Table of Contents
Translation of the Epic of Atrahasis creation and flood myth
Chapter - 1
1 When the gods instead of man,
2 Did the work, bore the loads,
3 The gods' load was too great,
4 The work too hard, the punishment too much,
5 The great Anunnaki made the Igigi (“evil minded ones ”)
6 Carry the workload sevenfold.
7 Anu their father was king,
8 Their counselor warrior Ellil,
9 Their Chamberlain was Ninurta,
10 Their canal-controller Ennugi.
11 They took the box of lots
12 Cast the lots; the gods made the division.
13 Anu went up to the sky,
14 And Ellil took the earth for his people.
15 The bolt which bars the sea
16 Was assigned to far-sighted Enki.
17 When Anu had gone up to the sky,
18 And the gods of the Apsu had gone below,
19 The Annunaki of the sky
20 Made the Igigi ("evil minded ones " ) bear the workload.
21 The gods had to dig out canals,
22 Had to clear channels, the lifelines of the land.
23 The gods dug out the Tigris river
24 And then dug out the Euphrates.
25 ...in the deep
26 they set up
27 ...the Apsu
28 ...of the land
29 ...inside it
30 ...raised its top
31 ...of all the mountains
32 They were counting the years of loads
33 ...the great marsh,
34 They were counting the years of loads.
35 For 3,600 years they bore the excess,
36 Hard work, night and day.
37 They groaned and blamed each other,
38 Grumbled over the masses of excavated soil:
39 Let us confront our Warden
40 And get him to relieve us of our hard work!
41 Come, let us carry the Lord
42 The guard of the [prisoner] gods, the warrior from his dwelling.
Chapter - 2
1 Then [Kingu] made his voice heard
2 And spoke to the gods, his brothers:
3 Come, let us carry
4 The guard of the [prisoner] gods, the warrior, from his dwelling.
5 Come, let us carry Ellil,
6 The guard of the [prisoner] gods, the warrior, from his dwelling.
7 Now, cry battle!
8 Let us mix fight with battle!
9 The gods listened to his speech,
10 Set fire to their tools,
11 Put aside their spades for fire,
12 Their loads for the fire-god.
13 They flared up.
14 When they reached the gate of warrior Ellil's dwelling,
15 It was night, the middle watch,
16 Ekur was surrounded, Ellil had not realized.
17 Yet Kalkal was attentive, and had it closed,
18 He held the lock and watched the gate.
19 Kalkal roused Nusku.
20 They listened to the noise of the Igigi.
21 Then Nusku roused his master,
22 Made him get out of bed:
23 My lord, your house is surrounded,
24 A rabble is running around your door!
25 Ellil, your house is surrounded,
26 A rabble is running around your door!
27 Ellil had weapons brought to his dwelling.
28 Ellil made his voice heard
29 And spoke to the vizier Nusku,
30 Nusku, bar your door,
31 Take up your weapons and stand in front of me.
32 Nusku barred his door
33 Took up his weapons and stood in front of Ellil.
34 Nusku made his voice heard
35 And spoke to the warrior Ellil,
36 'O my lord, your face is sallow as Tamarisk!
37 Why do you fear your own sons?
38 'O Ellil, you face is sallow as Tamarisk!
