Legends of Babylon and Egypt in Relation to the Hebrew TraditionPaperback
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- Publisher: Createspace
- Format: Paperback | 158 pages
- Dimensions: 216mm x 279mm x 9mm | 472g
- Publication date: 9 February 2013
- ISBN 10: 1482393492
- ISBN 13: 9781482393491
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
The bulk of our new material is furnished by some early texts, written towards the close of the third millennium B.C. They incorporate traditions which extend in unbroken outline from their own period into the remote ages of the past, and claim to trace the history of man back to his creation. They represent the early national traditions of the Sumerian people, who preceded the Semites as the ruling race in Babylonia; and incidentally they necessitate a revision of current views with regard to the cradle of Babylonian civilization. The most remarkable of the new documents is one which relates in poetical narrative an account of the Creation, of Antediluvian history, and of the Deluge. It thus exhibits a close resemblance in structure to the corresponding Hebrew traditions, a resemblance that is not shared by the Semitic-Babylonian Versions at present known. But in matter the Sumerian tradition is more primitive than any of the Semitic versions. In spite of the fact that the text appears to have reached us in a magical setting, and to some extent in epitomized form, this early document enables us to tap the stream of tradition at a point far above any at which approach has hitherto been possible. Though the resemblance of early Sumerian tradition to that of the Hebrews is striking, it furnishes a still closer parallel to the summaries preserved from the history of Berossus. The huge figures incorporated in the latter's chronological scheme are no longer to be treated as a product of Neo-Babylonian speculation; they reappear in their original surroundings in another of these early documents, the Sumerian Dynastic List. The sources of Berossus had inevitably been semitized by Babylon; but two of his three Antediluvian cities find their place among the five of primitive Sumerian belief, and two of his ten Antediluvian kings rejoin their Sumerian prototypes.
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Leonard William King (8 December 1869-20 August 1919), M.A., F.S.A., was an English archaeologist and Assyriologist educated at Rugby School and King's College in Cambridge. He collected stone inscriptions widely in the Near East, taught Assyrian and Babylonian archaeology at King's College for a number of years, and published a large number of works on these subjects. He is also known for his translations of ancient works such as the Code of Hammurabi. He became the Assistant to the Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, at the British Museum.