Atlantis Online
August 08, 2022, 03:23:30 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Remains of ancient civilisation discovered on the bottom of a lake
http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20071227/94372640.html
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Sumerian Mythology

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Sumerian Mythology  (Read 3150 times)
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2008, 11:04:36 pm »

p. 33

this clue as a guide I succeeded in piecing together the first part of this poem; this was published in 1938. 34 The latter half of the poem still remained largely unintelligible, and even the first and published part had several serious breaks in the text. In 1939 I found in Istanbul a broken prism inscribed with the poem. And in the course of the past year I identified and copied 7 additional pieces in the University Museum at Philadelphia. 35 As a result we now have 16 pieces inscribed with the poem; over two hundred and fifty lines of its text can now be intelligently reconstructed and, barring a passage here and there, be correctly translated.

The story of our poem, briefly sketched, runs as follows: Once upon a time there was a huluppu-tree, perhaps a willow; it was planted on the banks of the Euphrates; it was nurtured by the waters of the Euphrates. But the South Wind tore at it, root and crown, while the Euphrates flooded it with its waters. Inanna, queen of heaven, walking by, took the tree in her hand and brought it to Erech, the seat of her main sanctuary, and planted it in her holy garden. There she tended it most carefully. For when the tree grew big, she planned to make of its wood a chair for herself and a couch.

Years passed, the tree matured and grew big. But Inanna found herself unable to cut down the tree. For at its base the snake "who knows no charm" had built its nest. In its crown, the Zu-bird--a mythological creature which at times wrought mischief--had placed its young. In the middle Lilith, the maid of desolation, had built her house. And so poor Inanna, the light-hearted and ever joyful maid, shed bitter tears. And as the dawn broke and her brother, the sun-god Utu, arose from his sleeping chamber, she repeated to him tearfully all that had befallen her huluppu-tree.

Now Gilgamesh, the great Sumerian hero, the forerunner of the Greek Heracles, who lived in Erech, overheard Inanna's weeping complaint and chivalrously came to her rescue. He donned his armour weighing fifty minas--about fifty pounds--and with his "ax of the road,"

p. 34

seven talents and seven minas in weight--over four hundred pounds--he slew the snake "who knows no charm" at the base of the tree. Seeing which, the Zu-Bird fled with his young to the mountain, and Lilith tore down her house and fled to the desolate places which she was accustomed to haunt. The men of Erech who had accompanied Gilgamesh now cut down the tree and presented it to Inanna for her chair and couch.

What did Inanna do? Of the base of the huluppu-tree she made an object called the pukku (probably a drum), and of its crown she made another related object called the mikku (probably a drumstick), and gave them both to Gilgamesh, evidently as a reward for his gallantry. Follows a passage of twelve lines describing Gilgamesh's activity with these two objects whose meaning I am still unable to penetrate, although it is in perfect shape. When our story becomes intelligible again, it continues with the statement that "because of the cry of the young maidens" the pukku and the mikku fell into the nether world, evidently through a hole in the ground. Gilgamesh put in his hand to retrieve them but was unable to reach them; he put in his foot but was quite as unsuccessful. And so he seated himself at the gate of the nether world and cried with fallen face: j


My pukku, who will bring it up from the nether world?
My mikku, who will bring it up from the "face" of the nether world?

His servant, Enkidu, his constant follower and companion, heard his master's cries, and said to him:


My master, why dost thou cry, why is thy heart sick?
Thy pukku, I will bring it up from the nether world,
Thy mikku, I will bring it up from the "face" of the nether world.

Thereupon Gilgamesh warned him of the dangers involved in his plan to descend to the nether world--a splendid passage, brief and concise in describing the taboos of the lower regions. Said Gilgamesh to Enkidu:

p. 35


If now thou wilt descend to the nether world,
A word I speak to thee, take my word,
Advice I offer thee, take my advice.

Do not put on clean clothes,
Lest the (dead) heroes will come forth like enemies;
Do not anoint thyself with the good oil of the vessel,
Lest at its smell they will crowd about thee.

