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THE TEMPLE HYMNS



THE TEMPLE HYMNS

Gracious permission from: 'Copyright J.A. Black, G. Cunningham, E. Robson, and G. Zlyomi 1998, 1999, 2000. The authors have asserted their moral rights.' Scholarly Versions at their Home Page The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, Oxford University.


E-Unir

1-7. O E-unir (House which is a ziqqurat), grown together with heaven and earth, foundation of heaven and earth, great banqueting hall of Eridug! Abzu, shrine erected for its prince, E-du-kug (House which is the holy mound) where pure food is eaten, watered by the prince's pure canal, mountain, pure place cleansed with the potash plant, Abzu, your tigi drums belong to the divine powers.

8-15. Your great …… wall is in good repair. Light does not enter your meeting-place where the god dwells, the great ……, the beautiful place. Your tightly constructed house is sacred and has no equal. Your prince, the great prince, has fixed firmly a holy crown for you in your precinct -- O Eridug with a crown placed on your head, bringing forth thriving thornbushes, pure thornbushes for the susbu priests (?), O shrine Abzu, your place, your great place!

16-23. At your place of calling upon Utu, at your oven bringing bread to eat, on your ziqqurat, a magnificent shrine stretching toward heaven, at your great oven rivalling the great banqueting hall, your prince, the prince of heaven and earth …… can never be changed, the ……, the creator, the ……, the wise one, the ……, lord Nudimmud, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-engura (House of the subterranean waters), and taken his seat upon your dais.

24. 23 lines: the house of Enki in Eridug.

25-33. O ……, shrine where destiny is determined, ……, foundation, raised with a ziqqurat, ……, settlement of Enlil, your ……, your right and your left are Sumer and Akkad. House of Enlil, your interior is cool, your exterior determines destiny. Your door-jambs and architrave are a mountain summit, your projecting pilasters a dignified mountain. Your peak is a …… peak of your princely platform. Your base serves heaven and earth.

34-37. Your prince, the great prince Enlil, the good lord, the lord of the limits of heaven, the lord who determines destiny, the Great Mountain Enlil, has erected a house in your precinct, O shrine Nibru, and taken his seat upon your dais.

38. 13 lines: the house of Enlil in Nibru.

39-46. O Tummal, exceedingly worthy of the princely divine powers, inspiring awe and dread! Foundation, your pure lustration extends over the abzu. Primeval city, reed-bed green with old reeds and new shoots, your interior is a mountain of abundance built in plenitude. At your feast held in the month of the New Year, you are wondrously adorned as the great lady of Ki-ur rivals Enlil. Your princess, mother Ninlil, the beloved wife of Nunamnir, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-Tummal (Tummal House), and taken a place upon your dais.

47. 8 lines: the house of Ninlil in Nibru.

48-56. O E-melem-uš (House of terrifying radiance) exuding great awesomeness, Eš-ma (Magnificent shrine), to which princely divine powers were sent from heaven, storehouse of Enlil founded for the primeval divine powers, worthy of nobility, lifting your head in princeship, counsellor of E-kur, parapeted buttress, your house …… the platform with heaven. The decisions at its place of reaching the great judgment -- the river of the ordeal -- let the just live and consign to darkness the hearts that are evil. In your great place fit for pure lustration and the rites of išib priests, you dine with lord Nunamnir.

57-59. Your prince, the prince who is the counsellor of Enlil and worthy of Eš-ma, the udug demon of E-kur, the leader Nuska, has erected a house in your precinct, O house of Enlil, and taken his seat upon your dais.

60. 12 lines: the house of Nuska in Nibru.

61-68. O E-me-ur-ana (House which gathers the divine powers of heaven) standing in a great place, the just divine powers which the warrior ……, strength of battle, heroic mace, carrier of the quiver, mighty bustling brick building, your foundation is eternal. Founded by the primeval lord, with decisions which belong to the princely divine powers, holy soil filling the mountain, lifting your head among the princes, magnificent house, the wonder coming from you is like the sun whose glow spreads. E-šu-me-ša (House which …… the divine powers), Enlil has instilled your name with terrifying awesomeness.

69-75. Your prince, the great ……, the warrior whose strength is boundless, the great ruler for Enlil, the noble who rivals heaven and earth, the provisioning (?) seal-keeper of father Enlil who makes the great divine powers perfect, the ……, the leader for father Enlil, the foremost, the lion engendered by the Great Mountain, who destroys the hostile lands for Enlil, lord Ninurta, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-šu-me-ša, and taken his seat upon your dais.

76. 15 lines: the house of Ninurta in Nibru.

77-85. O E-ĝa-duda (House, chamber of the mound), ……, crown of the high plain, holy place, pure place, house, your foundation is a great princely mooring pole. Du-saĝ-dili (Singular mound), your lady, the singular woman who keeps the chamber and the dais full, gladdens your platform in princely style. Your princess who avoids anger and is exceedingly wise, the princely daughter who prospers together with the Great Mountain, Šu-zi-ana, the junior wife of father Enlil, has erected a house in your precinct, O Du-saĝ-dili, and taken her seat upon your dais.

