If you missed my article on King Arthur, you can find it here.
Tiamat is a Babylonian primordial creation goddess associated with the sea. Tiamat is the symbol of chaos. She is also in Akkadian, Assyrian, and Sumerian mythologies. Tiamat is referred to as “the glistening one”. Today she is often depicted as a dragon. Historians are unsure if this is a true picture of how she was viewed by her worshipers or not. Tiamat gave birth to the Younger Gods as well as eleven monsters.
Since Tiamat emerged from Chaos, she has no parents. She did however give the world Gods and monsters. Tiamat married Apsu (also Abzu), the God of freshwater. Apsu and Tiamat gave life to the Younger Gods, and obviously, there were many. The first of their union was Lahmu and Lahamu. From Lahmu and Lahamu, Anshar and Kishar were begot. The Younger Gods irritated Apsu beyond belief. They were too loud in his opinion. Tiamat put up with it. Apsu planned to kill his children. This is something Tiamat didn’t want. She begged that they discipline them rather than murder them. Mummu, who is the advisor, tells Apsu to kill them and ignores Tiamat.
Tiamat tells her son Ea (also Enki), the god of wisdom and magic, what Apsu plans to do. Ea decides to put Apsu to sleep with a spell and then kills him. Tiamat stands by and does nothing to stop him. Once everything has settled down, Ea took a wife, Damkina an Earth mother Goddess, and they had a son named Marduk. Marduk was the mightiest of the Gods. He was said to have the aura of the Ten Gods. The elder Gods of her children complained of Marduk’s generation being too loud. Man, I guess what I said as a teen is true. If it’s too loud, you’re too old.
The Gods said that she did nothing when their father was murdered and guilted her into going after her grandchildren. Before waging war, Tiamat gave birth to eleven monsters. Musmahhu, Usumgallu, and Basmu were three-horned snakes. Girtablullu is a scorpion man. Kulullu who is a merman. Mushussu, who is a snake dragon. Lahamu, who is a hairy beast of a man. Ugallu, who is a lion-demon hybrid. Umu-dabrutu, who is a fierce storm. Finally, Kusarikku is a bull-man. Tiamat then gives her lover, Quingu, the Tablets of Destiny which has the ultimate power of the heavens, Earth, and Underworld. Quingu leads her army of monsters against her grandchildren. The grandchildren cannot withstand Tiamat and all she brought with her. She didn’t kill them though.
Marduk, for the low, low price of being the ultimate ruler of the Gods, said he would slay Tiamat and her forces. The grandkids agree and help arm Marduk. He quickly kills both Quingu and Tiamat, then slays her monstrous children. From Tiamat corpse, the heavens and Earth were made. Her tail became the Milky Way and her tears became the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Humans come from the gods that were killed on Tiamat’s side. In fact, Quingu’s blood creates the first man, Lullu.
With humans being made from the blood of Gods, that tells me that we all have the spark of the Divine within us. What about you? What did you think of Tiamat? I like thinking of her as a dragon. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Until next week…