Mesopotamian Mythology
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Basic Information

This page is an index to the mythology of ancient Mesopotamia. This includes:
Akkadian Mythology - from the Akkadian Empire
Assyrian Mythology - from Assyria
Babylonian Mythology - from Babylon (and Babylonia in general)
Sumerian Mythology - from Sumer
At the time of this article's creation, we don't really have enough pages on this topic to justify splitting them up, and there's a lot of overlap and syncretic cross-pollination between the cultures of this region in the ancient era. Those cultures flourished starting in 3000 BC, but none of them survived past 400 AD. They created some of the oldest myths known.

In the midst of that was a 350-year span where the Kassites conquered Babylon and ruled it from 1531 BC to 1155 BC. The Kassites had their own deities, about which relatively little is known, but who were separate from the Mesopotamian deities that proceeded and followed them.

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List of Deities

The original gods were the Anunnaki, many of whom were the children of Tiamat and Abzu, whom they later killed. In some versions of the myths there was also a second pantheon of younger gods, the Igigi, who were originally servants to the Anunnaki. Eventually the Igigi rebelled and were punished and destroyed by the Anunnaki, who then created humans to replace them.

List of Mesopotamian Creatures

Themes and stories in Mesopotamian Mythology

Sources

Game and Story Use

  • Any game set in the Ancient World is likely to focus a lot on Greece, Egypt or Rome (and Classical Mythology), but Mesopotamia can give you a lot of great myths and monsters that will shake things up and provide some surprising twists and turns.
    • There's a lot of name recognition (Tiamat, Gilgamesh, Ishtar, Lilith, Pazuzu, etc) without necessarily a lot of casual knowledge of the details, so Mesopotamian mythology can hit the sweet spot of "vaguely familiar" while still leaving much open for the GM to customize or modify.
  • The extreme age of these myths makes them useful for secrets that are long lost, or mysteries that stretch back to the dawn of man.
    • There are a lot of mythological creatures from this region and era described as demons, so those ancient mysteries might also be very dark mysteries as well.
    • See Interpretatio Cthulhiana for ideas on perhaps blending the Mesopotamian and Cthulhu Mythos.
  • For a unique take on Mesopotamian Mythology in gaming, see GURPS Horror: The Madness Dossier by Kenneth Hite. It's sort of like the X-files if the metaplot involved reality-warping mesopotamian demons instead of alien greys. Within the setting, the Anunnaki created and enslaved mankind for thousands of years until some cataclysm shattered the consensus reality and reformed into our timeline where humans were largely free willed and the Anunnaki little more than a memory. Players use neuro-linguistic programming to battle the mythic creatures of Sumer in an effort to prevent our reality from reverting back into their reality.
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