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                                                                                                      17. INANNA (ISHTAR ACADIA)dInanna

wpe2D.jpg (6201 octets)

Ishtar (Inanna)

Ishtar (Innana)Sacred number: 15
 
I
shtar is the morning and evening star (the planet we call Venus), and the goddess of love and war. She is shown as a woman standing on a lion, generally holding several weapons.

Ishtar was sometimes thought to be the daughter of the moon god Sin. Since the lunar month usually has 30 days, Sin's sacred number is 30. As Ishtar was Sin's daughter, her sacred number is 15.

 

Picture list
 

ETCSLtranslation : t.1.3.1 ETCSL homepage

Inana and EnkiEnki, god of wisdom

 

Segment A


approx. 6 lines missing
 

1-10. She ...... of the desert. She put the cu-gura, the desert crown, on her head. ...... when she went out to the shepherd, to the sheepfold, ...... her genitals were remarkable. ...... her genitals were remarkable. She praised herself, full of delight at her genitals, she praised herself, full of delight at her genitals. She looked at ......, she looked at ......, she looked at .......

11-27. "When I have gratified the lord ......, when I have made ...... brilliant, when I have made ...... beautiful, when I have made ...... glorious, when I have ......, when I have made ...... perfect, when I have made ...... luxuriant, when I have made ...... exuberant, when I have made ...... shining (?), when I have made ...... return, when I have made ...... brilliant, when I have made ...... shimmering, I shall direct my steps to the abzu, to Eridug, I shall direct my steps to Enki, to the abzu, to Eridug, and I myself shall speak coaxingly to him, in the abzu, in Eridug, I myself shall speak coaxingly to Enki, in the abzu, in Eridug. ...... had her go out ......."
approx. 21 lines missing
 

   

Segment B

1-5. "Inana, ...... it is I who ....... I, Inana, personally {intend to go to the abzu} {(1 ms. has instead:) intend to go to Eridug}. I shall utter a plea to Lord Enki. Like the sweet oil of the cedar, who will ...... for my holy ...... perfume? It shall never escape me that I have been neglected by him who has had sex."

6-15. On that day the maiden Inana, holy Inana, directed her steps all by herself towards Enki's abzu in Eridug. On that day, he of exceptional knowledge, who knows the divine powers in heaven and earth, who from his own dwelling already knows the intentions of the gods, Enki, the king of the abzu, who, even before holy Inana had approached within six miles of {the abzu} {(1 ms. has instead:) the temple} in Eridug, knew all about her enterprise -- Enki spoke to his man, gave him instructions: "Come here, my man, listen to my words."
1 line fragmentary
approx. 2 lines missing

Segment C

1-14. "...... she will drink, ...... she will eat. Come here! ....... I will ......, ...... do. The maiden ...... the abzu and Eridug, Inana ...... the abzu and Eridug ....... When the maiden Inana has entered the abzu and Eridug, when Inana has entered the abzu and Eridug, offer her butter cake to eat. Let her be served cool refreshing water. Pour beer for her, in front of the Lions' Gate, make her feel as if she is in her girlfriend's house, make her ...... as a colleague. You are to welcome holy Inana at the holy table, at the table of An."

15-26. After Enki had spoken thus to him, Isimud the minister followed his master's instructions closely. He let the maiden into the abzu and Eridug. He let Inana into the abzu and Eridug. When the maiden had entered the abzu and Eridug, when Inana had entered the abzu and Eridug, she got butter cake to eat. They poured cool refreshing water for her, and they gave her beer to drink, in front of the Lions' Gate. He made her feel as if she was in her girlfriend's house, and made her ...... as a colleague. He welcomed holy Inana at the holy table, at the table of An.

 

27-30. So it came about that Enki and Inana were drinking beer together in the abzu, and enjoying the taste of sweet wine. The bronze aga vessels were filled to the brim, and the two of them started a competition, drinking from the bronze vessels of Urac.
approx. 35 lines missing

Segment D

 

1-5. "I will give them to holy Inana, my daughter; may ...... not ......." Holy Inana received heroism, power, wickedness, righteousness, the plundering of cities, making lamentations, rejoicing. "In the name of my power, in the name of my abzu, I will give them to holy Inana, my daughter; may ...... not ......."

6-9. Holy Inana received deceit, the rebel lands, kindness, being on the move, being sedentary. "In the name of my power, in the name of my abzu, I will give them to holy Inana, my daughter; may ...... not ......."

10-13. Holy Inana received the craft of the carpenter, the craft of the coppersmith, the craft of the scribe, the craft of the smith, the craft of the leather-worker, the craft of the fuller, the craft of the builder, the craft of the reed-worker. "In the name of my power, in the name of my abzu, I will give them to holy Inana, my daughter; may ...... not ......."

Inanna on Her Throne,c.2000-1600 B.C. Akkad period.,Nephrite. Cylinder seal.,Mesopotamia

During the period of Akkadian control of Mesopotamia (c.2334-2154 B.C.), the early Sumerian "Lady of Heaven" and fertility goddess Inanna merged with the Semitic Ishtar, a warrior goddess. The goddess Inanna/Ishtar appears on this Akkadian seal, seated on a throne decorated with two crossed lions. Weapons, including a scimitar and a mace, rise from her shoulders as she gestures to two worshippers and looks full-face at the viewer. Her flounced garment covers only one shoulder, and her long hair falls in curls down to her elbows. To the left of Inanna/Ishtar stands an attendant goddess wearing a single-horned miter. To her right a female figure gestures in worship and pours a libation into a vessel.

 

14-17. Holy Inana received wisdom, attentiveness, holy purification rites, the shepherd's hut, piling up glowing charcoals, the sheepfold, respect, awe, reverent silence. "In the name of my power, in the name of my abzu, I will give them to holy Inana, my daughter; may ...... not ......."

18-21. Holy Inana received the bitter-toothed (?) ......, the kindling of fire, the extinguishing of fire, hard work, ......, the assembled family, descendants. "In the name of my power, in the name of my abzu, I will give them to holy Inana, my daughter; may ...... not ......."

Goddess in Underworld, c.2330-2150 B.C. Akkad period.,Hematite. Cylinder seal.,Mesopotamia

Flanked by two forms shaped like mountains, perhaps symbolic of the kur (the underworld), stands a frontal-facing goddess. Undulating rays or flames rise from her shoulders and may indicate either her solar or infernal nature. A ring -- possibly similar to the ring that was taken from Inanna when she entered the fifth gate of the underworld -- is held in her hand.

To the right, within one mountain, a deity with rays or flames rising from his shoulders grasps the tail of a bull-man. To the left, a deity with a scourge stands grasping the horn of another deity who collapses within another flaming mountain. A small figure kneels beside the mountain to the left.

 

 

22-27. Holy Inana received strife, triumph, counselling, comforting, judging, decision-making. "In the name of my power, in the name of my abzu, I will give them to holy Inana, my daughter; may ...... not ......." Holy Inana received ......, ......,
approx. 78 lines missing



Enki in his underwater temple

Segment E

1-4. "He has given me righteousness. He has given me the plundering of cities. He has given me making lamentations. He has given me rejoicing."

5-9. "He has given me deceit. He has given me the rebel lands. He has given me kindness. He has given me being on the move. He has given me being sedentary."

10-17. "He has given me the craft of the carpenter. He has given me the craft of the coppersmith. He has given me the craft of the scribe. He has given me the craft of the smith. He has given me the craft of the leather-worker. He has given me the craft of the fuller. He has given me the craft of the builder. He has given me the craft of the reed-worker."

18-26. "He has given me wisdom. He has given me attentiveness. He has given me holy purification rites. He has given me the shepherd's hut. He has given me piling up glowing charcoals. He has given me the sheepfold. He has given me respect. He has given me awe. He has given me reverent silence."

27-36. "He has given me the bitter-toothed (?) ....... He has given me the kindling of fire. He has given me the extinguishing of fire. He has given me hard work. He has given me ....... He has given me the assembled family. He has given me descendants. He has given me strife. He has given me triumph. He has given me counselling."
approx. 34-35 lines missing

Segment F

1-13. Enki spoke to the minister Isimud: "Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!" "Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?" "Since she said that she would not yet depart from here for Unug Kulaba, that she would not yet depart from here to the place where Utu ......, can I still reach her?" But holy Inana had gathered up the divine powers and embarked onto the Boat of Heaven. The Boat of Heaven had already left the quay. As the effects of the beer cleared from him who had drunk beer, from him who had drunk beer, as the effects of the beer cleared from Father Enki who had drunk beer, the great lord Enki turned his attention to the ...... building. The lord looked up at the abzu. King Enki turned his attention to Eridug.

Goddess Pleading Before Enki, c.2330-2150 B.C. Akkad period.Marble. Cylinder seal.Mesopotamia

A supplicating goddess of lower rank, indicated by her single-horned miter, approaches the enthroned Enki flanked by his two-faced minister Isimud and his acolyte, the nude hero. With her arm uplifted and her hand held before her mouth, she appears as a supplicant to Enki.

 

14-18. Enki spoke to Isimud the minister: "Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!" "Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?" "Where are the office of en priest, the office of lagar priest, divinity, the great and good crown, the royal throne?" "My master has given them to his daughter."

Attacking Demons,c.2000-1600 B.C. Isin-Larsa-Old Babylonian period.Hematite. Cylinder seal.Ischali, in the Diyala region, Mesopotamia.A kneeling figure with upraised arm is attacked by demonic creatures with leonine heads and bird feet, and by a male figure with multiple mace and scimitar.The exact nature of the demonic figures is difficult to determine, but the association of birdlike beings with the nether world is common in the Near East and the Aegean. The galla are described as those "who flutter over heaven and earth" in "Dumuzi�s Dream", suggesting their birdlike nature. And as Henri Frankfort has shown, soul-birds in Egypt and harpies and sirens in the Aegean area all objectified certain aspects of terror inspired by death. The frightening, bird-clawed monsters with gaping mouths may represent similar underworld beings threatening the small cringing man with death

 

19-20. "Where are the noble sceptre, the staff and crook, the noble dress, shepherdship, kingship?" "My master has given them to his daughter."

21-22. "Where are the office of egir-zid priestess, the office of nin-dijir priestess, the office of icib priest, the office of lu-mah priest, the office of gudug priest?" "My master has given them to his daughter."

23-24. "Where are constancy, ......, ......, going down to the underworld, coming up from the underworld, the kur-jara priest?" "My master has given them to his daughter."

25-26. "Where are the sword and club, the cultic functionary saj-ursaj, the black garment, the colourful garment, the ...... hair-style, the ...... hair-style?" "My master has given them to his daughter."

27-28. "Where are ......?" "My master has given them to his daughter."

29-30. "Where are the standard, the quiver, sexual intercourse, kissing, prostitution, ...... running (?)?" "My master has given them to his daughter."

31-32. "Where are forthright speech, deceitful speech, grandiloquent speech, ......, the cultic prostitute, the holy tavern?" "My master has given them to his daughter."

33-34. "Where are the holy nijin-jar shrine, ......, the mistress of heaven, loud musical instruments, the art of song, venerable old age?" "My master has given them to his daughter."
approx. 33-36 lines missing
 

6. Warka vase, Uruk: 3000 BCE, Uruk in Southern Iraq (Photo from pg. 61 of M. Roaf's Cultural Atlans of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East).

This vase is covered with scenes of offerings for the goddess Inanna.  She and the King are shown in the top register.

Segment G

1-21. ...... king ...... in the house of Enki should not forget a word. ...... full of advice, loud voiced, knowing much ....... They said: "By the bolt of the temple door, a frog spoke." He showed him to a place. Enki grasped the frog by his right paw. He showed him into his holy ....... He received ...... the halub tree and his box-tree. He gave ...... to the bird of heaven. He gave ...... to the fish of the subterranean waters.
11 lines fragmentary
approx. 10-15 lines missing
 

2. Chlorite vessel found at Khafajeh: Ht 11.5 cm. 2,600 BCE, Khafajeh, north-east of Baghdad (Photo from pg. 69 of D. Collon's 1995 Ancient Near Eastern Art).

 The vessel was made somewhere east of Baghdad, possibly in Iran, and transported to Khafajeh where it was found. At the left of the panel, a man wearing a net skirt is kneeling on a pair of Zebus who are standing back to back. He is holding streams of water showering down onto vegetables and a palm tree. The wavy line above his head may be rain clouds, they share the sky with a crescent moon and a rosette sun. The second figure is also depicted with a rosette at his shoulder.  He has a snake in each hand and is standing between two felines, both turned in his direction. At the right of the panel, a bull is being attacked by a large bird (eagle) and a lion while another small animal faces the other way.  This image was created by rotating the straight sided vessel for the exposure of the photograph.

 
 

Segment H

1-7. The prince spoke to his minister Isimud, Enki addressed the Sweet Name of Heaven: "Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!" "Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?" "Where has the Boat of Heaven reached now?" "It has just now reached the ...... Quay." "Go now! The enkum are to take the Boat of Heaven away from her!"

8-19. The minister Isimud spoke to holy Inana: "My lady! Your father has sent me to you. Inana, your father has sent me to you. What your father said was very serious. What Enki spoke was very serious. His important words cannot be countermanded." Holy Inana replied to him: "What has my father said to you, what has he spoken? Why should his important words not be countermanded?" "My master has spoken to me, Enki has said to me: "Inana may travel to Unug, but you are to get the Boat of Heaven back to Eridug for me"."

20-33. Holy Inana spoke to the minister Isimud: "How could my father have changed what he said to me? How could he have altered his promise as far as I am concerned? How could he have discredited his important words to me? Was it falsehood that my father said to me, did he speak falsely to me? Has he sworn falsely by the name of his power and by the name of his abzu? Has he duplicitously sent you to me as a messenger?" Now as these words were still in her mouth, he got the enkum to seize hold of the Boat of Heaven. Holy Inana adressed her minister Nincubur: "Come, my good minister of E-ana! My fair-spoken minister! My envoy of reliable words! Water has never touched your hand, water has never touched your feet!"

