Enheduanna: Hymns to Inana(ca. 2250 BCE)
The three Hymns to Inana (all written in Sumerian) presented here are reputed to have been composed by Enheduanna, daughter of the Akkadian conqueror Sargon the Great (r. ca. 2334–2280 B.C.), the first known high priestess of the moon god Nanna at the Mesopotamian city of Ur (a position that endured for half a millennium) and the earliest author in world history whose name is known. Although she was installed by Sargon, contemporary inscriptions indicate that she was still in her position during the reign of her nephew, Naram-Sin (r. ca. 2254–2218 B.C.). Many of the early temple hymns of southern Mesopotamia are ascribed to her, including the three listed here, “Inana and Ebih,” “The Exaltation of Inana,” and “A Hymn to Inana.” Sparse biographical details concerning Enheduanna are found in “The Exaltation of Inana,” where the priestess describes her banishment from Ur and her subsequent reinstatement to her religious post.
The hymn “Inana and Ebih”...
Houses and courtyards of ancient Ur, home of Enheduanna (Library of Congress)View Full Size