The Lapis Gates of Sumer

Intro to Sumer

The Gods

The Texts

Sumerian Calendar

Ancient Rites





Following is a list of abbreviations used in the notes:

AO  Muse du Louvre, Paris. Antiquits orientales. (Followed by catalogue number).

AOF  Archiv fr Orientforschung (Berlin, 1923--).

AOR  Archiv Orientln (Prague, 1928--).

AS   Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Assyriological Studies (Chicago, 1931--).

AS No. 10   Kramer, Samuel N. Gilgamesh and the huluppu-tree (1938).

AS No. 11   Jacobsen, Thorkild. The Sumerian king list (1939).

AS No. 12 Kramer, Samuel N. Lamentation over the destruction of Ur (1940).

ASKT  Haupt, Paul. Akkadische und sumerische Keilschrifttexte (Leipzig, 1881-1882).

ATU  Altorientalische Texte und Untersuchungen, ed. by Bruno Meissner (Leiden, 1916--).

BA  Beitrge zur Assyriologie und semitischen Sprachwissenschaft, edited by P. Haupt and F. Delitzsch (Baltimore and Leipzig, 1890-1927).

BASOR  Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (Baltimore, 1919--).

BE  The Babylonian expedition of the University of Pennsylvania. Series A: Cuneiform texts, ed. by H. V. Hilprecht (Philadelphia, 1893-1914).

BE XXIX  Radau, Hugo. Sumerian hymns and prayers to god Nin-ib, from the temple library of Nippur (1911).

BE XXXI  Langdon, Stephen H. Historical and religious texts from the temple library of Nippur (1914).

BBI  Barton, George A. Miscellaneous Babylonian inscriptions (New Haven, 1918--).

BL  Langdon, Stephen H. Babylonian liturgies (Paris, 1913).

CBS  Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Catalogue of the Babylonian section. (Followed by number.) All CBS numbers listed in the notes are still unpublished.

CT  British Museum. Cuneiform texts from Babylonian tablets . . . in the British Museum (London, 1896--).

GSG  Poebel, Arno. Grundzge der sumerischen Grammatik (Rostock, 1923). p. 105

HAV  Radau, Hugo. "Miscellaneous texts from the temple library of Nippur," in Hilprecht anniversary volume (Leipzig, 1909):374-457.

HRETA  Nies, J. B., and C. E. Keiser. Historical, religious, and economic texts and antiquities (New Haven, 1920).

JAOS  Journal of the American Oriental Society (Boston, etc., 1849--).

JRAS  Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (London, 1834-).

K  British Museum. Kouyunjik collection. (Followed by catalogue number.)

KAR  Ebeling, Erich. Keilschrifttexte aus Assur religisen Inhalts (Wissenschaftliche Verffentlichungen der Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Bd. 28, Heft 1-4, and Bd. 34, Heft 1--; Leipzig, 1919--).

KGV  Abel, L., and H. Winkler. Keilschrifttexte zum Gebrauch bei Vorlesungen (Berlin, 1890).

MVAG  Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatisch-aegyptische Gesellschaft (Berlin, 1896-1908; Leipzig, 1909--).

Ni  Asari atika mzeleri (Museum of the Ancient Orient), Istanbul. Nippur collection. (Followed by catalogue number.) All Ni numbers listed in the notes will be published in SLTN.

OECT  Oxford editions of cuneiform texts (London, 1923--).

OECT I  Langdon, Stephen H. Sumerian and Semitic religious and historical texts (London, 1923).

PBS  Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Publications of the Babylonian section (Philadelphia, 1911--).

PBS I 1  Myhrman, David W. Babylonian hymns and prayers (1911).

PBS 1 2  Lutz, Henry F. Selected Sumerian and Babylonian texts (1919).

PBS IV I Poebel, Arno. Historical texts (1914).

PBS V  Poebel, Arno. Historical and grammatical texts (1914).

PBS VI 1   Poebel, Arno. Grammatical texts (1914).

PBS X 1  Langdon, Stephen H. Sumerian epic of paradise, the flood, and the fall of man (1915).

PBS X 2  Langdon, S. H. Sumerian liturgical texts (1917).

PBS X 4  Langdon, S. H. Sumerian liturgies and psalms (1919).

PBS XII  Langdon, S. H. Sumerian grammatical texts (1917).

PBS XIII  Legrain, Leon. Historical fragments (1922).

PRAK  Genouillac, Henri de. Premires recherches archologiques Kich (2 vols.; Paris, 1924-1925).

R  Rawlinson, Sir Henry. The cuneiform inscriptions of Western Asia (5 vols.; London, 1861-1884; vol. 4, 2d ed., 1891). p. 106

RA  Revue d'assyriologie et darchologie orientale (Paris, 1884--).

SAK  Thureau-Dangin, Franois. Die sumerischen und akkadischen Knigsinschriften (Leipzig, 1907).

SBH  Reisner, George A. Sumerisch-babylonische Hymnen nach Thontafeln griechischer Zeit (Berlin, 1896).

SEM  Chiera, Edward. Sumerian epics and myths (Oriental Institute publications XV; Chicago, 1934).

