Mesopotamian Mythology and Literature

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.

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