Ancient Dragon Myths: Tiamat, Yam and Illuyanka

In our mind, the word “dragon” instantly projects the image of a huge winged beast whose body is covered with scales that can spit fire from its mouth, a monster that we usually find protecting an ancient treasure in the depths of a dungeon or disturbing the peace of the good people in our fairy tales. Nevertheless, for the people who conceived the image of this mythical beast, a dragon could be any creature with serpentine features whose powers and abilities were usually associated with a natural phenomenon, especially those related to the sea, the rivers and the rain. In fact, in the myths of our oldest civilizations, the dragon appears as a huge, monstrous snake incarnating the fury of nature itself. It seems as if the snake is the basic animal element of all dragons. Its slithery movements recall the waving of the ocean waters, its venomous fangs give birth to the corrosive poison and the fiery breath the dragon uses to face gods and heroes, and its ability to slough off its skin is often associated with the change and renewal that exist in every aspect of the natural world. It is not surprising that the word “dragon” comes from the Greek “δράκων” (drákōn), which is the term that the people of ancient Greece used when they referred to a dragon, a large snake or the giant sea serpents, something that also occurs in other ancients languages such as Sanskrit and Hindi, where the word “ahi” is used interchangeably to describe a dragon or a snake, or with the word “aži”, which is the Avestan term for “dragon” or “snake”.

The dragon is born in the myths of creation of the oldest civilizations of the Ancient Near East as an attempt to explain the world and the enigmatic forces of nature (Smith, 1919; Ingersoll, 1928). It is there where the image of the dragon obtains its traditional physical features, and it is there where the dragon is attributed with the powers of nature. Therefore, the following lines are dedicated to explore the myths of the first dragons of the ancient world.

1. Tiamat, the Primordial Chaos

When the heavens above did not exist,
And earth beneath had not come into being—
There was Apsû, the first in order, their begetter,
And demiurge Tia-mat, who gave birth to them all;
They had mingled their waters together
Before meadow-land had coalesced and reed-bed was to he found —
When not one of the gods had been formed
Or had come into being, when no destinies had been decreed,
The gods were created within them…

-Enuma Elish, Tablet I, lines 1-9

One of the most important stories in Mesopotamian religion is the Enuma Elish, a poem that was written in cuneiform characters in Akkadian on several clay tablets that were discovered in the Library of Ashurbanipal, located in the ancient city of Nineveh, part of the modern city of Mosul, in Irak. Though there are some illegible sections in the poem due to the damage the tablets have suffered, most of the text has been translated with the aid of the additional copies of some of these tablets that were found in other archaeological sites of the region. According to the Enuma Elish epic, Tiamat was the goddess of the ocean and the primordial chaos who joined the god Apsu, the god of fresh water, to create the first gods as they mingled their waters. However, the constant activity of the young gods disturbed Tiamat and Apsu to the point that they could not find rest in their sleep. Apsu tried to convince his consort to destroy their children, but his words filled Tiamat with pain and sorrow, and she refused to do it, offering instead to look for another way to discipline their children. Meanwhile, Ea, the omniscient god, told his brethren that their creators want to destroy them, so he devised a plan to vanquish Apsu. He made the god of fresh water fall asleep with an enchantment he placed on the waters of Apsu, and then Ea killed him and took his progenitor’s chamber for himself, the very same place where Marduk, the mightiest god of the Babilonian pantheon, would be born.

When Tiamat knew of the death of her husband, she felt enraged and she decided to wage war against the gods, giving birth to hosts of horrendous monsters to assist her in the battles to come.

