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West Asia

Son of Ea and Sumerian king of Eridu. He was regarded as the first man, sage but not immortal. Whereas Adam only named the beasts and fowl, the Akkadian myth credits Adapa with the invention of speech. On a fishing expedition in the Persian Gulf he was buffeted by the south wind, but his curse was powerful enough to break its wings. When Anu summoned the culprit to heaven, Ea dressed his son in sackcloth and told him to partake of no food offered to him there. Greeted by Tammuz, Adapa informed the dying god that he mourned his absence from earth, a sentiment which was well received. His frank admission of guilt also appeased Anu, who offered him the ‘food of life’ and the ‘water of life’. Adapa declined and went back to Eridu.

Another legend relates his wrath at Ea: he discovered that his father's advice was intended to deny him immortality. Like the fallen Adam, he learned that henceforth disease and death must be the lot of mankind.

Subjects: Religion.

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