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game etc[edit]

Does the trivia stuff about the game belong in this article? It does not look encyclopedic to me. Leibniz 14:28, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Also, by "Apsu (or Abzu) fathered upon Tiamat the heavens and the earth" does that mean Apsu and Tiamat procreated? I have trouble construing its meaning - it sounds like a euphanism, almost. -- 05:56, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Disambig page[edit]

I added a disambiguation page, as the two lines at the top were kind of crowded, and it made a good place to mention the alleged ancient astronomy claim. Since the alleged reference isn't what this article is about, listing it on the disambig page was more appropriate and should satify anyone who claims to be worried about POV. DreamGuy 20:19, Jun 13, 2005 (UTC)

I have read the story, and didn't some other gods beg her to help them fight the other gods? They brought up the death of her husband and son, and said that she was powerful enough to help them overcome the ruling gods. And so she made an army of monsters but lost anyways. The article just simply stated that she was angry.

And this is completely random and my POV, but does anyone else feel sorry for Tiamat? I mean, She seemed more reasonable than her husband and son, and the younger gods were being bothersome, and the new rule seemed harsh. The rebellion was just, and they almost made it but then the powerful son of that whatever just creamed ther armies with his magic. I feel sorry for Tiamat. :( Blueaster 18:10, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Babylon vs. Sumer[edit]

I'm not comfortable with the assertion that Tiamat is a "Sumerian" goddess as all the references I've seen to her (eg: Dalley - Myths from Mesopotamia, Black & Green - Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia) have been from the Babylonian Epic of Creation, and no Sumerian source (such as those from Samuel Noah Kramer) include her as Sumerian.

Similarly, the Enki reference should be changed to Ea only. Enki was a Sumerian deity, Ea is the form that shows up in the Enuma Elish. This would be like calling Mars "Ares" - they're similar, but distinctly different.

Finally, I have found no reference for Anu as being the original hero in the Tiamat slaying myth. Where does that come from?

Chris.s 21:26, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Chris S, eh? Wouldn't happen to be from the line of FAQs in question, would it? If so, welcome, it's nice to have someone whose reputation for knowledge precedes him here editing Wikipedia. If not, well, the comment you made were astute enough to make you think you may have been him, which is nearly good enough I suppose.
I've mostly been running cleanup on the article (along with lots of others) so often don't get a chance to read the whole thing. Sounds like you have a good point there. Where things comes from here? Well anybody can put anything they want here, so who knows where it came from. I'll try to double check my sources just to make sure later, but if you're who I think you are I'm sure you have your sources down.
DreamGuy 23:32, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
Yeah.. I'm the guy who wrote the Near Eastern Mythology FAQs (and one of the Sitchin debunking articles) More complete bibliographies are on those pages, which I won't bother to type the URL for here -- googling Sumerian Mythology or Babylonian mythology takes you there on the first hit. Chris.s 22:21, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

The epic of creation was written by the Sumerians first, khaosinfire 10:55pm, August 23,2005

for my objection to this assertion, see below. Chris.s 20:33, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

then the Mesopotamians copied it khaosinfire 10:55pm, August 23,2005

Quibble here - Mesopotamians refers to all those civilizations who lived between (meso) the rivers (potamia) Tigris & Euphrates. They include the Sumerians as well as the Akkadian speaking Babylonians and Assyrians. Chris.s 20:33, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

and changed the supreme deity Anu to Marduk. khaosinfire 10:55pm, August 23,2005

It is widely hypothesized (see S. N Kramer's The Sumerians for an example) that An (the Sumerian version of Anu) was indeed the chief deity of the Sumerians ~6000 years ago or so. By the time that most surviving Sumerian literature appears, Enlil is the primary deity "who decreed the fates". Enlil or his Babylonian variant Ellil also takes a lead role in many early Akkadian language myths. Still, later, as Babylon gained ascendance, its chief cult deity Marduk, became the pantheon head, though further north in Assyria, their chief god Assur, played the role that Marduk plays in their version of the Enuma Elish. (Dalley p. 228, among others) Chris.s 20:33, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

When the nefilim and anunnaki first came to earth roughly 450,000 years ago khaosinfire 10:55pm, August 23,2005

The above assertion is strictly a Sitchin interpretation. I have yet to find a source not based on Sitchin that agrees with this. Chris.s 20:33, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Anu was the sepreme deity, then after Anu retired Marduk took his place. Ea and Enki are both the same deity, there are 5 of 12 sumerian deitys that have 2 names Ea/Enki, Nanna/Sin, Utu/Shamash, Ishkur/Adad & Inanna/Ishtar. khaosinfire 10:55pm, August 23,2005

While in many cases, the Akkadian forms of those names were used in the same documents as the Sumerian names, in general, Shamash, Ishtar, et al. were the forms found in Akkadian documents, with Enki, Utu, and Inanna found in the purely Sumerian documents. Just as there are differences between the Greek Apollo and the Roman Apollo, the Greek Zeus and the Roman Jupiter, and especially the Greek Ares and the Roman Mars, so to are there differences between the Sumerian and Assyro-Babylonian deities. If you like, you could make connections between Ea, Enki, Ptah, Heyan, Kothar-u-khothas, Haephestos, Vulcan, Agni, Semyaz, Prometheos, and sundry other deities or between Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Ast/Isis, Aphrodite, Venus, Freya, and Frigga, and certainly there are thematic similarities and were cultural borrowings. But each cultural varient remains distinct. Incidentally, while the Akkadians did have a deity named Adad, that storm god is a cultural borrowing from the Canaanites, who worshiped him as Baal-Haddad. If we're going to hit Jungian archetypes here, Adad most closely corresponds to Marduk, and in fact is one of the 40+ names of other deities that Marduk assumes after his conquest of Tiamat. Chris.s 20:33, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

Here is a link to the sumerian epic of creation (Enuma Elish)

khaosinfire 10:55pm, August 23,2005

Hey Khaos, it looks like you are confusing a pseudoscientific ancient astronaut aliens visited the earth theory with actual mythology and history. DreamGuy 18:56, August 24, 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately, claiming that the Enuma Elish is Sumerian or that it was originally written by the Sumerians is like claiming that The Lord of the Rings was orginally written by 11th century Icelanders and not by Mr. Tolkien. The later work draws on several characters and themes of the older, but much new material is added and the older is changed significantly. Existing tablets of the epic date to the 900's BCE, and while some speculate that the story may have been composed as early as the 1900's BCE, even these early dates are well into the decline of Sumerian civilization.
Re: the Epic of Creation "The general theme of a god triumphing over the Sea [Tiamat]... Sumerian temple hymns and poems refer to the heroic exploits of gods, but never to a triumph over the Sea; the Sea, whether a god or goddess, is not important in the Sumerian pantheon." - (Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia p. 230)
Also, the Sitchin/Raelian business of Annunaki (in Sumer they were "Anunna") as von Danikenite, alien astronauts is at the very least, not a "verifiable" theory, nor is it "neutral". The link cited for the "Sumerian" Enuma Elish relies only on Sitchin for that version, and while I'd be quite pleased to find that such a version had been located in recent years, I have not found such an account outside of Sitchin in over a decade of searching. Chris.s 22:21, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Tiamat's appearance[edit]

According to the disambiguation page for Tiamat, the five-headed dragon in D&D is "based loosely upon the mythological figure (which did not have five heads)".

