In Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Uta-napishti relays the story of the Deluge:

Said Uta-napishti to him, to Gilgamesh:

'Let me disclose, Gilgamesh, a matter most secret,
to you will tell a mystery of gods.

'The town of Shuruppak, a city well known to you,
which stands on the banks of the river Euphrates:
this city was old - the gods once were in it -
when the great gods decided to send down the Deluge.

Source: The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by Andrew George, Penguin Books

Why? What cause had the gods to destroy mankind?


1 Answer 1


The Story of Atrahasis, which is thought to be closely related to The Epic of Gilgamesh, is partially lost, but enough fragments remain to figure out its meeting. Humanity annoys the gods many times with its incessant noise. The gods, spearheaded by Enlil, cast several plagues on humanity; Enki (Ea) advises Atrahasis on how to help his people through each one. The last of these is the Deluge.

The Epic of Ziusudra, also partially lost, is a very similar version of the story. Again, Enki helps one ruler survive the flood brought on by the gods in an attempt to completely wipe out mankind. It does not appear that the two kings (Atrahasis and Ziusudra) are the same person, as both the names appear in different places on the Sumerian King List.

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