Source: Pritchard, James D. (1975): The Ancient Near East, Volume II, Princeton University Press, Chichester, USA.

Ishtar (Cylinder Seal)
~2320 Before Common Era


Queen of all the ME, Radiant Light,
Life-giving Woman, beloved of An (and) Urash,
Hierodule of An, much bejeweled,
Who loves the life-giving tiara, fit for High Priestesshood,
Who grasps in (her) hand, the seven ME,
My Queen, you who are the Guardian of All the Great ME,
You have lifted the ME, have tied the ME to Your hands,
Have gathered the ME, pressed the ME to Your breast.

You have filled the land with venom, like a dragon.

Vegetation ceases, when You thunder like Ishkur,
You who bring down the Flood from the mountain,
Supreme One, who are the Inanna of Heaven (and) Earth,
Who rain flaming fire over the land,
Who have been given the me by An,
Queen Who Rides the Beasts,
Who at the holy command of An, utters the (divine) words,
Who can fathom Your great rites!


Destroyer of the Foreign Lands,
You have given wings to the storm,
Beloved of Enlil - You made it (the storm) blow over the land,
You carried out the instructions of An.


My Queen,
the foreign lands cower at Your cry,
In dread (and) fear of the South Wind, mankind
Brought You their anguished clamor,
Took before You their anguished outcry
Opened before You wailing and weeping,
Brought before You the "great" lamentations in the city streets.



In the van of battle, everything was struck down before You,
My Queen,
You are all devouring in Your power,
You kept on attacking like an attacking storm,
Kept on blowing (louder) than the howling storm,
Kept on thundering (louder) than Ishkur,
Kept on moaning (louder) than the evil winds,
Your feet grew not weary,
You caused wailing to be uttered on the "lyre of lament."



My Queen,
[all] the Anunna, the great gods,
Fled before You like fluttering bats,
Could not stand before Your awesome face,
Could not approach Your awesome forehead. Who can soothe Your angry heart!
Your baleful heart is beyond soothing!
Queen, Happy of "Liver," Joyful of Heart,
(But) whose anger cannot be soothed, daughter of Sin,
Queen, Paramount in the Land,
Who has (ever) paid You (enough) homage!
The mountain who kept from paying homage to You -
vegetation became "tabu" for it,
You burnt down its great gates,
Its rivers ran with blood because of You,
its people had nothing to drink,
Its troops were led off willingly (into captivity) before You,
Its forces disbanded themselves willingly before You,
Its strong men paraded willingly before You,
The amusement places of its cities were filled with turbulence,
Its adult males were driven off as captives before You.



Against the city that said not "Yours is the land,'
That said not "It belongs to the father who begot you,"
You promised Your Holy Word, turned away from it,
Kept Your distance from its womb,
Its woman spoke not of love with her husband,
In the deep night she whispered not (tenderly) with him,
Revealed not to him the "Holiness" of Her heart.
Rampant Wild Cow, elder daughter of Sin,
Queen, greater than An,
who has (ever) paid You (enough) homage!
You who in accordance with the life giving me,
Great Queen of Queens,
Have become greater than Your mother who gave birth to you,
(as soon as) you came forth from the Holy Womb,
Knowing, Wise, Queen of All the Lands,
Who multiplies (all) living creatures (and) peoples --
I have uttered Your Holy song.
Life-Giving Goddess, fit for the ME,
whose acclamation is exalted,
Merciful, Live-Giving Woman, Radiant of Heart,
I have uttered it before You in accordance with the ME.



I have entered before You in my holy gipar,
I the En, Enheduanna,
Carrying the masab-basket, I uttered a joyous chant,
(But now) I no longer dwell in the goodly place You established.
Came the day, the sun scorched me
Came the shade (of night), the South Wind overwhelmed me,
My honey-sweet voice has become strident,
Whatever gave me pleasure has turned into dust. Oh Sin, King of Heaven, my (bitter) fate,
To An declare, An will deliver me,
Pray declare it to An, he will deliver me.