Do not throw the throw-stick in the nether world,
Lest they who were struck down by the throw-stick will surround thee;
Do not carry a staff in thy hand,
Lest the shades will flutter all about thee.

Do not put sandals on thy feet,
In the nether world make no cry;
Kiss not thy beloved wife,
Kiss not thy beloved son,
Strike not thy hated wife,
Strike not thy hated son,
Lest thy "cry" of the nether world will seize thee;
(The cry) for her who is lying, for her who is lying,
The mother of the god Ninazu who is lying,
Whose holy body no garment covers,
Whose holy breast no cloth wraps.


But Enkidu heeded not the advice of his master and he did the very things against which Gilgamesh had warned him. And so he was seized by the nether world and was unable to reascend to the earth. Thereupon Gilgamesh, greatly troubled, proceeded to the city of Nippur and wept before the great air-god Enlil, the god who in the third millennium B. C. was the leading deity of the Sumerian pantheon:


O Father Enlil, my pukku fell into the nether world,
My mikku fell into the nether world;
I sent Enkidu to bring them up to me, the nether world has seized him.
Namtar (a demon) has not seized him, Ashak (a demon) has not seized him,
        The nether world has seized him.
Nergal, the ambusher, who spares no one, has not seized him,
        The nether world has seized him.
In battles where heroism is displayed he has not fallen,
        The nether world has seized him.
Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2008, 11:05:49 pm »

p. 36

But Enlil refused to stand by Gilgamesh, who then proceeded to Eridu and repeated his plea before the water-god Enki, the "god of wisdom." Enki ordered the sun-god Utu to open a hole in the nether world and to allow the shade of Enkidu to ascend to earth. The sun-god Utu did as bidden and the shade of Enkidu appeared to Gilgamesh. Master and servant embraced and Gilgamesh questioned Enkidu about what he saw in the nether world. The passage from here to the end of the poem is badly broken, but the following partly extant colloquy will serve as an illustration: k


Gilgamesh: "Him who has one son hast thou seen!"
Enkidu: "I have seen."
Gilgamesh: "How is he treated?"
Enkidu: (Answer broken)

Gilgamesh: "Him who has two sons hast thou seen?"
Enkidu: "I have seen."
Gilgamesh: "How is he treated?"
Enkidu: (Answer broken)

Gilgamesh: "Him who has three sons hast thou seen?"
Enkidu: "I have seen."
Gilgamesh: "How is he treated?"
Enkidu: ". . . much water he drinks."


________________________________________________

PLATE VIII. THE SEPARATION OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

The two pieces illustrated here are duplicates belonging to the epic tale, "Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Nether World." The one to the left is a tablet (14068 in the Nippur collection of the University Museum) published by Chiera in 1934. 36 The one to the right (4429 in the Nippur collection of the Museum of the Ancient Orient at Istanbul) is a fragment of a prism copied by the author and hitherto unpublished. The marked passages contain the lines significant for the creation of the universe; for the translation and the transliteration, see page 37 and note  37.

PLATE IX. ENLIL SEPARATES HEAVEN AND EARTH

The tablet (13877 in the Nippur collection of the University Museum) illustrated 38 here is one of the 20 duplicating pieces utilized to reconstruct the text of the poem, "The Creation of the Pickax" (see p. 51). Its first five lines are significant for the Sumerian concepts of the creation of the universe; for the translation and the transliteration, see page 40 and note  39.

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2008, 11:06:29 pm »



PLATE VIII. THE SEPARATION OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
(For description, see opposite page)
Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2008, 11:07:27 pm »



PLATE IX
ENLIL SEPARATES HEAVEN AND EARTH
(For description, see page 36.)

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2008, 11:07:56 pm »

p. 37


Gilgamesh: "Him who has four sons hast thou seen!"
Enkidu: "I have seen."
Gilgamesh: "How is he treated?"
Enkidu: "Like . . . his heart rejoices."

Gilgamesh: "Him who has five sons hast thou seen!"
Enkidu: "I have seen."
Gilgamesh: "How is he treated?"
Enkidu: "Like a good scribe, his arm has been opened, He brings justice to the palace."

