Earth Culture of Origin
Babylonian - Chaldaean
Alternate Names / Spellings
Earth Mythological References
Fragments of Chaldaen History: BEROSSUS: From Alexander Polyhistor:
- BEROSSUS, in the first book of his history of Babylonia, informs us that he lived in the age of Alexander the son of Philip. And he mentions that there were written accounts, preserved at Babylon with the greatest care, comprehending a period of above fifteen myriads of years: and that these writings contained histories of the heaven and of the sea; of the birth of mankind; and of the kings, and of the memorable actions which they had achieved.
- At Babylon there was (in these times) a great resort of people of various nations, who inhabited Chaldæa, and lived in a lawless manner like the beasts of the field. In the first year there appeared, from that part of the Erythræan sea which borders upon Babylonia, an animal destitute of reason, by name Oannes, whose whole body (according to the account of Apollodorus) was that of a fish; that under the fish's head he had another head, with feet also below, similar to those of a man, subjoined to the fish's tail. His voice too, and language, was articulate and human; and a representation of him is preserved even to this day.
- This Being was accustomed to pass the day among men; but took no food at that season; and he gave them an insight into letters and sciences, and arts of every kind. He taught them to construct cities, to found temples, to compile laws, and explained to them the principles of geometrical knowledge.
- He made them distinguish the seeds of the earth, and shewed them how to collect the fruits; in short, he instructed them in every thing which could tend to soften manners and humanize their lives. From that time, nothing material has been added by way of improvement to his instructions. And when the sun had set, this Being Oannes, retired again into the sea, and passed the night in the deep; for he was amphibious.
After this there appeared other animals like Oannes, of which Berossus proposes to give an account when he comes to the history of the kings. Moreover Oannes wrote concerning the generation of mankind; and of their civil polity; and the following is the purport of what he said:
- There was a time in which there existed nothing but darkness and an abyss of waters, wherein resided most hideous beings, which were produced of a two-fold principle. There appeared men, some of whom were furnished with two wings, others with four, and with two faces. They had one body but two heads: the one that of a man, the other of a woman: and likewise in their several organs both male and female.
Other human figures were to be seen with the legs and horns of goats: some had horses' feet: while others united the hind quarters of a horse with the body of a man, resembling in shape the hippocentaurs. Bulls likewise were bred there with the heads of men; and dogs with fourfold bodies, terminated in their extremities with the tails of fishes: horses also with the heads of dogs: men too and other animals, with the heads and bodies of horses and the tails of fishes.
In short, there were creatures in which were combined the limbs of every species of animals. In addition to these, fishes, reptiles, serpents, with other monstrous animals, which assumed each other's shape and countenance. Of all which were preserved delineations in the temple of Belus at Babylon.
The person, who presided over them, was a woman named Omoroca; which in the Chaldæan language is Thalatth; in Greek Thalassa, the sea; but which might equally be interpreted the Moon. All things being in this situation, Belus came, and cut the woman asunder: and of one half of her he formed the earth, and of the other half the heavens; and at the same time destroyed the animals within her.
All this (he says) was an allegorical description of nature. For, the whole universe consisting of moisture, and animals being continually generated therein, the deity above-mentioned took off his own head: upon which the other gods mixed the blood, as it gushed out, with the earth; and from thence were formed men. On this account it is that they are rational, and partake of divine knowledge.
This Belus, by whom they signify Jupiter, divided the darkness, and separated the Heavens from the Earth, and reduced universe to order. But the animals, not being able to bear the prevalence of light, died. Belus upon this, seeing a vast space unoccupied, though by nature fruitful, commanded one of the gods to take off his head, and to mix the blood with the earth; and from thence to form other men and animals, which should be capable of bearing the air.
Belus formed also the stars, and the sun, and the moon, and the five planets. (Such, according to Polyhistor Alexander, is the account which Berossus gives in his first book.)"
Nem was an amphibious, technologically and linguistically advanced alien who had lived alone for four thousand years, not knowing the fate of his missing mate Omoroca, who had gone to Earth to fight against the Goa'uld Belus (Baal or Marduk). When SG-1 visited his world of Oannes, a volcanic desert planet with an inland sea in which Nem had his underwater laboratory, Nem discovered that Daniel Jackson knew Akkadian - a Babylonian-Assyrian cuneiform text - and that he was from the world which built Babylon. Because Daniel had this knowledge, Nem kidnapped him and implanted false memories of his death in his teammates so they wouldn't search for him.
