by Ivan Petricevic
Enki ("En" Lord, "ki" Earth), or Ea ("E" Temple, "A" Water) is one
of the three most important gods of Mesopotamian culture. He is the
god of wisdom, lord of magic, construction, arts, design, and
Enki has been interpreted as The Lord of Earth; He was the
stepbrother of the god Enlil, and son of An.
His sole mission was to create men and to encourage other deities to
believe in them. Enki was also the original patron God of the
ancient city of Eridu, and his influence spread throughout history
throughout Mesopotamia and to the Canaanites, Hittites and even
Interestingly, Enki was associated with the southern band of
constellations called stars of Ea, but also with the
constellation A-IKU -
Pegasus, a constellation in the
Sometime during the second millennium BCE, Enki was referred to in
writing by the numeric ideogram for "40," which was also referred to
as his "sacred number."
Enki is the creator of mankind - according to what is told in the
epic legend Acadia of Atrahasis -
solely for the purpose of releasing the gods from their work.
Enki used an existing
hominid which he (genetically?) manipulated in, in order to make man
capable of understanding and meet the needs of the gods.
He is also later considered mankind's savior since he warned
the universal flood.
The Universal flood was brought upon mankind by Enlil, the "Lord of
Heaven (air or atmosphere)".
Before the divine assembly, apparently worried about the excessive
proliferation of the human race and uncanny behavior Enlil proposed
to put an end to humanity.
Enlil managed to convince the rest of the gods, gathered in
assembly, to authorize the extermination of Humanity.
This legend probably gave rise to the later biblical account of Noah
and the universal flood.
He was the master shaper of the earth, god of wisdom and of all
magic, Enki was described as the lord of
(Apsu in Akkadian),
the freshwater sea or groundwater located within the earth -
where "primordial waters" flow.
He is also the creator of
the apkallu (ab-gal-lu "great
man-fish" in Sumerian, or Uanna, hellenized Oannès by Beroso,
nicknamed Adapa ("the Wise"), who during the day taught men in all kinds of
subjects, and at night they retired to the bottom of the sea.
Interestingly, Enki was considered the keeper of the divine powers
called Me, the gifts of civilization.
Enki's image was a
double-helix snake or the Caduceus, sometimes confused with the
of Asclepius used to symbolize medicine.
Enki created the first seven wise men or "Abgallu" (Ab = water, Gal
= great, Lu = Man), also
known as Adapa using the blood of slain
Adapa, the first man fashioned, later goes and acts as the advisor
to the King of Eridu, when in the Sumerian king list, the "Me" of
"kingship descends on Eridu".
The main temple to Enki was called E-abzu, meaning "abzu temple." It
was a ziggurat temple surrounded by Euphratean marshlands near the
ancient Persian Gulf coastline at the
ancient city of Eridu.
It is considered the very first temple known to have been built in
Four separate archaeological excavations at the site of Eridu have
demonstrated the existence of a shrine dating back to the earliest
Ubaid period, more than 6,500 years ago.
Over the following 4,500
years, the temple was expanded 18 times, until it was abandoned
during the Persian period.
It is believed that over the following 4,500 years, the temple was
expanded up to 18 times until it was eventually abandoned during the