Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna
"That these poems deal immediately with the very popular 'goddess literature' and with an individual woman in a most important historical situation should give this work widespread appeal." -John Maier, SUNY College at Brockport, cotranslator of the Epic of Gilgamesh The earliest known author of written literature was a woman named Enheduanna, who lived in ancient Mesopotamia around 2300 BCE. High Priestess to the moon god Nanna, Enheduanna came to venerate the goddess Inanna above all gods in the Sumerian pantheon. The hymns she wrote to Inanna constitute the earliest written portrayal of an ancient goddess. In their celebration of Enheduanna's relationship with Inanna, they also represent the first existing account of an individual's consciousness of her inner life. This book provides the complete texts of Enheduanna's hymns to Inanna, skillfully and beautifully rendered by Betty De Shong Meador, who also discusses how the poems reflect Enheduanna's own spiritual and psychological liberation from being an obedient daughter in the shadow of her ruler father. Meador frames the poems with background information on the religious and cultural systems of ancient Mesopotamia and the known facts of Enheduanna's life. With this information, she explores the role of Inanna as the archetypal feminine, the first goddess who encompasses both the celestial and the earthly and shows forth the full scope of women's potential.
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Akkad Akkadian An's Annuna Anunna consciousness cult culture cuneiform cuneiform script dark daughter deity devotion Dijk disc divine dream duanna Dumuzi Early Dynastic period emotion en-priestess Enhe Enhedu Enheduanna Enheduanna's poetry Enki Enlil Eridu Exaltation of Inanna female force gender gipar goddess goddess Inanna gods Hallo hand head-overturning heaven and earth high priestess holy human Ibid Inanna and Ebih Iraq Ishtar Judy Grahn king Kramer kurgarra Lady of Largest land Largest Heart lived Lugalanne Maisels male menstrual Mesopotamia millennium moon mother mountain myth Naram-Sin nature Neolithic Ningal Nippur Nissen pantheon paradoxical Parpola pili-pili poems to Inanna poet Postgate praise priest Queen reed religion religious rites robe role sacred marriage ritual Samarran Samuel Noah Kramer Sargon says scholars sexual Sjoberg song spiritual Sumer Sumerian Sumerian language symbol tablets Temple Hymns temple personnel texts tion tradition translation Uruk Uruk period verse woman worship Yahweh