Tia-mat was confounded; day and night she was frantic.
The gods took no rest, they . . . . . . .
In their minds they plotted evil,
And addressed their mother Tia-mat,
“When Apsû, your spouse, was killed,
You did not go at his side, but sat quietly.
The four dreadful winds have been fashioned
To throw you into confusion, and we cannot sleep.
You gave no thought to Apsû, your spouse,
Nor to Mummu, who is a prisoner. Now you sit alone.
Henceforth you will be in frantic consternation!
And as for us, who cannot rest, you do not love us!
Consider our burden, our eyes are hollow.
Break the immovable yoke that we may sleep.
Make battle, avenge them!
[ . . ] . . . . reduce to nothingness!
Tia-mat heard, the speech pleased her,
(She said,) “Let us make demons, [as you] have advised.”
The gods assembled within her.
They conceived [evil] against the gods their begetters.
They . . . . . and took the side of Tia-mat,
Fiercely plotting, unresting by night and day,
Lusting for battle, raging, storming,
They set up a host to bring about conflict.
Mother Hubur, who forms everything,
Supplied irresistible weapons, and gave birth to giant serpents.
They had sharp teeth, they were merciless . . . .
With poison instead of blood she filled their bodies.
She clothed the fearful monsters with dread,
She loaded them with an aura and made them godlike.
(She said,) “Let their onlooker feebly perish,
May they constantly leap forward and never retire.”
She created the Hydra, the Dragon, the Hairy Hero
The Great Demon, the Savage Dog, and the Scorpion-man,
Fierce demons, the Fish-man, and the Bull-man,
Carriers of merciless weapons, fearless in the face of battle.
Her commands were tremendous, not to be resisted.
Altogether she made eleven of that kind.
Among the gods, her sons, whom she constituted her host,
She exalted Qingu, and magnified him among them.
The leadership of the army, the direction of the host,
The bearing of weapons, campaigning, the mobilization of conflict,
The chief executive power of battle, supreme command,
She entrusted to him and set him on a throne,
“I have cast the spell for you and exalted you in the host of the gods,
I have delivered to you the rule of all the gods.
You are indeed exalted, my spouse, you are renowned,
Let your commands prevail over all the Anunnaki.”
She gave him the Tablet of Destinies and fastened it to his breast,
(Saying) “Your order may not be changed; let the utterance of your mouth be firm.”
After Qingu was elevated and had acquired the power of Anuship,
He decreed the destinies for the gods, her sons:
“May the utterance of your mouths subdue the fire-god,
May your poison by its accumulation put down aggression.”

-Enuma Elish, Tablet I, lines 109-162

Aware of the intentions of Tiamat, the gods decided to send a messenger, the god Anu, to try to calm her so that the conflict could be avoided. Yet when Anu beheld the might of Tiamat, he was suddenly scared and thus returned to the other gods, who then feared that no god would ever be able to face Tiamat. It is then that the heroic god Marduk (who also holds the title of Be-l, meaning “Lord”) decided to fight against her and put an end to an otherwise ill-fated destiny. Equipped with a bow he made, a mace, the lightning, a net to trap the body of Tiamat with the four winds of the South, North, East and West, with seven terrible winds, and with the Evil Wind, Marduk marched against her.

