Spence. Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria

Today's free book is Myths and Legends of Babylonia and Assyria by Lewis Spence with illustrations by Evelyn Paul. For the table of contents, check at the bottom of this post below the image.

The book is available at the Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Hathi Trust.


Chap. 1—Babylonia and Assyria in History and Legend
The Akkadians—The Semite Conquerors—A Babylonian Conqueror—The First Library in Babylonia—Gudea—Khammurabi the Great—A Court Murder—Tiglath-Pileser—Semiramis the Great—The Second Assyrian Empire—Sardanapalus the Splendid—The First Great Library—The Last Kings of Assyria—Nebuchadrezzar—The Last of the Babylonian Kings—The History of Berossus—Berossus' Account of the Deluge—Analogies with the Flood Myth—Babylonian Archæology—The Tower of Babel—Nimrod, the Mighty Hunter—Abram and Nimrod—A Persian Version—The 'Babylonica'—Cuneiform Writing—Grotefend—Rawlinson—Origin of Cuneiform—The Sacred Literature of Babylonia—Hymn to Adar.

Chap. 2—Babylonian Cosmogony
The Babylonian Myth of Creation—The Birth of the Gods—A Darksome Trinity—Type of Babylonian Cosmology—Connexion with the Jonah Legend.

Chap. 3—Early Babylonian Religion
The Beginnings of Babylonian Religion—Spirits and Gods—Was Babylonian Religion Semitic in Type?—Totemism in Babylonian Religion—The Great Gods—Bel—Bel and the Dragon—Beltis—The Temple of Bel—Nergal—Dibarra —Shamash—Ea—The Writings of Oannes—The Story of Adapa and the South Wind—Anu—Ishtar—The Descent of Ishtar into Hades—Tammuz and Ishtar—At the Gates of Aralu—Ishtar and Persephone—Lamentations for Tammuz—An Allegorical Interpretation of the Myth—Ishtar, Tammuz, and Vegetation—Ishtar and Esther—Lang on the Esther Story—Nin-Girsu—Bau—Nannar—Nannar in Decay—Aralu, or Eres-ki-Gal—Dagon—Nirig, or Enu-Restu.

Chap. 4—The Gilgamesh Epic
The Birth of Gilgamesh—Eabani—Gilgamesh as Tyrant—The Beguiling of Eabani—Gilgamesh meets Eabani—The Monster Khumbaba—Ishtar's Love for Gilgamesh—The Bull of Anu—The Death of Eabani—The Quest of Gilgamesh—Gilgamesh and Ut-Napishtim—The Deluge Myth—The Babylonian Ark—The Bird Messengers.

Chap. 5—The Later Pantheon of Babylonia
Nebo—Nebo as Grain-God—Tashmit—Shamash and Khammurabi—Hadad—Hadad, Dáda, David, and Dido—Ea in Later Times—Zu—The Legend of Zu—Bel—The Triad of Earth, Air, and Sea—Dawkina—Anu.

Chap. 6—The Great God Merodach and His Cult
A New-Year's Ceremony.

Chap. 7—The Pantheon of Assyria
Asshur—The Secret of Assyrian Greatness—Asshur as Conqueror—Ishtar in Assyria—Ishtar as a War-Goddess—Ninib as an Assyrian War-God—Ninib as Hunter-God—Dagan—Anu—Ramman—Shamash—Sin in the Northern Land—Nusku of the Brilliant Sceptre—Bel-Merodach—Prisoner-Gods—The Assyrian Bel and Belit—Nabu and Merodach—Ea—Dibbarra—Lesser Gods.

Chap. 8—Babylonian Star-worship
Legend of the Origin of Star-Worship and Idolatry—Speculations of the Chaldeans—Planets identified with Gods.

Chap. 9—The Priesthood, Cult, and Temples
Babylonian Ethics—The Temples of Babylonia and Assyria—The Great Temple-Builders—The Temple of E-Kur—The Brilliant House—Babylonian Ethics—The Twin Temples—Temples as Banks—Feasts and Festivals—A Royal 'Day'—Lamentation Rituals—The Terror of Eclipse.

Chap. 10—The Magic and Demonology of Babylonia and Assyria
Babylonian Ethics—Priestly Wizards—A Toothache Myth—The Word of Power—Babylonian Vampires—Babylonian Ethics—The Speaking Head—Gods once Demons—The Legend of Ura—Purification—The Chamber of the Priest-Magician—The Witch-Finding—The Magic Circle—Babylonian Demons—Taboo—Popular Superstitions—Omens—The Ritual of Hepatoscopy—The Missing Caravan.

Chap. 11—The Mythological Monsters and Animals of Chaldea
Winged Bulls—The Dog in Babylonia—A Dog Legend—Gazelle and Goat Gods—The Goat Cult—The Invasion of the Monsters—Babylonian Ethics.

Chap. 12—Tales of the Babylonian and Assyrian Kings
Babylonian Ethics—The Canaanites—The Gods of the Phœnicians—The Carthaginian Religion—The Religion of Zoroaster—Babylonian Ethics.

Chap. 13—The Comparative Value of the Babylonian and Assyrian Religions
Semitic Conservatism—Teutonic and Celtic Comparisons—Babylonian Religion Typically Animistic—A Mother-Goddess Theory—Babylonian Influence on Jewish Religion—Babylonian Influence upon the other Semites—The Canaanites—The Gods of the Phœnicians—The Carthaginian Religion—The Religion of Zoroaster—Babylonian Ethics.

Chap. 14—Modern Excavation in Babylonia and Assyria
Babylonian Ethics—Where Rawlinson Slept—Babylonian Ethics—Babylonian Ethics—Hormuzd Rassam—De Sarzec—The American Expedition of 1889—The Business Quarter of Nippur—The Fourth Campaign—Hilprecht Returns—The House of the Dead—The Temple Library—A Babylonian Museum—Haynes' Work at Nippur—Recent Research—The Babylon of Nebuchadrezzar II—The Outer Wall—Bâbil as a Citadel—Babylon's Water-Supply—Nebuchadrezzar's Palace—Babylonian Ethics—The Great Throne Room—Babylonian Ethics—The Hanging Gardens—The Great Gate of Ishtar—The Street of Processions—The Temples of Babylon—E-Sagila—The Great Tower of Nabu (E-Zida)—Babylonian Ethics—Babylonian Ethics—Town-Planning.

Chap. 15—The Twilight of the Gods
The Conquering Cyrus—Babylonian Ethics.

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