But on the Tiamat page, there seems to be no info about her appearance. Was she a dragon with one head, or what was she? If this information is known at all, then someone please add it to the article. (And if nothing is known about her appearance, maybe the article ought to state so.)

I have no clue myself (as I know little of the mythology in question), but I am sure that there are people here who know far more than I. Please help. SpectrumDT 21:05, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

In my Assyro-Babylonian mythology FAQ entry on Tiamat ( ) I report:
"Traditionally conceived of as a serpent or dragon of some sort, this idea does not have any basis in the Enuma Elish itself. Within that work her physical description includes, a tail, a thigh, "lower parts" (which shake together), a belly, an udder, ribs, a neck, a head, a skull, eyes, nostrils, a mouth, and lips. She has insides, a heart, arteries, and blood." There are pictures of long, narrow-bodied, four-legged serpents with crocodile-like heads that are usually associated with Tiamat, though from what I can gather, her name is not explicitly associated with them. I think one can also find cylinder seal depections of a multi-headed serpent creature (7 heads if I'm remembering right), but again the attribution is not certain. Chris.s 14:13, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
Please add this info to the article. (I would do so myself, but I am unsure about quoting you and your website...) SpectrumDT 13:56, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
I believe the cylinder seal depictions of multiheaded serpent creature was actually from a later culture and a different character. Lotan being the most obvious one, but of course there were others. One of the prblems was that early scholars were rather sloppy and tried to link any monstrous depiction with Tiamat even when there was no logical connection. That Zu bird (or whatever it was, I forget, but I know Chris knows what I am talking about) with a male sexual organ that was falsely labeled as Timamat was listed everywhere and was clearly wrong. I'm not sure on the crocodile headed creatures because I can't picture offhand what that was. DreamGuy 18:53, September 10, 2005 (UTC)
Chris.s or anyone else shouldn't expect Assyro-Babylonian representations of Tiamat to follow the Enuma Elish description to the letter, especially since the Enuma Elish description is rather vague. In actuality, numerous instances from other cultures show that a mythological figure may be described in a certain way in literature, but depicted in art in various ways. Depictions of Tiamat in Assyro-Babylonian culture, as far as I can tell, varied. Some are in this manner:[1]. This other link shows a large-bodied serpentine creature with arm-like appendages and goat-like horns which has been identified as Tiamat by a number of sources:[2] (see the image titled "A Babylonian cylinder seal showing a battle with Tiamat". My reference indicates that that is a cylinder seal in the British Museum, to quote: "The cylinder seal probably shows the slaying of Tiamat by Marduk. Tiamat is originally the salt-water ocean; in the myth she embodies primeval chaos, represented as a female dragon-like monster..." --Alexander 007 23:40, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
It's worth noting that a number of images that quite a while back were "identified" with Tiamat were simply in error. All too often their criteria seemed to be "Tiamat was a monster, this is some sort of monster, so it must be Tiamat." More recent studies often confirmed that they were actuall completely different characters. So when you talk about your reference, it's helpful to know if it's a modern scholarly reference or not. A lot of low quality works -- especially in fiction -- use old, extremely outdated books as reference because they are wildly available as sources. When I try to go to your first link I am not allowed to see the image and it ridirects me to the home page, where it's fairly self-evident that the site is not scholarly in the slightest. The second page you provide a link to is just some college student's website, with no listing of where he got the information. Encyclopedias need to use scholarly, verifiable sources. If you can find something like that to support your view, great. What you have shown so far, though, doesn't even come close. Later cultures undeniably had characters represented as dragons that filled roles similar to Tiamat, but I know of no reputable references that say Tiamat was a dragon. In fact that's one of my easy criteria to see at a glance if a source knows what it's talking about: if it calls Tiamat a dragon or prints an image of the storm bird or a male figure (obvious from the penis it has) and tries to tell me that it's Tiamat, I don't bother trusting it for reliability (of course if it had a good, rational scholarly explanation to support it then fine, but none ever has that I've seen). And it's amazing how many low-quality books there are on the topic. DreamGuy 03:33, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Of course, dubious sources should never be relied on. But my source at hand is not quite dubious, although I would prefer something more specialized. Though I remember other reliable sources describing Tiamat as a dragon-like figure also. But to my present reference: World Mythology, Roy Willis, general editor, Foreword by Robert Walter, Director of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, A Henry Holt Reference Book, 1996. In the Middle East section, which is written entirely by one Professor Reverend Canon J. R. Porter, we find that same Cylinder Seal (shown in the second link, "A Babylonian cylinder seal showing a Battle with Tiamat") from the British Museum on pg. 62, with this caption:
"This cylinder seal probably shows the slaying of Tiamat by Marduk. Tiamat is originally the salt-water ocean; in the myth she embodies primeval chaos, represented as a female dragon-like monster which must be overcome before the ordered universe can be created. One text mentions Marduk's weapons, shown here-- the mace with which he crushes Tiamat's head, lightning to attack her, and possibly, a net to ensnare her and her companions."
--Now, the fact that the cylinder seal shows Marduk with what may be a mace in one hand and lightning bolts in the other---standing on a large, serpentine monster---makes a compelling argument that the serpentine, dragon-like monster depicted is Tiamat. Alexander 007 03:54, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
How is that a convincing argument? Marduk fought lots of monster. Tiamat herself gave birth to them. Dragons/serpents/etc. are specifically mentioned amongst many, many others, none of which imply that any of the children look like the mother (scorpion men, fish things, everything). Why should anyone assume that this particular monster is supposed to be Tiamat?
I'm not familiar with the bok in question or Porter's credentials. I suspect he's making an unsupported conclusion here following really old sources. Based upon being a reverend he's probably going by Biblical archeology instead of real archeology. But whatever.
If you want to put in a line somewhere saying that Professor Reverend Canon J. R. Porter claims in that book that Tiamat looked like a dragon, hey, fine by me, that's accurate. That's different from the article saying that Tiamat DID look like a dragon. 20:14, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
I doubt that J. R. Porter, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Exeter, was engaging in original, revolutionary conclusions in a caption for a cylinder seal in a chapter that, like the entire book itself, otherwise presents consensus scholarly views, as a rule. I have no desire to add to the Tiamat article yet, however, because I prefer having more than one reference. Alexander 007 23:08, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
I am not accusing him of engaging in original, revolutionary conclusions -- I am suspecting he is engaging in old, outdated and incorrect conclusions. It's also a general mythology book, and those typically do not have "consensus scholarly views" at all. It's a sad fact that most mythology book aimed at the general public and intending to cover all cultures at once have a superficial and often erroneous understanding of the material. If you are looking for a more reliable source, try one specifically on the topic. DreamGuy 06:28, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, to say it is "old, outdated, and incorrect", you would need to find another reference that throws doubt on that interpretation of that cylinder seal, or others extremely similar to it. Tiamat was most likely depicted in art in some way. If one is so sure she was never depicted in serpentine or dragon-like form, it would bolster the case to find out how she was in fact depicted, and whether it varied. Not much credibility when stating that the Porter caption is "incorrect", since there is no strong indication that it is "incorrect". Alexander 007 06:41, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

