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ably the Biblical Nimrod, later called Lugal-Marad, “King Marad,” came to the rescue, and with some kind of strategy, ensnared Zu, and pursued him as far as “the distant mountain Sâbu,” in the Lebanon range. By his success he was not only able to throw off the yoke of the West, but he conquered Aleppo and Tidnum.

During the reign of Lugal-Marad's successor, named Tammuz, who also had conquered this region, we get, with the aid of later traditions, a remarkable picture of the age, when Ashirta, whom the Babylonians called Ishtar, was queen of the land of Aleppo. She was a Cleopatra of that age, and had many wooers. We learn from the inscriptions that her palace stood amidst the cedars of Lebanon.

Tammuz, who had been born in the cedar forest, and had become a ruler of Babylonia, with his capital at Erech, was one of her lovers. It was while hunting with Ashirta in a wooded gorge of what was later called the Adonis river, tradition tells us, that he had lost his life. Here in this valley his mangled body had been buried, and a great shrine had been erected. The cult, that was apparently inaugurated by this woman in Syria, as is well known, played one of the most important roles in the life, religion, and history of the ancient world.

Some time after the death of Tammuz, a man named Humbaba usurped a throne in that region, and was able to humiliate Babylonia. It was then that Gilgamesh, the successor to Tammuz, together with his confederate Engidu, fought with Humbaba, and succeeded in restoring the prestige of his land. The data which we can assemble bearing on these three reigns enable us to reconstruct what can be regarded as a chapter in the earliest known history of man. 14

But let us leave this picture for a moment to discuss a criticism that has been offered as regards these early characters being historical personages, for in previous years they have all been con

14 Clay, A Hebrew Deluge Story 42 ff.

sidered to be deities, especially because they had been worshipped as such in later periods of Babylonian history. In the light of recent discoveries, however, there is every reason for believing that they were heroic characters who were deified after death. This seemed conclusive following the discovery of the dynastic lists and legends, referred to above, which Poebel recently published.

While it was anticipated that the statement that Ishtar was historical would not be readily accepted, it was somewhat of a surprise to have a young scholar in the British Museum write thus: “In the summary of the early history, few will follow Professor Clay, in considering Gilgamesh and the rest as actual historical figures because their names occur in a king-list, especially when it is remembered that the figures giving the length of his reign are quite impossible.” 15 In a criticism received in a friendly communication, another wrote: “You are doing, or attempting to do, precisely the same thing in this twentieth century for Babylonian mythology what Euhemerus attempted to do many centuries ago for Greek mythology."

The fact that Euhemerism, as it was developed, was in time completely disregarded, does not prove that Euhemerus was wrong. As far as I can ascertain, since the excavations at Troy, and in the light of other discoveries, not a few classical scholars hold that many of the so-called Greek and Roman gods were heroic personages. Fortunately Assyriologists are in a better position to judge of the merits of such a question, yes even than Euhemerus himself, who although he had access to the great libraries of his day, doubtless did not have any original manuscripts of the early period. We have hundreds of thousands of original inscriptions, written during the several millenniums that preceded the time of Christ.

Thirty years ago Gilgamesh, although called "ruler of Erech” in the epic bearing his name, was regarded as a god. A little later,

u Sidney Smith, Luzac's Oriental List 33, p. 82.

inscriptions were found which informed us that he built the walls of Erech. Later the personal inscriptions of many other so-called gods came to light, and even records of their operations by others, resulting in many of them being transferred from the realm of mythology to the pages of history. What seemed even more conclusive was the finding of many liturgical texts belonging to the cults of certain well-known kings, some of whom were adored as divinely sent redeemers able to intercede for the living. In brief, no one would question to-day that the gods Dungi, Bur-Sin, GimilSin, Ishme-Dagan, etc., were kings. And although some of the very earliest of these deified kings in the recently published dynastic lists were credited as having ruled even longer than some of the Biblical antediluvians, there seemed to be no reasons whatsoever for believing them to have originally been deities.

