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Ancient Man and His First Civilizations

 

Sumerian Adabs

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An adab of Inana for Ur-Ninurta (Ur-Ninurta D): translation

An adab of Ninurta for Ur-Ninurta (Ur-Ninurta C): translation

An adab to An for Ur-Ninurta (Ur-Ninurta E): translation

An adab to Bau for Ishme-Dagan (Ishme-Dagan B): translation

An adab to Enki for Ishme-Dagan (Ishme-Dagan D): translation

 

 

 

 

An adab to Bau for Luma (Luma A)

Child of An, he has chosen you in his holy heart in the great sky and on the great earth and made you worthy of the ladyship of the Land. Bau, child of An, he has chosen you in his holy heart in the great sky and on the great earth and made you worthy of the ladyship of the Land. Enlil has looked at you with favour, young woman, mother Bau, from the shining E-kur, and made you eminently fit for lord Ning̃irsu. The Great Mountain Enlil has looked at you with favour, young woman, mother Bau, from the shining E-kur and made you eminently fit for lord Ning̃irsu.

In the E-tar-sirsir, founded for you by An, you decide the fate of all the countries; you, my lady, render verdicts and decree judgments. Bau, in the E-tar-sirsir, founded for you by An, you decide the fate of all the countries; you, Bau, render verdicts and decree judgments. The …… protective genius directs your black-headed people before you in your courtyard in Iri-kug. Bau, the …… protective genius directs your black-headed people before you in your courtyard in Iri-kug.

My lady, what you say is firmly grounded; Bau, what you say is firmly grounded. It makes the king ruling in the land of Lagaš, in your holy dwelling place of the pure divine powers, extremely happy; my lady, it makes the king extremely happy. Bau, it makes the king ruling in the land of Lagaš, in your holy dwelling place of the pure divine powers, extremely happy; Bau, it makes Luma extremely happy, he salutes your holy words.

    This is the sa-gida.

Lady whose horns are perfect (?), Bau, nobody can learn what you are; child of An, with …… An, grandiloquent one.

    G̃išgig̃al.

My lady, what you say is trustworthy, your lofty words are enduring. Bau, what you say is trustworthy, your lofty words are enduring. Your holy words are devoted to the god, they are as clear as daylight for the king. Bau, your holy words are devoted to the god, they are as clear as daylight for the king, Luma. Your joyous countenance is as clear as daylight for the king; Bau, your joyous countenance is as clear as daylight for the king, Luma. Your words, which …… the pleasant place, are as clear as daylight for the king; Bau, your words, which …… the pleasant place, are as clear as daylight for the king, Luma.

You have given a lofty name to Luma, the king …… by An, you have spoken to him with friendly words. Bau, you have given a lofty name to Luma, the king …… by An, you have spoken to him with friendly words. Lady who loves his city, you have made him pre-eminent; Bau, lady who loves his city, you have made him pre-eminent. In the holy place you have treated the king graciously.

    An adab of Bau.

 

 

 

An adab of Inana for Ur-Ninurta (Ur-Ninurta D): translation

Goddess who excels the Anuna gods, who has gathered together all the divine powers! Your gaze is lordly as it surveys all the foreign lands in heaven and earth. Inana, lioness shining in the heavens, your divine powers are most complex, your cultic ordinances are unalterable, and your divine plans are influential.

barsud.

 

Your ideas are as profound as the abzu; no one is known to have perceived them. Your actions are very great, and there is no god to rival you. You fetched your divine powers on a favourable day, and none of them escaped you. You have secured the kingship, and nothing escapes from your hand. You have equal rank with An the king, and you decide destinies with him. Your utterances are as well-established as those of Enlil. Grandiloquent Inana, you have no rival in heaven or on earth.

You cheer on the king whom the gods love: Ur-Ninurta, the youth whom you chose, in your honour an en priest. Nintud has created attractiveness for him, and has made him step forward to you for your admiration. She has confirmed his lot as favourable, and has made him ...... before you. She has elevated as a prince the ...... who is fitted for the emblem. Your holy heart has driven you towards him as if to a pleasant sweet scent. May he ...... with you on your flowery bed which is full of delight. May the attentive youth, the prince who is all for you, stand at the service of your eternal divine powers. May Ur-Ninurta make the numerous people follow the just path.

 sa-gida.