please read the second version of this [ enuma elish] text, control-F to search for Dragon -- "Who was the dragon... ? Tiamat was the dragon....." "Who will go and slay the dragon," And deliver the broad land from... And become king over... ? " Go, Tishu, slav the dragon,.."

" Stir up cloud, and storm and tempest! The seal of thy life shalt thou set before thy face, Thou shalt grasp it, and thou shalt slay the dragon." He stirred up cloud, and storm and tempest, He set the seal of his life before his face, He grasped it, and he slew the dragon. For three years and three months, one day and one night The blood of the dragon flowed. ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jaanussilla (talkcontribs) 19:25, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

The cylinder seal[edit]

This is not a big deal to me, fella. The most I'm claiming is that a number of current specialists in the field even now consider that the cylinder seal in question may portray Tiamat, probably portrays Tiamat, or does portray Tiamat. I am not claiming that she was most often depicted as a serpentine or dragon-like creature. If my claim is wrong (specified above), big f***ing deal. I am not even claiming myself that that creature is necessarily Tiamat; it might even be Enki for all anyone knows, who was at times a vehicle of Marduk. Or it could just be one of Tiamat's spawn. Different interpretations there may well be, but at least three books:

British Museum, The Babylonian legends of the creation and the fight between Bel and the dragon. With 24 illustrations. Available online, see page 16.
Ernest Ingersoll. Dragons and dragon lore. Detroit: Singing Tree Press, 1968.
Professor Reverend Canon J. R. Porter, The Middle East section in World Mythology, Henry Holt, 1996.

As well as this link:


indicate that the serpentine monster in the cylinder seal either probably is Tiamat, or is Tiamat. In the meanwhile, no references have been provided for this particular seal (the same cylinder seal in all cases) by the other party. It is a well-known seal. I'm sure that a self-styled eclectic scholar should at least know of it, and better yet have the most up-to-date references on its interpretation. Alexander 007 08:01, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Tiamat and Malayo-Polynesian Dayat Word Correspondence[edit]

The Sumerian name Tiamat probably is of Malayo-Polynesian origin. Malayo-Polynesian was the language of an ancient seafaring people who sailed the Pacific and Indian oceans, and even settled the island of Madagascar near Africa. In some Malayo-Polynesian languages spoken in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Madagascar, the words dayat or dagat, which mean the salt-water "sea" or "ocean," appear to have a word correspondence, in both sound and meaning, to the Sumerian name Tiamat, who is known as a goddess of the salt-water sea or ocean. The Sumerian god/goddess Tiamat is probably just the salt-water sea or ocean deified.

Please, stop this nonsense. — Gareth Hughes 09:34, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

From Help Desk[edit]

In the entry on Tiamat, you link Tiamat (THE Mother of All Living) with the Hebrew Hawa (Eve), citing the Genesis description of Eve as 'mother of all living'. The appelation sounds alike, but I question its accuracy.
The Eve appation clearly means 'mother of all living [humans]', whereas the Tiamat appelation clearly includes all of life as we currently know it, and quite a bit of life that we do not know (she is said to have spawned human-beast hybrid monsters and given birth to all the gods as well as providing the 'stuff' of which 'man' was made. If I am not mistaken, Tiamat was a direct ancestor of Marduk, who is said to have created humans out of her flesh. This implies material (literally) link rather than descent. Eve was created by a God (names vary according to tradition) as a physical, human mother of a particular lineage.
As such, the analogy linking them would, to me, appear to be erroneous and highly misleading. If the Hebrew Hawa concept (which I am not too closely familiar with - yet) is significantly different from the Eve of Genesis, then that reference should be made - not the Genesis appelation which sounds the same, but is demonstrably not.
Put it into current, scientific language, the descriptions of Tiamat and the Eve of Genesis might be: Tiamat would correspond to the prmordial ooze, that first flicker of life, perhaps a single-celled organism, that divided over and over till its far descendants became all the varied species that populate our planet while Eve would represent the prototypical first woman of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species, multiplying over and over till her human descendants filled the Earth and sent emails picking apart Wikipedia definitions of Tiamat. So, one divides while the other multiplies....
Would you like help clarifying your entry?

