No consecutive account of the Babylonian religion can as yet be given, nor will it for many years come within the range of possibilities to achieve it. Abundant fragments of Babylonian religious and mythological literature have indeed been brought to light by the excavations of the last few years, and by dint of strenuous efforts a large proportion has been classified and deciphered. But extending as they do over a period of more than three thousand years it is in comparatively few cases that these fragments can be set in chronological order. The preservation of most of the religious texts known to us is due to thecollecting zeal of the Assyrian king Asurbanipal (668-626 B.C.) at whose command copies of the literary monuments of Babylonia were made on clay tablets by the royal scribes. In the following pages we have attempted to set forth the Babylonian conceptions of a futurelife, but it must be borne in mind that fragmentary material only is available for the purpose. When once the temple of Nergal at Kutha shall have been excavated much more will certainly be known regarding Babylonian eschatology than is the case at present.
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