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Millard, Alan Ralph (1966) The Atrahasis Epic and its place in Babylonian literature. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to present, for the first time, the Epic of Atrahasis, as far as extant, in transliteration and translation (chapters II, III), and to examine it beside other Babylonian compositions containing similar material. Until 1965 only some three hundred lines of the Epic were known. That year saw the publication of the cuneiform text of some late Assyrian fragments by W.G. Lambert, and of two large Old Babylonian tablets by the writer (Cuneiform Texts XLVI). This new material, together with some unpublished texts, brings the number of lines represented to nearly one thousand (chapter 1) The large number of manuscripts of the work attest its popularity and importance. When the narrative of the creation of man is compared with other Mesopotamian texts, clear affinities are apparent with certain Sumerian and Akkadian traditions. Moreover, it can be shown that it probably formed a major source for the compilation of the later 'Babylonian Genesis', Enuma elish (chapter V). The second major theme, the Flood, is compared with other Flood Stories; parts of that narrative contained in the Gilgamesh Epic are identical with passages in the Atrahasis Epic, from which it is shown they were very probably borrowed (chapter VI). Certain sections within the poem reveal political institutions or practices of interest for the study of 'Primitive Democracy', of Babylonian concepts of remote history, and of traditions preserved in the King Lists (chapter VII). As a major literary work, the Epic of Atrahasis is shown to provide new material for investigation of the syntax and prosody of the 'Golden Age' of Akkadian literature (chapter IV). Obvious and important similarities to Hebrew tradition, closer in many points in Atrahasis than in any other Babylonian compositions, and the more remote comparisons with Greek legends fall beyond the scope of this investigation, but some indication of these is given (chapter VIII).

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:20
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29625

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