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These myths originally come from the Hurrians, a people of N. Syria, who rivalled the Hittites of Asia Minor in the 16th and 15th centuries B.C. The Hurrians were conquered by the Hittites during the reign of Suppiluliumas I (1375-1335 B.C.), and many of their traditions were absorbed by them. The texts come from clay tablets of the 13th cent. B.C. found at the Hittite capital of Hattussas, which was destroyed at the end of the 13th cent. B.C., after which Hittite power permanently waned









Kingship in Heaven

Once in the olden days Alalus was king in heaven.


(As long as) Alalus was seated on the throne, the mighty Anu, first among the gods, was standing before him. He would sink at his feet and set the drinking cup in his hand.

Nine in number were the years that Alalus was king in heaven. In the ninth year Anu gave battle to Alalus and he vanquished Alalus. He fled before him and went down to the dark earth. Down he went to the dark earth, but Anu took his seat upon the throne. (As long as) Anu was seated upon the throne, the mighty Kumarbi would give him his food. He would sink at his feet and set the drinking cup in his hand.

Nine in number were the years that Anu was king in heaven. In the ninth year Anu gave battle to Kumarbi and like Alalus Kumarbi gave battle to Anu. (When) he could no longer withstand Kumarbi's eyes, (he) Anu, he struggled forth from the hands of Kumarbi. he fled, (he) Anu; (like) a bird he moved in the sky. After him rushed Kumarbi, seized (him) Anu, by his feet and dragged him down from the sky.

He (Kumarbi) bit his "knees" and his manhood went down into his inside. When it lodged there (and) when Kumarbi had swallowed Anu's manhood, he rejoiced and laughed.


Anu turned back to him, to Kumarbi he began to speak:

"Thou rejoicest over thine inside, because thou hast swallowed my manhood.


"Rejoice not over thine inside! In thine inside I have planted a heavy burden. Firstly I have impregnated thee with the noble Storm-god. Secondly I have impregnated thee with the river Tigris, not to be endured. Thirdly I have impregnated thee with the noble Tasmisus. Three dreadful gods have I planted in thy belly as seed. Thou shalt go and end by striking the rocks of thine own mountain with thy head!"

When Anu had finished speaking, he went up to heaven and hid himself. Out of his mouth spat Kumarbi, the wise king. Out of his mouth he spat... mixed with... That which Kumarbi spat out, [fell on] Mt. Kanzuras;... an awesome god therein.

Filled with fury Kumarbi went to Nippur... At the lordly... he settled down. Kumarbi did not... (while) he counts [the months (i.e. of his pregnancy)]. The seventh month came...

(Anu addresses the Storm-god who is still unborn inside Kumarbi and advises him of the various parts of Kumarbi's body through which he may come forth. The Storm-god answere from within Kumarbi:)

Long life to thee! lord of the well-spring of wisdom!...The earth shall give me it's strength, the sky will give me its valor, Anu will give me his manliness, Kumarbi will give me his wisdom...

(It seems as though the Storm-god speaks of his future greatness and promises Anu to revenge him. Anu repeats his advice as to the places from which the Storm-god may come forth, among them Kumarbi's mouth and "the good place". The Storm-god replies:)

If I come forth from his...., it will derange (my) mind. If I come forth from his...., it will defile me at that spot, ... it will defile me at the ear... If I come forth from "the good place," a woman will... me."

(In the following the Storm-god, it seems, is forewarned of what will happen if he should come forth by rending asunder Kumarbi's "tarnassas")

As he walked along and took his place before Ayas, Kumarbi became dizzy and collapsed... Kumarbi began to speak to Ayas: "Give me my son, I want to devour my son!"

(Indeed, it seems that Kumarbi received something to eat. However it hurts his mouth and he begins to moan. On Kumarbi's complaint Ayas advises him to call in certain experts...This then is done)

They began to work magic on him with... They kept bringing sacrifices of meal to him, they kept... From the "tarnassas" [he wanted to come forth but] they made Kumarbi's ["tarnassas"] secure. [Thus from the "good pl]ace" came forth the valiant Storm-god.

