Ancient Man and His First Civilizations
A hymn of Inana for Ur-Ninurta (Ur-Ninurta A): translation
......, when she augustly appears, no one can keep pace with her, ...... glowing in the night, ...... with awe-inspiring splendour. The great gods are filled with fear at her ....... Her ...... utterances are as grand as those of An, and as weighty as those of Enlil. Inana is supreme, with multifarious divine powers surpassing the other divine ladies. She perfected the divine plans of kingship, so as to re-establish it, and she made up her mind and truly yearned to provide justice for the black-headed and to give them stable governance. From among the numerous people she summoned Ur-Ninurta to be the shepherd of living beings. She made the king whom she took by the hand humbly enter into the ...... where destinies are determined, where the good divine powers are assigned to the great gods -- the E-kur, the holy dwelling of An and Enlil that is endued with terrifying awe. There the goddess without whom no destiny is determined in heaven or earth sits on the dais with An and Enlil, taking counsel with them.
(Inana speaks:) "Great An, your commands are great indeed: who can revoke them? Father Enlil, no one knows how to dissipate the great destinies that you determine. Both of you, bestow permanently the role of shepherd of living beings, of the numerous people, upon Ur-Ninurta, the youth who knows how to carry out your orders. He has brought with him from the holy womb a knowledge of how to build homes and cities, and how to strengthen the Land. He knows how to direct all countries: let him give great commands. May his shepherd's crook make the rebel lands bow low; may he let them have stable governance. From the south to the uplands may he clamp down upon the Land like a neck-stock. May his utterances ....... May he search out food for them to eat as if for sheep, and may he get them ...... water to drink."
"May Ur-Ninurta shine forth like Utu over the people for long years!"
The god who made human seed come forth (An) , the father of all that is, spoke favourably to the king, determining his destiny: "Chosen cedar, ornament of the courtyard of E-kur! Ur-Ninurta, may the Land refresh itself in your shade. May you be the good shepherd of all lands. May they attend as if to Utu when you deliver a just verdict. As you take your seat upon the royal dais with its firm foundations, may you hold your head high, Ur-Ninurta. May the good crown be your glory. Inspiring fear and trembling, o lion of kingship, may you wear the royal robe!"
"May you establish the divine powers of E-ana! Ur-Ninurta, I am your great wall permanently and forever!"
You howl like a storm upon your enemies. May your splendour cover like
a heavy raincloud the lands that are disobedient to you. Let the great
sovereigns and powerful ones (?) tremble ...... like solitary reeds.
1 line fragmentary
You arise like the south wind, and when you have plotted against the rebel lands, when you have taken their people prisoners, then, o Ur-Ninurta, place the yoke on their necks in Isin, your city of great divine powers." Great An, father of the gods, has determined this as a destiny forever unchangeable for Ur-Ninurta, his attentive shepherd.
The lord who has the decisions of heaven and earth in his hands, the Great Mountain Enlil, has made the king's fame extend as far as the boundaries of heaven: "Ur-Ninurta! In authority and youthfulness may your neck be as fat as a wild bull's. Like the warrior Erra, ......, may my avenging son lord Ninurta, a furious storm against the enemy, be your helper on the battlefield, and may you put your trust in him. ...... the enemy land, and may he spread out in heaps for me ....... The holy purification rites of E-kur ......, serving daily. May your offerings on the august table in my great dining hall be everlasting. May you lift your head and raise your neck to the heavens. Life is yours, irrevocably."
The Anuna, the great gods, said "Let it be so!" to the destiny determined by great An and by Nunamnir, the lord of all living beings. In order to strengthen the black-headed in their dwelling-places, to keep the foreign lands on the track, to put ...... the people in unison, and to make them bow down at his feet, Inana, the great daughter of Suen and Ur-Ninurta's beloved spouse, gathered together ...... all the divine powers and placed them in his hand. Together the two of them went forth joyfully from Enlil's presence to take their seats in the palace, the dwelling-place of sweet honey. ...... her king ...... does not cease, as she speaks truly to him:
Youth with beautiful and well-formed limbs, ...... radiantly and proudly lifting his head, full of charm and beauty, fitted for lordship, worthy of the holy dais, Ur-Ninurta: I have decided to give you your precious divine powers. I called to you when you lifted your faithful gaze: you are the one whom I called by name. Great An has made you forever pre-eminent, as far as the outer limit of the mountains. To prolong your days, o youth, in E-kur Enlil has commanded my ...... holy life-giving embrace. You shall not cease to sit on ...... the dais which I care for. May the foreign lands rejoice at you, my Ur-Ninurta, as at Nanna when, admired by the Land, he appears in the holy heavens."
My Ur-Ninurta, Enlil has called you truly to be the shepherd of the Land."
my holy ......, at my good decision which cannot be changed, ......
may impressive strength be with (?) you."
