Creation Stories of the Ancient World By Joseph Lam, The Great Courses

  • Narrated by: Joseph Lam
  • Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
  • Release date: 01-27-23

Creation Stories of the Ancient World By Joseph Lam, The Great Courses AudioBook summary

Creation stories, found within many ancient cultures, are traditional accounts of the origins of the universe, the earth, and humanity. Often embodied as epic poetry, and told through the acts of divine beings, creation stories illuminate the values, beliefs, and creeds of the earliest civilizations. As such, these stories show us how early cultures made sense of the human condition, in theological, philosophical, and political terms.

These 12 dynamic and thought-provoking lectures offer you a penetrating look at the origin stories of the great civilizations of the Mediterranean. With the richly layered commentary of Professor Lam, you’ll delve into the creation accounts of civilizations ranging from Mesopotamia across the breadth of the ancient Near East to Greece in the West, and encompassing traditions from Egypt, Syria, Anatolia, and ancient Israel. Within the course’s richly detailed inquiry, you’ll explore origin stories in traditions such as:

• Creation Accounts of Ancient Mesopotamia—Take the measure of the Babylonian Creation Epic, Enuma Elish, which portrays the genesis of the world and humanity through a nucleus of deities.

• The Egyptian Creation Traditions—Encounter the pantheon of Egyptian gods related to creation and explore the processes by which creation was said to be accomplished.

• The Hurro-Hittite Kumarbi Cycle—In this important text, witness how universal cosmic order is established through the struggle of two entangled lineages of deities;

• The Theogony of Hesiod—Delve into this great work of Greek epic poetry, portraying the development of the cosmos through generations of divine conflict; and

• The Judeo-Christian Genesis—Chart the contours of the seven days of creation in the biblical Genesis 1 and grasp the contrast between this account and the portrayal of creation in the Garden of Eden story.


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