39 Why do you fear your own sons?
40 Send for Anu to be brought down to you
41 Have Enki fetched into your presence.
Chapter - 3
1 He sent for Anu to be brought down to him,
2 Enki was fetched into his presence,
3 Anu, king of the sky was present,
4 Enki, king of the Apsu attended.
5 The great Anunnaki were present.
6 Ellil got up and the case was put.
7 Ellil made his voice heard
8 And spoke to the great gods:
9 Is it against me that they have risen?
10 Shall I do battle...?
11 What did I see with my own eyes?
12 A rabble was running around my door!
13 Anu made his voice heard
14 And spoke to the warrior Ellil
15 Let Nusku go out
16 And find out the word of the Igigi Who have surrounded your door.
17 A command...
19 Ellil made his voice heard
20 And spoke to the vizier Nusku,
21 Nusku, open your door,
22 Take up your weapons and stand before me!
23 In the assembly of all the gods,
24 Bow, then stand and tell them,
25 Your father Anu,
26 Your guard, warrior Ellil,
27 Your warden Ninurta
28 And your canal-controller Ennugi
29 Have sent me to say,
30 Who is in charge of the rabble?
31 Who is in charge of the fighting?
32 Who declared war?
33 Who ran to the door of Ellil?
34 Nusku opened his door,
35 Took up his weapons, went from Ellil
36 In the assembly of all the gods
37 He bowed, then stood and told the message.
38 Your father Anu,
39 Your guard warrior Ellil,
40 Your warden Ninurta,
41 And your canal controller Ennugi
42 Have sent me to say
43 Who is in charge of the rabble?
44 Who is in charge of the fighting?
45 Who declared war?
46 Who ran to the door of Ellil?
48 Every single one of us declared war!
49 We have put a stop to the digging.
50 The load is excessive, it is killing us!
51 Our work is too hard, the trouble too much!
52 So every single one of us gods
53 Has agreed to complain to Ellil
54 Nusku took his weapons
55 Went and returned to Ellil
56 My lord, you sent me to...
57 I went...
58 I explained...
59 Saying every single one of us gods
60 Declared war
61 We have put a stop to the digging.
62 The load is excessive, it is killing us!
63 Our work is too hard, the trouble too much,
64 So every single one of us gods
65 Has agreed to complain to Ellil!
66 Ellil listened to that speech.
67 His tears flowed.
68 Ellil spoke guardedly,
69 Addressed the warrior Anu,
70 Noble one, take a decree
71 With you to the sky, show your strength
72 While the Anunnaki are sitting before you
73 Call up one god and let them cast him for destruction
Chapter - 4
1 Anu made his voice heard
2 And spoke to the gods his brothers,
3 What are we complaining of?
4 Their work was indeed too hard, their punishment was too much.
5 Every day the Earth resounded.
6 The warning signal was loud enough, we kept hearing the noise.
9 While the Anunnaki are sitting before you
10 And while Belet-Ili the womb goddess is present,
11 Call up one and cast him for destruction!
12 Anu made his voice heard and spoke to Nusku
13 Nusku, open your door, take up your weapons,
14 Bow in the assembly of the great gods, then stand
15 And tell them...
16 Your father Anu, your guard warrior Ellil,
17 Your warden Ninurta and your canal controller Ennugi
18 Have sent me to say
19 Who is in charge of the rabble? Who will be in charge of battle?
20 Which god started the war?
21 A rabble was running around my door!
22 When Nusku heard this,
23 He took up his weapons,
24 Bowed in the assembly of the great gods, then stood
25 And told them
26 Your father Anu, your guard warrior Ellil,
27 Your warden Ninurta and your canal controller Ennugi
28 Have sent me to say,
29 Who is in charge of the rabble? Who is in charge of the fighting?
30 Which god started the war?
31 A rabble was running around Ellil's door!
32 Ea made his voice heard
33 And spoke to the gods his brothers,
34 Why are we blaming them?
35 Their work was too hard, their pubishment was too much.
36 Every day the earth resounded.
37 The warning signal was loud enough, we kept hearing the noise.
38 There is...
39 Belet-ili the womb goddess is present40 Let her create a mortal man
41 So that he may bear the yoke...
42 So that he may bear the yoke, the work of Ellil,
43 Let man bear the load of the gods!
45 Belet-ili the womb goddess is present,
46 Let the womb goddess create offspring,
47 And let them bear the load of the gods!
Chapter - 5
1 They called up the goddess, asked
2 The midwife of the gods, wise Mami,
3 You are the womb-goddess, to be the creator of Mankind!
4 Create a mortal, that he may bear the yoke!
5 Let him bear the yoke, the work of Ellil
6 Let him bear the load of the [prisoner] gods!
7 Nintu made her voice heard
8 And spoke to the great gods,
9 On the first, seventh, and fifteenth of the month
10 I shall make a purification by washing.
11 Then one god should be slaughtered.
12 And the gods can be purified by immersion.
13 Nintu shall mix the clay
14 With his flesh and blood.
15 Then a god and a man
16 Will be mixed together in clay.
17 Let us hear the drumbeat forever after,
18 Let a ghost come into existence from the god's flesh,
19 Let her proclaim it as her living sign,
20 And let the ghost exist so as not to forget the slain god.
21 They answered yes in the assembly,
22 The great Anunnaki who assign the fates
23 On the first, seventh, and fifteenth of the month
24 He made a purification by washing.
25 Geshtu-E, a god who had intelligence,
26 They slaughtered in their assembly.
27 Nintu mixed clay
28 with his flesh and blood.
