Earth of the Homeric Universe was a circular flat disk surrounded by a
huge circular river, the Ocean, a model first appearing in the Orphic Hymn
’X. TO PAN, The Fumigation from Various Odors’, verse 15: “Old Ocean
too reveres thy high command, whose liquid arms begirt the solid land.” This
mythical ’river’ is different from the seas: it is something that defines the
boundaries of the terrestrial world. Above all, Ocean is the primal and original
creative element, the starting point of all things (Iliad, XIV 246). This
mythical ’river’ has no sources, nor estuary, it is ’apsorroos’, i.e. cyclically
moving or backward-flowing. Its current goes back to where it started in a
ceaseless and eternal flux.

In early geographical notions the Ocean, ukeanos, is itself potamos, but Homer regards Oceanus as a great River which compasses the earth’s disc, returning into itself, apsorroos, and to Ocean are given the epithets of a river. This idea was retained in later myths where Ocean often has the attributes of a river-god. Cf. Euripides, Orestes, 1377-79

pontoy, Ukeanos on
tayrokranos agkalais elis–
suy kyklou xthona.

According to Babylonian mythology, the flood-hero, Utnapistim, was given eternal life by the gods after the deluge, and translated to the pi nardti, or ‘mouth of.the rivers.’
It is at present quite generally supposed that the pt ndrdti was originally the delta of the Two Rivers, which in early times emptied into the gulf through separate mouths, and that when the Babylonians became better acquainted with the interior of the marshes they removed their Elysium to some distant region toward the setting sun.
The pi ndrdti cannot, of course, be placed at the mouth of the Euphrates, since this would leave no room for the long overland journey of Gilgames, who traversed deserts, mountains, and seas, including the dreaded mare tenebrosum of the Babylonians, the me muti. The same reason excludes recent combinations with Bahrein or with Persia;2 the other suggestions which have been made are not to be taken seriously. No Babylonian could have placed his terrestrial paradise in the malaria-breeding swamps of the delta, where the temperature often rises to 50? C. in the shade. There is naturally no parallel between a garden of the blest in the mat tamti’ (Sea-land) and the Egyptian sht P?rw (field of rushes), perhaps a heavenly reflection of the delta, cooled during the summer by the Etesian winds from the Aegean (see, however, below for the true source of the refrigerium). While the “land of the marsh-dwellers” may not have been very well known to the predynastic Egyptians, the shores of the Persian Gulf were dotted with settlements in Sumerian times. Weird legends may have arisen of enchanted spots in the marshes, but hardly the myth of a lovely oasis, or of an upland garden, with healing and rejuvenating springs.
For the solution of our problem we must turn to the incantatory literature. The passages directly mentioning the pi ndrdti are CT,’ XVI, 46, 183 if., CT, XVII, 26, 64 if., and CT, XVII, 38, 30 ff. CT, XVII, 26, 64 if. has (the transliteration follows SGl in the main) [gi]ba-an-da-du d-ldl-e gi”gamma su-u-me-ti id-ka-min(!)-na-ta a su-ba (var. bi)-e-ri (var. ri-e)-ti=pattd alalld kippati liqi-ma, ina pi ndrdti kilalle mg liqt-ma, ‘Take a patt’-vessel,2 an alallu-vessel,3 a ladle,4 and get water from the mouth of the two rivers.’ We read similarly in the next passage: [da9]sagur-ra nig udun-gal-ta du-a su-u- me-[ti] id-ka-min-na-ta a su[ ] a u-me-ni[ ]= a (!) karpatu saharratu sa ultu utuni rabitu [illiku] liqt, ina pi nd[rdti ki]lallw me sdmma (=HT?), ‘Take a sagur1-vessel coming from a large oven, and draw water from the mouth of the two rivers.’ More remunerative is CT, XVI, 46, 183 ff., one of the most puzzling as well as interesting texts in cuneiform literature. The Semitic translation may safely be omitted, as it is in places very free.
183. En: Uruduga gis-kin-ge-e ki-el-ta mu-a mus-me-bi ndza-gin-a abzu-ta (ni)-ld-a (var. e) dEnki-g~ (ki)-du-du-a-ta Uruduga ge-gal sig-ga-dm ki-dur-a-na ki-gilib6-dm
191. ki-nd-a itim dEngur-dm e-kug (AJSL, XXXIII, 187)-ga-a-ni-ta gi1tir gissul-ld-e sd-bi lu nu-mu- un-da-tu-tu-de s dBabbar dAma-u’sumgal-an-na-ge ri-ba-an-na id-ka-min-a-ta
199. dKa-e-gdl dIgi-ge(!)-gdl d[gud-sig-sig Uruduga-g’ ?]2 gis-kin-bi su-im-ma-an-pag ugu-[lu …. nam-sub abzu-a im-ma-an- sum] sag lu-gal-lu pap-gal-la-ge ba-ni-in-gar-[ra] =
183. Incantation: In Eridu in a pure place the dark kiskan2 grows; Its aspect is like lapis lazuli branching out from the apse. In the place where Ea holds sway, in Eridu full of abundance3- His abode being in the Underworld,
191. (His) chamber a recess4 of the goddess Engur- In his pure house is a grove, shadow-extending, into whose midst no man has entered; There are Samas and Tammuz. Between the mouths of the two rivers
199. Are the gods Kahegal and Igibegal, the [genii of Eridu.] That kiskana one has gathered;5 over the man the incantation of the apsu he has recited; Upon the head of the man possessed he shall place (it)

The kis-kanu was imagined to grow in the subterranean fresh-water ocean whence the rivers flow, the home of Enki’ or Ea,2 son of Engur.3 Eridu, the name of Ea’s chief cult-city, is employed as a name of the apsu, just as Kutfu (Kutha), the city of Nergal, is a common name of Aral6 (Hades), over which Nergal ruled. A great many passages could be cited in support of this fact, which has not been sufficiently recognized; a few will do. In BA, V, 589 (No. XIV, pp. 648-49) we have an incantation directed to the fire-god Gibil (the Sumerian is almost entirely lost): “Gibil …. qarrad tizqarum, sa i”Ea melammg izz?uti uzd?inus, ina apsi elli”‘ irbu, ina dl Eridu asar gimdti kenis kunnu, nursu ellum samu endu; lisdn nUrisu kima birqi ittanabriq, ‘Gibil nitrsu kima fimu ittanpah = ‘Gibil . . .’. the exalted hero whom Ea (Sum. dEnki-ga-ge, ‘of Ea’) adorned with terrible brilliance, who grew up in the pure apsu, who in Eridu, the place of (determining) fates, is unfailingly prepared, whose pure light reaches heaven-his bright tongue flashes like lightning; Gibil’s light flares up like the day.’ Similarly Gibil is called (ASKT, p. 78, rev. 8) ur-sag dumu abzu-a, ‘hero, child of the apsu’! Gibil mar Apsi represents fire as emanating originally from burning naphtha wells, which the Persians regarded as the divine source of fire, where possible erecting their pyraea (Pers. atargas) over them. It is perfectly evident that Eridu here is the underworld, not the city. An equally convincing passage is Gudea, Cyl. B, III, 5-12: itu-bi ud-es-dm im-ta-zal. dNin-gir-su Erida-ta gin-am zal-ti-sa-sa im-e. kalam-ma ud mu-gdl, &-ninnu dEn- zu-u-tud-da sag-im-ma-da-ab-di= ‘The third day of the month shown. Ningitsu, coming from Eridu, rose in overwhelming splendor (sa= masadu, mus6sudu, labdnu). In the land it became day: the Eninnu rivaled in brilliance the child of Enzu.’ Ningirsu is here the sun,offspring of the moon, Samas mar Sin, who ascends each morning from the underworld.’ In the incantatory texts Eridu interchanges constantly with the aspu. Thus, Maqlb, VII, 115 f., we read amsi qdtePa ubbiba zumri ina me naqbi ellati’m sa ina dl Eridi ibbanu = ‘I have washed my hands and cleansed my body in the pure source waters which were created in Eridu.’ In CT, XVII, 5, col. 3, 1, etc., we have lu-gdl-lu-bi a-gub-ba abzu-kug-ga u-me-ni-el = ‘that man with lustral water from the holy apst cleanse.’ Of the seven evil spirits it is said (CT, XVII, 13, 14-15), nagbu(BAD)-abzu-[ta] imin-na-mes Uruduga imin-na-mes= ‘In the source of the apsu seven are they; in Eridu seven are they.’ CT, XVI, 32, 154=33, 192=46, 176, etc., associates the incantation of the apsu with that of Eridu (tu-tu abzu Uruduga). In the same strain Marduk (Asari-lu-duig) is called indifferently mdru restu sa apst and mdru restu sa Eridu. So again Surpu II, 149-51 offers Ea liptur sar apse, apsui liptur bit nimn qi, Eridu liptur, bit apsi liptur, setting Eridu in unmistakable parallelism with apsu and the bit apst, the abode of Ea. Evidently the theories enunciated from time to time, that Eridu was the home of Baby- lonian science (magic) and religion, and the speculations of a more dangerous character combining Eridu with Eden, and discovering a mysterious sacred garden there, are as unfounded as it would be to regard Kutha as a sort of Babylonian Tophet or Gehenna. With this collapse fall away incidentally Hommel’s views concerning the fabulous antiquity of the city, which he even made the prototype of Memphis, whose name happens to have the same meaning. Such being the case, we must, in the light of the kiskan4 incanta- tion, look for the mouth of the rivers in the underworld, the source of terrestrial fresh water. Here, according to an ancient idea, there was a mighty river, whence all streams spring, the ndru bdndt kaldmu, ‘river, creatress of everything,’2 corresponding to the Sumerian god- dess Engur, ama u-tud an-ki, ‘mother who bore heaven and earth.’3
This river, also called Uubur (see below), ‘river of fertility,’ inter- changes with the apsu, just as among the Egyptians the heavenly Nile and the Nile in the underworld often take the place of the celes- tial ocean and the subterranean ocean, NAn.1 The mouth is then, from another point of view, the sources through which this river bursts into the upper world.2 The conception is often graphically illustrated. The Egyptian NAn is represented as emitting the two or four sources of all waters (see below) from his mouth (cf. Muller, Egyptian Mythology, p. 47). Similarly the two Nile sources (qrtz) are hieroglyphically denoted by two serpents pouring water from their mouths.

