While discussing the dating of the Great Pyramid, Marduk and I got sidetracked on a debate relating to the origination of the word "Eden."
The premise of the debate was as follows;
I had suggested the word was originally "E.DIN" and he suggested the word was always "Eden," although he believed that it was actually the word
for mountain, and this particular mountain had a city on top, that he claims was called "heaven." In otherwords, the concept that the ancients
were referring to the starry firmament when they said "heaven," was confused with the city of heaven, which was BY the starry firmament in that it
was on a very high mountaintop.... or so he theorizes. I disagreed with that proposal, firstly because it was pretty obvious the ancients not only
called the sky, "heaven," but that they knew the difference between a city on a mountaintop and the sky.
Anyway, in an attempt to build his case regarding Eden being the name of a mountain on which "heaven" was built, he provided an old babylonian
cuneiform glyph for the word "Eden," at which point, I provided an old akkadian cuneiform glyph for the word "Edin" which he said was not
correct and that the correct Akkadian word for Eden was "Edinu." No problem, I thought. Afterall, Akkadia is older than Babylon, so either way,
it's more likely the sumerians used Edin(u). But he said, the word Eden was also the name for it in Sumer. So apparently, he claims, the word
"Eden" was used in ancient sumer, skipped over the akkadians and was used again by the babylonians. I challenged this by asking him to provide
some form of textual reference from Sumer, specifically (and not akkadia or babylon), in which the word "Eden" is used and not "E.DIN" or
"EDINU" or "Edin".
Rather than do that, he posted a map of late babylonian timeframe, which he says is the oldest map known. In the map, it depicts rivers, oceans and
mountains, as well as Babylon (the city). He also insisted that the akkadian "Edin" was not a noun, so there's no way it could be "Eden."
The following are the evidences I presented as a part of the discussion:
eden [PLAIN] (5x: ED IIIb, Old Babylonian) wr. eden "plain, steppe, open country" Akk. edinu
 cuneiform EDIN eden (edimx(EDIN), edin)
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology
Note that the word "Eden" is in the Old Babylonian.
Note that the word "Edin" is in the Akkadian
Note that it says Cuneiform EDIN eden.
Marduk said that it wasn't Edin, that it was Edinu. What can I say? Denial, it's not just a river in Egypt.
Anyway, he provided the glyph for the old babylonian Eden and I provided the glyph for the Akkadian Edin:
Collection:British Museum, London, UK
Museum no.:BM 114394
1. [x esz2 sig4 gid2]-bi#
2. [...] nag
3. [x esz2 sig4 gid2]-bi#
4. [x gi] 2(u) nag
5. [x esz2 sig4] gid2#-bi
6. [x gi] 1(u) la2 1(asz@c) nag
1 line blank
7. |SZU+NIGIN2| 1(u) 1(disz) esz2 sig4
8. |SZU+NIGIN2| 3(gesz2) 1(u)? esz2 nag
9. esz2 ansze edin-na-ka
10. lugal-[gesz]kiri6 muszen-du3-e
11. szu ba-ti
1 line blank
12. 5(disz@c) mu 5(disz@c) iti
It's on line nine in the image below. Just skip the blank line.
Used "make a shorter link," so that link wouldn't scroll the page over.
He pointed out that the glyphs are identical. I pointed it out that they were not identical.
He then claimed that the Akkadians were Semites but the Sumerians weren't.
This I found interesting for several reasons, especially since he had claimed Edinu was the Akkadian word for Eden, a word the Semites penned into the
bible in ancient babylon, in the first place. If sumerians called it eden, and akkadians called it edinu, why would they suddenly call it eden in
babylon? He says they just decided to..
Believe it or not, all this nit picky exactness was the result of me challenging his belief that Eden was a mountain on which the city of heaven
resided. Even according to the translations, Eden was everything EXCEPT a mountain. It was a steppe, a plain, and even a desert. And according to
the biblical and other ancient texts, it also contained a Garden.
At this point, he quotes
"10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. "
To prove Eden was the mountain, from which the river originated, he quoted the interesting but incorrect translation of the biblical verse above.
He had assumed Eden and the Garden were a single place and that they both referred to the same specific location. That is not what the word Eden
translates to in Akkadian or Babylonian. Instead Eden (or Edin or E.DIN or EDIN or Edinu) was a plain, a steppe, some of which was fields and deserts
and a portion of which contained a Garden. He says I'm wrong.
Let him eat cake, says I. Just kidding. Proceed to prove me wrong, Marduk.
[edit on 12-10-2006 by undo]