 

Inana, may Ur-Ninurta never cease doing so, until far-off days.

Its jisgijal.

 

Inana, lady of heaven and of the broad earth, powerful ......, who radiates ......, who shines by night, who ...... goes forth from ......, who is diffused wide over heaven and earth. ...... may you make eminent ...... Ur-Ninurta, ...... who is the awe ...... and the joy of his mother. ...... may he lift his head high, and be their great wild bull. Make ...... bow low for him ......, so that he may clamp down upon them. Deliver them into the exalted hands of him created from good seed. Under his rule may the people rest in meadows with him as their herdsman. May Ur-Ninurta make the numerous people follow the just path.

sa-jara.

 

Inana, may Ur-Ninurta prolong the days of his life in your sweet holy embrace.

Its jisgijal.

 

Lady of the great divine powers, perfect in valour! Inana, lady of the great divine powers, perfect in valour! You have bestowed plenty and long-lasting life on Ur-Ninurta.

Its uru.

 

An adab of Inana.

 

 

 

 

An adab of Ninurta for Ur-Ninurta (Ur-Ninurta C): translation

Hero, terror-inspiring dragon of exceptional fearsome terror, powerful Ninurta! Rising hurricane, ......, mighty possessor of august strength, who lets no foreign land escape! Fitted for heroism from the womb, unrivalled!

barsud.

 

You who treat as hostile the cities as well as the unsettled areas, the rebel lands -- Ninurta, as you pass by, like a terrifying fierce lion (?) you make heaven and earth tremble from east to west. When in judgment, like a hero possessing great strength, you batter a rebel land, by day you thrust, by night you rear up, and you leave the rebel land lying prone. If you merely lift your gaze, you make the great hills tremble (?) together.

 cagbatuku.

 

Mighty lord, with all the qualities of Nunamnir! Support of your father! Ninurta, you are the right arm of the Great Mountain, on whom he has bestowed life. You understand how to establish and to fulfil the decisions pronounced by him.

2nd barsud.

 

Lord of all rulers, of the terrifying ......, you do not let the evil and wicked escape, ....... The foreign land and the broad territories that you have looked upon with favour spread themselves before you in abundance. You have entrusted the various quarters of heaven and earth, with their settled peoples, to Ur-Ninurta, the youth who is all for you, the good shepherd who is attentive to you. You have made him to whom Enki has given wisdom understand how to ...... them. May you be available to make the black-headed, numerous as sheep, follow your path.

 sa-gida.

 

Cast down in heaps all those who are not obedient to the great hero Ur-Ninurta.

jicgijal of the sa-gida.

 

Lord Uta-ulu, son of Enlil, who has come forth from the hills, Ninurta! Your imposing greatness is declared in praise songs. Your authority and your powerful greatness cover the numerous people in all the lands from east to west with their tempestuous splendour. Your father who engendered you, the shepherd of the gods, lord Nunamnir, has placed the great divine powers of heaven and earth in your hands for safe keeping, has given you valour and pre-eminence, and let you have no rivals. You are the heart's delight of Ninlil: she loves you dearly. Rejoicing in your actions, she has made you awe-inspiring.

Who like you is a god rising in glory, whose name reaches as far as the limits of heaven? You have given ...... to the just youth, who was called from among the widespread people, engendered by the Great Mountain -- Ur-Ninurta, ...... joy, to whom you have spoken favourably. On the dais ...... you have bestowed on him a lapis lazuli ....... You have added years of joy to Ur-Ninurta's reign. You have built his city amid plenty, a habitation where the people are settled. May the black-headed direct their gaze at you as at the rising Utu. When you have given him the weapon that ...... the hostile foreign lands, that makes the earth tremble, ......, you will completely devastate the populations that are disobedient to him. Uta-ulu, let Ur-Ninurta grasp (?) it in his hand.

 sa-jara.

 

May you be ...... a helper for the great hero Ur-Ninurta.

 jicgijal of the sa-jara.

 

Lord, your fixing of destinies cannot be upset, and your holy word is powerful. Ninurta, lord, your fixing of destinies cannot be upset, and your holy word is powerful. Determine a good fate for Ur-Ninurta, with years of life forever unalterable as his destiny.

Its uru.

 

An adab of Ninurta.

