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Greek Apocalypse of Baruch, 3: Rabbinic literature offers many different accounts of other causes for building the Tower of Babel, and of the intentions of its builders.
According to one midrash the builders of the Tower, called "the generation of secession" in the Jewish sources, said: The building of the Tower was meant to bid defiance not only to God, but also to Abraham , who exhorted the builders to reverence.
The passage mentions that the builders spoke sharp words against God, saying that once every 1, years, heaven tottered so that the water poured down upon the earth, therefore they would support it by columns that there might not be another deluge Gen.
Some among that generation even wanted to war against God in heaven Talmud Sanhedrin a. They were encouraged in this undertaking by the notion that arrows that they shot into the sky fell back dripping with blood, so that the people really believed that they could wage war against the inhabitants of the heavens Sefer ha-Yashar , Chapter 9: According to Josephus and Midrash Pirke R.
According to another midrashic account, one third of the Tower builders were punished by being transformed into semi-demonic creatures and banished into three parallel dimensions, inhabited now by their descendants.
Although not mentioned by name, the Quran has a story with similarities to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, although set in the Egypt of Moses: Pharaoh asks Haman to build him a stone or clay tower so that he can mount up to heaven and confront the God of Moses.
Another story in Sura 2: In the History of the Prophets and Kings by the 9th-century Muslim theologian al-Tabari , a fuller version is given: Nimrod has the tower built in Babil, God destroys it, and the language of mankind, formerly Syriac , is then confused into 72 languages.
Another Muslim historian of the 13th century, Abu al-Fida relates the same story, adding that the patriarch Eber an ancestor of Abraham was allowed to keep the original tongue, Hebrew in this case, because he would not partake in the building.
Although variations similar to the biblical narrative of the Tower of Babel exist within Islamic tradition, the central theme of God separating humankind on the basis of language is alien to Islam according to the author Yahiya Emerick.
In Islamic belief, he argues, God created nations to know each other and not to be separated. In the Book of Mormon , a man named Jared and his family ask God that their language not be confounded at the time of the Tower of Babel.
Because of their prayers, God preserves their language and leads them to the Valley of Nimrod. From there, they travel across the sea to the Americas.
The confusion of tongues confusio linguarum is the origin myth for the fragmentation of human languages described in the Book of Genesis In the confusion of tongues, this language was split into seventy or seventy-two dialects, depending on tradition.
This has sometimes been interpreted as being in contradiction to Genesis During the Middle Ages, the Hebrew language was widely considered the language used by God to address Adam in Paradise , and by Adam as lawgiver the Adamic language by various Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholastics.
Dante in the Divina commedia implies however that the language of Paradise was different from later Hebrew by saying that Adam addressed God as I rather than El.
Before the acceptance of the Indo-European language family , these languages were considered to be " Japhetite " by some authors e.
Rasmus Rask in ; see Indo-European studies. Beginning in Renaissance Europe, priority over Hebrew was claimed for the alleged Japhetic languages, which were supposedly never corrupted because their speakers had not participated in the construction of the Tower of Babel.
Among the candidates for a living descendant of the Adamic language were: The Swedish physician Andreas Kempe wrote a satirical tract in , where he made fun of the contest between the European nationalists to claim their native tongue as the Adamic language.
Caricaturing the attempts by the Swede Olaus Rudbeck to pronounce Swedish the original language of mankind, Kempe wrote a scathing parody where Adam spoke Danish , God spoke Swedish , and the serpent French.
The primacy of Hebrew was still defended by some authors until the emergence of modern linguistics in the second half of the 18th century, e. Historical linguistics has long wrestled with the idea of a single original language.
In the Middle Ages, and down to the 17th century, attempts were made to identify a living descendant of the Adamic language.
In the Biblical introduction of the Tower of Babel account, in Genesis There have also been a number of traditions around the world that describe a divine confusion of the one original language into several, albeit without any tower.
The Estonian myth of "the Cooking of Languages"  has also been compared. There are several mediaeval historiographic accounts that attempt to make an enumeration of the languages scattered at the Tower of Babel.
The LXX Bible has two additional names, Elisa and Cainan, not found in the Masoretic text of this chapter, so early rabbinic traditions, such as the Mishna , speak instead of "70 languages".
Some of the earliest sources for 72 sometimes 73 languages are the 2nd-century Christian writers Clement of Alexandria Stromata I, 21 and Hippolytus of Rome On the Psalms 9 ; it is repeated in the Syriac book Cave of Treasures c.