the Egyptian NAn is parallel to the apsu (there is, of course, no Sumerian nun, ‘heavenly ocean,’ as Hommel thought), both of which are located in the underworld; cf. Lef6bure, Sphinx, I, 31 ff., and such phrases as mw nti m dw’t hr sdm nf, ‘the waters which are in the underworld hearken to him.’
The conception of the river as a mighty bull is common; cf. the Egyptian Nile- bull Osiris-Apis, the k’ km, ‘black bull,’ and Enki, the am-gig-abzu, ‘black bull of the apsfi (RA, XXVIII, 216).

HCS, 1, 270, (alu) sa sina dfirdni lamu pi dimti tubal ema ftri rukkusu, which may be rendered (contrast JAOS, XXXVI, 232), ‘(a city) surrounded by two walls joined at the base (pu) of the towers by platforms (tubalt) across (for ema cf. VB, IV, No. 15, col. VI, 14 f.) the moat.’ Maqlu, IV, 35, bi’ sa duri, preceded by askuppatu, ‘threshold,’ and followed by titurru, ‘bridge,’ evidently has the same meaning. The proper Sum. expression for ‘base of wall’ may be ur-ingar-ra-ge (SGl, p. 26) = asurru (properly ‘ground water’; the foundations were carried down to water-level, where work was interrupted by the apsu).
P1. LXVI, 19, we have I an-su klir-ra ki-sit BAD-ma=’the temple, mountain above, abyss beneath.’ In this case the primary meaning of the word may have been ‘the remote, inaccessible place’ (idim= nis , ruqu, SG1, p. 21), which is very interest- ing in connection with the statement (GE, XI, 205) that the pt ndrdlti is located ina risqi.

According to II R. 51, 42, the canal Arahtu had the Sum. name idKA. ga-dDE, which I would render ‘the abundant source of the god of irrigation.’ This is the name read by a former generation of scholars Guhande, which was supposed to be the biblical Gih6n. Needless to say, the name Ka-ga- dDE? corresponds to naqab numsmi, ‘source of fertility,’ in canal names (i.e., Ndr Samsuiluna naqab numsmi). As Witzel has pointed out (BA, X, 5, 10, n. 1), the ka of a canal, employed in contrast to the kun, ‘dam, reservoir,’2 is the mouth, i.e., the river-source from which the canal flows.3 From the preceding it appears clear that in Sumerian a spring was called ‘mouth’ instead of ‘eye,’ as in Semitic.
While originally the subterranean river of fertility (see above), Ijubur becomes later the river of death, as in Craig (Rel. Texts, p. 44, 16-17), where the mention of the uruh muti, ‘way of death,’ is followed by ndri Hubur; cf. also op. cit., page 17, 1, 3, 5, addressed to Tammuz: enuma tallaku uruhka-enuma tebbiru ndr Hubur-enuma (so) tallaku ‘era= ‘When thou dost traverse thy way-when thou crossest the river Ijubur-when thou dost traverse the desert.’
As the Babylonians placed both Aralu and the apsu in the under- world, they naturally found it difficult to fix their geographical bound- aries. In the ensuing confusion the river of death was thrown together with the. subterranean mother of rivers. While we are not concerned here with the origin of the former conception, one can hardly doubt that the belief in underground waters, which the dead had to pass en route to Hades, played a guiding role in its formation. The apsa shows a tendency to encroach upon Hades proper, whence the latter was regarded as a refrigerium (as in Egyptian eschatology), where the shades drank pure water.3 The idea expressed in the Gilgames epic that one had to cross the me muti in order to reach Ely- sium at the pt ndrdti is a natural result of the initial confusion. The barrier which seemed necessary to keep mortals out of Elysium was simply borrowed from the topography of the underworld.
Gudea, Cyl. A, 25, 17-19, where we read: e-nad-da mu-du-de kur-sdr-da mes- ku(g)-abzu-a dAg il-la-dm=’The bed-chamber (of the god) which he built was (like) the cosmic mountain (apparently representing the northern mountains, in which the entrance to the underworld was fancied to lie;) in which the pure hero of the apsu (pre- sumably Enki-Ea) holds (his) vessel.’
the kiskanu is thus apparently a real plant of healing, there was a mythical plant in the apsu, through whose virtues the old might hope to be rejuvenated, the sam nibitti (GE, XI, 295), perhaps an abbreviated rendering of a Sumerian *u-mu-sd-dingir-e-ne-ge, ‘plant given a name (i.e., destiny) by the gods.’2 In order to secure it, Gilgames dived down into the apsu with stones tied to his body to facilitate his descent; when he lost it, the thief was a serpent, itself living in a well which communicated with the apsu.3 The best foreign parallel to these Babylonian conceptions is the Avestan Gaokerena, which is described (Yast 12, 17) as ‘that tree of the eagle which stands in the midst of the lake Vourukasa (apsu), which stores up good remedies, powerful remedies, which is called Vtspobis (which heals all), upon which the seed of all plants is found.’

Kun=mihru, ‘dam’ (Br. 2040, etc.), syn. of sikru (ndra sikeru, or, by metathesis, kasdru, means ‘dam a river, or canal’); mihir ndri also=gig-gi-gi or gis-kes-da, ‘dam’ (cf. also Thureau-Dangin, VB, I, 46, n.d., and HCS, 34, n. 5). The fact that kun= zibbatu, ‘tail,’ has led Witzel to explain it falsely as ‘end’ (BA, VIII, 5, 10, n. 1). We would expect the word for ‘dam’ to be written gis-kun, which is the ideogram for rapastu, ‘shoulder’
Heb. se. em, which corresponds in meaning to Sum. g , ‘the ridge of the back behind the neck.’ Both secem and gz=kisddu are used also for ‘ridge, bank of a river.’ Since gil is a modified form of gun, we can hardly separate it from kun = rapaetu, whose ideogram GIS-K UN is simply borrowed from *gis-kun, ‘dam.’ For the passages in which the ka and kuTn of a canal are contrasted, see Witzel, loc. cit. That my explanation is correct is shown by the kudurru of Melisipak, col. II, 19 (BA, VIII, 2, 4), where the mihru, ‘dam,’ and the namba’u, ‘source,’ of the canal Ndr sarri represent the Sumerian kun and ka, respectively, or in modern parlance the ‘barrage’ (weir) and ‘sluiceway.’
Ki-ju-bur-ra is ‘the place of the (river) Gubur,’ the underworld, and is used allu- sively for ‘the depth.’ Jensen’s view is based primarily.upon the equation Iu-bu-urki= Subartum (II R. 50, col. II, 51), which is, however, almost certainly an erroneous combina- tion of the Assyrian scholars. It is not difficult to point out how the mistake arose. In southern Babylonia there was a city A-GA-KI or GA-A-KI (Poebel, Hist. Texts, pp. 121f.), with the Semitic equivalent Subaru or Subaru, which legend made the home of the young Tammuz. Since, however, Dumu-zi-abzu (the god’s full name) was born and reared, according to the theologians, in the apsu, or underworld, Subaru was transplanted to the lower world (like Kutfi and Eridu) where the Tammuz liturgies unmistakably locate it, near the river Iubur. At this point some ingenious lexicographer identified Subartu, with the nisbe Subaru, and the river Uabur flowing through it, with Subaru on the river Jjubur in the underworld. We must remember that the Hubur was probably fancied to lie in the northern part of the lower world (see below). Cf. also Langdon, Liturgies, p. 115; Tammuz and Ishtar, p. 138, n. 9. 2 Sum. edin -=gru, ‘desert, steppe,’ is also a tropical name of the abode of the dead; Gasan-edina= Belit ~ri is a goddess of Hades, who in the later hierarchic system is sub- ordinated to Ereskigal, with the title dupsarrat ercitim, ‘scribe of Hades.’ Originally the dead were probably supposed to go westward over the desert to Kurnugea, like the sun.
The primitive Egyptians believed that the Nile issued from one or two caves, called qrt or tpht.3 In the conventional representation (cf. PSBA, XIII, opp. p. 10, and RT, XXXVII, 24) there is depicted a cliff surmounted by the Horus-falcon of Hieracon- polis and the Nhbt-vulture of Elkab, above a cavern encircled by a serpent, in which crouches HCpi, the Nile, holding two vases in his hands from which flow two streams-the two Niles.

