Mesopotamian religion refers to the religious beliefs and practices followed by the Sumerian and East Semitic Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Chaldean peoples living in Mesopotamia (approximately the area of modern Iraq and north east Syria) that dominated the region for a period of 4,200 years from the fourth millennium BCE throughout Mesopotamia to approximately the 10th century CE in Assyria.
Polytheism was the only religion in ancient Mesopotamia for thousands of years before entering a period of gradual decline beginning in the 1st century CE. This decline happened in the face of the introduction of native Eastern Rite forms of Christianity, as well as Manicheanism and Gnosticism, and continued for approximately three to four centuries, until most of the original religious traditions of the area died out, with the final traces existing among some Assyrian communities until the 10th century CE.
A flood myth or deluge myth is a symbolic narrative in which a great flood is sent by a deity, or deities, to destroy civilization in an act of divine retribution. Parallels are often drawn between the flood waters of these myths and the primeval waters found in certain creation myths, as the flood waters are described as a measure for the cleansing of humanity, in preparation for rebirth. Most flood myths also contain a culture hero, who strives to ensure this rebirth. The flood myth motif is widespread among many cultures as seen in the Mesopotamian flood stories, the Puranas, Deucalion in Greek mythology, the Genesis flood narrative, and in the lore of the K'iche' and Maya peoples of Central America, the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa tribe of Native Americans in North America, and the Muisca people in South America.
Urshanabi was the ferryman of the Hubur, river of the dead in Mesopotamian mythology. His equivalent in Greek Mythology was Charon.
He is first mentioned in the myth of Enlil and Ninlil, where he is called SI.LU.IGI and described as a man. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Urshanabi is a companion of Gilgamesh after Enkidu dies. They meet when Urshanabi is involved in the curious occupation of collecting an unintelligible type of "urnu-snakes" in the forest. Urshanabi's ferry is at first powered by unintelligible "stone things", that are destroyed by Gilgamesh, who proceeds to power the boat with 500 wooden stakes he has to make to replace the "stone-things". He is banished from Kur by the immortal survivor of the flood Utnapishtim for no discernable reason, possibly for conveying Gilgamesh across the Hubur. They both ferry back to Uruk where they behold its splendour. His later Assyrian incarnation is called Hamar-tabal, who is described as a horrible monster.
Siduri is a character in the Epic of Gilgamesh. She is an "alewife", a wise female divinity associated with fermentation (specifically beer and wine). In the Old Babylonian version of the Epic, she attempts to dissuade Gilgamesh in his quest for immortality, urging him to be content with the simple pleasures of life (Gilgamesh, whither are you wandering? Life, which you look for, you will never find. For when the gods created man, they let death be his share, and life withheld in their own hands. Gilgamesh, fill your belly. Day and night make merry. Let days be full of joy, dance and make music day and night. And wear fresh clothes. And wash your head and bathe. Look at the child that is holding your hand, and let your wife delight in your embrace. These things alone are the concern of men.) Siduri's advice was recorded in the Old Babylonian version of Tablet X referred to as the Meissner fragment.
Several scholars suggest direct borrowing of Siduri's advice by the author of Ecclesiastes. The advice given by Siduri has been seen as the first expression of the concept of Carpe diem although some scholars see it urging Gilgamesh to abandon his mourning, "reversing the liminal rituals of mourning and returning to the normal and normative behaviors of Mesopotamian society."
The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia, and the Nile Valley and Nile Delta of northeast Africa. The term was popularized by University of Chicago archaeologist James Henry Breasted. Having originated in the study of ancient history, the concept soon developed and today retains meanings in international geopolitics and diplomatic relations.
In current usage, the Fertile Crescent has a minimum extent and a maximum extent. All definitions include Mesopotamia, the land in and around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The modern-day countries with significant territory within the Fertile Crescent are Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and Occupied Palestinian territories, besides the southeastern fringe of Turkey and the western fringe of Iran.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from Mesopotamia, is amongst the earliest surviving works of literature. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five independent Sumerian poems about 'Bilgamesh' (Sumerian for Gilgamesh), king of Uruk. Four of these were used as source material for a combined epic in Akkadian. This first combined epic, known as the "Old Babylonian" version, dates to the 18th century BC and is titled after its incipit, Shūtur eli sharrī ("Surpassing All Other Kings"). Only a few fragments of it have survived. The later "Standard Babylonian" version dates from the 13th to the 10th centuries BC and bears the incipit Sha naqba īmuru ("He who Saw the Deep"). Fragments of approximately two thirds of this longer, twelve-tablet version have been recovered. Some of the best copies were discovered in the library ruins of the 7th-century BC Assyrian king Ashurbanipal.
The first half of the story relates a friendship between Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu. Enkidu is a wild man created by the gods as Gilgamesh's peer to distract him from oppressing the people of Uruk. Together, they journey to the Cedar Mountain to defeat Humbaba, its monstrous guardian. Later they kill the Bull of Heaven, which the goddess Ishtar sends to punish Gilgamesh for spurning her advances. As a punishment for these actions, the gods sentence Enkidu to death.
Western Asia, or Southwest Asia, are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia. Due to this perceived Eurocentrism, international organizations such as the United Nations, have replaced Middle East and Near East with Western Asia. This region and Europe are collectively referred to as Western Eurasia.
In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.
Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.