Creation Epic (Enûma-eliš)

This Babylonian literary text was composed at the end of the 2nd millennium BCE. It tells of the origin of the world and the appearance of gods and men. Initially, there were only two entities: Tiamat, salt water, and Apsû, fresh water. The other gods are descended from them. The epic describes the conflicts that arose between the gods and Marduk’s victory in a cosmic battle against Tiamat. Marduk then used Tiamat's body to create the world, and incited his father Ea to create mankind (in older literary texts, Ea created man). This poem to the glory of Marduk explains his status as king of the gods, which he acquired at the end of the 2nd millennium BCE, and which mirrored the growing political influence of the city of Babylon in Mesopotamia.