(Ward, No. 650; cf. Heuzey, RA, V, 129 if., and Gudea, Cyl. A, 18, 14 if.) Ningirsu appears as lord of the inundation, with spouting vases, and two jets of water leaping from his shoulders.
As the lord of vegetation, Tammuz sends the inundation, whence he receives the name Umun-me-ir-si = bl girsu.3 The repeated invocations in the Tammuz liturgies to the illu,4 identify the river with the various forms of Tammuz, Ninazu, lord of healing, Ningiszida, Lamga, Esir (KA-DI), Ama-usumgal-ana, etc.

The holy water, supposed by a sacramental fiction to come directly from the apsu, was drawn from ceremonial lavers called abzu (apsu), a-gub-ba (egubbu = karpat telilti, natiktu), a-am; the tdmtu constructed by Agum the Second (col. III, 33) is hardly lustrational in character, in spite of its similarity t6 Heb. iam, because of its clear cosmogonic associations in the text. Apse were made by Ur-Nina (VB, I, 4d) and BAir-Sin (VB, I, 198c, 12).2 Where possible, the water may have been conducted to the temple in clay pipes from some neighboring well3 or spring. The faucets which became thereby necessary to con- trol the flow were called garVare, ‘cocks’ (JAOS, XXXV, 396 ff.).4 In such cases the water might fairly be considered the direct gift of Engur, who is addressed (CT, XVI, 7, 255) as nin a-gub-ba lag-lag-ga, ‘lady of the pure lavers’ (Sem. belit agubbe el[luti]). Ordinarily, however, the water must have been brought into the temple through a canal from the river, as in Mandaean temples (Brandt, Manddische Rel., p. 97).
When the Ethiopian Pianhi entered Heliopolis, he washed in the qbhw-pool, which is described as the water of Nfin (=apsu), with which Re’ himself washes his face (cf. Chassinat, ibid., p. 55, n. 4).

the mn muati, while of mythical origin (see above), are geographically, perhaps, the Black Sea, which as the ‘”Aevos had a reputation as somber as its color. It goes without saying that we cannot expect the least accuracy in marine geography; even the Homeric Greeks were very hazy as to the relation between the Mediterranean and Euxine, as is evident from the Odyssey. How did the flood-hero come to be associated with the pi ndrdti ? Like most deluge-heroes, Utnapistim landed after the Flood on a northern mountain, a detail which is by no means a mere coincidence, as will be shown elsewhere. In the vicinity he continued to live, instructing his sons (JAOS, XXXVIII, 60-65), introducing viti- culture, etc. Since Atrahasls, the prototype of Hidr-Elias, never dies, but lives forever, he is supposed to dwell here eternally, beyond the northern mountains, where the Mandaeans placed the land of the blessed (cf. Brandt, op. cit., pp. 60 f.). In the same region was the pi ndrdti, where Ea, Samas, and Tammuz (see above) spent their leisure hours. Hither also, just as to the Egyptian qbhw, deified kings may have wended their way, in the early Babylonian system We may safely assume that the divine monarchs of Akkad and tr were not thrust into Aralu, the Land of No-return, with the plebeian shades, but enjoyed the society of the gods at the pt ndrdti, the Babylonian Elysium. It is interest- ing, in this connection, to note that, on the Gudea cylinder, the king is led to the god of the spouting vases; there may be an allusion to the future hope of the king. The expression, used of the death of kings, saddsu emid, ‘he ascended his mountain,’ perhaps referred to the surmounting by the royal shade of Mount Aralu in the far north, a geographical term probably due to the misunderstanding of the Sum. kur, Hades.
Aralu is a loan from Sumerian Arali (syn. of Urugal=Irkalla), written ideographically A-KUR-US(BAD), ‘the house of the mountain of the dead.’ Perhaps one may venture to suggest that Arali stands for ar(i)-ari (by dissimilation; cf. turt ula for turtura, Larak for Lalag [Poebel, Hist. Texts, p. 43], etc.), from ari, ‘lay waste,’ whence a-ri-a and dr = namutu, ‘ruin,’ meaning thus primarily ‘desolation’; cf. the development of the name Gehenna. It may be added that kur, Hades, was perhaps originally applied to the burial mound or mausoleum.

GAN in Hebrew, paradeisos in the Septuaginta Greek version of the 3rd century BC, a word of Persian origin meaning “walled garden”). Such data are the following: * the information that four rivers originate from the same geographical location; here we argued that the usual translation a river dividing into four rivers is wrong, in addition of being geographically virtually impossible, nahar having not only the meaning “river” but also that of “snow field” * the names of the four rivers: Hindekel, Gihon, Pishon, PRT ( PRT is usually translated as Euphrates, but we related PRT to perath= fertility, pirot=fruit, parot=cows, hence PRT would be the river of food bearing country) * the information that Hindekel flew eastwards of “Ashur” * the information that Gihon bordered the land of Kush * the information that Pishon bordered the land of Havilah, rich in gold, onyx (?) and bdellium (usually assumed to be an aromatic substance; but in [2] we suggest the meaning “asbestos”) * the information that PRT watered the Garden of Eden, located in the eastern part of Eden * the information that the Garden of Eden had an eastern access ( a “gate”), wherefrom Adam and Eve were expelled; the gate was defended by a Cherubim (KRB) branding a fiery sword.

Yahweh dwells on mountains (Sinai or Zion; e.g., Ex 34:26; 1 Kings 8:10; Ps 48:1-2). The Jerusalem temple is said to be located in the “heights of the north [sÌ£apoÌ‚n].”  Zion is the “mount of assembly” (har moÌ‚Ê¿eÌ”d), again located in heights of sÌ£apoÌ‚n (Is 14:13). Additionally, Mount Zion is described as a watery habitation (Is 33:20-22; Ezek 47:1-12; Zech 14:8; Joel 3:18 [Hebr., 4:18]). A tradition preserved in Ezekiel 28:13-16 equates the “holy mountain of God” with Eden, the “garden of God.” Eden appears in Ezekiel 28:2 as the “seat of the gods (ʾĕloÌ”hiÌ‚m).”  The description of Eden in Gen 2:6-15 refers to the “ground flow” that “watered the entire face of the earth.”

Valois projects the Upper Paleolithic population in France at 60,000, in Europe at 400-500,000, and in Siberia at 300,000. The people in Siberia had a more complicated social and economic system.
Professor Alexeev disagrees with these figures and thinks that there were no more than 50,000 people for the whole territory of Europe with population figures for Eastern Europe at 20-25,000. He thinks that one generation in the Mesolithic was not greater than 25-30,000.
The Upper Paleolithic extends from 38/40,000-12,000 BC for a duration of 26/28,000 years with a longevity of appromixately 21 years equals 1,350 generations in Upper Paleolithic. The Mesolithic period ends 5/4,000 BC and lasted for 7/8,000 years with a longevity rate at 26/28 years equals 260/270 generations of Mesolithic people. This longer longevity rate means that the Mesolithic people could produce more offspring (however, the death rate, especially the child death rate is great). The projections are 50/60,000 population for Eastern Europe and a little higher for Siberia.

The Black Sea region played a central role in the creation myths of the Greeks. Also, it played a special role in the heroic myths of the Greeks and many other peoples, particularly with regard to the almost universal hero, Hercules. His role is also prominent in the Etruscan mythology.

The Igigi and the Anunnaki met in heaven in Ubshu-ukkinakku, the divine assembly hall. The Gilgamesh epic has the gods dwelling in the cedar mountain. They had their parakku, throne-bases, there. It was an enormous tree at the cedar forest and was guarded by Humbaba. There is a stairway up to heaven from the underworld.

As for the underworld Kurnugi (Sumerian for ‘land of no return’). It is presided over by Ereshkigal and Nergal. Within the house of Irkalla (Nergal), the house of darkness, the house of Ashes, no one ever exits. “They live on dust, their food is mud; their clothes are like birds’ clothes, a garment of wings, and they see no light, living in blackness.” It is full of dust and mighty kings serve others food. In Ereshkigal’s court, heroes and priests reside, as well as Sumuqan and Belit-tseri. The scorpion-people guard the gates in the mountain to the underworld which Shamash uses to enter and exit. There are seven gates, through which one must pass. At each gate, an adornment or article of clothing must be removed. The gates are named: Nedu, (En)kishar, Endashurimma, (E)nuralla, Endukuga/Nerubanda, Endushuba/Eundukuga, and Ennugigi. Beyond the gates are twelve double doors, wherein it is dark. Siduri waits there by the waters of death, beyond which, is the Land of the Living, where Utnapishtim and his wife dwell. Shamash and Utnapishtim’s boatman, Urshanbi, can cross the waters. Egalginga, the everlasting palace, is a place where Ishtar was held.

