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Trying -- and failing -- to get a handle on Mesopotamia

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posted on May, 22 2009 @ 12:33 AM
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This week I've been trying to bone up on my knowledge of ancient Mesopotamia; You know, the sumerians, the babylonians, etc.

I'm trying to put together a mental picture of the history and mythology of this region. I'm failing, badly.

The sheer scope of the time involved is one problem. It's hard to handle or even conceptualize the scale of time these civilizations played out on...many millenia.

Then there is the geography. Many, many little city-states, rising and falling constantly, names always changing...very very confusing.

Then there is the mythology. Hard enough to understand just one set of Mesopotamian myths, but the problem is compounded by the fact that in different times and places, the same gods had different names, or subtly different mythological roles, etc. It means having to learn four or five different names and stories for every mythological figure, and then thinking of the ways they interlock...

Overlaying all this is the complexity and alien-ness of the vocabulary involved.

So I'm reading stuff that sounds to me like, "Then the Shuggloloth absorbed the Magphilzoth with the aid of the serpantine forces of the Akkarataza and the ten gateways of the Philzipurphia, nine of which were closed by the siteen Phoracioid Xotthii..." and it just goes on and on like that...


Ow my head hurts! If any of you more knowledgable than me in this area have any ideas of how to even approach the subject, I'd be most greatful for any pointers.




posted on May, 22 2009 @ 03:52 AM
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You're trying too hard and you can't just expect it all to stick in your head that quickly. You have to let what you are reading come to you without trying. Relax, the history will still be there for you to find it.

There are different ways you could go about it except the way that you are doing because it isn't working for you. Some could do it by studying it all by period, years, historical events, whatever, but I would suggest starting with one civilization at a time. Learn the basics of that civilization, such as what region were they at, what was the geography like, what were their customs, what kind of homes they live in, what kind of government they had, etc. I would focus first on what I like to call a summery of whatever country you start with and then when you understand it enough then move on to the others. But don't just end with the basics, it's just a good place to start, you could never learn everything about them, just so much history! lol. Once you get a feel for each, then you could tie them together. This was my approach at least, it could help you, but then again it might not, so hopefully you can get a handle on it because it is a very fun study. Good luck!



posted on May, 22 2009 @ 04:03 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Good luck with your interesting, self-impossed course of study!
I've always been interested in Mesopotamia also! Please post about anything that you may find that is unorthodox; I for one would be intent to listen: many will love to refute whatever you find though.LOL
I find it interesting how the tie-in is made with the bible (Abraham, being from Ur?) No I dont want to go Religious here

Its difficult learning from archaic writting but hey- Nothing good ever came easy!



posted on May, 22 2009 @ 05:43 AM
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Thanks for the advice and encouragement, both of you.

OK, take a step back, breathe.

I guess I tend to learn in a non-linear way so that's how I'll approach it: start with the roughest possible sketch of geography and history first, and then work on the mythology. I thought after a week I'd have at least a rough idea of the big picture, but I can see this could take years, decades, lifetimes, even.



posted on May, 22 2009 @ 06:21 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Dont know if I can help, but I'm only too happy; please dont hesitate.
Say, is that a Seraphim from Ezekials' vision, you have as an avatar?



posted on May, 22 2009 @ 07:20 AM
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Originally posted by KRISKALI777
reply to post by silent thunder
 


Dont know if I can help, but I'm only too happy; please dont hesitate.
Say, is that a Seraphim from Ezekials' vision, you have as an avatar?


Thanks for the offer!

Re the avatar, according to the artist it is supposed to be a "Throne" rather than a "Seraphim;" I don't know to what extent these two angelic orders share the same characteristics or overlap, but it certainly does look like Ezekial's "wheel within a wheel," doesn't it? You've either hit it on the head or come rather close to the mark. Good eye!



posted on May, 22 2009 @ 10:23 AM
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Pick up on the general history of the Levant and Mesopotamia 7,000 years and before. THEN pick a civilization in order of when they arose (and follow chains of "which group survivied"). It becomes much clearer after that.

Use Wikipedia as your original source (and read their links), check the Sumerian FAQ... I'd ignore almost everything else for awhile. THEN you can look into some of the more exotic things.

