Princess, priestess, poet: the Sumerian temple hymns of Enheduanna

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University of Texas Press, Aug 1, 2009 - Literary Collections - 308 pages
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Living in 2300 BCE, Sumerian high priestess Enheduanna became the first author of historical record by signing her name to a collection of hymns written for forty-two temples throughout the southern half of ancient Mesopotamia, the civilization now known as Sumer.

Each of her hymns confirmed to the worshipers in each city the patron deity's unique character and significance. The collected hymns became part of the literary canon of the remarkable Sumerian culture and were copied by scribes in the temples for hundreds of years after Enheduanna's death.

Betty De Shong Meador offers here the first collection of original translations of all forty-two hymns along with a lengthy examination of the relevant deity and city, as well as an analysis of the verses themselves. She introduces the volume with discussions of Sumerian history and mythology, as well as with what is known about Enheduanna, thought to be the first high priestess to the moon god Nanna, and daughter of Sargon, founder of one of the first empires in human history.

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Review: Princess, Priestess, Poet: The Sumerian Temple Hymns of Enheduanna

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First author-identified written work in history (and by a woman, no less, an interesting fact that feminists should know). Accessible to the layperson, which is more than I can say for most compilations of ancient Mesopotamian documents. Read full review

Review: Princess, Priestess, Poet: The Sumerian Temple Hymns of Enheduanna

User Review  - Goodreads

Excellent book on 42 poems by the first person in the history of the world (that we know of) to call herself a "writer" -- a poet with a celestial muse, in fact. Betty De Shong Meador has done the ... Read full review


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About the author (2009)

BETTY DE SHONG MEADOR is a Jungian analyst who has taught at California School of Professional Psychology San Diego, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and California Institute of Integral Studies. She is the author of Inanna: Lady of Largest Heart and Uncursing the Dark.

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