Sincerely, Alexandra Belaire —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Role playing info belongs in one simple section[edit]

The disambiguation page this article is linked to is a mess. Red links, tons of referances all to the same concept of the D&D Tiamat appearing in other video games as a dragon; these need to be on the Tiamat page. Clearly all roleplaying referances stem from the D&D version. They are multiheaded, evil dragons. This kind of information genrally appears as an "In popular culture" or in literature" sort of section. Why it is on a disambiguation page is beyond me. Mrwuggs 18:45, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Encyclopedic content[edit]

To me, this page is a test case for WP: is it possible to have an article on Tiamat, or will it drown in crackpot theories and gamecruft? There is a struggle every few months. Leibniz 21:15, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

This is the same problem with nearly every other article on Wikipedia. There's no reason why Tiamat should be any more of a problem than any other page, other than, perhaps, the topics in fields with fewer scholarly editors with proven trackrecords watching them. Evolution should do OK, with the dedicated team watching that area, but when people who know what they are doing watch some of the smaller areas it becomes more of a fight to keep things going. Many other articles have apparently already lost the fight, as if I don't check them they don;t seem to ever be fixed until I check again months later. DreamGuy 00:06, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Earlier sources[edit]

Can someone explain what "earlier sources" associate Tiamat with Lotan? Obviously this statement needs to be sourced with at least one of them. Mrwuggs 21:33, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Alternative Etymologies[edit]

There is an alternative West Semitic Etymology that may help explain why Tiamat was described as Serpentine. In the fragmentary myth of "Astarte and the Tribute of the Sea" there is mention of "Ta-yam-t", which seems to be a reference to a female (*-t, feminine terminator) serpent (*Ta, *Tan) of the Sea (*Yam). If this etymology is correct, it would explain the connection between Tiamat and Lo-tan (Leviathan?), and the veiled hint at Tiamat, which many Biblical scholars see as a reference to Tehwom (=the Deeps), as a cognate for "Tiamat". Certainly the link between Tiamat and Tehwom/Tehom (See Catherine Keller at [3] needs to be included, as it is often pointed to by conventional Biblical scholars. John D. Croft 16:15, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Interested in others thoughts.

Tiamat is not a monster[edit]

She flat out is not. She gave birth to monsters, but she is a goddess. Please do not revert the clarification of this fact in the first paragraph. Mrwuggs 18:33, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Give me a break. She sure is. She acts that role, it's her primary archetype, and the description of her in the ancient texts makes it clear that she is a monstrosity without normal god-like form. In fact, if anything, I think the "goddess" claim is less supported than the monster claim. DreamGuy 22:45, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Your ideas of a "normal godlike form" seem to be skewed to the Judeo-Christian view of "man in god's image." Ganesha has also been viewed as a monster by people with this closeminded viewpoint. Also, her primary archtype is that of the mother, and as the defender of her children and mate. The role of "monster" only arose once she was demonized. People do not worship monsters. Tiamat was considered holy and a goddess, worshiped in temples. She was the co-creator of the world. I don't think one can even argue with the clear fact that she is a legitamate diety. Mrwuggs 15:35, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I know this is an old conversation, but that's ridiculous. That's not her primary archetype, and it's only a POV that she was ever worshipped and later demonized. All available proof actually shows she started as a onster and always was a monster. Some authors THEORIZE elsewise, but those theories are unsupported and based largely about a bias toward an idea of a primeval "Mother goddess" that was supreme. DreamGuy 13:16, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

It is about time we came to a final decision on this argument. I think it has been made clear that Tiamat is not a monster, and no one has stepped forward to challange the argument above. Unless someone wishes to continue to defend her monsterousness dispite the fact that this is clearly grounded in ignorance of her primary archtype and influanced by Judeo-Christian bias, I think we should make the appropriate edit and consider this arguement closed. If someone wishes to make a reasonable arguement backed by research and actual unbiased anthropological findings, the time is now. If no one can do this, this discussion will be archived and the changes made in two weeks. Mrwuggs 21:21, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

"If no one can do this, this discussion will be archived and changes made in two weeks" = That's not how things are done in Wikipedia... was just one editor acting like he owned things and could overrule other comments. DreamGuy 13:16, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

I just noticed this debate, in which no one has cited any specific sources. I note that recent edits to the article indicate this issue is still in dispute. Thing is, it's somewhat silly, because Tiamat is both a monster and a goddess. There's no reason to see these things as mutually exclusive. Let me supply a few quotes.

Neil Forsyth, The Old Enemy (Princeton University Press, 1987), pp. 49-50: "Since Tiamat is a female monster...As the primeval waters, Tiamat belongs to an older generation of gods who are to be supplanted by their descendants...It is clear, in any case, that Tiamat is a composite monster."

Joseph Fontenrose, Python: a study of Delphic myth and its origins (U. of California Press, 1959), p. 256: "The close relation of the female chaos spirit, like Tiamat, Tethys, or Eurynome, to the earth goddess and mother goddess has already been indicated...Though conceived as a terrible being...she was also the mother of all the world: gods, men, and lower creatures alike."

Stephanie Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia (Oxford 1989), p. 329 (in a glossary): "Tiamat (also pronounced Tiwawat and Tamtu, probably pronounced Tethys in Ionian Greek; also known as Ayabba chiefly in west Semitic)--'Sea', salt water personified as a primeval goddess. Mother of the first generation of gods in the Epic of Creation. Spouse of Apsu. Epitomizes chaos."

So "monster" and "goddess" are both correct; and "mother goddess" is correct, if properly explained (i.e., doesn't belong in the lead, but in a body section discussing Tiamat as a mother goddess similar to Gaia, etc. --Akhilleus (talk) 03:11, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Akhilleus, do please get your quotes into the article, which is already set up for <ref></ref> footnote sourcing. --Wetman 06:46, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

No, sorry. "Goddess" is not "correct" - that's a POV. If you want to say that SOME sources THINK that she was a goddess, and then provide a source for who CLAIMS that, fine, that's how things work. But outright SAYING she WAS a goddess is pure bias. Monster, however, is undebatable, as all sides agree she fills that role. If you want a subsection on claims of goddess status, great, just document it and source it and write it following NPOV guidelines and do not take their side. DreamGuy 13:16, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

To be proven as a fact that she was a goddess there has to be sources actually showing that she was worshipped as a goddess. No one has ever done so. Fontenrose and others just have theories, and ones that are built on nothing more than supposition, oftn with a clear bias built upon earlier neopagan beliefs about a Great Goddess. Monster/deity/supernatural entity are words that might be less objectionable because those things don;t imply active worship. DreamGuy 13:20, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