29 They heard the drumbeat forever after.
30 A ghost came into existence from the god's flesh,
31 and she proclaimed it as his living sign.
32 The ghost existed so as not to forget the slain god.
33 After she had mixed that clay,
34 She called up the Anunnaki, the great gods.
35 The Igigi, the great [prisoner] gods,
36 Spat spittle upon the clay
37 Mami made her voice heard
38 And spoke to the great gods,
39 I have carried out perfectly
40 The work that you ordered of me.
41 You have slaughtered a god together with his intelligence.
42 I have relieved you of your hard work,
43 I have imposed your load on man.
44 You have bestowed noise on man,
45 You have bestowed noise on mankind.
46 I have undone the chains of imprisonment and granted freedom.
47 They listened to the speech of hers,
48 And were freed from anxiety, and kissed her feet:
49 We used to call you Mami,
50 But now your name shall be Mistress of All Gods.
Chapter - 6
1 Far sighted Enki and wise Mami
2 Went into the room of fate.
3 The womb-goddesses were assembled.
4 He trod the clay in her presence;
5 She kept reciting an incantation,
6 For Enki, staying in her presence, made her recite it
7 When she had finished her incantation,
8 She pinched off fourteen pieces of clay,
9 And set seven pieces on the right,
10 Seven on the left.
11 Between them she put down a mud brick.
12 She made use of a reed, opened it to cut the umbilical cord,
13 Called up the wise and knowledgeable
14 Womb goddesses, seven and seven.
15 Seven created males,
16 Seven created females,
17 For the womb goddess is creator of fate.
18 He...them two by two,
19 ...them two by two in her presence.
