Rise of the City: How the great god Marduk built the city of Babylon

Dr. Steve Tinney, Associate Curator, Babylonian Section, Penn Museum.
The great Babylonian myth “When on high …”, often called the Babylonian Epic of Creation, traces the history of Babylon from the very beginning of time itself. Swallowing many other ancient Mesopotamian myths it presents a single story of how Marduk became king of the gods by killing the Sea, and founded Babylon as the center of the universe. As it does so, it reveals much about ancient Mesopotamian cosmos and that most important of institutions, the city.


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35 Responses

  1. yaco linque says:

    The Penn Museum lectures/presentations are an unfailing joy. So many lectures–even those from respectible sources–are hard sloggging because speakers fall back on "temporizations" such as "uh", "um", ya know", "sorta", "kinda" and "eck-setera" (ECT.).

  2. sbfcapnj says:

    So…Marduk = Bel = Baal = Jupiter. Got it.

  3. truth 247 says:

    stupid class

  4. Sean Bragg says:

    Marduk is real and Christ told us we get to judge him and his friends at the end of time

  5. Francis Fisher says:

    Epech of Msha! I'll clear that up for you..: epech of M o s e s is very unpalatable to high minded fools; where as high minded kings princes dukes earls counts et al know the real true account of creation of m a n .

  6. Bill William says:

    murdoch fox god

  7. Your Choice says:

    Matthew 13…
    Luke 11:2
    Matthew 6:10
    Thy kingdom come…
    End of evil people.

  8. Your Choice says:

    Matthew 13…
    Luke 11:2
    Matthew 6:10
    Thy kingdom come…
    End of evil people.

  9. Stratos I says:

    Any discussion of Babylon being the first city at the beginning of time has no place calling itself scholarly. Gone are the age of the biblical 'archaelogists'

  10. Jake Johnson says:

    it sounds like the bible

  11. NephilimFree says:

    The Bible is true human history, and provides an explanation for the origin of all of the world's false religions, which were a distorted remembrance of the true God from before the flood and ancestor worship. Some of the people named in the Bible which lived before and shortly after the flood became deities in these distorted memories. I will provide here just a tiny sliver of the tremendous amount of information which demonstrates it is true.

    In early Aryan mythology Japheth is remembered as Djapatischta (chief of the race). East Indians called him Jyapeti or Pra-Japati.
    In Greek Jaheth (Iapetos) is remembered as the "father of the human race" by his son Prometheus. Japetus' grandson, Deucalion, enters a great box with his wife and 3 children to survive a flood arising in Greece which will destroy all humans. According to Homer (Il. viii. 479) Iapetus is imprisoned with Cronus in Tartarus, and Silius Italicus (xii. 148, &c.) relates that he is buried under the island of Inarime. In Homeric Greek myth Japetus is not the son of the flood survivor, Deucalion, he is the grandfather. Yet, his descendents, including Deucalion and progeny, are called Iapetiade. The descendants of Japetus survive a flood that destroys mankind in Greece. He is the ruler of the western part of the earth, and he and his three brothers upehld other four columns which supported the heavens. Iapetus' grandson, Deucalion, enters a great box with his wife and 3 children to survive a flood arising in Greece which will destroy all humans. In Homeric Greek myth Japetus is not the son of the flood survivor, Deucalion, he is the grandfather. Yet, his descendents, including Deucalion and progeny, are called Iapetiade. So descendants of Japetus survive a flood that destroys mankind in Greece.
    His descendants, Prometheus, Atlas, and others, are often designated by the patronymic forms Iapelidae (es), Iapetionidae (es), and the feminine Iapetionis. (Hes. Theog. 528; Ov. Met. iv. 631; Pind. Ol. ix. 59.)

    Romans remembered Japheth as Ju-Pater or Jupiter.

    The Scandinavians remember Yapheth as Seskef. The Saxons perpetuated his name as Iafeth, subsequently transliterated as Sceaf (pronounced "sheef" or "shaif" – and recorded his name in their early genealogies as the son of Noah, the forebear of their various peoples).
    These derivations came about by the practice of ancestor worship, which eventually deified the sons of Noah and they became "gods" in different mythologies around the world.
    Here we see the people who became the ancient Hindus, after dispersing from Babel as a large family group, distorted these men's names and made them into deities, which derived from the practice of ancestor worship: Hindus mythology tells of Satyaurata (Noah) who was a righteous man who was warned of the coming deluge by Vishnu. He saved himself and the seven sages (8 on the ark of Noah) of the world by building a boat for them to ride out the deluge. The name Satyaurata means "dedicated to truth". The Bible states Noah was a rightous man. Satyaurata's son Iyapeti (Japheth) is considered the father of the Hindu people. Satyaurata had another son named C'Harma (Ham) whom he cursed for laughing at his drunkenness. The Bible gives us the original account of this event of Noah being laughed at by Ham in his drunken nakedness in Genesis 9, which was later distorted by early Hindus.

