Assyrian Warrior

Lishtar´s Note: Unfortunately, I don´t have the author´s name for this brilliant article. Please let me know who you are and all credit will be given to you! Thanks for writing it. It was first found in Shem´s Babyloniaca ca. 1997. I´ve kept it since then.


Both the myth and the discipline of Adapa can be argued to have been of central cultural importance in the Sargonid period; the evidence for this is particularly strong in the textual remains of the later kings, Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal. This aspect of the kingship illuminates the self-perception of the Sargonids perhaps more clearly and concisely than any other single form of evidence, and may even constitute the backbone of that self-perception, providing the order about which the other types of evidence ought to be arranged. We have two principal sources concerning the myth and discipline of Adapa:

1. The myth is known to us principally from a document found in two locations: the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, and an earlier text from the Amarna archive in Egypt

2. The Annals of Ashurbanipal, in which he describes the discipline of the Adapa, which formed part of his training for the kingship while crown prince

The myth of the Adapa is currently understood to have provided a contemporary explanation of the convention that Assyrian kings were not divine, and also a justification of their right to rule. The account given by Ashurbanipal of his training gives us something of the context in which the myth functioned, and the way Assyrian kings understood their role. His description breaks down naturally into three categories of instruction

1. Scholarship and inquiry

2. Military Skills

3. Emulation of the King's administrative function

The importance of this pattern of training for the later functioning of the king may be illustrated by analytical comparison with the royal correspondence. It may be broken down into roughly parallel groupings:

A) Religion, including Magic and Medicine, Astronomy, Astrology and Divination

B) War

C) Provincial administration, including Agriculture and Commerce, Court and Officials, Property and Revenue of the Temples



2.1. Adapa is instructed in the ways of heaven by Ea, the "broad eared one" (signifying wisdom) [1]. Dalley remarks that "Adapa was also known as Uan, which is the name given as Oannes by Berossus to the first sage; the name Uan also forms a pun on the Sumero-Akkadian word for a craftsman... as the first sage, Adapa-Oannes introduced the correct rites of religious observance to mankind, and was the priest of Ea in his temple in Eridu

2.2 The precise meaning of the story is unclear, but it appears to explain why Adapa was not granted immortality and remained as a mortal sage (apkallum). According to the fourth fragment of the text, lines 10-11, Anu decreed freedom from compulsory service for the city of Ea (Eridu). To glorify his high priesthood "until faraway days [he decreed] as (his) destiny.

Lishtar´s Note 2: The meaning of this great myth is not so difficult to get, if one dives in depth into its inner fabric. For now, it is enough to say that Adapa ascended to the heavens, but did not mean from the start to stay remain there. In other words, Adapa ascended to apologize to Anu, the Skyfather, for having broken the wing of the South Wind. This is one of the riddles of this myth: Adapa never intended to leave the Physical World and abide with the Great Gods ahead of his time. See more details in the forthcoming Adapa, the wise priest, in Lords of Passion, Courage, Magick and Joy.



3.1 The text which tells of Ashurbanipal's training for the role of king proclaims that: "Marduk], master of the gods, granted me as a gift a receptive mind (lit., wide-ear) and ample power of thought". This is a deliberate allusion to the granting of divine wisdom by Ea (the broad-eared) to Adapa. He further tells us that:" the art (lit., work) of the Master Adapa I learned (lit., acquired), the hidden treasure of all scribal knowledge, the [signs] of heaven and earth.

3.2 The scribal training was the most important part of the education of the crown prince. Since the future Assyrian king was understood to stand in the same relation to the gods as Adapa stood in relation to Ea, we are also told by Ashurbanipal that he participated (to some degree, impossible to quantify) in the life of artisans: "in the assembly of the artisans I received orders. " This would appear to suggest that not only was it part of his training for kingship that he know something of other social groups but that he should also know how to take instruction. He continues: " I have studied (lit., struggled with) the heavens with the learned masters of oil divination". He also tells us that he had "solved the laborious (problems of) division and multiplication, which were not clear". He had also read the " artistic script of Sumer (and) the dark (obscure) Akkadian, which is hard to master, (now) taking pleasure in the reading of the stones (i.e.,steles) (coming) from before the flood, (now) being angered (because I was) stupid (and) addled (?) by the beautiful script.