Gilgamesh: "Him who has six sons hast thou seen?"
Enkidu: "I have seen."
Gilgamesh: "How is he treated?"
Enkidu: "Like him who guides the plow his heart rejoices."

Gilgamesh: "Him who has seven sons hast thou seen!"
Enkidu: "I have seen."
Gilgamesh: "How is he treated?"
Enkidu: "As one close to the gods, he . . ."


Another of the questions runs thus:


Gilgamesh: "Him whose dead body lies (unburied) in the plain hast thou seen?"
Enkidu: "I have seen."
Gilgamesh: "How is he treated?"
Enkidu: "His shade finds no rest in the nether world." l

And so our poem ends. 40 It is the introduction to this composition which furnishes the most significant material for the Sumerian concepts of the creation of the universe. The intelligible part of the introduction reads as follows:


After heaven had been moved away from earth,
After earth had been separated from heaven,
After the name of man had been fixed;

After An had carried off heaven,
After Enlil had carried off earth,
After Ereshkigal had been carried off into Kur as its prize;

After he had set sail, after he had set sail,
After the father for Kur had set sail,
After Enki for Kur had set sail; p. 38

Against the king the small ones it (Kur) hurled,
Against Enki, the large ones it hurled;
Its small ones, stones of the hand,
Its large ones, stones of . . . reeds,
The keel of the boat of Enki,
In battle, like the attacking storm, overwhelm;

Against the king, the water at the head of the boat,
Like a wolf devours,
Against Enki, the water at the rear of the boat,
Like a lion strikes down.


If we paraphrase and analyze the contents of this passage, it may be worded as follows: Heaven and earth, originally united, were separated and moved away from each other, and thereupon the creation of man was ordained. An, the heaven-god, then carried off heaven, while Enlil, the air-god, carried off earth. All this seems to be according to plan. Then, however, occurred something disruptive. For the goddess Ereshkigal, the counterpart of the Greek Persephone, whom we know as queen of the nether world, but who originally was probably a sky-goddess, was carried off into the nether world, perhaps by Kur. No doubt to avenge this deed, the water-god Enki set sail to attack Kur. The latter, evidently to be conceived as a monster or dragon, did not stand idly by, but hurled stones, large and small, against the keel of Enki's boat, while the primeval waters attacked Enki's boat front and rear. Our poem does not give the result of this struggle between Enki and Kur, since the entire cosmogonic or creation introduction has nothing to do with the basic contents of our Gilgamesh composition; it was placed at the head of the poem only because the Sumerian scribes were accustomed to begin their stories with several introductory lines dealing with creation.

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2008, 11:08:25 pm »

It is from the first half of this introduction that we obtain therefore the following cosmogonic concepts:


1. At one time heaven and earth were united.

2. Some of the gods existed before the separation of heaven and earth.


p. 39


3. Upon the separation of heaven and earth, it was, as might have been expected, the heaven-god An who carried off heaven, but it was the air-god Enlil who carried off the earth.

Among the crucial points not stated or implied in this passage are the following:


1. Were heaven and earth conceived as created, and if so, by whom?

2. What was the shape of heaven and earth as conceived by the Sumerians?

3. Who separated heaven from earth?


Fortunately, the answers to these three questions can be gleaned from several other Sumerian texts dating from our period. Thus:

1. In a tablet which gives a list of the Sumerian gods, 41 the goddess Nammu, written with the ideogram for "sea," is described as "the mother, who gave birth to heaven and earth." Heaven and earth were therefore conceived by the Sumerians as the created products of the primeval sea.

2. The myth "Cattle and Grain" (see p. 53), which describes the birth in heaven of the spirits of cattle and grain, who were then sent down to earth to bring prosperity to mankind, begins with the following two lines:


After on the mountain of heaven and earth,
An had caused the Anunnaki (his followers) to be born. . . .

[paragraph continues] It is not unreasonable to assume, therefore, that heaven and earth united were conceived as a mountain whose base was the bottom of the earth and whose peak was the top of the heaven.

3. The myth "The Creation of the Pickax" (see p. 51), which describes the fashioning and dedication of this valuable agricultural implement, is introduced with the following passage:

p. 40


The lord, that which is appropriate verily he caused to appear,
The lord whose decisions are unalterable,
Enlil, who brings up the seed of the land from the earth,
Took care to move away heaven from earth,
Took care to move away earth from heaven.