86. 9 lines: the house of Šu-zi-ana in Ĝa-gi-ma.

87-95. O mighty Keš, form of heaven and earth, arousing terror like a great horned viper, house of Ninursaĝa, built in a terrifying place! Respected Keš, your interior is a deep interior while your exterior is tall. Great lion …… on the high plain and roving about on the plain, great hill established by incantations, twilit interior in which moonlight does not shine, Nintur has made you beautiful -- O house Keš, your brickwork and your moulding of it! Your terrace! Your exterior, a lustrous su crown, and your building of it!

96-99. Your princess, the silencing princess, the true and great lady of heaven -- when she talks heaven trembles, when she opens her mouth a storm thunders -- Aruru, the sister of Enlil, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Keš, and taken her seat upon your dais.

100. 13 lines: the house of Ninursaĝa in Keš.

101-108. O Urim, bull standing in the wet reeds, E-kiš-nu-ĝal (House sending light to the earth (?)), calf of a great cow, …… light of holy heaven, ……, trap laid in a nest, Urim, container feeding all lands, you are a shrine in a pure place, earth of An -- O house of Suen, at your front a prince, at your back a ruler, your dining hall with adab songs, your great, holy banqueting hall with šem and ala drums! The light coming from you and your true lordship is a precious destiny.

109-117. Ĝipar, princely shrine of the holy divine powers, shining like the …… sun, E-kiš-nu-ĝal, beaming moonlight which comes forth in the Land, broad light of midday which fills all lands, house, your platform is a great snake, a marsh of snakes. Your foundation is the abzu, fifty in number, and the engur, seven in number, a shrine which looks into the heart of the gods. Your prince, the prince who makes decisions, the crown of the wide heaven, the sovereign of heaven, Ašimbabbar, has erected a house in your precinct, O shrine Urim, and taken his seat upon your dais.

118. 17 lines: the house of Nanna in Urim.

119-128. O E-mu-ma (House with a magnificent name), rising mountain of heaven, your holy sides and your great foundation are a precious destiny. Interior full with princely divine powers, a beaming light which shines, shrine with your back to the blue sky and your prominent front to all people, in the Land it represents a binding agreement and a single track. Magnificent river with open mouth gathering together your …… divine powers, your base is great in awesomeness, a righteous hill grown in a broad place. Your lofty dwelling-place of magnificence with all the divine powers of princeship, ……, shouting ……; house of celebration, your platform gladdens the settlements.

129-133. House, your prince Šulgi has made it great and most princely. The perfect and magnificent ……, the mighty and great wind, adorned with the divine powers, determining destiny, Šulgi of An, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-ursaĝ (House which is a hill), and taken his seat upon your dais.

134. 15 lines: addition: E-ursaĝ of Šulgi in Urim.

135-139. O city, …… from the abzu like barley, cloudy plain, taking the divine powers from its midst, Kuara, your foundation and just banqueting hall, the lord who does not hold back his goods stands ready for admiration. The Seven Sages have enlarged it for you from the south to the uplands.

140-145. Your prince, the most precious prince Asarlui, the most precious one, is a warrior, born a noble prince, a leopard who seizes prey. He is like an onrushing storm battering the rebel land. As long as it remains disobedient, he pours spittle upon it. Asar-alim-nuna, the son of the abzu, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Kuara, and taken his seat upon your dais.

146. 11 lines: the house of Asarlui in Kuara.

147-156. O E-gud-du-šar (House with numerous perfect oxen) of holy nir stone in which its sovereign sits, raising a magnificent door decoration for the princely son, whose best fine oil is holy and well-prepared, Ĝa-bura (Chamber of bowls), holy cattle-pen pasturing cows with munzer plants, your prince is a great wild bull, an elephant rejoicing in its own strength, a wild cow growing horns and and delighting in its shining horns. The incantation priest of opposed languages who put clouds in the sky, the storm which roars in the sky, as the sunlight giving …… to the earth, Ningublaga, the son of Nanna, has erected a house in your precinct, O Ki-abrig, and taken his seat upon your dais.

157. 10 lines: the house of Ningublaga in Ki-abrig.

158-167. O shrine, great sanctuary founded at a cattle-pen, small shining city of Suen, Kar-zida (Pure quay), your interior is a mighty place, your foundation is holy and clean. Shrine, your ĝipar is founded in purity. Your door is of strong copper set up at a great place. Lowing cattle-pen, you raise your horns like a bull. Your prince, the lord of heaven standing in joy, …… at midday and ……, Ašimbabbar, has erected a house in your precinct, O Kar-zida, and taken his seat upon your dais.

168. 10 lines: the house of Nanna in Gaeš.

169-177. O house which comes forth from heaven, resplendent in Kulaba, shrine E-babbar (Shining house), shining bull, lift your neck to Utu who …… in the sky! Your shining horns are aggressive, holy and lustrous. Bearing a beard of shining lapis lazuli, ……, your prince, the mighty sunlight, the lord who …… the true word, who lightens the horizon, who lightens the sky's …… vault, Utu, the sovereign of E-babbar, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Larsam, and taken his seat upon your dais.

178. 9 lines: the house of Utu in Larsam.

179-185. O Enegir, great libation pipe, libation pipe to the underworld of Ereškigala, Gudua (Entrance to the nether world) of Sumer where mankind is gathered, E-gida (Long house), in the land your shadow has stretched over the princes of the land. Your prince, the seed of the great lord, the sacred one of the great underworld, given birth by Ereškigala, playing loudly on the zanaru instrument, sweet as the voice of a calf, Ninazu of the words of prayer, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Enegir, and taken his seat upon your dais.

186. 7 lines: the house of Ninazu in Enegir.

187-196. O primeval place, deep mountain founded in an artful fashion, shrine, terrifying place lying in a pasture, a dread whose lofty ways none can fathom, Ĝišbanda, neck-stock, meshed net, shackles of the great underworld from which none can escape, your exterior is raised up, prominent like a snare, your interior is where the sun rises, endowed with wide-spreading plenty. Your prince is the prince who stretches out his pure hand, the holy one of heaven, with luxuriant and abundant hair hanging at his back, lord Ninĝišzida. Ninĝišzida has erected a house in your precinct, O Ĝišbanda, and taken his seat upon your dais.

197. 10 lines: the house of Ninĝišzida in Ĝišbanda.

198-203. O house with the great divine powers of Kulaba, ……, its platform has made the great shrine flourish. Green fresh fruit, marvellous, filled with ripeness, descending from the centre of heaven, shrine built for the bull, E-ana (House of heaven), house with seven corners, with seven fires lifted at night-time, surveying seven pleasures (?), your princess is on the pure horizon.

.204' 204-208. Your lady Inana who ……, who adorns the woman and covers the man's head with a cloth, the one with a lustrous …… su crown, the dragon of Niĝin-ĝar, the queen of heaven and earth, Inana, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-ana, and taken her seat upon your dais.

209. 11 lines: the house of Inana in Unug.

210-219. O house where lustrous herbs are strewn upon the flowery bed, the bed-chamber of holy Inana, where the lady of the plain refreshes herself! Brick-built E-muš (House which is the precinct) is flowery and holy, its …… clay established for him who tends the ewes on the high plain. Your …… house of Arali (House which is the nether world) gives shade (?) to the shepherd. Your prince, a raging lion on the plain, the šuba jewel of the Mistress whose breast is holy and marvellous, the lord who is holy Inana's husband, Dumuzid, the sovereign of E-muš, has erected a house in your precinct, O Bad-tibira, and taken his seat upon your dais.

220. 10 lines: the house of Dumuzid in Bad-tibira.

221-228. O E-igizu-uru (House, your face is mighty), with plenty coming from within, your well-stocked chamber is a mountain of abundance. House, your fragrance is a mound of vines. Your true minister is a leader in heaven. House, your princess is prominent among the gods, the true minister of E-ana who holds a holy sceptre in her hand. Ninšubur, the true minister of E-ana, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-akkil (House of lamentation), and taken her seat upon your dais.

229. 8 lines: the house of Ninšubur in Akkil.

230-235. O city, founded upon a dais in the abzu, established for the rites of išib priests, house where incantations of heaven and earth are recited,

4 lines fragmentary

236-238. …… lustration water in the holy heaven and on the pure earth. Ningirim, the lady of the shining lustration water, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Murum, and taken her seat upon your dais.

239. 9 lines: the house of Ningirim in Murum.

240-248. O E-ninnu (House of 50), right hand of Lagaš, foremost in Sumer, the Anzud bird which gazes upon the mountain, the šar-ur weapon of …… Ninĝirsu, …… in all lands, the strength of battle, a terrifying storm which envelops men, giving the strength of battle to the Anuna, the great gods, brick building on whose holy mound destiny is determined, beautiful as the hills, your canal ……, your …… blowing in opposition (?) at your gate facing towards Iri-kug, wine is poured into holy An's beautiful bowls set out in the open air.

249-254. Whatever enters you is unequalled, whatever leaves endures. ……, terrifying facade, house of radiance, a place of reaching judgment which lord Ninĝirsu has filled with great awesomeness and dread! All the Anuna gods attend your great drinking-bouts.

255-261. Your prince, a raging storm which destroys cities in hostile lands, your sovereign, a terrifying wild ox which will manifest its strength, a terrifying lion which smashes heads, the warrior who devises strategies in lordship and attains victory in kingship, the mighty one, the great warrior in battle, the lord without rival, the son of Enlil, lord Ninĝirsu, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-ninnu, and taken his seat upon your dais.

262. 22 lines: the house of Ninĝirsu in Lagaš.

263-270. O Iri-kug (Holy city), shrine of holy An, which caused the human seed to come forth, called by a good name, within you is the river of ordeal which vindicates the just man. E-ĝalga-sud (House which spreads counsel far and wide), storehouse which eternally possesses silver and lapis lazuli, E-tar-sirsir, from which decisions and the divine powers come forth, where the hero performs obeisance, your princess, the merciful princess of the Land, is the mother of all lands. The lady, the great healer of the black-headed who determines the destiny of her city, the first-born daughter of holy An, the maiden, mother Bau, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Iri-kug, and taken her seat upon your dais.

