The Mesopotamian Creation Myth is Both a Timeless and Action-Packed Story

Creation myth stories are found across cultures and have survived the test of time. These stories have many striking similarities and parallel with each other and they have a penchant for sometimes not making sense, like beings appearing out of nowhere when it was only not too long ago when the universe has been created by the chief creator deity. It's almost like when your in-laws appear out of nowhere and start meddling with your decisions in the house you and your wife just recently moved into, but we digress.

Probably one of the most interesting creation myth stories out there is also one of the oldest. We're talking about the Enuma Elish, the ancient Mesopotamian version of creation. We knew about it because some British hipster grandpa named Sir Austen Henry Layard recovered in the ruined Library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (which is in present-day Iraq) what later came to be seven tablets containing almost a thousand lines, telling this epic story.

EnumaElish History
If you have this beard but can't change a tire, shave.

So, the story begins a very long time ago when there was nothing except two swirling waters in Chaos. One body of water was named Apsu. He is considered a male character figure and he represents fresh and clear water. The other is Tiamat, the female figure and embodies the salty sea and oceanic waters; because women do tend to get salty a lot (just kidding). Apsu and Tiamat entered a union and Tiamat gave birth to the younger or lesser gods.

All was well in the beginning until these lesser gods made so much noise, were being very loud and kept blasting Bon Jovi songs from their large makeshift speakers at three in the morning. This displeased Apsu. He could not concentrate on his work in creating the rest of the universe if his children were constantly bothering him with their noise. And so he did what any wise and loving father would and planned to kill all of his children so they'd shut up for good. 

But before he was able to execute this plan, Tiamat found out about this and then she went to Enki (the eldest and the most powerful of the lesser gods) to warn him of the impending danger. Enki got worried about his safety so he, with presumably the help of his siblings, used powerful magic to put Apsu in a coma and then killed him. He also put into exile Mummu, who was the grand vizier of their divine court and supported Apsu's plans of killing the lesser gods. If you're wondering just where in Babylonian hell did Mummu come from, so do we. Your guess is as good as ours.

 Anyway, when Tiamat found out about the death of her husband she was filled with shock, rage, and grief (like she didn't totally see that coming) that she declared war upon her children, the lesser gods. In her wrath, she mustered the forces of Chaos and summoned eleven terrible monsters to hunt down the murderers of her husband. She also appointed the mighty Quingu from outta nowhere to be her eternal champion and gave him the Tablets of Destiny which he made into a chest plate armor.

Marduk Tiamat
tfw doggo is not being such a good boy

The lesser gods fought for a long time against her and her armies to no real success. The war was tipping so much against their favor, that some of the gods switched sides and turned to Tiamat, betraying their siblings. This was the situation until one day Marduk, son of Enki, made a bold claim of being able to defeat all of their foes. However, he would only do so under the condition that he was made the ruler of all the gods and shall continue to be even after all threats have been eliminated. 

Desperate, the gods agreed to his offer. 

And so, in the most black metal way possible, Marduk went on to defeat all of Tiamat's eleven monsters that were described as:

... monster-serpents,
Sharp of tooth, and merciless of fang;
With poison, instead of blood, [Tiamat] filled their bodies.
Fierce monster-vipers she clothed with terror,
With splendor she decked them, she made them of lofty stature.
Whoever beheld them, terror overcame him,
Their bodies reared up and none could withstand their attack.
She set up vipers and dragons, and the monster Lahamu,
And hurricanes, and raging hounds, and scorpion-men,
And mighty tempests, and fish-men, and rams;
They bore cruel weapons, without fear of the fight.
Her commands were mighty, none could resist them;

After this baddass feat, he went onto defeat Quingu and took his chest armor because it's a unique item and a high-leveled loot. After which, he then faces the final boss, his grandmother, Tiamat. His opponent revealed her final form as a this very ugly looking dragon-like creature. However, Marduk prevailed as he shot an arrow that split the dragon in half. And from the corpse of Tiamat, he created the heavens and the earth and from her eyes flow the two great rivers of the Indus civilization Euphrates and Tigris. 

The other gods were overjoyed upon learning of this victory and sang praises of him, as he stood upon the bodies of the eleven monsters, bound under his feet. Quingu was executed and then from his remains, Marduk created Lullu, the first man. And using the bodies of the other gods that betrayed them, he made the rest of the human beings. And so the rest, they say, is history.