DreamGuy, you seem to have some sort of axe to grind here, but all I'm interested in doing is reporting the views of reliable sources, which Fontenrose and Dalley certainly are. In comparison, your claim that goddesses must be worshipped, and that Tiamat was not worshipped, therefore she is not a goddess, looks like original research. I'll go with the academic sources on this one, unless you have some sources of your own. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:02, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
No, sorry, it's just the meaning of the word. Goddesses, as compared to supernatural entities, etc. are worshipped. Fontenrose claims that she was but gives no proof. The fact that some say she was a goddess is based upon their POV idea that some early culture worshipped her and that she was later demonized. We can certainly and should mention reliable sources making a claim of opinion, but the idea that Tiamat is a goddess is not a fact. This pretty simple stuff, and pretty core to the concept of the WP:NPOV policy, so don't present the mere speculation of some sources as if it were factual.
This is not an "axe to grind" this is simply staying true to the facts and to Wikipedia policies. Please do not try to present the need to make the article neutral and not shove an agenda onto readers as if it were some wacky crusade, as that's what everyone here is *supposed* to do. DreamGuy 18:00, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
DreamGuy, you're making an argument based on your notion of what "goddess" means. Why does your opinion carry more weight than the opinions of published academic sources? I'm pretty sure that Joseph Fontenrose and Stephanie Dalley have pretty good ideas of what's meant by "goddess", and for you to deprecate their work as "POV" is rather presumptuous. --Akhilleus (talk) 18:09, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
FWIW, Wiktionary,, and all define goddess as a female deity; none of those sources indicate that the female deity must have worshipers to qualify as a goddess. "Goddess" should be no less objectionable than "deity" for female subjects. -- JHunterJ 18:19, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Alright, so let's look at it this way... If there's potential for readers being confused about what a word means, and we have our choice of terms, why not use one that is accurate and less likely to cause confusion towards a result that would endorse a particular POV? Or, better yet, spell out in the article that there is no evidence that Tiamat was ever worshipped as a goddess? Because it sounds like some people (most notably the mugglewump guy above, but possible with some other comments) are specifically TRYING to endorse the view that she was worshipped. Surely you wouldn't want to do that, now would you? So it can be clarified, yes? So, bottomline is, what possible reason do you have to use confusing language other than to take a side? DreamGuy 01:14, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
DreamGuy, let's look at it this way. I've provided several academic sources that say that Tiamat was a goddess. You, on the other hand, have brought forward no sources, and seem to be operating from your own notion of what "goddess" means, without providing any sources to support your definition. Our articles are supposed to be based on reliable sources, and those sources say that Tiamat is a goddess. I don't agree with you that this wording will confuse readers, so I see no reason to avoid the word goddess whatsoever. --Akhilleus (talk) 01:23, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

POV "problems"[edit]

How about an opening "Tiamat is a monstrous goddess in Babylonian and Sumerian mythology. I'm not sure how to get to the part about being the sea though, although it may not be needed in the intro. If you still have issue with the word "goddess" there (even though "having worshipers" is not implied), "Tiamat is a monstrous female deity ..." will also do, although it is not as simply straightforward as the first. -- JHunterJ 02:24, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

The sea needs to be mentioned in the intro, because this is Tiamat's essential quality--she's the primeval salt waters. This is important for comparative mythology, because there are other cosmogonies where salt water is one of the original components of the universe, and also because the enemy in the combat myth often has a watery aspect (e.g. Leviathan, Yamm). --Akhilleus (talk) 02:47, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Then it needs to be worked in there, but what I'm getting at is that the article should lead with Tiamat is a goddess (or deity) and then get to the deity essences, instead of the other way around. -- JHunterJ 03:11, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Strongly disagree -- her primary purpose is to serve as an enemy monster to be defeated, much like Leviathan, Apep, Hydra and others... any supposed deity qualities are minor and under dispute. Her role as monster is not dispute, so should be in lead and major section, which the speculative deity stuff later.
A claiming a POV position in the lead and adding a footnote in no way excuses the violation of the NPOV policy. When the goddess part comes up it very clearly needs to be labeled as a theory of certain authors/academics and name which ones. To do otherwise, especially after the problems with that have already been discussed, appears to be a bad faith issue to avoid consensus and to push an agenda. If my objections are not take care of I will just rewrite the article later to take them into account, because this is a very important aspect. You can;t just name figures in mythology as goddesses willy nilly, they have to have certain features, and Tiamat does not express those features.DreamGuy 05:09, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

DreamGuy, you've been around Wikipedia for awhile, so I really shouldn't have to quote the NPOV policy at you, but it seems that I do. Here's a sentence from WP:NPOV#Explanation of the neutral point of view: "None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being the truth, and all significant published points of view are to be presented, not just the most popular one." I've emphasized the word published, because you don't seem to be taking it into account. You've got a definition of goddess that you've supplied no sources for, you've decided that Tiamat doesn't meet this definition (again, with supplying no sources), and you say that the sources I've provided are "POV" because they don't take your definition into account. But, to be blunt, unless you are a published expert on this topic, or your opinion is the same as someone who's published on this topic, your opinion carries very little weight compared to that of Fontenrose, Dalley, and Forsyth. Basically, DreamGuy, you're saying there's a NPOV problem because you don't like what the article says; but NPOV applies to published viewpoints, not Wikipedians' personal opinions. So please bring forward some sources that support your view, or stop saying there's an NPOV violation. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:02, 19 May 2007 (UTC) I'll note, though, that the intro should say something about Tiamat's role as the adversary of Marduk, and I've put somthing in. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:32, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Another source for Tiamat as a goddess[edit]

Since User:DreamGuy continues to make the baffling assertion that Tiamat is not a goddess, I thought I'd supply yet another scholarly source that says she is (in addition to Forsyth, Fontenrose, and Dalley above). I quote Bruce Louden, The Iliad: Structure, Myth, and Meaning (Johns Hopkins 2006), p. 211: "Out of many Near Eastern instances of divine rebellion, the Enuma Elish offers the most relevant parallels to the Iliad, Tiamat serving as a close parallel to Hera. Both female deities lead rebellions; much as Hera in the Iliad, Tiamat is thematically depicted as having a fierce wrath..." (emphasis mine). "female deity", obviously, is equivalent to "goddess". --Akhilleus (talk) 21:23, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

No, not obviously at all. A deity implies a whole class of gods and god-like beings, goddess has a specific meaning. I have no problem referencing her as a deity, but goddess is a value-laden word that is misleading. DreamGuy 16:21, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you can supply a reference for your distinction between god(dess) and deity. As another editor points out above, the standard dictionary definitions say that the words mean the same thing. --Akhilleus (talk) 20:59, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Here's an interesting one: Martin Luther King, Jr., "Light on the Old Testament from the Ancient Near East," The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. Luker et al. (Univ. of California 1992), pp. 167-168: "The account opens with the birth of the chief gods, Tiamat (goddess of salt water) and Apsu (god of fresh water)." Now, Dr. King wasn't an authority on Near Eastern myth, and this quote is from a paper he wrote during his first semester at seminary, for a class taught by James B. Pritchard (who was an authority on NE myth). So the value of this quote, aside from the novelty value, is that it represents the kind of basic information you'd include in a college or graduate student level paper on the Enuma Elish. Other sources that tell us Tiamat is a goddess may be found on Google Books: [4]. --Akhilleus (talk) 21:47, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