Men from the mountains
We now look at the geographical information that can be gleaned from the Sumerian texts We should point out that our investigation is by no means exhaustive * Kharsag is a settlement among the mountains, as its name says The palace of Enlil is called Ekur, i e “palace of the mountains” The place if often contrasted with the lowland controlled by Enki, the region of the Apsu, and with the region controlled by Ereshkigal, the underworld * The lord of the Anunnaki is Enlil

The quest for sources has always possessed a rare fascination for human minds, and river sources seem to have no small degree of this seductiveness, as is testified by the age-old search for the sources of the Nile and the Ganges. Where the sacral character inherent in fountains was increased by the reverence paid in Mesopotamia at all times to the waters of the twin rivers, the donors of life and prosperity, we may safely expect to find the fountains from which the Euphrates and Tigris issue regarded with superstitious veneration. So it has been, from the earliest ages to the present day.
Just as the Egyptians had a ceremonial qbhwl in their temples, the Babylonians must have had a pi ndrdti in theirs, though not necessarily, of course, in every temple. The
It cannot be shown definitely that the Babylonians had developed the notion of a single source of all terrestrial rivers, but it is highly probable that they did. The Mandaeans believed that the source of the rivers lay on the northern mountains, which separate the earth from the world of light, thus grafting Iranian ideas on the Babylonian. Both Egyptians and Babylonians (at least in germ)2 evolved the theory of four great rivers, flowing from a common source to water the four quarters. The early Babylonians seem to have thought, like some of the classical writers,3 that the Tigris and Euphrates had the same origin, an idea no more fantastic than the early Egyptian conception of the source of the Nile. Under similar circumstances the Hindus developed the idea that the celestial Ganges, descending from Mount Meru, is divided into four mighty rivers to irrigate the four quarters.’ Elsewhere seven streams appear, one for each dvtpa.
Originally, the Mouth of the Rivers was placed simply beyond the northern mountains, in some conveniently inaccessible region. Later, when Armenia became better known, the need was felt for a new localization, and Elisyum was placed beyond the seas (the Mediterranean and the Euxine), ina rtqi.1 We may fix the date of the shift with reasonable probability during the great expansion of the Babylonian Empire under the dynasty of Akkad (2850-2650 B.C.). There can be little doubt that the deeds of the Akkadian monarchs became the centers of legendary cycles, fragments of which are found in the Cappadocian (?) story of the sar tamhari and in the omen texts, which transfer Sargon’s voyage across the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean (Poebel, Hist. Texts, pp. 238 f.), a highly romantic venture for that period. The mythical account of Sargon’s birth is so familiar as to require no comment. I have little doubt, for reasons to be given hereafter, that the Sargon and Gilgames cycles have exerted a mutual influence. It is even possible that the iter ad ostia fluminum has been modified by attraction into the Sargon cycle, just as the iter ad paradisum, transferred from Gilgames to Alexander, made a volte-face from west to east, carrying Eden with it, as will be shown in another place.
the ‘juncture of the two seas’ is at the best only a reminiscence of the pi nardti, or of its Aramaean rendering, whatever that may have been. To the Arab the two seas were the fresh-water ocean and the salt-water ocean
In some remote spot the upper waters and the nether waters, like Apsil and Ti’amat, were fancied to unite in their purity to create life, a con- ception which may be found, with various modifications, in many ancient systems, notably in the Babylonian. and the Rabbinic. At all events we may reject the view that Mohammed thought of the Pillars of Hercules [Gibraltar] (Friedliinder, after Jensen), of the source of the Tigris, or of any other definite terrestrial location.

Irkalla (also Ir-Kalla, Irkalia) is the hell-like underworld from which there is no return. It is also called Arali, Kigal, Gizal
KUR, as a word, can also refer to a variety of other things. Cuneiform KUR historically means “mountain” but came to refer to “land” in general and as a determiner is placed before the name of a state or kingdom (also URU). The Assyrian pronunciation is mât.
Irkalla (also Ir-Kalla, Irkalia) is the hell-like underworld from which there is no return. It is also called Arali, Kigal, Gizal In Sumerian mythology, Kur was a monstrous dragon with scaly body and massive wings. Kur personifying the home of the dead, Hell, the “river of the dead” (see also Styx), and the void space between the primeval sea (Abzu) and the earth (Ma). Possibly an Anunnaki, brother of Ereshkigal, Enki, and Enlil. Ereshkigal spoke to Kur when she found him isolated in the Underworld. ” I am not afraid of you. Of any of you’ she said out loud, and she meant it. ‘ You are my half brother, Kur, and so are the dark little ones. And somehow I feel there is beauty within you all, even if you and others don’t have eyes to see. But I have. Dive into your Essence, brother, search for the seed that brought you, me and all into being. I also came from that seed. There you will find what unite us, what make us One of a Kind with the One who is All Kinds. ” KUR, as a word, can also refer to a variety of other things. Cuneiform KUR ?? historically means “mountain” but came to refer to “land” in general and as a determiner is placed before the name of a state or kingdom (see also URU). The Assyrian pronunciation is mât. Inanna dresses elaborately for the visit, with a turban, a wig, a lapis lazuli necklace, beads upon her breast, the ‘pala dress’ (the ladyship garment), mascara, pectoral, a golden ring on her hand, and she held a lapis lazuli measuring rod.
The Sumerian creation story starts with the arrival in a certain place of a group of beings of “divine” nature, the Anunnaki (a word variously interpreted as the great sons of light, the great sons of Anu), with higher knowledge and technical skill than man. The region where they settle lies amid mountains and is called Kursag, also read Kharsag. In this word kur means “mountain”, sag according to B&K has no clear meaning, while according to O&O should mean lofty enclosure, close in meaning to the Genesis gan or paradise= walled enclosure. The gods descending on Kharsag are a structured group, consisting, from Enuma Elish, of 600 members of the lower Igigi group, of 50 “great gods” and of 7 high chiefs, the gods of destiny. The Igigi appear to be divided sometimes between 300 located at the “sky” and 300 at the “Apsu”. The chief of the Anunnaki in the “sky” region is Enlil, whose name means ” Lord of the sky” and also, according to O&O, ” Lord of cultivation”). The lord of the Apsu is Enki, whose name means lord of the lowland, and who is a brother of Enlil. A sister of Enlil, living in Kharsag, is Ninlin or Ninkarsag; she plays a fundamental role in the creation of ullu, the modern man. Finally we should quote the father of Enlil, Enki and Ninlin, namely the supreme chief of the gods, Anu. He lives far away “in the sky”, but appears at Kharsag on special occasions. In Karsag the Anunnaki become involved in a special project, namely the attempt to make water easily available for agricultural purposes by building canals and in particular by damming a local river. This work is the task of the Igigi, who spend many years on it, without being able to complete it. Tired of a work that they find too heavy, the Igigi rebel against Enlil. To quash the rebellion, Enlil, Enki and Ninlil decide to “create” man, to help in the heavy work of water management and in the agricultural activities. Man is therefore created as a worker, to be compensated with the fruits of the soil. It is intriguing to observe here how, according to Pettinato, the signs of the zodiac were known by the Sumerians well before they appeared in the other western sources, all with the same name as today, except the first one: aries is a wrong translation, explained by a little difference in the cuneiform script, of the Sumerion words ullu hunga, meaning salaried man. While Pettinato puts the origin of this term at the beginning of an economy where people would be hired for a salary, one might possibly consider also the hypothesis of a reference to the ullu created in Kharsag, subject to work in change of free vegetarian meals … thus instead of Aries the first sign should be the sign of the first man. The creation of man, decided by Enlil, is implemented with a complex process well different from the process described in Genesis (but see O&O for a radically different translation of Genesis than the one usually given). The “creation” is realized by a group of Anunnaki, under the direction of Ninlil and with the important help of Enki. The process involves using some vital material from one specially selected male Anunnaki, named Weila in the Atrahasis, Xingu in the Enuma Elish (VI,33), and results in the creation of seven couples. The specific details of the creation are called, in the Bilingual Text ) B&K, text 39), “a secret doctrine, that can be spoken only by experts”. A very important feature of the created man from a theological point of view and definitely going beyond anything stated in Genesis, is contained in the following three lines of Atrahasis, Karsap-Aya text, lines 215-217, B&K p. 571 In the Sumerian texts man continues to work with the gods for a substantial amount of time; no reference is made to a couple being expelled from Kharsag. Kharsag becomes apparently a settlement of model agriculture, with a dam and irrigation canals, various buildings including the palace of Enlil, the Ekur, breeding of animals (sheep, goat, cows) and rich orchards (quite curiously the Nippur cylinder, plate 4, claims that some “heavenly” fruit trees could not be cultivated successfully). The settlement thrives, disregarding some problems and fightings among the Anunnaki, for over a couple of thousand years. According to the Atrahasis a first crisis comes after less than 1200 years from “creation”, when an epidemics devastates the settlement. The second crisis comes again less than 1200 years after the epidemics, being the Flood to which Ziusudra-Utnapishtim are survivors. The interval between the creation and the Flood is thus given at circa 2300 years, which agrees very well with the estimate obtainable from the Septuaginta (the time when the first ten Patriarchs, from Adam to Noah, lived is circa 2600 years; since Noah outlived the Flood by about 300 years the estimates are close). We now look at the geographical information that can be gleaned from the Sumerian texts. We should point out that our investigation is by no means exhaustive. * Kharsag is a settlement among the mountains, as its name says. The palace of Enlil is called Ekur, i.e. “palace of the mountains”. The place if often contrasted with the lowland controlled by Enki, the region of the Apsu, and with the region controlled by Ereshkigal, the underworld. * The lord of the Anunnaki is Enlil. He would correspond to Yahweh as lord of the Elohim, if we could consider the world elohim, which is definitely a plural, as referring to a plurality of higher beings, and so not be, as in the standard interpretation of the three main monotheistic religions, a “pluralis majestatis”. Now Enlil has another name, albeit less common, namely enzu, meaning Lord of knowledge, see O&O, p. 68. * Kharsag is a fertile land, but requires substantial and difficult work for irrigation and control of water. Such a work, in the epics, is so tiring that, initially in charge of the Igigi, it leads to their rebellion and hence to the decision to create man, ullu, as a worker. Julius Africanus Chronography, preserved by the 8th century Byzantine writer Georgius Syncellus; Africanus also gives 2262 years from Adam to the Flood, in excellent agreement with the estimate from Atrahasis).
The main region associated with Kharsag and generally with the prediluvian world is the Apsu, under the control of Enki. Here are some of the features of the Apsu; additional ones could certainly be obtained by a fuller search of the Sumerian literature: * the Apsu is characterized by being a basin of sweet water. We establish that its waters are sweet by its name (AP=AB=A= water in Persian, Sanskrit and Sumerian; SU = sweet, good, in Sanskrit) and by the explicit statement (lines 75-79 of poem 4 in B&K, Enki in Nippur) that carps lived in its waters * the prediluvian city of Eridu was built on the border of Apsu. * the Apsu, where Enki settled, is also associated with the region of Dilmun/Tilmun, defined to be a place of “purity and light”, see poem 5, Enki and Ninhursag, in B&K. Dilmun is also stated to be located beyond the sea, where the sun rises. It is also the place where Ziusudra/Utnapishtim, the survivor of the Flood, settled, see poem 46 in B&K, based on a tablet found in Nippur. The second geographical region associated with the Kharsag is the underworld, where the goddess Ereshkigal, sister of Enlil and Enki, is the lord. A visit to the underworld is described in the poem Nergal and Ereshkigal, n. 26 in B&K. Among the features of the underworld: * it is dark, sunshine does not reach there * one can go there, but to return is almost impossible * it is connected with the “gate of Anu, Enlil and Ea (Enki)” by a “long stair of the sky”. * a Lagash tablet, circa 2500 BC, refers to ships from Dilmun with a cargo of wood * a document of circa 1800 BC refers to an expedition to get copper in Dilmun * Sargon of Assyria, end of 8th century BC, receives gifts from the king of Dilmun It is our hypothesis that the Sumerians, who called themselves black heads lived in the Apsu-Dilmun region before the Flood, near Dilmun or part of Dilmun, and then moved to Mesopotamia probably by the way of India; some of them may have remained there (we have in mind the Pani, an ancient Indian population involved in maritime trade; remember that boat technology had to be well developed in the Apsu region!) from the Flood story in the epics of Gilgamesh, see poem 48 in B&K, we deduce that Utnapishtim (Ziusudra in older Sumerian stories) leaves his city of Shurrupak, descends to the Apsu and builds there his boat. Since the Flood must have implied a uniform rise of the waters of the Apsu, we deduce that Sippar was located higher than Shurrupak from the shoreline of the Apsu, hence it was probably built before (under the hypothesis that cities were preferably built near the shoreline of this sweet water basin); thus, while it could escape being flooded, since the rise of the level of the Apsu was limited, it could not escape the global earthquake that must have characterized the Flood event, to be discussed in a forthcoming paper [25]. Features of the mythological underwold: * it is dark, being mostly a very narrow canyon 2 to 3 km deep. For most of the day the light of the sun would not reach the bottom. Since the latitude is about 36º, the sun would never be at the zenith * going down would not be easy, going up would be more difficult * access to it would require building trails along very steep mountain sides, very often with stairs indented in the rock, hence the description of the stairway going to the sky.

