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Marduk

From Academic Kids

For the hypothetical planet, see Marduk (planet). For the Black Metal band, see Marduk (band).
Marduk and his dragon, from a  cylinder seal
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Marduk and his dragon, from a Babylonian cylinder seal

Marduk (Bibl. Merodach) was the name of a late generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon, who, when Babylon permanently became the political centre of the united states of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century BC), rose to the position of the head of the Babylonian pantheon.

Marduk's original character is obscure, but whatever special traits Marduk may have had were overshadowed by the reflex of the political development through which the Euphrates valley passed and which led to imbuing him with traits belonging to gods who at an earlier period were recognized as the heads of the pantheon. There are more particularly two gods — Ea and Enlil — whose powers and attributes pass over to Marduk. In the case of Ea the transfer proceeds pacifically and without involving the effacement of the older god. Marduk is viewed as the son of Ea. The father voluntarily recognizes the superiority of the son and hands over to him the control of humanity. This association of Marduk and Ea, while indicating primarily the passing of the supremacy once enjoyed by Eridu to Babylon as a religious and political centre, may also reflect an early dependence of Babylon upon Eridu, not necessarily of a political character but, in view of the spread of culture in the Euphrates valley from the south to the north, the recognition of Eridu as the older centre on the part of the younger one.

At all events, traces of a cult of Marduk at Eridu are to be noted in the religious literature, and the most reasonable explanation for the existence of a god Marduk in Eridu is to assume that Babylon in this way paid its homage to the old settlement at the head of the Persian Gulf.

While the relationship between Ea and Marduk is thus marked by harmony and an amicable abdication on the part of the father in favour of his son, Marduk's absorption of the power and prerogatives of Enlil of Nippur was at the expense of the latter's prestige. After the days of Hammurabi, the cult of Marduk eclipses that of Enlil, and although during the four centuries of Kassite control in Babylonia (c. 1570 BC1157 BC), Nippur and the cult of Enlil enjoyed a period of renaissance, when the reaction ensued it marked the definite and permanent triumph of Marduk over Enlil until the end of the Babylonian empire. The only serious rival to Marduk after ca. 1000 BC is Anshur in Assyria. In the south Marduk reigns supreme. He is normally referred to as Bel "Lord".

When Babylon became the capital of Mesopotamia, the patron deity of Babylon was elevated to the level of supreme god. In order to explain how Marduk seized power, Enma Elish was written, which tells the story of Marduk's birth, heroic deeds, and becoming the ruler of the gods. This can be viewed as a form of Mesopotamian apologetics.

In Enma Elish, a civil war between the gods was growing to a climatic battle. The Anunnaki gods gathered together to find one god who could defeat the gods rising against them. Marduk, a very young god, answered the call, and was promised the position of head god.

When he killed his enemy he "wrested from him the Tablet of Destinies, wrongfully his" and assumed his new position. Under his reign humans were created to bear the burdens of life so the gods could be at leisure.

People were named after Marduk. For example, the Biblical personality Mordechai (Book of Esther) used this Gentile name in replacement of his Hebrew name Bilshan.

Nabu, god of wisdom, is a son of Marduk.


In popular media

In the second season of the cartoon series Sealab 2021, Marduk was mentioned in the episode "Stimutacs". One character gained mystic powers, claiming they were from "Marduk, son of Ea, slayer of Tiamat". A cartoon version of Marduk appeared and said "Eat some more pills, pill-head." When told that he "totally ruled," Marduk replied that "I totally already knew that." He then led a rock group singing the ending credits.

Also this name is given to a secret organization which existed in the world of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion being the one in charge of selecting the desirable candidates to pilot the EVA units.

Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis, influenced somewhat by Babylonian mythology, also features the Marduks, the anti-robot racist political vigilante organization founded by Duke Red, the most influential citizen of Metropolis and led by his adopted son, Rock.

In the introduction text to the computer game NetHack, there is a reference to "Marduk the Creator".

There is a monster called Marduk in the popular MMORPG Ragnarok Online.

In Marvel Comics, Marduk Kurios is one of several high-level demons who controls an aspect of Hell and claims to be the Biblical Satan.

See also

External Links

  • The Mystica (http://www.themystica.org/mythical-folk/articles/marduk.html) - Article about Marduk.
  • TV Tome (http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/GuidePageServlet/showid-5016/epid-118751/) - About episode 12 of Sealab 2021.da:Marduk

de:Marduk es:Marduk fr:Mardouk he:מרדוך (אל) nl:Marduk no:Marduk pl:Marduk pt:Marduk sv:Marduk

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