Be-l proceeded and set out on his way,
He set his face toward the raging Tia-mat.
In his lips he held a spell,
He grasped a plant to counter poison in his hand,
Thereupon they milled around him, the gods milled around him,
The gods, his fathers, milled around him, the gods milled around him.
Be-l drew near, surveying the maw of Tia-mat,
He observed the tricks of Qingu, her spouse.
As he looked, he lost his nerve,
His determination went and he faltered.
His divine aides, who were marching at his side,
Saw the warrior, the foremost, and their vision became dim.
Tia-mat cast her spell without turning her neck,
In her lips she held untruth and lies,
[ . ] . . . . . . . . . . . . .
In their [ . ] . they have assembled by you.”
Be-l [lifted up] the Storm-flood, his great weapon,
And with these words threw it at the raging Tia-mat,
“Why are you aggressive and arrogant,
And strive to provoke battle?
The younger generation have shouted, outraging their elders,
But you, their mother, hold pity in contempt.
Qingu you have named to be your spouse,
And you have improperly appointed him to the rank of Anuship.
Against Anšar, king of the gods, you have stirred up trouble,
And against the gods, my fathers, your trouble is established.
Deploy your troops, gird on your weapons,
You and I will take our stand and do battle.”
When Tia-mat heard this
She went insane and lost her reason.
Tia-mat cried aloud and fiercely,
All her lower members trembled beneath her.
She was reciting an incantation, kept reciting her spell,
While the (battle-)gods were sharpening their weapons of war.
Tia-mat and Marduk, the sage of the gods, came together,
Joining in strife, drawing near to battle.
Be-l spread out his net and enmeshed her;
He let loose the Evil Wind, the rear guard, in her face.
Tia-mat opened her mouth to swallow it,
She let the Evil Wind in so that she could not close her lips.
The fierce winds weighed down her belly,
Her inwards were distended and she opened her mouth wide.
He let fly an arrow and pierced her belly,
He tore open her entrails and slit her inwards,
He bound her and extinguished her life,
He threw down her corpse and stood on it.
After he had killed Tia-mat, the leader,
Her assembly dispersed, her host scattered.
Her divine aides, who went beside her,
In trembling and fear beat a retreat.
 . . . . to save their lives,
But they were completely surrounded, unable to escape.
He bound them and broke their weapons,
And they lay enmeshed, sitting in a snare,
Hiding in corners, filled with grief,
Bearing his punishment, held in a prison.

-Enuma Elish, Tablet IV, lines 59-114

Once Tiamat was dead, Marduk divided her body in two; with one of her halves, he made the heavens and everything that is in the skies, and with the other half he made the earth and the waters of the oceans and the rivers. This is how from the chaos that Tiamat represents, the order of the world is brought forward, personified in the new gods who would shape the earth and the sky from the remnants of their progenitor.

Despite the fact that in the poem Tiamat gives birth to dragons and monstrous serpents, her identification as a dragon is uncertain; it is true that in other sources (such as a version of the myth of Tiamat that I will present below) she is described as a dragon, in others her aspect is not precisely that of a dragon. The following images show two different depictions of Tiamat:

tiamat

Battle between Marduk (Bel) and Tiamat. drawn from a bas-relief from the Palace of Ashurbanipal, King of Assyria, 885-860 B.C., at Nimrûd.
British Museum, Nimrûd Gallery, Nos. 28 and 29.

tiamat-ii

A bas-relief made with a cylinder seal which (possibly) represents Tiamat and Marduk (Babilonian god) or Ninurta (Assyrian god), 900BC-750BC, British Museum online collection (it is not currently on display), item 89589.

On the first image, Tiamat has been depicted as a winged monster with the paws and jaws of a lion, and her back legs are those of an eagle, while in the other one she looks like a dragon or an enormous serpent provided with two front arms. Evidently, the concept of the aspect of Tiamat is as varied as the versions of the creation myth in Mesopotamian religion, which includes the religions of the Sumerian, Assyrian, Akkadian and Babilonian civilizations. For instance, in the following fragment of the Assyrian myth of the dragon (it was translated to English by Leonard William King and published in his book “The Seven Tablets of Creation”), Tiamat receives the title of dragon:

The cities sighed, men […],

Men uttered lamentation, [they …],

For their lamentation there was none [to help],

For their grief there was none to take [them by the hand].

Who was the dragon […]?

Tiamat was the dragon […]!

Bêl in heaven hath formed […].

Fifty kaspu in his length, one kaspu [his height], 3

Six cubits is his mouth, twelve cubits [his …],

Twelve cubits is the circuit of his [ears …];

For the space of sixty cubits he […] a bird;

In water nine cubits deep he draggeth […].

He raiseth his tail on high […];

All the gods of heaven […].

In heaven the gods bowed themselves down before [the Moon-god …];

The border of the Moon-god’s robe they hasti[ly grasped]:

“Who will go and [slay] the dragon, 1

“And deliver the broad land [from …],

“And become king [over …]?”