271. 8 lines: the house of Bau in Iri-kug.

272-281. O house, wild cow ……, city which appears in splendour adorned for the princess, Sirara, great and princely place, your …… by the shrine, your lady Nanše, a great storm, a mighty flood, born on the shore of the sea, who laughs on the foam of the sea, who plays on the water of the flood, who ……, Nanše, the …… lady, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Sirara, and taken her seat upon your dais.

282. 10 lines: the house of Nanše in Sirara.

283-292. O E-ab-šaga-la (House which stretches over the midst of the sea) built in a holy place, Gu-aba, your interior produces everything and is a well-established storehouse. Holy shrine, wild cow for which everything endures, your princess is Ninĝagia, the magnificent …… stewardess, the mighty …… of father Enlil, who takes counsel with lord Nunamnir. Born in ……, …… in the flood of the sea, like her …… father a controller of the pure sea, holy Ninmarki has erected a house in your precinct, O house Gu-aba, and taken her seat upon your dais.

293. 10 lines: the house of Ninmarki in Gu-aba.

294-301. O house Kinirša, suited for its lady, ……, beautiful as a hill, standing by the ziqqurat, house, ……, place resounding loudly with happiness, house, your princess is a storm, riding on a lion, ……. Exalted in holy song and antiphony, singing with a loud voice, the child, the true wild cow, taken care of at the holy breast of the mother who begot her, Dumuzid-abzu, has erected a house in your precinct, O shrine Kinirša, and taken her seat upon your dais.

302. 7 lines: the house of Dumuzid-abzu in Kinirša.

303-310. O E-bur-sigsig (House with beautiful bowls) set up under heaven, mighty banqueting hall, fulfilling (?) the commands, abundance of the midst of the sea in ……, at whose holy …… there is entreaty and joy. The faithful man has enlarged E-ma (Magnificent house), the house of Šara, for you in plenty. Your house E-ma -- whose prince is the princely son of the Mistress -- continues (?) in good fortune, an area of abundance and well-being.

311-313. The one who arranges the hair at the nape of the neck, with the gaze of a wild cow, Šara, who …… good things, the son who allots the divine powers to his mother, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Umma, and taken his seat upon your dais.

314. 11 lines: the house of Šara in Umma.

315-320. O E-šerzi-guru (House clad in splendour) dressed with ornaments of šuba stone, great awesomeness, Niĝin-ĝar of holy Inana, adorned throughout with the divine powers which are true, Zabalam, shrine of the shining mountain, shrine of …… dawn, which has resounded with pleasure (?), the Mistress has founded your good banqueting hall for you in pleasure (?).

321-326. Your lady Inana, the ……, the singular woman, the dragon who speaks hostile words to ……, who shines in brightness, who goes against the rebel land, through whom the firmament is made beautiful in the evening, the great daughter of Suen, holy Inana, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Zabalam, and taken her seat upon your dais.

327. 12 lines: the house of Inana in Zabalam.

328-345. O house inspiring terror like a great lion, making as clear as day the decisions for those on the high plain, house of Iškur, at your front is abundance, at your rear is celebration. Your foundation is a horned bull, a lion. Holy staff, teat of heaven with rain for fine barley, the pilasters of your house are a wild bull with outspread horns, your ……, foundation and wall rising of their own accord, ……, thick cloud, …… snake, …… moonlight, …… Iškur, a sweeping flood, …… a storm and seven raging winds, ……, blowing raging winds, …… running from the ……, splits the …… hillside, diorite, stones and …….

2 lines missing

1 line fragmentary

346-350. The ……, the seed of the Land, the ……, the …… prince, the canal inspector of heaven and earth, the …… living, the numerous people, the ……, Iškur, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Karkara, and taken his seat upon your dais.

351. 23 lines: the house of Iškur in Karkara.

352-361. O ……, bolt founded by An,

4 lines fragmentary

1 line missing

1 line fragmentary

approx. 2 lines missing

…… has erected a house in your precinct, O ……, and taken a seat upon your dais.

362. 10 (?) lines: the house of …… in …….

363-377.

2 lines missing

1 line fragmentary

An has …… your platform. E-ma (Exalted house), house of the universe, suited for its lady, your front inspires great awesomeness, your interior is filled with radiance. Mother Nintur, Enlil and Enki have determined your destiny. E-suga (Joyous (?) house) which ……, life of the black-headed, An has given you the magnificent divine powers from the interior of heaven. As in Keš, Ninursaĝa has blessed your priests maintaining the shrine in the holy uzga precinct. House with great divine powers, a pure platform and cleansing lustration, Ašgi, the god of Adab, has erected a house in your precinct, O Adab, O house situated at a canal, O house Adab, and taken his seat upon your dais.

378. 15 lines: the house of Ninursaĝa in Adab.

379-391. O Isin, city founded by An which he has built on an empty plain! Its front is mighty, its interior is artfully built, its divine powers are divine powers which An has determined. Shrine which Enlil loves, place where An and Enlil determine destinies, place where the great gods dine, filled with great awesomeness and terror: all the Anuna gods attend your great drinking-bouts. Your princess, the mother, the Mistress adorned with jewels of šuba stone, who maintains the holy place's Niĝin-ĝar, who binds the su crown on the nugig priestess, who causes the seven teats to flow for the nubar priestess, has resounded with seven pleasures (?).