KUR, Y S, CURA The Sun was likewise named Kur, Cur, [153] a a e e sa t Many places were sacred to this Deity, and called Cura, Curia, Curopolis, Curene, Cureschata, Curesta, Curestica region

And Ellil took the earth for his people.
The bolt which bars the sea
Was assigned to far-sighted Enki.
When Anu had gone up to the sky,
And the gods of the Apsu had gone below,
The Annunaki of the sky
Made the Igigi bear the workload.

The noise of humankind has become too loud for me, with their uproar I can not go to sleep.
Command that Anu and Adad guard the upper realm, Sin and Nergal guard the middle earth,
and that Ea may guard, together with his plants, the bolts, the bar of the sea
Thus no water or food escaped,. and the rigours of famine returned

Again Enki accedes to the pleas of Atrakhasis and somehow the bolt barring the sea is broken and hoards of fish (one shar, 3600) are released to starving humanity. Enlil accuses him:
I ordered that Anu and Adad should guard the upper regions,
that Sin and Nergal should guard the middle earth,
while I myself guard the earth below,
and that you should guard, together with your plants, the bolt and bar of the sea.
But you released an abundance to the people. . . .

At that time Adapa, the son of Eridu, When he had got the leader Enki out of bed, Used to `feed’ the bolt of Eridu every day.

Marduk then creates the new Universe. First, he splits Tiamat’s fallen body into two parts. With one half of her body, he creates the visible heavens; the other half he secures in the Underworld with a bolt, so that her waters cannot escape. Having done this, Marduk measures the fallen body of Apsu and creates an invisible Heaven, Esharra, in its image.

The one who rides the great storm, who charges with lightening, who, with the holy bolt blocks up the inside of heaven,
son of An, the canal-inspector of heaven and earth.
Iskur, the man of abundance, the son of An,Enki placed in charge of it

Who closes the holy bolt in the “heart” of heaven,
The son of An, the GUGAL of the universe,
Ishkur . . , the son of An,
Enki placed in charge of them.
He directed the plow and the . . yoke,
The great prince Enki put the “horned oxen” in the . . . ,
Opened the holy furrows,
Made grow the grain in the cultivated field.
The lord who dons the diadem, the ornament of the high plain,
The robust, the farmer of Enlil,
Enkimdu, the man of the ditch and dike,
Enki placed in charge of them.

Lugalbanda in the mountain cave: c.1.8.2.1
Five days passed. On they sixth day they bathed. …… on the seventh day they entered the mountains. When they had crossed over on the paths — an enormous flood billowing upstream into a lagoon …… Their ruler (i.e. Enmerkar), riding on a storm, Utu’s son, the good bright metal, stepped down from heaven to the great earth. His head shines with brilliance, the barbed arrows flash past him like lightning; at his side the bronze pointed axe of his emblem shines for him, he strides forward keenly with the pointed axe, like a dog set on consuming a corpse.

Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird: c.1.8.2.2
“The plenty of Dumuzi’s holy butter churn, whose butter is the butter of all the world, shall be granted (?) to you. Its milk is the milk of all the world. It shall be granted (?) to you.” — Lugalbanda who loves the seed will not accept this. As a kib bird, a freshwater kib, as it flies along a lagoon, he answered him in words.

The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
They inserted the wooden door frames, which were like a crown worn in the blue sky. As Gudea sat down at a wooden door frame, from there it was like a huge house embracing heaven. As he built the house and laid wooden scaffolding against it, it was like Nanna’s lagoon attended by Enki. They made the house grow as high as the hills, they mad it float in the midst of heaven as a cloud, they made it lift its horns as a bull and they made it raise its head above all the lands, like the ĝišgana tree over the abzu. As the house had been made to lift its head so high as to fill the space between heaven and earth like the hills, it was like a luxuriant cedar growing among high grass (?); E-ninnu was decorated most alluringly among Sumer’s buildings.

The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
The built-in door-sockets of the house are laḫama deities standing by the abzu. Its timber store (?) looks like waves (?) of an enormous lagoon where snakes have dived (?) into the water. Its …… is …… full of fearsomeness. Its …… is a light floating in the midst of heaven. On the Gate where the King Enters an eagle is raising its eyes toward a wild bull. Its curved wooden posts joining above the gate are a rainbow stretching over the sky. Its upper lintel of the gate like (?) the E-ninnu stands among rumbling, roaring storms. Its awe-inspiring eyebrow-shaped arch (?) meets the admiring eyes of the gods. His white dais …… of the house is a firmly founded lapis lazuli mountain connecting heaven and earth.

A prayer to Nanna for Rīm-Sîn (Rīm-Sîn F): c.2.6.9.6
In this place, you see numerous tall birch trees. The door frame, the architrave, the lock, the fence (?) around the threshold, the door-leaves, the bolt, the bar of the temple, the supporting wall of the temple terrace, foundation of the innermost holy pure buildings — all these are of very holy reeds, golden yellow or silver white. Beside the marsh of the abzu of the E-kiš-nu-ĝal, in the holy enclosure where cattle mill about, for the many lustrous …… calves to receive their presents, the …… with their calves stand before you in the sacred ……. You see the old reeds, the old reeds in the water meadows ……, the old lying reeds, the upright reeds …… well-established in these fields. Within the marsh of the abzu of the E-kiš-nu-ĝal, the holy lagoon, the reedbeds in the holy water, you see the …… reeds growing.