[paragraph continues] And so we have the answer to our third question; it was the air-god Enlil, who separated and removed heaven from earth.

If now we sum up the cosmogonic or creation concepts of the Sumerians, evolved to explain the origin of the universe, they may be stated as follows:

1. First was the primeval sea. Nothing is said of its origin or birth, and it is not unlikely that the Sumerians conceived it as having existed eternally.

2. The primeval sea begot the cosmic mountain consisting of heaven and earth united.

3. Conceived as gods in human form, An (heaven) was the male and Ki (earth) was the female. From their union was begotten the air-god Enlil.

___________________________
Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2008, 11:08:58 pm »

PLATE X. MISCELLANEOUS MYTHOLOGICAL SCENES

The upper design depicts the rising of Utu, the sun-god, identifiable by his fiery rays and saw-knife. He places his left foot on a mountain while attending deities throw open the gates.

In the second design two of the deities are identifiable. At the extreme right is Enki, the water-god, enthroned in his "sea house," perhaps the very house described in "Enki and Eridu" (see p. 62). To the left of the center is Utu, the sun-god, with fiery rays and saw-knife. He stands with one foot on a winged lion while the other steps on a crouching deity. The kneeling figure at the left, holding a gatepost, is probably an attendant of Enki. The deity between Utu and Enki, who is climbing a mountain, is still unidentifiable.

The third design depicts an unidentified god with fiery rays, travelling in his boat; the scene is reminiscent of Nanna's journey to Nippur (see p. 47). The stem of the boat ends in the head of a snake, while the prow ends in the body of a god who is working a punting pole. In the boat are various pots, agricultural implements, and a human-headed lion. On the shore is a vegetation goddess, perhaps to be identified as Uttu, the goddess of plants (see p. 57), or Ashnan, the goddess of grain (see p. 53).

The lower design depicts what is probably a divine connubium.

(Reproduced, by permission of the Macmillan Company, from Henri Frankfort, Cylinder Seals, plates XVIIIa, k, XIXe, and XVI.)

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2008, 11:09:28 pm »



PLATE X
MISCELLANEOUS MYTHOLOGICAL SCENES
(For description, see opposite page.)


 

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2008, 11:10:16 pm »

p. 41

4. Enlil, the air-god, separated heaven from earth, and while his father An carried off heaven, Enlil himself carried off his mother Ki, the earth. The union of Enlil and his mother Ki-in historical times she is perhaps to be identified with the goddess called variously Ninmah, "great queen"; Ninhursag, "queen of the (cosmic) mountain"; Nintu, "queen who gives birth"--set the stage for the organization of the universe, the creation of man, and the establishment of civilization."

THE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNIVERSE

The Sumerian expression for "universe" is an-ki, literally "heaven-earth." The organization of the universe may therefore be subdivided into that of heaven and that of earth. Heaven consists of the sky and the space above the sky which is called the "great above"; here dwell the sky-gods. Earth consists of the surface of the earth and the space below which is called the "great below"; here dwell the underworld or chthonic deities. For the organization of heaven the relatively little mythological material which is available to date may be sketched as follows: Nanna, the moon-god, the major astral deity of the Sumerians, is born of Enlil, the air-god, and his wife Ninlil, the air-goddess. Nanna, the moon-god, is conceived as travelling in a gufa across the heavens, thus bringing light to the pitch-dark lapis lazuli sky. The "little ones," the stars, are scattered about him like grain while the "big ones," perhaps the planets, walk about him like wild oxen." 43

Nanna, the moon-god, and his wife Ningal are the parents of Utu, the sun-god, who rises in the "mountain of the east" and sets in the "mountain of the west." As yet we find no mention of any boat or chariot used by the sun-god Utu to traverse the sky. Nor is it clear just what he does at night. m The not unnatural assumption that upon reaching the "mountain of the west" at the end of the day he continues his journey at night through the nether world, arriving at the "mountain of the east" at dawn, is not borne

p. 42

out by the extant data. Indeed to judge from a prayer to the sun-god which reads: 44


O Utu, shepherd of the land, father of the black-headed people,
When thou liest down, the people, too, lie down,
O hero Utu, when thou risest, the people, too, rise.

or from a description of the break of dawn which reads:


As light broke forth, as the horizon grew bright. . . .
As Utu came forth from his ganunu,

or from a description of the setting of the sun which reads: 46


Utu has gone forth with lifted head to the bosom of his mother Ningal;

the Sumerians seemed to have conceived of Utu as sleeping through the night.

