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Etana

 


Etana, King of Kish, tried to fly to heaven, according to a Babylon fragment, on the back of an eagle to obtain ‘the plant of birth’ since his queen was unable to bear a son. Shamash, the sun god, had advised Etana to seek an eagle in a pit. The bird had been trapped there by a serpent after taking the serpent’s young. After Etane released the eagle, the bird showed its gratitude by carrying its rescuer to heaven. On the journey it seems Etana became afraid making the eagle falter and they fell to earth, the tragedy of the myth; but without it there is no mention of the son of Etana, King of Kish. A.G.H.


Source:

Cotterell, Arthur, A Dictionary of World Mythology, New York, G. P. Putman’s Sons, 1980, p. 32