Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 27(2): 255-266

DOI: 10.47743/saa-2021-27-2-2

Peeter ESPAK


The paper discusses some key texts from Ancient Mesopotamian and also Hebrew mythologies which may
have had several indications and contained many ancient understandings about the early views on the modern
notions of a nation, national culture and the role of language on these beliefs. The possible connection of the Sumerian
epic tale Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta is discussed in context with the Enuma Eliš myth in context with Hebrew
Genesis’ the Tower of Babel story and the character of these text and the nature of their evolution is analysed. Based
on some Sumerian royal correspondence, hymns, and epic literature and the worldview presented in Sumerian
literature it is concluded that that certainly and especially a sort of a language based cultural and also ethnical
understanding about a “distinct nation” culturally separate from “other” nations already existed more than 4000
years ago; reflected in many ways similarly also in the stories of Hebrew Genesis.



Sumerian mythology, Hebrew Genesis, Enuma eliš, Ancient Near Eastern religion, culture and ethnicity,
Old Testament, comparative Mythology.



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