34-41. So Inana got hold again of the divine powers which had been presented to her, and the Boat of Heaven; and then for the second time the prince spoke to his minister Isimud, Enki addressed the Sweet Name of Heaven: "Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!" "Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?" "Where has the Boat of Heaven reached now?" "It has just now reached the holy ......." "Go now! The fifty giants of Eridug are to take the Boat of Heaven away from her!"

Female Head (Inanna?) from Uruk

 

 

42-53. The minister Isimud spoke to holy Inana: "My lady! Your father has sent me to you. Inana, your father has sent me to you. What your father said was very serious. What Enki spoke was very serious. His important words cannot be countermanded." Holy Inana replied to him: "What has my father said to you, what has he spoken? Why should his important words not be countermanded?" "My master has spoken to me, Enki has said to me: "Inana may travel to Unug, but you are to get the Boat of Heaven back to Eridug for me"."

54-67. Holy Inana spoke to the minister Isimud: "How could my father have changed what he said to me? How could he have altered his promise as far as I am concerned? How could he have discredited his important words to me? Was it falsehood that my father said to me, did he speak falsely to me? Has he sworn falsely by the name of his power and by the name of his abzu? Has he duplicitously sent you to me as a messenger?" Now as these words were still in her mouth, he got the fifty giants of Eridug to seize hold of the Boat of Heaven. Holy Inana adressed her minister Nincubur: "Come, my good minister of E-ana! My fair-spoken minister! My envoy of reliable words! Water has never touched your hand, water has never touched your feet!"

 

Return to monument list

White Temple and ziggurat (before restoration)
Reconstruction drawing of the White Temple and zigguart
Restored Zigguart

 

 

68-75. So Inana got hold again of the divine powers which had been presented to her, and the Boat of Heaven; and then for the third time the prince spoke to his minister Isimud, Enki addressed the Sweet Name of Heaven: "Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!" "Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?" "Where has the Boat of Heaven reached now?" "It has just now reached the UL.MA hill." "Go now! The fifty lahama of the subterranean waters are to take the Boat of Heaven away from her!"

76-87. The minister Isimud spoke to holy Inana: "My lady! Your father has sent me to you. Inana, your father has sent me to you. What your father said was very serious. What Enki spoke was very serious. His important words cannot be countermanded." Holy Inana replied to him: "What has my father said to you, what has he spoken? Why should his important words not be countermanded?" "My master has spoken to me, Enki has said to me: "Inana may travel to Unug, but you are to get the Boat of Heaven back to Eridug for me"."

88-101. Holy Inana spoke to the minister Isimud: "How could my father have changed what he said to me? How could he have altered his promise as far as I am concerned? How could he have discredited his important words to me? Was it falsehood that my father said to me, did he speak falsely to me? Has he sworn falsely by the name of his power and by the name of his abzu? Has he duplicitously sent you to me as a messenger?" Now as these words were still in her mouth, he got the fifty lahama of the subterranean waters to seize hold of the Boat of Heaven. Holy Inana adressed her minister Nincubur: "Come, my good minister of E-ana! My fair-spoken minister! My envoy of reliable words! Water has never touched your hand, water has never touched your feet!"

 

Statues from the Abu Temple


Votive statuettes, from Abu Temple, Eshnunna (Tell Asmar). c. 2700 B.C. Marble, ht. of tallest figure c. 30

 

102-109. So Inana got hold again of the divine powers which had been presented to her, and the Boat of Heaven; and then for the fourth time the prince spoke to his minister Isimud, Enki addressed the Sweet Name of Heaven: "Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!" "Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?" "Where has the Boat of Heaven reached now?" "It has just now reached the Field Hill." "Go now! All the great fish together ...... are to take the Boat of Heaven away from her!"

110-121. The minister Isimud spoke to holy Inana: "My lady! Your father has sent me to you. Inana, your father has sent me to you. What your father said was very serious. What Enki spoke was very serious. His important words cannot be countermanded." Holy Inana replied to him: "What has my father said to you, what has he spoken? Why should his important words not be countermanded?" "My master has spoken to me, Enki has said to me: "Inana may travel to Unug, but you are to get the Boat of Heaven back to Eridug for me"."

122-135. Holy Inana spoke to the minister Isimud: "How could my father have changed what he said to me? How could he have altered his promise as far as I am concerned? How could he have discredited his important words to me? Was it falsehood that my father said to me, did he speak falsely to me? Has he sworn falsely by the name of his power and by the name of his abzu? Has he duplicitously sent you to me as a messenger?" Now as these words were still in her mouth, he got all the great fish together ...... to seize hold of the Boat of Heaven. Holy Inana adressed her minister Nincubur: "Come, my good minister of E-ana! My fair-spoken minister! My envoy of reliable words! Water has never touched your hand, water has never touched your feet!"

Scorpions and Rosette, c.3300 B.C. Gawra period., Steatite. Stamp seal.,North Mesopotamia

Inannas symbol, the eight-pointed star or rosette, appears between the pincers of two scorpions on the square face of this stamp seal

 

136-143. So Inana got hold again of the divine powers which had been presented to her, and the Boat of Heaven; and then for the fifth time the prince spoke to his minister Isimud, Enki addressed the Sweet Name of Heaven: "Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!" "Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?" "Where has the Boat of Heaven reached now?" "It has just now reached ......." "Go now! ......, the guardians of Unug, are to take the Boat of Heaven away from her!"

Goddess Entreating (detail)´, c.2330-2150 B.C. Akkad period.,Marble. Cylinder seal.Mesopotamia

Many Mesopotamian prayers had to be spoken out loud and accompanied by specific gestures. According to Leo Oppenheim, the best attested of these prayers is the type named su-ila, or "uplifted hands."

On this seal, a goddess stands with an uplifted hand, perhaps performing a similar prayer-like ritual. Uplifted hands are characteristic of goddesses in Mesopotamian art, especially during the Neo-Sumerian and Old Babylonian period, c.2100-1600, B.C. Such goddesses have been identified as lama, female protective beings that Oppenheim calls "angels." These goddesses served as supplicants on behalf of human worshippers, offering prayers for their well-being.

 

144-155. The minister Isimud spoke to holy Inana: "My lady! Your father has sent me to you. Inana, your father has sent me to you. What your father said was very serious. What Enki spoke was very serious. His important words cannot be countermanded." Holy Inana replied to him: "What has my father said to you, what has he spoken? Why should his important words not be countermanded?" "My master has spoken to me, Enki has said to me: "Inana may travel to Unug, but you are to get the Boat of Heaven back to Eridug for me"."

156-169. Holy Inana spoke to the minister Isimud: "How could my father have changed what he said to me? How could he have altered his promise as far as I am concerned? How could he have discredited his important words to me? Was it falsehood that my father said to me, did he speak falsely to me? Has he sworn falsely by the name of his power and by the name of his abzu? Has he duplicitously sent you to me as a messenger?" Now as these words were still in her mouth, he got the ......, the guardians of Unug, to seize hold of the Boat of Heaven. Holy Inana adressed her minister Nincubur: "Come, my good minister of E-ana! My fair-spoken minister! My envoy of reliable words! Water has never touched your hand, water has never touched your feet!"

 

 

170-178. So Inana got hold again of the divine powers which had been presented to her, and the Boat of Heaven; and then for the sixth time the prince spoke to his minister Isimud, Enki addressed the Sweet Name of Heaven: "Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!" "Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?" "Where has the Boat of Heaven reached now?" "It has just now reached the Surungal canal ......." "Go now! The Surungal canal ...... are to take the Boat of Heaven away from her! ...... from holy Inana."

179-190. The minister Isimud spoke to holy Inana: "My lady! Your father has sent me to you. Inana, your father has sent me to you. What your father said was very serious. What Enki spoke was very serious. His important words cannot be countermanded." Holy Inana replied to him: "What has my father said to you, what has he spoken? Why should his important words not be countermanded?" "My master has spoken to me, Enki has said to me: "Inana may travel to Unug, but you are to get the Boat of Heaven back to Eridug for me"."

191-205. Holy Inana spoke to the minister Isimud: "How could my father have changed what he said to me? How could he have altered his promise as far as I am concerned? How could he have discredited his important words to me? Was it falsehood that my father said to me, did he speak falsely to me? Has he sworn falsely by the name of his power and by the name of his abzu? Has he duplicitously sent you to me as a messenger?" Now as these words were still in her mouth, he got the Surungal canal ...... to seize hold of the Boat of Heaven. ...... from holy Inana. Holy Inana adressed her minister Nincubur: "Come, my good minister of E-ana! My fair-spoken minister! My envoy of reliable words! Water has never touched your hand, water has never touched your feet!"

206-217. So Inana got hold again of the divine powers which had been presented to her, and the Boat of Heaven; and then
1 line fragmentary ...... Unug ......
1 line fragmentary ...... the Boat of Heaven. Nincubur ......, ...... the Boat of Heaven. A seventh time ......
1 line fragmentary The great princely scion, holy ....... Holy Inana ...... the Boat of Heaven. Holy Inana at that time

 .......

218-223. Her minister Nincubur spoke to holy Inana: "My lady, today you have brought the Boat of Heaven to the Gate of Joy, to Unug Kulaba. Now there will be rejoicing in our city, now there will be rejoicing in our city. ...... barges on our river ......."

224-248. Holy Inana replied to her: "Today I have brought the Boat of Heaven to the Gate of Joy, to Unug Kulaba. It shall pass along the street magnificently. The people shall stand in the street full of awe."
1 line fragmentary ...... in joy. ...... the old men of the city ...... comfort, ...... the old women ...... counsel, ...... the young men ...... strength of arms, ...... the children ...... joy. ...... Unug.
1 line fragmentary
1 line missing
3 lines fragmentary "...... festival ...... the Boat of Heaven. He shall recite great prayers. The king shall slaughter bulls, shall sacrifice sheep. He shall pour beer from a bowl. He shall have the cem and ala drums sound, and have the sweet-sounding tigi instruments play. The foreign lands shall declare my greatness. My people shall utter my praise."

249-256. When she had ...... the Boat of Heaven to the Gate of Joy at Unug Kulaba, it passed magnificently along the street. It reached the maiden's house, and she ...... its place. ...... the purified well, her principal well. Inana ...... the divine powers which had been presented to her, and the Boat of Heaven, at the Jipar Gate. At the Agrun Chamber ....... Holy Inana ...... the Boat of Heaven .......

257-266. The prince addressed his minister Isimud, Enki spoke to the Sweet Name of Heaven: "Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!" "Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?" "Where has the Boat of Heaven reached now?" "It has just now reached the White Quay." "Go now, ...... admiration. ...... admiration ...... the Boat of Heaven. Holy Inana ....... ...... admiration ......."
approx. 3 lines missing

AION

Segment I

1-5. "Inana, you have brought with you the office of en priest, you have brought with you the office of lagar priest, you have brought with you divinity, you have brought with you the great and good crown, you have brought with you the royal throne."

6-10. "You have brought with you the noble sceptre, you have brought with you the staff and crook, you have brought with you the noble dress, you have brought with you shepherdship, you have brought with you kingship."

11-15. "You have brought with you the office of egir-zid priestess, you have brought with you the office of nin-dijir priestess, you have brought with you the office of icib priest, you have brought with you the office of lu-mah priest, you have brought with you the office of gudug priest."

16-21. "You have brought with you constancy, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you going down to the underworld, you have brought with you coming up from the underworld, you have brought with you the kur-jara priest."

22-27. "You have brought with you sword and club, you have brought with you the cultic functionary saj-ursaj, you have brought with you the black garment, you have brought with you the colourful garment, you have brought with you the ...... hair-style, you have brought with you the ...... hair-style."

28-34. "You have brought with you ......, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you ......."

35-40. "You have brought with you the standard, you have brought with you the quiver, you have brought with you sexual intercourse, you have brought with you kissing, you have brought with you prostitution, you have brought with you ...... running (?)."

41-46. "You have brought with you forthright speech, you have brought with you deceitful speech, you have brought with you grandiloquent speech, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you the cultic prostitute, you have brought with you the holy tavern."

47-52. "You have brought with you the holy nijin-jar shrine, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you the mistress of heaven, you have brought with you loud musical instruments, you have brought with you the art of song, you have brought with you venerable old age."

53-59. "You have brought with you heroism, you have brought with you power, you have brought with you wickedness, you have brought with you righteousness, you have brought with you the plundering of cities, you have brought with you making lamentations, you have brought with you rejoicing."

60-64. "You have brought with you deceit, you have brought with you the rebel lands, you have brought with you kindness, you have brought with you being on the move, you have brought with you being sedentary."

65-72. "You have brought with you the craft of the carpenter, you have brought with you the craft of the coppersmith, you have brought with you the craft of the scribe, you have brought with you the craft of the smith, you have brought with you the craft of the leather-worker, you have brought with you the craft of the fuller, you have brought with you the craft of the builder, you have brought with you the craft of the reed-worker."

73-81. "You have brought with you wisdom, you have brought with you attentiveness, you have brought with you holy purification rites, you have brought with you the shepherd's hut, you have brought with you piling up glowing charcoals, you have brought with you the sheepfold, you have brought with you respect, you have brought with you awe, you have brought with you reverent silence.

"Goddess Inanna between mountains

82-88. "You have brought with you the bitter-toothed (?) ......, you have brought with you the kindling of fire, you have brought with you the extinguishing of fire, you have brought with you hard work, you have brought with you ......, you have brought with you the assembled family, you have brought with you descendants."

89-94. "You have brought with you strife, you have brought with you triumph, you have brought with you counselling, you have brought with you comforting, you have brought with you judging, you have brought with you decision-making."

95-108. "You have brought with you the establishing of plans (?), the attractiveness of women, you have brought with you ...... to handle the perfect divine powers, you have brought with you ...... small ......, you have brought with you ...... exalted ......, you have brought with you the holy tigi, holy lilis, ub, meze and ala drums, you have brought with you the ...... of holy An, you have brought with you the ...... of holy An, you have brought with you the ...... of holy An, you have brought with you the ...... of holy An, you have brought with you the ...... of holy An, you have brought with you the ...... of holy An, you have brought with you all of the ......, ...... beer."
2 lines fragmentary
6 lines missing

115-125. Where the woman ...... joy ......, she named it with the name 'The house Ganzer is rebuilt'. Where the trader said "Fifty shekels" but when he brought (?) it there was less, she named that place with the name 'Potsherds and scrap metal (?)'. Where the boat ......, she named it with the name '......'. Where the boat came to dock at the quay, she named that place with the name 'White Quay'. Where ......, she named that place with the name 'Blue Quay'.