A balbale to Ninĝišzida (Ninĝišzida B): c.4.19.2
Lord with holy dignity, imbued with great savage awesomeness! My king, Lord Ninĝišzida, imbued with great savage awesomeness! Hero, falcon preying on the gods, my king — dignified, with sparkling eyes, fully equipped with arrows and quiver, impetuous leopard, murderous, howling mušḫuš, { …… } { (1 ms. has instead:) …… }, dragon snarling (?) in the lagoon, raging storm { reaching } { (1 ms. has instead:) covering } all people! Lofty-headed prince, resting in the midst of the mountains, …… smashing heads!

Ninurta’s journey to Eridug: a šir-gida to Ninurta (Ninurta B): c.4.27.02
To see that the Tigris and the Euphrates should roar, to see that ……, to see that the subterranean waters should be terrifying, to see that in the lagoons the carp and the goat-fish ……; to see that in the reed thickets mature and fresh reed, first fruits, ……; to see that the numerous animals, the creatures of the plain, the ……, the stag, the deer, the great ……; to see that ……; to see that the living creatures should not diminish, to see that ……; to see that the divine powers of Sumer shall not be forgotten, nor the divine plans of all the lands altered; to see that ……, to see that faithfulness will prevail (?), Ninurta, the son of Enlil, in order to make judgments …… (unknown no. of lines missing)

A balbale to Ninurta (Ninurta F): c.4.27.06
Through the king, flax is born; through the king, barley is born. Through him, carp floods are made plentiful in the river. Through him, fine grains are made to grow in the fields. Through him, carp are made plentiful in the lagoons. Through him, mature and fresh reed are made to grow in the reed thickets. Through him, fallow deer and wild sheep are made plentiful in the forests. Through him, mašgurum trees are made to grow in the high desert. Through him, syrup and wine are made plentiful in the watered gardens. Through him, life which is long is made to grow in the palace.

The debate between Bird and Fish: c.5.3.5
…… Enki knit together the marshlands, making young and old reeds grow there; he made birds and fish live in the pools and lagoons ……; he gave …… all kinds of living creatures as their sustenance, …… placed them in charge of this abundance of the gods. When Nudimmud, august prince, the lord of broad wisdom, had fashioned ……, he filled the reedbeds and marshes with fish and birds, indicated to them their positions and instructed them in their divine rules.

The heron and the turtle: c.5.9.2
The prince called to his minister, Isimud: “My minister, Isimud, my Sweet Name of Heaven!” “I stand at Enki’s service! What is your wish?” “First …… is filtered on the left side, then a copper box is made, so that …… is covered. Then you tie ……, and you tie the top with string ……; then you …… with a piece of dough, and you irrigate the outer enclosure (?); and you put …… (?) Enki’s interconnecting (?) lagoons. Then let him sit …… (1 line missing) (1 line fragmentary)”

The heron and the turtle: c.5.9.2
Isimud …… paid attention. First he filtered …… on the left side, then he made a copper box and covered ……. Then he tied the top with string ……; then he …… with a piece of dough, and he irrigated the outer enclosure (?); and he …… (?) Enki’s interconnecting (?) lagoons. (Enki speaks:) “Then I, the prince, will make