“Go, Tishhu, [slay] the dragon,

“And deliver the broad land [from …],

“And become king [over …]?”

-The Seven Tablets of Creation, Tablet Rm.282, lines 1-19

Unlike the Enuma Elish, in this version of the myth of Tiamat humans were created before the dragon appears (therefore, it is not a creation myth); however, the power of Tiamat is still vast enough as to make the gods in the heavens tremble with fear, who choose Tishuu (the identity of this character is not clear, but he is possibly a god) as the champion who shall defeat the dragon.

Even though it is not possible to determine whether Tiamat is a dragon or not, she presents several of the attributes of the ancient dragons of the Near East, such as her close connection with the ocean and the meteorological phenomena, as well as her role in the recurrent motif of the conflict between order and chaos, evil and good, a classic component of the dragon saga. Whatever the case, it is still true that Tiamat conceived the first dragons and monsters of the Mesopotamian mythology, so it is not wrong to consider her one of the sources from which dragons were originated.

tiamat-pic

Tiamat (P. Tinkler, pencil and acrylic, 2010 http://www.petertinkler.com/ ; http://pedrosillustrationfactory.blogspot.pe/)

2. Yam, the Judge Nahar

To the north of the modern city of Latakia, in Syria, the ruins of Ugarit where discovered in the late 1920’s, where one of the oldest civilizations was developed (it is estimated that Ugarit was inhabited before 6000 BC). Amidst its ruins, archaeologists found some clay tablets containing what we now call the “Myth of Ba’al”, a story written in cuneiform Ugaritic characters, which narrate a series of events that the citizens of ancient Ugarit used to explain the change of seasons. One of these episodes tells the story of the fight between Ba’al, god of wind and rain, and Yam or Yahm, an ancient sea deity of the Mediterranean Levant, a mighty being that shares certain similarities with the Babilonian Tiamat and the serpent Illuyanka of Hitite mythology. According to the Myth of Ba’al, Yam (who also holds the title of Judge Nahar), appears as the favorite of the supreme god ‘El, who wants to convince Yam to take Ba’al Hadad’s high position among the gods.

I, myself, Kindly `El the Beneficent, have taken you

Upon/in my hands . . . I proclaim your name. Yahm is your name,

Your name is Beloved of `El, Yahm

My house of silver which . . ./A house of my silver that . . .

In/By the hand of Mighty `Aliyan Ba’al . . .

Thus/ because he reviles/ abused me . . .

Drive him from the throne of his kingship, From the resting place, the cushion on the seat

of his dominion . . .

But if then you do not drive him from his throne of kingship, from the seat of his dominion,

He will beat you like . . .

`El sacrifices, he does slaughter . . .

He proclaims . . .

He slaughters oxen, also sheep. He fells

bulls and [fatlings, rams/fatted rams], yearling calves, …

-The Myth of Ba’al, First Tablet, col. iv, lines 18-31

There is an apparent hostility from ‘El and Yam towards Ba’al (unfortunately, part of the tablets is too damage to be fully translated, so the reason behind this enmity is unknown), and that is why Yam decides to send messengers to the council of the gods in the heights of mount Lelu/Lalu in order to request the submission of Ba’al. ‘El announces that Ba’al will be delivered to Yam; however, Ba’al is so enraged by these events that he not only refuses, but threatens to attack the messengers when he is prevented to do so by the goddesses ‘Anat and ‘Athtart. Ba’al informs the messengers that he is unwilling to go with them, and he also tells them that Yam must beware of him. Soon afterwards, the gods Kothar gives Ba’al two formidable weapons, Yagarish and Ayamari, and he tells him that it is time to face Yam.

O Ba’al, now your foes you must slay; Now your enemies you must silence/ annihilate/ destroy/ vanquish.

Then shall you take your kingship for all time; your dominion for all generations.”