The kingship of heaven has been seized by the woman (Inanna),
At whose feet lies the flood-land.
That woman (Inanna) so exalted,
who has made me tremble together the city (Ur),
Stay Her, let Her heart be soothed by me.
I, Enheduanna will offer supplications to Her,
My tears, like sweet drinks.
Will I proffer to the Holy Inanna, I will greet Her in peace,
Let not Ashimbabbar (Sin) be troubled.



She (Inanna) has changed altogether the rites of Holy An,
Has seized the Eanna from An,
Feared not the great An,
That house (the Eanna) whose charm was irresistible,
whose allure was unending,
That house She has turned over to destruction,
Her . . . that She brought there has . . .
My Wild Cow (Inanna) assaults there its men, makes them captive.


I, what am I among the living creatures!

May An give over (to punishment)
the rebellious lands that hate your (Inanna's) Nanna,
May An split its cities asunder,
May Enlil curse it,
May not its tear-destined child be soothed by her mother,
Oh, Queen who established lamentations,
Your "boat of lamentations," has landed in an inimical land,
There will I die, while singing the holy song.
As for me, my Nanna watched not over me,
I have been attacked most cruelly.
Ashimbabbar has not spoken my verdict.
But what matter, whether he spoke it or not!
I, accustomed to triumph, have been driven forth from (my) house,
Was forced to flee like the cote like a swallow, my life is devoured,
Was made to walk among the mountain thorns,
The life-giving tiara of En-ship was taken from me,
Eunuchs were assigned to me -
"These are becoming to you," it was told me.



Dearest Queen, Beloved of An,
Let your Holy heart, the Noble, return to me,
Beloved wife of Ushumgalanna (Dumuzi),
Great Queen of the Horizon and the Zenith,
The Anunna have prostrated themselves before you.
Although at birth You were the younger sister,
How much greater You have become than the Anunna,
the Great Gods!
The Anunna kiss the ground before You.
It is not my verdict that has been completed,
it is a strange verdict that has been turned into my verdict,
The fruitful bed has been abolished,
(So that) I have not interpreted to man the commands of Ningal.
For me, the Radiant En of Nanna,
May your heart be soothed, You who are the Queen beloved of An.
"You are known, You are known" -
it is not of Nanna that I have recited it,
it is of You that I have recited it.
You are known by Your heaven-like height,
You are known by Your earth-like breadth,
You are known by Your destruction of rebel-lands,
You are known by Your massacring (their people),
You are known by Your devouring (their) dead like a dog,
You are known by Your fierce countenance.
You are known by the raising of Your fierce countenance,
You are known by Your flashing eyes.
You are known by Your contentiousness (and) disobedience,
You are known by Your many triumphs" --
It is not of Nanna that I have recited it,
it is of You that I have recited it.



My Queen, I have extolled You,
who alone are exalted,
Queen Beloved of An, I have erected your daises,
Have heaped up the coals, have conducted the rites,
Have set up the nuptial chamber for You,
may Your heart be soothed for me,
Enough, more than enough innovations,
Great Queen, have I made for You.
What I have recited to You in the deep night,
The gala-singer will repeat for You in midday.
It is because of Your captive spouse, your captive son,
That Your wrath is so great, Your heart so unappeased.
The foremost Queen, the prop of the assembly,
Accepted Her prayer.
The heart of Inanna was restored,
The day was favorable for Her,
She was clothed with beauty, was filled with joyous allure,
How she carried (her) beauty -- like the rising moonlight!
Nanna who came forth in wonder true,
(and) her Ningal, proffered prayers to Her,
Greeted her at the doorsill (of the Temple).
To the hierodule whose command is noble,
The destroyer of foreign lands, presented by An with the me,
My Queen garbed in allure,

O Inanna, praise!


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