Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Stephanie Dalley
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who tells Atrahasis to build a boat in anticipation of Ellil flooding the world?

2. How does Ereshkigal avenge herself upon Ishtar?

3. How many myths are contained in this book?

4. When Nergal travels to the Underworld, to what story is the description of his descent similar?

5. What gesture does Ninsun extend before Gilgamesh and Enkidu go to stop Humbaba?

Short Essay Questions

1. For what reasons does Enkidu die?

2. After giving up on disease, how does Ellil try to keep the world from becoming overpopulated?

3. What reasons are given for the Mesopotamian myths becoming the basis of stories for several other cultures?

4. How does Atrahasis initially save the world from ruin before the flood?

5. According to the story of Atrahasis, how and why was man created?

6. In the Armana version of the story of Nergal and Ereshkigal, what happens when Nergal goes to the Underworld?

7. What arrangement is made for Ishtar's release from the Underworld?

8. How does mankind react to the drought and famine before the ultimate appearance of the flood?

9. How does Ishtar gain entrance into the Underworld?

10. What remedies are offered after the flood to help control the population of the world?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the use of deception in the Mesopotamian myths, including (but not exclusively) the following topics:

1) Enki saving Atrahasis from the flood.

2) Nergal and Ereshkigal.

3) The deception of Adapa.

4) Erra tricking Marduk out of his palace.

Develop a clear thesis statement and apply it to the above topics.

Essay Topic 2

In the story of Etana, the eagle betrays the snake by eating its young, leading to the eagle's violent punishment. Discuss the roles of the eagle and the snake. What are some of the natural connotations, literary and otherwise, dredged up when thinking of snakes? What about eagles? How does this role reversal shift the reader's preconceptions of these animals? How does this speak to the diversity of Mesopotamia? What are the underlying themes of the eagle and the snake's story?

Essay Topic 3

It is common throughout Mesopotamian myths that several of deities are given what could be considered monstrous appearances. What is the purpose of this? How does Marduk, given his description of being "perfect" fit into this theme? How are the Sebitti depicted? In what ways is Tiamat a culmination of the monstrous characteristics of the gods? How does this reflect upon Mesopotamian culture and their relationship to their religion? Cite specific examples from the text to support your answers.

(see the answer keys)

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