Enheduanna—Poet of Power and Paradox Sophus Helle

Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 6:30 PM

Sophus Helle

Enheduanna is the first known author in literary history. She lived around 4,300 years ago in what is now southern Iraq, and the poems attributed to her are works of great poetic power and rhetorical persuasion. Her two best-known poems, the Exaltation and the Hymn, are addressed to Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of sex, war, change, and contradiction. Cultural Historian Sophus Helle, postdoctoral researcher at Freie Universität Berlin, will discuss the themes Enheduanna treats in these poems that are just as relevant today as they were when they were composed over four thousand years ago: exile, social disruption, the power of storytelling, gender roles, the devastation of war, and the terrifying forces of nature.

The exhibition She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia ca. 3400-2000 BC will be open at 5:30 PM for program attendees.


The event will take place in J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library. By entering the museum, you agree to our updated Visitor Guidelines and Policies. Masks are required for attending all public programs.

Seating is limited. 

Please call (212) 685-0008 ext. 560 or e-mail tickets@themorgan.org for information.