SL  Kramer, Samuel N. "Sumerian literature," in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 85.293-323, 1942.

SLTN  Kramer, Samuel N. Sumerian literary texts from Nippur in the Museum of the Ancient Orient (to appear in the near future under the auspices of the American School of Oriental Research at Bagdad and the American Council of Learned Societies).

SRT  Chiera, Edward. Sumerian religious texts (Crozer Theological Seminary. Babylonian publications I; Upland, Pa., 1924).

STVC Chiera, Edward. Sumerian texts of varied contents (Oriental Institute publications XVI; Chicago, 1934).

TRS  Genouillac, Henri de. Textes religieux sumriens du Louvre, Tomes I-II (Muse du Louvre, Department des antiquits orientales, Textes cuniformes, Tomes XV-XVI; Paris, 1930).

U  Joint Expedition of the British Museum and of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania to Mesopotamia. Ur collection. (Followed by catalogue number.)

VS  Staatliche Museen, Berlin. Vorderasiatische Schriftdenkmler (Leipzig, 1907--).

VS II  Zimmern, Heinrich. Sumerische Kultlieder aus altbabylonischer Zeit, 1. Reihe (1912).

VS X  Zimmern, Heinrich. Sumerische Kultlieder aus altbabylonischer Zeit, 2. Reihe (1913).

VAT  Staatliche Museen, Berlin. Tontafelsammlung, Vorderasiatische Abteilung. (Followed by catalogue number.)

1. The extant text of this poem, which we may entitle "The Epic of Enmerkar," is reconstructed from the following tablets and fragments: CBS 29.13.194, 29.16.422; PBS V 8; PBS XIII 8; SEM 14, 16; SRT 34. The following pieces may also belong to this composition: BE XXXI 44 (cf. Kramer, JAOS 60.250); CBS 2291, 7859; HAV 9. "The Epic of Enmerkar" is to be kept distinct from another epic tale concerned with the same Enmerkar, which we may entitle "Enmerkar and Enmushkeshdanna." The extant text of the latter poem is reconstructed from the following tablets and fragments: Ni 2283; PBS V 9, 10; SEM 13, 18, 19. The following pieces also probably belong to it: CBS 29.16.450; HAV 17; SEM 17. In SL 320 I assumed that we had but one epic composition

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dealing with the exploits of Enmerkar in the course of subjugating Aratta to Erech. It now seems more likely that we actually have two such epic tales. The first, described in SL as the "larger portion," corresponds to the poem designated above as "The Epic of Enmerkar"; the second, described in SL as the "smaller portion," corresponds to the one designated "Enmerkar and Enmushkeshdanna." Note also that the number of pieces identified as belonging to these two poems is 20, not 25, as stated in SL 320.

2. The transliteration and translation of this passage are as follows:

1. u4-ba mu-nu-gl-la-m gr nu-gl-la-m[ka nu-gl-la-m]
2. ur-ma? nu-gl-la-m ur-zir(?) ur-bar-ra nu-gl-la-am
3. n-te-g su-zi-zi-i nu-gl-la-m
4. l-lu6 gaba-u-gar nu-um-tuku-m
5. u4-ba kur-ubur ki-?-me-zi
6. eme-?a-mun ki-en-gi kur-gal-me-nam-nun-na-kam
7. ki-uri kur-me-te-gl-la
8. kur-mar-tu--sal-la-n-a
9. an-ki-nigin-na uku-sag-s-ga
10. den-ll-ra eme-a-m, he-en-na-da-[si(?)-el(?)]
In those days there was no snake, there was no scorpion, there was no hyena,
There was no lion, there was no wild dog, no wolf,
There was no fear, no terror,
Man had no rival.

In those days the land Shubur (East), the place of plenty, of righteous decrees,
Harmony-tongued Sumer (South), the great land of the "decrees of princeship,"
Uri (North), the land having all that is needful,
The land Martu (West), resting in security,
The whole universe, the people in unison,
To Enlil in one tongue gave praise.

3. The term Accadian is now generally applied to the Semitic language spoken in the countries commonly known as Assyria and Babylonia; Assyrian and Babylonian, the terms formerly used to designate this language, are the names of the two best-known dialects of the Accadian language.

4. No satisfactory history of Sumer and the Sumerians has as yet been written. However, the interested reader will obtain a relatively adequate orientation in respect to the fundamental pattern of Sumerian history and its basic problems by examining such works as: L. W. King, A History of Sumer and Akkad (London, 1910); The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. I (1923; especially chapters X-XII by Stephen Langdon);

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[paragraph continues] C. L. Wooley, The Sumerians (Oxford, 1929); E. A. Speiser, Mesopotamian Origins: The Basic Population of the Near East (Philadelphia, 1930); Henri Frankfort, Archaeology and the Sumerian Problem (Oriental Institute Studies in Ancient-Oriental Civilization, No. 4; Chicago, 1932); W. F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity (Baltimore, 1940). The reader will find that the statements formulated in these volumes not infrequently show serious divergences, inconsistencies, and contradictions; he is asked to bear in mind that the pertinent source material is highly complex in character and that its study and interpretation are still in a continuous and progressive state of flux.