Enki and Ninḫursaĝa: c.1.1.1
“May the land of Tukriš hand over to you gold from Ḫarali, lapis lazuli and ……. May the land of Meluḫa load precious desirable cornelian, meš wood of Magan and the best abba wood into large ships for you. May the land of Marḫaši yield you precious stones, topazes. May the land of Magan offer you strong, powerful copper, dolerite, u stone and šumin stone. May the Sea-land offer you its own ebony wood, …… of a king. May the ‘Tent’-lands offer you fine multicoloured wools. May the land of Elam hand over to you choice wools, its tribute. May the manor of Urim, the royal throne dais, the city ……, load up into large ships for you sesame, august raiment, and fine cloth. May the wide sea yield you its wealth.”
Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
Enki, the king of the Abzu, rejoicing in great splendour, justly praises himself: “My father, the king of heaven and earth, made me famous in heaven and earth. My elder brother, the king of all the lands, gathered up all the divine powers and placed them in my hand. I brought the arts and crafts from the E-kur, the house of Enlil, to my Abzu in Eridug. I am the good semen, begotten by a wild bull, I am the first born of An. I am a great storm rising over the great earth, I am the great lord of the Land. I am the principal among all rulers, the father of all the foreign lands. I am the big brother of the gods, I bring prosperity to perfection. I am the seal-keeper of heaven and earth. I am the wisdom and understanding of all the foreign lands. With An the king, on An’s dais, I oversee justice. With Enlil, looking out over the lands, I decree good destinies. He has placed in my hands the decreeing of fates in the place where the sun rises. I am cherished by Nintur. I am named with a good name by Ninḫursaĝa. I am the leader of the Anuna gods. I was born as the firstborn son of holy An.”
Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
The lord established a shrine, a holy shrine, whose interior is elaborately constructed. He established a shrine in the sea, a holy shrine, whose interior is elaborately constructed. The shrine, whose interior is a tangled thread, is beyond understanding. The shrine’s emplacement is situated by the constellation the Field, the holy upper shrine’s emplacement faces towards the Chariot constellation. Its terrifying sea is a rising wave, its splendour is fearsome. The Anuna gods dare not approach it. …… to refresh their hearts, the palace rejoices. The Anuna stand by with prayers and supplications. They set up a great altar for Enki in the E-engura, for the lord ……. The great prince ……. …… the pelican of the sea. (1 line unclear)
Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
He filled the E-kur, the house of Enlil, with goods of all sorts. Enlil was delighted with Enki, and Nibru was glad. Enki placed in charge of all this, over the wide extent of the sea, her who sets sail …… in the holy shrine, who induces sexual intercourse ……, who …… over the enormous high flood of the subterranean waters, the terrifying waves, the inundation of the sea ……, who comes forth from the ……, the mistress of Sirara, …… — Nanše.
Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
He filled the E-kur, the house of Enlil, with possessions. Enlil was delighted with Enki and Nibru was glad. He demarcated borders and fixed boundaries. For the Anuna gods, Enki situated dwellings in cities and disposed agricultural land into fields. Enki placed in charge of the whole of heaven and earth the hero, the bull who comes out of the ḫašur forest bellowing truculently, the youth Utu, the bull standing triumphantly, audaciously, majestically, the father of the Great City (an expression for the underworld), the great herald in the east of holy An, the judge who searches out verdicts for the gods, with a lapis-lazuli beard, rising from the horizon into the holy heavens — Utu, the son born by Ningal.
Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
“Nanše, the august lady, who rests her feet on the holy pelican, is to be the fisheries inspector of the sea. She is to be responsible for accepting delectable fish and delicious birds from there to go to Nibru for her father Enlil.”
Enki’s journey to Nibru: c.1.1.4
“Enki’s beloved Eridug, E-engura whose inside is full of abundance! Abzu, life of the Land, beloved of Enki! Temple built on the edge, befitting the artful divine powers! Eridug, your shadow extends over the midst of the sea! Rising sea without a rival; mighty awe-inspiring river which terrifies the Land! E-engura, high citadel (?) standing firm on the earth! Temple at the edge of the engur, a lion in the midst of the abzu; lofty temple of Enki, which bestows wisdom on the Land; your cry, like that of a mighty rising river, reaches (?) King Enki.”
Enki’s journey to Nibru: c.1.1.4
Like the sea, he is awe-inspiring; like a mighty river, he instils fear. The Euphrates rises before him as it does before the fierce south wind. His punting pole is { Nirah } { (some mss. have instead:) Imdudu }; his oars are the small reeds. When Enki embarks, the year will be full of abundance. The ship departs of its own accord, with tow rope held (?) by itself. As he leaves the temple of Eridug, the river gurgles (?) to its lord: its sound is a calf’s mooing, the mooing of a good cow.
Inana and An: c.1.3.5
Whenever (?) he approached the …… with his great net, as (?) it came out of the flood, the swelling sea, it lashed the water and made an evil …….
Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
At that time, the good water coming forth from the earth did not pour down over the fields. The cold water (?) was piled up everywhere, and the day when it began to …… it brought destruction in the mountains, since the gods of the Land were subject to servitude, and had to carry the hoe and the basket — this was their corvée work — people called on a household for the recruitment of workers. The Tigris did not bring up its flood in its fullness. Its mouth did not finish in the sea, it did not carry fresh water. No one brought (?) offerings to the market. The famine was hard, as nothing had yet been born. No one yet cleaned the little canals, the mud was not dredged up. No one yet drew water for the fertile fields, ditch-making did not exist. People did not work (?) in furrows, barley was sown broadcast.
The Flood story: c.1.7.4
More and more animals disembarked onto the earth. Zi-ud-sura the king prostrated himself before An and Enlil. An and Enlil treated Zi-ud-sura kindly ……, they granted him life like a god, they brought down to him eternal life. At that time, because of preserving the animals and the seed of mankind, they settled Zi-ud-sura the king in an overseas country, in the land Dilmun, where the sun rises.
How grain came to Sumer: c.1.7.6
Men used to eat grass with their mouths like sheep. In those times, they did not know grain, barley or flax. An brought these down from the interior of heaven. Enlil lifted his gaze around as a stag lifts its horns when climbing the terraced …… hills. He looked southwards and saw the wide sea; he looked northwards and saw the mountain of aromatic cedars. Enlil piled up the barley, gave it to the mountain. He piled up the bounty of the Land, gave the innuḫa barley to the mountain. He closed off access to the wide-open hill. He …… its lock, which heaven and earth shut fast (?), its bolt, which …….
Gilgameš, Enkidu and the nether world: c.1.8.1.4
The woman planted the tree with her feet, but not with her hands. The woman watered it using her feet but not her hands. She said: “When will this be a luxuriant chair on which I can take a seat?” She said: “When this will be a luxuriant bed on which I can lie down?” Five years, 10 years went by, the tree grew massive; its bark, however, did not split. At its roots, a snake immune to incantations made itself a nest. In its branches, the Anzud bird settled its young. In its trunk, the phantom maid built herself a dwelling, the maid who laughs with a joyful heart. But holy Inana cried!
Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
A sorcerer whose skill was that of a man of Ḫamazu, Ur-ĝiri-nuna, whose skill was that of a man of Ḫamazu, who came over to Aratta after Ḫamazu had been destroyed, practised (?) sorcery in the inner chamber at the E-ĝipar. He said to minister Ansiga-ria: “My lord, why is it that the great fathers of the city, the founders in earlier times (?), do not ……, do not give advice. I will make Unug dig canals. I will make Unug submit to the shrine of Aratta. After the word of Unug ……, I will make the territories from below to above, from the sea to the cedar mountain, from above to the mountain of the aromatic cedars, submit to my great army. Let Unug bring its own goods by boat, let it tie up boats as a transport flotilla towards the E-zagin of Aratta.” The minister Ansiga-ria rose up in his city, he …….
Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
…… Ansiga-ria ……, if only …….” My lord, why is it that the great fathers of the city, the founders in earlier times (?), do not ……, do not give advice. I will make Unug dig canals. I will make Unug submit to the shrine of Aratta. After the word of Unug ……, I will make the territories from below to above, from the sea to the cedar mountain, from above to the mountain of the aromatic cedars, submit to my great army. Let Unug bring its own goods by boat, let it tie up boats as a transport flotilla towards the E-zagin of Aratta.”
The Sumerian king list: c.2.1.1
In E-ana, Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer, the son of Utu, became lord and king; he ruled for { 324 } { (ms. P2+L2 has instead:) 325 } years. Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer entered the sea and disappeared. Enmerkar, the son of Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer, the king of Unug, { who built Unug } { (mss. L1+N1, P2+L2 have instead:) under whom Unug was built }, became king; he ruled for { 420 } { (ms. TL has instead:) 900 + X } years. { (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) 745 are the years of the dynasty of Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer. } { (ms TL adds instead:) ……; he ruled for 5 + X years. } Lugalbanda, the shepherd, ruled for 1200 years. Dumuzid, the fisherman whose city was Kuara, ruled for { 100 } { (ms. TL has instead:) 110 } years. { (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) He captured En-me-barage-si single-handed. } Gilgameš, whose father was a phantom (?), the lord of Kulaba, ruled for 126 years. Ur-Nungal, the son of Gilgameš, ruled for 30 years. Udul-kalama, the son of { Ur-Nungal } { (ms. Su1 has instead:) Ur-lugal }, ruled for 15 years. Lā-ba’šum ruled for 9 years. En-nun-taraḫ-ana ruled for 8 years. Meš-ḫe, the smith, ruled for 36 years. { Melem-ana } { (ms. Su2 has instead:) Til-kug (?) …… } ruled for { 6 } { (ms. Su2 has instead:) 900 } years. Lugal-kitun (?) ruled for { 36 } { (ms. Su2 has instead:) 420 } years. 12 kings; they ruled for { 2310 } { (ms. Su2 has instead:) 3588 } years. Then Unug was defeated and the kingship was taken to Urim.
The cursing of Agade: c.2.1.5
Its king, the shepherd Naram-Suen, rose as the daylight on the holy throne of Agade. Its city wall { , like a mountain, } { (1 ms. has instead:), a great mountain, } reached the heavens. It was like the Tigris { going to } { (some mss. have instead:) flowing into } the sea as holy Inana opened the portals of its city-gates and made Sumer bring its own possessions upstream by boats. The highland Martu, people ignorant of agriculture, brought spirited cattle and kids for her. The Meluḫans, the people of the black land, brought { exotic wares } { (some mss. have instead:) wares of foreign countries } up to her. Elam and Subir loaded themselves with goods for her as if they were packasses. All the governors, the { temple administrators } { (1 ms. has instead:) generals }, and the accountants of the Gu-edina regularly supplied the monthly and New Year offerings. What a weariness all these caused at Agade’s city gates! Holy Inana could hardly receive all these offerings. As if she were a citizen there, she could not restrain (?) the desire (?) to prepare the ground for a temple.
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
“Your will, ever-rising as the sea, crashing down as a destructive flood, roaring like gushing waters, destroying cities (?) like a flood-wave, battering against the rebel lands like a storm; my master, your will, gushing water that no one can stem; warrior, your will inconceivable as the heavens — can I learn anything about it from you, son of Enlil, Lord Ninĝirsu?”
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
With his divine duties, namely to soothe the heart, to soothe the spirits; to dry weeping eyes; to banish mourning from the mourning heart; to …… the heart of the lord that rises like the sea, that washes away like the Euphrates, that hits like a flood storm, that has overflowed with joy after inundating a land which is Enlil’s enemy, Gudea introduced his balaĝ drum, Lugal-igi-ḫuš, to Lord Ninĝirsu.
The lament for Sumer and Urim: c.2.2.3