126-128. Enki spoke to holy Inana: "In the name of my power, in the name of my abzu, I will establish ...... in my abzu for the woman."

129-130. (Inana speaks:) "Why has this one now entered here? ...... taking the divine powers from me?"

131-142.
3 lines fragmentary(A third deity speaks:) "May the ...... in your name!"
4 lines fragmentary "May there be ...... a festival! May ...... pass their time ...... at the gate of your Jipar! May the citizens of your city, Inana, the citizens of Unug, live ......! And as for you, Enki -- may ...... your city, Eridug ......, and has indeed restored ......."

 



 

01.iii.1998-03.iii.1998: JAB, editor: translation
14.iv.1998: GZ, editor: proofreading
18.viii.1999: GC, editor: SGML tagging
27.viii.1999: ER, editor: proofreading SGML
27.viii.1999: ER, editor: web publication
01.vi.2003: GC/JE, editor/technical developer: XML/TEI conversion
 

Enki - God of Wisdom

INANNA

and the 

GOD of  WISDOM*

Inanna - Great Lady of Heaven

*...adapted from  INANNA, QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND EARTH: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer, by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer.
 
 
Inanna placed the shugurra, the crown of the steppe, on her head.  
She went to the sheepfold, to the shepherd.  
She leaned back against the apple tree. 
When she leaned against the apple tree, her vulva was wondrous to behold. 
Rejoicing at her wondrous vulva, the young woman Inanna celebrated herself. 
She decided to make a journey. 
 
Inanna:
"I, the Queen of Heaven, shall visit the God of Wisdom.  
I shall go to the Abzu, the sacred place in Eridu.  
I shall honor Enki, the God of Wisdom, in Eridu. 
I shall utter a prayer to Enki at the deep sweet waters." 
 
Inanna set out by herself. 
When she was within a short distance of the Abzu,  
He whose ears are wide open, 
He who knows the me, the holy laws of heaven and earth,  
He who knows the heart of the gods,  
Enki, the God of Wisdom, who knows all things,  
Called to his sukkal, Isimud. 
 
Enki:
"Come, Isimud, 
The young woman is about to enter the Abzu. 
When Inanna enters the holy shrine  
Give her butter cake to eat.  
Pour cold water to refresh her heart.  
Offer her beer before the statue of the lion.  
Treat her like an equal. 
Greet Inanna at the holy table, the table of heaven." 
 
Between mountains containing monsters and deities and perhaps representing the underworld, a goddess (Inanna?) holds a ring. Could it be the one taken from Inanna at a gate of the underworld? Mesopotamian cylinder seal. Hematite. Around 2330-2150 BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Wolkstein and Kramer 1983:57.
larger view of image

 

Man in net skirt (Dumuzi?) feeding sheep. Inanna's standards ("gateposts") that frame the image suggest that the event is happening inside her temple grounds. Mesopotamian cylinder seal. Marble. About 3200-3000 BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Wolkstein and Kramer 1983:85.

King Feeding Rosette Flowers to Sheep, c.3200-3000 B.C. Late Uruk-Jemdet Nasr period.Marble. Cylinder seal.Mesopotamia

A bearded male figure wears a round cap and a skirt with netlike pattern. This man appears on many artifacts excavated at Inanna�s city, Uruk, and may represent the en, or priest-king, of the city, who assumes the role of divine consort of Inanna in the sacred marriage ceremony. Clasped to his chest are two curving branches ending in rosette-flowers. These rosette symbols of Inanna are nibbled by maned sheep, literally portraying the nourishment of the flocks ensured by the union of the goddess and her consort. The emblems of Inanna that flank the scene suggest that it is taking place within the sacred precinct of her temple.

 

 

Isimud heeded Enki's words.  
When Inanna entered the Abzu,  
He gave her butter cake to eat.  
He poured cold water for her to drink.  
He offered her beer before the statue of the lion.  
He treated her respectfully. 
He greeted Inanna at the holy table, the table of heaven.  

 

Enki and Inanna drank beer together.  
They drank more beer together.  
They drank more and more beer together.  
With their bronze vessels filled to overflowing,  
With the vessels of Urash, Mother of the Earth,  
They toasted each other; they challenged each other. 
 

Dying Man,9th century B.C. Neo-Assyrian period.Serpentine. Cylinder seal.Mesopotamia

A sick or dying man lies beneath a reed hut. Attendant figures, perhaps exorcist priests, lean above him and kneel at the head of his bed. Sacred dogs of Gula, the Goddess of Healing, leap about the exterior of the hut.

 

Enki:
"In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine!  
To my daughter Inanna I shall give  
The high priesthood! Godship! 
The noble, enduring crown! The throne of kingship!" 
 
Inanna:
"I take that!"

 

Enki:
"In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine! 
To my daughter Inanna I shall give Truth! 
Descent into the underworld! Ascent from the underworld!  
The art of lovemaking! The kissing of the phallus!" 
 
Inanna:
"I take that!"
Enki:
"In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine!  
To my daughter Inanna I shall give  
The holy priestess of heaven! 
The setting up of lamentations! The rejoicing of the heart!  
The giving of judgments! The making of decisions!" 
 
Inanna:
"I take that!"
Fourteen times Enki raised his cup to Inanna. 
Fourteen times Inanna accepted the holy me. 
Then Inanna, standing before her father, 
Acknowledged what Enki had given to her. 
 
Inanna:
"My father has given me the me: " 

(Here the Tablets of Destiny are read.) 
 

 

And when Inanna had accepted the last of the me,  
When she had accepted the making of decisions,  
Inanna wisely decided to return to Uruk immediately.  
Enki, still reeling from drink, gave Inanna his blessing as she went. 

 
Enki:
"My sukkal, Isimud --  
Inanna -- is about to leave -- for Uruk.  
It is my wish that she reach her city -- safely." 
 
I

A winged goddess wearing a multi-horned crown stands with her head in the realm of the deities and their devotees. Her bird-clawed feet rest in a place, likely the underworld, inhabited by strange and demonic creatures. Some think her to be Lilith, but the crown shows her to be a great goddess, almost certainly Inanna. Mesopotamian cylinder seal. Hematite. 2000-1600 BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Wolkstein and Kramer 1983: 51.

 

Inanna gathered all the me
The me were placed on the Boat of Heaven. 
The Boat of Heaven, with the holy me, was pushed off from the quay. 

When the beer had gone out from Father Enki,  
When the beer had gone out from the great God of Wisdom,  
Enki looked about the Abzu. 
The eyes of the King of the Abzu searched Eridu. 
King Enki looked about Eridu and called to Isimud. 

 

Fig. 96

Fig. 97


 

Enki:
"My sukkal, Isimud --"
Isimud:
"My king, Enki, I stand ready to serve you."
Enki:
"The high priesthood? Godship?  
The noble enduring crown?  
Where are they?" 
 
Isimud:
"My king has given them to his daughter."

 

Water gods, facade relief of molded bricks from the Temple of Inanna at Erech, Kassite period; in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad

 

Enki:
"The art of the hero?  
The art of power?  
Treachery? Deceit?  
Where are they?" 
 
Isimud:
"My king has given them to his daughter."
Enki:

"The perceptive ear?  
The power of attention?  
The making of decisions?  
Where are they?" 
 

Isimud:
"My king has given them to his daughter."
Fourteen times Enki questioned Isimud, 
Fourteen times Isimud answered,  
"My king has given them to his daughter.  
My king has given all the me to his daughter Inanna." 


 

Enki:
"Isimud, the Boat of Heaven, with the holy me  
Where is it now? " 
 
Isimud:
"The Boat of Heaven is sailing away from Eridu. Inanna is  
sailing the Boat of Heaven to Uruk." 
 
Enki:
"Go! Take the enkum-creatures 
Let them bring the Boat of Heaven back to Eridu!" 
 

Isimud gestures to the enkum-creatures to come out and pursue Inanna. Enkum-creatures come running out of the Circle and surround Inanna and Ninshubur.  
 

Inanna:
"Ninshubur, my sukkal, 
My father has changed his word to me! 
He has violated his pledge -- broken his promise! 
Come Ninshubur, save the Boat of Heaven with the holy me!" 

                                                         Ninurta


 

Ninshubur slices the air with her hand. She utters an "earth-shattering cry". The enkum-creatures run away. 

Enki sent Isimud a second time to take the me back from Inanna. 
 

Enki:
"Go! Take the uru-giants 
Let them bring the Boat of Heaven back to Eridu!" 
 
Isimud gestures to the uru-giants to come out and pursue Inanna. Uru-giants come running out of the Circle and surround Inanna and Ninshubur. Ninshubur slices the air with her hand. She gives a cry. The uru-giants run away. 

Enki sent Isimud a third time to take the me back from Inanna. 
 

Enki:
"Go! Take the lahama-sea monsters 
Let them bring the Boat of Heaven back to Eridu!" 
 
Isimud gestures to the lahama-monsters to come out and pursue Inanna. Lahama-monsters come running out of the circle and circle around Inanna and Ninshubur. Ninshubur slices the air with her hand. She gives a cry. The lahama-sea monsters run away. 

Six times Enki sent Isimud to reclaim the me 
Six times Ninshubur rescued the Boat of Heaven for Inanna.  
Enki called to Isimud a final time. 
 

 

Enki:
"My sukkal, Isimud —  
Where is the Boat of Heaven now?" 
 
Isimud:
"The Boat of Heaven has entered Uruk 
Inanna has brought the Boat of Heaven to Uruk." 
 
I

Berlin, Germany: Pergamon Museum: Ishtar Gate (Tor), lion panel (reconstructed, original was c 575 BC)

Description: Berlin, Germany: Pergamon Museum: Ishtar Gate (Tor), lion panel (reconstructed, original was c 575 BC)

 

nanna brought the me back to Uruk, 
The Boat of Heaven docked at the shrine of Uruk. 
The Boat of Heaven docked at the house of Inanna. 
As the holy me that Inanna received from Enki were unloaded,  
They were announced and presented to the people of Sumer. 

Then more me appeared — more me than Enki had given Inanna.  
And these, too, were announced,  
And these, too, Inanna presented to the people of Uruk. 
 

Inanna:
"I bring the placing of the garment on the ground.  
I bring allure. 
I bring the art of women. 
I bring the perfect execution of the me.  
I bring the tigi- and lilis-drums. 
I bring the ub-, the meze-, and the ala-tambourines." 
 
 

Berlin, Germany: Pergamon Museum: detail of fa�ade from Inanna Temple (around 1413 BC, built by Kassite ruler Kara-indash Uruk)

Description: Berlin, Germany: Pergamon Museum: detail of fachade from Inanna Temple (around 1413 BC, built by Kassite ruler Kara-indash Uruk)

 

 

The people say, "I take that!" 

Then Enki spoke once more to Inanna. 
 

Enki:
"In the name of my power! In the name of my holy shrine!  
Let the me you have taken with you remain in the holy shrine of your city. 
Let the high priest spend his days at the holy shrine in song.  
Let the citizens of your city prosper,  
Let the children of Uruk rejoice!"

                                                           Enki y Ningizzida

 

 


Back to Top | Back to Inanna Pages | Calendar of Events | Home
 

 

 

Goddess with multi-horned crown (Inanna?) welcomes a mace-holding and crowned god who emerges from the base of a tree (Dumuzi?). Mesopotamian cylinder seal. Serpentine. About 2320-2150 BCE.
© S. Beaulieu, after Wolkstein and Kramer 1983:40.

Pergamonmuseum Inanna 02.jpg

 

Berlin, Germany: Altes Museum: mummy mask of a woman with bracelets in form of snakes (beginning of 1st century AD)

Description: Berlin, Germany: Altes Museum: mummy mask of a woman with bracelets in form of snakes (beginning of 1st century AD)

www.cambridge2000.com/.../html/P31111791e.html

 

          The mesopotamic interpretation of skies provides spyings to us of a Venus different from the planet of the love according to our habitual western interpretation. The original deity sumeria associated with Venus was Inanna , but the influence of this goddess was absorbed first, and combined later with her, by the one of Attar , a masculine semítica deity, that entered form leaves from mesopotámica mythology. Soon, the God Attar evolved until being the Ishtar goddess, being the result a bisexual Venus; Ishtar, the star in the morning, is masculine, while Ishtar, the star of afternoon, is feminine. Like example of the important nature of these interpretations, to Ishtar was also identified it with Astarté, that became one of the origins of our celebration of the festivity of Passover.

Attar

 

Enheduanna

Below are the words of a high priestess, named Enheduanna (en-hey'-du-ana),
who worshipped the Goddess, Inanna. Enheduanna, is the first known author in
the history of writing, she was a high priestess who lived 4,000 years ago in
the city of Ur, (now southern Iraq).

The passage below is a new translation of Enheduanna's poetry from the recently
published book "Inanna, Lady of the Largest Heart" by Betty DeShong Meador,
(University of Texas Press, Austin). Inanna, Lady of the Largest Heart at Amazon.com



 

"Queen of all given powers/unveiled clear light/

unfailing woman wearing brilliance/cherished in heaven and earth/

chosen, sanctified in heaven/you/grand in your adornments/

crowned with your beloved goodness/rightfully you are High Priestess/

your hands seize the seven fixed powers/my queen of fundamental forces/

guardian of essential cosmic sources/you lift up the elements/

bind them to your hands/gather in powers/press them to your breast/

vicious dragon you spew/venom poisons the land/like the storm god you howl/

grain wilts on the ground/swollen flood rushing down the mountain/

you are Inanna/supreme in heaven and earth..."

)



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Be sure to click the BACK button to return to this page.