Turning to the organization of the earth, we learn that it was Enlil, the air-god, who "caused the good day to come forth"; who set his mind to "bring forth seed from the earth" and to establish the hegal, that is, plenty, abundance, and prosperity in the land. It was this same Enlil who fashioned the pickax and probably the plow as prototypes of the agricultural implements to be used by man; who appointed Enten, the farmer-god, as his steadfast and trustworthy field-worker. On the other hand it was the water-god Enki who begot Uttu, the goddess of plants. It is Enki, moreover, who actually organizes the earth, and especially that part of it which includes Sumer and its surrounding neighbors, into a going concern. He decrees the fates of Sumer, Ur, and Meluhha, and appoints the various minor deities to their specific duties. And it is both Enlil and Enki, that is, both the air-god and the water-god, who send Labar, the cattle-god, and Ashnan, the grain-goddess, from heaven to earth in order to make abundant its cattle and grain.

The above outline of the organization of the universe is based upon nine Sumerian myths whose contents we now have wholly or in large part. Two of these involve the moon-god Nanna; they are: Enlil and Ninlil. the Begetting

p. 43

of Nanna; The Journey of Nanna to Nippur. The remaining seven are of prime importance for the Sumerian concepts of the origin and establishment of culture and civilization on earth. These are Emesh and Enten: Enlil Chooses the Farmer-god; The Creation of the Pickax; Cattle and Grain; Enki and Ninhursag: the Affairs of the Water-god; Enki and Sumer: the Organization of the Earth and its Cultural Processes; Enki and Eridu: the Journey of the Water-god to Nippur; Inanna and Enki: the Transfer of the Arts of Civilization from Eridu to Erech. We shall now proceed to sketch briefly the contents of each of these myths; their wealth and variety, it is hoped, will enable the reader to evaluate the Sumerian mythological concepts together with their spiritual and religious implications.

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2008, 11:11:10 pm »

ENLIL AND NINLIL: THE BEGETTING OF NANNA n

This delightful myth, consisting of 152 lines of text, 49 is almost complete. It seems to have been evolved to explain the begetting of the moon-god Nanna as well as that of the three underworld deities, Nergal, Ninazu, and a third whose name is illegible. If rightly interpreted this poem furnishes us with the first known example of the metamorphosis of a god; Enlil assumes the form of three different individuals in impregnating his wife Ninlil with the three nether world deities.

The poem begins with an introductory passage descriptive of the city of Nippur, a Nippur that seems to be conceived as having existed before the creation of man:


Behold the "bond of heaven and earth," the city, . . .
Behold Nippur, the city, . . .
Behold the "kindly wall," the city, . . .
Behold the Idsalla, its pure river,
Behold the Karkurunna, its quay,
Behold the Karasarra, its quay where the boats stand,
Behold the Pulal, its well of good water,
Behold the Idnunbirdu, its pure canal,
Behold Enlil, its young man,
Behold Ninlil, its young maid,
Behold Nunbarshegunu, its old woman.

p. 44

After this brief background sketch the actual story begins. Nunbarshegunu, the "old woman" of Nippur, Ninlil's mother, instructs her daughter how to obtain the love of Enlil:


In those days the mother, her begetter, gave advice to the maid,
Nunbarshegunu gave advice to Ninlil:
"At the pure river, O maid, at the pure river wash thyself,
O Ninlil, walk along the bank of the Idnunbirdu,
The bright-eyed, the lord, the bright-eyed,
The 'great mountain,' father Enlil, the bright-eyed, will see thee,
The shepherd . . . who decrees the fates, the bright-eyed, will see thee,
He will . . . . he will kiss thee."