 

 

 

 

 

An adab to An for Ur-Ninurta (Ur-Ninurta E): translation

An the powerful, great among the gods, An the respected, brilliantly manifest god! In fixing a great fate for the king, An has laid his hand truly upon Ur-Ninurta.

barsud.

 

As he passes, alone, as far as the border of the foreign lands, he is indeed the guardian of the Anuna. He seizes all the great divine powers, and places his feet upon the numerous divine powers. The very wise god, the prince who decides destiny, has truly spoken to him; An has truly spoken to Ur-Ninurta. He has made him the mightiest in the Land; An has made Ur-Ninurta the mightiest in the Land. He has bestowed upon Ur-Ninurta a royal throne on a foundation established forever; the august shepherd's crook, which gathers up the divine powers of the Land; and a just sceptre which directs the numerous people. When holy An determines a destiny, the gods of heaven stand by and the Anuna pay attention.

cagbatuku.

 

In their place of assembly, they said "Let it be so!" An gave to Ur-Ninurta the building of cities, the founding of settlements, the subduing of foreign lands, and the strengthening of the foundations of the Land of Sumer; years of plenty, and a reign of long days.

sa-gida.

 

An raised his far-reaching gaze to the good shepherd. He spoke to Ur-Ninurta, his beloved son, with kindly words: "May there be shame at your awe-inspiring splendour, while you (?) ride as if on a great storm. May you have no rival in your youthful power. May the Land remain (?) under your rule. May you make your name supreme in the foreign lands, and may they speak good of you. May the land that is of its own will unbending to you, submit to you. Ur-Ninurta, to whom I have given great power: you should trust in my name. May your words clamp down upon the wicked like a great neck-stock. May the rebel land approach at your command, and do reverence to you. In your lordliness may you hold your head high. May you be good to the people. May you be the man of justice, and may it come to your aid. You have justice that comes from the heart; you are one of Utu's retainers. May Inana, who is assuredly your beloved, provide you with long life. May the good protective deities of the en priesthood and of kingship stand faithfully at your side. My Ur-Ninurta, named with the name of Sumer! Go with your head high to the shrine of Nibru, to Dur-an-ki. Brick-built E-kur accepts your offerings: "May the awe-inspiring shepherd stand in attendance with his great food offerings for the house."

sa-jara.

 

"I am the onnly one among the gods with great divine powers. I amAn the king, the only one among the gods with great divine powers. Ur-Ninurta, my utterances shall never be altered for you."

Its uru.

 

An adab of An.

 

 

 

An adab to Bau for Ishme-Dagan (Ishme-Dagan B): translation

Lady, imbued with fearsomeness, whose greatness is recognised in heaven and on earth, perfect in nobility! Mother Bau, foremost among ladies, warrior ......! Powerful goddess, who perfectly controls the august divine powers, proud one, ...... great intelligence! ......, true woman, wise lady who has been made knowledgeable from birth! Daughter of An, expert, eloquent, who holds everything in her hand! Lady, great doctor of the black-headed people, who keeps people alive, and brings them to birth. Cuhalbi, incantation priestess of the numerous people, ......! Merciful, compassionate one of the Land, lady of justice!

Enlil, the king of all the foreign countries, Nunamnir, the lord who determines the fates, decreed something of great importance in the shrine Nibru, in Dur-an-ki: he made you exalted in the shining E-kur, ....... You are the strong spread-net of Nunamnir. Anguba priestess, who provides the E-kur with food, you are in charge of the wine. You are Enlil's exalted daughter-in-law, you are the one who stands next to him with the libation water (?). Because you prostrated yourself humbly with supplications, Nunamnir, the prince of all the foreign countries, entrusted to you the exalted office of accountant of heaven and earth, and exalted you, giving you the rank of lady of the shrine which brought the seeds of mankind forth.

Your own father, An, the highest god, clothed you in the ma garment. He gave you the warrior of Enlil, Ninjirsu, as your husband. He bestowed on you the E-ninnu, the holy city, the shrine which brought forth the seeds of mankind. He has set up your lofty throne-dais in Lagac, in Jirsu, the mooring post of the Land, in E-jalga-sud, your beloved residence, in Tar-sirsir, the temple of ladyship; and now all the gods of the land of Lagac bow down before your august residence.