 

)

by Enheduanna

MS 2272

LEXICAL LIST OF GODS' NAMES IN ORDER OF SENIORITY AND IMPORTANCE: ENLIL, NINLIL, ENKI, NERGAL, HENDURSANGA, INANNA-ZABALAM, NINEBGAL, INANNA, UTU, NANNA

 

MS in Sumerian on clay, Sumer, 2400-2200 BC, 1 tablet, 4,7x4,4x1,7 cm, single column, 5+5 lines in cuneiform script.

Binding: Barking, Essex, 1998, blue cloth gilt folding case by Aquarius.

Context: Other tablets with Gods' names, are MSS 2200/318, 2200/321, 2200/332 and 2422.

Commentary: This is clearly the beginning of the list, since Enlil, god of the town of Nippur, was the practical head of the pantheon at this time.
The Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian religions had thousands of gods, hence extensive lists to keep track of them.

No other copy of this particular list is so far known.



 

MS 3281

DESCENT OF INANNA TO THE UNDERWORLD; SUMERIAN MYTH

 

 

MS in Neo Sumerian on clay, Babylonia, 1900-1700 BC, 1 tablet, 24x10x4 cm, 3+3 columns, 208 lines (of 410) in cuneiform script.

Context: This is tablet 1 of 2. Tablet 2 is MS 3282.

Commentary: There are similarities to the Greek myth of Persephone who was abdicted to the underworld by Hades, and released to see her mother, Demeter. The text also has parallels to the passion and resurrection in the Gospels.

See also MS 5283 with the story of Orpheus and Euridice.




 

23.2. Babylonian religion

See also MS 2367/1, Enhedu'Anna: Hymn to Inanna, Babylonia, 20th - 17th BC

MS 2401

RITUAL OF THE PRIESTS' DIALOGUE WITH THE GODS CONCERNING INCANTATIONS AGAINST MIGRAINE, DRAWING ON MYTHOLOGICAL SOURCES

 
 

MS in Neo Sumerian on clay, Babylonia, 2000-1800 BC, 1 tablet, 9,3x5,5x2,5 cm, 15+21 lines in cuneiform script.

Binding: Barking, Essex, 1998, blue quarter morocco gilt folding case by Aquarius.

Commentary: All incantation texts begin with an outline of some complaint, physical or psychic, experienced by somebody. There is then a magical part that usually has the priest going off to "consult" with Inanna or another god. Finally the text ends with the gods' revealed advice for action which will lead to the resolution of the problem. The incantation texts used by the priest were something he knew and would probably be the same in each case; so this rite was an unwritten part of all incantation texts. The present text is this rite, possibly written down to assist novice priests. The text is possibly unique.


See also MS 5108, Atra-Hasis Epic, Babylonia, 1900-1700 BC


 

 

 

 

 

Nippur (mod. Nuffar)

From CDLI Wiki

 
Table of contents [hide]
[edit]

Introduction

Foundation deposit from Nippur
Foundation deposit from Nippur
Nippur is a large site approximately 180 km south of Baghdad. The site rises nearly 20 meters high and occupies about 150 hectares. The city has a long history extending from the early sixth millennium (Ubaid period) to 800 AD, with intermittent breaks in occupation. A dried canal bed (Shatt-en-Nil) bisects the site into a Western and Eastern Mound. A small gully divides the eastern mound into Tablet Hill, or the Scribal Quarter, in the south, and the Religious Quarter on the North Mound, with the ziggurat and Enlil Temple. The site has produced over 30,000 cuneiform tablets that span a variety of genres and historical periods, and provide information about the cultic, economic, and administrative role of Nippur. From the earliest historical periods in Mesopotamia, Nippur occupied an important position because it was home to the god Enlil, the main deity of the Sumerian pantheon.
[edit]

History of Excavations

Rawlinson, Layard, and W. K. Loftus all visited Nippur in the 19th century, but the first major excavations at the site lasted from 1888 to 1900, under the University of Pennsylvania. This was the first American team to excavate in Mesopotamia, which had previously been dominated by French and English archaeologists. The University of Pennsylvania's Babylonian Expedition, led by H. Hilprecht, J. P. Peters, and J. H. Haynes, focused on Tablet Hill and the southwest corner of the West Mound. They established the basic stratigraphy of the site and recovered tens of thousands of cuneiform documents, many of ended up in the newly founded University Museum in Philadelphia.

In 1948, D. McCown of the University of Chicago returned to Nippur, leading a Joint Expedition with the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. Excavations focused on Tablet Hill, the ziggurat complex, the North Temple, and the Inanna Temple. In 1953, R. C. Haines succeeded McCown, and remained director until 1962. Haines was followed by J. E. Knudstad, who exposed the Parthian Fortress. After a five-year hiatus, the new director of the Nippur Excavations, McG. Gibson, exposed new areas in the West Mound in order to concentrate on administrative and domestic history of Nippur, rather than its religious nature represented by the ziggurat complex and temples of the Religious Quarter. Work in all areas of the site continued for eighteen years until 1990.

[edit]

The History of Nippur

Though Nippur was never the seat of a king or a regional capital, the city held a special religious significance as the seat of the god Enlil. As early as the Early Dynastic III period (2600-2350 BC), Nippur was understood to be the house of Enlil, “who determines destiny” (Sjöberg and Bergmann 1969: TH No. 2, 18:35). The tradition of Sumerian kings’ legitimization of their rule through the possession of Nippur continued into the Akkadian period (2350-2100 BC). Akkadian kings dedicated gifts to Enlil and built monuments within the Ekur, the major temple of Nippur, as did the Ur III period (2100-2000 BC) kings, even as their kingdom fell into decline. During the Isin-Larsa period, rival kings continued to claim authority based on their possession of Nippur. Changing environmental conditions during the reign of Hammurapi probably altered the course of the Euphrates, and caused the abandonment of sites south of Nippur. After the Old Babylonian kingdom (1800-1595 BC), Nippur fell into decline until the growth of Kassite Babylonia in the 14th-13th centuries BC. Kassite Nippur was a cosmopolitan city, with important administrative and religious institutions. When Nippur was sacked by the Elamites at the end of the 13th century, the city began a second long decline. Records after this period are scarce until the middle of the 8th century, when Nippur was under Neo-Assyrian control. During this period Nippur was an important regional trade center surrounded by Chaldean and Aramaean semi-nomadic tribes. In the Neo-Babylonian period, Nippur’s status declined once again until the Parthian period.

[edit]

Excavations on the East Mound

Plan of Nippur, showing excavation areas (from Gibson et al. 1998-2001)
Plan of Nippur, showing excavation areas (from Gibson et al. 1998-2001)
[edit]

Tablet Hill

Tablet Hill is the findspot of the majority of the thousands of cuneiform documents that were recovered from the early Pennsylvania campaigns. Later campaigns undertook stratigraphic excavations in two trenches, extending from the latest Achaemenid levels to the Akkadian period. The result of these systematic excavations was the establishment of a standard ceramic chronology for the historical periods of lower Mesopotamia. More recent excavations of new trenches in Tablet Hill have refined the occupation history of Nippur, and helped to define the period of abandonment between the Old Babylonian and the Late Kassite periods (c. 13th century BC).

The two trenches in Tablet Hill also contained remains of private houses, and possibly an administrative building (House J) from Levels VI-XI of the Ur III period.

[edit]

The Ziggurat Complex

[edit]
The Enlil Temple

Within the Ekur, the Enlil Temple lies on the southeast side of the ziggurat which was founded by Ur-Nammu around 2100 BC, and successively rebuilt by kings in later periods. The main temple to Enlil probably sat on top of the ziggurat itself, and the excavators concluded that the temple southwest of the ziggurat was a kitchen temple, used primarily to prepare offerings that would have been presented to the god in the main temple atop the ziggurat.

[edit]
The Parthian Fortress

In the first and second centuries AD, a fortress was built on top of the ziggurat. The last of the three phases of the fortress included four iwans, large vaulted halls open on one side.

[edit]

The North Temple

At the northernmost tip of the Eastern Mound, excavators found a temple that had been in continuous use from the Early Dynastic I period (2900-2750 BC) (and possibly earlier) to the Akkadian period. The plan is similar to other Early Dynastic temples from the Diyala region, with a courtyard, food preparation rooms, and a long shrine with benches, offering tables, and an altar. After the Akkadian period, the building was no longer used for religious functions.

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The Inanna Temple

Inanna Temple Level VII (From Gibson et al. 1998-2001)
Inanna Temple Level VII (From Gibson et al. 1998-2001)
Stratigraphic Sequence of the Inanna Temple
Level Period
SBI Late Parthian foundations
SBII Parthian
I Neo-Assyrian
II Kassite
III Isin-Larsa
IV Ur III
VII-V Early Dynastic III
VIII Early Dynastic II
XI-IX Early Dynastic I
XII Jemdet Nasr / Early Dynastic I
XIV-XIII Jemdet Nasr
XVI-XV Late Uruk
XX-XVII Middle Uruk

The earliest excavated levels of the Inanna Temple date to the Middle Uruk period (4th millennium BC). Over twenty successive occupation levels continue through the late Parthian period (2nd century AD), and constitute the longest continuous archaeological sequence in Mesopotamia. The earliest Middle Uruk levels consist of large houses with a possible religious structure nearby. Analysis of the area during the following Jemdet Nasr (3300-2900 BC) period resulted in the identification of that period as a distinct phase in the history of Mesopotamia, rather than a subphase of the Uruk period as it had previously been understood.

Although the exact nature of the transformation of this area from a private domestic area to a religious area is unclear, the first temple structure appears in the later part of the Early Dynastic I period. This first Early Dynastic temple was a large building with altars, plastered floors and walls. This building was followed by a temple with two shrines; one shrine was constructed according to the traditional Sumerian bent-axis plan, in which a visitor had to make a 90 degree turn from the entrance way to face the altar; the other shrine followed a straight axis plan, with the entrance way located directly opposite the altar. The shrines were situated within a larger complex of courtyards and industrial workshops with fireplaces. From the Early Dynastic temple levels came several sculptures, clay plaques with scenes carved in relief, sealings, and other craft objects. Analysis of the Early Dynastic levels of The Inanna Temple led to crucial reanalysis of Early Dynastic chronology in southern Mesopotamia, which did not correspond to the sequence identified from earlier excavations in the Diyala region to the north.

Isometric plan of the Inanna Temple Level VII showing double shrines (From Hansen, 1962)
Isometric plan of the Inanna Temple Level VII showing double shrines (From Hansen, 1962)
The level IV temple, built by Shulgi in the Ur III period was a one hundred meter long monumental complex consisting of workshops, courtyards, a residential area, and shrines that probably followed the plan of the original two sanctuaries.

The Inanna temple continued to be used in the Isin-Larsa, Kassite, and Neo-Assyrian (900-612 BC) periods, but construction of the Parthian temple damaged these earlier levels. The fact that the Parthian temple followed the same general plan as the first Early Dynastic temple clearly illustrates the strength of the religious tradition associated wtih Nippur, and the continuity of sacred space and architecture there.

 

 

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Excavations on the West Mound

Plan of Nippur, with Kassite map superimposed (from Gibson et al. 1998-2001)
Plan of Nippur, with Kassite map superimposed (from Gibson et al. 1998-2001)

In the early 1970's excavators concentrated heavily on the West Mound. In Area WA, they found a Neo-Babylonian temple, the latest phase of a series of temples dating back to the Ur III period. Finds in the Neo-Babylonian temple, including an inscription, dog figurines, and other figurines, indicate that this was the Temple of Gula, a healing goddess, or possibly the Temple of Gula and Ninurta, her husband. Zettler (2003, 11) notes that both Westenholz (1987, 97-98) and Gibson (1993, 15) locate the Ninurta temple on the West Mound rather than north of the Inanna temple on the East Mound as originally suggested by Zettler (1992, 16-17). It remains unclear, however, whether or not the temple of Ninurta from the Ur III period as attested in one of Shulgi's year names can be associated with the Neo-Babylonian temple of Gula. The phrase e2 gu-la in the Isin-Larsa administrative records must be interpreted as ‘the big house’ in the absence of the divine determinative and Zettler denies the existence of any substantial evidence that links the e2 gu-la to the temple of Ninurta (Zettler 2003, 12, fn. 4; see George 1993, 96-97).

In Area WB, where 19th century excavations had found tablets from the Kassite period, excavators found evidence of occupation from the Old Babylonian period to the Neo-Assyrian period. The lowest levels had Old Babylonian private houses with texts recording economic transactions and baking activities. These houses were suddenly abandoned at the end of the Old Babylonian period. In the 13th century BC, a Kassite governor's palace was constructed, similar in plan to the palace at Dur Kurigalzu (Aqar Quf). In a later pit, an archive dating to the 8th and 7th centuries BC was found inside a jar. The Assyrian governor's archive fills a substantial textual gap for that period.

In area WC, at the southwestern corner of the site, evidence for the city wall matches the wall depicted on a map of Nippur inscribed on a clay tablet in 1300 BC. The city wall in the western part of the city was constructed in several phases, beginning in the Ur III period. In the east, the city wall may have been constructed as early as the Early Dynastic I period, and the city would not have extended west beyond the Shatt en-Nil. Only in the Ur III period did the city expand to the Western Mound. During the Kassite period, large houses stood in area WC, and in the 6th-7th centuries BC, a new city wall and new houses were built there, including one large building that may have served a commercial function.

One of the most recently excavated areas, Area WF, provided an unbroken sequence from the Early Dynastic to the Ur III period. This sequence has helped to refine the understanding of the transition from the Early Dynastic to the Akkadian periods.