(The birth of the Storm-god is completed and reported to Anu. Anu plots to destroy Kumarbi with the help of the Storm-god. The Storm-god prepares for battle. The outcome of the battle is not narrated on the preserved part of the tablet...At any rate, we have to assume that the Storm-god defeated Kumarbi and took over the kingship in heaven).





Song of Ullikummi

Kumarbi thinks out wise thoughts in his mind. He nurses the thought of creating misfortune and an evil being. he plots evil against the Storm-god. He nurses the thought of raising up a rival for the Storm-god.

Kumarbi thinks out wise thoughts in his mind and strings them together like beads.

When Kumarbi had thought out the wise thoughts in his mind, he instantly rose from his seat. He took his staff in his hand, put swift shoes on his feet. He set forth from Urkis, his city, and betook himself to the.....

In the... a great rock lies. Her length us three double hours, her width is....[double hours] and a half... His desire was aroused and he slept with the rock. His manhood flowed into her; five times he took her;[....]; ten times he took her...

... When night[...; when night] stood in the [...] vigil, stone moved stone.[...], they attended her when she gave birth [...] the Rock [...] forth [...and] Kumarbi's son [made his] appea[rance].

The [...] women brought him into the world; the Good-women and the Moth[er goddesses lifted the child and] placed [him upon Kumarbi's] knees. [Kumar]bi began to fondle his son [and] let him dance up and down. He proceeded to give [the child] a propitious name!

Kumarbi began to say to his soul:

"What name [shall I give] him? The child which the Good-women and the Mother-goddesses presented me, [for the reason that he] shot forth from her body as a shaft, let him go and [his] name be Ullikummi!


Let him ascend to heaven for kingship! Let him vanquish Kummiya, the beautiful city! Let him attack the Storm-god and tear [him] to pieces like a mortal! Let him tread him under foot like an ant! Let him crush Tasmisus like a reed in the brake! Let him shot down all the gods from the sky like birds and let him break them to pieces like empty pots!"

When Kumarbi [had finished] speaking these words, [he began] to say to his soul:

"To [whom] shall I give him, this child? Who will [take] him upon himself and treat him as a gift?..."

When the Irsirra deities heard the words, they took the child... The Irsirra deities lifted the child and pressed it to their breasts like a cloth. They lifted him and placed him upon Ellil's knees. The... lifted his eyes and beheld the child as it stood in his divine presence. His body was made of diorite.

Ellil began to speak to h[is min]d:

"Who is that child whom the Good-women and the Mother-goddesses reared? No one among the great gods will see mightier battles. no one's vileness equals Kumarbi's. Just as Kumarbi raised the Storm-god, he has [now raised] this awesome diorite man as his rival."

When Ellil [had finished] his words, [the Irsirra deities took the child] and placed it - a shaft - upon the right shoulder of Ubelluris (a giant carrying the world on his shoulders, like Atlas).

The diorite grows, the strong [waters] make him grow. In one day he increases one cubit, in one month he increases one acre. The stone which is added to his stature presents an amazing spectacle.

When the 15th day came, the stone had grown high. he [was standing] in the sea with his knees as a shaft. it stood out above the water, the stone, and in height it was like [a pillar]. The sea reached up to its belt like a loin cloth. Like a tower the stone is raised up and reaches up to the temples and the dwelling of the gods in heaven...

The Storm-god sat down on the ground, while tears streamed [from his eyes] as in water courses.


With tears streaming from his eyes the Storm-god speaks the word:

"Who can bear to look upon so vexatious a sight? Who will dare go and battle [against the monster]? Who can bear seeing his terrifying [...]...s?"

Ishtar replies t[o the Storm-god, her brother]:

"My brother! Is there really not a single...[...] to whom sufficient courage [has been] gi[ven?] Dost thou really not know the son whom [...]... [has] begotten? [...]."

(After an indecisive battle against Ullikummi, the Storm-god is defeated. Finally, however, the Storm-god rallies the gods and is able to defeat Ullikummi).