It represents the kind of info that a student would write but certainly is not a reliable source for anything. DreamGuy 16:21, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I acknowledged that. However, you still haven't supplied a single source for your assertion that Tiamat isn't a goddess (nor for your assertion that "female deity" is different than "goddess"), so I've reverted your edit. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:59, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Cleaning house: a bogus citation[edit]

User:, apparently a multiple-user IP, at 09:25, 18 February 2006 inserted an authentic article citation (Jacobsen, Thorkild, (1968) "The Battle between Marduk and Tiamat" Journal of the American Oriental Society, 88.1 (January-March 1968), pp 104-108) in support of a doubtful Sumerian etymology, for which a citation had long been requested. I am now looking at the article (JSTOR), which supports the Burkert Akkadian etymology I inserted a while back, and does not mention any supposed Sumerian etymology at all. I am removing the following text here: Her name seems ultimately to have been a Sumerian one, as in that language ti = Life, and ama = Mother, suggesting her original name may have been "the mother of all life". If the citation is bogus, and an Akkadian etymology is well supported, this is apparently bogus etymology-babble. --Wetman 05:40, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

One more source for "goddess"[edit]

Barry Powell, Classical Myth (Prentice Hall 2004), p. 98 (this is from a summary of the Enuma Elish): "The poem opens with the gods of the primordial waters, male Apsu, fresh water, and female Tiamat, salt water, mingled together in an indeterminate mass..." Now, it seems quite obvious to me that when you're speaking of "gods of primordial waters", and one is male, one female, you have a god and a goddess. --Akhilleus (talk) 17:55, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Gary Gygax on Tiamat[edit]

The Tiamat/dragon association made by Gary Gygax in the 1977 Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual was his own. I inquired Gary about the origin a few years ago.

A medieval dragon legend (the Tarrasque) had said that the Tarrasque was the offspring of the Leviathan. It implied that Leviathan was a dragon or at least a source of dragons. Gary had said that he was going to name the ruler of evil dragons as "Leviathan" and then have the good dragons ruled by "Behemoth". In development, he thought otherwise as they were too well known so he used names that were slightly associated with them in comparative mythology "Tiamat" for "Leviathan" and "Bahamut" for "Behemoth". —Preceding unsigned comment added by GeneWeigel (talkcontribs) 04:51, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by GeneWeigel (talkcontribs) 04:58, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

WOuld be wonderful to get a reliable source for this. We need it to have been written in a published source somewhere. Maybe someone from WOTC is reading this ... :) Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:22, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Let's not repeat an old, obvious error about what Tiamat looked like[edit]

Wrongly labeled: "Tiamat, depicted as a winged lioness, is attacked by Marduk in this representation of a late myth"

This image is NOT a depiction of Tiamat. I know a lot of old books made that claim, and some newer ones that sloppily followed those older references, but, it's simply not right. In fact, for decades now I have used this as one of my quick tests to see if a book covering Mesopotamian myths was reliable or not: if it has this pic and says Tiamat, I know it's unreliable as a source.

If you look at a photo of the original relief (or see it in person, as I have), it's quite clear this creature has a penis. Tiamat was, of course, female. The image is almost certainly the Zu bird, though there are conceivably lots of other figures it could be.

I think this mistake first came about when scholars didn't know a lot about the mythology and assumed any picture of a monster must be Tiamat. Something similar happened when the Burney relief was assumed to be Lilith, when it clearly isn't either.

The edit that introduced this image also included a whole lot of other stuff that was recently removed by myself and another editor. Considering that the split of the appearance section into two parts was opposed by multiple editors, you should discuss it here and try to change our ming to get a consensus before just going back and making the same bad edits again.

And the claim that this image is Tiamat simply never will fly, as it's just wrong. I think I have a photo of the original relief somewhere which I may be able to upload.... I'll have to look for it. DreamGuy (talk) 00:52, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

In fact, the image currently a the top of the article doesn't have a source describing where it came from. I'm going to have to go check to see if it's even right (or if someone else has a reference handy and gets to it before I do, great) It could very easily be Lotan or some other figure, since so many books screwed these identifications up. Wikimedia uploads from other language editions tend to be a lot less trustworthy than ones though the English version, because thee are fewer people looking at them to confirm the info. DreamGuy (talk) 00:57, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Plus, don't you think that it's odd that they would depict basrelief Marduk, patron god of Babylon, in the Temple of Ninurta in Nineveh?--Mr Fink (talk) 00:58, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Oboy, the image has been restored. Let's not turn this into an edit war, huh? DreamGuy is quite right about this, the image is highly unlikely to be Tiamat, and it's quite plausible that it's Anzu (Zu, if you like). The image shouldn't be in the article; we should find an authoritative source for its identification, and then put the picture in the appropriate place. --Akhilleus (talk) 01:04, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I've got the Wikimedia image up for deletion (or renaming, if plausible) based upon the misidentification. Comments over there would be welcomed. DreamGuy (talk) 01:41, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I am writing here because the user DreamGuy uses this english wikipedia article as an argument for deleting the picture on other wikipedias, like the swedish where I am active. I am also the responsible person that originally (in 2005) uploaded this picture to swedish wikipedia. It is taken from a book by Anton Nyström, Allmän kulturhistoria eller det mänskliga lifvet i dess utveckling, bd 1 (1900). The source is not a secret, which DreamGuy seems to think - it is described in the information box beneath the picture on commons. The same picture is also printed in Nordisk familjebok, to this day Sweden's largest encyklopedia - old, but more reliable than DreamGuys own theories. I think we need more information that prooves that DreamGuy is right before deleting the picture. I hope I made myself clear. I apologize for my english. /User Hedning at Swedish Wikipedia 2009-04-23 21:51 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
No offense, but you're using an obscure author's 1900 book as a reliable source for archeology, which is ludicrous just on the face of it. At the very best all you can do is claim that that author made that statement, not that it's true. A number of authors around that time period made that same mistake, but it's an OBVIOUS mistake (Tiamat was female, the monster in the original image has a penis; the location the image was found could not have been Marduk because it's the wrong place, etc.) and one not repeated by modern expert authors. It is distressing to see how desperately people try to grasp at century-old mistakes. Maybe every other Wikipedia language version in the world is wrong, but you can't blame me for trying to get you into the 21st century, and at least the English language one won't mislead people. DreamGuy (talk) 14:29, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
The discussion continues on Commons. It would be nice with more expertise on this subject. More sources would be a nice start. /User Hedning at Swedish Wikipedia 2009-04-25 17:48