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References

  • Cole, S. Nippur in Late Assyrian Times c. 755-612 BC. State Archives of Assyria Studies 4. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corups Project, 1996.
  • Cole, S. Nippur IV: The Early Neo-Babylonian Governor’s Archive from Nippur. OIP 114. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1996
  • Ellis, M. deJ., ed. Nippur at the Centennial. RAI 35. Philadelphia, 1992
  • George, Andrew. 1993. House Most High: The Temples of Ancient Mesopotamia. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.
  • Gibson, M. Excavations at Nippur: Eleventh Season. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1975.
  • Gibson, M. Excavations at Nippur: Twelfth Season. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1978.
  • Gibson, M. "Nippur, Sacred City of Enlil, Supreme God of Sumer and Akkad." al-Rafidan 14: 1-18.
  • Gibson, M., D. P. Hanson, and R. L. Zettler. “Nippur B.” In Reallexicon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archëologie (RLA) 9. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1998-2001.
  • Goetze, Albrecht. "Akkad Dynasty Inscriptions from Nippur." Journal of the American Oriental Society 88(1): 54-59.
  • Hansen, D. P. The Relative Chronology of Mesopotamia. Part II. The Pottery Sequence at Nippur from the Middle Uruk to the End of the Old Babylonian Period (3400–1600 BC). In Chronologies in Old World Archaeology, ed. R. W. Ehrich, 201–213. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1965.
  • McCown, D. E. et al. Nippur I: Temple of Enlil, Scribal Quarter, and Soundings. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1967.
  • McCown, D. E. et al. Nippur II: The North Temple and Sounding E. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1978.
  • Peters, J. P. Nippur or Explorations and Adventures on the Euphrates. 2 vols. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1897.
  • Stone, E. Nippur Neighborhoods. SAOC 44. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1987.
  • Westenholz, Aage. 1987. Old Sumerian and Old Akkadian Texts in Philadelphia, part 2. CNI Publications 3. Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen Press.
  • Zettler, R. L. Nippur III: Kassite Buildings in Area WC-I. OIP 111. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1993.
  • Zettler, R.L. "Reconstructing the World of Ancient Mesopotamia." JESHO 46(1): 3-44.
Site Descriptions

 

The hieros gamos of Inanna and Dumuzi.

Inanna, whom we may also identify with Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Aphrodite, Astarte, to a certain extent Asherah, and Oestre, Ostara, the sea goddess Mari, or Miriam and many others, is the evening star, the Sumerian Queen of Heaven. She was the creatrix, the mother of all men. She was Queen of Heaven astronomically as well as theologically. She was horned, and was brought up out of the foam by water-gods, like Aphrodite, thus explaining her close connection with Mari goddess of the sea. Her journey to the earth and then to the underworld cements relationship between the shepherd kings and hieratic planter queens which formed the basis of the flowering of the cities of Sumer from 3500 B.C., the centre of catalysis of successive civilations to the present day.

Several authors, including Barbara Walker and William Irwin Thompson (163) comment that the Sumerian era now represents the fall of the Great Goddess to the phallic onslaught of the male Godhead represented by the trinity An, Enki and Nannar who may have been introduced by the first Indo-Aryan incursions, and that the order of reproductive power has changed to that of erotic power to become the Goddess of live and battle and of the seasonal abundance and regress. Although male gods, such as Enki certainly have have entered the pantheon, the young Goddess is nevertheless mighty and resurgent with her youthful power:

 

"Proud Queen of the Earth Gods, Supreme Among the Heaven Gods,
Loud Thundering Storm, you pour your rain over all the lands and all the people.
You make the heavens tremble and the earth quake.
Great Priestess, who can soothe your troubled heart?

 

 

You flash like lightning over the highlands; you throw your firebrands across the earth.
Your deafening command, whistling like the South Wind, splits apart great mountains.
You trample the disobedient like a wild bull; heaven and earth tremble.
Holy Priestess, who can soothe your troubled heart?

 

 

Your frightful cry descending from the heavens devours its victims.
Your quivering hand causes the midday heat to hover over the sea.
Your nighttime stalking of the heavens chills the land with its dark breeze.
Holy Inanna, the riverbanks overflow with the flood-waves of your heart...."
(Wolkenstein and Kramer 95)

 

The seasonal cycle of the goddess is represented unabated in the passage from new life in the burgeoning fertility period and death in the lean season. The first phase is the ritual marriage of Inanna to the shepherd king Dumuzi in the hieros gamos, the high point of the Sumerian sacred cycle. Dumuzu ( the Shepherd King ) is actually mentioned as the fifth king on the king lists of Sumer. He is also referred to as Dumuzzi-Absu of the abyss, god of freshets and running waters. He is also the heavenly shepherd of the stars.

 

O Wanderer, Wanderer, my brother Wanderer,
In the fields of Arallu, Wanderer, my brother Wanderer.
(Briffault v3 95)

 

Dumuzi at first has to pursuade Inanna to marry a shepherd king. She is also encouraged by her mother Ningal, the Moon Goddess of Ur. The encounter then runs hot with the young Inanna's passion for young shepherd king Dumuzzi and their consummation, and with the echoing fullness of pastoral fecundity. It is the very love song of creation, which fills the earth with the burgeoning splendour of life.

 

"Inanna opened the door for him.
Inside the house she shone before him
Like the light of the moon.
Dumuzi looked at her joyously.
He pressed his neck close against hers. He kissed her.

 

 

Inanna spoke:
"What I tell you, Let the singer weave into song.
What I tell you, Let it flow from ear to mouth,
Let it pass from old to young:

 

 

My vulva, the horn,
The Boat of Heaven,
Is full of eagerness like the young moon.
My untilled land lies fallow.

 

 

As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?...

 

 

Dumuzi replied:
"Great Lady, the king will plow your vulva.
I Dumuzi the King, will plow your vulva."
Inanna:
"Then plow my vulva, man of my heart!
Plow my vulva!"

 

 

At the king's lap stood the rising cedar.
Plants grew high by their side.
Grains grew high by their side.
Gardens flourished luxuriantly....

 

 

"O Lady, your breast is your field.
Inanna, your breast is your field.
Your broad field pours out plants.
Your broad field pours out grain.
Water flows from on high for your servant.
Bread flows from on high for your servant.
Pour it out for me, Inanna.
I will drink all you offer."

 

 

Inanna sang:
"Make your milk sweet and thick, my bridegroom.
My shepherd, I will drink your fresh milk.
Wild bull, Dumuzi, make your milk sweet and thick.
I will drink your fresh milk....

 

 

Dumuzi spoke:
"My sister, I would go with you to my garden.
Inanna, I would go with you to my garden.
I would go with you to my orchard.
I would go with you to my apple tree.
There I would plant the sweet, honey-covered seed."

 

 

Inanna spoke:
"He brought me into his garden.
My brother, Dumuzi, brought me into his garden.
I strolled with him among the standing trees,
I stood with him among the fallen trees,
By an apple tree I knelt as is proper....

 

 

Before my lord Dumuzi,
I poured out plants from my womb.
I placed plants before him,
I poured out plants before him.
I placed grain before him,
I poured out grain before him.
I poured out grain from my womb."

 

 

Inanna sang:
"Last night as I, the queen, was shining bright,
Last night as I, the Queen of Heaven, was shining bright,
As I was shining bright and dancing,
Singing praises at the coming of the night-

 

 

He met me - he met me!
My lord Dumuzi met me.
He put his hand into my hand.
He pressed his neck close against mine.
My high priest is ready for the holy loins.
My lord Dumuzi is ready for the holy loins.
The plants and herbs in his field are ripe.

 

 

O Dumuzi! Your fullness is my delight!"...

 

 

"Let the bed that rejoices the heart be prepared!
Let the bed that sweetens the loins be prepared!...

 

 

He put his hand in her hand.
He put his hand to her heart.
Sweet is the sleep of hand-to-hand.
Sweeter still the sleep of heart-to-heart.

 

 

Inanna spoke:
"I bathed for the wild bull,
I bathed for the shepherd Dumuzi,
I perfumed my sides with ointment,
I coated my mouth with sweet-smelling amber,
I painted my eyes with kohl.

 

 

He shaped my loins with his fair hands,
The shepherd Dumuzi filled my lap with cream and milk,
He stroked my pubic hair,
He watered my womb.
He laid his hands on my holy vulva,
He smoothed my black boat with cream,
He quickened my narrow boat with milk,
He caressed me on the bed.

 

 

Now I will caress my high priest on the bed,
I will caress the faithful shepherd Dumuzi,
I will caress his loins, the shepherdship of the land,
I will decree a sweet fate for him."

 

 

The Queen of Heaven,
The heroic woman, greater than her mother,
Who was presented the me by Enki,
Inanna, the First Daughter of the Moon,
Decreed the fate of Dumuzi:

 

 

In battle, I am your leader,
In combat I am your armor-bearer,
In the assembly I am your advocate,
On the campaign I am your inspiration....

 

 

In all ways you are fit.
May your heart enjoy long days....

 

 

As the farmer, let him make the fields fertile,
As the shepherd, let him make the sheepfolds multiply,
Under his reign let there be vegetation,
Under his reign let there be rich grain.

 

 

The king went with lifted head to the holy loins.
He went with lifted head to the loins of Inanna.
He went to the queen with lifted head.
He opened wide his arms to the holy priestess of heaven....

 

 

My blossom-bearer in the apple orchard,
My bearer of fruit in the apple orchard, ...
My fearless one, My holy statue,...
How sweet was your allure. . . ."
(Wolkenstein and Kramer 30)

 

 


 

 

The Renewal celebrates the return of the Sacred Marriage fulfilling the restoration of the Feminine to her natural divinity. If you wish to restore the hieros gamos to its original fertility and empower the Goddess, join in the Renewal. You will thereby join in saving biodiversity for all time. It is her natural empowerment in her apocalyptic 'unveiling'.

 

 


 

 


The descent of the seven veils, the curse of Dumuzi (Wolkenstein and Kramer 57, 72).

 

The onset of the lean season after the harvest, however brings out the fierce dark side of the goddess of death and destruction. It is celebrated by the entry of Inanna to the underworld, where she dances the dance of the seven veils as her worldly attire and then her life is reduced to nought. Inanna decides to experience the dark side her elder sister Ereshkigal knows as Queen of the Underworld in the death rites of the Sacred Bull of Heaven, Gugalanna, thus disguising her formal purpose of discovery in the formal act of witnessing the death rites of another.

Returning from the underworld, accompanied by demons who must have a mortal in compensation, she fixes the eye of death on her absent-minded partner who is engrossed in affairs of state, and he is chased by the demons of hell, losing his possessions, his genitals and his life. Inanna afterwards laments her actions and searches for him and ensures his resurrection so that he can be brought back for six months of the year to ensure the fertility of both the womb and the soil. Seasonal male sacrifice of the "king" reverberates through the goddesses from Greece to India and over much of Africa including Cybele, Hecate and Kali. In the Sumerian view, the purpose of human life was merely to provide sustenance for the deities.

 

"From the Great Above she opened her ear to the Great Below.
From the Great Above the goddess opened her ear to the Great Below.
From the Great Above Inanna opened her ear to the Great Below.

 

 

My Lady abandoned heaven and earth to descend to the underworld.
Inanna abandoned heaven and earth to descend to the underworld.
She abandoned her office of holy priestess to descend to the underworld....

 

 

If I do not return,
Set up a lament for me by the ruins.
Beat the drum for me in the assembly places.
Circle the houses of the gods.
Tear at your eyes, at your mouth, at your thighs. ...

 

 

Go to Eridu, to the temple of Enki.
Weep before Father Enki.
Father Enki, the God of Wisdom, knows the food of life,
He knows the water of life; He knows the secrets.
Surely he will not let me die." ...
(Wolkenstein and Kramer 52)

 

 

When Inanna arrived at the outer gates of the underworld, She knocked loudly.
She cried out in a fierce voice: "Open the door, gatekeeper! Open the door, Neti!
I alone would enter!" ...

 

 

When she entered the first gate,
the shugurra, the crown of the steppe was removed.
When she entered the second gate,
From her neck the small lapis beads were removed.
When she entered the third gate,
From her breast the double strand of beads was removed.
When she entered the fourth gate,
From her chest the breastplate called "Come, man, come!" was removed.
When she entered the fifth gate,
From her wrist the gold ring was removed.
When she entered the sixth gate,
From her hand the lapis measuring rod and line was removed.
When she entered the seventh gate,
From her body the royal robe was removed. ...

 

 

Naked and bowed low, Inanna entered the throne room.
Ereshkigal rose from her throne.
Inanna started toward the throne.
The Annuna, the judges of the underworld, surrounded her.
They passed judgment against her.
Then Ereshkigal fastened on Inanna the eye of death.
She spoke against her the word of wrath.
She uttered against her the cry of guilt.
She struck her.
Inanna was turned into a corpse,
A piece of rotting meat,
And was hung from a hook on the wall....

 

 

Then, after three days and three nights, Inanna had not returned,
Ninshubur set up a lament for her by the ruins.
She beat the drum for her in the assembly places.
(Wolkenstein and Kramer 52)

 

Neither Enlil nor Inanna's father Nannar, the Moon God of Ur, will help her because she has craved the below, and because those who choose the underworld do not return. Ninshubur succeeds in getting Enki to secure her release:

 

Inanna was about to ascend from the underworld
When the Annuna, the judges of the underworld, seized her. They said:
"No one ascends from the underworld unmarked.
If Inanna wishes to return from the underworld,
She must provide someone in her place."...

 

 

As Inanna ascended from the underworld,
The galla, the demons of the underworld, clung to her side.
The galla were demons who know no food, who know no drink,
Who eat no offerings, who drink no libations,
Who accept no gifts.
They enjoy no lovemaking-
They have no sweet children to kiss.
They tear the wife from the husband's arms,
They tear the child from the father's knees,
They steal the bride from her marriage home....

 

 

The galla said: "Walk on, Inanna,
We will take Ninshubur in your place."
Inanna cried: "No! Ninshubur is my constant support....
"Walk on to your city, Inanna, We will take Shara in your place."
Inanna cried: "No! Not Shara! He is my son who sings hymns to me. ...
"Walk on to your city, Inanna, We will take Lulal in your place."
"Not Lulal! He is my son. He is a leader among men. ...
"Walk on to your city, Inanna.
We will go with you to the big apple tree in Uruk."
In Uruk, by the big apple tree,

 

 

Dumuzi, the husband of Inanna, was dressed in his shining me-garments.
He sat on his magnificent throne; (he did not move).
The galla seized him by his thighs.
They poured milk out of his seven churns.
They broke the reed pipe which the shepherd was playing.

