Mesopotamian Mythology and Literature

mesopotamian mythology and literature banner

Mesopotamian writing is among the oldest (if not the oldest) of all time. Its star hero, Gilgamesh, hailed as one of humanity’s greatest heroes in one of humanities first narratives. This is the Mesopotamian mythology and literature timeline.

What’s on the Mesopotamian Mythology timeline?

This timeline collects a number of stories related to Mesopotamian mythology and literature. It is not exclusive to mythological literature and includes a bit of other important texts that don’t count as narratives but are still important historically, such as the Code of Hammurabi.

We could not possibly be 100% thorough with this list of Mesopotamian texts, since doing so would require documenting literal thousands of tablets, many of which are just small fragments. Instead, this timeline tries to focus on the texts that either A) had important historical significance, or B) are among the more substantive writings. And naturally we try to focus mostly on texts with a narrative, though as mentioned above there are a few exceptions.

We also include more modern texts that are based on ancient Mesopotamian stories. These are not as numerous as, say, those based on Greek mythology, but there are a number of Gilgamesh-related stories in modern times, so we include those as well.

If you like this timeline, please visit our Mythology hub, which has links to other mythology and literature timelines, as well as an amalgamation of all of them together.

A note on sorting dates: For complicated sorting reasons, I’ve had to list dates that exist before the common era (BCE) in a unique fashion. I’ve added “00-” to the front, then subtracted the BCE date from 5000. So 1000 BCE would actually be listed as 00-4000. This may seem unnecessarily complicated, but it was the only way I could sort it in the proper order. The BCE dates are listed in the normal way if you click on the item.

1Kesh Temple HymnTextAnonymous00-24002600 BCE
2Instructions of ShuruppakTextAnonymous00-24002600 BCE
3Code of UrukaginaTextUrukagina00-26002400 BCE
4BuyDecent of Inanna into the UnderworldTextAnonymous00-27302270 BBCAlso
5The Dream of DumuzidTextAnonymous00-27302270 BBC
6Inanna and AnTextAnonymous00-27302270 BBC
7Inanna and GudamTextAnonymous00-27302270 BBC
8Inanna and ShukaletudaTextAnonymous00-27302270 BBC
9Inanna and the MesTextAnonymous00-27302270 BBC
10A Hymn to InanaTextEnheduanna00-27302270 BBC
11Inana and EbihTextEnheduanna00-27302270 BBC
12The Exaltation of InannaTextEnheduanna00-27302270 BBC
13The Sumerian Temple HymnsTextEnheduanna00-27302270 BBC
14BuySumerian Epic of GilgameshTextAnonymous00-27502250 BCE
15Debate Between Bird and FishTextAnonymous00-29002100 BCE
16Curse of AgadeTextAnonymous00-29002100 BCE
17Code of Ur-NammuTextUr-Nammu00-29502050 BCE
18BuyLugalbanda and the Anzud BirdTextAnonymous00-30002000 BCE
19Lugalbanda in the Mountain CaveTextAnonymous00-30002000 BCE
20Enmerkar and En-suhgir-anaTextAnonymous00-30002000 BCE
21Enmerkar and the Lord of ArattaTextAnonymous00-30002000 BCE
22Lament for UrTextAnonymous00-30002000 BCE
23BuyLegend of EtanaTextAnonymous00-30501950 BCE
24Laws of EshnunnaTextAnonymous00-30701930 BCE
25Code of Lipit-IshtarTextAnonymous00-31001900 BCE
26Enûma ElišTextAnonymous00-32001800 BCE
27Epic of Zimri-LimTextAnonymous00-32201780 BCE
28Code of HammurabiTextHammurabi00-32461754 BCE
29Anitta textTextAnitta00-32501750 BCE
30At the CleanersTextAnonymous00-32501750 BCE
31BuyAkkadian Epic of GilgameshTextAnonymous00-33001700 BCE
32BuyAtra-Hasis epicTextAnonymous00-33001700 BCE
33Code of the NesilimTextAnonymous00-34001600 BCE
34BuyEridu GenesisTextAnonymous00-34001600 BCE
35Ludlul bēl nēmeqi (The Poem of the Righteous Sufferer)TextAnonymous00-35001500 BCE
36Dialogue between a Man and His GodTextAnonymous00-35001500 BCE
37BuyDynasty of DunnumTextAnonymous00-35001500 BCE
38Hittite military oathTextAnonymous00-35001500 BCE
39Poor Man of NippurTextAnonymous00-35001500 BCE
40BuyAdapa and the Food of LifeTextAnonymous00-35001500 BCE
41Seven Evil SpiritsTextAnonymous00-35001500 BCE
42Amarna lettersTextAnonymous00-36001400 BCE
43Autobiography of KurigalzuTextKurigalzu00-36001400 BCE
44BuyMarriage of Nergal and EreshkigalTextAnonymous00-36001400 BCE
45Tukulti-Ninurta EpicTextAnonymous00-38001200 BCE
46The Babylonian TheodicyTextAnonymous00-39501050 BCE
47The Dialogue of PessimismTextAnonymous00-40001000 BCE
48BuyEpic of ErraTextAnonymous00-41000900 BCE
49BuySardanapalusPlayLord Byron1834-04-101834 CE
50BuyThe Great American NovelNovelPhilip Roth1973-01-011973 CE
51BuyGilgamesh the KingNovelRobert Silverberg1984-01-011984 CE
52The Tower of DruagaGame1984-06-011984 CE
53BuyGilgamesh in the OutbackNovelRobert Silverberg1986-01-011986 CE
54BuyGilgamesh II, Vol. 1Graphic NovelJim Starlin1989-01-011989 CE
55BuyGilgamesh II, Vol. 2Graphic NovelJim Starlin1989-01-011989 CE
56BuyGilgamesh II, Vol. 3Graphic NovelJim Starlin1989-01-011989 CE
57BuyGilgamesh II, Vol. 4Graphic NovelJim Starlin1989-01-011989 CE
58BuyGilgamesh the King (Zeman)NovelLudmila Zeman1993-06-281993 CE
59BuyThe Revenge of IshtarNovelLudmila Zeman1993-09-301993 CE
60BuyThe Last Quest of GilgameshNovelLudmila Zeman1995-06-011995 CE
61BuyChangerNovelJane Lindskold1998-12-011998 CE
62BuyGilgamesh (1999)NovelStephan Grundy2000-10-032000 CE
63BuyThe Scorpion KingFilmChuck Russell2002-04-192002 CE
64BuyGilgamesh (2001)NovelJoan London2003-04-012003 CE
65BuyThe Amulet of SamarkandJunior NovelJonathan Stroud2003-09-302003 CE
66BuyThe Golem's EyeJunior NovelJonathan Stroud2004-01-012004 CE
67BuyPtolemy's GateJunior NovelJonathan Stroud2005-09-012005 CE
68BuyThe Scorpion King 2: Rise of a WarriorFilmRussell Mulcahy2008-08-192008 CE
69BuyThe Ring of SolomonJunior NovelJonathan Stroud2010-10-142010 CE
70BuyGilgamesh: A Graphic NovelGraphic NovelAndrew Winegarner2011-09-202011 CE
71BuyThe Scorpion King 3: Battle for RedemptionFilmRoel Reiné2012-01-172012 CE
72BuyChanger's DaughterNovelJane Lindskold2012-03-052012 CE
73BuyGilgamesh ImmortalNovelBrian Godawa2012-11-012012 CE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *