Anzû (Sumerian: AN.IM.DUGUDMUŠEN), also known as dZû and Imdugud, is a lesser divinity or monster in several Mesopotamian religions. He was conceived by the pure waters of the Apsu and the wide Earth, or as son of Siris. Anzû was depicted as a massive bird who can breathe fire and water, although Anzû is alternately depicted as a lion-headed eagle.
- I am the prince who decides the destiny of rolling rivers. I keep on the straight and narrow path the righteous who follow Enlil's counsel. My father Enlil brought me here. He let me bar the entrance to the mountains as if with a great door. If I fix a fate, who shall alter it? If I but say the word, who shall change it?
- A wilful plough-ox should be put back in the track, a balking ass should be made to take the straight path.
- Come now, my Lugalbanda. I shall give you some advice: may my advice be heeded. I shall say words to you: bear them in mind.
- Fair fortune may conceal foul.
Quotes about Anzû
- Lugalbanda lies idle in the mountains, in the faraway places; he has ventured into the Zabu mountains. No mother is with him to offer advice, no father is with him to talk to him. No one is with him whom he knows, whom he values, no confidant is there to talk to him. In his heart he speaks to himself: "I shall treat the bird as befits him, I shall treat Anzud as befits him. I shall greet his wife affectionately. I shall seat Anzud's wife and Anzud's child at a banquet. An will fetch Ninguena for me from her mountain home -- the expert woman who redounds to her mother's credit, Ninkasi the expert who redounds to her mother's credit. Her fermenting-vat is of green lapis lazuli, her beer cask is of refined silver and of gold. If she stands by the beer, there is joy, if she sits by the beer, there is gladness; as cupbearer she mixes the beer, never wearying as she walks back and forth, Ninkasi, the keg at her side, on her hips; may she make my beer-serving perfect. When the bird has drunk the beer and is happy, when Anzud has drunk the beer and is happy, he can help me find the place to which the troops of Unug are going, Anzud can put me on the track of my brothers."
- In the mountains where no cypresses grow, where no snake slithers, where no scorpion stings, in the midst of the mountains the buru-az bird had put its nest and laid therein its eggs; nearby the Anzud bird had set his nest and settled therein his young. It was made with wood from the juniper and the box trees. The bird had made the bright twigs into a bower. When at daybreak the bird stretches himself, when at sunrise Anzud cries out, at his cry the ground quakes in the Lulubi mountains. He has a shark's teeth and an eagle's claws. In terror of him wild bulls run away into the foothills, stags run away into their mountains.
- The bird uttered a cry of grief that reached up to heaven, his wife cried out "Woe!" Her cry reached the abzu. The bird with this cry of "Woe!" and his wife with this cry of grief made the Anuna, gods of the mountains, actually crawl into crevices like ants. The bird says to his wife, Anzud says to his wife, "Foreboding weighs upon my nest, as over the great cattle-pen of Nanna. Terror lies upon it, as when wild lions start butting each other. Who has taken my child from its nest? Who has taken the Anzud from its nest?"
- Let the power of running be in my thighs, let me never grow tired! Let there be strength in my arms, let me stretch my arms wide, let my arms never become weak! Moving like the sunlight, like Inana, like the seven storms, those of Iškur, let me leap like a flame, blaze like lightning! Let me go wherever I look to, set foot wherever I cast my glance, reach wherever my heart desires and let me loosen my shoes in whatever place my heart has named to me! When Utu lets me reach Kulaba my city, let him who curses me have no joy thereof; let him who wishes to strive with me never say "Just let him come!" I shall have the woodcarvers fashion statues of you, and you will be breathtaking to look upon. Your name will be made famous thereby in Sumer and will redound to the credit of the temples of the great gods.
- Anzud flew on high, Lugalbanda walked on the ground. The bird, looking from above, spies the troops. Lugalbanda, looking from below, spies the dust that the troops have stirred up.
- A bird that darts by in the heavens. The Anzud bird decides the fates with the Anuna gods.
- Zu on Encyclopædia Britannica
- Dalley, Stephanie, ed (2000). "Anzû (pp. 203ff.)". Myths from Mesopotamia. Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199538362.
- The Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ: Anzû
- ETCSL glossary showing Zu as the verb 'to know'
- Myth of Anzu
- Ninurta's return to Nibru: a šir-gida to Ninurta and The Return of Ninurta to Nippur
- Ninurta and the Turtle and Ninurta and the Turtle, or Ninurta and Enki
- Ninurta's exploits and The Exploits of Ninurta, or Lugal-e
- Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird
- The Epic of Anzû, Old Babylonian version from Susa, Tablet II, lines 1-83, read by Claus Wilcke