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Cultural Aspects Derived from Myth "Atrahasis"

Myth "Atrahasis"

This is one of the mythical stories among the Mesopotamians documented by various authors. Briefly, Myth“Atrahasis” presents a situation in which there were misunderstandings between man and gods many years ago. The myth depicts how gods decided to make man for various activities such as procreation and caring for the nature through toiling. However, various shortcomings arose in people that made the gods annoyed to the extent that mankind had to face severe punishments. Misfits followed misfits among mankind that ranged from famine to drought, and lastly there was flood disaster that swept most of mankind. Gods’ intentions were not engulf the entire population, thus they had a way to save some mankind. As a result, Atrahasis was instructed to build a boat to save him from the floods gods planed to destroy mankind.

Cultural Aspects Derived from Myth "Atrahasis" among Mesopotamians

First, it was clear from this myth that Mesopotamians had an exceptionally close relationship with gods in the past. There was a linkage between the man’s’ activities and the gods. They interacted extremely well until people annoyed the gods. The intimate relationship and interaction faced challenges when gods found the noises by the increasing population. However, the intimate relationship was not to terminate abruptly without a second thought. Therefore, chosen people had to make the boat to protect certain people from the flood calamity. This offered a second chance for people to prove gods that they worth living.  Various books have recorded the survival of the mankind after this flood. The name of survivor was differed for each author in which Sumerian myth depicts him as Ziusudra, and Ut-napishtim was the name presented in the epic of Gilgamesh (Dalley, 1989).

Second, this myth depicted how mankind in Mesopotamia was susceptible to calamities from gods because of their evil deeds. Just like many societies in the ancient settings, gods' wrath was obvious to mankind in Mesopotamia. The greatest lesson from this myth concerning the Mesopotamians was the need to shun away from any evil deeds in order to stay safe from gods’ wrath. 

Mesopotamians believed in the powers of the gods such as Ellil, Geshtu-e, and Belet-ili among others. Each of these gods had a role in the welfare of the mankind hence they knew any deviation from the conditions put, these gods could make people unhappy. The extent of the punishments was truly enormous among the Mesopotamians to make them afraid of doing any evil things. However, the population growth among the Mesopotamians became unmanageable that led to the increase of evils such as noise increase in the country. As a result, gods had to punish the Mesopotamians. Gods sent the flood misfortune to remove the total population, in such a way they wanted to show their anger.

Third, the myth Atrahasis depicts mankind’s’ responsibilities as mandated by gods during his creation. The purpose among gods during the creation of man was to struggle on behalf of the gods. In that setup, mankind had to work tirelessly to meet all his needs as well as providing to the gods. Since in the ancient times, man have been working to provide food on the table. Toiling for another person can sometimes prove problematic, just when mankind was supposed to do it under unusually precarious conditions such as issuance of threats and no room for feelings expression. In my opinion, the sounds refereed by Ellil as noise might have been the attempts of mankind to have their sentiments been heard. In response, men had to face catastrophes to quiet them and continue carrying out their assigned task. On the other side of the coin, noises recorded in this myth can characterize the negligence of mankind to care for nature.