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West Asia

King of Kish. A Babylonian fragment relates an attempt he made to ascend to heaven on the back of an eagle in order to obtain ‘the plant of birth’, since his queen was unable to bear a son. Shamash, the sun god, had advised Etana to seek an eagle caught in a pit. The bird was trapped there by a serpent after it took the young of the serpent. Etana released the eagle, which in gratitude carried its rescuer heavenward. Their fate is obscure. On one hand it seems that Etana became afraid, the eagle faltered, and they fell to earth and were killed; on the other hand, there is mention of a son of Etana as King of Kish.

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