5. For a more detailed sketch of the decipherment of the cuneiform system of writing, cf. E. A. Wallis Budge, The Rise and Progress of Assyriology (London, 1925); the reader will also find here an excellent pertinent bibliography. For the decipherment of Sumerian in particular, cf. F. H. Weissbach, Zur Lsung der Sumerischen Frage (Leipzig, 1897). As a matter of historical curiosity it is noteworthy to mention that in spite of all evidence to the contrary, the well-known orientalist, J. Halvy, continued to deny the existence of a Sumerian people and language in Mesopotamia, as late as the first decade of the twentieth century. According to his biased and subjectively motivated views, no people other than the Semites had ever been in possession of Babylonia. As for the so-called Sumerian language, it was merely an artificial invention of the Semites, themselves, devised for hieratic and esoteric purposes.

6. The first forty thousand tablets were discovered by the Arab workers while De Sarzec, the excavator, happened to be away from the mound. They succeeded in getting them all into the hands of dealers, and as a result, there is no important collection in Europe or America which does not have some Lagash tablets. In the Museum of the Ancient Orient, the tablets excavated at Lagash in the course of the years are stacked high in drawer after drawer; it is difficult to estimate their number but it may be close to 100,000.

7. For a detailed description of the Nippur excavations, cf. J. P. Peters, Nippur (2 vols.; New York, 1897); H. V. Hilprecht, The Excavations in Assyria and Babylonia (The Babylonian expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, series D: Researches and Treatises; Philadelphia, 1904); C. S. Fischer, Excavations at Nippur (Berlin, 1907). The tablet material published to date has appeared largely in the two series BE and PBS; cf. Orientalia 27.9-10, 13-14; to be added are BBI, HAV, SEM, SRT, STVC; also Leon Legrain, Babylonian Inscriptions and Fragments from Nippur and Babylon (PBS XV, 1926); Edward Chiera, Sumerian Lexical Texts from the Temple School of Nippur (Oriental Institute Publications XI; Chicago, 1929). For the seals and terra cottas from Nippur, cf. Leon Legrain, The Culture of the Babylonians from Their Seals in the Collections of the Museum (PBS XIV, 1925), and Terra Cottas from Nippur (PBS XVI, 1930).

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8. For a detailed sketch of the excavations on Sumerian sites, cf. Handbuch der Archologie im Rahmen des Handbuchs der Altertumwissenschaft I (ed. by Walter Otto; Munich, 1939), pp. 644 ff.; also Seton Lloyd, Mesopotamian Excavations on Sumerian Sites (London, 1936).

9. For a list of the large number of publications containing the Sumerian economic documents, cf. Orientalia 27.31-40, and the annual bibliographies in AOF.

10. The greater part of this material has been gathered, transliterated, and translated by the eminent French Assyriologist in his SAK as early as 1907; this volume is still basic and standard. The most significant addition to this material in recent days is C. J. Gadd and L. Legrain, Royal Inscriptions (Publications of the Joint Expedition of the British Museum and of the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, to Mesopotamia. Ur Excavations, Texts I., London, 1928).

11. For a list of the publications, cf. Orientalia 27.31-40 and the annual bibliographies in AOF. The mathematical texts, especially, have now found ample treatment; cf. Thureau-Dangin (in RA 24-35) and Otto Neugebauer, Mathematische Keilschrifttexte (Berlin, 1935-1937).

12. The publications involved are CT XV, CT XXXVI, OECT I, PRAK, TRS, VS II, VS X. Small numbers of literary tablets are naturally to be found in other collections. The Yale Babylonian Collection, especially, as Professors Stephens and Goetze inform me, has accumulated quite a number of Sumerian literary tablets, bought from the hands of dealers. No doubt many of these were dug up in Nippur.

13. For a more detailed sketch of the Sumerian epics and myths, cf. SL 318-323.

14. A more detailed discussion of this material will be found in the introduction to SLTN.

15. AS No 12.

16. For the scientific analysis of the contents of the catalogue tablet, cf. Kramer, "Oldest Literary Catalogue," in BASOR 88.10-19.

17. Following are the major studies concerned with the origin and development of the cuneiform system of writing: F. Thureau-Dangin, Recherches sur lorigine de lecriture cuniforme (Paris, 1898); G. A. Barton, The Origin and Development of Babylonian Writing (BA IX); A. Deimel, Liste der archischen Keilschriftzeichen (Wissenschaftliche Verffentlichungen der Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Bd. 40; Leipzig, 1922); E. Unger, Die Keilschrift (Leipzig, 1929); A. Falkenstein, Archische Texte aus Uruk (Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Forschungsgerneinschaft in Uruk-Warka, Bd. 2; Leipzig, 1936).

18. If, proceeding from top to bottom, we examine the first column of the table (fig. 1), we note the following:

No. 1 is the picture of a star; it represents primarily the Sumerian word an, "heaven." The very same sign, however, is used to represent the word dingir, "god."