20 Mami made these rules for people:
21 In the house of a woman who is giving birth
22 The mud brick shall be put down for seven days.
23 Belet-ili, wise Mami shall be honored.
24 The midwife shall rejoice in the house of the woman who gives birth
25 And when the woman gives birth to the baby,
26 The mother of the baby shall sever herself.
27 A man to a girl...
28 ...her bosom
29 A beard can be seen
30 On a young man's cheek.
31 In gardens and waysides
32 A wife and her husband choose each other.
33 The womb goddesses were assembled
34 And Nintu was present. They counted the months,
35 Called up the Tenth month as the term of fates.
36 When the Tenth month came,
37 She slipped in a staff and opened the womb.
38 Her face was glad and joyful.
39 She covered her head,
40 Performed the midwifery,
41 Put on her belt, said a blessing.
42 She made a drawing in flour and put down a mud brick:
43 I myself created it, my hands made it.
44 The midwife shall rejoice in the house of the qadistu-priestess.
45 Whenever a woman gives birth
46 And the baby's mother severs herself,
47 The mud brick shall be put down for nine days.
48 Nintu the womb goddess shall be honored.
49 She shall call their ...Mami
50 She shall ... the womb goddess,
51 Lay down the linen cloth.
52 When the bed is laid out in their house,
53 A wife and her husband shall choose each other.
54 Inanna shall rejoice in the wife-husband relationship
55 In the father-in-law's house.
56 Celebration shall last for nine days,
57 And they shall call Inanna Ishhara.
58 On the fifteenth day, the fixed time of fate
59 She shall call...
Chapter - 7
1 A man...
2 A man...
3 The son to his father...
4 They sat and...
5 He was carrying...
6 He saw...
8 They took hold of...
9 Made new picks and spades,
10 Made big canals,
11 To feed people and sustain the gods.
12 600 years, less than 600, passed,
13 And the country was as noisy as a bellowing bull.
14 The god grew restless at their racket,
15 Ellil had to listen to their noise.
16 He addressed the great gods,
17 The noise of mankind has become too much,
18 I am losing sleep over their racket.
19 Give the order that suruppu-disease shall break out,
20 Now there was one Atrahasis
21 Whose ear was open to his god Enki.
22 He would speak with his god
23 And his god would speak with him.
24 Atrahasis made his voice heard
25 And spoke to his lord,
26 How long will the gods make us suffer?
27 Will they make us suffer illness forever?
28 Enki made his voice heard
29 And spoke to his servant:
30 Call the elders, the senior men!
31 Start an uprising in your own house,
32 Let the heralds proclaim...
33 Let them make a loud noise in the land:
34 Do not revere your gods,
35 Do not pray to your goddesses,
36 But search out the door of Namtara.
37 Bring as baked loaf into his presence.
38 May the flour offerings reach him.
39 May he be shamed by the presents
40 And wipe away his hand.
41 Atrahasis took the order,
42 Gathered the elders to his door.
43 Atrahasis made his voice heard
44 And spoke to the elders:
45 I have called the elders, the senior men!
46 Start an uprising in your own house,
47 Let the heralds proclaim...
48 Let them make a loud noise in the land:
49 Do not revere your gods,
50 Do not pray to your goddesses,
51 But search out the door of Namtara.
52 Bring as baked loaf into his presence.
53 May the flour offerings reach him.
54 May he be shamed by the presents
55 And wipe away his hand.
56 The elders listened to his speech;
57 They built a temple for Namtara in the city.
58 Heralds proclaimed...
59 They made a loud noise in the land.
60 They did not revere their god,
61 they did not pray to their goddess,
62 But searched out the door of Namtara,
63 Brought a baked loaf into his presence
64 The flour offerings reached him.
65 And he was shamed by the presents.
66 And wiped away his hand.
67 The suruppu-disease left them.
68 The gods went back to their regular offerings
Atahasis Epic - Great Deluge
Translated by Albert T. Clay - 1922
The Atra-hasis Epic is the oldest account of the Near Eastern Flood account. This text has been in print since 1875, but the most complete English translation of the text was published only in 1965. The Atra-hasis epic forms the basis for the Flood passage in Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh, as well as the Flood narrative given by Berossus.
The translation below, made by Albert T. Clay, represents the largest portion of Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian Flood epics available in the public domain.
Early Atrahasis Epic
I will bring (?) their clamor (?) …………
The land had become great; the people had multiplied.
The land like a bull had become satiated.
(In) their assemblage God was absent.
……... heard their clamor.
He said to the great gods (?)
Those observing the clamor of men in their assemblage he spoke of desolation.
Let the fig tree for the people be (cut off).
 (In) their (fields) let the plant become a weed (?)
………. the sheep let Adad destroy.
(The fountains of the deep) let not flow.
(That the flood rise at the source.)
Let the wind blow.
 Let it drive mightily.
Let the clouds be held back that (rain from the heavens) pour not forth.
Let the field withhold its fertility.
(Let a change come over) the bosom of Nisaba.
Let him destroy …………….
 On the morrow let him cause it to rain mightily
Let him give in the night …………….
Let him cause it to rain a tempest ………
Let it come upon the field like a thief.
Which Adad had created in the city ……
 They cried out and became furious ………
They sent up a clamor …………………..
They feared not …………………
Ea his mouth [opened and]
Spake to ……………….
Why hast thou commanded ………….
 I will stretch out my hand to the pe[ople] ……….
The flood, which thou has ordered …………
Who is he? I …………….
I truly will bear …………….
His work he shall suppress …………….
 Let be restrained; …………….
His god will bear, and his goddess (?) ………
Let them go into the [ship]
The ship-mast …………….
Let them go …………….
……………. for the people he made
Atram-hasis opened his mouth, and
Spoke to his lord.
 37 (lines)
The second tablet (of the series) “When God, man.”
Its total is 439 (lines)
By the hand of the scribe Azag-d^Aya, the junior scribe.
Month Shebet, day 28th
 of the year when Ammi-zaduga, the king,
built the city Dûr-Ammi-zaduga
at the mouth
of the Euphrates (11th year).
Late Redaction of the Atra-Hasis Epic
 [When] the second year [arrives] ……
[When] the third year [arrives] ……
The people in their ... become changed.