392-394. Your lady, the great healer of the Land, Ninisina, the daughter of An, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Isin, and taken her seat upon your dais.

395. 16 lines: the house of Ninisina in Isin.

396-405. O Kazallu, your crown reaches to the centre of heaven, shining, …… an object of admiration. Your prince is the seed of a bull, engendered by a wild bull in ……, a magnificent …… with sparkling eyes, a lord with the teeth of a lion, who snatches the calf with his claws, who snatches ……. …… who snatches ……, the …… who gives strength to the ……, great lord Numušda, has erected a house in your precinct, O Kun-satu (Threshold of the mountain), O Kazallu, and taken his seat upon your dais.

406. 10 lines: the house of Numušda in Kazallu.

407-414. O E-igi-kalama (House which is the eye of the Land), your foundation is firmly laid, growing hill which stands broadly on the earth, …… the enemies' land,

3 lines fragmentary

approx. 1 line missing

…… has erected a house in your precinct, O ……, and taken a seat upon your dais.

415. 8 (?) lines: the house of Lugal-Marda in Marda.

416-423. O Dēr (Akkadian name; a Sumerian name is unknown) , taking extreme care of decisions, ……, on your awesome and radiant gate a decoration displays a horned viper and a mušuš embracing. Your prince, a leader of the gods, fit for giving counsel and grand speech, the son of Uraš who knows thoroughly the true divine powers of princeship, Ištaran, the …… sovereign of heaven, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-dim-gal-kalama (House which is the great pole of the Land), and taken his seat upon your dais.

424. 8 lines: the house of Ištaran in Dēr.

425-435. O E-sikil (Pure house) whose pure divine powers are supreme in all lands, whose name is high and mighty, magnificent dwelling of the warrior, holy house of Ninazu, house of the holy divine powers! House, your divine powers are pure divine powers, your lustration is a cleansing lustration. The warrior refreshes himself in your dwelling. Ninazu dines on your platform. Your sovereign, the great lord, the son of Enlil, is a towering lion spitting venom over hostile lands, rising like the south wind against enemy lands, snarling like a dragon against the walls of rebel lands, a storm enveloping the disobedient and trampling on the enemy.

436-446. When he strides forth, no evil-doer can escape. When he establishes his triumph, the cities of the rebel lands are destroyed. When he frowns, their people are cast into the dust. House, your prince is a great lion from whose claws the enemy hangs. Your sovereign is a terrifying, mighty storm, the vigour of the battle, in combat …… like a …… with a shield on his lofty arm, a net over the widespread people from whose reach the foe cannot escape. When the great lord is resplendent, his magnificence has no equal. The true seed born of the Great Mountain and Ninlil, your sovereign, the warrior Ninazu, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-sikil, O Ešnunna, and taken his seat upon your dais.

447. 22 lines: the house of Ninazu in Ešnunna.

448-455. O house built in plenitude, Kiš, raising its head among the princely divine powers, established settlement, your great foundation cannot be scattered. Your plinth is a vast oppressive cloud floating in the midst of the sky. Your interior is a weapon, a mace decorated with ……. Your right hand makes mountains tremble, your left thins out the enemy. Your prince, mighty and magnificent, a great storm overpowering the earth, inspiring great and terrifying awe, your sovereign, the warrior Zababa, has erected a house in your precinct, O E-dub (Storage house), O house Kiš, and taken his seat upon your dais.

456. 8 lines: the house of Zababa in Kiš.

457-466. O E-ĝiškešda-kalama (House which is the bond of the Land), bull …… great strength among the gods, terrifying wild cow, wild bull which causes lament, Gudua, your quay is a low quay which bestows water, your interior is artfully built, your mace is a …… mace released from heaven, your platform is a lustrous platform spreading over Mešlam. Your prince, the mighty god, the sovereign of Mešlam, the fierce god of the underworld, the sovereign of Ud-šuš (Sunset), Nergal, Mešlamta-ea, has erected a house in your precinct, and taken his seat upon your dais.

467. 10 lines: the house of Nergal in Gudua.

468-477. O mighty Urum where Suen pronounces judgment, E-ab-lua (House with teeming cattle), wide cattle-yard, Ašimbabbar acts as your shepherd. House, my sovereign, your sceptre reaches to heaven, …… to the earth, moonlight ……, celebration, your …… may …… the light. Your prince, the prince of holy celebration, ……, who appears in the lapis lazuli coloured sky, a celebration, to whom the hero pays homage ……, who brightens the Land, …… Suen, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Urum, and taken his seat upon your dais.

478. 10 lines: the house of Suen in Urum.

479-488. O Zimbir, dais upon which Utu sits daily, E-nun-ana (House of the prince of heaven), star of heaven, crown given birth by Ningal, house of Utu, your prince, the …… of the universe, fills heaven and earth. When the lord sleeps, the people sleep; when he rises, the people rise. The bull …… and the people prostrate themselves. Before Utu the herds pasture ……. The black-headed have bathed before him, the Land has …… before him. He measures out the divine powers -- your shrine is a flood.