I can't get my account to work on commons at the moment, so I'll respond here. This image is a drawing of a relief of Ninurta fighting Zu. See [5]. The relief was part of the temple of Ninurta at Nimrud. --Akhilleus (talk) 17:09, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Nice! Good source. I wonder if there is a picture of the real Tiamat out there somewhere. In "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia" (1995) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley I found this regarding the other picture of Tiamat discussed below: "may depict a section of the Enuma Elish. Marduk (or Ashur) battles with the goddess Tiamat". The same information: "This cylinder seal probably shows the slaying of Tiamat by Marduk." can be found in World mythology‎ by Roy G. Willis (1993) /User Hedning at Swedish Wikipedia 2009-04-26 12:31
Those aren't particularly reliable sources when it comes to modern Sumerian archeology, and better sources contradict that. DreamGuy (talk) 15:59, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Other image is dubious as well[edit]

Questionably labeled (with no source): "Ancient cylinder seal depicting the primordial goddess Tiamat as a sea serpent"

Per my note above, I checked and the identification of this second image with Tiamat is also highly dubious. The person who uploaded that image did not give any source for it. A quick look through the sources I have available nearby strongly suggest it isn't. One book shows the image and simply calls it unlikely to be identified. Another doesn't have it but mentions a number of serpent-dragons that aren't Tiamat, and from other depictions strongly suggest that this is a deity's personal dragon, used as transportation and an indication of his might. Nabu had such a dragon, but so did many others. DreamGuy (talk) 01:34, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

This is more problematic than the other image because there are more sources that say this image represents Tiamat. Those sources tend to be older, and more recent sources say that the identification is problematic, but I haven't (yet) found anything that says that the image is definitely not Tiamat. If we can find a good source, I think it may be helpful to include the image and explain why it isn't Tiamat, since there seems to be a common notion that she's a serpentine goddess... --Akhilleus (talk) 04:39, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I have no problem presenting both sides of the topic assuming they are referring to reliable sources, but I would object to the article simply stating one side as if it were the only side and having no source. I don't know if we can find a source saying it isn't Tiamat, as sources with more credibility are not as quick to say something definitely is or is not true, so unfortunately professional scholars aren;t going to be as clear cut as the unprofessional ones in making declarations. But then I'd imagine that if the sources I just have available on my bookshelf points away from the identification that there would be sources that more directly tackle the issue that could be found. I do think until a balanced presentation is hammered out that it should not be in the article in the meantime so as not to give WP:UNDUE weight to a side that we know to be questionable. DreamGuy (talk) 15:52, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
In "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia" (1995) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley I found this regarding the picture of Tiamat discussed here: "may depict a section of the Enuma Elish. Marduk (or Ashur) battles with the goddess Tiamat". The same information: "This cylinder seal probably shows the slaying of Tiamat by Marduk." can be found in World mythology‎ by Roy G. Willis (1993) /User Hedning at Swedish Wikipedia 2009-04-26 12:34 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Those are not particularly authoritative works repeating information from old sources. Again, modern works on the topic by respected experts in the field should be used instead of religious authors or compilers of general reference works. DreamGuy (talk) 15:57, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Controversial images deserve appropriate discussion in article[edit]

After being alerted to the extensive debate regarding the two images I inserted into the article, I have no agenda regarding inclusion of them except for holding the opinion that it might be better to show them and discuss the problems regarding applicability to Tiamat... I suggest a new heading reserved for the controversy. What is of interest to so many editors, is likely to be of interest to our readers.

I sought images for the article in the commons and on other-language Wikipedia sites and expect that others may as well. My intention was to emphasize the differences in authentic indigenous cultural imagery used to convey the concept of Tiamat among adherents to the religion, which may have changed with time. Given the period of time during which she played a pivotal role in these religious beliefs, one would expect to find authentic images portraying the goddess, not merely a written, abstract, concept—but obviously, they have eluded scholars—perhaps, having been suppressed in ancient times. The uncertainty about the images sometimes attributed to be of Tiamat, however, is a relevant fact that we can examine.

Creating a section that declares the issues, would prevent having to chase them repeatedly. Explication once—seems easier than having to monitor constantly, and it seems ill-advised to attempt to suppress images that have some validity for other uses. It also would educate our readers about the controversy, providing information that encyclopedias ought to present about the topic.

Sorry about the inconvenience to other editors, having more edits I desire to make, than time available, I rarely access the discussions about pages of interest to me before editing. Usually, I only resort to discussion pages if resolution is sought regarding problems or differences arising with other editors (such as this). Will watch to see whether some consensus about this is reached, and if so, I'll help with the edit of that as well as the rest of the article. In the meantime, I shall continue to seek authentic images that might apply—believing that images usually improve articles. ---- 83d40m (talk) 06:29, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I would agree that included the info that these images that have been referred to as Tiamat either clearly are not or have been disputed would be better than not mentioning them at all, we have a problem with sourcing on the topic right now. Hopefully that'll clear up soon as we check through references, which could directly refer to the topic and solve the problems for us. (Edit to add: I don't think a new heading would be needed, as the appearance section should be able to handle it.) DreamGuy (talk) 15:56, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Nauseating intro[edit]

The intro must be improved to provide factual information, not wrap it behind some kind of preconceived analysis:

In Babylonian mythology, Tiamat is a goddess who personifies the sea.

...good so far...

There are two parts to the Tiamat mythos, the first in which Tiamat is 'creatrix'

Grr! Use "creator godess"!

through a "Sacred marriage" between salt and fresh water

Push downwards, this is an analysis not a description!

peacefully creating the cosmos through successive generations.

Analysis, not a description: push down.

In the second "Chaoskampf"

Ridiculous! There must be an English term, such as "Chaos battle"

Tiamat is considered the monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos.

Analysis, not a description: push down.

This shift in cosmological metaphors has been linked to the rise of Patriarchal power structures and the assumption of power by the monarchial "lugal" (Lu = Man, Gal = Big)

Except that I simply don't believe this kind of modern anachronistical interpretations based on a prejudice about a nonattested original female godess ruling everywhere, this is an analysis, and should be treated in a separate paragraph or section, not in the descriptive intro.

during the Early Dynastic period of Sumerian History, and the institutionalisation of warfare[2].

Yeah, sure! It would be nice to require real proofs from religion historicians, like for example the proofs required from normal historicians. This is not science! This is invention of fictional religions that never existed. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 18:05, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Fixed myself! Those who dislike my changes can always challenge me on digital arm-wrestling on my talk page. The one who can write the most Q:s per second on his computer (no cheating with key-repetition!) will win the digital arm-wrestling contest. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 18:41, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Robert Graves and matriarchy/patriarchy analogy[edit]

Per this, my preference is that if a notable writer such as Graves is in error, maybe a better way of doing this is including it and including a reliably sourced rebuttal, otherwise folks are going to keep adding it. I can't imagine this article is ever going to be a huge one. Casliber (talk · contribs) 01:12, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm not so bothered with that as the fact that none of the sources say 'outstanding example', and every time I remove the word it gets replaced. I'll start another section on the citation problems. Dougweller (talk) 15:51, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

New citations & citation template[edit]

Although I have given the IP adding new citations a link to a quick guide for referencing, these citations are still not referenced in line with the rest of the citations, and page numbers have not been given. I'm particularly interested in the page number(s) for the book by Cynthia Eller, as she tends to throw cold water on some of these ideas, and the limited search facility at didn't help. Dougweller (talk) 15:53, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Greek mythology and 'two halves'[edit]

Why is there a sentence on Greek mythology here, and in particular, why the sentence about Tiamat and Python having "their body divided into two halves"? Dougweller (talk) 17:02, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Serpent symbolism and link[edit]

As the article points out, whether Tiamat was ever depicted as a snake- or dragon-like being in period sources is disputed, with some scholars holding it to be the creation of modern authors. Saying that Tiamat also has the "mythological symbolism" of a snake requires a source, and in any even would be better handled in the article itself rather than by both simply accepting the claim as given and by using an unintuitive linking strategy (see WP:EASTEREGG). Ergative rlt (talk) 18:15, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

False Summary[edit]

Quote from the article: In the Enûma Eliš she opposes when Abzû conspires to kill the younger gods, and she warns the most powerful of those, Ea, who puts Abzû under a spell and kills him.

There is no mentioning of Tiamat warning Ea in the L.W. King Translation. You can't write something in a summary, which isn't there in the original text! Junihausen (talk) 17:14, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I've restored a modified version of an earlier lead. Still needs work. Dougweller (talk) 07:52, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

The claim that "Tiamat as dragon" is a modern construct seems to be Original Research.[edit]

The only source listed (Fontenrose) to back this up mentioned that Heidel believes that "dragon form can not be imputed to Tiamat with certainty", but the same source finds Heidel's claims "not convincing" and concludes that "There is reason to believe that Tiamat was sometimes, not necessarily always, conceived as a dragoness". Quite the opposite of what this article claims.

Meanwhile one of the original myths collected in Leonard William King's "The Seven Tablets of Creation" (p. 116-117) unambiguously identify Tiamat as a dragon ("5. Who was the dragon [...]? / 6. Tiamat was the dragon [...]!"). So, unless there is reason to doubt King's translation, this article's claims that "no ancient texts exist in which there is a clear association with those kinds of creatures" and that "there are no early precedents for it" are not only O.R., but also clearly wrong and contradicting the sources. --Painocus (talk) 00:40, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Since no-one has raised any objections I'll edit the page accordingly. (Edit: Or I would but suddenly trying to edit main pages just gives me an error message. Edit 2: And it is done.) --Painocus (talk) 23:06, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Abzu killed or confined?[edit]

The myth states that Abzu was killed. Earlier versions say he was confined by Enki, imprisoned in irrigation canals or held prisoner beneath the E Abzu, the temple or House (=E) of Abzu in Eridu. Thus the statement that he was killed misses the etiological nature of the Mesopotamian myth. The appearance of Lahm and Lahmu (the muddy ones), where freshwater met salt, describes the deposition of silt as the velocity of water flow changes.John D. Croft (talk) 11:00, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

Trying to understand the cuneiform[edit]

Whence the name Tiamat and why does Wikipedia think her symbol is 𒀭𒋾𒊩𒆳? Just taking a stab on these characters after a little fishing around...

  • 𒀭 = divinity marker — good
  • 𒋾 = "ti" = life — wow, off to a great start
  • 𒊩 (see wikt:𒊩) = "munus" - unpronounced Sumerian female determinative
  • 𒆳 = "Kur" = mountain = dragon = "the Sumerian equivalent of the Babylonian Tiamat" according to Kramer.

Elsewhere ([6], not a terribly authoritative-looking source) I have seen it said that 𒆳 = "mat" = land in Akkadian. If so that would just about round things out, except for the question of whether 𒊩 plays the same role in Akkadian as in Sumerian—since they seem to be enormously different in some ways. (Don't tell me the 𒊩 is why the name is pronounced ti-a-mat instead of ti-mat ... )

Can this be explained in the article? Is there a good book that covers this stuff? Does anyone here know how these (two wildly different sets of) pronunciations were worked out in the first place? And perhaps the most burning question of all: is Wikipedia really ready for unicode cuneiform? Thanks, groupuscule (talk) 06:03, 9 May 2017 (UTC)

@Groupuscule: This might help, try GScholar. Doug Weller talk 13:41, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you Mr. Weller, very interesting book which could be used to great effect at Genesis 1:2. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell it doesn't delve to far into the origins of "Tiamat" and it's certainly not showing any cuneiform. His basic argument seems to be that "Tehom" is a cognate of Tiamat but not a derivative; both are descended from "a common Semitic root *thm". A possible clue is:

Moreover, since the second consonant of Tiamat is /'/, a glottal stop, which often disappears at the intervocalic position so that the resultant vowel sandhi in Akkadian as ti'āmtum > tiāmtum > tâmtum, it is very unlikely that a west Semetic speaker would represent the second consonant as a fricative [h]. (p. 46)

Does this mean 𒊩 = /'/ ?
By the way, Tsumura frequently cites John Day (God's Conflict with the Dragon and the Sea), who reached basically the same conclusion ("However, although tehom and Tiamat are certainly etymologically related, there is no reason to think that the Hebrew term is directly derived from the Babylonian: if it were a Babylonian loan word, we should expect it to have the feminine ending in -āh and to have ', not h as the middle radical" (p. 7).
Anyway, I'll try looking elsewhere. There must be a source out there that really breaks this down—maybe it would be an older one.
By the way, here's a funny piece that came up searching Scholar. groupuscule (talk) 22:53, 9 May 2017 (UTC)
Interesting. A quick search shows up little about Browne other than his interest " in neo-Pythagorean number lore and an astute creator of magic squares. " GScholar throws up some very odd things at times, including unreliably published fringe stuff. Doug Weller talk 10:53, 10 May 2017 (UTC)