It is on this experience of the past decades, and because of many other reasons, that the characters referred to above were regarded as deified kings: namely, Lugal-Marad, who had delivered the land from an invader; the profligate Ashirta (Astarte or Ishtar) "the queen of Aleppo,” whose cult included the licentious rites which appealed to the sensuality of mankind; her paramour, Tammuz, of whom it is even said in the Adapa Legend that he had been “a king”; and Gilgamesh, "ruler of Erech," who also delivered the land out of the hands of the Amorite Humbaba (previously regarded as an Elamite god). All of them, it seems to me, had been kings and queens. I feel that this view will ere long be accepted by all scholars.

Let us now return to the vistas that discovery and research have given us of the early history of Amurru. At present we cannot peer through any breach of an earlier period; but we hope ere long, by the help of the excavator's pick and spade, to break through at points in the millenniums which preceded, as well as all along the line of the later periods. There can be little doubt but that this land sent its people, centuries earlier than the time we now know of, into the alluvium, called in the Old Testament Shinar, where by their skill they harnessed the rivers, and established permanent homes. Some of the first settlers had gone down to the shore of the gulf, and there on the land's end had founded a shrine which they dedicated to the worship of their god Ea (see infra). Others built temples in various parts of the land near the great rivers, and dedicated them to El and other gods of Amurru. Yes, even tradition tells us that the kings who ruled the land before the deluge came from Syria, as is shown by the Amorite names they bear (see Chapter VI).

It ought to be added here that as we peer through these breaches we have not yet been able to see any of those migrations of hungry tribes from Arabia, of which in the past we have so frequently heard. I refer to the theory that Arabia is the home of the Semites, and that "waves" of migration emanated periodically from that land. Amurru does not seem to have had to depend upon the desert for its inhabitants, for Semites found the fertile valleys and plains of Amurru, as well as its forests, its minerals, and other treasuries, at a very early period. In other words, we seem to have every indication that the civilization existing in the now earliest known period in Amurru, was then already ancient. The theory that the Semitic cradle rocked in the deserts of Arabia has received no substantiation as yet from these investigations; it still remains theory, pure and simple.

After assembling these facts for the reconstruction of the millenniums of history prior to Abraham, facts which make it possible to believe that such stories as the creation and deluge might be indigenous in Syria, we ask, has there been any change in the point of view of scholars; have the Babylonists modified their views?

Certain of our foremost scholars who had taken no part in developing Babylonism promptly expressed themselves as being skeptical of its conclusions; but until quite recently I cannot say

that Assyriologists who had written on the subject have done more than make certain modifications.

Let me repeat here what I regard as being the first recognition of the thesis on the part of an Assyriologist, and especially as it touches upon the antiquity of the Amorite civilization. On this, my former distinguished colleague and friend, the late Professor Jastrow, wrote as follows: “... but, granting that Professor Clay has pressed his views beyond legitimate bounds, there can no longer be any doubt that in accounting for the later, and for some of the earlier aspects of the Sumero-Akkadian civilization this factor of Amurru must be taken into account; nor is it at all unlikely that long before the days of Sargon, a wave of migration, from the north and the northwest, to the south and southeast, had set in, which brought large bodies of Amorites into the Euphrates valley as well as into Assyria."16

While, as stated, several West Semitic scholars had expressed themselves as being favorable to the thesis, this was the first recognition received on the part of an Assyriologist. There are others who have more recently endorsed the contentions that Syria and Palestine have been occupied by Semites from the earliest times, i. e., from the late Neolithic period;''17 as well as those who have admitted that there is an element of truth at the bottom of them."'18 There has followed, however, confirmation of a more pronounced character.

In a review of The Empire of the Amorites, Professor Rogers writes, “that the book is crowded with the proofs that Amorites lived and influenced the course of human history and that we must find a place for them larger than most of us had dreamed before Clay began these investigations more than a decade ago. It is his

16 Jastrow, Religious Belief in Babylonia and Assyria 26 f.
17 Albright, Jour. Pal. Orien. Soc. II, p. 135.
18 Sayce, Expository Times, 1922, Nov. p. 76.

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