489-492. Pronouncing judgment where the sun rises, mighty sunlight, wearing a beard, tying on the su crown at night, Utu, the sovereign of E-babbar (Shining house), has erected a house in your precinct, O house Zimbir, and taken his seat upon your dais.

493. 14 lines: the house of Utu in Zimbir.

494-499. O E-ursaĝ (House which is a mountain) beautiful as greenery, ...... (The Sumerian name of this city is unknown) , your interior is plenitude. At the place where destiny is determined you determine destiny. May the crown bring joy to your platform. May your roots glisten like an immense saĝkal snake in your holy foundations.

500-505. Mother Nintur, the lady of creation, performs her task within your dark place, binding the true su crown on the new-born king, setting the crown on the new-born lord who is secure in her hand. The midwife of heaven and earth, Ninursaĝa, has erected a house in your precinct, O house ......, and taken her seat upon your dais.

506. 12 lines: the house of Ninursaĝa in .......

507-513. O Ulmaš, upper land, …… of the Land, terrifying lion battering a wild bull, net spreading over an enemy, making silence fall upon a rebel land on which, as long as it remains insubmissive, spittle is poured! House of Inana of silver and lapis lazuli, a storehouse built of gold, your princess is an arabu bird, the Mistress of the Niĝin-ĝar.

514-518. Arrayed in battle, jubilantly (?) beautiful, ready with the seven maces, washing her tools for battle, opening the door of battle and ……, the extremely wise one of heaven, Inana, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Ulmaš, and taken her seat upon your dais.

519. 12 lines: the house of Inana in Ulmaš.

520-523. O house, right arm, battle-axe cutting down the rebel lands, digging up their green fields,

2 lines fragmentary

524-527. Your prince, the warrior who ……, who defeats (?) all in battle, exulting ……, Aba, the god of Agade, has erected a house in your precinct, O house Agade, and taken his seat upon your dais.

528. 8 lines: the house of Aba in Agade.

529-534. O house of stars, bright E-zagin (Lapis lazuli house), reaching into all lands, establishing …… in the shrine, Ereš! The primeval lords raise their heads to you every month. …… the potash plant, great Nanibgal, Nisaba, has brought divine powers from heaven and added to your divine powers.

535-542. Sanctuary established for ……! To the true woman who possesses exceeding wisdom, soothing …… and opening the mouth, always consulting a tablet of lapis lazuli, giving advice to all lands, the true woman, the holy potash plant, born of the stylus reed, applies the measure to heaven and places the measuring-rope on the earth -- to Nisaba be praise!

543-544. The compiler of the tablets was En-edu-ana. My king, something has been created that no one has created before.

545. 14 lines: the house of Nisaba in Ereš.

approx. 14 lines missing.

Revision history

25.xi.1998-29.i.1999: GC, editor: adapting translation

08.iv.1999-12.iv.1999: JAB, editor: proofreading

11.viii.1999: JAB, editor: minor corrections

03.xi.1999: GC, editor: SGML tagging

03.xii.1999: ER, editor: proofreading SGML

27.xi.1999: ER, editor: web publication

01.vi.2003: GC/JE, editor/technical developer: XML/TEI conversion.


Keš (Kish, Kic)

1-9. The princely lord, the princely lord came forth from the house. Enlil, the princely lord, came forth from the house. The princely lord came forth royally from the house. Enlil lifted his glance over all the lands, and the lands raised themselves to Enlil. The four corners of heaven became green for Enlil like a garden. Keš was positioned there for him with head uplifted, and as Keš lifted its head among all the lands, Enlil spoke the praises of Keš.

10-20. Nisaba was its decision-maker (?); with its words she wove it intricately like a net. Written on tablets it was held in her hands: House, platform of the Land, important fierce bull! House Keš, platform of the Land, important fierce bull! Growing as high as the hills, embracing the heavens, growing as high as E-kur, lifting its head among the mountains! {Rooted in the abzu} {(2 mss. have instead:) Colourful as the abzu}, verdant like the mountains! Will anyone else bring forth something as great as Keš? Will any other mother ever give birth to someone as great as its hero Ašgi? Who has ever seen anyone as great as its lady Nintur?

21. The first house.

22-30. Good house, built in a good location, house Keš, {(some mss. add here:) good house,} built in a good location, floating in the heavens like a princely barge, like a holy barge furnished with a …… gate, like the boat of heaven, the platform of all the lands! …… from the riverbank like a …… boat cabin! House roaring like an ox, bellowing loudly like a breed-bull! House in whose interior is the power of the Land, and behind which is the life of Sumer!

31-43. House, great enclosure, reaching to the heavens, great, true house, reaching to the heavens! House, great crown reaching to the heavens, house, rainbow reaching to the heavens! House whose diadem extends into the midst of the heavens, whose foundations are fixed in the abzu, whose shade covers all lands! House founded by An, praised by Enlil, given an oracle by mother Nintur! House Keš, green in its fruit! Will anyone else bring forth something as great as Keš? Will any other mother ever give birth to someone as great as its hero Ašgi? Who has ever seen anyone as great as its lady Nintur?