There's also some good archaeological reports on it.



posted on May, 25 2009 @ 09:45 AM
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Well, one thing can be said for Bablyonian myths, at least: They are not lacking in terms of lurid exoticism:




Tiamat
"The Epic of Creation (Enuma Elish): Tablets I-III"
She is primeval Chaos, bearer of the skies (Anshar) and the earth (Kishar) and the mother of Lahmu, and Lahamu. Traditionally conceived of as a serpent or dragon of some sort, this idea does not have any basis in the Enuma Elish itself. Within that work her physical description includes, a tail, a thigh, "lower parts" (which shake together), a belly, an udder, ribs, a neck, a head, a skull, eyes, nostrils, a mouth, and lips. She has insides, a heart, arteries, and blood. The clamor of the younger gods disturbed her, but she continued to indulge them.

When her mate Apsu and his vizier Mummu suggested that they kill the younger gods, she grew furious, then calmed down and rejected the plan. Her restless subservient gods goaded her into action after Apsu is slain. They prepared to wage war against the other gods. As Mother Hubur, (the underworld river, who fashions all things), she bore giant snakes with venom for blood, and cloaked dragons with a godlike radiance yet with a terrible visage, for the war. She rallied a horned serpent, a mushussu-dragon, a lahmu-hero, a ugallu-demon, a rabid dog, a scorpion-man, umu-demons, a fish-man, a bull-man, and eleven others underneath her champion and new lover, Qingu. She gave Qingu the Tablet of Destinies to facilitate his command and attack.



from
home.comcast.net...



posted on May, 25 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by silent thunder
Ow my head hurts! If any of you more knowledgable than me in this area have any ideas of how to even approach the subject, I'd be most greatful for any pointers.


Poor you. How about looking at the real impact the Sumerian civilisation has had on our own daily lives. Simple things like dividing the circle, Earth and or Heaven into 360 degrees, and how we measure time in days of 24 hours of 60 minutes and 60 seconds. How they invented democracy long before the Greek philosophers, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. They invented the written language and the first strains of astrology are found centered around the city of Ur.

Abraham was born and was educated in Ur in Kaldea. Among the myriad of gods there Abraham found the Father or Creator of everything and all of us and has by many been given the honor of introducing monotheism, and this God lead Abraham on a journey to conquer his Promised Land, of Canaan. Abraham was the father of Ismael and Isaac who in his turn fathered Esau and Jacob aka Israel, patriarch of the twelve tribes. Abraham was born in 1947 after Adam, according to the Bible and the traditional Hebrew calendar place us in 5770 today, so he was born in 1814 BC.



posted on May, 26 2009 @ 05:44 AM
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Originally posted by Neo Christian Mystic

Originally posted by silent thunder
Ow my head hurts! If any of you more knowledgable than me in this area have any ideas of how to even approach the subject, I'd be most greatful for any pointers.


Poor you. How about looking at the real impact the Sumerian civilisation has had on our own daily lives. Simple things like dividing the circle, Earth and or Heaven into 360 degrees, and how we measure time in days of 24 hours of 60 minutes and 60 seconds. How they invented democracy long before the Greek philosophers, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. They invented the written language and the first strains of astrology are found centered around the city of Ur.

Abraham was born and was educated in Ur in Kaldea. Among the myriad of gods there Abraham found the Father or Creator of everything and all of us and has by many been given the honor of introducing monotheism, and this God lead Abraham on a journey to conquer his Promised Land, of Canaan. Abraham was the father of Ismael and Isaac who in his turn fathered Esau and Jacob aka Israel, patriarch of the twelve tribes. Abraham was born in 1947 after Adam, according to the Bible and the traditional Hebrew calendar place us in 5770 today, so he was born in 1814 BC.


No offence, kind sir, but none of that is news to me. At this particular point in time, I'm trying to clear up the nature and nuances of the Mesopotamian mylogical systems, as well as to create a clear picture of how the various city-states interlock with one another over time. I'm more interested in the details here than the big picture, if you know what I mean.



posted on May, 27 2009 @ 07:11 AM
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Found an interesting take on the strange lists of kings you find in Gilgamesh or where it is, where certain pre-flood kings were said to live and govern for tens of thousands of years.

www.historyfiles.co.uk...

The epos of Gilgamesh mostly parallell the Genesis account about the creation of Man, the Flood and many other things, including the sons of God, called the Anunaki in Mesopotamian lore, mixing in with the humans and also other things. I am currntly doing research for a theory surrounding the Flood we hear about in ME myth, so I stumbled accross the page above.... A good and interesting theory indeed.



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