Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter (A) July 7, 2017

Bemerkungen zu Namma und weiteren Wassergottheiten

Manuel Ceccarelli


The Babylonian Enūma eliš opens with the well-known motif of the primeval waters covering the world. Although this motif is very important in Enūma eliš itself and in other cosmogonies of the Ancient Near East, it is not attested in identified Mesopotamian creation accounts older than Enūma eliš and it can be found just in the old Babylonian divine name dama-tu-an-ki „Mother, creator of heaven and earth“, a byname of the goddess Namma, the personified ground waters. This paper provides a brief overview of the motifs of personified waters in Mesopotamian texts of the third and second millennia. The sources argue for the existence of a southern Mesopotamian tradition with the personified ground waters and a western tradition with the personified sea. These traditions were combined together in Enūma eliš, where the male god Apsû embodied the ground waters. Abzu/Apsû doesn’t appear to have been personified until the second half of the second millennium. The paper closes with a critique of Lambert’s etymology of the name Namma.


Adams, R. McC. (1981): Heartland of Cities: Surveys of Ancient Settlement and Land Use on the Central Floodplain of the Euphrates, Chicago.Search in Google Scholar

Alster, B. (1999): Tiamat תהום. In: K. van der Toorn (ed.), Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2. Aufl., Leiden, 867–869.Search in Google Scholar

Attinger, P. (1993): Eléments de linguistique sumérienne: La construction de du11/e/di „dire“ (OBO Sonderband), Fribourg – Göttingen.Search in Google Scholar

Ayali-Darshan, N. (2010): The Bride of the Sea: The Traditions about Astarte and Yamm in the Ancient Near East. In: W. Horowitz et al. (ed.), A Woman of Valor: Jerusalem Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Joan Goodnick Westenholz (BPOA 8), Madrid, 19–33.Search in Google Scholar

Ayali-Darshan, N. (2015): The Other Version of the Story of the Storm-god’s Combat with the Sea in the Light of Egyptian, Ugaritic, and Hurro-Hittite Texts, JANER 15, 20–51.Search in Google Scholar

Bauer, J. (2012): Die Verwaltungsurkunde TCTI 1, 950 und ihre Personennamen. In: C. Mittermayer/S. Ecklin (ed.), Altorientalische Studien zu Ehren von Pascal Attinger: mu-ni u4 ul-li2-a-aš ĝa2-ĝa2-de3 (OBO 256), Fribourg – Göttingen, 31–37. Search in Google Scholar

Ceccarelli, M. (2015): Bemerkungen zur Entwicklung der Beschwörungen des Marduk-Ea-Typs: Die Rolle Enlils. In: A. Archi (ed.), Tradition and Innovation in the Ancient Near East. Proceedings of the 57th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Rome 4–8 July 2011, Winona Lake, 193–204.Search in Google Scholar

Ceccarelli, M. (2016): Enki und Ninmaḫ: Eine mythische Erzählung in sumerischer Sprache (ORA 16), Tübingen.Search in Google Scholar

Charles, M.P. (1988): Irrigation in Lowland Mesopotamia, BSA 4, 1–39.Search in Google Scholar

Civil, M. (1985): On Some Texts Mentioning Ur-Namma, Or. 54, 27–45.Search in Google Scholar

Cole, S.W. (1994): Marsh Formation in the Borsippa Region and the Course of the Lower Euphrates, JNES 53, 81–109.Search in Google Scholar

Durand, J.-M. (1993): Le mythologème de combat entre le dieu de l’orage et la mer en Mésopotamie, MARI 7, 41–61.Search in Google Scholar

Evans, M.I. (2002): The Ecosystem. In: E. Nicholson/P. Clark (ed.), The Iraqi Marshlands: A Human and Environmental Study, London, 201–219.Search in Google Scholar

Flückiger-Hawker, E. (1999): Urnamma of Ur in Sumerian Literary Tradition (OBO 166), Fribourg – Göttingen.Search in Google Scholar