Ninlil follows her mother's instructions and as a consequence is impregnated by "the water" of Enlil and conceives the moon-god Nanna. Enlil then departs from Nippur in the direction of the nether world, but is followed by Ninlil. As he leaves the gate he instructs the "man of the gate" to give the inquisitive Ninlil no information of his whereabouts. Ninlil comes up to the "man of the gate" and demands to know whither Enlil has gone. Enlil then

__________________________________

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2008, 11:12:12 pm »

PLATE XI. ENLIL AND NINLIL: THE BEGETTING OF NANNA

This illustrates the obverse of a tablet (9205 in the Nippur collection of the University Museum) that was published by the late George Barton as early as 1918. 47 Its contents, though obviously most significant for Sumerian mythology, have remained largely unintelligible all these years. Sumerological progress in the course of the past quarter-century and the discovery by the author of nine additional fragments (eight in the University Museum and one in the Museum of the Ancient Orient) 48have now made the reconstruction and translation of this poem possible. The marked passage contains the following lines:


den-líl-li ì-du dnin-líl in-uš
dnu-nam-nir ì-du ki-sikil mu-un- . . .
den-líl-li lú-ká-gal-ra gù mu-na-dé-e
lú-ká-gal lú-gišsi-gar-ra
lú-giššu-di-eš lú-gišsi-gar-kug-ga
nin-zu-dnin-líl-li i-im-du
u4-da én-mu mu-ra-tar-ra
za-e ki-mu nam-mu-ni-in-pàd-dé


For the translation, see page 45.

 

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2008, 11:13:00 pm »



PLATE XI.
ENLIL AND NINLIL: THE BEGETTING OF NANNA
(For description, see opposite page.)


 


Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2008, 11:13:20 pm »

p. 45

seems to take the form of the "man of the gate" and answers for him. The passage involved is as yet unintelligible; it seems to contain a refusal to divulge Enlil's whereabouts. Ninlil thereupon reminds him that while, true enough, Enlil is his king, she is his queen. Thereupon Enlil, still impersonating "the man of the gate," cohabits with her and impregnates her. As a result Ninlil conceives Meslamtaea, more commonly known as Nergal, the king of the nether world. In spite of the unintelligible parts, the flavor of this remarkable passage will be readily apparent from the following quotations:


Enlil . . . departed from the city,
Nunamnir (a name of Enlil) . . . departed from the city.
Enlil walked, Ninlil followed,
Nunamnir walked, the maid followed,
Enlil says to the man of the gate:

"O man of the gate, man of the lock,
O man of the bolt, man of the pure lock,
Thy queen Ninlil is coming;
If she asks thee about me,
Tell her not where I am."

Ninlil approached the man of the gate:
"O man of the gate, man of the lock,
O man of the bolt, man of the pure lock,
Enlil, thy king, where is he going?"

Enlil answers her for the man of the gate:
"Enlil, the king of all the lands, has commanded me":


Four lines follow containing the substance of this command but their meaning is obscure. Then comes the following dialogue between Ninlil and Enlil, the latter impersonating the "man of the gate":


Ninlil: "True, Enlil is thy king, but I am thy queen."
Enlil: "If now thou art my queen, let my hand touch thy . . ."
Ninlil: "The 'water' of thy king, the bright 'water' is in my heart,
        The 'water' of Nanna, the bright 'water' is in my heart."
Enlil: "The 'water' of my king, let it go toward heaven, let it go toward earth,
        Let my 'water,' like the 'water' of my king, go toward earth." p. 46
        Enlil, as the man of the gate, lay down in the
        He kissed her, be cohabited with her,
        Having kissed her, having cohabited with her,
        The "water" of . . . Meslamtaea he caused to flow over (her) heart.

The poem then continues with the begetting of the nether world deity Ninazu; this time it is the "man of the river of the nether world, the man-devouring river" whom Enlil impersonates. In all other respects, the passage is a repetition of that describing the begetting of Meslamtaea; thus:


Enlil walked, Ninlil followed,
Nunamnir walked, the maid followed,
Enlil says to the man of the river of the nether world, the man-devouring river:

"O man of the river of the nether world, the man-devouring river,
Thy queen Ninlil is coming;
If she asks thee about me,
Tell her not where I am."