The chronicles attributed to Hippolytus c. Isidore of Seville in his Etymologiae c. This listing was to prove quite influential on later accounts that made the Lombards and Franks themselves into descendants of eponymous grandsons of Japheth, e.
Other sources that mention 72 or 70 languages scattered from Babel are the Old Irish poem Cu cen mathair by Luccreth moccu Chiara c.
Villani adds that it "was begun years after the Flood, and there were 2, years from the beginning of the world to the confusion of the Tower of Babel.
And we find that they were years working at it; and men lived long in those times". According to the Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum , however, the project was begun only years following the Deluge.
The tradition of 72 languages persisted into later times. The Book of Genesis does not mention how tall the tower was.
Gregory of Tours writing c. Its wall, made of baked brick cemented with pitch, is fifty cubits wide, two hundred high, and four hundred and seventy stades in circumference.
A stade contains five agripennes. Twenty-five gates are situated on each side, which make in all one hundred. The doors of these gates, which are of wonderful size, are cast in bronze.
The same historian tells many other tales of this city, and says: A typical medieval account is given by Giovanni Villani He relates that "it measured eighty miles [ km] round, and it was already 4, paces high, or 5.
The 17th-century historian Verstegan provides yet another figure — quoting Isidore, he says that the tower was 5, paces high, or 7.
He also quotes unnamed authors who say that the spiral path was so wide that it contained lodgings for workers and animals, and other authors who claim that the path was wide enough to have fields for growing grain for the animals used in the construction.
In his book, Structures: Gordon considers the height of the Tower of Babel. Elementary arithmetic shows that a tower with parallel walls could have been built to a height of 2.
However, by making the walls taper towards the top they Escher depicts a more stylized geometrical structure in his woodcut representing the story.
This led to its destruction as they rose up against the designers because of the insufferable working conditions.
The political philosopher Michael Oakeshott surveyed historic variations of the Tower of Babel in different cultures  and produced a modern retelling of his own in his book, On History.
He attributes this behaviour to fascination with novelty, persistent dissatisfaction, greed, and lack of self-reflection. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 31 January This article is about the Biblical story. For other uses, see Tower of Babel disambiguation.
Comparative mythology and Mythical origins of language. This article is about the origin myth. For the film, see The Confusion of Tongues.
Origin of language and Mythical origins of language. Bible portal Book of Mormon portal Judaism portal Quran portal.
Retrieved 22 December The Jewish Study Bible. The Book of Genesis. The Mythology of Judaism. Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten. Journal of the American Oriental Society.
From Creation to Babel: Studies in Genesis The Dictionary Of The Bible. A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: Journal of Biblical Literature.
In Keck, Leander E. The Assyrian Account to the Tower of Babel". Retrieved 11 September Folk-lore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion, Legend and Law.
Retrieved 5 March A telling quote, I think, from page 1: Her china white hand lay weightlessly atop his long fingers. Early on Senlin is told, "women get sucked up the Tower like embers up a flue," and we begin to get the picture that the destruction will be along gender lines.
Outside the Tower, Senlin meets Adam, a young man who is missing his sister. Of course, the search for the Other inspires in Senlin reflections on his own character, and his relationship with Marya.
The challenge for me is that Senlin is someone I have trouble liking. It could be because Senlin hits too close to teen-Carol.
He is the headmaster in his small fishing village and he considers himself a leader of the community, although I strongly suspect the feeling is not mutual.
He has harped on the wonders of Babel to his students and fellow citizens, which is no doubt supposed to play into the irony as he discovers the reality of Babel has little in common with his conceptions or his much-thumbed Guide to the Wonders of Babel.
I absolutely enjoyed the writing, but Woman as Object coupled with the perspective of a man who is difficult to connect to means it was a struggle to read.
Original review of my first attempt: Valente --the plotting is also meandering. Senlin is on a journey with his newly-wed wife to see the famous Tower of Babel.
Within minutes of arrival, he loses her in the marketplace and the rest of the story is a journey upward through the levels of Babel as he searches for the lovely Marya.
I think even had roles been reversed, or the object of the search the same sex, whatever; for me a plot in search of the romantic other is almost always less interesting.
That it falls along lines of traditional gender roles means it is all the more grating. So, I gave it an honest try. I absolutely love the language and the imagery, and probably got as far as I did on the strength of that alone.
View all 36 comments. Hype is a bad thing. It raises expectations and sets the bar high so there is only one possible outcome; it gives the book a polarizing effect.
I wanted to find out is the hype around this book justified and when I was done reading it there was only one answer: But it is certainly different.