Focke, K. (1999–2000): Die Göttin Ninimma. II. Ninimma in der keilinschriftlichen Überlieferung des 3. bis 1. Jts. v. Chr., AfO 46–47, 92–110.Search in Google Scholar

Heffron, Y./M. Worthington (2013): Tiāmtu, RlA 13, 643–645.Search in Google Scholar

Hilgert, M. (2002): Akkadisch in der Ur III-Zeit (Imgula 5), Münster.Search in Google Scholar

Horowitz, W. (2011): Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, 2. Printing, with Corrections and Addenda (MesCiv. 8), Winona Lake.Search in Google Scholar

Jacobsen, Th. (1976): The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion, New Haven – London.Search in Google Scholar

Jacobsen, Th. (1982): Salinity and Irrigation. Agriculture in Antiquity: Diyala Basin. Archaeological Projects: Report on Essential Results, 1957–58 (BiMes. 14), Malibu.Search in Google Scholar

Jassim, S.Z./J.C. Goff (2006): Geology of Iraq, Prague – Brno.Search in Google Scholar

Kämmerer, Th./K.A. Metzler (2012): Das babylonische Weltschöpfungsepos „Enūma elîš“ (AOAT 375), Münster.Search in Google Scholar

Katz, D. (2011): Reconstructing Babylon: Recycling Mythological Traditions Toward a New Theology. In: E. Cancik-Kirschbaum/M. van Ess/J. Marzahn (ed.), Babylon: Wissenskultur in Orient und Okzident (Topoi 1), Berlin – Boston, 123–134.Search in Google Scholar

Kramer, S.N. (1985): BM 86535: A Large Extract of a Diversified Balag-Composition. In: J.-M. Durand/J.R. Kupper (ed.), Miscellanea Babylonica: Mélanges offerts à Maurice Birot, Paris, 115–135.Search in Google Scholar

Krebernik, M. (2002): Zur Struktur und Geschichte des älteren sumerischen Onomastikons. In: M.P. Streck/S. Weninger (ed.), Altorientalische und semitische Onomastik (AOAT 296), Münster, 1–74.Search in Google Scholar

Lambert, W.G. (1994): A New Look at the Babylonian Background of Genesis. In: R.S. Hess/D.T. Tsumura (ed.), „I Studied Inscriptions from before the Flood“: Ancient Near Eastern, Literary, and Linguistich Approaches to Genesis 1–11 (Sources for Biblical and Theological Studies 4), Winona Lake, 96–109 [Postscript, 110–111; Second Postscript, 111–113].Search in Google Scholar

Lambert, W.G. (2013): Babylonian Creation Myths (MesCiv. 16), Winona Lake.Search in Google Scholar

Limet, H. (1968): L’Anthroponymie sumérienne dans les documents de la 3e dynastie d’Ur, Paris.Search in Google Scholar

Lisman, J.J.W. (2013): Cosmogony, Theogony and Anthropogeny in Sumerian Texts (AOAT 409), Münster.Search in Google Scholar

Peterson, J. (2009): Godlists from Old Babylonian Nippur in the University Museum, Philadelphia (AOAT 362), Münster.Search in Google Scholar

Pettinato, G. (1982): Testi lessicali bilingui della biblioteca L. 2769. Parte 1: Traslitterazione dei testi e ricostruzione del VE (IUO Ser. Maior 4 = MEE 4), Neapel.Search in Google Scholar

Pomponio, F./G. Visicato (1994): Early Dynastic Administrative Tablets of Šuruppak (IUO Ser. Maior 7/A), Neapel.Search in Google Scholar

Richter, Th. (2004): Untersuchungen zu den lokalen Panthea Süd- und Mittelbabyloniens in altbabylonischer Zeit (2., verbesserte und erweiterte Auflage) (AOAT 257), Münster.Search in Google Scholar

