Monday, October 18, 2010

Hymn to Inanna

The name Enheduana is actually a title that means “high priestess of Nanna” (or more accurately “High Priestess, Ornament of the God of the Sky”). Nanna was an Akkadian god, and even though Enheduana was a priestess in his service, most of her known writings are dedicated to Inanna, a Sumerian goddess of love, sex, and fertility. Interesting how that happened!
The name Enheduana is actually a title that means “high priestess of Nanna” (or more accurately “High Priestess, Ornament of the God of the Sky”). Nanna was an Akkadian god, and even though Enheduana was a priestess in his service, most of her known writings are dedicated to Inanna, a Sumerian goddess of love, sex, and fertility. Interesting how that happened!
The name Enheduana is actually a title that means “high priestess of Nanna” (or more accurately “High Priestess, Ornament of the God of the Sky”). Nanna was an Akkadian god, and even though Enheduana was a priestess in his service, most of her known writings are dedicated to Inanna, a Sumerian goddess of love, sex, and fertility. Interesting how that happened!

he Exaltation of Inanna is a prime example of early religious writing. It was written by a high priestess named Enheduana, whose works, according to some scholars, are the first known written literature. Her works are definitely the first literature with an identifiable author, and the first known to include first-person narrative.
The Hymn to Inanna is an example of early religious writing.  It was written by a High Priestess, Enheduanna, who lived more than 4,200 years ago.  Her works are believed to be the first known in written literature.  Her name is actually a title which means 'High Priestess of Nanna".  Her father was Sargon the Great and it was he who appointed Her as the High Priestess of Ur, and most of Her writings were dedicated to Inanna. I find Enheduanna a fascinating woman in her own right.  You can find more about her here  Enheduanna

he Exaltation of Inanna is a prime example of early religious writing. It was written by a high priestess named Enheduana, whose works, according to some scholars, are the first known written literature. Her works are definitely the first literature with an identifiable author, and the first known to include first-person narrative.
The name Enheduana is actually a title that means “high priestess of Nanna” (or more accurately “High Priestess, Ornament of the God of the Sky”). Nanna was an Akkadian god, and even though Enheduana was a priestess in his service, most of her known writings are dedicated to Inanna, a Sumerian goddess of love, sex, and fertility. Interesting how that happened!
 O Queen of the Seven Gods, O radiant splendor
of light, fountain of life, darling of Heaven
and Earth, priest, daughter and servant of Heaven!

 Jewelled and crowned with life, born to be Lord,
in your hand are the guardian spirits of the Seven Gods,
and you yourself guard and protect the guardian spirits,
you have taken them up and tied them to your hands,
have gathered them in and pressed them to your breast.
You can fill the land with poison like a snake,
plants vanish from the earth when you thunder like Anu,
at your command the floods come down from the mountain.
 Supreme in power, Inanna of Heaven and Earth,
whose mouth rains sparkles of lightning over the land,
mistress of beasts, given the gods’ life-spirits
by An, by An given the unfailing Word
to speak at his fateful command: who can fathom your glory?
...O wild and rampant, eldest daughter of the Moon,
Queen greater than An, who can pay you sufficient homage?
 Queen of Queens, who in accordance with the spirits
were greater than your mother the moment you were born,
wise and knowing queen of all the lands,
mother of men and animals, I sing your praise...
I have entered before you in my holy garments,
I the princess imperial, Enheduanna,
singing as I carried your ritual baskets,
 High Priestess of the Moon. But now no longer
can I serve the goodly temple that I established,
for the day that dawns in Ur scorches my skin
and the sand of the Southwind overwhelms me at nightfall,
My honey sweet voice is hoarse and strident
and all that gave me pleasure has fallen to dust.
 I, what am I among living creatures!
An, An, give to punishment the rebels
that hate Inanna, and split their cities’ walls!

Enlil, curse them, and let their children perish
with no mother there to soothe them!
 ...The queen of queens, the prop of all the nations,
accepted Enheduanna’s prayers. Her heart
was again as of old, the day became propitious,
Inanna showered her beauty and allure
and joy like silver moonlight over our land!
Ancient Nanu in wonder and awe, and Ningal
her mother, worshiped her at the templ’s doorstep.
 Priestess, queen, noble commander of gods,
destroyer of barbarians, whom An made protector of spirits,
Queen, clothed in allure and attraction, Inanna: Praise!

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