Therewith Kothar brings down two weapons and proclaims/pronounces their name: “Thy name, thine, is

Yagarish, Chaser. Yagarish, chase Yahm, Chase Yahm from his throne,

Nahar from the seat of his dominion. Do thou [swoop/leap/spring/dance] from the hand of Ba’al, like a raptor

from between his fingers. Strike the back of Prince Yahm, between the shoulders

of Judge Nahar.” The weapon [swoops/leaps/dances/springs] from the hand of Ba’al, like an raptor

from between his fingers. It strikes the back of Prince Yahm, between the shoulders of Judge

Nahar. But strong is Yahm, he does not sink down, not quiver do his joints, not collapse does

his form. Kothar brings down two weapons And he proclaims/pronounces their name:

“Thy name, thine, is Ayamari, Driver. Ayamari, drive Yahm! Drive Yahm

from his throne, Nahar from the seat of his dominion. Do thou swoop/leap/spring/dance

from the hand of Ba’al, Like a raptor from/in his fingers. Strike on the skull

of Prince Yahm, between the eyes of Judge Nahar. May/Let collapse Yahm

and fall to the earth!” And the weapon swoops/leaps/springs/dances from the hand of Ba’al,

Like a raptor from between his fingers. It strikes the skull of Prince

Yahm, between the eyes of Judge Nahar. Yahm collapses, he falls

to the earth; His joints quiver, and his spine shakes.

Thereupon Ba’al drags out and would rend/dismember/hack into pieces Yahm; he would destroy/annihilate/finish off/make an end of Judge Nahar.

By name/the Name ’Athtart rebukes: “For shame, O Mightiest Ba’al!

For shame, O Rider on the Clouds! For our captive is Prince Yahm, for

our captive is Judge Nahar.” And as the word goes out of/ does come forth from/ leaves her mouth…

Mightiest Ba’al indeed is ashamed . . . and . . . / s/he answers :

“Yahm is indeed surely dead! Ba’al reigns/shall be king! . . .

Then up speaks Yahm: “Lo, I am as good as dead! Surely, Ba’al now will reign/ is king!” . . .

-The Myth of Ba’al, Second Tablet, col. iv, lines 9-33

For the old inhabitants of Ugarit, the Myth of Ba’al constituted a way to explain the change of seasons in their region (Gibson, 2004). The defeat of Yam represented the end of the season of high tides and raging seas that occurs during the Mediterranean winter, thus turning Ba’al in the responsible of the return of the tranquility and calmness of the seas in spring, a cycle that continues with the battle between Ba’al and the underworld god Mot, who caused the intense heat and draughts of the summer, a cycle than ended with the defeat of Mot at the hands of the war goddess ‘Anat and the return of Ba’al, an event that coincided with the end of the summer and the promise of a better season.

The relation between Yam and the force of the sea and the rivers is quite evident. In the Ugaritic language, Yam means “Yam”; also, this deity holds the title of Judge Nahar, which can also be translated as Judge River. Nevertheless, his association with a dragon does not appear until a later episode in the tablets, when Ba’al sends the gods Gapen and Ugar to deliver a message to the goddess ‘Anat.

Behold, ’Anat espies the two gods, On her, her feet

stumble/shake/start to tap, behind her/roundabout her loins/back/hips seems as if about to burst/ crack/ shatter/ break,

above her face sweats, she convulses/trembles/shakes the joints

of her hips/backside, the muscles of/become weak/ quivers – her back/spine. 

She lifts up her voice and cries: Why have Gapen and `Ugar come?

What foe does rise against Ba’al, enemy

against the Rider on the Clouds? Did I not demolish the darling

of `El, Yam the Sea? Did I not make an end of/finish off Nahar the River the great god divine Rabim (C)

Did I not snare the Dragon, vanquish/envelope him?