Rubio, G. (2013): Time Before Time: Primeval Narrative in Early Mesopotamian Literature. In: L. Feliu et al. (ed.), Time and History in the Ancient Near East. Proceedings of the 56th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Barcelona 26–30 July 2010, Winona Lake, 3–16.Search in Google Scholar

Schulz, M. (2000): Magie, oder: Die Wiederherstellung der Ordnung, Frankfurt am Main.Search in Google Scholar

Schwemer, D. (2001): Die Wettergottgestalten Mesopotamiens und Nordsyriens im Zeitalter der Keilschriftkulturen: Materialien und Studien nach den schriftlichen Quellen, Wiesbaden.Search in Google Scholar

Selz, G. (1995): Untersuchungen zur Götterwelt des altsumerischen Stadtstaates von Lagaš (OccPubl. S.N. Kramer Fund 13), Philadelphia.Search in Google Scholar

Sjöberg, Å. (2002): In the Beginning. In: T. Abusch (ed.), Riches Hidden in Secret Places: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Memory of Th. Jacobsen, Winona Lake, 229–247.Search in Google Scholar

Steible, H./F. Yildiz (2008): Die Listen mit Abgaben an Götter aus Šuruppak, MDOG 140, 151–204.Search in Google Scholar

Steible, H./F. Yildiz (2015): Wirtschaftstexte aus Fara. Band 2: Texte der Viehverwaltung von Šuruppak (Die Inschriften von Fara 4 = WVDOG 143), Wiesbaden.Search in Google Scholar

Steinert, U. (2012): Aspekte des Menschseins im Alten Mesopotamien: Eine Studie zu Person und Identität im 2. und 1. Jt. v. Chr. (CunMon. 44), Leiden.Search in Google Scholar

Thompson, S. (1966): Motif-Index of Folk-Literature: A Classification of Narrative Elements in Folktales, Ballads, Myths, Fables, Mediaeval Romances, Exempla, Fabliaux, Jest-Books and Local Legends. Second Revised and Enlarged Edition, Bloomington.Search in Google Scholar

Tugendhaft, A. (2011): On ym and dA.AB.BA at Ugarit, UF 42, 697–712.Search in Google Scholar

van Dijk, J.J.A. (1971): Sumerische Religion. In: J.P. Asmussen et al. (ed.), Handbuch der Religionsgeschichte, Bd. 1, Göttingen, 432–496.Search in Google Scholar

van Dijk, J.J.A. (1976): Existe-t-il un „poème de la création“ sumérien? In: B.L. Eichler et al. (ed.), Kramer Anniversary Volume: Cuneiform Studies in Honor of Samuel Noah Kramer (AOAT 25), Kevelaer – Neukirchen-Vluyn, 125–133.Search in Google Scholar

van Dijk, J.J.A./M.J. Geller (2003): Ur III Incantations from the Frau Professor Hilprecht-Collection, Jena (TMH 6), Wiesbaden.Search in Google Scholar

Waetzoldt, H./F. Yildiz (1987): Eine neusumerische Beschwörung, OrAnt. 26, 291–297.Search in Google Scholar

Westenholz, A. (1974–1977): Old Akkadian School Texts: Some Goals of Sargonic Scribal Education, AfO 25, 95–110.Search in Google Scholar

Wiggermann, F.A.M. (1993–1997): Mischwesen. A, RlA 8, 222–245.Search in Google Scholar

Wiggermann, F.A.M. (1998–2001): Nammu. A, RlA 9, 222–245.Search in Google Scholar

Zgoll, A. (2012): Welt, Götter und Menschen in den Schöpfungsentwürfen des antiken Mesopotamien. In: K. Schmid (ed.), Schöpfung, Tübingen, 17–70.Search in Google Scholar

Zgoll, C. (2014): „... und doch sind auch Wahrheitskörner darin.“ Zum Verhältnis von „Mythos“ und „Wahrheit“ am Beispiel des Erechtheus-Mythos, Glaube und Denken 27, 181–195.Search in Google Scholar

Online erschienen: 2017-7-7
Erschienen im Druck: 2017-7-6

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston