Kings and subjects alike paid their devotions to Marduk. The former approached the divine presence directly, and, seizing hold of the hands of Marduk's statue, were admitted into a kind of covenant with the god. The ceremony became the formal rite of royal installation in Babylonia.

To him the creation of the heavenly bodies is ascribed. It is he who brings order and light into the world. He supplants the rôles originally belonging to other gods. Bel and Ea give way to him. Anu and the other great gods cheerfully acknowledge Marduk's power.

One of the oldest has a frieze of female figures on it, holding in their outstretched hands flagons from which they pour water. In Marduk's temple we learn that there were two basins, a larger and a smaller one.

Marduk's declaration is then repeated. Upon hearing the message Lakhmu and Lakhamu and "all the Igigi" are distressed, but are powerless to avert the coming disaster. The formal declaration of war having been sent, the followers of Anshar assemble at a meal which is realistically described: They ate bread, they drank wine. The sweet wine took away their senses.

It is he who saves humanity from complete annihilation, and who pacifies the angered Bel. Marduk's name does not appear in the entire epic.

It is a noteworthy circumstance, and characteristic of the phase of the Babylonian religion which we are considering, that the extension of Marduk's political sway did not lead to the establishment of Marduk cults outside of Babylon.

The assembly of the gods presupposes a systematization of the pantheon, and the fact that it is only the papakhu in Marduk's temple which is known as Du-azagga is a sufficient indication of the influences at work which produced this conception. In the creation epic, there is a reference to the Ubshu-kenna which shows the main purpose of a divine assembly in the eyes of the priests of Babylon.

He incurs the ill-will of the priests by paying much more attention to the restoration of the various Shamash temples in Babylonia than would appear to be consistent with devotion to Marduk. Cyrus, therefore, in his conquest of Babylonia, sets up the claim of being the savior of Marduk's honor. The Neo-Babylonian period may properly be designated as a religious age.

Marduk's supremacy no longer being questioned, there was no necessity to curtail the homage paid to Shamash at Sippar or to En-lil at Nippur; hence the religious importance of the old centers is not diminished by the surpassing glory of Babylon. There was room for all. Marduk's toleration is the best evidence of his unquestioned headship.

The name seems to have been originally a general term for a festival, and it is natural that Marduk's festival should have come to be known as the festival, just as among the Hebrews the annual fall pilgrimage to the sanctuary at Jerusalem became known as the Hag, the pilgrimage par excellence.