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The Marriage of Martu


The marriage of Martu

The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature

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A story similar to Jacob, Leah and Rachel in the Bible


When the city of Inab already existed, but the city of Kiritab did not yet exist, when the holy crown already existed, but the holy tiara did not yet exist, when the holy herb already existed, but the holy cedar did not yet exist, when holy salt already existed, but holy alkali did not yet exist, when intercourse and kissing already existed, when giving birth in the fields already existed -- I was the grandfather of the holy cedar, I was the ancestor of the mes tree, I was the mother and father of the white cedar, I was the relative of the hacur cedar.

At that time there was a princely land among the cities; Inab was this princely land among the cities. The ruler of Inab was Tigi-cem-ala. Now, he had a wife whose name was Cage-gur (Desired-by-the-heart), and a child, who ......, and her name was .......

The people living around the city hung up nets, the people living around Inab hung up nets, hung up nets, chased gazelles and killed the gazelles as one kills humans. One day, as the evening came, and they had reached the place of rations, they established the rations before the the god ...... (The correct form of this name is not known). The ration of a married man was established as double, the ration of a man with a child was established as triple; the ration of a single man was established as single; but the ration of Martu, though being single, was also established as double.

Martu went home to his own mother, and spoke to her: "In my city I am among my friends and they all have already married wives; I am there among my mates, and they all have already married wives. Unlike my friends in my city I am single, I am single and I have no children. Yet the imposed share exceeds that of my friends; over and above that of my mates, I received half of theirs."

One day, as the evening came, and they had reached again the place of rations, they established the rations before the the god ...... (The correct form of this name is not known). The ration of a married man was established as double, the ration of a man with a child was established as triple; the ration of a single man was established as single; but the ration of Martu, though being single, was also established as double.

Martu went home to his own mother, and spoke to her: "My mother, find me a wife to marry and I will bring you my ration." His own mother replied to Martu: " Su-henuna, my son, I will give you advice; may my advice be heeded. I shall say a word to you; you should pay attention to it. Marry a wife of your choice, marry a wife of your heart's desire, give me thus a companion, ...... me a slave-girl. Having built the houses of (?) your people living around the city, and ...... gardens, you will dig the wells of (?) your mates. Martu, ...... mates ......"

At that time a festival was announced in the city; a festival was announced in the city of Inab. (Martu said:) "Come, friends, let us go, let us go there, let us visit the ale-houses of Inab, let us go there." The god Numucda participated in the festival; his beloved daughter Adjar-kidug participated in the festival, his wife Namrat, the lovely woman participated in the festival. In the city, bronze cem drums were rumbling, and the seven ala drums resounded as strong men, girdled champions, entered the wrestling house to compete with each other for Numucda in the temple of Inab. There were many coming to Inab, the city where the festival was taking place, to marvel at this. There were many coming to Inab, the city where the festival was taking place, to marvel at this.

For Numucda, because he was holy (?), Martu too strode around the great courtyard to compete in wrestling at the gate of Inab. They kept looking for strong fighters for him, they kept offering him strong fighters. Martu strode around in the great courtyard. He hit them with a destructive ...... one by one. In the great courtyard, in the battle he caused them to be bandaged; in the great courtyard of Inab he lifted the bodies of the dead.

Rejoicing over Martu, Numucda offered him silver, but he would not accept it. He offered jewels, but he would not accept them. Having done so a second time, having done so a third time (Martu says): "Where does your silver lead? Where do your jewels lead? I, Martu, would rather marry your daughter, I would rather marry your daughter Adjar-kidug."

7 lines missing

(Numucda says:) "You ...... the wife with calves, as a marriage gift. Milch cows shall feed the calves. In the byre the calf and the cow shall lie down. Milch cows shall live in the ....... Suckling calves shall stay at their right side. You must give your word thus and only thus, and then I will give you my daughter Adjar-kidug."

"You ...... the wife with lambs, as a marriage gift. Milch ewes shall feed the lambs. In their sheepfold the lamb and the ewe shall lie down. Milch ewes shall live in the ...... and suckling lambs shall stay at their left side. You must give your word thus and only thus, and then I will give you my daughter Adjar-kidug."

"You ...... the wife with kids as a marriage gift. Milch goats shall feed the kids. In their stall the kid and the goat shall lie down. The goats shall live in the ...... and suckling kids shall stay ....... You must give your word thus and only thus, and then I will give you my daughter Adjar-kidug."

He ...... great ....... He shouted like ....... At the quay of Inab he .......

He gratified the elders of Inab with golden torcs. He gratified the old women of Inab with golden shawl- ....... He gratified the men and women of Inab with golden ....... He gratified the slaves of Inab with ...... and gratified them also with coloured ...... cloths. He gratified the slave-girls of Inab with silver jugs.

The days have multiplied, no decision has yet been made. (Adjar-kidug's girlfriend speaks to her:) "Now listen, their hands are destructive and their features are those of monkeys; he is one who eats what Nanna forbids and does not show reverence. They never stop roaming about ......, they are an abomination to the gods' dwellings. Their ideas are confused; they cause only disturbance. He is clothed in sack-leather ......, lives in a tent, exposed to wind and rain, and cannot properly recite prayers. He lives in the mountains and ignores the places of gods, digs up truffles in the foothills, does not know how to bend the knee, and eats raw flesh. He has no house during his life, and when he dies he will not be carried to a burial-place. My girlfriend, why would you marry Martu?" Adjar-kidug replies to her girlfriend: "I will marry Martu!"

Inab -- ulum, alam!


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Main Index

Sumerian Tablets The Isin King List The Sumerian King list The Tablet of Adapa Akkadian Advice Akkadian Precepts A tigi for Bau to Gudea Adab for Bau to Luma The Cursing of Agade Dumuzid's dream Dumuzid and Enkimdu Dumuzid and Geshtin-ana Enki builds the E-engurra Enki and Ninhursag Enki and Ninmah Enki and the World Order Enlil in the E-kur Enlil and Ninlil Enlil and Sud Enmerkar and En-sughgir-ana Enmerkar and Lord Aratta Ereshkigal The Eridu Genesis The Farmer"s instruction Sumerian Flood Story Gilgamesh and Aga Gilgamesh - Bull of Heaven The Deadth of Gilgamesh Gilgamesh and Enkidu Gilgamesh and Huwawa The Heron and the Turtle The History of the Tummal How Grain came to Sumer A tigii to Inana Inana and Bilulu Inana to the Nether world A balbale to Inana - Dumuzid Inana and Ebih Inana and Enki Inana and Iddin-Dagan A Mythic Narrative Inana Inana and Shu-kale-tuda Inscription Umma and Lagash Instructions of Shuruppag The Lament of Eridug The Lament for Nibru The Lament for Sumer - Urim The Lament for Unug The Lament for Ur The Lament for Urim Letter from Ibbi-Suen Lugulbanda The Marriage of Martu Contracts from Mesopotamia Laws from Mesopotamia The Myth of Etana The Myth of Anzu Nanna-Suen's journey to Nibru Building of Ningirsu's temple Ningishzida to the Netherworld A shir-gida to Nininsina Nininsina and the Gods The exploits of Ninurta Ninurta and the Turtle 3 Ox-drivers from Adab Pabilsaj's journey to Nibru Praise Poem of Shulgi Poem of Utu-Hejal Proverbs from Ki-en-gir Rulers of Lagash The Sargon legend The Shumunda grass Return of Ninurta to Nibru Lugulbanda in the Cave The death of Ur-Nammu Praise poem of Ur-Nammu A tigi to Enlil for Ur-Namma THE TEMPLE HYMNS Sumerian Mythology


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