3.3 The foregoing requirements of the discipline of the Adapa fall under the heading of scholarship and inquiry. Next follow details of military skills. He tells us that he rode a horse, went hunting, was skilled as an archer and as the thrower of heavy lances. He could handle the aritu and kababu shields; in addition to these skills he could drive a chariot (he is depicted as a chariot driver in the palace reliefs.

3.4 All these appear to have been understood as crafts, for he concludes these remarks by saying that "I wished to be the great lord (?) of all the craftsmen" (i.e., to be the best of them all). Given the nature of the coronation ceremony, for which we have an invaluable text, it would seem that he required the acclamation of his inferiors, to be perceived to merit the honor of occupying a transcendent office.

3.5 Ashurbanipal then passes on to a description of his preparation for the highest office: "At the same time I was learning royal decorum, walking in the kingly ways. He says that he "stood before the king, my begetter, giving commands to the nobles. Without my (consent) (lit., without me) no governor was appointed, no prefect was installed in my absence" Thus the role of the crown prince is to emulate the king as it is the role of the king to emulate Adapa

3.6 Though the office of king must be merited, the merit of the candidate for the crown prince-ship was understood to be conferred through the favor of the gods: "The father, my begetter, saw for himself the bravery which the great gods decreed as my (portion The king conceived a great love for this particular son, but, it is explicitly stated that this love is the command of the great gods. The particular son was chosen from the assembly of brothers by divine will; that he might rule depended upon the king imploring the gods, addressing his prayers "to Nabu and Marduk, who give throne and sceptre, who establish kingship.

3.7. Ashurbanipal describes his installation as king in the bit-riduti: at the command of Assur, father of the Gods, Marduk lord of lords, king of the gods,he raised (exalted) me above the (other) king's sons.This installation is represented as causing peace in the land: the four regions (of the world) were in perfect order, like the finest oil* He also says that in his first year of rule "I laid hold of the hem of the garment of his great godhead, I gave my attention to his sanctuaries* That is, the chain of connection between the world of the gods and that of man was his first priority.



4.1. Throughout the texts and inscriptions and iconography we are presented with images of the king as a kind of perfection. He is at the apex of the social structure of Assyria and is its principal priest (in terms of his symbolic participation in the key rituals). Thus he is the most excellent of human beings and holds his position because of his theoretical excellence in all aspects of Assyrian life: exercising the virtues of kingship, justice, statecraft, warfare, divination, administration, etc.

4.2. It would be easy to argue that the king was understood to have the privilege of contact with the divine on account of his pre-eminence in human society; almost that the king arrogated this privilege to himself on account of his power to do so. However this would be to retroject a secularism into Assyrian society which the evidence does not warrant.

4.3 Instead, much of the evidence is explained if we infer that the king owed his privileges of contact with the gods and his rulership over mankind to the fact that he was perceived as a paragon of excellence and perfection: he was rewarded according to his merits within the framework of a gift economy. In other words, that his wisdom and power came to him as corollaries by virtue of his perfection, not only in eminence among men, but among all men. From the Assyrian point of view, the reason for the existence of a point of contact between the king and the gods at all is that they have something in common, and that the point of contact is precisely the pre-eminence, the excellence, and the perfection of the king in all his roles. It is this commonality which establishes the harmony between the world of man and that of the gods.

4.4 It was widely held in antiquity that perfection was a characteristic of completion: the perfect is that which is complete, and that which is complete is perfect. Thus the king is also complete, in his attainments, his power, his wisdom and his capacity. In this the king emulates the divine, all aspects of which must be complete in their own natures.Thus, in acting as "apkallum" (in effect standing in for Ea) in rituals necessary for the continuation of the Assyrian state (as illustrated in the throne room relief where the king is shown apparently engaged in the business of fertilizing the date palm represented as a sacred tree) the ritual is brought closer to the divine creation, and the consonance of the act with the divine will is emphasized.

