Author Foster. Benjamin (transl.)
Title From Distant Days
Myths, Tales and Poetry of Ancient Mesopotamia
Lishtar's Review

Perhaps one of the best and least expensive resources on Mesopotamian mythology, this book has just about everything, although, as the author notes in his preface, it is an abridgment of an earlier work, "Before the Muses: Anthology of Akkadian Literature". The selections are arranged by type, beginning with myths and epics - the "Enuma Elish" and a composite Akkadian flood story, Erra and Ishum, the myth of Adapa, the Descent of Ishtar, Nergal and Ereshkigal, which are amongst the classics and most
well-known pieces of Mesopotamian literature.
From myths, we go to deeds of kings, hymns, prayers, proverbs, magic spells, elegies and celebrations. There is also some satire and proverbs, or components of the so-called Wisdom Literature. .

Foster provides an introduction to each piece, and to sections of the longer pieces. He also provides footnotes explaining the more obscure points and allusions, as well as some issues with translations. At points, it is less than a leisurely read, but Foster seems determined to present the material in plain but meaningful language.
Highly recommended.

Available here: CDL Press, Bethesda, Maryland. 1995 ISBN 1-883053-09-9

Back To The Booklist