Sumerian Mythology: Abzu

In Sumerian mythology, the river that is supposed to surround the earth. The Abzu seems almost identical with the Greek Oceanus, the ‘river of ocean.’ In Babylonian mythology, it is personified as Apzu, the fresh water, who has existed from the beginning of time with his wife, Tiamat, the salt water; he plays an important role in the War of the Gods. The Sumerian Enki and the Babylonian Ea, almost identical gods of water and wisdom, live in a palace in the Abzu, which was probably the Persian Gulf. The shores of which in the early days may have reached northward to the city of Eridu.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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