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No. 2 represents the word ki, "earth." Obviously it is intended to be a picture of the earth, although the interpretation of the sign is still uncertain.

No. 3 is probably a more or less stylized picture of the upper part of a man's body; it represents the word lu, "man."

No. 4 is a picture of the pudenda; it represents the word sal, "pudenda." The same sign is used to represent the word munus, "woman."

No. 5 is the picture of a mountain; it represents the word kur, whose primary meaning is "mountain."

No. 6 illustrates an ingenious device developed early by the inventors of the Sumerian system of writing, whereby they were enabled to represent pictorially words for which the ordinary pictographic representation entailed a certain amount of difficulty. As the reader will note, the sign for the word geme, "slave-girl," is actually a combination of two signs, that for munus, "woman," and that for kur, "mountain"; that is, of signs 4 and 5 on our table. Literally, therefore, this compound sign expresses the idea "mountain-woman." But since the Sumerians obtained their slave-girls largely from the mountainous regions about them, this compound sign adequately represented the Sumerian word for "slave-girl," geme.

No. 7 is the picture of a head; it represents the Sumerian word sag, "head."

No. 8 is also the picture of a head; the vertical strokes, however, underline the particular part of the head which is intended, that is, the mouth. This sign, therefore, represents the Sumerian word ka, "mouth." The same sign naturally enough represents the word dug, "to speak."

No. 9 is probably the picture of a bowl used primarily as a food-container; it represents the word ninda, "food."

No. 10 is actually a compound sign consisting of the signs for mouth and food (nos. 8 and 9 on our table); it represents the word ku, "to eat."

No. 11 is a picture of a water stream; it represents the word a, "water." This sign furnishes an excellent illustration of the process by which the Sumerian script gradually lost its unwieldy pictographic character and became a phonetic system of writing. As just said, the sign no. 11 was used primarily to represent the Sumerian word a, "water." However, the Sumerians had another word a which was identical in pronunciation with the word a, "water," but which had the entirely different meaning "in." Now this word "in" is a word denoting relationship and stands for a concept which is very difficult to express pictographically. To the originators of the Sumerian script then came the ingenious idea that instead of trying to invent a necessarily highly complicated picture-sign to represent the word "in," they could use the sign for a, "water," since both words sounded exactly alike. In other words, the early Sumerian scribes came to realize that a sign originally belonging to a given word could be used for another word with an altogether unrelated

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meaning, if the sound of the two words were identical. With the gradual spreading of this practice, the Sumerian script lost its pictographic character and tended more and more to become a purely phonetic script.

No. 12 is a combination of the signs for "mouth" and "water" (nos. 8 and 11); it represents the word nag, "to drink."

No. 13 is a picture of the lower part of the leg and foot in walking position; it represents the word du, "to go," and also the word gub, "to stand."

No. 14 is a picture of a bird; it represents the word mushen, "bird."

No. 15 is a picture of a fish; it represents the word ha, "fish." This sign furnishes another example of the phonetic development of the Sumerian script. For the Sumerian word ha not only had the meaning "fish" but also "may"; that is, the Sumerians had two words ha which were identical in pronunciation but quite unrelated in meaning. And so, early in the development of the script the Sumerian scribes began to use the sign for ha, "fish," to represent the phonetically identical ha, "may," just as in the case of sign no. 11 they used the sign for a, "water," to represent the word a, "in."

No. 16 is a picture of the head and horns of an ox; it represents the word gud, "ox."

No. 17 is a picture of the head of a cow; it represents the word ab, "cow."

No. 18 is the picture of an ear of barley; it represents the word e, "barley."

The signs in the first column which we have examined in detail are from the earliest period in the development of Sumerian writing known to date. Not long after the invention of the pictographic script, however, the Sumerian scribes found it convenient to turn the tablet in such a way that the pictographs lay on their backs. As the writing developed, this practice became standard and the signs were regularly turned 90 degrees. The second column in our tablet gives the pictographic signs in this turned position. To judge from our present data and speaking very roughly, this pictographic script may be dated 3200-2800 B. C. The third column of our table represents what may be termed the "archaic" script, dated roughly 2800-2600 B. C. The fourth column contains the sign-forms of the classical period, 2600-2450 B. C.; the inscriptions of this period contain the purest Sumerian known to date. The Nippur archaic cylinder (plate III), inscribed with the oldest myth known, probably belongs to the very end of this period.

The fifth column contains the sign-forms of the Sargonid period, roughly 2450-2150 B. C.; it is in this period that the Sumerians met with serious defeats at the hands of the Semites and the Guti. A brief renaissance of Sumerian power followed in the Neo-Sumerian period, roughly 2150-2050 B. C. The sixth column represents the Sumerian

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script of this period. With the destruction of the city of Ur, about 2050 B. C., Sumer practically ceased to exist as a political entity. The period that followed, roughly 2050-1700 B. C., is known as the "early post-Sumerian." During this period Sumerian, though no longer a living language, was retained as the literary and religious language of the Semitic conquerors. It is in this period that by far the greater part of our source material was inscribed, though much of it may have been composed considerably earlier; the seventh column contains the sign-forms then used. The last column illustrates the script as used largely in the first millennium B. C. by the royal scribes of Assyria. It is primarily this late, highly conventionalized script which the European scholars of the nineteenth century first studied and deciphered. And illogically enough, to this very day, this is the script with which students of cuneiform begin their studies.

