The Abzu (Cuneiform: 𒍪 𒀊, ZU.AB; Sumerian: abzu; Akkadian: apsû) cried engur an aw, (Cuneiform:𒇉, LAGAB×HAL; Sumerie: engur; Akkadian: engurru) leeterally, ab='ocean' zu='tae ken' or 'deep' wis the name for fresh watter frae unnergrund aquifers that wis given a releegious quality in Sumerian an Akkadian meethologie. Lakes, springs, rivers, wells, an ither sources o fresh watter wur thocht tae draw their watter frae the abzu.
Table o contents
In Sumerie cultur
In the ceety Eridu, Enki's temple wis kent as E2-abzu (hoose o the cosmic watters) an wis locatit at the edge o a swamp, an abzu. Certain tanks o holy watter in Babylonian an Assirie temple courtyards wur cried abzu (apsû). Teepical in releegious washin, these tanks wur similar tae the washin puils o Islamic mosques, or the baptismal font in Christian kirks.
In Sumerian cosmologie
The Sumerian god Enki (Ea in the Akkadian leid) wis believit tae hae livit in the abzu syne afore human beins wur creatit. His wife Damgalnuna, his mither Nammu, his advisor Isimud an a variety o subservient creaturs, such as the gatekeeper Lahmu, livit in the abzu an aw.
As a deity
Abzu (apsû) is depictit as a deity anerlie in the Babylonie creation epic, the Enûma Elish, taken frae the librar o Assurbanipal (c 630 BCE) but which is aboot 500 years aulder. In this story, he wis a primal bein made o fresh watter an a lover tae anither primal deity, Tiamat, who wis a creatur o salt watter. The Enuma Elish begins:
When abuin the heivens did no yet exist nor the yird belaw, Apsu the freshwatter ocean wis thare, the first, the begetter, an Tiamat, the saltwatter sea, she who bore them aw; they wur still mixin their watters, an nae pastur laund haed yet been formit, nor even a reed marsh...
See an aw
- Eridu in Sumerian Literature, Margaret Whitney Green, pages 180-182, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1975.
- Black and Green 1992
- Jeremy Black and Anthony Green, 1992. Gods, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: an illustrated dictionary, s.v. "abzu, apsû". ISBN 0-292-70794-0