 

 

Inanna fastened on Dumuzi the eye of death.
She spoke against him the word of wrath.
She uttered against him the cry of guilt:
"Take bim! Take Dumuzi away!"

 

 

The galla, who know no food, who know no drink,
Who eat no offerings, who drink no libations,
Who accept no gifts, seized Dumuzi.
They made him stand up; they made him sit down.
They beat the husband of Inanna.
They gashed him with axes."
(Wolkenstein and Kramer 71)

 

There follows a famous episode: the lament of Damuzzi - the lament for all lost life:

 

At his vanishing away she lifts up a lament, "Oh my child!"
At his vanishing away she lifts up a lament, "My Damu!"
At his vanishing away she lifts up a lament, "My enchanter and priest!"
Like the lament that a house lifts up for its master,
Like the lament that a city lifts up for its lord,
Her lament is the lament for a herb that grows not in the bed.
Her lament is the lament for the corn that grows not in the ear.
Her chamber is a possession that brings not forth a possession.
A weary woman, a weary child forespent.
Her lament is for a great river where no willow grows.
Her lament is for a field where wheat and herbs grow not.
Her lament is for a lifeless pool with no fish.
Her lament is for a thicket with no reeds.
Her lament is for a wood with no tamarisks.
For a wilderness with no Cypresses.
For a garden without honey or wine.
For meadows with no pasture.
For a palace where long life is gone.
(Frazer v4/1 10)

 

Inanna and Dumuzzi's sister Geshtinanna go searching to the edges of the steppe for Dumuzzi. Dumuzzi is finally given a partial reprieve, of tragic irony for his sacred kings. He is allowed back in the full season, while his sister Geshtinana, playing a role like unto Persephone, takes his place. This means that Dumuzzi's death and resurrection become instituted ritual - as the renowned "women weeping for Tammuz" in the Old Testament, as well as those of Ta'uz at Harran make clear. They weep and lament. The king dies. They grind his bones in the mill and scatter them to the winds. People beat their breasts and searched for the dead and resurrected God among the straw as far away as Samarkand (Briffault v3/100).

11.4 The Dilemma of the Messiahs

Such a viewpoint still arises in its essence from a great Mother Goddess, the personification of all the reproductive energies of nature, and associated with her a series of lovers, each the divine bridegroom, a mortal yet resurrected god, with whom she mated year by year, their sexual consummation expressed physically between priestess and priest-king, and that of their worshippers at the sanctuary ensuring the fruitfulness of the ground and the increase of man and beast (Frazer 1890 v5/ 39). Such an idea of deity is consistent with an inheritance down the female line in which kings held power only by virtue of their association with a continuing female line, which is thus immortal both by childbirth and by genealogy, while the male remains transient and mortal likewise on both counts Traditions of transient sacred kingships interrupted by human sacrifice are an exprassion of this motif.

The same dying male vegetation god theme is common to Tammuz, Osiris, Adonis, Attis, Shiva and even Dionysus, who from very early times have been worshipped in magical rites designed to ensure the clement passage of the seasons, the return of fertilizing rains, and the verdant growth of spring. In their death and resurrection was believed to be the mystic catharsis for the decay and revival of the life and fertility upon which food and the welfare of whole societies depended.

Osiris is either shut in his coffin or felled by the river and drowned. Adonis is gored, Attis is persuaded to castrate himself and bleeds to death, Dionysus is torn to pieces and Virbus is dragged to his death. Frequently this death is precipitated by the conflict between the twin aspects of the goddess of life and death, sometimes in the form of a jealousy or slight. Thus Hippolytus offends Aphrodite by his faith towards Artemis and Adonis lover of Aphrodite offends Artemis. The rites of Tammuz and Dionysus, who later evolved in myth into a paternal deity, both appear to have originated from exclusive womens' mystery cults (Briffault v3 105).

The flesh of Mot was similarly torn asunder in Canaanite myth once every seven years in a way which is closely linked to the crucifixion. Anath calls to Shapash the sun goddess for the victor Ba'al to kill Mot and reprieve the lean season. Ba'al smites the sons of Athirat.

 

In the seventh year, then lo! Mot son of El
lifted up his voice unto the victor Ba'al and cried:
By reason of thee I have suffered shame,
by reason of thee I have suffered disgrace.
I have suffered winnowing by the sieve,
I have suffered with the sword and
burning by fire by reason of thee.
Grinding between two millstones.
I have suffered sowing on the day,
by reason of thee. (Driver 113)

 

All the grain gods were ritually ground up. Osiris was scattered over all Egypt. The lament is not just the lament for the dying Autumn but it is the lament of the grinding of the corn of the reaper.

 

They wasted o'er a scorching flame
The marrow of his bones;
But a miller us'd him worst of all -
For he crushed him between two stones. - Robert Burns

 

The sacrificial cycle caused some herioc kings in history to refuse the advances of the Goddess. In Babylonian myth, Gilgamesh, the hero who helped Inanna cut down the Hulluppu tree is tempted by Ishtar (Inanna). She offers Gilgamesh her hand in marriage. In refusing the marriage, Gilgamesh repels Ishtar's offer with a mix of contempt and apprehension.

 

.
Fig 11.10: The new King dispatches the old in the presence of the Goddess Sumer 2300 BC (Campbell 1962 or 42)

 

"Tammuz, the spouse of thy youth, thou hast condemned him to weep from year to year. Allala the spotted sparrow hawk, thou lovest him, afterwards thou didst strike him and break his wing: he continues in the wood and cries 'O my wings!' Thou didst afterwards love a lion of mature strength, and didst then cause him to be rent by blows, seven at a time. Thou lovest also a stallion magnificent in battle; thou didst devote him to death by the goad and the whip; thou didst compel him to gallop for ten leagues, thou didst devote him to exhaustion and thirst. Thou didst love Ishullanu thy fathers gardener, who ceaselessly brought thee presents of fruit and decorated every day thy table ... thou didst strike him, thou didst transform him into a dwarf. ... Thou lovest me now, afterwards thou wilt strike me as thou didst these". (The Dawn of Civilization 580)

He subsequently has to protect Uruk from the vengeful ravages of the Bull of Heaven she sends in vengeance. This myth was enacted in Babylon annually, but the Temples of Ishtar remained. Women had rights of divorce and had to prostitute themselves in the temple once during their lives.

Theseus similarly rejects Ariadne, resulting in the death of his father because he forgets to remove the black sails signalling his own death on his return to Athens, and also the downfall of the Cretan Goddess, despite becoming the celestial betrothed of none less than Dionysus. Greek myth reverberates with the overthrow of the Goddess from her earlier position of relative power.

The king was either regularly sacrificed after a fixed term of say seven years, or might live on as long as his fertility lasted, as in Israel with David. The sacred king of Nemi lived only so long as no other male could take him inmortal combat, upon snapping the sacred branch. Barbara Walker points notes that Kingship throughout Mesopotamia was realized only through hieros-gamos with the earthly representative o fthe Goddess. "The length of a king's reign was often predetermined, because people thought the Goddess needed the refreshment of a new lover at stated intervals." "Ashurbanipal said he ruled by the grace of Ishtar." "The goddess queen's choice largely depended on the candidate's sex-appeal. If she tired of the king's lovemaking, he could be deposed or killed, for the queen's sexual acceptance of him determined the fertility of the land. In many early societies the old king was killed by a new king, usually called a "son" although he was no blood relative." "Hence the unbroken chain of Oedipal murders..." "Kings of Thebes and Caanan ruled for seven years." "Kings of Zimbabwe were strangled by their wives every four years until 1810 AD. Sacrifice of Kings extended from Africa to Greece and Early Rome."

Barbara Walker (877) perceptively comments: "Human or animal, the sacrificial victims of ancient cultures were almost invariably male. Worshippers of Shiva sacrificed only male animals; the god himself ordered that female animals must never be slain.' Males were expendable, for there were always too many for a proper breeding stock. The same was true even of human sacrifices, which were men, not women. "The fertility of a group is determined by the number of its adult women, rather than by its adult men." Therefore male blood only was poured out on the earliest altars, in imitation of the female blood that gave "life." That is why totemic animal-ancestors were more often paternal than maternal. The animals'blood and flesh, ingested by women, was thought to beget human offspring; and the rule was "Whatever is killed becomes father." The victim was also god, and king."

As time went by, ritual substitutes were used who became king for a day and were then sacrificed, as was the case in Babylon. "Amazonian Sacae or Scythians founded the Sacaea festivals of Babylon, where condemned criminals died as sacrificial surrogates for the king, to mitigate the earlier custom of king-killing. The chosen victim was a sacred king, identified with the real king in every possible way. He wore the king's robes, sat on the king's throne, lay with the royal concubines, wielded the scepter. After five days he was stripped, scourged, then hanged or impaled "between heaven and earth," in a prototype of the crucifixion ceremony later extended to sacred kings of the Jews. The object of scourging and piercing was to make the pseudo-king shed tears and blood for fertility magic.' Babylonian scriptures said, "if the king does not weep when struck, the omen is bad for the year." The king or pseudo-king "became God" as soon as he was dead. He ascended into heaven and united himself with the Heavenly Father, i.e., the original totem father, or first victim ... When ritual murder of kings or human king-surrogates came to be considered crude and uncivilized, then animal victims took their place. ... The Jews retained a custom of human sacrifice, for special occasions, longer than any other people in the sphere of influence of the Roman empire. Out of this tradition arose the figure of the dying Christos in Jerusalem." (Walker 877)

11.5 Adonai the Lord

Adonis the Semitic god whose name was simply Lord, just as Yahweh was referred to as Adonai - Lord, was originally represented as Tammuz of Babylon and Dumuzzi of Sumeria who appears as Damuzi, a king of Eridu who reigned for 100 years (Briffault v3 99), then as the youthful shepherd king who is the lover of the Inanna, Queen of Heaven, a divine icon of the mortal sacred king who was the temporary consort of the Goddess. As we see from the descent of Inanna, Dumuzzi was doomed to spend part of the year in the underworld as the dying god, doomed by the Goddess, "A tamarisk that in the garden has drunk no water ... A willow whose roots were torn up", who later regenerates to become again the adolescent lover, symbolic of male fertility in the spring season. He is Dumuzzi of the abyss, "true son of the seep water" (Frazer 1890 v5/ 246), the god of freshets and running water that drives all vegetative life.

Ezekiel 8:14 "Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz."

His death was annually mourned to the shrill music of flutes, by men and women in the month of Tammuz. Dirges were chanted over an effigy of the dead god, which was washed with pure water, anointed with oil, and clad in a red robe, suffused with incense to wake him from the sleep of death.

The Greeks speak a similar story of the God Adonis they adopted from the Semites around the 8th century BC. As a child beloved of Aphrodite, he was given to the charge of Persephone in a chest. But when Persephone opened the box and saw his beauty, she would not release him. Finally Zeus mediated his return to Aphrodite for part of the year. In myth he was killed by a wild boar (Frazer 1890 5/11).

The cult of Adonis was localized in Syria at Byblos and at Paphos on Cyprus. Both were great seats of the worship of Aphrodite as Astarte or in her sea aspect as Mari. Byblos has a history dating back as far as 3000 BC. The rites of Adonis were celebrated in the court of her temple surmounted by a great conical obelisk symbolic of the Goddess. The whole city was sacred to him and the river bore his name. There was a sacred grove and temple to the Goddess in the vale of Adonis at the source of the river, surmounted by astature in which heawaits the attack of a bear and beside him Aphrodite sits in sorrow, just as he was wounded to death in the montains and mourned annually while his red anemone bloomed in the cedars and the river ran red to the sea (Frazer 1890 v5/30). This is the beautiful and in essence tragic theme of the marriage of the flower queen and Salmah the summer king in the Song of Songs (Graves 1948 261).

At the festivals of Adonis in Western Asia and the Greek Islands, the death of the god was annually mourned with bitter wailing, chiefly by women; images of him, dressed to resemble corpses, were carried out as to burial and then thrown in the seaor intl springs. His revival was sometimes celebrated next day. At Alexandria images of Aphrodite and Adonis were displayed on two couches; beside them were wet ripe fruits of all kinds, cakes, potted plants and green vines twined with anise. The marriage of the lovers was celebrated one day and the next women attired as mourners with streaming hair and bared breasts, bore the image of the dead Adonis to the sea-shore and committed it to the waves, singing that he would come back again. At Byblos he was mourned in the vernal discolouration of the river Adonis with red earth washed from his mythical goring on Mt. Lebanon to shrill wailing of the flute and weeping lamentation and beating of the breast. The next day was believed to come to life again and ascend to heaven in the presence of his worshippers. The anemone whose name is derived from Naaman - darling, which celebrates his blood, blooms in Syria about Easter (Frazer 1890 v5/224-6). Spring and summer, not autumn, are the seasons for his festivals and likewise for the barley and wheat harvests in the Near East.

Fig 11.11: The Birth of Adonis from a Myrrh Tree (Cook)

His link with vegetations is clear from his birth in a Myrrh tree, myrrh being traditionally used as incense at the festival, his descent to the underworld for a third of the year and the offerings of fruit, and plants in his festivals, the grinding of his bones and their scattering to the winds, as Mot in Canaan and Ta'uz at Harran (Briffault v3 101) and his revival as reaped and sprouting grain, and in the gardens of Adonis, baskets or pots filled with earth in which wheat, barley, lettuces, fennel and various kinds of flowers were sown and tended for eight days, chiefly or exclusively by women. These shot up rapidly only to wilt and be flung at the end of eight days with his images into the water, thus also invoking the fertilizing rains. (Frazer 1890 v5/236).

Byblos was ruled by sacred kings whose names such as that of Yehaw-melech or Yaveh-melech bear the same title melech king. The first name is also suggestive of Yahweh (Frazer 1890 v5/16).

Kings of Byblos and Tyre were often also priests of Astarte (Frazer 1890 v5 26), who were required to celebrate the hieros gamos with the Goddess to ensure the fertility of the land and flocks and verdant weather free of plague and pestilence (Frazer 1890 v5 28).