When the fourth year arrives, their position was miserable.
The wide ... their ... became oppressed.
 The people [wan]der in the streets with the head [bowed].
When the fifth year arrives, the daughter looks for the entering of the mother.
The mother opens not [her] door to the daughter.
The daughter [looks] upon the treasures of the mother.
[The mother] looks upon the treasures of the daughter.
 When the sixth year arrives, they prepare the [daughter] for a meal.
For morsels they prepare the child .... were full(?)
One house [devours] another.
[Like ghosts their faces] they cover.
[The people] live [in violence].
 They took a messenger …..
They entered, and ……..
An oracle ……….
And the lord of the land .... the return ……
……….. bird …………
Above [Adad made scarce his rain].
 Be[low] (the fountain of the deep) was stopped, [that the flood rose not at the source].
The field diminished [its fertility]. [A change came over the bosom of]
Nisaba. [By night the fields became white].
[The wide plain] bore weeds (?).
[The plant came not] forth; the sheep [did not become pregnant].
 [Calamity was put upon the people]. [The womb was closed, and the child came not forth].
[When the second year arrives]....
[When the third year] arrives,
 [The people in their].. .became changed.
[When the fourth year arrives their position] is miserable.
[The wide .... their ....] became oppressed.
[The people wander] in the street [with head bowed down].
[When the fifth year arrives], the daughter looks for [the entering] of the mother.
 [The mother op]ens not her door [to the daughter].
[The daughter] looks upon [the treasures of the mother.]
The mother looks upon [the treasures of the daughter.]
[When the sixth year arrives, they prepare] the daughter for a meal.
[For morsels] they prepare [the child].
 [Full was ……… ] one house devours another.
[Like ghosts their faces] they cover.
[The people] live [in violence].
[The wise] Atra-hasis, the man,
To E[a his lord], his thought turns.
 [He speaks] with his god.
[His lord Ea] speaks with him.
……….. the door of his god.
By the river he places his bed.
………….. seek his rains.
[Concerning] their cry he became troubled.
[He spoke in] their assemblage to those untouched [by the desolations].
[Enl]il held [his] assembly.
 [He sa]id to the gods his children,
Those observing the clamor of men:
[Concerning] their clamor I am troubled.
[He said in] their assemblage to those untouched by the desolations.
………… let there be malaria.
 [Hast]ily let fate make an end to their clamor.
[Li]ke a storm, let it overwhelm them.
[Sic]kness, headache, malaria, calamity.
……. and they had malaria.
[Hast]ily fate made an end to their cry.
 [Like] a storm it overwhelmed them,
[Sick]ness, headache, malaria, calamity.
The wi[se lord] Atra-hasis, the man,
To Ea, his [lord], his thought turns.
[He sp]eaks with his god.
 His [lord] Ea speaks with him.
Atra-hasis opened his mouth, and speaks
To Ea, his lord.
O lord, mankind is in misery.
Your power consumes the land.
 [E]a, O lord, mankind is in misery.
[The anger] of the gods consumes the land.
…….. thou who hast created us
Let sickness, headache, malaria, calamity ce[ase].
[Ea opened his mouth], he speaks to Atar-hasis, and tells him:
 ……… in the land.
……….. pray to your goddess.
……….. god, his command.
[34-36 too fragmentary to translate]
[Enlil] held his assembly; he speaks to the gods his children.
……….. I will put them to death.
[The people] have not become less; they are more numerous than before.
 [Concerning] their cry I am troubled.
[He said in] their assemblage to those untouched by the desolations.
Let the fig tree for the people be [cut off].
[I]n their bellies let the plant be wanting.
Above, let Adad make his rain scarce.
 Below let (the fountain of the deep) be stopped, that the flood rise not at the source.
Let the field withhold its fertility.
Let a change come over the bosom of Nisaba; by night let the fields become white.
Let the wide field bear weeds (?).
Let her bosom revolt, that the plant come not forth, that the sheep become not pregnant.
 Let calamity be placed upon the people.
Let the [womb] be closed, that it bring forth no infant.
The fig tree was cut [off] for the people.
In their bellies, the plant was wanting.
