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Berossus and the Creation Story

Authors
  • Beaulieu, Paul-Alain1
  • 1 University of Toronto, 4 Bancroft Avenue, M5S 1C1 , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Apr 08, 2021
Volume
8
Issue
1-2
Pages
147–170
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/janeh-2020-0012
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This article investigates the fragments of the Babyloniaca of Berossus on creation. The following aspects are considered: the narrative structure of the book and how the account of creation is introduced, with broader implications for the cultural claims of Berossus and his peers; the relation between Berossus and previous Mesopotamian traditions, mainly the Babylonian Epic of Creation (Enuma elish), as well as possible evidence of Greek influence; and finally the view of human nature which is implicit in his account of the creation of humankind, notably the elimination of female agency and how his narrative relates to theories of human generation and the body that were current among the Babylonians, the Greeks, and the Egyptians.

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