I did demolish the Wriggling/Twisting/Tortuous Serpent,

the Tyrant with Seven Heads…

-The Myth of Ba’al, Third Tablet, col. iii, lines 30-40

We do not know what the exact role of the goddess ‘Anat was during the battle between Yam and Ba’al; it is possible that the illegible sections of the poem contain some information about her participation in the combat of these two deities, but given its current condition, it is impossible to know it. The story just tells us that, as the goddess of war and the lover of Ba’al, she was the one who defeated Mot, the god f the underworld, so it might be possible that she had actually played an important role in the victory of Ba’al over Yam, the Judge Nahar. Equally enigmatic is the figure of Yam as a dragon, since it is not clear whether Yam is the dragon the goddess mentions, whether this dragon is one of Yam’s servants, or whether it is just a completely different being since this creature is addressed once again as Lotan in the tablets that describe the conflict between Ba’al and Mot, who is mentioned by the messengers Mot sent to Ba’al:

If my sevenfold portions are served unto me,

or if the cup is mixed by Nahar, the River!

Ba’al has invited me with my brothers,

Hadad has called me with my kinsfolk!

But it is to eat bread with my brothers
and to drink wine with my kinsfolk

Have you then forgotten, Ba’al, that I can surely transfix you.

[ . . . . . ] you

for all that/When/If now thou smotest/killed/goest fighting
Lotan, the Slippery/Evasive/Fleeing Serpent,

made an end of/finished off/to destroy
the Wriggling/Twisting/Tortuous/Slant Serpent,

Shalyat the Tyrant of seven heads/ The seven-headed monster (of might),

The heavens will burn up/wither and droop, (like the folds of your robes . . . .)

for I myself will crush you in pieces,

I will eat (you) . . .

-The Myth of Ba’al, Fifth Tablet, col. i, lines 20-33

Again, though it is not possible to determine whether Yam is a dragon or not, many of the attributes and faculties of this Ugaritic deity are present in the terrible sea serpents that incarnate the chaos and the power of the sea in the legends of the ancient world.

3. The Serpent Illuyanka

Illuyanka is the name of the huge serpent that fights Tarhunt (Teshub in Hurrian mythology) , god of weather, the skies and the storm in Hitite mythology. The myth of Illuyanka was written in cuneiform Hitite characters on some clay tablets that were discovered in the ruins of Hattusa, the ancient capital of the Hitite Empire, now a part of the city of Bogazkale in Turkey.

There are two different versions of the myth of Illuyanka in the tablets. In the first version, after Tarhunt is defeated by Illuyanka, the storm god tells the other gods that they should gather. Then, Inara, the goddess of the wild animals and the daughter of Tarhunt, prepares a feast and invites the serpent Illuyanka to take part in it. The great serpent eats until he is full and drinks until he is drunk. Later, Tarhunt arrives together with the other gods, and after a mortal named Hupasiya ties the snake up with a rope.

When the Storm God and the serpent fought each other in the city of Kiškilušša, the serpent vanquished the Storm God.

So the Storm God implored all of the gods, “Come together!” And Inara prepared a feast.

She prepared everything in great quantity: a large vessel of wine, a large vessel of marnuwanda-beer, a large vessel of walḫi-beverage. In the vessels she made abundance.

Inara went to the city of Ziggaratta, and she found Mr. Ḫupašiya, a mortal.

Thusly Inara to Ḫupašiya, “I am about to do such-and-such a thing! You, join with me!”

Thusly Ḫupašiya to Inara, “If I may sleep with you, then I will come (and) I will do that of your heart.” So he slept with her.

Inara led Ḫupašiya away and she concealed him. Inara dressed herself up, and she invited the serpent up from its lair (lit. “hole”) (saying), “I am about to make a feast! Come eat and drink!”

So the serpent came up along with his sons and they ate and drank. They drank every vessel and they made themselves drunk.

They did not want to go down into the lair again. Ḫupašiya came and tied up the serpent with rope.

The Storm God came and killed the serpent. The gods were with him.