Supreme lady, whose divine powers are untouchable, daughter of An, omniscient great lady, young woman, mother Bau, you have looked favourably on the young man of handsome form, prince Icme-Dagan, the son of Enlil; you have determined for him a good fate once and for all.

 Sa-gida.

 

It is mother Bau who is to give prince Icme-Dagan, the son of Enlil, a life of numerous days.

 Jicgijal of the sa-gida.

 

You introduced prince Icme-Dagan, clasping to his breast a white lamb and a sheep of auspicious omens, into the E-namtila, Enlil's temple, and made him stand at the royal offering place of life. Then you saluted the Great Mountain, Enlil, and told him: "Father Enlil, great lord of all the foreign countries, determine the fate of Icme-Dagan, call him by name!" Enlil, the king of all the foreign countries, looked encouragingly upon him, beaming radiantly; and determined a fate for Icme-Dagan:

Prince Icme-Dagan, as your fate, you shall be given a throne which concentrates all divine powers, an enduring legitimate crown and a sceptre which maintains the people and keeps them united. The Tigris and the Euphrates shall bring abundance, carp-filled waters for you, their yield shall be long-lasting for you (1 ms. has instead: ......). Their banks shall grow vegetation for you, they shall bring (?) you rejoicing. The irrigated orchards shall yield (?) syrup and wine for you. The fertile arable tracts shall grow dappled grain for you; grain piles shall be heaped up for you. Cattle-pens shall be built, sheepfolds shall be enlarged for you. Your name shall be exalted as king; you shall be elevated as prince. All the foreign countries from below as far as the uplands shall bring tribute for you. You shall shine radiantly in the grand main courtyard like sunlight. Your food offerings shall never cease in the shining E-kur." This is how Enlil determined his fate. From the E-kur he gave huge strength to the king. He has been made lordly; Enlil's words made him a man without rival. He directed his steps proudly there and entered the august palace, the royal residence. As he took his seat on the shining holy throne-dais, the palace .......

 Sa-jara.

 

Good woman, daughter of An, Enlil has called for you! ...... the holy shining throne-dais ...... told you; young woman, mother Bau, the daughter of An, Enlil has called for you! ...... the holy shining throne-dais ...... told you: "Bestow on Icme-Dagan, the son of Enlil, a life of numerous days!"

Its uru.

An adab of Bau.
(ll. 65 and 66 are written as one line in source)

 

 

 

 

An adab to Enki for Ishme-Dagan (Ishme-Dagan D): translation

SEGMENT A

Great lord, prominent (?) among the gods, your judgments are clever and powerful! Father Enki, respected one, supreme dragon, who determines the fates firmly, who has taken his seat upon the numerous divine powers in colourful brilliance (?), great prince, the guardian of the gods, ...... of holy An!

 

SEGMENT B


2 lines fragmentary
The fates you determine are firm; you are the junior Enlil. You (?) distribute the divine powers for the Anuna, the great gods. You establish for them a habitation, a holy dwelling place; you are their proud lord. Your greatness is unapproachable ....... You (?) ...... in a pure place the abzu, the mountain built with princely divine powers; ...... Eridug, the shrine, which extends over huge marshes, marshes of snakes.

Sa-gida.

 

Father Enki, may ...... for Icme-Dagan.

Jicgijal of the sa-gida.

 

Enki, lord, firstborn son of An ......, Nudimmud, great bull of the abzu ......, may you ...... with your consort, holy Damgalnuna. Father Enki, may you embrace her and soothe your heart with her. ...... friendly words on behalf of Icme-Dagan. ...... the prayer of the king until distant days. The one blessed by Enlil ......, Icme-Dagan, the shepherd, ...... the son of Enlil. May his radiance ...... for you to the outer limits of heaven and earth. May he have authority, may he be peerless in all the numerous countries. May Icme-Dagan ...... from the south as far as the uplands. ...... the god of the Land ....... May the Tigris and Euphrates ......, may they bring abundance for him. May the udders of heaven open for him; may the harvest ...... for him. May barley, emmer, wheat, gu-nida grain ...... on vast fields for him. May grain heaps be heaped up for him; may Acnan .......

Sa-jara.

 

Father Enki, bestow ...... kingship and a reign of abundance upon Icme-Dagan.

Jicgijal of the sa-jara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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