They are 7 in number, just 7

in the terrible depths they are 7

bow down, in the sky they are 7

In the terrible depths, the dark houses

They swell, they grow tall

They are neither female nor male

They are a silence heavy with sea storms

They bear off no women their loins are empty of children

They are strangers to pity, compassion is far from them

They are horses that grow to great size that feed on mountains

They are the enemies of our friends

They feed on the gods

They are the faces of evil they are the faces of evil

They are 7 they are 7 they are 7 times 7

In the name of heaven let them be torn from our sight

In the name of the Earth let them be torn from our sight. — “The Seven,” Akkadian poetry

Akkadian poetry — The Akkadian empire ruled Mesopotamia between the 24th and 22nd Century BC and is considered by many historians to be the first empire in history. As the predecessor of Babylonia and Assyria, the Akkadians and their neighbors the Sumerians entered into one of the first examples of linguistic symbiosis, freely borrowing from one another’s language until the Akkadian culture eventually eclipsed the Sumerian. Nonetheless, Akkadian poetry is considered part of the Sumerian literary tradition and the extant cuneiform tablets are considered some of the oldest literary — and religious — texts in all of literature.

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