-The Anatolian Myth of Illuyanka, sections 3-12

In the second version, Illuyanka also defeats Tarhunt, but this time he takes out the eyes and the heart of the storm god. To avenge himself, Tarhunt tells his son Sarruma (who married the daughter of Illuyanka) to request the eyes and the heart of Tarhunt as a wedding gift. However, as soon as he recovers his eyes and heart, Tarhunt goes to the sea to battle Illuyanka. Before he kills the snake, Sarruma realizes that he had been used for this purpose. In consequence, Sarruma begs his father to take his life along Illuyanka’s; Tarhunt agrees, and he kills them both.

…[First], the serpent vanquished the Storm God, and he took [(his) heart and (his) eyes]. And [the Storm God feared?] him.

He took the daughter of a poor man for his wife, and he begat a son. When he grew up, he took for himself the daughter of the serpent in matrimony.

The Storm God repeatedly instructed (his) son, “When you enter the house of your wife, request from them (my) heart and (my) eyes!”

When he went, he requested the heart from them, and they gave it to him. Later, he requested the eyes from them, and those, too, they gave to him. He brought them to the Storm God, his father. The Storm God took back the heart and the eyes.

When his form was again sound in its former state, he again went to the sea for battle. When he gave battle to him, he ultimately began to vanquish the serpent, and the son of the Storm God was with the serpent. He cried up to heaven, to his father:

“Take me together (with them)! Do not spare me!” So the Storm God killed the serpent and his son. That Storm God is about to/just finished [. . .]

-The Anatolian Myth of Illuyanka, sections 21-26

illuyanka

Depiction of the myth of the Sky God killing the dragon Illuyankas ; Neo-Hittites; 850-800 BC; Limestone orthostat at the Lions Gate at Malitiya, now at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara, Turkey

According to the second version, Illuyanka seems to inhabit the sea, since it is there where Terhunt goes to fight him for the last time, which turns Illuyanka into one of those monstrous sea serpents that have inspired the image of the dragon.  On the other hand, the Myth of Illuyanka has some resemblance with the Myth of Ba’al: the defeat of Tarhunt, the god of the storm and weather, is very similar to the disappearance of Ba’al, the Ugaritic god of the winds, when he is supposedly devoured by Moth; also, both gods return after their enemies are vanquished, which might represent the restoration of a gentle climate after the severe seasons in their respective regions.

illuyanka-d

The myth about Illuyanka, (A. Fantalov, watercolors, 2001 http://fantalov.tripod.com/)

So far, I have presented the myths of three legendary beings that I believe have shaped the saga of the dragon in ancient times, yet they are not the only ones, so I hope I can continue with this brief account of the origins of the dragons in a second part.

References:

-Beckman, Gary (1982), The Anatolian Myth of Illuyanka, JANES 14, web archive. Retrieved from http://web.archive.org/web/20120204165943/http://www.hittites.info/translations.aspx?text=translations/mythology%2fIlluyanka.html

-Biti-Anat, Lilinah (1997), The Ugaritic Myth of Ba’al. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20091027143946/http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/2938/mythobaal.htm

-Gibson, J. C. L. (2004), Canaanite Myths and Legends, Second Edition, T & T Clark International, London, England.

-Ingersoll, Ernest (1928), Dragons and Dragon Lore, Payson & Clarke Ltd., New York, 1928.

-King, Leonard William (1902), The Seven Tablets of Creation, Luzac’s Semitic text and translation series, vol. xii-xiii, Luzac and Co., London, 1902. Retrieved from http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/stc/

-Lambert, W.G. (2007), Mesopotamiam Creation Stories – Enuma Elish, in M.J. Geller and M. Schipper (eds), Imagining Creation, IJS Studies in Judaica 5, Brill Academic Publishers,  pp. 15-59. Retrieved from http://www.etana.org/node/581

-Smith, G. Elliot (1919), The Evolution of the Dragon, Longmans, Green & Company, London, New York, Chicago, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, 1919.

 

One thought on “Ancient Dragon Myths: Tiamat, Yam and Illuyanka

  1. Pingback: Ancient Dragon Myths: Vritra, Typhon and Azi Dahaka – AuroSwords

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