Enuma Elish

Anshar Character Analysis

Anshar is the offspring of Apsu and Tiamat. He begets Anu, who begets Ea. Anshar initially sends Ea to confront the raging Tiamat, but after Ea fails, he convenes a council to recognize Marduk as the greatest of the gods and send him off to battle with Tiamat instead. Kishar is his consort.

Anshar Quotes in Enuma Elish

The Enuma Elish quotes below are all either spoken by Anshar or refer to Anshar. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Order, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Enuma Elish published in 2009.
Tablet 2 Quotes

'Will no (other) god come forward? Is [fate] fixed?
Will no one go out to face Tiamat […] ?'
Then Ea from his secret dwelling called
[The perfect] one of Anshar, father of the great gods,
Whose heart is perfect like a fellow-citizen or countryman,
The mighty heir who was to be his father's champion,
Who rushes (fearlessly) into battle: Marduk the Hero!
He told him his innermost design, saying,
'O Marduk, take my advice, listen to your father!
You are the son who sets his heart at rest!
Approach Anshar, drawing near to him,
And make your voice heard, stand your ground:
he will be calmed by the sight of you.'

Related Characters: Nudimmud / Ea (speaker), Marduk, Tiamat, Anshar
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Lord rejoiced at the word of his father;
His heart was glad and he addressed his father;
'Lord of the gods, fate of the great gods,
If indeed I am to be your champion,
If I am to defeat Tiamat and save your lives,
Convene the council, name a special fate,
Sit joyfully together in Ubshu-ukkinakku:
My own utterance shall fix fate instead of you!
Whatever I create shall never be altered!
The decree of my lips shall never be revoked, never changed!'

Related Characters: Marduk (speaker), Tiamat, Anshar
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Tablet 3 Quotes

They milled around and then came,
All the great gods who fix the fates,
Entered into Anshar's presence and were filled with joy.
Each kissed the other: in the assembly [ ]
There was conversation, they sat at the banquet,
Ate grain, drank choice wine,
Let sweet beer trickle through their drinking straws.
Their bodies swelled as they drank the liquor;
They became very carefree, they were merry,
And they decreed destiny for Marduk their champion.

Related Characters: Marduk, Anshar, Lahmu, Lahamu
Page Number: 249
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Tablet 4 Quotes

The Lord lifted up the flood-weapon, his great weapon
And sent a message to Tiamat who feigned goodwill, saying:
'Why are you so friendly on the surface
When your depths conspire to muster a battle force?
Just because the sons were noisy (and) disrespectful to their fathers,
Should you, who gave them birth, reject compassion?
You named Qingu as your lover,
You appointed him to rites of Anu-power, wrongfully his.
You sought out evil for Anshar, king of the gods,
So you have compounded your wickedness against the gods my fathers!
Let your host prepare! Let them gird themselves with your weapons!
Stand forth, and you and I shall do single combat!'
When Tiamat heard this,
She went wild, she lost her temper.
Tiamat screamed aloud in a passion,
Her lower parts shook together from the depths.

Related Characters: Marduk (speaker), Tiamat, Qingu, Anshar
Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 252
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Anshar Character Timeline in Enuma Elish

The timeline below shows where the character Anshar appears in Enuma Elish. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Tablet 1
Order, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Then, gods are born within Apsu and Tiamat: Lahmu and Lahamu, Anshar and Kishar. Anshar has a son named Anu, and Anu begets Nudimmud, also called Ea.... (full context)
Tablet 2
Order, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Council Theme Icon
Feminine Power and Subjugation Theme Icon
...what’s going on and is “dumbfounded.” After thinking for a while, Ea approaches his father, Anshar, and tells him what Tiamat is planning. Their mother Tiamat, he explains, has rejected her... (full context)
Chaos vs. Council Theme Icon
Feminine Power and Subjugation Theme Icon
...[creating] conflict,” Tiamat’s creation of fearsome creatures, and her promotion of Qingu as commander. When Anshar hears this account, he is distraught. Anshar tells Ea that because he started the fight... (full context)
Chaos vs. Council Theme Icon
Feminine Power and Subjugation Theme Icon
In reply, Ea speaks “soothing […] words of appeasement” to his father Anshar, reasoning with him that, given the monsters’ existence, he doesn’t have a chance of defeating... (full context)
Order, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
The Sovereignty of Marduk Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Council Theme Icon
At this report, Anshar is speechless with despair. The rest of the gods assemble and consider the situation in... (full context)
Order, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
The Sovereignty of Marduk Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Council Theme Icon
Marduk urges Anshar to send him to face Tiamat, even though Anshar is hesitant, reminding him how intimidating... (full context)
Tablet 3
Order, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
The Sovereignty of Marduk Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Council Theme Icon
Anshar has all the gods summoned to a “conversation” and “banquet,” where they will eat grain,... (full context)
Order, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
The Sovereignty of Marduk Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Council Theme Icon
Feminine Power and Subjugation Theme Icon
Anshar instructs Kakka to recite the same lines which originated in Tablet I, regarding Tiamat’s conflict-stirring... (full context)
Order, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
The Sovereignty of Marduk Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Council Theme Icon
...are dismayed to hear this news, having been ignorant of Tiamat’s plans. They duly attend Anshar’s banquet, which is a joyful event: besides conversation, there’s “choice wine” and “sweet beer.” As... (full context)
Tablet 6
Order, Civilization, and Religion Theme Icon
The Sovereignty of Marduk Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Council Theme Icon
...religious cult. Finally they swear an oath and confirm Marduk’s kingship and mastery over all. Anshar gives him another new name, Asarluhi, and decrees that he will be “shepherd over the... (full context)