1 line fragmentary
1 line fragmentary
A ...... of Inana
O king, foremost one of An, chosen in his holy heart, Samsu-iluna, king, foremost one of An, chosen in his holy heart, ...... rites ...... august, ......, joyful, supreme, assiduous, with head high on the gold-decorated throne of ...... kingship, who sits majestically ...... in its midst in heroic strength, Samsu-iluna: An, the mighty king of heaven, the august judge, has assigned you a great destiny, and has made you to pass your life with a secure crown.
He is the man to whom Enlil has given ...... and the shepherdship over
the widespread people, the beloved (?) shepherd of Nibru, the constant servant
of E-kur; he is the trustworthy farmer of the house of Asalim, who takes care
that provisions do not cease in E-saj-ila. For you to exercise your divine
powers of shepherdship in the Land, Enlil has placed the foreign lands at your
feet. Obedient to Utu, beloved (?) of Inana, Samsu-iluna, the king whose fate
is never altered by Enlil, my king, at the command uttered by Enlil, Enki and
Asalim, Zababa, Lugal-gu-dua, the king who builds temples, ...... the rebel
unknown no. of lines missing
Ickur, the net of the foreign lands ...... made the foreign countries praise him duly, and made the mighty ...... manifest. Samsu-iluna, the good hero, lordly one of his Land, has wisely co-ordinated decisions for the Land. From the banks of the Tigris and the banks of the Euphrates, to the shores of the sea ...... and the banks of its rivers, men ...... Samsu-iluna. In E-kur, the house of Enlil, ...... he has taken his seat on his dais of joy. Enlil, it is sweet to praise you. Enlil, give my king a brilliant destiny and years of life! Grant him as a gift a life of long days!
Lord, perfect in august wisdom and recognised for his mighty counsel, Haia, who holds the great tablets, who enriches wisdom with wisdom! Accountant of Hal-an-kug, having the final overview of the arts of Nisaba's house of wisdom; palace archivist of heaven and earth, who keeps count of every single assignment, who holds a holy reed-stylus and covers the great tablets of destiny with writing! Wise one, who prompts holy An with words and attention at the appropriate times; seal-holder of Father Enlil! He who brings forth the holy objects from the treasure-house of E-kur; ornament of the abzu shrine, wearing his hair loose for lord Nudimmud!
Haia, linen-clad priest of E-unir, who stocks the holy animal-fattening pens; learned scholar of the shrine E-kic-nujal, whose august name is great, whose mind is discerning; who dwells in the great dining-hall alongside the maiden Ningal! Fair of features, beloved spouse of Nun-bar-ce-gunu and augustly renowned father-in-law of father Enlil the Great Mountain; junior administrator, possessor of wisdom, acknowledged in heaven and earth, who receives the tribute for the gods, the abundance of mountains and seas! Interpreter of the obscurity of Enlil's (?) words, skilful one who steers the august princely divine powers, with ...... girt at his side! Formed (?) with a broad heart, holding in his hands the holy divine plans of the temple of Eridug, Haia, who wears the ceremonial robe during pure lustrations of the engur! Indagara, administrator who performs the opening of the mouth for the gods in the heavens and in the underworld, and who is versed in the meaning of obscure tablets; craftsman of the great gods!
He who fixes the standards on their pegs, planner (?) who artfully excavates (?) the soil of the Land, who decorates the floor and makes the dining-hall attractive for Ancar and the Great Mountain! Tall and with head high, he whose utterances from the abzu shrine are favourable, who carefully holds the pure white loaves of the house of the gods! Kugsud and Indagara, without whom heaven would not be pure nor earth bright, continual providers of the great meals of An and Enlil in their grand dining-hall! He who gazes upon the holy precinct, upon lord Nudimmud; he who holds the holy bronze vessels, who makes hearts rejoice and soothes spirits!
My king, I shall praise your eminence in song! Haia, I will declare your greatness perpetually! Who among the gods is fitted like you for the holy divine powers? Your beloved spouse is the maiden Nisaba, the great queen of queens. Ninlil, who was born of her holy womb, the august wife of Nunamnir, sits with her on the dais of E-kur with head raised high, uniquely entitled to behave as queen of the gods, the peerless goddess. In the abzu shrine, Enki has bestowed his incantations of life on you, great breed-bull, who are recognised for your right understanding, who constantly care for the gods, Haia, you who operate effectively the assigning of divine powers, who mark out the cult places.
You appoint the high priest for the jipar and install him there as its caretaker. You make the shepherd of the Land hold in his hands the august sceptre until distant days. Haia, you are the god of the Land who gives ear to the prayers of all the people. You make the king hold the widespread people in his hands for the great gods.