    Genesis10[6] And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
    Hamites (offspring of Ham, Son of Noah): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamites
    Hamites > Hamitic People > Hamites of Egypt > K-HEM-ET (god of Egypt), K-HEM-IA is said by Plutarch (100 S.D.) to be the "country of Ham", which agrees with Josephus's Antiquities 1:6:1. PUT – son of Ham (Genesis) – Lybia according to ancient Egyptians according to Egyptian relief and PUTA according to Persian relief

    Children of Shem
    Shem > Shemites > Semites, involved in the early stage of Sumer, Sumerian is a semitic language
    In Hebrew Shem may be used to mean "Name", "Fame" or "Reputation". Sharma or Sarma in Hindu is derived from Shem, the son of Noah. In Hindi, the name Sharma or Sarma means teacher or preacher and may be used as a surname of Brahmins (Hindu preachers and teachers).
    "The people called Sumerians, whose language became the prevailing language of the territory, probably came from around Anatolia, arriving in Sumer about 3300 bc." Sumer was first settled by a pre-sumerian people. Afterward a semitic tribe replaced them and established the culture commonly referred to as Sumerian. Britanica: "Sumer was first settled between 4500 and 4000 bc by a non-Semitic people who did not speak the Sumerian language. These people now are called proto-Euphrateans or Ubaidians, for the village Al-Ubaid, where their remains were first discovered. The Ubaidians were the first civilizing force in Sumer, draining the marshes for agriculture, developing trade, and establishing industries, including weaving, leatherwork, metalwork, masonry, and pottery. After the Ubaidian immigration to Mesopotamia, various Semitic peoples infiltrated their territory, adding their cultures to the Ubaidian culture, and creating a high pre-Sumerian civilization.

    Elam is the ancient name for Persia, which is itself the ancient name for Iran. Until the time of Cyrus the people here were called Elamites, and they were still often called that even in New Testament times. In Acts 2:9, the Jews from Persia who were present at Pentecost were called Elamites. The Persians are thus descended from both Elam, the son of Shem, and from Madai, the son of Japheth (see above). Since the 1930s they have called their country Iran.
    Elam: Genesis 10[22] The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. Elam, son of Shem, decendants known Elamites (c. 2530–2450 bc, southwestern Iran) first founders of Sumeria according to professors Chile and Mallowan. Descendants moved west from Sumeria to Iran (district of Pul), then to Europe where they are known as the Polani in Poland, as ELAMTU to the Babylonians, ELYMAIS to the Greeks, HALAMTI/HUZ to the Persians.
    Elamite Empire: http://www.iranchamber.com/history/elamite/elamite.php
    Elam: Elam, Elamite, altami, Akkadian Elamtu, also called Susiana, ancient country in southwestern Iran approximately equivalent to the modern region of Khuzestan. https://www.britannica.com/place/Elam

    Arphaxad: Gen10[22] The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. Arphaxad, son of Shem, named Arphaxadites now called Chaldeans (Josephus). Aramaic was the language of the Arphaxad and thus also of the Chaldeans. Known as ARP-HURRA (Hurrians, Nuzi Tablets 1,400 BC, ARRAHU (Akkadians), ARPHAXITIS (Ptomemy) where the population was called the KURO-ARAXES, became the GERMANI – germanic tribes of Europe.
    Arphaxad was the progenitor of the Chaldeans. This ‘is confirmed by the Hurrian (Nuzi) tablets, which render the name as Arip-hurra—the founder of Chaldea.’11 His descendant, Eber, gave his name to the Hebrew people via the line of Eber-Peleg-Reu-Serug-Nahor-Terah-Abram (Genesis 11:16–26). Eber’s other son, Joktan, had 13 sons (Genesis 10:26–30), all of whom appear to have settled in Arabia. He was the progenitor of the Chaldeans, his name being equivalent to 'arpkeshed', that is, the boundary of Chaldea. That he was indeed the forebear of the Chaldeans is confirmed by the Hurrian (Nuzi) tablets, which render the name as Arip-hurra – the founder of Chaldea. The name was also known to the Akkadians as Arraphu. Some scholars have endeavoured to treat his name as a derivative of the Assyrian phrase 'arba-kishshatu', meaning the four corners of the world; but given the somewhat localized nature of the Chaldean people, confining themselves for the most part to southern Mesopotamia, this derivation is unlikely. The Assyians knew his descendants as the Kaldu, adept astrologers, magicians and mathematicians. Ptolemy, however, recorded the name of their land as Arrapachitis, whilst it was known to others as Arphaxitis. The very earliest settlement of the children of Arphaxad, however, appears to have been what is today a two and a half acre ruin called Arpachiya. It lies some four miles to the east of ancient Nineveh, and is the remains of a very early farming community.