44. The second house.

45-57. House, 10 šar at its upper end, 5 šar at its lower end; house, 10 bur at its upper end, 5 bur at its lower end! House, at its upper end a bison, at its lower end a stag; house, at its upper end a wild sheep, at its lower end a deer; house, at its upper end a dappled wild sheep, at its lower end a beautiful deer! House, at its upper end green as a snake-eater bird, at its lower end floating on the water like a pelican! House, at its upper end rising like the sun, at its lower end spreading like the moonlight; house, at its upper end a warrior mace, at its lower end a battle-axe; house, at its upper end a mountain, at its lower end a spring! House, at its upper end threefold indeed: Will anyone else bring forth something as great as Keš? Will any other mother ever give birth to someone as great as its hero Ašgi? Who has ever seen anyone as great as its lady Nintur?

58. The third house.

58A-58Q. {(1 ms. adds here the following lines:) House …… inspiring great awe, called with a mighty name by An; house …… whose fate is grandly determined by the Great Mountain Enlil! House of the Anuna gods possessing great power, which gives wisdom to the people; house, reposeful dwelling of the great gods! House, which was planned together with the plans of heaven and earth, …… with the pure divine powers; house which underpins the Land and supports the shrines! House, mountain of abundance which passes the days in glory; house of Ninursaĝa which establishes the life of the Land! House, great hillside worthy of the purification rites, altering (?) all things; house without whom no decisions are made! House, good …… carrying in its hands the broad Land; house which gives birth to countless peoples, seed which has sprouts! House which gives birth to kings, which determines the destinies of the Land; house whose royal personages are to be revered! Will anyone else bring forth something as great as Keš? Will any other mother ever give birth to someone as great as its hero Ašgi? Who has ever seen anyone as great as its lady Nintur?}

{ 58 R. The …… house. }

59-73. It is indeed a city, it is indeed a city! Who knows its interior? The house Keš is indeed a city! Who knows its interior? The heroes make their way straight into its interior and perform its oracle rites perfectly. Frisking cattle are gathered at the house in herds. The house consumes many cattle; the house consumes many sheep.

1 line unclear

Those who sit on daises bow their necks before it. It wears a crown to vie with the boxwood tree, it spreads out to vie with the poplar ……; it is {(1 ms. adds here:) growing} as green as the hills! Will anyone else bring forth something as great as Keš? Will any other mother ever give birth to someone as great as its hero Ašgi? Who has ever seen anyone as great as its lady Nintur?

74. The fourth house.

75-86. House given birth by a lion, whose interior the hero has embellished (?)! House Keš, given birth by a lion, whose interior the hero has embellished (?)! The heroes make their way straight into its interior. Ninursaĝa sits within like a great dragon. Nintur the great mother assists at births there. Šul-pa-e the ruler acts as lord. Ašgi the hero consumes the contents of the vessels (?). Urumaš, the great herald of the plains, dwells there too. Stags are gathered at the house in herds. Will anyone else bring forth something as great as Keš? Will any other mother ever give birth to someone as great as its hero Ašgi? Who has ever seen anyone as great as its lady Nintur?

87. The fifth house.

88-102. House positioned over its foundations like a storm, like white bulls standing about on the plain; house founded by the prince, in praise on the tigi instrument! House in whose interior is the power of the Land, and behind which {is the life of Sumer} {(some mss. have instead:) it is filled with life}; at whose gate is a lion reclining on its paws, at whose gate is the ruler who decides cases (?)! House at whose door is the Great Mountain without adversary; {at whose bolt} {(some mss. have here instead:) at whose bar} is a great frisking wild bull {(some mss. add here the line:) , at whose bolt is a beast …… a man} {(1 ms. adds here instead the line:) , at whose …… is an awe-inspiring lion} ! {Whose well-founded storehouse is a corner of heaven, a corner of earth} {(1 ms. has here instead:) Whose storehouse established as a household is a lance (?)}; whose terrace is supported by laama deities; whose princely {(1 ms. adds:) great} wall …… the shrine of Urim! Will anyone else bring forth something as great as Keš? Will any other mother ever give birth to someone as great as its hero Ašgi? Who has ever seen anyone as great as its lady Nintur?

103. The sixth house.

103A-103K. {(1 ms. (which uses a different numbering of the sections) adds here the following lines:) House imbued with radiance, …… excellence! House ……! Lord Nudimmud in heaven and earth …… brickwork of the Land, brickwork …… grandly in the abzu. Terrace, relaxing abode, …… holy splendour rising over the people! House which is seemly for the foreign lands! Will anyone else bring forth something as great as Keš? Will any other mother ever give birth to someone as great as its hero Ašgi? Who has ever seen anyone as great as its lady Nintur?}

{ 103L. The eighth house. }

104-115. The holy house whose …… is the shrine, the holy house Keš, whose …… is the shrine; the house whose lords are the Anuna gods, whose nueš priests are the sacrificers of E-ana! In the house the king places stone bowls in position; the good en priest …… holds the lead-rope dangling. The a-tu priests holds the staff; the …… brings the gathered (?) waters. The …… takes his seat in the holy place; the enkum priests bow down ……. The pašeš priests beat the drumskins; they recite powerfully, powerfully.

