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marți, 24 iulie 2012

The antediluvian world

Although various ancient traditions refer to a lost antediluvian world, the one that stands out is the tradition in the early chapters of Genesis, because of its geographical detail, its monotheism (which has been shown to predate polytheism) and its historical (rather than epic) style of narration. These chapters describe a world very different from our own, either because the world really was different or because a later pre-scientific culture speculated about it in error. So what source of information did they draw upon?

Eridu

Eridu is an ancient Sumerian city in what is now Tell Abu Shahrain, Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq. Eridu was considered the earliest city in southern Mesopotamia, and is one of the oldest cities in the world. Located 12 km southwest of Ur, Eridu was the southernmost of a conglomeration of Sumerian cities that grew about temples, almost in sight of one another.

In Sumerian mythology, Eridu was originally the home of Enki, who was considered to have founded the city, later known by the Akkadians as Ea. His temple was called E-Abzu, as Enki was believed to live in Abzu ("Deep Ocean"), an aquifer from which all life was believed to stem. Eridu transliterated as Eridug, could mean "mighty place" or "guidance place". In the Sumerian king list, Eridu is named as the city of the first kings.

IGNATIUS DONNELLY: ATLANTIS - THE ANTEDILUVIAN WORLD

THIS book is an attempt to demonstrate several distinct and novel propositions. These are:

1. That there once existed in the Atlantic Ocean, opposite the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea, a large island, which was the remnant of an Atlantic continent, and known to the ancient world as Atlantis.

2. That the description of this island given by Plato is not, as has been long supposed, fable, but veritable history.

3. That Atlantis was the region where man first rose from a state of barbarism to civilization.


Antediluvian Civilizations


"Antediluvian civilizations" are civilizations believed to have existed before the Great flood of Noah. If the fossil record is indeed the result of the Biblical flood as described in the Bible, then it is somewhat expected for evidence of antediluvian (pre-flood) civilizations to exist. It is assumed by many that humans reached advanced stages of technological development before the flood. Such presuppositions are usually based on the Biblical genealogy, which states that ancient people lived to approximately 10 times our current life span.  

Who Were the Nephilim?

The Nephilim (Hebrew: נפלים, Nefilīm) were a race that came to dominate the antediluvian (pre-flood) world, and are referred to in the Bible as the heroes of old, men of renown. They were reportedly the children born to the "Sons of God" by the "daughters of men", and are described as giants. It is also most important to note that they are mentioned almost simultaneous to God's statement that He would destroy the earth by flood, and it seems from this association that their effect upon mankind was one of the primary justifications that brought the destruction.

Hesiod and the Bestiary

For this week's Myth Monday, inspired by Michael K. Kellogg's chapter on Hesiod, from his delightful The Greek Search for Wisdom, I wanted to give the Hesiodic spin on the bulk of the monsters from Greek mythology. Then came another round (see : last week's Myth Monday) of The Clash of the Titans on television, and my plans were postponed -- I thought. The movie showed the Hero Who Looks Away (my nickname for Perseus) decapitating Medusa, but Pegasus and his brother failed to emerge from the severed neck. I figured I had to say something about that this week.