From the great heaven she set her mind on the great below. From the great heaven the goddess set her mind on the great below. From the great heaven Inana set her mind on the great below. My mistress abandoned heaven, abandoned earth, and descended to the underworld. Inana abandoned heaven, abandoned earth, and descended to the underworld.
For our first Book Club of 2024, we will be reading some Sumerian myths.
Since we already read the Epic of Gilgamesh in January 2015, this time we will focus on other myths, featuring deities, in particular Enki and Inana.
These ancient stories relate to gods, who, as with the ancient Greek gods, had “a particular sphere of influence in the cosmos”: Enki was associated with “water, knowledge, crafts, and creation”, and Inana (or Inanna) was the goddess of “love, war, and fertility. She is also associated with beauty, sex, divine law, and political power.”
Some of the texts are fragmentary; as Kramer says in the Introduction to his study Sumerian Mythology:
It is therefore very essential that the reader have a clear picture of the nature of our source material, which consists primarily of some three thousand tablets and fragments inscribed in the Sumerian language and dated approximately 1750 [BCE]
There are many selections available online at
The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature.
You can read whichever myths you like, particularly those about Enki and Inana. Here are some suggestions:
Discussion will start and continue in the Forums, and we will meet via Zoom on Tuesday, January 30 at 11 a.m. EST.