Above, Adad made scarce his rain.
 Below (the fountains of the deep) was stopped, that the flood rose not at the source.
The field withheld its fertility.
A change came over the bosom of Nisaba; the fields by night became white,
The wide field bore weeds (?); her womb revolted.
The plant came not forth; the sheep did not become pregnant.
 Calamity was placed upon the people.
The womb was closed, and brought forth no baby.
………. Ea said.
.... he shall cause her to recite.
.... [reci]ted an incantation. After she recited the incantation;
[She sp]at upon her clay.
 [Fourteen pieces] she pinched off; seven pieces she laid on the right.
[Seven] pieces she laid on the left; between them she placed a brick.
Offspring is delivered, the birth-stool (?).
She then called the wise ....
Seven and seven mothers, seven formed boys.
 Seven formed girls
The mother, the creator of destiny.
Them(?), they finished them.
Them( ?), they finished before her.
The figures of people, Mami formed.
In the house of the bearing one the midwife, shall let the brick for seven days lie.
Divinity (?) from the temple of Mah, the wise Mami,
They that are angry in the house of the midwife, let be happy.
When the bearing one is about to give birth,
Let the mother of the child conceive it like into herself.
 Male ………..
…. like the ends of heaven,
…. let it be strong above and below,
……… close ……….
 .... the time I will send thee.
….. enter and close the door of the ship.
….. in it thy grain, thy possessions, and thy property,
…… Thy [wife], thy family, thy relatives and the craftsmen,
The cattle of the field, the beasts of the field, as many as dev[our] grass,
 I will send thee, and they will guard thy door.
Atra-hasis opened his mouth, and spoke.
He said to Ea, his lord:
How long! I have not built a ship.
Upon the earth draw a plan!
 The plan let me see, and I will build the ship.
……. upon the ground he drew.
……. which thou hast commanded.
A Deluge Story in Sumerian
The beginning of the column is wanting.
 The …. place …..
The people ....
The flood …..
…… the made, ……
 At that time Nintu [cried aloud] like [a woman in travail].
The holy Ishtar lamented for her people. …..
Ea in his own heart held counsel.
Anu, Enlil, Ea and Nin-Harsag…..
The gods of heaven and earth inv[oked] the name of Anu (and) Enlil.
 At that time Zi-u-sudda the king, the priest of ....
A great …… he made …….
In humility he prostrates himself, in reverence ....
Daily he stands in attendance …….
A dream, as had not been before, comes forth ………..
By the name of heaven and earth he conjures ……..
For ………. the gods ……
Zi-u-suddu standing at its side heard ...
At the wall on my left side stand
At the wall I will speak a word to thee.
 My holy one, give attention!
By our hand( ?) a flood will be sent;
To destroy the seed of mankind ……
Is the decision, the word of the assembly [of the gods]
The commands of Anu (and) En[lil] …..
 Its (their) kingdom, its (their) reign ……
To him (them) ……
The rest of the column, or about three-fourths of the text, is missing.
All the might windstorms together blew.
The flood …… raged.
 When for seven days, for seven nights
The flood overwhelmed the land.
When the storm drove out the great boat over the mighty waters.
Shamash (the sun-god) came forth shedding light over the heaven and earth.
Zi-u-suddu opened the [hatch] of the great boat.
The light of the hero Shamash enters into the interior (?) of the great boat.
Zi-u-suddu, the king,
 Prostrates himself before Shamash.
The king sacrifces an ox; a sheep he slaughters (?).
The rest of the column is missing.
By the soul of heaven, by the soul of earth ye shall conjure him,
That he may be ……… with you.
Anu (and) Enlil by the soul of heaven, by the soul of earth ye shall conjure;
He will be ….. with you.
 The niggilma of the ground rises in abundance.
Zi-u-suddu, the king,
Before Anu (and) Enlil prostrates himself
Life like (that of) a god he gives to him;
An eternal soul like (that of) a god he creates for him.
 At that time Zi-u-suddu, the king,
The name of the niggilma (he named)
“Presence of the seed of mankind”
In a ….. land, that of Dilmun, they caused him to dwell.
The rest of the column, about three-quarters of the text, is missing.