There is evidence of various forms of sacrifice associated with the dying and resurrected god. Melcarth of Tyre, identified by the Greeks with Hercules, was annually burned as an effigy, and originally in human sacrifice, on a great pyre and believed to ascend to heaven in a cloud and real of thunder, to be revived by a sacrificed quail (Frazer 1890 v5 111) in the "Feast of the Resurrection" and is the source of the Phoenix (Briffault v3 103).

It is said in Ezekiel that the king of Tyre impersonated the god and that he walked on hot coals as a substitute for his own immolation: 28:2 "Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus ... and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: ... Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire." It is possible that when all went well in the commonwealth, the children doomed to the furnace of Molech may also have been spared (Frazer 1890 v5 115).

Sacrificial immolation was a fate also shared by the Talmudic Abraham. In Thrace, Dionysus was similarly immolated in a great flame which presaged the quality of the coming harvest. In Florence a Christian fireworks festival on the Saturday before Easter is commemorated in the same way (Briffault v3 104).

Carthage also records the immolation of the goddess queen Dido on such a pyre, which appears to have become the trditional site of later child sacrifice, in which boys were rolled into a flaming pit (Frazer 1890 5/114 Smith 1888 374,377). Although this is much rarer than male sacrifice, it is recorded at Hierapolis, and in the legend of the death of Astarte at Aphaca that the goddess cast herself as a star falling into the water at the annual feast. Aphrodite likewise was said to cast herself from a promontory after the death of Adonis (Smith 1888 375).

Across the Mediterranean the mountains of Cyprus can bee seen distant from the shore, one days sail, and at Paphos was another seat of worship of Astarte and Adonis. The coinage shows doves with shrines showing pillars with horns, the cone and a star and crescent symbolic of the Queen of Heaven. The sanctuary is of great antiquity and may run back to the original Great Goddess. Holy stones were still anointed at the turn of the century in the name of the "Maid of Bethlehem", sometimes still referred to as Aphrodite, to remove the curse of barrennes or increase the virility (Frazer 1890 v5 36).

11.6 Cuttings for the Dead

"Every fourteen days we make a sacrifice of our hair and then sweep the clippings together" A Carthusian monk (Ranke-Heinmann 1992 294).

The cult of Astarte and Adonis took place under the auspices of the god of the new moon. It included the building of a Temple of Astarte, a procession through the streets of the city, singing and lighting a fire for the Queen of Heaven, sacrifice, baking bread for Astarte and cakes for the participants of the festival, shaving and the construction of pillars for Adonis. It was familiar to Jeremiah in Jerusalem (7:17). The children collected wood, their fathers lit the fire for Astarte, the women made bread for the Queen of Heaven, they burned incense and offered libations, and they offered sacrifice and cut their hair in mourning. The ritual coincided with astral and seasonal phenomena and it purpose was to celebrate the simple satisfactions of life and to appease the power of evil and death.

These strands of hair he trimmed as he entreated Astarte. Tamassos presented himself and made a complete offering, "May this rouse the weepers to look for their beloved". This passage is reminiscent of the Song of Songs and the offering of hair in fulfillment of the Nazirite vow, but its association with mourning for the dead was expressly forbidden by the Deuteronomic historian. The cult of Astarte included a complex of rites in which the dead were honoured to invoke the expectation of enduring life in succeeding generations. (Peckam) Similar rites were performed at Mari. (Malamat)

The followers of Astarte have always been noted for their ceremonies for the dead and for the dying and resurrecting god of fertility, in which the hair was cut off. "At Byblos people shaved their heads in the annual mourning for Adonis. Women who refused to sacrifice their hair had to give themselves up to strangers on a certain day of the festival, and the money which they earned was devoted to the Goddess. This custom may have been the mitigation of an older rule which at Byblus as elsewhere formerly compelled every woman without exception to sacrifice her virtue in the service of religion." (Frazer v4 38). This substitution of hair applied also to the ritual prostitution required of each woman before marriage. "At later times at Byblos, it was the custom to be able to commute the period of ritual prostitution required by the Goddess by the cutting off of her hair, as is done at the present day by Catholic nuns when becoming mystically married to the divine bridegroom". (Briffault v3 220)

Fig 11.12: Mary Magdalene Cutting off her Hair - Livre de la Passion 14th cent

"In ancient Israel mourners were accustomed to testify their sorrow for the death of friends by cutting their own bodies and shearing part of their hair so as to make bald patches on their heads." (Frazer Folk v1 270) "Both the great and small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves nor make themselves bald for them." (Jer 16:6) Amos (8:10) likewise noted "I shall turn you feasts into mourning ... and baldness upon every head". Micah goes further "Make thee bald, poll thee for the children of thy delight, enlarge thy baldness as an eagle." "Yet in time these observances, long practised without offense by the Israelites came to be viewed as barbarous or heathenish" so that in Deuteronomy 14:1 we find "Ye shall not cut yourselves not make any baldness between your eyes for the dead". This is later repeated in Leviticus 19:27, and picturesquely in 21:1-5 it is attributed to Moses himself "And the Lord said to Moses ... they shall not make baldness on their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh".

Robinson-Smith notes furthermore "Among the Hebrews and the Arabs, and indeed among many other peoples both ancient and modern, the laceration of the flesh in mourning is associated with the practice of shaving the head or cutting off part of the hair and depositing it on the tomb or funeral pyre." (Smith 323) Among the Arabs this rite was exclusive to women who wrapped it in a cloth stained with their own blood, having scratched their cheeks and upper parts. The Hebrews by contrast shaved the front part of the head only. "Now among the Semites and other ancient peoples the hair-offering is common, not only in mourning but in the worship of the gods, and the ritual in the two cases are so exactly similar that we cannot doubt that a single principle was involved in both. ... Arab women laid their hair in the tomb of the dead [wrapped in blood scratched from their face and breasts" (Frazer OT 4/273)], young men and maidens in Syria cut off their flowing tresses and deposited them in caskets of gold in the temples. The Hebrews shaved the fore part of their head in mourning; the Arabs of Herodotus habitually adopted the like tonsure of their god Orotal [Du Sara].

Mary Magdalen was reputed to have long tresses which she is likewise described as cutting in mourning. According to the Jewish midrash, Jesus mother's name was Mary M'gadd'la -the hairdresser, an unclean profession. Cuttings from dead people were often made into wigs by unscrupulous hairdressers.

11.7 Adonai Mashach of Yahweh

Briffault (v3 110) notes the tension between Yahweh-Adonai and the Adonai who was Lord consort of the Canaanite Astarte. As the Hebrew shepherds settled in the lands around Canaan, they found their own race and their own religion modified by the effects of agricultural civilization. Their lunar deity was now eclipsed, taking a subservient role to the Queen of Heaven in the land of milk and honey - an abomination to their more conservative elements.

It is notable that David, who donned the crown of Milcom God of the Ammonites chose the ancient city of Salem as his royal capital, stands as a sacred king in this ancient tradition. In life the Hebrew king was regularly addressed as Adoni-ham-melech "My Lord the King" and after death he was lamented with cries of Hoi! ahi! Hoi Adon! "Alas my brother! Alas Lord!" "These exclamations of grief for the death of a king of Judah were we can hardly doubt, the very same cries which the weeping women of Jerusalem uttered in the north porch of the Temple for the dead Lord Tammuz." (Frazer 1890 v5 20) Although Adon simply means Lord secular or religious, it is nevertheless true that Jewish Kings were sacred sons of God, embodying Yahweh on earth. Their throne, and the anointing with oil as which was believed to impart holy spirit,

The significance of the king as sacred is stressed in David's cutting of Saul's garment 1 Sam 24:5: "And it came to pass that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt. And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD's anointed [Adoni Messiah Yahweh]."

The term Molech, the deity associated in the old testament with child sacrifice in Israel 2 Kings 23:10 "And he defiled Topheth ... that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech", is simply an intonation of 'king' suggesting that such sacrifices were to renew the vitality of a sacred king, whose responsibility it was to maintain fertility and clement weather as well as the strength and welfare of his subjects. Such child sacrifices were slain before they were burned Ezek 16:21 "That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?"

Isaiah records that this was a pyre to the king in the name of Yahweh 30:33 "For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it." "However the Hebrews did not burn their dead except in rare circumstances" (Smith 1888 372).

The kings of Damascus, Moab and Israel all adopted sacred kingship in various forms. The ancient Canaanite kings Adoni-bezek and Adoni-zedek clearly had names identifiable with Adonis as Lord. The latter is identifiable with Melchizedek the 'king of righteousness' of Salem of Genesis 14:18. Such ancient kingship rites would link to Ezekiel's reference to Tammuz.

The Kings of Israel were also accountable for pestilence and famine. When the rains failed David as king upon an oracle sacrificed seven of Saul's offspring to the barley harvest (2 Sam 21:1). In a very specific sense the king was the son of God who was promised a perpetual throne for his germ line: 1 Chron 17:11 "And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son:"

11.8 The Anathema of the Holy Whore

Matt 21:28 "Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you."

Canaanite Anath was accursed by Abba the Father because she was the Goddess who called for the destruction of El's son Mot, the Lord of Death, who cried to his Father in vain, as Ba'al replaced him to become the verdant season. Anath was a consort of Yahweh at Elephantine as late as the 5th century BC.

As with many other parts of Western Asia, women were required before marriage to prostitute themselves to strangers at the sanctuary. "It was a law of the Amorites that she who was about to marry should sit in fornication seven days by the gate." - Testaments ofthe Twelve Patriarchs. At Byblos people shaved their heads in mourning for Adonis. Women who refused had to give themselves up to a stranger on a certain day and give the proceeds to the Goddess. Matrons as well as maids testified their devotion to in the same manner (Frazer 1890 v5 37) to cure barrenness or to propitiate the Goddess and win her favour. Such prostitution involved no stigma in later marriage. Frazer (Frazer 1890 v5 79) suggests that the term 'son of God', which still exists to this century in association with the hajira, can be traced to the divine offspring of such sacred unions, which extended to many deities including the divine physician Aesculapius through whose serpent barren women were believed to conceive in his sanctuary (Frazer 1890 v5 80). Augustus was born in this way (Ranke-Heinmann 1992 24). This title is however also shared by Israeli kings.

Hosea speaks similarly that young married women prostituted themselves at sanctuaries on the hilltops under the oaks and terebinths Hosea 4:13 "They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery."

Hosea's dilemma goes to the heart of the biological reality of the conflict between Yahweh and the Queen of Heaven. Sacred prostitution had a chaotic effect on paternal inheritance lines, but kept maternal lines intact. It also furthered to link women in a matriarchal bond of independence from their partners. The patriarchs no longer know whether children of their wives are their own, and can never really know where the germ line has gone. Hence the fire and brinstone rhetoric from the Father God. Walker (820) notes: "Such laws were supposed to appease the Goddess, who disapproved of monogamy in the ear when there was no formal marriage and children didn't know their fathers."

Sacred women were associated with the temple who wove hangings for the asherim, the poles standing beside the altar as embodiments of Astarte until the time of Josiah 2 Kings 23:7 "And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove." The term sodomites is usually taken to refer also to 'sacred men', but Walker (822) claims the original meaning of sodomite was a holy harlot - a bride of God, which she also suggests were set apart to give birth to Sons of God, prophets or sometimes sacrificial victims.

The Holy Harlot was also a Virgin because she remained unmarried. Ishtar-Asherah-Mari-Anath was both the Great Whore and the Great Virgin Mother (Walker 822). Mary Magalen was the penitent Holy Whore and Mary Mother of James and Joses and Jesus was the Virgin. Ishtar the Great Whore of Babylon announced "A prostitute compassionate am I" (Walker 820).

The author of Revelation had other ideas. He clearly saw in her the sacrifice of Christ: 17:4 "And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." Unique in the Bible for capitalization.

Temple prostitutes were also healers, sorceresses, prophetesses and seers. Zonah in Hebrew means both prostitute and prophetess. The major temples of Aphrodite has several thousand apiece. (Wakler 820).

Time itself is a sacred whore. The hour comes from houri Gk horae, Pers houri, who kept the hours of the night by dances - the "ladies of the hour".

In a sense Maya or illusion is the same sacred whore of the physical world complete with its law of entropy. However, this whore is our very own life-blood.

Even as late as Augustine we hear "It is better that women should picke wool or spinne upon the Sabbaoth day, than they should dance impudently and filthily all day long upon the daye of the full moon".

11.9 The Lilly among theThorns

The canticle of canticles gives perhaps the most eloquent description of the hieros gamos of all time. Foolishly discounted as a simple piece of secular love poetry, it is the true nature of the hieros gamos revealed. The thorns of sacrifice of the vegetation god among the anenomes are ever present: "As a lilly among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. " So is the traditional search for the lost Tammuz "I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer."

11.10 Haman the Lord of Death of Esther

Esther is a fictitious literary account written anonymously by someone living probably in Susa around 250-180 BC of a threat of genocide to the Jewish population of the Persian empire. The names Esther and Mordecai are thinly disguised references to Ishtar and Marduk the patron god of Babylon who slays the chaos mother monster Tiamat. The entire episode is a portrayal of the Babylonian rite of Sacaea in terms of an allegory of Jewish history. In it God is not mentioned. It is as if the omission is a profound silence. Something omnipresent but forbidden to be spoken. By contrast Esther and Mordecai become "very nearly God's redemptive action incarnate" (Miles 361). The effects of even handling the book became later an issue of debate (Fox R 110).

After a seven day festival, King Ahasuerus of Persia, calls on his chamberlain, who has made a feast for the women to dance the descent 1:11 "To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on. But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment". The princes consider the matter a contempt "For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes".

The most beautiful maids ofthe realm are brought to Shushan his capital. Esther pleases him most and becomes his queen. Mordecai, her cousin, who has recently saved the king from an assasination plot by telling Esther, declines to bow to Haman the new Prime Minister "He explained to them that he was a Jew".

Now comes the lot that will cause Purim to precede the Passover: 3:7 "In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman."

Haman now offers silver to the king to issue an edict to destroy the Jews. Mordecai and the Jews tear their garments and don sackcloth and ashes in mourning the crisis. There is however no call to God. When Esther fears to enter the court unsummoned, a capital offense unless the king holds out the golden sceptre, Mordecai says "Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. ... and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" inferring the synchronous reason fer her position is to save the Jews.

Ester commands Mordecai to fast three days and does likewise "I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish." Now on the third day, Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court and when the king saw Esther, she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre and touched the top."

Now comes the quote which will echo dowm to John the Baptist 5:3: "Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom." - a ritual acclamation to the Queen of Heaven on the third day after the descent, to avoid the mistake of Dumuzzi's forgetfulness. The queen then claims Haman 5:4: "And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him." At the banquet she says she will give her decision at the second banquet on the morrow with Haman and the king.

Haman is at first delighted, but when Mordecai again does not bow, "Zeresh his wife and all his friends [say], Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon." But in the night the king discovers Mordecai has saved his life and not been rewarded. Haman appears and the king asks "what should be done to whom the man the king delighteth to honour?" Haman thinking it is himself says to bring the king's royal apparel, his horse and crown and lead the man in glory through the streets.

The king now says to give this favour to Mordecai. Haman immediately knows he is doomed and covers his head and goes to his house in mourning. He is then summoned to the second banquet where Esther reveals his plot of genocide 7:6: "The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman." Haman now pleads for his life to Esther, but ends caught in fatal consummation as the king returns from the garden: "Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of king's mouth, they covered Haman's face." Haman is then hanged on the gallows he has prepared.

Worse is yet to come, because the king orders a reverse warrant to allow the Jews to commit retributive genocide "to destroy, to slay and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey". "Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.", but did not take the spoil. When they slaughter 500 in Shushan, Esther asks the King for more and to hang Haman's ten sons who have been slaughtered on the gallows. In all 5000 people are killed.

9:26 "Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur." The March feast of Purim on the 14th of Adar became a kind of Bacchanal at which there was drinking, farcial theatre and the effigy of Haman was hanged on the gallows - a notable source of consternation to early Christians and a precursor to the passover.

Ta'uz of Islam

The rites to mourn Hussain, the martyred son of Ali and Fatima are similarly celebrated by great weeping mourning, the devout muslim striking his head to express his grief so the blood runs, after which the representations of the tomb, 'ta'ziya' or lamentations, a possible corruption of Ta'uz, are deposited in special cemetries, or like the effigies of Tammuz, thown into a body of water (Briffault 3/98).

The True Christs of Malabar

"The most vivid example on record of an 'immolation' of the sacred king is probably that in Duarte Barbosa's Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar in the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century. The god-king of the south Indian province of Quilacare in Malabar (an area having a strongly matriarchal tradition to this day) had to sacrifice himself at the end of the length of time required by the planet Jupiter for a circuit of the zodiac and return to its moment of retrograde motion in the sign of Cancer-which is to say, twelve years. When his time came, the king had a wooden scaffolding constructed and spread over with hangings of silk. And when he had ritually bathed in a tank, with great ceremonies and to the sound of music, he proceeded to the temple, where he paid worship to the divinity. Then he mounted the scaffolding and, before the people, took some very sharp knives and began to cut off parts of his body - nose, ears, lips, and all his members, and as much of his flesh as he was able - throwing them away and round about, until so much of his blood was spilled that he began to faint, whereupon he slit his throat." (Campbell 1959 165).

 


Fig 11.29: The Dance of Maya represents the Universe of Mind and Body as the Fall from the Cosmic Hieros Gamos. As the withdrawal from union occurs the female (objective) perfroms the dance of illusion making the male (subjective) belief they are many and generating from her uterus the material diversity of the physical world
(Rawson 1973 19).

 

Consummating the Illusion of the sacred Marriage

A parallel to the Fall from Eden is the dance of Shiva, Lord of Death and Shakti the divine sexual aspect of Kali-ma the Dark Goddess of Destruction and Creation. A central meditative climax of the tantric method is awakening the kundalini, the psycho-sexual force of illumination which ascends the chakras of the spine. In Tantric cosmology, existence is a fall from unity between the genders, where subject and object, mind and body are at first in intimate and divine unity and then begin to separate from their wholeness to become the dance of Maya the physical world and sensory experience which draws us into the world of suffering and mortality, away from the still point of the eternal cosmic mind.

 


Fig 11.30: Shiva-Shakti Tantric Hieros Gamos - Khajuraho.

 

The great hope and joy of the tantric path is that by reversing this process, by a unification of the genders into their full complementation, the Tao of existence will again be fulfilled. Tibetan Buddhist meditation similarly approaches the sacred union of female and male energies in total illumination in the rite of Yab-Yum - father-mother. Tantric sexual meditation involves prolonged coitus reservatus aimed at elevating the psycho-sexual energy.

"The Carving is of Tane who holds the seed of life in his hand" Paul Piripi
(NZ Herald) It has been the subject of protests by the Christian Heritage Party.

The Great Penis which was swallowed by a Vagina.

The polynesian Maui who fished up Aotearoa and is also a hero of Hawaii had the biggest and most powerful penis in creation. "Hina was originally the wife of Monster Eel, Te Tuna [Phallus]. Hina leaves Te Tuna and goes to forage for a new lover. Calling out "I am the first woman to come utterly without shame seeking the eel-shapes rod of love. I am the dark pubic patch, pursuing the assuagement of desire. I have come to you by way of unnumbersed shores - along sandy beaches. O detumescent staff, be plunged in the consummation of love. I am this woman from afar, desiring you ardently." No one will take her. Maui's mother says "Take that woman for yourself". Te Tuna arrives to challenge him, with four spirits accompanying him, one called 'clitoris continuously suffused'. Maui is assailed by a Tsunami, but his mother shouts "Be quick, let your phallus be seen". They enter into a phallic duel in which Maui enters Te Tuna and tears him apart (Campbell prim 191).

"But fatally, Maui decided to crawl into the vagina of Hine nui te Po, Hine of the darkness, lying flashing where the cold mountains meet the sunset, with eyes of greenstone and hair of kelp, planning to vanquish her and come out her mouth so that death would have no power over men. But as he crawled into the cosmic vagina, the fantail burst out laughing, waking Hine who strangled Maui in rebirth." The song of the fantail thus has an aura of death (Alpers).

 


 

On to Part 2 The Gospel of Miriam - Christ and the Fruitful Mother

 

 

Traduction :

Para la diosa  Inanna, su soberana,

Ur-nammu, el hmbre fuerte , el rey de Ur y rey de Sumer y de Akkad, ha construido su templo.

1/ dInanna

la diosa Inanna

wpe2D.jpg (6201 octets)


2/ nin-a-ni

para su señora


3/ ur-dnammu

Ur-nammu


4/ nita-kala-ga

el hombre fuerte

1/ lugal-uri (SHESH.AB)ki-ma

el rey de la villa de Ville de Ur


2/ lugal ki-en-gi-ki-uri-ke4

el rey de  Sumer y Akkad


3/ é-a-ni

su templo


4/ mu-na-dù

el ha construido

 

Traduction d'une inscription sumérienne sur une brique. Cette inscription date du règne Ur-nammu, roi de la ville d'Ur à la fin du IIIe millénaire av. J.-C.

dInanna wpe2D.jpg (6201 octets) (nom propre) la déesse Inanna.

wpeA4.jpg (3312 octets) d : déterminatif des noms divins.  Par convention, les déterminatifs se placent au-dessus du mot (en exposant). "d" est l'abréviation du mot "dingir". 

Quand le signe "dingir" il est utilisé seul, il signifie : "dieu, déesse". En akkadien "dingir" se prononce : "ilu". Dans le mot : KÁ-DINGIR-RA ou Babylone en français, il y a le mot "dingir".

Le wpeA4.jpg (3312 octets) peut aussi avoir une autre signification : ciel. "Ciel" se prononce AN en sumérien.

nin-ani(ra)  wpe2E.jpg (8273 octets)

 

wpe2F.jpg (4896 octets)

wpe10.jpg (3875 octets) nin : (substantif) dame, souveraine, reine, princesse.

ani(ra) : (adjectif possessif) 3e personne du singulier.

(ra) : (particule de cas) datif. Le datif peut se traduire par : "pour, à".

Ur-dnammu wpe30.jpg (9248 octets) wpe12.jpg (3464 octets) ur : (substantif) chien, protecteur.

ur-dNammu : (nom propre) protecteur de la déesse Nammu.

nita-kala-ga wpe31.jpg (8851 octets) wpe16.jpg (3737 octets) nita : (substantif) mâle.

wpe2E.jpg (5527 octets) kalaga : (adjectif) fort, puissant.

lugal-uri5 (SHESH.AB)ki-mawpe32.jpg (10202 octets) lugal : (substantif) propriétaire, roi.

wpe19.jpg (3201 octets) uri5 (SHESH.AB) : (nom propre)  la ville d'Ur      

La ville d'Ur s'écrit en assemblant deux caractères SHESH et AB. Ils sont écrits par convention en majuscule. Ces deux caractères se prononcent : uri.

En sumérien, comme il existe plusieurs mots qui se prononcent "uri", les assyriologues les ont numérotés pour les différencier. Le chiffre est placé sous le mot (en indice). Il existe donc au moins cinq mots qui se prononcent : uri (uri 1, 2, 3, 4 et 5). Ces mots se prononcent de la même manière, mais ils ne s'écrivent pas de la même façon ; chacun possède un ou des signes différents.

Le nom de la ville d'Ur est suivi pas le signe "ki".

wpe1B.jpg (2232 octets) ki : déterminatif des noms de lieux. Par convention, les déterminatifs se placent au-dessus du mot (en exposant).

Quand le signe "ki" il est utilisé seul signifie "terre", en akkadien "ki" se prononce : "eretsetu". 

ma : et

lugal-ki-en-gi(r) ki-uri5-ke4wpe33.jpg (16240 octets) lugal : (substantif) propriétaire, roi.

wpe32.jpg (7370 octets) ki-en-gir : (nom propre) le pays de Sumer.

wpe1E.jpg (3838 octets) ki-uri : (nom propre) pays d'Akkad.

wpe49.jpg (2810 octets) ke4 : (deux particules de cas) ak + e  ou  génitif (ak)  +  ergatif (e).

En sumérien, comme il existe plusieurs mots qui se prononcent "ke", les assyriologues les ont numérotés pour les différencier. Le chiffre est placé sous le mot (en indice). Il existe donc au moins quatre mots qui se prononcent : ke.

é-ani
wpe34.jpg (7159 octets)
wpe20.jpg (3375 octets) é : (substantif) maison, temple. 

On peut écrire "e2" : "é", c'est la même chose. En sumérien, comme il existe plusieurs mots qui se prononcent "e", les assyriologues les ont numérotés pour les différencier. Le chiffre est placé sous le mot (en indice). Il existe donc au moins deux mots qui se prononcent : e. 

En réalité, il y a onze "e", le dernier de la série s'écrit : "e11".

Voici les significations des premiers "e" : 

signes :

prononciation : on écrit : signification :

e eou  e "parler"

wpe20.jpg (3375 octets)

e e ou  é "temple maison"

e3 : sortir

e e3  ou  è "sortir"

e e4 "eau"

bien sûr, tous ces "e" s'écrivent avec des signes différents.

 wpe2C.jpg (4572 octets) ani : (suffixe possessif) son

mu-na-dù
wpe35.jpg (7009 octets)
wpe6E.jpg (3043 octets) début de la base verbale ¦ mu : préfixe II

wpe70.jpg (2432 octets) na : infixe pronominal, datif, 3e personne du singulier pour les êtres humains ; dans ce cas "na" indique la déesse Inanna  ou Ishtar en akkadiena

wpe71.jpg (2605 octets) dù : verbe, ficher, enfoncer, "construire"

Traduction :

Pour la déesse Inanna, sa souveraine,

Ur-nammu, l’homme fort, le roi d’Ur et le roi de Sumer et d’Akkad, a bâti son temple.

RETOUR  INSCRIPTION  http://ezida.com/babylonexpli.htm

 

 

En cunéiforme, Babylone s'écrit :  retourécriture
   KÁ

 

DINGIR

 

RA

 

KI

 

B KADINGIRA BABILIM  
  en sumérien en babylonien traduction
bab porte  

(babum quand le mot est sujet)

DINGIR ilim (ou ilum) dieu  

(ilum quand le mot est sujet). 

La même racine se retrouve pour désigner "dieu"  dans

arabe : allah  (féminin : allât) et

hébreu : el   (féminin : elath)

RA -- ra se décompose ainsi :  r + a(k)

r = complète la fin du mot dingir 

a(k) = indique un complément du nom - le k a disparu, il ne reste plus que a.

KI ki Ce signe est un déterminatif. Il ne se prononce pas, il indique que KADINGIR est lieu. 

Le signe ki représente la terre.

KADINGIRA ou BABILIM est un jeu de mot.  Babilim signifie "porte du dieu".

En arabe : babil et en hébreu : babel (du nom de la célèbre tour).

 


ziggourat dédiée à
Inanna, déesse de l'amour et de la guerre en Uruk

 


temple dédié à
An, dieu du ciel


cônes en terre cuite colorée, ces cônes  étaient soigneusement disposés  pour former de délicats motifs géographiques, ils étaient appliqués dans des colonnes ou dans les murs

à droite : cônes du secteur de l'Eanna - à gauche : cônes du musée d'Irak provenant aussi d'Uruk

 

 

 


EURUK, Eanna ou temple du ciel, c'est dans ce secteur que furent découvertes les plus vieilles traces
d'écriture


 

 

 

Cfr.VÁZQUEZ HOYS, A.Mª         :

Historia del Mundo Antiguo, vol.I y II. Editorial Sanz y Torres, Madrid 2004, ISBN 84-96094-29-4,  nov. 2003, feb.2004

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Ana Maria Vázquez Hoys
Historia del Mundo Antiguo. Tomo I.  Vol I (Próximo Oriente) y Vol II (Egipto, fenicios, Israel, Irán). Editorial Sanz y Torres, Noviembre 2003, Febrero 2004.2ªedición Noviembre 2007
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Ana Maria Vázquez Hoys
Historia de las Religiones Antiguas. Tomo I. (Próximo Oriente). Editorial Sanz y Torres, Madrid, Febrero 2006
 
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