4.5. The king is the agent of the divine in the fight against chaos and the maintenance of order in his realm (which struggle might be characterized as war with the imperfect and the incomplete: cf. the Enuma Elish and the strange creatures which were made in the first creation. The divine is understood as a place on the other side of the limit of the world which the king rules, from which he is excluded except in terms of priestly contact*. He is near to the divine, but not so proximate to qualify as divine himself*

4.6 As the most perfect individual in his state the king nearly emulated the divine in containing all things: he is complete. It is a short step from such a view to the notion that the completion of his nature and that of Assur can be made concrete by its literal realization. The king is "king of kings", and the concept is rendered emphatic by means of conquest and the subjection of surrounding states from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea. Hence also his description as "king of countries" and "king of the four quarters (lit., edges) of the world". It is possible that the king's embodiment of the idea of the divine extended so far that his "official" moods were in imitation of the gods, understood to be manifest in the motions of the planets: the evidence which suggests this as a possibility is the fact that the Crown Prince was excluded from the presence of the King when Mars was in opposition to the Sun and hence subject to retrograde motions (which exclusion is itself an interesting reflection of the Adapa myth: Ea knew that Adapa was not fit to appear in the presence of Anu without some schooling in what to say)

4.7. It is difficult to specify exactly what is going on here, but it would appear that there is some kind of transactive relationship understood to exist between the abstract (gods) and the concrete (the earthly responsibilities of the king): the character of some of the acts for which we have evidence is best explained by presuming that the principal point of the actions of the king was to create a harmony between heaven and earth - literally to join them together; to act as agent of the divine, not to supplant its position, or to exploit it for personal ends



5.1. The concept of totality, a feature of both the Adapa (myth and discipline) and Assyrian theology, is the logical corollary of the association of the king with completed action: it is another way of framing the idea that the universe is structured according to degrees of participation in the ultimate completion (the realm of the divine). This ultimate completion is necessarily transcendent - the completion of completions - in that we can have no commerce with it except via certain special individuals in auspicious circumstances. However, the essential characteristic of the divine, if it cannot be said to exist in the world, can be emulated within the limitations imposed by the nature of earthly reality. Hence we find the king engaged in conquest and empire building, attempting to take hold of the known universe and to subject it to his will (which is naturally the will of the divine). This ambition (if not necessarily the reality) is reflected in the style of the kings inscriptions, whether addressed to a human or divine audience. Client kings make sense within this emulatory system: a king need not rule directly, just as Marduk need not. A proxy representative (bound by oaths to the Assyrian king, just as the king is bound by oath to the god) is not only satisfactory, but fits harmoniously into the Assyrian model of the world.



6.1 Several key concepts are brought together in the myth, or rather appear to be spun out of one central idea, related to the problem of man's connection with the divine: in the poem Anu is the supreme god: Ea knows the mind and the plans of Heaven and Earth. Adapa has connection with Ea on two counts: 1. he is his son, and 2. he has been initiated into the ways of heaven and earth by him.

6.2 Men in general have connection with the divine through the kingship of Adapa, and latterly through the kingship of those who have studied the discipline of the Adapa.

6.3 Adapa breaks the wing of the southwind (a wind favourable for kingship) while at sea fishing for the temple of Ea at Eridu. He is on the wide sea (described as "like a mirror"); Ea's wisdom is explicitly compared with the wide sea, and Adapa is both in the place of Ea and clearly identified with it at the time when kingship is destroyed (note also that since the occurrence takes place at night the sea must be like a black mirror, with the same characteristics as the liver at the moment it is removed from the body of a sheep. This parallel is probably deliberate, since the point of divination is to know the mind of the gods.

6.4 Wide understanding was associated with the power to make decrees, and both were characteristics of kingship. The first fragment tells us that Adapa possessed wisdom and that "his command was like the command of [Anu] [...] (line 2); "with wide understanding he had perfected him to expound (?) the decrees of the land" (line 3). His power to give decrees comes from his perfection, his completion, which is like that of the gods; but, naturally, it is not the same completion. His connection with the divine is to be understood AS functioning through his completion: see Plato's "greatness is"the participation in the great". But, though he had been given wisdom by Ea, he had not granted Adapa eternal life (line 4). Ea had however created him as a leader among mankind (line 6) and: "no one treated his command lightly" (line 7) *

6.5 Thus Adapa is in the place of kingship, in that he has been placed in the realm of his father; because he is in that place he has the power to make decrees and he breaks the wing of the South wind with the utterance of his command. He in effect has usurped kingship, because he was cast deep into the realm of his father.

Lishtar´s Note 3: To me, Adapa had the right to kingship because he was Ea´s son and chosen, although I agree that as a priest he should have shown more self-control not to feel challenged by the treacherous South Wind and risk Anu´s rage.

