Marduk was a powerful prince who had four ears, four eyes, and breathed fire from his throat.
He was also full of pride, and the other gods grew so angry at his boasts that they asked Tiamat to destroy him.
Pleased by the chance to avenge Apsu’s death, Tiamat created an army of hideous monsters and gods.
Leading her army, Tiamat attacked Ea, who was so terrified by the horde of monsters that he turned and fled. The other gods saw Ea’s defeat and began to fear for their own lives.
Desperate, they asked Marduk to defend them. Marduk agreed, but only if they crowned him leader of the gods. Having little choice, the gods made Marduk supreme leader.
With hurricane winds and lightning at his command, Marduk rode into battle in a chariot drawn by four dragons.
Hissing with fury, Tiamat lunged at Marduk, but Marduk cast a net and snared her. While Tiamat strained to escape, Marduk fired an arrow into her open mouth and down her throat, killing her.
Marduk then turned on Tiamat’s army, killing Tiamat’s general, Kingu, and capturing the other monsters in a net and throwing them into the underworld.
A glazed brick relief of one of the dragons of Marduk was created around 600 B.C. as part of the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, a ceremonial entrance for the king during the New Year’s Festival.
Babylon is in Mesopotamia.