Poems in Posthuman Akkadian
TODESSA SEASON 02, EPISODE 12/4
Cast: Totleb & Co.
Soundmix: Todonsky Junior
Directed by: T.L.
POEMS IN POSTHUMAN AKKADIAN
written by General Totleben
© Ivan Stanev, executor testamentarius
Read the full text of the poem THE TABLET OF DESTINIES h e r e (p.104-…coming soon…)
Ninurta, The Tablet of Destinies, Light-Cone, Boltzmann Brain, Entropy, Vacuum Structure, Arrow of Time
The Seven Gods of Destinies
The gods fixing destinies for the king and his people is a pivotal theme in Mesopotamian literature. The royal fates were fixed in the assembly of the gods, and the most important decisions were made in the main temple of the religious centre of the land, in Nippur, or Babylon. In the Sumerian composition Enlil and Ninlil, which can be with certainty dated to the 21st century BCE, the gods who determined the destinies in Nippur are referred to as “the fifty great gods and the seven gods who decide destinies”. Exactly the same configuration is mentioned in the much later composed Babylonian Creation Epic VI 80–81, in the context of decreeing Marduk’s lofty status: “The fifty great gods took their seats, the seven gods of destinies were confirmed for rendering judgement.”
The mythological concept of the seven gods forming an assembly for decreeing the destinies for the whole world and writing them down on the Tablet of Destinies formed the backbone of the later practice of horoscopy, which emerged only in the Achaemenid period. The planets were associated with the gods already in the second millennium BCE Mesopotamian celestial omen texts. The planetary gods were treated as persons, because the protases of celestial omens refer to the actions or appearances of the planets and stars not appropriate to inanimate objects, but rather as anthropomorphic beings with agency and feeling. Futhermore, the anthropomorphic references in the celestial omens are to gods. For example, instead of simply stating, that there was a lunar eclipse, normally expressed by the Babylonian term attalû “eclipse,” the moon, in anthropomorphic guise, is described as “mourning” or “feeling distress.” The lunar eclipse was understood in terms of the distress of the moon god. The heavenly bodies were quite often personified as gods, and the metaphorical terms of description refer in each case to the particular deity of
which the heavenly body was considered to be a manifestation.
The seven gods were associated with the planets as follows—Šamaš with Sun, Sin with Moon, Jupiter with Marduk (= B±l), Saturn with Adad, Mercury with Nabû or Ninurta, Venus with Ištar, and Mars with Nergal. According to the canonical Babylonian texts of the first millennium BCE, listing cultic topography, the Marduk’s temple in Babylon, called Esagil, contained the Dais of Destinies where the two assemblies of the gods convened for making decisions on the 8th and 11th of Nisan, and which was equipped with seats for the seven destiny- decreeing gods.
An aspect of the Mesopotamian gods, who formed an assembly to determine heavenly and mundane affairs, was revealed in planetary orientations. The decisions of fate were read from the night sky by learned men, who composed and used compendia of celestial omens. The assembly of Mesopotamian gods was thought to rule over the society and to be represented on earth by the Assyrian or Babylonian state council. The functional relationship in Mesopotamian divination was between the deities, the givers of signs, and humankind, for whose benefit the signs were given. The predictions given for the signs, the apodoses of the omens were sometimes called purussû, “(divine) decisions”. In the Mesopotamian system of divination, agency is placed in the gods, who decide what events will happen on earth in association with ominous celestial phenomena.
The notion of the gods’ assembly also forms the ideological background for the cuneiform horoscopes, which are based on the idea of ascribing the planetary alignment at the moment of birth to the life and fortune of an individual. Surviving Babylonian horoscopes all date to the second half of the first millennium. From this branch of Babylonian astrological practice developed Hellenistic Greek genethlialogy that is at the base of later astrological doctrines. The evidence for Babylonian influence on Greek astrology: derives largely from the later periods of cuneiform tradition, i. e., the Achaemenid and Seleucid periods. The most fundamental tool for Greek astrology, the zodiac, is of Babylonian origin in the fifth century…
Given the overwhelming evidence which we have for the influence of Babylonian celestial sciences on Hellenistic astrology and astronomy, it is not difficult to believe that the seven planetary gods involved in the late antique science of the celestial spheres were of Mesopotamian origin…
The number of archons was seven like the number of gods, who were involved in astral fatalism. In the gnostic texts the former Mesopotamian gods were transformed into evil archons, governing the physical universe under the service of the evil creator god. The term kosmokratores was frequently used for planets in the Greek magical papyri, personified as rulers of the heavenly spheres, sometimes regarded as evil.
The Soul’s Journeys and Tauroctony / Amar Annus
Languages / scripts used: Sumerian, Akkadian, Proto-Elamite, Ancient Greek, Russian, German, French, English
freesound.org; cdli.ucla.edu; The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL); Encylopaedia Britannica; arxiv.org