6.6. Why did the south wind bring Adapa into the realm of his father? To answer this we should ask why it is that the south wind should be associated with kingship in the first place. It is partly because in Mesopotamia the south wind is associated with storms and unpredictability. Thus the south wind connotes power, and power which transcends our capacity to predict its behaviour. As the gods are powerful and transcendently unpredictable, so the kings as their representatives (and emulators) are likewise powerful and unpredictable.

6.7 There is a two way process involved here: standing in the place of wide understanding promotes the power to make decrees and kingship, and kingship itself promotes wide understanding, expressed by Adapa's immersion in Ea's kingdom, the Apsu. Thus the southwind, emblematic of kingship, is responsible for conferring the power on another entity to break its wing.

6.8 This aspect of the myth is probably significant for the understanding of how the Sargonids understood royal succession. The kings had institutionalised the transfer of power from the king to the crown prince (possibly as the result of numerous occurrences of factional infighting in the royal court). His education prepared him to stand in the place of his father. While his education continued, he was not allowed to live in the same place as his father (the royal palace), but instead lived in a separate establishment which mirrored its character and functions. The crown prince was given an entourage like that of the king, drawn from the sons of the nobles forming his own court. Thus, as the king is the image of the god, so the crown prince is the image of the king. The crown prince was chosen by the king from amongst his sons and the decision was confirmed by omens and divination. That is, the kingship of the crown prince was legitimate only if confirmed by the gods.

6.9. Note that Adapa was engaged in fishing out of sight of the sun god (i.e., at night) at the time he encountered the south wind, and that therefore the sun god could not see what was happening and give his sanction. Therefore the arrogation of kingship, even divinity, by Adapa, is illegitimate.

Lishtar´s Note 4: This passage can be interpreted as follows: Adapa was fishing at night, thus the light of the Sun God Utu was not protecting him. Adapa then failed in his judgement about how to behave towards the South Wind. Judgement is a royal premise that Adapa did not use wisely in this passage. This interpretation is more faithful to the context and Mesopotamian in spirit.

6.10. Adapa is hauled before the gods to answer for his crime. He is instructed by Ea as to what to say. He expresses dismay that two gods are missing from the land, Dumuzi and Gizzida. The meaning of the first name is 'faithful son', and the second (translated by Dalley as 'trusty timber') may be translated as 'legitimizing throne' (GIS.ZI.DA). As the destroyer of the kingship belonging to his father he has failed to be a faithful son, and has usurped the throne.

Lishtar´s Note 5: Here is another crucial element to understand the depth of this myth which is overlooked by many. Both Dumuzi and Gizzida are gods that belong to the Mesopotamian tradition of the Eternal Return. This is what Enki aimed at from the start: Adapa would ascend and apologize to Anu, the Skyfather, and with the intercession of Dumuzi and Gizzida, who returned every year to the Physical Planes, would also return to Earth.

6.11. His father however, being wiser than Adapa, knowing the plans of the gods, instructs him to refuse the food and water offered to him, saying that he will be offered the food and water of death: "...... As though standest before Anu, They will offer thee the food of death;Do not eat (it). The water of death they will offer thee; Do not drink (it). A garment they will offer thee; Clothe thyself (with it). Oil they will offer thee; anoint thyself (with it).. The instruction which I have given thee do not forget; the words. Which I have spoken unto thee, hold fast.

6.12 He is instructed only to accept the mourning garment and the anointing oil. But in fact Anu instructs that he be offered the food and water of eternal life (which is in effect Adapa's due, since he has emulated the gods). He refuses, perhaps because he trusts his father, which is, according to this kind of world view, a mistake, since the ways of the gods are forever beyond our capacity to understand. According to Dalley, the actual words used in the text to denote the food and water of life involve wordplay which renders the sense confusing and ambiguous, which is appropriate for the circumstances in which Adapa finds himself. Dalley comments that the verb chosen to alliterate with the words for "food" and "eat" is unusual [akalu, kalu, and akalu (different stress)]. Also that "an unusual plural form of the word "heaven" produces a pun, "bread of heaven/bread of death" [shamuti/sha muti]

Lishtar´s Note 6: Adapa of the Twin Rivers Rising interpreted this myth the way it should have been understood by our ancient Soul Ancestors of Sumer: Adapa the sage had to refuse the food and water of eternal life offered by the gods if he wanted to come back to the Physical Planes and continue carrying out his vow of service to the community and to Enki. This is why Adapa trusted his personal god from the start: it had never been his intention to stay in the Heights Above.

