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This article is about the Igigi in Mesopotamian mythology. For the article about the Akkadian king "Igigi," see Igigi (Akkadian King).

Igigi was a term used to refer to the gods of heaven in Sumerian mythology. Though sometimes synonymous with the term "Annunaki," in one myth the Igigi were the younger gods who were servants of the Annunaki, until they rebelled and were replaced by the creation of humans.[1]


Sumerian paradise is described as a garden in the myth of Atrahasis where lower rank deities (the Igigi) are put to work digging a watercourse by the more senior deities (the Anunnaki).[2]

When the gods, man-like,

Bore the labour, carried the load,
The gods' load was great,
The toil grievous, the trouble excessive.
The great Anunnaku, the Seven,
Were making the Igigu undertake the toil.[3]

The Igigi then rebel against the dictatorship of Enlil, setting fire to their tools and surrounding Enlil's great house by night. On hearing that toil on the irrigation channel is the reason for the disquiet, the Anunnaki council decide to create man to carry out agricultural labour.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leick, Gwendolyn: A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology (NY: Routledge, 1998), p. 85
  2. ^ William P. Brown (June 1999). The ethos of the cosmos: the genesis of moral imagination in the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 140–. ISBN 978-0-8028-4539-9. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Millard, A.R., New Babylonian 'Genesis' Story, p. 8, The Tyndale Biblical Archaeology Lecture, 1966; Tyndale Bulletin 18, 3-18, 1967.

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