En-hedu-ana


En-hedu-ana

Enheduanna (c. 2285-2250 BCE; En-hedu-Ana, EN.HÉ.DU.AN.NA"lord or lady ornament of An (the sky or heaven)") was an Akkadian princess as well as high priestess of the moon god Nanna (Sin) in Ur, who came to honor Inanna above all the other gods of the Sumerian pantheon and assisted in the merging of the Akkadian Ishtar with the Sumerian Inanna.

On the back of En-hedu-Ana's alabaster disk, shown to the right, lies an inscription recording her as the "daughter of Sargon of Akkad" a relationship that has been taken both literally and ritually. If literally true, the relationship attests Sargon's successful policy of appointing members of his family to important posts. He initiated a long tradition whereby the King appointed his daughter to the post of En of Nanna. Penelope Weadock's article on "The Giparu at Ur", Iraq 37, p.101-137, 1975 lists all of the names of these En Priestesses spanning a 500 year period. Near the end of her life, En-hedu-Ana called on Inanna for help as she reveals in nin-me-sara, her most famous hymn, because she has been temporarilly dislodged from her position by Lugal-Ane a rebelling Sumerian King showing this "imperial" appointment to be locally unacceptable. According to Annette Zgoll, the Sumerian people believed that En-hedu-Ana had written nin-me-sara so effectively that her prayers to Inanna were answered with 9 victories thus quelling 9 battles between the Sumerians and the Akkadians. This allowed her nephew, Naram Sin, who was then king, to successfully unite Sumer and Akkad for several years. After this historic coup, En-hedu-Ana was restored to her post as En of Nanna in Ur.

Nin-me-sara was revered as a sacred document and 500 years after her death, during the Babylonian era, it was used as a text copied by students learning to be scribes in the Edubba, scribal schools. Zgoll used over 100 clay tablet copies of the hymn to create her translation of nin-me-sara thus pointing out how popular the hymn was. Few Mesopotamian literary texts have boasted as many copies.

On the alabaster disk, she called herself the"zirru of Nanna," a mysterious term of which Joan Westenholz has assisted in the translation- the embodiment of the Goddess Ningal, the wife of the moon God Nanna.

Historians have noted that Enheduanna's work displays the concept of a personal relationship with the divine, to wit:

:"I am yours! It will always be so!":"May your heart cool off for me":"May your understanding... compassion…":"I have experienced your great punishment" [In-nin me-hus-a l:246-7 & 250.]

...

:"My Lady, I will proclaim your greatness in all lands and your glory!":"Your ‘way’ and great deeds I will always praise!" [In-nin me-hus-a 1:254-5.]

In addition, she is the first author to write in the first person. Scribes wrote about the King and the divine, but never about themselves prior to En-hedu-Ana.

Hymns

Enheduanna is known to us as the author of several Sumerian hymns. She is generally considered the earliest author known by nameFact|date=October 2007. The hymns she wrote to Inanna celebrate her individual relationship with Inanna, thereby setting down the earliest surviving verbal account of an individual's consciousness of her inner life.

*"Nin-me-sara", "The Exhaltation of Inanna", 153 lines, edited and translated first by Hallo and van Dijk (1968), later by Annette Zgoll (1997) in German. The first 65 lines address the goddess with a list of epithets, comparing her to An the supreme god of the pantheon. Then, Enheduanna speaks in the first person, complaining that she was exiled from the temple and the cities of Ur and Uruk, asking for intercession of Nanna. Lines 122-135 recite divine attributes of Inanna. In October 2008, CALYX Books of Corvallis, Oregon will publish a poetic translation of Nin-me-sara, entitled "Humming the Blues". It is by Minnesota author Cass Dalglish of Augsberg College. Dalglish's work utilizes a unique approach to cuneiform translation, taking the multiple meanings of each symbol into account in order to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of the Enheduanna's themes and motifs.

*"In-nin sa-gur-ra" (named by incipit), 274 lines (incomplete), edited by Sjoberg (1976) using 29 fragments.

*"In-nin me-hus-a", "Inanna and Ebih", first translated by Limet (1969)

*"The Temple Hymns", edited by Sjoberg and Bergmann (1969): 42 hymns of varying length, addressed to temples.

*"Hymn to Nanna", edited by Westenholz

Westenholz edited another fragmentary hymn dedicated to Enheduanna, apparently by an anonymous composer, indicating her apotheosis following her death.

Literature

*Cass Dalglish, "Humming the Blues: Inspired by Nin-Me-Sar-Ra, Enheduanna's Song to Inanna", CALYX Books (2008), ISBN 978-0-934971-92-8
*Betty De Shong Meador, "Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna", University of Texas (2001), ISBN 0-292-75242-3
*William W. Hallo and J.J.A. Van Dijk, "The Exaltation of Inanna", Yale University Press, 1968.
*Janet Roberts, 'Enheduanna, Daughter of King Sargon: Princess, Poet, Priestess (2300 B.C.)', "Transoxiana" 8 (2004) [http://www.transoxiana.com.ar/0108/roberts-enheduanna.html]
*Ake Sjoberg and E. Bermann, "The Collection of the Sumerian Temple Hymns", Locust Valley, J.J. Augustin, 1969.
*Ake Sjoberg, 'In-nin sa-gur-ra: A Hymn to the Goddess Inanna by the en-Priestess Enheduanna', "Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archaeologie" 65 (1975), 161-253.Annette Zgoll, "Der Rechtsfall der En-hedu-Ana im Lied Nin-me-sarra", (En-hedu-Ana's legal case in the hymn Nin-me-sara) [Ugarit-Verlag, Muenster] , 1997. For an English translation of Zgoll's translation of Nin-me-sara: http://www.angelfire.com/mi/enheduanna/Ninmesara.html

ee also

*Sumerian literature

References

External links

* [http://www.cddc.vt.edu/feminism/Enheduanna.html Biography of Enheduanna]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/mi/enheduanna/index.html The En-hedu-Ana Research Pages]
* [http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/section1/tr132.htm Inana and Ebih: translation] (The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature)
* [http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/section4/tr4073.htm A hymn to Inana (Inana C): translation] (The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature)
* [http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/section4/tr4801.htm The temple hymns: translation] (The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature)
* [http://www.amazon.co.uk/Humming-Blues-Inspired-Nin-Me-Sar-Ra-Enheduannas/dp/0934971927 Cass Dalglish's Humming the Blues, Inspired by Enheduanna's Nin-Me-Sar-Ra]


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