In a good way. The story begins with Hype is a bad thing. The story begins with an introduction of Senlin and his wife Marya,who are traveling to the Tower of Babel, their honeymoon destination.
I got an impression that the first half of the book is a symbolism art depicting different levels of society through Ringdoms levels of the Tower , society full of decadence in all aspects, a world Senlin never experienced before.
This focus on world-building and lack of progress story wise can be off-puting for some readers who expect a bit more action and even discourage them to go on but I never had such issues.
One thing that I found amazing was the writing. View all 30 comments. Nov 05, Petros Triantafyllou rated it it was amazing. When I witnessed all the recent hype about it, I thought that it would be short lived.
Senlin and Marya are newlyweds on their honeymoon. What better destination could they chose than the Tower of Babel; an immense building of unknown high, where every floor is a completely different world.
But Senlin learns the hard way that not everything is like it was promised in his guidebook. When his loses his wife in the crowd, his is left with only one option.
To ascend the whole Tower and meet her again on the top. Thieves, Tyrants, Traitors, Men-turned-killing-machines and women with metal arms are nothing but mere obstacles in his way.
Senlin, if it bends and conforms to man, then man will become resolute in his flaws. You can find more of my reviews over at http: View all 3 comments.
Jan 04, Esmerelda Weatherwax rated it it was amazing Shelves: Ah yes, the book that began my love of indie writing — I read this book a long time ago before I really had any kind of reviewing style.
Senlin and his new wife are going on a honeymoon, he takes her to the Tower of Babel which is a very popular tourist spot. The pedestrian traffic around the Tower is immense, and so is the Tower itself.
It would Ah yes, the book that began my love of indie writing — I read this book a long time ago before I really had any kind of reviewing style.
It would dwarf mountains and most other fantasy architecture. Senlin becomes separated from his wife with all the hustle and bustle going on, and he has to find her.
Senlin starts at the bottom of the Tower, where the lowest of the low stay and start their journey. The first Ringdom is dirty, crowded and suffocating.
He has to run to get to the next Ringdom which is almost like Roman opulence. There are baths, artwork, fine food and drink and hotels.
The first book in this series is single POV, all seen through the eyes of Senlin. He starts out rather fuddy duddy, very stiff and very sure of himself and his guidebook — which is the worst guidebook in the history of guidebooks.
It always leads him down the wrong path and watching him grapple with what he thinks he knew, and what the reality of the situation is was fascinating.
He really grows and learns how to think and fend for himself rather than relying on knowledge from his past. The Tower is mysterious, no one knows how many Ringdoms there really are, or how the Tower itself was built or who built it.
There are a lot of theories floating around, but no one has a full map of the Tower. The scenes with him had me on the edge of my seat — he injects some kind of red substance into himself and becomes ridiculously powerful, able to rip heads from peoples bodies.
Senlin gets on his bad side and it was intense to read about. The tone is definitely adventurous, exploring all of the Ringdoms with Senlin was a lot of fun.
The writing in this book is absolutely phenomonal. But, with this book I was absolutely enamored with the writing and I immediately picked up the next book.
The Tower was a completely new experience for me, as was basically everything else about this book. For people looking for something very different For people who like adventure stories For people who like single pov For poeple who want excellent prose For people who like steam punk Final Score: View all 4 comments.
You need to read this! This is one surprisingly awesome adventure through an entirely original world. It is hard to compare it. Also made me think of charlie and the chocolate factory for some reason.
View all 8 comments. Gotta admit I kinda liked the beer-me-go-rounds and stuff. Had they been whisky-me-go-rounds, I probably would have rated this book 4 stars.
Move along, Clueless Barnacles, nothing to see here hide spoiler ] , darkness and grittiness and goredom view spoiler [ hide spoiler ] , excitement view spoiler [ zzzzzzzzzzz hide spoiler ] , and general awesomeness view spoiler [ hide spoiler ].
Such outrageously revolting behavior should NOT be tolerated! I should be profoundly, deeply, acutely ashamed of my little self for not fully appreciating the wonderful wonderfulness of this wonderfully wonderful specimen of self-published literature.
And, I deserve to be severely, intensely, thoroughly, seriously, vigorously punished for my lack of discernment view spoiler [ preferably by either Daniel Faust , Mad Rogan or Caleb Shepperd.
And you know what else I know? But hey, you never know, miracles happen sometimes. I mean, I could also unexpectedly turn out to be slightly overwhelmed by the need to stay the hell away from book 2.