19. For an excellent copy of the text, cf. F. Thureau-Dangin, Les cylindres de Gudea, dcouverts par Ernest de Sarzec Tello (Muse du Louvre, Departement des antiquits orientales, Textes cuniformes, tome VIII; Paris, 1925); for the transliteration and translation, cf. SAK 88-141.

20. BBI 1.

21. For a discussion and bibliography, cf. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity, pp. 11 ff.

22. For a fuller comparative analysis of the Babylonian borrowings from Sumerian literature, cf. my review of A. Heidel, The Babylonian Genesis (Chicago, 1942), in the JAOS 63.69-73.

23. The Chicago Syllabary and the Louvre Syllabary AO 7661 (AS No. 7, 1940).

24. For a transliteration and translation of the text, together with a scientific analysis of its significance for Sumerian grammar, cf. PBS VI 1, pp. 29-53.

25. I. e. GSG. Cf. also the comment in SL. 320. As for the Sumerische Lesestcke which Poebel had prepared to accompany the grammar (cf. AOR 8.27, note 2; the hopes there expressed have not materialized), unfortunately these still remain unpublished.

26. A full discussion of the lexical problems will be found in my study, "The present status of Sumerian lexicology and lexicography," which, it is hoped, will be published in the near future.

27. These are SEM and STVC.

28. Cf. SL 320-323, and add "Inanna Prefers the Farmer" (see p. 100).

29. Edited by James Hastings. 13 vols.; Edinburgh, 1908-1927. Cf. the article, "Cosmogony and Cosmology," in volume 4, pp. 125-179.

30. Edited by L. H. Gray, J. A. MacCulloch, and G. F. Moore; Boston, 1916-1932. In volume IX, Semitic Mythology (1931), Stephen Langdon does make an attempt to sketch some of the Sumerian mythological concepts. However, because of the limited material available at

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the time and because of the ubiquitous linguistic difficulties, much of the material there outlined is quite untrustworthy and misleading.

31. To date, however, it must be frankly admitted, relatively little of this glyptic material can be interpreted with any approach to certainty. Frequently we can neither identify the gods depicted on the designs, nor interpret even roughly the acts pictured and their implications. It is quite unlikely that, with the limited space and means at their disposal, the seal-cutters attempted to portray a connected story such as that told in "Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Nether World" or in "Inanna's Descent to the Nether World." And if, in order to overcome their limitations, they developed a system of abbreviation and conventionalization, we are not yet in a position to penetrate it. And so, in spite of the fact that so much intelligible Sumerian mythological material has now become available, very few of the cylinder seal designs can be identified with the stories told in our epics and myths. Nevertheless, as plates VI, IX, XI, XIII, and XVIII show, some of this glyptic material is most revealing and instructive. Except for the first two designs on plate XVIII, all the illustrations are taken from Cylinder Seals, a book recently published by Henri Frankfort, of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, who is the leading living authority on the subject.

32. In detail these published texts are as follows: BE XXXI 35, 55 (cf. JAOS 60.246, 254; also AS No. 11, p. 89, note 128); HAV 11, 12; SEM 21, 22; SRT 39; U 9364 (= RA 30.127 ff.).

33. GSG p. 4.

34. AS No. 10.

35. These are CBS 10400, 15150, 29.13.438, 29.13.536, 29.15.993, 29.16.58, 29.16.463; Ni 4249.

36. SEM 21.

37. The Sumerian transliteration of these lines reads:

1. an ki-ta ba-ra-bad-du-a-ba
2. ki an-ta ba-da-sur-ra-a-ba
3. mu-nam-l-lu6 ba-gar-ra-a-ba
4. u4 an-ni an ba-an-ir10-a-ba
5. den-ll-li ki ba-an-ir10-a-ba
6. dere-ki-gal-la kur-ra sag-rig7-bi- im-ma-ab-rig7-a-ba
38. The text is copied by Langdon in PBS X 4, 16.

39. The Sumerian transliteration of these lines reads:

1. en-e ng-du7-e pa na-an-ga-m-mi-in-
2. en-nam-tar-ra-na-u-nu-bal-e-d
3. den-ll-numun-kalam-ma-ki-ta-e11-d
4. an ki-ta bad-du-d sag na-an-ga-m-ma-an-s
5. ki an-ta bad-du-d sag na-an-ga-m-ma-an-s
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40. The latter half of this Sumerian poem, translated almost verbatim into Accadian, is known as the twelfth tablet of the Babylonian "Epic of Gilgamesh"; our Sumerian poem clarifies this Accadian tablet, whose meaning has remained obscure for more than half a century. A full discussion of the problems involved will be found in the critical review of F. M. Th. Bhl, Het Gilgamesj-Epos (Amsterdam, 1941), which I am preparing for the JAOS.

