Essay on Atrahasis Assignment

Submitted By Yasmin-Siddiqui
Words: 595
Pages: 3

Instructions
Write 2-3 pages of formal academic prose in response to the following prompt:
According to the Atrahasis story, human beings were created in order to relieve the gods of toil (I.190-243, pp. 164-65). If the story has a resolution, it comes when Enki commands Nintu (goddess of childbirth) to set a fixed term to mortal life (III.47-48, p. 183). For whose benefit is this measure implemented? On whose behalf does Enki act, and why? What is Enki's investment in human life, and how does it differ from Enlil's? What exactly Enki is the god of?

enki commands nintu to set a fixed term to mortal life which is a boon to both the humans and the gods. The sole purpose of creating humans was to bestow upon them the hardship and "to let him bear the yoke" of the laboring gods.
However, the increasing population soon annoyed Enlil the god of earth as it kept him from sleeping. The primary ways of banishing humans permanently from earth was to force them into a condition of starvation by commanding Adad the rain god to with-hold his rain and "the grain goddess close her bosom".
Therefore, the humans are also a beneficiary of Enki's idea as they do not live long enough to irk the gods and do not face the extreme conditions of famine or flood.
In conclusion, Enki's investment in human life is met by special interests which he tries to protect by communicating with his devotee, Atrahasis. Enki's communication gives away the commandament that was to ensue which in turn prevents the etermination of the human race. Therefore, to reslove the problem of an overwhelming population Enki's proposal to set a minimum lifetime overall favors the gods with minimal effect on the humans.
Enlil the councillor who is the holder of the earth and its subject is more inclined towards his offsprings/ also the gods though weaker than the rest. The igigi gods, enlil's offspings are forced to toil while enlil supervises their work. Enki, the god of depth/sea is seen to facilitate another iportant yet mesmerizing role in the text. He has formulated a special bond with atrahasis, a common man who also prays to enki. another striking contrast between the two is that enki is the only god who is prayed to by human, specifically atrahasis. whereas enlil…