Brill’s New Pauly

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(187 words)

[German version]

(Sumerian abzu; recorded in Greek as Ἀπασών; Apasṓn [1]). Apsû was the name given by the Mesopotamians to the ‘ocean of fresh water’ beneath the earth's surface which fed streams and springs. The fairly high level of the water table in Babylon must have given rise to the idea of the apsû. The apsû came within the remit of the god Enki/Ea (municipal god of Eridu and god of wisdom). According to the creation myth of Enūma eliš, the gods and every other being were produced by the union of Tiāmat (the salt water of the seas) and the apsû (the fresh water). Apsû was mastered by Enki…

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Maul, Stefan (Heidelberg), “Apsȗ”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 07 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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