41. TRS 10.36-37. Although treated in this list as the wife of An, her epithet ama-tu-an-ki, "the mother who gave birth to heaven and earth," reveals her original character. Cf. also SEM 116 i 16 (= TRS 71 i 16), where the goddess Nammu is described as ama-palil--tu-dingir-r-r-ra-ke4-ne, "the mother, the ancestress, who gave birth to all the gods."

42. For a comparative analysis of the Sumerian concepts of the creation of the universe and those revealed in the Semitic creation epic Enuma elish, cf. my comments in JAOS 63.69-73.

43. Cf. the Sin hymn restored from SRT 9 and TRS 21 (JAOS 60.412).

44. Cf. HAV 4.8-10. It is not improbable that HAV 4 is part of the epic tale "Lugalbanda and Mt. Hurrum" (cf. SL 321, No. 3); the other tablets and fragments belonging to this poem are CBS 7085, 29.16.228; OECT I pl. 19 (Stevenson tablet); SEM 20; TRS 90.

45. Cf. SEM 21.44-46 and its duplicate SRT 39.7-9; also AS No. 10, p. 5, 11.45-47, where line 47 is to be restored to read: dutu gn(?)-nun-ta e11-da-a-ni.

46. Cf. the tablet Kish 1932, 155 (JRAS 62.914-921) ii 2, which can be restored from its duplicates CBS 29.15.364 and 29.16.84 to read: dutu r-ama-ni-dnin-gal-la sag-l-la mu-un-du. All these texts are part of the epic tale "Gilgamesh and Huwawa" (cf. SL 321), a scientific edition of which I am now preparing.

47. BBI 4; note also the Pinches bilingual identified by Barton (BBI p. 34).

48. These are CBS 8176, 8315, 10309, 10322, 10412, 13853, 29.13.574, 29.15.611; Ni 2707. The following groups form "joins": CBS 8176 + 8315 + 13853; 10309 + 10412.

49. For the tablets and fragments utilized to reconstruct the text, cf. the two preceding notes.

50. The poem consists of approximately 313 lines of text reconstructed from the following tablets and fragments: BL 1; CBS 2244, 2284, 9804, 14026, 29.13.7, 29.13.189, 29.13.223, 29.15.35, 29.15.67, 291.15.74, 29.15.420, 29.15.650; Ni 3047, 4002; SRT 24; STVC 92. The following groups form "joins": 2244 + 29.15.420; 9804 + 29.15.35 + 29.15.74; 29.13.7 + 29.15.650.

51. The poem consists of approximately 308 lines of text reconstructed from the following tablets and fragments: BBI 7; CBS 3167, 10431, 13857, 29.13.464, 29.16.142, 29.16.232, 29. 16.417, 29.16.427, 29.16.446, 29.16.448;

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[paragraph continues] Ni 2705, 3167, 4004; SEM 46; SRT 41; STVC 125. The following groups form "joins": BBI 7 + 29.16.142; 13857 + 29.16.427 +29.16.446 + 29.16.448.

52. Cf. JAOS 54.418 and JAOS 60.239, note 15. To the 11 tablets and fragments there listed, the following 9 are to be added: CBS 8531, 10310, 10335, 29.16.23, 29.16.436 (the number of unpublished pieces in the University Museum is therefore 5, not "at least 6" as stated in JAOS 60.239, note 15); Ni 1117, 2337, 2473, 2742 (2 fragments were identified by me after the publication of JAOS 60.239, note 15).

53. The poem consists of close to 200 lines of text reconstructed from the following tablets and fragments: BBI 8; BE XXXI 15; CBS 7344, 7916, 15161, 29.15.973; HAV 6; Ni 2308, 4036, 4094; SEM 38, 54, 55, 56, 57; SRT 25, 44. The following groups form "joins": CBS 7344 + 7916 + SEM 5 + SEM 77; CBS 29.15.973 + SEM 38. All in all, therefore, we now have 17 pieces belonging to the myth, and the statement in SL 322 no. 5 is to be modified accordingly (the number 9 there given resulted from the fact that the four fragments constituting the first "join" mentioned above were counted as one while the 5 pieces Ni 2308, 4036, 4044, SEM 38, and SRT 41 were not identified until after the publication of SL). The first 70 lines of the poem were transliterated and translated by Chiera in SRT pp. 26 ff.

54. PBS X 1, 1; cf. also Langdon, Semitic Mythology, chapter V.

55. TRS 62; cf. JAOS 54.417; obv. 1 and rev. 1 of this text correspond respectively to PBS X 1, 1 iii 21 and iv 43 (the two texts have a considerable number of variants).

56. The Sumerian transliteration of these lines reads:

1. dnin-?ur-sag-g-ke4 a--ga ba-ni-in-ri
2. a-a-ga u ba-ni-in-ti a-d en-ki-ga-ka
3. u4-1-m itu-1-a-ni
4. u4-2-m itu-2-a-ni
5. u4-3-m itu-3-a-ni
6. u4-4-m itu-4-a-ni
7. u4-5-m
8. u4-6-m
9. u4-7-m
10. u4-8-m
11. u4-9-m itu-9-a-ni nam-munus-a-ka
12. i-?-gim i-?-gim i-dg-nun-na-gim
13. dnin-tu ama-kalam-ka a-?-gim
14. dnin-sar in-tu-ud
57. For the tablets and fragments utilized in the reconstruction of its text, cf. the two preceding notes.