Never say never and all that crap. Damn, it sucks so much to be me sometimes. The world might be falling apart, but Groucho Marx will always save the day.
View all 35 comments. Because we love great writing!!! What a great find! When I decided to join on the buddy read for this book, I had only seen the beautiful cover - I miss this type of art on the currently publishing trends..
I had no idea what the book is about and from the name surmised that it must be about the strife of humanity to reach g-d like power.
So, being a reader who is up for anything, I thought it looked interesting and after all, what could it hurt? Well, I have to say, this book did hurt.
First, the writing style was so beautiful and simple at the same time, it was a painful reminder of how often all of us are being subjected to mediocre and sub-par all the way down to incompetently written works, to the point that when we encounter a thoughtful and well crafted work, it seems like a rare treasure!
Second, it hurt my soul seeing this vision of the way humanity could have gone if G-D never destroyed the Tower of Babel The land of Ur, the Tower becoming the center of human culture and advancement.
Those who have been given the chance of generations to climb up the "ringdoms" of the Tower and have never stepped outside of its construction, see themselves as higher beings than anyone of "lower" birth.
The author gives us a very disturbing and cruel picture of the human condition by juxtaposing the Babel life with the experiences of an optimistic but somewhat starched schoolmaster and his new wife, who come to the Tower for their honeymoon.
Although not a very young man, he is full of idealistic views and ideals, wanting to believe only the best of people. His wife is a perfect match for him, despite being younger, because she awakens in him a sense of Whimsy and color in his black and white personality.
This bright eyed couple, which we could easily identify with, gets separated almost from the start and we spend the book with Tom Senlin on his frantic search up the Tower for his lovely Marya.
The human decay he is faced with is absolutely horrifying!!! It tries to change him and shape him in its own image, and the valiant battle Senlin wages to keep his basic values is vicious and violent.
My soul was deeply hurt by the selfish and indifferent way people treated each other. The division of class which comes with the levels of the Tower and the cheapening of values and dignity the lower you are, are only some of the painful examples the author makes us consider.
In the tumultuous political and social upheaval we find ourselves today, I can only pray that we can be as strong in spirit and grounded in decency as Senlin shows himself to be!!!!!!!
And lastly, it hurts to be the reader, a person outside the action of the story, not only because it would be awesome to enter this imaginative but so real world, but because of not being able to reach out to the protagonist in some of his most difficult and lonely moments and share his pain with him.
The way the Tower culture strips the person to the bare bones, rips away all sense of community, culture as a food for the soul, not a currency exchange, and makes the individual live either lost in the oblivion of slave labor, drunken stupor, basic instinct of survival, or mindless persuites of the flesh, is painful and demoralizing!!!
I felt like weeping for the sparks of humanity which were extinguished by the Tower reality. It once again restored my commitment to rejecting the temptation to give in to the bitterness and hate those who want to reduce us to mindless slaves in spirit if not in action, keep trying to bait us to surrender to.
We have to be better than that! As I went on this tangent, I need not point out how deeply this book affected me.
View all 19 comments. Sep 13, Milda Page Runner rated it it was amazing Shelves: Senlin Ascends or does he? Is he just shedding the shell and Breaking Bad?
What a journey and what a transformation. Gorgeous writing, original world, that is as beautiful as it is cruel, creative and intricate mechanisms.
Plot that is both comic and tragic and philosophical filled with unique imagination and breath-taking adventure. This is not a light read.
There are certainly some dark and painful moments along the way. Recommended for dark fantasy readers, people looking for original fantasy, unique world.
View all 45 comments. Jan 15, Kitvaria Sarene rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is one of the books that make me wish for more than 5 stars to rate it.
For me, rating it is as hard as it was with Name of the wind - not because it is in anyway similar to that - but in not being able to actually say just WHAT I enjoyed so much.
Trying to summarise this book is impossible to me, as it would sound boring and long winded I devoured it and it was so hard to put it down at bedtime or the end of lunchbreak, I might have been a tiny bid tired at work each day ti This is one of the books that make me wish for more than 5 stars to rate it.
I devoured it and it was so hard to put it down at bedtime or the end of lunchbreak, I might have been a tiny bid tired at work each day till I finished What surely makes this book special is being so damn different!
I read so many fantasy novels - and non can be compared to this one. It is most definitely not grimdark - but it has some of the grimmest parts of humanity in it and some flying heads.
It looks deeply within its characters, without giving too much detail. It focusses on the main character and changing side characters, though even as they are changing you never have the feeling of them being unnecessary like it was in ASOIAF at times, were someone is introduced at great length just to die a moment later.
