Tablet inscribed with "The Exaltation of Inanna"


Tablet inscribed with "The Exaltation of Inanna"
Mesopotamia, Nippur (modern Nuffar)
Old Babylonian period, ca. 1750 BC
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, USA, Babylonian Expedition Fund Purchase, 1888; CBS 7847

Courtesy of the Penn Museum


Sidney Babcock: "The Exaltation of Inanna" is a powerful statement of Enheduanna's devotion to the goddess of sexual love and warfare, with invaluable autobiographical references to the author's life as a high priestess. The extract is from the beginning of the poem, in praise of Inanna's might and anger:

Nimet Habachy:

“Queen of all cosmic powers, bright light shining from above,

Steadfast woman, arrayed in splendor, beloved of earth and sky,

Consort of Heaven, whose gem of rank is greatest of them all,

Favored for the noblest diadem, meet for highest sacral rank,

Who has taken up in hand cosmic powers sevenfold,

My lady! You are warden of the greatest cosmic powers,

You bore them off on high, you took them firm in hand,

You gathered them together, you pressed them to your breast.

You spew venom on a country, like a dragon.

Wherever you raise your voice, like a tempest, no crop is left standing.

You are a deluge, bearing that country away.

You are the sovereign of heaven and earth, you are their warrior goddess!”