58. We may have here a prototype of the "forbidden fruit" motif of Genesis III.

p. 116

59. The extant text of the poem is reconstructed from the following tablets and fragments: CBS 29.15.38; Ni 4006; PBS X 2, 1; SRT 44; STVC 78-80 (these three fragments form a "join"); TRS 36; cf. JAOS 54.413 and SEM p. 5, which are to be modified accordingly.

60. The poem consists of 128 lines of text reconstructed from the following tablets and fragments: BE XXXI 20; CBS 2167, 2216, 4916, 10314, 10350, 29.13.207, 29.15.337, 29.16.184, 29.16.251; HRETA 23; Ni 4031; OECT I pls. 1-4; PBS I 2, 105; PBS X 2, 20; SEM 81-85; TRS 54, 94. Cf. also JAOS 54.416; JAOS 60.242, note 26, where the number 6 should read 9; SL 322 no. 8, where the number 21 should read 22.

61. PBS V 25.

62. PBS II, 1.

63. Ni 4151.

64. Ni 2724.

65. The Sumerian transliteration of these lines reads:

1. mu--m mu--m
2. kug-dinanna-ra dumu-mu-r ga-na-ab-s . . .
3. nam-en nam-si nam-dingir aga-zi-ma? gigu-za-nam-lugal
4. kug-dinanna-ke4 u ba-ti
5. mu--m mu--m
6. kug-dinanna-ra dumu-mu-r ga-na-ab-s . . .
7. pa-ma? ebur-ubur bara-ma? nam-sibad nam-lugal
8. kug-dinanna-ke4 u ba-ti
66. The Sumerian transliteration of these lines reads:

1. mu--m mu--m
2. kug-dinanna-ra dumu-mu-r ga-na-ab s . . .
3. nam-nagar nam-tibira nam-dub-sar nam-sumug nam-agab nam-l-? nam-dm nam-ad-ke4
4. kug-dinanna-ke4 u ba-ti
67. In detail the reconstruction of the lines of the text is as follows (the line numbering is approximate): 1-3, broken; 4-30 = PBS I 1, I (= A) i; 31-50, broken; 51-65 = Ni 2724; 63-89 = A ii; 90-99, broken; 100-144, restored from repeated passages; 145-159 = A iii; 160-171, restored from repeated passages; 172-181, broken; 182-234, restored from repeated passages; 227-270 = A iv; 271-285, restored from repeated passages; 286-305, broken; 306-349 = A v; 350-367, restored from repeated passages; 368-391, broken; 392-402 = A vi; 403-413, broken; 413-421 = Ni 4151 obv.; 413-824 = PBS V 25.

68. PBS X 4, 14.

69. SEM 116.

70. CBS 2168.

p. 117

71. The Sumerian transliteration of these lines reads:

1. ama-ni(!) mud-mu-gar-ra-zu -gl-la-m ?-dingir-ri-e-ne k-da-
2. a-im-ugu-abzu-ka -mu-e-ni-r
3. sig7-en-sig7-dg im mu-e-gur4-gur4-ri-ne za-e me-GIM -meni-gl
4. dnin-ma?-e an-ta-zu ?-ag-e
5. dnin-? du-zi-an-na dnin-ma-da dnin-bara dnin-bara
6. dnin-zadim dsar-sar-GABA dnin-nign-na
7. tu-tu-a-zu ?a-ra-ab-gub-bu-ne
8. ama-mu za-e nam-bi -mu-e-tar dnin-ma?-e ?-bi ?-k
9. . . . d-d nam-l . . . -ke4 nam-l-lu6-m . . .
72. The Louvre tablet is published in TRS 71; for the University Museum tablet, cf. notes  68-70.

73. In detail the reconstruction of the lines of the text is as follows: 1-35 = A (= SEM 116 + PBS X 4, 14 + CBS 2168) i; 6-21 = B (= TRS 71) i; 35-63 = B ii; 58-136 = A ii, iii, iv; 84-104 = B iii; 115-132 = B iv. Cf. SL 322 no. 6 and JAOS 54.418, which are to be modified accordingly.