Nem showed Daniel an Akkadian inscription: "Reveal fate Omoroca." Daniel was baffled and his confusion triggered a furious rage in Nem, who struck at him with an energy weapon concealed in his palm. As Daniel translated the Akkadian cuneiform into English, Nem was able to learn the language from him.
The Oannes man believed Daniel to be a servant of the Goa'uld because of the presence of Teal'c on SG-1 and at first showed little concern for his well-being beyond what was necessary to keep him alive and translating. When Daniel was defiant and also despairing of his ability to reveal the fate of Omoroca, Nem told him that he would answer or he would die.
Through the Akkadian text, Daniel learned that Omoroca had been missing for four thousand years, that Nem had lived all that time not knowing what had happened to her, he was horrified. Ultimately, he felt empathy for Nem as his own wife Sha're had also fallen victim to the Goa'uld, and he knew no more of her fate than Nem knew of Omoroca.
Nem ordered Daniel to tell him all he knew of Babylon and when Daniel protested that libraries and cities were destroyed, that most of Earth's history was buried in time, Nem told him that he was afraid. Daniel admitted that he was afraid Nem was asking the impossible of him and that he'd never return home. Nem suddenly revealed that Omoroca too was afraid, and when Daniel questioned him, Nem answered that she was afraid of Belus, which gave Daniel a time-frame.
Omoroca went to Earth to battle Belus, to save mankind from enslavement.
Because of the symbiote Teal'c carried, Nem believed that Omoroca had failed, that Daniel and the other humans were slaves of the Goa'uld. Daniel corrected him, telling him that the people of Earth owed Omoroca a great debt - that she succeeded and because of her, human civilization flourished to rival that of the Goa'uld.
When Daniel could not remember more than these mere fragments, he asked Nem if he could use the memory technology he possessed to take the memories of Belus and Omoroca from his mind. Nem surprised him by being concerned that his mind could be damaged or he could even die. Daniel decided the risk was worth while - Nem would keep him there on Oannes until he remembered and he couldn't afford to wait four thousand years to learn what had happened to his wife. In fact, he would rather die than be held there, never able to return to his wife and his friends.
Nem placed Daniel into the memory device and interrogated him about Belus and Omoroca. It was extremely difficult and painful for Daniel, who recalled only:
- "And in that place there was Omoroca, a woman who came forth from the heavenly egg, who walked among men by day, but at night, she would retreat to the Great Sea to sleep, one of the beings called Oannes. The god Belus came down unto Babylon, unto the place of Omoroca, and he cut the woman asunder."
He swore to Nem he didn't remember any more than this. Belus was a Goa'uld. Nem told Daniel that Belus murdered his love, howling out his grief and anguish. When SG-1 finally return to Oannes to rescue Daniel, he told Nem that he had his answer and pleaded with him to let them all go. Nem agreed, accepting that perhaps in time they might be friends. He also told Daniel:
- And in time, Daniel, you will find...what fate Sha're.
It is ultimately possible that SG-1 took vengeance for Nem over the death of Omoroca when they killed the Goa'uld Marduk. There is a strong possible link from Belus to the Goa'uld Marduk, because of the Babylonian God Bel-Marduk. This particularly brutal Goa'uld was imprisoned and punished by his own priests. Marduk was discovered within a ziggurat, buried alive in his sarcophagus with an alien flesh eating creature, first by a covert Russian Stargate team, and then by SG-1, accompanied by a second Russian rescue team. (5.08 "The Tomb") This link is far more probable than that to Baal.
Though Stargate has never clearly stated a link between Marduk and Belus, the Oannes woman Omoroca was identified with the goddess Tiamat. Marduk possessed a fabled artefact of great power, sought by the Russians, called the Eye of Tiamat. It is a reasonable conclusion that Belus was Marduk and that he obtained the Eye after defeating Omoroca, also known as Tiamat.
Sadly, the writers of "The Tomb" did not refer back to Omoroca, Nem and the events of "Fire and Water".