Ninlil approached the man of the river of the nether world, the man-devouring river:
"O man of the river of the nether world, the man-devouring river,
Enlil, thy king, where is he going?"

Enlil answers her for the man of the river of the nether world, the man-devouring river:
"Enlil, the king of all the lands, has commanded me."


The substance of the command is unintelligible. Follows the dialogue between Ninlil and Enlil, the latter impersonating the "man of the river of the nether world, the man-devouring river":


Ninlil: "True, Enlil is thy king, but I am thy queen."
Enlil: "If now thou art my queen, let my hand touch thy . . ."
Ninlil: "The 'water' of thy king, the bright 'water' is in my heart,
        The 'water' of Nanna, the bright 'water' is in my heart."
Enlil: "The 'water' of my king, let it go toward heaven, let it go toward earth,
        Let my 'water,' like the 'water' of my king, go toward earth."
Enlil, as the man of the river of the nether world, the man-devouring river, lay down in the . . . .
He kissed her, he cohabited with her, p. 47
Having kissed her, having cohabited with her,
The "water" of Ninazu, the king of . . ., he caused to flow over (her) heart.

The poem then continues with the begetting of the third underworld deity whose name is illegible; this time it is the "man of the boat" whom Enlil impersonates. Our myth then comes to a close with a brief hymnal passage in which Enlil is exalted as the lord of abundance and the king whose decrees are unalterable.

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2008, 11:13:54 pm »

THE JOURNEY OF NANNA TO NIPPUR

To the Sumerians of the third millennium B. C., Nippur was the spiritual center of their country. Its tutelary deity, Enlil, was the leading god of the Sumerian pantheon; his temple, Ekur, was the most important temple in Sumer. And so, the blessing of Enlil was a prime essential for the establishment of prosperity and abundance in the other important cities of Sumer, such as Eridu and Ur. To obtain this blessing, the tutelary deities of these cities were conceived as travelling to Nippur laden with gifts for its god and temple. Our myth 50 describes just such a journey from Ur to Nippur of the moon-god Nanna (also known as Sin and Ashgirbabbar), the tutelary deity of Ur. In this myth, as in the preceding Enlil-Ninlil composition, the cities such as Nippur and Ur seem to be fully built and rich in animal and plant life, although man seems to be still nonexistent.

Beginning with a description of the glory of Nippur, our poem continues a passage describing Nanna's decision to visit his father's city:


To go to his city, to stand before his father,
Ashgirbabbar set his mind:
"I, the hero, to my city I would go, before my father I would stand;
I, Sin, to my city I would go, before my father I would stand,
Before my father Enlil I would stand;
I, to my city I would go, before my mother Ninlil I would stand,
Before my father I would stand."

p. 48

And so he loads up his gufa with a rich assortment of trees, plants, and animals. On his journey from Ur to Nippur, Nanna and his boat make stop at five cities: Im (?), Larsa, Erech, and two cities whose names are illegible; in each of these Nanna is met and greeted by the respective tutelary deity. Finally he arrives at Nippur:

At the lapis lazuli quay, the quay of Enlil, Nanna-Sin drew up his boat, At the white quay, the quay of Enlil, Ashgirbabbar drew up his boat, On the . . . of the father, his begetter, he stationed himself,

To the gatekeeper of Enlil he says:


At the lapis lazuli quay, the quay of Enlil,
Nanna-Sin drew up his boat,
At the white quay, the quay of Enlil,
Ashgirbabbar drew up his boat,
On the . . . of the father, his begetter, he stationed himself,
To the gatekeeper of Enlil he says:
"Open the house, gatekeeper, open the house,
Open the house, O protecting genie, open the house,
Open the house, thou who makest the trees come forth, open the house,
O . . ., who makest the trees come forth, open the house,
Gatekeeper, open the house, O protecting genie, open the house."

