him,-Asakku did not take him, the earth took him.

10. The resting place of Nergal the unconquered did not take him, the earth

took him. 11. In the place of the battle of heroes they did not strike him, the earth

took him. 12. Then . . . Di son of Ninsum for his servant Heabani wept ; 13. To the house of Bel alone he went. 14. Father Bel, Tambukku to the earth has struck me. 15. Mikke to the earth has struck me."

On this and what follows Mr. Smith thus comments—"This mutilated passage points to the idea that Heabani, who was killed, in vain tried to enter heaven. Simtar was the attendant of the god of Hades, and the other personages in this part of the story all have their appropriate offices. The spirit of Heabani does not rest under the earth, and attempts are made by petitioning Bel and Sin, to induce these gods to transfer him to heaven, but all is in vain.” “Father Hea” finally instructs his son, “the noble warrior Merodach, the divider," to release Heabani, and to transfer him to heaven. Then follows a fine description of the difference between Hades and heaven, put into the mouth of Heabani himself, « Return me from Hades the land of my knowledge; From the house of the departed, the seat of the god Irkalla ; From the house within which there is no exit; From the road the course of which never returns ; From the place within which they long for light; The place where dust is their nourishment and their food mud; Its chiefs also like birds are clothed with wings; Light is never seen, in darkness they dwell. To the place of seers which I will enter ... treasured up a crown; ... wearing crowns, who from days of old ruled the earth. To whom the gods Anu and Bel have given renowned names. A place where water is abundant drawn from ever-flowing springs. To the place of seers which I will enter, the place of chiefs and unconquered ones, the place of bards and great men, the place of interpreters of the wisdom of the great gods, the place of the mighty, the dwelling of the god Ner.'” The twelfth tablet concludes, “The twelfth tablet of the legends of Izdubar. Written like the ancient copy."

The length to which these extracts have extended compels me to defer all remarks thereupon till next month.

J. H.

« ElőzőTovább »