116-126. The bull's horn is made to growl; the drumsticks are made to thud. The singer {cries out} {(1 ms. has instead:) declaims} to the ala drum; {the grand sweet tigi is played for him} {(some mss. have instead:) the sweet tigi is well tuned}. The house is built; its nobility is good! The house Keš is built; its nobility is good! Its lady has taken a seat in its ……. Ninursaĝa, its lady, has taken her seat in its ……. Will anyone else bring forth something as great as Keš? Will any other mother ever give birth to someone as great as its hero Ašgi? Who has ever seen anyone as great as its lady Nintur?

127. The seventh house.

128-133. Draw near, man, to the city, to the city -- but do not draw near! Draw near, man, to the house Keš, to the city -- but do not draw near! Draw near, man, to its hero Ašgi -- but do not draw near! Draw near, man, to its lady Nintur -- but do not draw near! Praise be to well-built Keš, O Ašgi! Praise be to cherished Keš and Nintur!

134. The eighth house.

Revision history

27.ii.1999-15.iii.1999: JAB, editor: adapting translation

18.iii.1999: JAB, editor: minor corrections

08.iv.1999: JAB, editor: minor corrections

02.v.2000: GZ, editor: proofreading

04.v.2000: GZ, editor: SGML tagging

05.v.2000: ER, editor: proofreading SGML

05.v.2000: ER, editor: web publication

01.vi.2003: GC/JE, editor/technical developer: XML/TEI conversion.


E-kur

1-13. The great house is as great as a mountain. The house of Enlil is as great as a mountain. The house of Ninlil is as great as a mountain. The bedchamber is as great as a mountain. The house which knows no daylight is as great as a mountain. The house at the Lofty Gate is as great as a mountain. The house at the Gate of Well-being is as great as a mountain. The courtyard of Enlil is as great as a mountain. The ursaĝ-galama is as great as a mountain. The holy Renowned Gate is as great as a mountain. The Gate From Which Grain Is Never Diverted is as great as a mountain. The Ubšu-unkena is as great as a mountain. The Ĝa-ĝiš-šua is as great as a mountain.

14-27. The house of Ninlil is as great as a mountain. The gate Kan-innamra is as great as a mountain. The E-itida-buru is as great as a mountain. The courtyard of the Egal-ma is as great as a mountain. The lofty E-itida-buru is as great as a mountain. The Entum-galzu is as great as a mountain. The Innam-gidazu is as great as a mountain. The Suen Gate is as great as a mountain. The Du-kug, the holy place, is as great as a mountain. The field of E-dima is as great as a mountain. The Ane-ĝara is as great as a mountain. The Ašte, the pure place, is as great as a mountain. The E-tilla-ma is as great as a mountain. The Ĝa-apina is as great as a mountain.

28. Sa-gida.

29. He declares: 'Heavenward (?)!'

30. Its ĝišgiĝal.

31-41. For him who declares it, for him who declares it, the house comes forth like the daylight. For him who declares that he is of the mountain, the house comes forth like the daylight. For him who declares that he is of the house of Enlil, the house comes forth like the daylight. For him who declares that he is of the house of Ninlil, the house comes forth like the daylight. For him who declares that he is of the house of Ninurta, the house comes forth like the daylight, for him who declares that he is of the house of the princely son.

42. Kirugu.

43-52. The house towers high in full grandeur; in its midst is a mountain of aromatic cedars. The house of Enlil towers high in full grandeur; in its midst is a mountain of aromatic cedars. The house of Ninlil towers high in full grandeur; in its midst is a mountain of aromatic cedars. The courtyard of Enlil towers high in full grandeur; in its midst is a mountain of aromatic cedars. The courtyard of Ninlil towers high in full grandeur; in its midst is a mountain of aromatic cedars.

53. Sa-ĝara.

54. …… rejoice …….

55. Its ĝišgiĝal.

56-68. Its king is worthy of Enlil the king in the true house of youth. The hero Ninurta is worthy of Enlil the king in the true house of youth. The offspring (?) of Ninlil is worthy of Enlil the king in the true house of youth. The lord, the hero (?) of the E-kur, is worthy of Enlil the king in the true house of youth. The offspring (?) of Enlil is worthy of Enlil the king in the true house of youth. Lord Ašimbabbar is worthy of Enlil the king in the true house of youth. The princely son of the E-kur is worthy of Enlil the king in the true house of youth.

69. …… (This rubric was probably omitted accidentally)

70. He is the favourite of Enlil.

71. Its ĝišgiĝal.

Revision history

25.vi.1999: GZ, editor: adapting translation

06.xii.1999: JAB, editor: proofreading

13.xii.1999: GC, editor: SGML tagging

22.xii.1999: ER, editor: proofreading SGML

22.xii.1999: ER, editor: web publication

01.vi.2003: GC/JE, editor/technical developer: XML/TEI conversion


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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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