The gatekeeper opens the door for Nanna:


Joyfully, the gatekeeper joyfully opened the door;
The protecting genie who makes the trees come forth, joyfully,
The gatekeeper joyfully opened the door;
He who makes the trees come forth, joyfully,
The gatekeeper joyfully opened the door;
With Sin, Enlil rejoiced.

The two gods feast; then Nanna addresses Enlil his father as follows:


"In the river give me overflow,
In the field give me much grain,
In the swampland give me grass and reeds,
In the forests give me . . . p. 49
In the plain give me . . .
In the palm-grove and vineyard give me honey and wine,
In the palace give me long life,
To Ur I shall go."

And Enlil accedes to his son's request:


He gave him, Enlil gave him,
To Ur he went.
In the river he gave him overflow,
In the field he gave him much grain,
In the swampland he gave him grass and reeds,
In the forests he gave him . . .,
In the plain he gave him . . . .
In the palm-grove and vineyard he gave him honey and wine,
In the palace he gave him long life.
Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2008, 11:14:29 pm »

EMESH AND ENTEN: ENLIL CHOOSES THE FARMER-GOD

This myth 51 is the closest extant Sumerian parallel to the Biblical Cain-Abel story, although it ends with a reconciliation rather than a murder. It consists of over three hundred lines, only about half of which are complete; because of the numerous breaks, the meaning of the text is therefore often difficult to penetrate. Tentatively the contents of the poem may be reconstructed as follows:

Enlil, the air-god, has set his mind to bring forth trees and grain and to establish abundance and prosperity in the land. For this purpose two cultural beings, the brothers Emesh and Enten, are created, and Enlil assigns to each specific duties. The text is so badly damaged at this point that it is impossible to make out the exact nature of these duties; the following very brief intelligible passages will at least indicate their general direction:


Enten caused the ewe to give birth to the lamb, the goat to give birth to the kid,
Cow and calf he caused to multiply, much fat and milk he caused to be produced,
In the plain, the heart of the wild goat, the sheep, and the donkey he made to rejoice,
The birds of the heaven, in the wide earth he had them set up their nests p. 50
The fish of the sea, in the swampland he had them lay their eggs,
In the palm-grove and vineyard he made to abound honey and wine,
The trees, wherever planted, he caused to bear fruit,
The furrows . . .,
Grain and crops he caused to multiply,
Like Ashnan (the grain goddess), the kindly maid, he caused strength to appear.
Emesh brought into existence the trees and the fields, he made wide the stables and sheepfolds,
In the farms he multiplied the produce,
The . . . he caused to cover the earth,
The abundant harvest he caused to be brought into the houses, he caused the granaries to be heaped high.

But whatever the nature of their original duties, a violent quarrel breaks out between the two brothers. Several arguments ensue, and finally Emesh challenges Enten's claim to the position of "farmer of the gods." And so they betake themselves to Nippur where each states his case before Enlil. Thus Enten complains to Enlil:

____________________________________

PLATE XII. GODS OF VEGETATION
Three of the designs depict a deity in close relation with a plow. In the upper design two gods are guiding a plow, which is perhaps drawn by a lion and a wormlike dragon. In the second, a seated god is holding a plow in front of him. Behind him is a mountain from which sprouts a plant and on which an ibex is ascending; in front of him a deity leads a worshipper carrying a gazelle in his arms. In the lower design an unidentified deity holding a plow is travelling in a boat whose stern ends in a snake and whose prow ends in the body of a god who is propelling the boat.

The third design seems to depict an offering scene to the right of the inscription. A worshipper carrying a gazelle is followed by a goddess holding a vase, from which flow two streams of water. The worshipper stands before another goddess who may perhaps be identified as Inanna in the role of the goddess of war. But it is the two deities to the left of the inscriptions which interest us here mostly. Both seem to have ears of grain sprouting from their shoulders, but the male god is equipped with club and bow, while a ram frolics at his feet. He may perhaps be identified as Lahar, the cattle-god, while the goddess facing him may be Ashnan, the grain goddess (see p. 53).

(Reproduced, by permission of the Macmillan Company, from Henri Frankfort, Cylinder Seals, plates XXa, d, e, and XIXe.)

Report Spam   Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy