Essay on Succession in Myth

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In a succession myth, the familial relationship between the gods is significant. In the three works: The Babylonian Enuma Elish, The Hittite Illuyanka Myths (version 2) and the Greek Theogony by Hesiod; it can be argued that the succession of the gods is a reflection of their power and that this power eventually leads to a redistribution of position within the gods. In the Babylonian Enuma Elish, each generation of god is proclaimed to be stronger than the last and eventually this culmination of power leads to Marduk killing his great-great grandmother. In the Illuyanka myths (version 2) there is a decrease of power in the line of succession but the power is restored to the Storm God in the form of his heart and his eyes. In the Greek poet …show more content…
Of these gods, Cronos is said to be the, “youngest and most terrible of [Earth’s] children.” Thus again, the youngest god is the most powerful, as seen in the Enuma Elish with the birth of Marduk, and later in Theogony with the arrival of Zeus. But Earth does not stop creating heirs with the birth of Cronos. She goes on to bear three other sons, Cottus, Briareos and Gyes. These beings are not given a name only described as, “not to be approached.” These three youngest sons of Earth and Heaven are said to be, “the most terrible, and they were hated by their own father from the first.” Contrary to the Enuma Elish and Hesiod’s Theogony, the succession in the second version of the Illuyanka tales seems to show a decrease in power. This unusual decrease in power begins with the even more unusual defeat of the Storm God by the Serpent, Illuyanka, (whereas in the Enuma Elish, Marduk easily defeats Tiamat). Illuyanka, “[takes] the Storm God’s [heart and eyes]”; it can be argued that by taking the Storm God’s power in this way, Illuyanka keeps him from having a more powerful heir. So without his heart and his eyes, the Storm God takes a, “poor man’s daughter” (perhaps all he could get in his powerless state) as his wife; his wife gives him a son. The Storm God’s son is not said to have any power at all,

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