6.13 It is worth comparing the following neo-Babylonian text for the purposes of illustration of the Mesopotamian perplexity at the nature of the gods:

I taught my land to observe the divine ordinances,
To honor the name of the goddess I instructed my people.
The king's majesty I equated to that of a god,
And reverence for the royal palace I inculcated in the troops.
Oh that I only knew that these things are well pleasing to a god!
What is good in one's sight is evil for a god.
what is bad in one's own mind is good for his god.
Who can understand the counsel of the gods in the midst of heaven?
The plan of a god is deep waters, who can comprehend it?
Where has befuddled mankind ever learned what a god's conduct is?

6.14. and, speaking of men:

When they are hungry they resemble corpses,
When they are sated they rival their god;
In good luck they speak of ascending to heaven,
When they are afflicted they grumble about going down to the underworld.*

6.15. Adapa's unreasonable response confirms to the gods the accidental nature of Adapa's emulation: if he had truly understood the ways of heaven and earth (like his father) he would not have refused the offer of food and water. It is probably for this reason that Anu orders that Adapa be brought back to Earth: Adapa did not merit the corollary of a complete emulation of the gods. It was always Ea's intention that Adapa be a leader among mankind [I. 6-14] and Ea seems to have made sure that Adapa returned to fulfill the role for which he, like the crown prince, was chosen.

Lishtar´s Note 7: In the light of previous notes, it is clear that Adapa´s response was reasonable and confirmed to the gods his great wisdom. The same pattern is repeated later by Gilgamesh, whom we know became a great king after having discovered that immortality is a gift of the Spirit at service of Nature in all worlds.



7.1 The character of Ea and its associations with wisdom appears problematic, but probably the difficulty is more apparent than real. Wisdom to those without it is necessarily mysterious - its order is glimpsed on occasion, but mostly it appears like chaos, for which water is an excellent metaphor. In the Mesopotamian cosmology the entire world is surrounded by water, which simultaneously represents both its limitation and its foundation. The inhabited world is a world of relative order separated out of the waters of chaos; the king, as agent of the gods has as one of his functions the maintenance and increase of the available order within the limits of his rule.

7.2 Hence the representation of the battle between Ashur (or Marduk) and Tiamat in the Akitu festival. As W.G. Lambert points out, Sennacherib instituted an Assyrian Akitu festival as part of his attempt to substitute Ashur for Marduk "the 'High God' of the land..."*. The festival took place in the Akitu house of the city, and: a well known inscription describes the door of this house on which was portayed Ashur advancing to do battle with Tiamat, escorted by ten gods in front and fifteen behind. A slightly broken list of the same ten gods occurs on a Late Assyrian ritual fragment... which describes them as "preceding [Ashur] to the Akitu house"... A combination of these two items of information suggests, if it does not prove, that the procession of gods from the city to the Akitu house was construed as a setting out for battle with Tiamat

7.3 The battle, Lambert presumes, took place inside the Akitu house. If there is a parallel here with Adapa's breaking of the wing of the south wind while on the sea we should expect that at some point in the Akitu festival that either the king or a statue of the 'High God' should be represented as on the sea; literally standing in the place of Tiamat. Three pieces of related evidence from Babylonia are offered by Lambert: the first he describes as a comment on a late magical text, quoting the line: this refers to Bel, who sits in the middle of the Sea (Tiamat) in the Akitu."

7.5 The second piece of evidence comes from the text called "the topography of Babylon" which gives us information about small cultic structures in the city:Tiamat (Sea) is the seat of Bel on which Bel sits.

7.6 The third piece of evidence comes from a "hitherto unidentified epic which appears to describe Nabu's exaltation to equality with his father Marduk". This passage is interesting in itself as reflecting ideas present in the myth of Adapa, since, "if the text has been correctly understood, Nabu went with his father, as usual, to the Akitu, but then insisted on "performing the rites which properly should have been done by his father" (my emphasis). The line quoted by Lambert is:" He set his feet on the rolling sea (Tiamat)

7.7 Note that the sea is described as "rolling" - that is, the sea is not calm and is in the condition in which it most resembles chaos, paralleling the struggle between Adapa and the south wind. Lambert argues that "the Sea (Tiamat) was no doubt a small cultic structure in the Akitu house (probably a dais) and when the statue of Marduk was taken there, it was set on the dais to symbolise victory over Tiamat". Further, "the presence of the gods there and their heaping up of gifts for Marduk is entirely consistent with the idea that Marduk delivered them from danger by taking their part in fighting with Tiamat