    Genesis 10[22] The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
    Lud was the ancestor of the Lydians. Lydia was in what is now Western Turkey. Their capital was Sardis – one of the seven churches of Asia was at Sardis (Revelation 3:1) Lydians, famous archers, light-skinned people (Herodotus, Histories), known as LUDDU to the Akkadians, LUDEM to the Egyptians, and Ludbu to the Assyrians, town of Ludbu on Euphrates, migrated into N. Italy with the Etruscans.

    Aram: Genesis 10[22] The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. Aram, son of Shem, father of the Aramaic language, taken captive by the Assyrians (Josephus, Antiquities 9:2:3), remembered in Aram-naharaim and Armenia, moved to Iran (Jospehus) as the Aramii onto S. Russia (Pliny, Natural History 4:18:50)
    Aram is the Hebrew word for Syria. Whenever the word Syria appears in the Old Testament it is a translation of the word Aram. The Syrians call themselves Arameans, and their language is called Aramaic. Before the spread of the Greek Empire, Aramaic was the international language (2 Kings 18:26 ff). On the Cross, when Jesus cried out, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani’ (Mark 15:34), He was speaking Aramaic, the language of the common people.

  12. Carlos Vega says:

    Marduk (Ra) dios de la guerra

  13. Twang Shanty says:

    "If you can Dan Brown it, go for it." Nice shot at the mason in the audience trying to apply relevancy to his masonic leanings from an ancient cuneiform tablet. Well done Dr. Tinney.

  14. John Rohde says:

    The answer to the question as to whether the stories were believed literally, is interesting in relation to Christian ideas of transubstantiation.

  15. Franken Stein says:

    He speaks a lot about Myths. So maybe they aren't Myths. Maybe he's not correct with everything he says.

  16. open2626 says:

    Wait what? Around 1:06:13, toward the end of the lecture, he says "Marduk is associated with Jupiter, Nabu with Zeus"?! Uh, I understand that he works for the university and can't make any claims of his on on these works but it's a home run that Zeus/Jupiter (Greek/Roman- same god) are Enlil (god of the wind/lord of sky/command). Marduk has also heavily been associated with Ra in Egypt. If we're talking "association", these are pretty dead on!

  17. open2626 says:

    Marduk is an interesting character! It feels to me, like he took the older texts and changed them to make him the hero. I say this because Enki and Enlil seemed to be here (on Earth) for thousands of years according to the tablets. And they are often mentioned in Sumerian stories! Yet, Marduk is the son of Enki and is explaining how he basically started the formation of Earth by destroying Tiamat (probably millions of years before Sumer was even founded, let alone the formation of the Earth lol) and in the next moment, he talks about creating Babylon (which came well after Sumer)! Things that make you go hmmm?!

  18. Carl Boucher says:

    Yeah okay 2000 years from now this guy's ancestor finds a video tape of The Jetsons!! And she is pretty sure that George and Jane travel from another planet! They had a daughter named Judy and a boy named Elroy.. and they had a pet named Astro..?? Because we have cartoon drawings in a laser pointer!! And we've been studying this for 40 years!! George obviously worked for spacly sprockets..all of this has been well documented and stored underground at our museum!!!and if you don't believe me just ask the guy who drew these cartoon pictures!!! He is also stored underground in our museum!!

  19. Carl Boucher says:

    What kind of professor announces that!! You may not believe me!! That's interrogation 101 for !! I'm lying to you!!??

  20. Carl Boucher says:

    Hey;; Penn museum let's take a look at the crown jewels of great Britain!!! Were these artifacts brought to the penn museum before or after shock and awe??

  21. Carl Boucher says:

    Time 4 minutes.. this video was posted 3 years ago and this guy is working in ancient Iraq??

  22. Carl Boucher says:

    Thank you for this informative lecture!! It explains everything let the rest of the 8 billion 999 million human beings on the planet did not understand!!

  23. Daryl Allen says:

    56:55 – Jokes on you buddy!

  24. S OHara says:

    First nine minutes:

    6:00 three cities (important to talk)

    Lagash / Geersu




    Artefact shown:

    * document in stone, 2,800 BC, with "figure au plume", have (used to kill enemies!)

    It is earliest example of literary text — hymn to (a particular) god.

    Written in Sumerian. He's translating it …
    some of the words ….


  25. Brian Hougaard Baldersbæk says:

    Absolutely amazing lecture. Love them from from second one. I better go find the one he's referring to in the beginning. It's incredibly exciting.

