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Showing posts from April, 2020

Episode 30 - Anunnaki 7 The Tablet of Destinies

Ninurta the action hero god returns, this time in an adventure to recover the stolen Tablet of Destinies. In doing this, we will wrestle with Semitic concepts of godhood and destiny, as well as peek under the hood and see some of the things that would come to inspire the invention of the Jewish god. The first story today, Ninurta and the Tablet of Destinies, doesn't actually come from ETCSL but from Stephanie Dalley's book Myths from Mesopotamia which contains a number of translations from this later periodand is invaluable in bringing stories that are not available online is good quality to the show. The epilogue, Ninurta and the Turtle, is from ETCSL I should also note that there are fragments of the tablet of destinies story with an unnamed god as the hero, and possibly some with marduk as the hero, so like so many of these stories, I am presenting a single version of a work that shifted from city to city and century to century. Still, the core of the story is more or

Episode 29 - Anunnaki 6 The Enuma Elish

The Babylonian creation myth, Enuma Elish, tells the story of the creation of the world and how it was a terrible mistake immediately regretted by its parents. Said parents then attempt a late-term abortion, but the young gods, led by Ea and Marduk, fight a war. Since the universe obviously still exists, you can already guess who wins. In this tale, we learn that Marduk is awesome. Like seriously, totally awesome. I didn't make it very clear in this story, because it is one of the most perplexing parts of the myth, all the partying and warfare happens within Tiamat's belly, like a pregnant mother. There is a whole world in Tiamat's womb, but also Tiamat herself acts as a character in that world, inside her own womb. It is all quite confused and what exactly the Ammorites meant by it all is unclear to me, so I simply omitted it. The name Enuma Elish is apparently what the Akkadians would call the story, since it seems they had a habit of titleing works based on the inc

Episode 28 - Interlude 1 The Chamorros of Saipan

Special Episode. This week is a break from normal as we discuss the Chamorro people of the Marianas islands, A four thousand year oral culture in the Pacific ocean. We will look at a few creation legends as well as the history of the islands as told through the legend of Chief Taga. These are not the oldest stories, but here are some links to Saipan's history in WW2 which may be of interest to some listeners. Link 1 , Link 2 , Link 3 Fo'na and Pontan are sometimes listed as Fu'una and Puntan, this just seems to be a spelling difference. Also, the name of the Chamorro people is sometimes spelled CHamoru, based on a different writing of the language. Here is a pic of Fouha Rock, the origin of life on earth. Sadly, I couldn't get to the trail that would lead directly to the rock, it wasn't labelled and I had been warned by a few locals not to go hiking in the jungle without a group or I risk getting lost or snakebit. So my pic is from a bit south down the coa

Episode 27 - Misc 1 The Study of Sumer and Ancient Aliens

There were some very important and talented people who have dug up the once lost civilization of Sumer and given their stories new life. Then there are the ancient aliens people. We will pay our respects to the giants of Sumerology, and examine exactly where the ancient aliens theorists go off the rails while enjoying the silliness of their earnestly held beliefs. My re-telling of the ancient aliens story doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but honestly, that is representative of the fact that the ancient aliens story really doesn't make any sense on any level. His motivating question, why did humanity create civilization in some places but not others, is a very good question to ask, but to answer it with aliens is nothing short of farcical. So today I mentioned Samuel Noah Kramer's book , Benjamin Foster's Age of Agade , The Etcsl , and a fellow who calls himself Sumerian Shakespeare Also, History of Persia podcast is still excellent and still deserves a shout