8.1 Clearly the myth of Adapa explains a great deal about the character of Sargonid kingship. The myth embraces a number of themes, including the importance of wisdom for kingship, the order and power of the gods (and the corollary: their inscrutability to mere mortals); the significance of rational arrangement, shown by the fact that Adapa is also the name of a musical instrument; the conquest of chaos by the forces of order; the transfer of power from one legitimate authority to another (i.e., the succession); that all aspects of Assyrian society were understood to be embraced in the meaning of kingship, from artisan to soldier, from scribe to priest. Much of the nature of Sargonid kingship can be related to the myth of Adapa: this is already known to us because Ashurbanipal informs us of the discipline of kingship which bears his name (Adapa). Close examination of the myth (alluded to by the other Sargonid kings) shows that aspects of the Neo-Assyrian Empire not referred to in royal documents and inscriptions in connection with the myth, can be explained on the basis of the themes which it contains.

8.2 In drawing these themes together, the myth reflects the Assyrian concept of the symbolic function of the king, which was to embody the various aspects of the Assyrian state, and to be, emblematically at least, the totality of the world, the embodiment of all earthly power, wisdom, learning, justice, valor, skill, etc. Assyria itself likewise should contain within itself the best of what the rest of the universe had to offer: hence the botanical gardens, the zoological collection, and, from our point of view most significant of all, the library at Nineveh, collected by Ashurbanipal and intended to embrace important documents and texts from all over Mesopotamia, and from all periods of its history.

8.3 Since occupation of the throne of Ashur implies an emulation of the divine, (the king embodying some of the characteristics of the gods, in particular their unpredictability), the king is standing in the place of the divine. By being like the gods, the gods are present in the land. In sitting on a throne mounted on a dais representing the "rolling" sea, the king acquires the character of the abyss (which is unpredictable and unknowable). This way of looking at things is, at first sight, consistent with J.G. Frazer's analysis of the principle of sympathetic magic, and ties the image of the king into the pattern of ideas which made the exaltation of statues and the sacrifice of animals "rational" acts

8.4 If the character of the divine can be acquired by the performance of the appropriate actions and the collection of its attributes, then it might be reasonable to expect to find some kind of iconographic representation which depicts aspects of the Adapa myth gathered together in one place. Such a representation may exist: a sculpture found lining the processional route to the Ishtar temple at Nineveh shows a shaven figure (a "priest")wearing a peculiar cap, looking for all the world like the body of a fish with its tail in the air. The garments of the priest are of a design which suggests water, and he is playing a musical instrument (not an "adapa" however, but a form of dulcimer, with strings stretched from a wooden post in the form of a hand).

8.5 If these details are intelligible as part of an attempt to draw together aspects of the divine by means of their likenesses, what has the iconography of the myth of Adapa got to do with a procession to the temple of Ishtar? There is no reference to the goddess in the myth itself, but we can perhaps detect a connection with the ideas in the myth in the Akkadian version of "The Descent of Ishtar to the Nether world". As Ishtar stands at the entrance to the Netherworld, the gatekeeper announces her to her sister, the queen of the Netherworld (Ereshkigal), describing her with the words: "She who upholds the festivals, Who stirs up the deep before Ea, the k[ing]" (my emphasis) . Thus it is possible that what we see in this sculpture is a 'priest' of Adapa, perhaps based at Eridu, participating in a procession to the Ishtar temple, acting symbolically and cultically "as" Adapa; bringing to the temple a complex of notions regarded as essential for the completion of the ritual; drawing together the pattern of ideas in the myth, and making present the required divine powers. If so, then he is standing in for the king; standing in his stead, in his place; just as the king stands in the place of Adapa, and Adapa, (temporarily, like the Assyrian Kings) in the place of Ea.

Lishtar´s Note 8: Another frequently overlooked fact is that during the Akitu Inanna/Ishtar represented the sorrow of the community for the period the king (representing Marduk) was lost to the Underworld (or ritually enprisoned in the "mountain" - see my article on the Akitu in Mesopotamian Religion and Magick). While the king was lost to the worlds above, the high priestess mourned in public for him, until the arrival of the avenger, the beloved son, Nabu.




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