When father Enki comes forth from the abzu, he assigns (?) its greatness to you, Haia. You cause the people who are in its midst to lift their necks towards heaven; you make its population pass their days in rejoicing. You keep all its people forever contented. You establish festivals in the houses of the great gods; you spread splendour.
Leader, leader (?) of the gods, complete the great fates of the people. Look favourably upon the king with your gracious gaze that is full of life. Duly grant a joyous reign of long days to prince Rim-Sīn, marking its years on the tablet of life, forever unalterable. May An and Enlil love the shepherd Rim-Sīn in the office of high-priest. The singers will make your praise resound sweetly in their mouths; Haia, the singers will make your praise resound sweetly in their mouths. Lord of heaven and earth, king of the abzu, its praise is august. Father Enki, king of the abzu, your praise is sweet.
Haia, god of the Land, who loves the words "Give me life!", extend your broad arms round prince Rim-Sīn.
May Marduk grant life! May he make your ...... full! May Marduk decree life for you! May he prolong your life, and may he let you keep it for everlasting days! May you live, and may you have peace! May it last forever! May life be your lot, and may a life of contentment be your share! When you lie down to sleep, may your dreams be propitious, and when you rise, may your omens be favourable! Wherever you walk, may you be established in peace!
life of my king be pleasant in the eyes of An, father of the gods! May he let
you wear your royal ...... in the Land! May your ...... throne be ...... until
distant days! ......, may it last forever, and may life be your lot! May Aya
...... life, ...... your strength!
1 line unclear
May it be your lot to be a god, eating food and ...... peaceful water (1 ms. has instead: drinking water ...... ) of long life! May a divine command bestow life on you! May you live, and may you have peace! May it last forever and may life be your lot! May a life of contentment be your share! When you lie down to sleep, may your dreams be propitious, and when you rise, may your omens be favourable! Wherever you walk, may you be established in peace! May you live for everlasting days ......!
King who gathers up the divine powers of heaven and earth, foremost son of Enki, Marduk, mighty lord, perfect hero, foremost of the Great Princes (a name for the Igigi gods) , strong one of the Anuna, the great gods who have given him justice and judgment! Great prince, descendant of holy An, lord who decides destinies, who has everything in his grasp (?), wise, august knower of hearts, whose divinity is manifest, who shows concern for all that he looks upon! Your ancestor An, king of the gods, has made your lordship effective against the armies of heaven and earth.
He has given you the supervision of great august commands of heaven and earth, he has bound to your hand the shepherd's crook that curbs the foreign lands, he has made you excel among the great gods, and in addition has given you, to control them, the royal sceptre and the ritual ordinances of the gods. Enlil has fixed as your destiny kingship over the totality of heaven and earth and has relieved you of any rivals; he has made you eminent among the Anuna, and has bestowed on you the exercise of domination.
Marduk, in all quarters of the heavens they have made shine forth like Utu the lordship of prince Abi-Ecuh, the beloved son of your heart, and have relieved him of any rivals.
The lordship of the hero standing in all his strength upon this august pedestal is indeed eminent in heaven and earth. The lordship of Marduk standing in all his strength upon this august pedestal, is indeed eminent in heaven and earth.
City whose terrifying splendour extends over heaven and earth, whose towers are exceptionally grand, shrine Nibru! Your power reaches to the edges of the uttermost extent of heaven and earth. Of all the brick buildings erected in the Land, your brickwork is the most excellent. You have allowed all the foreign lands and as many cities as are built to receive excellent divine powers. Your name is as excellent as your excellent divine powers. Your soil is soil as good as your name. City, your name towers (1 ms. has instead: your divine powers tower) over heaven and earth.
You are the pillar (?) in the south and the uplands, the mooring post of all people. Your divine powers are supreme divine powers with which no divine powers can compare. Your plans are as if rooted in the abzu, endowed with great terrifying splendour. As if it were the lovely earth itself, no one can comprehend your eminence. Your pre-eminent destiny surpasses all praise. You are a lofty hill that no one can reach. Outstanding, with head high, you reach to the heavens.
Your interior towers up, and your exterior is awesome. You were built as life-giving food for the Anuna gods; you were beautified for their eating and drinking. You are the sheepfold which is there for their life. Nothing escapes your grasp, as if caught in the threads of an outspread net. Shrine Nibru, your activities are quite excellent, quite surpassing all description. The divine powers that you allocate are a good fortune which cannot be overturned.
City, your interior is holy, your exterior is radiant. Your body exudes terrifying splendour. Your location is a well-chosen location. The lord of wisdom, Enlil, the Great Mountain, has built a sanctuary in your midst; that sanctuary is a lapis-lazuli sanctuary, a sanctuary that can decide destinies. It is the E-kur, the lapis-lazuli temple, the temple that can decide the destinies.
