Search collection catalog »
E-NEWS Facebook logo Twitter logo Google logo YouTube

Drawings & Prints

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Printed Books & Bindings

Literary & Historical Manuscripts

Music Manuscripts & Printed Music

Ancient Near Eastern Seals & Tablets


Paintings & Art Objects


Collections | Ancient Near Eastern Seals & Tablets

Views: List | Single work | Overview Zoom+

Tablet Inscribed in Akkadian with a Fragment of the Epic of Adapa
Mesopotamia, Neo-Assyrian period (ca. seventh century B.C.); clay
MLC 1296
See more information »

Alapa, the first of the antediluvian sages, is equated by some modern scholars with the biblical Adam. In the epic he rovokes the divine wrath and is summonef before the heavenly tribunal, where he is offered the bread of life. He refuses, and mankind loses the opportunity to win immortality as did Adam when, in the Garden of Eden, he failed to eat from the tree of life and instead tasted the forbidden fruit. The story breaks off when Adapa returns to earth still a mere mortal.

He (the god Ea) made broad understanding perfect in him (Adapa), to disclose the design of the land. To him he gave wisdom, but did not give eternal life ... (The god Anu's) heart was appeased, he grew quiet. "Why did Ea disclose to wretched mankind The ways of heaven and earth, Give them a heavy heart? ... What can we do for him? Fetch him the bread of (eternal) life and let him eat." "Come, Adapa, why didn't you eat? Why didn't you drink? Don't you want to be immortal? Alas for downtrodden people!"

List of works
Text only list
Search images

Order images
Top of page

© The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, (212) 685-0008

Home Museum »
Visit the Museum
Public Programs
Collection »
Collection highlights
Online Exhibitions
Music Manuscripts Online
The Drawing Institute
CORSAIR Collection Catalog
Research »
CORSAIR Collection Catalog
Research Services
Reading Room
Research Guides
The Drawing Institute
Photography & Rights
About »
History of the Morgan
The Morgan Campus
Support »
Make a Donation
Corporate Membership
Corporate Entertaining
Shop Contact

E-News | Site Index | Terms and Conditions

The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.