The book changed itself with every new part of the tower, and it works! Especially if you are looking for something that feels fresh and new.
View all 5 comments. Luckily there are still books like this one that are just familiar enough to be recognizable, but are otherwise in a league of their own.
He searches for his lost wife but she could just as easily have been replaced with a priceless stolen boot or something for all she contributes.
Hopefully she eventually ends up making an appearance as an actual human rather than just a damsel in distress plot point. The prose is precise and descriptive.
The world is vibrant and stimulating. Audiobook narration by John Banks is really enjoyable. View all 9 comments.
This is a shortened review. And I mean YOU. Because I had wayyyyy too much to say about this book for Goodreads.
You will be missing a good chunk. Things this book has: But the This is a shortened review. And then comes the massive character development.
Now I want to talk about the characters. Wonderful, real-life people, yet strong and colorful! Because life in the Tower, said to be a hallowed and elevated paradise to the simple person, indeed is just a big, dark and treacherous lie, a trap meant to bring the naive and the innocent in, only to be eaten by the machine.
This is for you, if you like adventure. And believe in love. But brace yourself, because the first half of this book is really dark.
People who ponder the real nature of the world order will also like this book. A very strong one. Senlin Ascends is an indie adventure set in very unusual setting.
I like weird settings and I have read decent amount of adventures set in all kind of imaginative worlds so why is first Book of Babel as good or better as best of them?
Why is this such an easy 5 star when this "just" an adventure book? Well in short it does everything it set to do incredibly well. Than we have well written characters, it was pleasure to read about them and for those I hated.
This is in a way his coming of age story. I have finally won a Goodreads giveaway!! View all 7 comments.
Jan 28, Celeste rated it it was amazing Shelves: What if you could attend a school that could teach you the mysterious art of magic? What if dragons were real?
What if swords could talk, and their sass could not be contained? Or, in the case of this book, what if God never destroyed the Tower of Babel and it became the center of civilization?
Bancroft did a wonderful job weaving his tale of Thomas Senlin, a school Hea 4. Bancroft did a wonderful job weaving his tale of Thomas Senlin, a school Headmaster venturing to the Tower for his honeymoon with his lovely, plucky wife, Marya.
Within minutes of leaving their train, the newlyweds are separated in the sea of humanity cresting around the foot of the Tower.
What is the meaning of life? Is it to live rough and drink much and just endure until the end comes? Is it to frolic and mingle and bask in your station while gloating over and pitying those less fortunate?
When you live a world above the rest of the population, can you continue seeing them as equals, or do they become something less than human in your eyes?
But when faced with the loss of his wife, Senlin adapts. He more than changes; he metamorphoses. We watch Senlin endure hardships beyond his imagining and, slowly but surely, become an entirely new creature.
Senlin becomes driven, focused, clever, and confident, all while maintaining a stunning optimism completely opposed to life in the Tower.
He manages to make friends when none are meant to be found. Side characters, such as Adamos, Edith, Tarrou, Oglier, Iren, and even Finn Goll are all well fleshed out and grow throughout the story.
Though she is missing for a larger portion of the novel, Marya is a lovely character whose many facets are revealed nicely through flashbacks.
As the story progresses, her relationship with Senlin makes more and more sense, and the love he has for her becomes more real and poignant as he fights his way through the Tower in search of her.
I enjoyed the book immensely, though I do feel it was a bit overhyped. The character development, as stated previously, was beyond reproach.
The Tower itself was a wonderful setting, new and interesting and nuanced. But the pacing of the story left something to be desired, stretching the plot too thin in places.
I also felt frustrated at the lack of an ending, though I know this is the first in a trilogy and can see where Bancroft did attempt to provide some sort of resolution.
View all 31 comments. Well, I can proudly say: I have one really great person to thank to. Evelina , you are great, thank you for the rec to read this book.
And as always ended up the last one to finish, but with great support from my amazing gif Sensei and awesome BR partner Craig. Thanks you "Senlin Ascends" is an extraordinary fantasy Well, I can proudly say: Thanks you "Senlin Ascends" is an extraordinary fantasy story, not quite some I used to read.
Oh "Senlin Ascends" can easily lure readers with grit, farce, extraordinary adventure and of course a great study of people and places.
On the brink of reappearing setbacks, the scheming, manipulative and deceiving side of him emerges to help him survive.
As a perfect protagonist, he spots the monster in himself and gets on his tracks to reach his goal.