Your prince, Nunamnir, the steer who has engendered (?) the divine
powers, and mother Ninlil, the great lady of your Ki-ur, the lady who has borne
the divine powers -- what god is there living in the Land like these two? They
have cultically purified (?) ....... They have settled ......, and taken their
seats upon the good, great and praiseworthy divine powers. The Anuna gaze at
them as if at their own father and mother, listening attentively when they
speak holy and most precious words in the correct manner. Enlil and Ninlil
looked at the heavens, while on earth they set bounds (?); and then, once their
intention became clear in the great heavens and on the broad earth, the Anuna
gods of heaven and earth set to work. The mattock and the earth-basket, tools
for founding cities,
2 lines unclear
unknown no. of lines missing
2 lines unclear
The command for the whole of heaven and earth ......; ...... of the king, with wide understanding, who knows all ....... They heed the holy words uttered, as if they were those of their own father and mother. The Anuna in the Ubcu-unkena ......, ...... going to Enlil and Ninlil. They direct (?) their gaze to the E-kur, the solemn shrine. The important commands of Enlil and Ninlil ....... They have placed in the hands of the great hero Ninurta the power to make heaven and earth tremble at his solemn utterances. They have covered (?) his mouth with ...... like finest oil. They have placed the divine powers of heaven and the divine powers of earth in his hands. Ninurta, the great hero, the strong ......, the youth who subdues the foreign lands, the lord who plunders the cities ....... Father Enlil and the great mother Ninlil ...... have ...... him into the E-kur.
1 line damaged
unknown no. of lines missing
3 lines damaged
Enlil and Ninlil ......
5 lines damaged
Enlil and Ninlil have bestowed this on Nuska, the lord who stands ....... Nibru, no god excels like your lord and lady; they are powerful princes, brilliantly revealed deities. No god excels like Enlil and Ninlil; they are powerful princes, lords who can decide destinies. In your midst they have given divine powers to Nuska as minister. Nibru, your holy songs are exceptionally precious, surpassing all praise. I, Icme-Dagan, have put them in everyone's mouth for all time.
Exalted lord, for whom a favourable destiny was determined while he was still in the good womb! Numucda, exalted lord, for whom a favourable destiny was determined while he was still in the good womb! Ningal formed ...... the holy seed ...... engendered by Suen. Born amid plenty in the holy mountains, eating fruits from a green garden, named with a good name by An and Enlil, carefully cherished by the great lady Ninlil! Numucda, son of the prince, whose appearance is full of awe-inspiring radiance! Great wild bull battering the enemy country, great lord Numucda!
Snarling lion fiercely poised for the fight, ...... snake spitting
roaring at the enemy, great dragon ...... holy incantations, whose knees never
cease from running! Fearsome flood which no one can withstand, overflowing high
water engulfing the banks!
1 line unclear
God, creative (?) personage who has no rival, foremost in heroism, who can rival you? Numucda, your face is that of a lion, and you have a muzzle like that of a fearsome muchuc.
2nd (?) cagbatuku.
Your arm is a battle net in (?) the land of those who do not practise
agriculture; your claws are the claws of an urin bird, grasping the
wicked. No one dares to oppose your authority. Your greatness and magnitude,
surpassing all praise, and your utterances which cannot be dismissed
1 line unclear
My god, hand over to the king the disobedient lands! Numucda, hand over to prince Sīn-iqicam the disobedient lands!
Sa-gida of the jicgijal.
Warrior, powerful in strength, who perfectly controls the complex divine powers! Warrior Numucda, powerful in strength, who perfectly controls the complex divine powers! God with the limbs of a bison, decorous to behold, like your father Suen you love to bestow life. Choosing truth and annihilating wickedness, in E-kic-nujal, the holy and princely dwelling, your divine powers are most precious divine powers, and your purification rites are resplendent. Numucda, hero, powerful in strength, who perfectly controls the complex divine powers!
Nunamnir, the lord who determines the destinies, has made your name august throughout the wide extent of foreign lands. He has assigned as a cult place for you the city of abundance, founded in a favourable place: Kazallu, the mountain of plenty. By his unchangeable command he has ordered the fashioning of Kun-satu, your lordly dais. Father Enlil, the good shepherd who loves your plans, has desired to make its forgotten lay-out visible again, and to restore its abandoned cities; he has ordered prince Sī-iqicam to accomplish it, and he has made (?) your cities and settlements peaceful dwelling places. He has dredged your canals, and cleared up the levees and irrigation ditches, so that abundant water will never be lacking there. He has put in your ...... and made manifest all that is proper.
Regard with favour his commendable prayers! Regard Prince Sī-iqicam with favour! May the king's joyous days be prolonged, o Numucda!