74. For a more detailed comparison of the Semitic poem and its Sumerian forerunners, cf. my comment in JAOS 63.69-73.

75. Cf. ATU 14.

76. The text of this epic, known to Babylonians by the name lugal (or lugal-e)-u4-me-lm-bi-nir-gl, is reconstructed from the following tablets and fragments: AO 4135 (= RA 11.82); BE XXIX 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13; BE XXXI 8, 32; CBS 1205, 2161, 2166, 2347, 7842, 7994, 8243, 13876, 15086, 29.13.583, 29.13.699, 29.16.223, 29.16.422, 29.16.439, 29.16.453; K 133 (= ASKT pp. 79 ff.; for duplicate, cf. ATU 14, p. 264); K 1299 (= ATU I 4, p. 361); K 2862 + (= 4R pl. 13 + additions); K 2863 (= 4R pl. 23, no. 2); K 2871 (= MVAG VIII pl. 13; cf. pp. 676 ff.); KAR 13, 14, 17, 25, 363; Ni 1183, 2339, 2743, 2764; SBH 71; SEM 25, 32, 36, 38; SRT 18, 20, 21; VAT 251 (KGV pl. 60). In addition to these 49 pieces, 30 published and 19 unpublished, which can now be placed in their proper position in the epic, we have the following pieces which probably belong to the poem but are still unplaceable: CBS 8476, 10321, 13103, 15088, 15120; BE XXIX 12; K 4827 (= MVAG VIII pl. 1); cf. also my comment to BE XXXI 9 in JAOS 60.239. The following groups form "joins": 29.16.242 + 29.16.439; 1205 + BE XXIX 8; 7842 + SEM 38. Particularly significant and gratifying is the placing of BE XXIX 2, and 3, which describe the misfortune that befell "the land" after Ninurta had succeeded in destroying Kur; they begin with approximately line 261 of the epic. For the confusion involved the listing of the gial texts as part of this epic (SEM p. 3), cf. my comment in JAOS 60.239, note 15.

p. 118

77. Cf. SL 321, no. 9, and BASOR 88.7. For the corrected reading Ebih, cf. RA 31-84 ff.

78. These are PBS X 4, 9; PBS XII 47; SEM 90, 103, 106, 107, 109; STVC 42.

79. These are CBS 4256, 29.16.32; Ni 2711, 3052, 4042.

80. SL 294-314.

81. PBS V 22-24.

82. BE XXXI 33-34.

83. RA 34.93-134.

84. SEM 50, 49, 48.

85. Cf. RA 36.78 for nos. 10 and 11; no. 12 will appear in SLTN.

86. For no. 13 cf. BASOR 79.22-23; for no. 14 cf. SL pl. 10.

87. Following is the transliteration and translation of the marked passage on no. 8 of plate XX, which contains the very beginning of the poem:

1. an-gal-ta ki-gal- getug-ga-ni na-an-gub
2. AN an-gal-ta ki-gal- getug-ga-ni na-an-gub
3. dinanna an-gal-ta ki-gal- getug-ga-ni na-an-gub
4. nin-mu an mu-un-ub ki mu-un-ub kur-ra ba-e-a-e11
5. dinanna an mu-un-ub ki mu-un-ub kur-ra ba-e-a-e11
6. nam-en mu-un-ub nam-nin mu-un-ub kur-ra ba-e-a-e11
From the "great above" she set her mind toward the "great below,"
The goddess, from the "great above" she set her mind toward, the "great below,"
Inanna, from the "great above" she set her mind toward the "great below."
My lady abandoned heaven, abandoned earth, to the nether world she descended,
Inanna abandoned heaven, abandoned earth, to the nether world she descended,
Abandoned lordship, abandoned ladyship, to the nether world she descended.

Following is a transliteration and translation of the marked passage on no. 13 which describes the death of the goddess:

1. kug-dere-ki-gal-la-ke4 gigu-za-na i-ni-in-tu
2. da-nun-na di-kud-imin-bi igi-ni- di mu-un-i-in-kud
3. i-b mu-i-in-bar i-b--a-kam
4. inim-ma-ne-ne inim-LIPI-gig-ga-m
5. [munus]-tu-ra uzu-ng-sg- ba-an-tu
6. uzu-ng-sg-ga gikak-ta hi ba-da-an-l
7. u4-3 gi6-3 um-ta-zal-la-ta
The pure Ereshkigal seated herself upon her throne, p. 119
The Anunnaki, the seven judges, pronounced judgment before her,
They fastened their eyes upon her, the eyes of death.
At their word, the word which tortures the spirit,
The sick ["woman"] was turned into a corpse,
The corpse was hung from a stake.
After three days and three nights had passed,
The poem then continues with the efforts of Inanna's messenger, Ninshubur, to have the gods bring her back to life. Enki intervenes and Inanna is resurrected. The last three lines of this resurrection passage read:

1. 60 -nam-ti-la 60 a-nam-ti-la ugu-na b-in-ub-bu-u
2. dinanna ba-gub
3. dinanna kur-ta ba-e11-d
Sixty times, the food of life, sixty times, the water of life, they sprinkled upon it (Inanna's dead body),
Inanna arose.
Inanna ascends from the nether world.
88. PBS V 1; for Poebel's transliteration, translation, and commentary, cf. PBS IV 1, pp. 9-70.

89. SEM 58; for Chiera's transliteration and translation, cf. SRT pp. 14-23.

90. The text is reconstructed from SEM 92-93 and SRT 3.

Title Page
Chapter I. The Scope and Significance of Sumerian Mythology
Chapter II. Myths of Origins
Chapter III. Myths of Kur
Chapter IV. Miscellaneous Myths
Chapter V. References and Notes
Supplementary Notes