2300-2225 BC

Enheduana, a Sumerian priestess, lived in Ur (southern Iraq) around 2300-2225 BC. She was revered as the most important religious figure of her day. She created powerful incantations/songs to Inanna, the goddess of love and fecundity. Her hymns had a variety of themes, including those that were political, personal, ritual, theological, historical, and legal.

Through her work and hymns Enheduana established a new religious synthesis, merging the Akkadian godess Ishtar with the Sumerian godess Inanna. Two of her words are The Exaltation of Inanna and In-nin sa-gur-ra, both hymns to the Goddess Ianna. In the Exhaltation of Inanna she talks about her banishment from Ur and her ultimate restoration by the goddess Inanna. This hymn became part of the cultural myths of Sumeria and for the next thousand years served as an element of cultural wisdom in civilizations that followed.

Another of Enheduana’s identified works, The Temple Hymns, is about the sacred temples and their occupants. In all of her works she shifts from third person to first person narration.

Writings about Enheduana

Hallo, William & Van Dijk, J. J. A Translators (1968) The Exhaltation of Inanna. Yale University Press.

Roberts, Janet (2004). Enheduanna, Daughter of King Sargon: Princess, Poet, Priestess (2300 B.C.), Transoxiana 8

Sjoberg, Ake W. Translator (1975) "In-nin sa-gur-ra: A Hymn to the Goddess Inanna by the en-Priestess Enheduanna.". Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie und Vordesasiatische Archaeologie. 65 (1975): 161-253.