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ERECH:

The second of the four Babylonian cities founded, according to Gen. x. 10, by Nimrod.

The site of the city is now known as "Warka," on the left bank of the Euphrates, about half-way between Hilla and Korna. The mounds and ruins cover an area six miles in circumference. Inadequately explored by Loftus ("Travels in Chaldea and Susiana," pp. 162 et seq.), they have furnished only incomplete material for its history. The earliest inscriptions found are by Dungi, Ur-Ba'u, and Gudea, kings of Ur, who held Erech as a part of their dominions. After these come texts of Singasid, Merodach-baladan I. Great numbers of coffins, especially of the Parthian period, show that the site had become a necropolis.

The foundation of Erech is ascribed in the non-Semitic version of the Creation-story to the god Marduk, and it is the center of life and action in the Gilgamesh epic. It had many poetical names.

Bibliography:
  • The histories of Babylonia and Assyria by Tiele, Hommel, Winckler, and Rogers;
  • Peters, Nippur.
E. G. H. R. W. R.
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