    I hope to live long enough to see the day when the connections to the people who lived in Sahara when it was green for thousands of years and who fled out when drought became the day of order because of natural climate change. One tends to think that some of them fled towards the east and founded Egypt, presumably all caused by the 5.9 kiloyear event. For Green Sahara, look for African Humid Period or Neolithic Subpluvial.
    Don't leave out archelology at Lake Chad who coexisted during this period and has produced remarkable finds.

    Some of the more severe chages were caused by a gigantic outflow of 0 degree Celsius cold melting water into the Atlantic ocean from the massive Northern Anerican icesheet covering large parts of Canada and northern USA during the Iceage, lowering the temperatures and changing weather patterns
    Go look for the 8.2, 5.9 and 4.2 kiloyear event.

    For a presumed reason of the Flood Myth behind the Biblical Noa and the Ark, all are convinced it was rewritten from the Epic of Gilgamesh and the only place where I have seen my own thoughts dublicated by random is the excellent and spectacular video of "8 The Sumerians -Fall of the first Cities" by the channel Fall of Civilizations…
    …where previous dry agricultural land in the Persian Gulf, were flooded at the Hormuz Strait by the Arabian Sea when the sea levels rose 125-140 meters from the melting of the glacial ice. One day the water came flushing in. Unstoppable. This event some 8-10000 years ago would have left in impact in songs and dances and echoed through generations as it was tradition. This must be the roots behind the flood myth in that area (others could be present in the Indus Valley civilization…haven't researched it yet)

    Got carried away…..he he….

  26. Rob White says:

    sooo right at the start of human history we were building cities writing and fighting each other…. something dont add up in our history lol

  27. Cody oshram says:

    I met marduk and traveled on his vimana with him and his royal army. He was truly a graceful God and a savior to millions.

  28. Jenniful Creations says:

    This is no myth, but truth. Our real history.

  29. Metaphysical Cookies says:

    Marduk is an angel (mentioned in the Quran as Marut). He is one of the two angels that was sent by Allah to Babylon to teach humans about the basic of witchcraft. But they have warned the humans that what they will teach is nothing but a test for humanity.

    Al-Baqarah 2:101

    وَلَمَّا جَآءَهُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ عِندِ ٱللَّهِ مُصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَهُمْ نَبَذَ فَرِيقٌ مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ كِتَٰبَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَآءَ ظُهُورِهِمْ كَأَنَّهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

    And when a messenger from Allah came to them confirming that which was with them, a party of those who had been given the Scripture threw the Scripture of Allah behind their backs as if they did not know [what it contained].

    Al-Baqarah 2:102

    وَٱتَّبَعُوا۟ مَا تَتْلُوا۟ ٱلشَّيَٰطِينُ عَلَىٰ مُلْكِ سُلَيْمَٰنَۖ وَمَا كَفَرَ سُلَيْمَٰنُ وَلَٰكِنَّ ٱلشَّيَٰطِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ يُعَلِّمُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ ٱلسِّحْرَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَى ٱلْمَلَكَيْنِ بِبَابِلَ هَٰرُوتَ وَمَٰرُوتَۚ وَمَا يُعَلِّمَانِ مِنْ أَحَدٍ حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَآ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ فِتْنَةٌ فَلَا تَكْفُرْۖ فَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مِنْهُمَا مَا يُفَرِّقُونَ بِهِۦ بَيْنَ ٱلْمَرْءِ وَزَوْجِهِۦۚ وَمَا هُم بِضَآرِّينَ بِهِۦ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ ٱللَّهِۚ وَيَتَعَلَّمُونَ مَا يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلَا يَنفَعُهُمْۚ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمُوا۟ لَمَنِ ٱشْتَرَىٰهُ مَا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَٰقٍۚ وَلَبِئْسَ مَا شَرَوْا۟ بِهِۦٓ أَنفُسَهُمْۚ لَوْ كَانُوا۟ يَعْلَمُونَ

    And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, "We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic]." And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah. And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew.

  30. Mandy S says:

    At 22:00 , yeah! I want to greet others with this nose hand signal, too!

  31. Average Joe says:

    I wonder how many people can see how much Marduk resembles Lucifer.

  32. Ryan Truesdell says:

    35:38 Marduk is wearing The Tablets of Destiny. Thank you for all the great information.

  33. Wil Lyons - Artefact Ltd says:

    you call them myths , but is there historical truths in their accounts of events?

  34. John P says:

    3/4 of lunatics in the comments section, don't bother.

  35. Hamzeh AlKiswani says:

    This is in the Quran from 1400 years ago SubhanAllah

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