so as to obliterate the divine powers of Sumer, to change its preordained plans, to alienate the divine powers of the reign of kingship of Urim, to humiliate the princely son in his house E-kiš-nu-ĝal, to break up the unity of the people of Nanna, numerous as ewes; to change the food offerings of Urim, the shrine of magnificent food offerings; that its people should no longer dwell in their quarters, that they should be given over to live in an inimical place; that Šimaški and Elam, the enemy, should dwell in their place; that its shepherd, in his own palace, should be captured by the enemy, that Ibbi-Suen should be taken to the land Elam in fetters, that from Mount Zabu on the edge of the sea to the borders of Anšan, like a swallow that has flown from its house, he should never return to his city;
The lament for Sumer and Urim: c.2.2.3
That the orchards should bear syrup and grapes, that the high plain should bear the mašgurum tree, that there should be long life in the palace, that the sea should bring forth every abundance: may An not change it. The land densely populated from south to uplands: may An not change it. May An and Enlil not change it, may An not change it. May Enki and Ninmaḫ not change it, may An not change it. That cities should be rebuilt, that people should be numerous, that in the whole universe the people should be cared for; O Nanna, your kingship is sweet, return to your place. May a good abundant reign be long-lasting in Urim. Let its people lie down in safe pastures, let them reproduce. O mankind ……, princess overcome by lamentation and crying! O Nanna! O your city! O your house! O your people!
A praise poem of Šulgi (Šulgi E): c.2.4.2.05
They have composed šir-gida songs, royal praise poetry, šumunša, kunĝar and balbale compositions about how I carried warfare across the sea to the south, how I jerked up the hostile land of Elam as if it were grass by a gateway, how in the uplands I …… the people like grain, how I trekked the length of the mountains in battle, how I travel about indefatigably in the mountain uplands like an old donkey on the road, and about my expeditions …….
A šir-namgala to Mešlamta-ea and Lugal-era for Ibbi-Suen (Ibbi-Suen B): c.2.4.5.2
You are superlative, my master, you are superlative! Your power reaches to the outer limits of heaven. Lord Lugal-era, you are superlative, your power reaches to the outer limits of heaven. Your divine powers are artfully fashioned divine powers, incomparable divine powers! Sea with high waves, you are imbued with terrible fearsomeness! Mighty god who dwells in the Land, your great awesomeness covers heaven and earth!
Išbi-Erra and Kindattu (Išbi-Erra B): c.2.5.1.2
With the city ……. …… Marḫaši ……. …… the foreign lands ……. From Bašimi by the edge of the sea …… to the edge of Zabšali ……, and from Arawa, the bolt of Elam …… to the edge of Marḫaši ……. Kindattu, the man of Elam, ……. …… Isin, the great spindle of heaven and earth. The king’s battle did not ……. The battle of Elam …… Sumer. …… by the edge of the sea. …… the land of Ḫuḫnuri. …… the wild animals and four-footed ……. The king …… in the battle.
An adab to Nergal for Šu-ilīšu (Šu-ilīšu A): c.2.5.2.1
Warrior with head held high, respected lord, son who rises up to protect his father, Nergal, angry sea, inspiring fearsome terror, whom no one knows how to confront, youth whose advance is a hurricane and a flood battering the lands, Nergal, dragon covered with gore, drinking the blood of living creatures!
A šir-namerima (?) for Iddin-Dagan (Iddin-Dagan D): c.2.5.3.4
Holy Ninisina, ……, whose raging heart, made like the heart of dusk (?), none can cool; whose angry heart no god can confront, which like the sea, bringing a flood-wave, drowns (?) the foe. Like the high tide, she pours spewed-out bile upon the enemy. She has made …… known in its midst.
May Ur-Ninurta, the king in whom Enlil trusts, open up your house of wisdom in which you have gathered knowledge in plenty, and then be the great ruler of the black-headed. Make terrifying splendour befitting his godhead issue from him, the lion of kingship, in everything that he does, for as long as he lives. May you present him with weighty tribute from the upper and the lower seas, and let Ur-Ninurta bring it into the glorious E-kur. May Enlil look upon him joyously, and add to his period of rule blissful days and years of joy and life. Father Enki, inspiring terrible awe, surpassing description, may the Anuna, your divine brothers, rejoice over you. Son of An, possessor of august honour, it is sweet to praise you!
Sîn-iddinam and Iškur (Sîn-iddinam E): c.2.6.6.5
A majestic wind bellowing in the broad heavens, whose thunder signifies abundance — when he utters his cries, the Land and the great mountains are fearful. Great hero, holding the shepherd’s crook in his hand and clasping authority at his side — when he roars over the sea and covers the Land with radiance, huge hailstones …… and slanting (?) rain, …… they set up …… for him.
A hymn to Ḫaia for Rīm-Sîn (Rīm-Sîn B): c.2.6.9.2
Ḫaia, linen-clad priest of E-unir, who stocks the holy uzga precinct; learned scholar of the shrine E-kiš-nu-ĝal, whose august name is great, whose mind is discerning; who dwells in the great dining-hall alongside the maiden Ningal! Fair of features, beloved spouse of Nun-bar-še-gunu and augustly renowned father-in-law of Father Enlil, the Great Mountain; junior administrator, possessor of wisdom, acknowledged in heaven and earth, who receives the tribute for the gods, the abundance of mountains and seas! Interpreter of the obscurity of Enlil’s (?) words, skilful one who steers the august princely divine powers, with …… girt at his side! Formed (?) with a broad heart, holding in his hands the holy divine plans of the temple of Eridug, Ḫaia, who wears the ceremonial robe during pure lustrations of the engur! Indagara, administrator who performs the opening of the mouth for the gods in the heavens and in the underworld, and who is versed in the meaning of obscure tablets; craftsman of the great gods!
A prayer to Nanna for Rīm-Sîn (Rīm-Sîn G): c.2.6.9.7
May Nanna, the king of heaven and earth, fit perfectly onto your head the legitimate august headdress of kingship. May the august queen Ningal, who has saved you from famine thanks to her benignity, let you live (?) an agreeable life for these days. As you receive from her holy hands the great splendour of kingship, may she place the august sceptre of heaven and earth in your hands like a ceremonial robe. Rīm-Sîn, king of the Ki-ur, endowed with abundance, constant attendant! O king, may the Tigris bring you abundance, and may the upper (?) Nun canal be filled for you with flowing water in its full flood. May the Nun canal, the good Nun canal, the life-bringing canal of the Land, bring you fish and fowl; from the ocean, the wide sea, from the standing reservoirs, may it bring an unending supply of creatures for your kingship. In the wide open spaces of the wide desert, the four-footed animals ……. May water levels rise for you in the irrigation ditches, with their levees, and the water-channels.
A hymn to Enlil for Samsu-iluna (Samsu-iluna F): c.2.8.3.6
Iškur, the net of the foreign lands …… made the foreign countries praise him duly, and made the mighty …… manifest. Samsu-iluna, the good hero, lordly one of his Land, has wisely co-ordinated decisions for the Land. From the banks of the Tigris and the banks of the Euphrates, to the shores of the sea …… and the banks of its rivers, men …… Samsu-iluna. In E-kur, the house of Enlil, …… he has taken his seat on his dais of joy. Enlil, it is sweet to praise you. Enlil, give my king a brilliant destiny and years of life! Grant him as a gift a life of long days!
Enlil in the E-kur (Enlil A): c.4.05.1
Its interior is a wide sea which knows no horizon. In its …… glistening as a banner (?), the bonds and ancient divine powers are made perfect. Its words are prayers, its incantations are supplications. Its word is a favourable omen ……, its rites are most precious. At the festivals, there is plenty of fat and cream; they are full of abundance. Its divine plans bring joy and rejoicing, its verdicts are great. Daily there is a great festival, and at the end of the day there is an abundant harvest. The temple of Enlil is a mountain of abundance; to reach out, to look with greedy eyes, to seize are abominations in it.
Enlil in the E-kur (Enlil A): c.4.05.1
Without the Great Mountain Enlil, no city would be built, no settlement would be founded; no cow-pen would be built, no sheepfold would be established; no king would be elevated, no lord would be given birth; no high priest or priestess would perform extispicy; soldiers would have no generals or captains; no carp-filled waters would dredge (?) the rivers at their peak; the carp would not …… come straight up (?) from the sea, they would not dart about. The sea would not produce all its heavy treasure, no freshwater fish would lay eggs in the reedbeds, no bird of the sky would build nests in the spacious land; in the sky the thick clouds would not open their mouths; on the fields, dappled grain would not fill the arable lands, vegetation would not grow lushly on the plain; in the gardens, the { spreading trees } { (1 ms. has instead:) forests } of the mountain would not yield fruits.
A hymn to Ḫendursaĝa (Ḫendursaĝa A): c.4.06.1
You are the accountant of Nindara, king of Niĝin in its spacious location. Nanše has placed a mighty symbol in your hand, Ḫendursaĝa. The mistress, Mother Nanše, speaks confidentially with you. She has made …… crook and sceptre for its plans flourish in a pure place; she …… her gaze to your …… raised in the quiet streets. Your holy ……, the straight harbour-wall, the pure barge — all is shining. When the mistress, Mother Nanše, floats her holy barge to visit you, sweet and noble singers perform for her on board. Your well laid-out fields have wheat, emmer and chick peas. The places where you have laid up supplies lie amid (?) cedars and poplars. The holy cow delivers butter and delivers milk to your older brother, the lord (?) of the holy sea, the cock (dar) Nindara, the king of Lagaš. Also with her help, monthly and at the New Year on the days of regular offerings, in your house Nindara makes the wedding-gifts on your behalf for the mistress, Mother Nanše.
A hymn to Ḫendursaĝa (Ḫendursaĝa A): c.4.06.1
But if someone has a personal god from heaven, his good fortune ……. If this man lies, ……. But if he has spoken the truth, ……. If he walks on a road, he will …… its beginning. In the midst of the assembly he will …… bad ……. If he goes down to the river, he will catch fish there. If he goes to the fields, he will take produce from there. If he enters …… the king’s palace, he will get beer to drink; if he puts ……, he ……. If he comes running with a message, people will be pleased with him. The god who has looked upon him will give him great strength. The gusting south wind in the marshes will not sink his boat, thanks to the god; and even if it has to struggle against powerful waves on the open sea, thanks to him he will complete his journey as if he were in a carriage.
A song of Inana and Dumuzid (Dumuzid-Inana D1): c.4.08.30
Ninšubur, the good minister of E-ana, clasps him by his right hand and brings him in bliss to Inana’s embrace: “May the lord whom you have chosen in your heart, the king, your beloved husband, enjoy long days in your holy and sweet embrace! Give him a propitious and famous reign, give him a royal throne of kingship on its firm foundation, give him the sceptre to guide the Land, and the staff and crook, and give him the righteous headdress and the crown which glorifies the head! From the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun, from the south to the north, from the upper sea to the lower sea, from where the ḫalub tree grows to where the cedar grows, over all Sumer and Akkad, grant him the staff and the crook!”
A hymn to Nanna (Nanna G): c.4.13.07
May you build enduringly the eternal (?) house. May you build enduringly Nanna’s eternal (?) house, the …… quarters (?) and the courtyard of Nanna — the temple whose shadow extends out into the midst of the sea, the E-kiš-nu-ĝal, the sweet wonder, the temple of Nanna built on empty land! ……, Suen …… among the gods. …… Enlil (?). ……, Nanna, lord, great son of An, beloved …… of Enlil and Ninlil, (unknown no. of lines missing)
A hymn to Nanna (Nanna M): c.4.13.13
Princely lord ……, great lord of heaven ……! In the city which like the sea inspires awe! Far-seeing Suen, ruler of Urim! O Suen, princely lord ……, great lord of heaven ……! In the city which like the sea inspires awe! Far-seeing Suen, ruler of Urim!
A balbale to Nanše (Nanše B): c.4.14.2
A fish is held in her hand as a staff ……. Fishes are put on her feet as sandals ……. Fishes light up the interior of the sea like fires ……. Fishes play on instruments for her like (?) sur priests. Fishes call out loudly for her like (?) oxen. She has fish wrapped around her body as a regal garment. The runner-fish (kaškaš) hastens (kaš) to her. The gurgur fish makes the sea surge up (gurgur) for her. The flash-fish (ĝir) makes the sea sparkle (ĝir) for her. She heaps up fish spawn so that …… fish will grow for her in the sea. Fishes fly around for her like swallows.
A balbale to Nanše (Nanše B): c.4.14.2
“I, the lady, will ride on my boat, I will ride home. I will ride on the prow of the boat, I will ride home.” Its canopy of gold and fragrant cedarwood sparkles for her on the sea. Its cabin shines for her like rejoicing moonlight on the sea.” My husband is the tax collector of the sea, Nindara is the tax collector of the sea.” (2 lines unclear)
A tigi to Nergal (Nergal C): c.4.15.3
Lord of the just word, lord of abundance, hero! At your name, people obey. Frightening sea like a rising ……, with your kingship you inspire terrifying fear. Hero, with your magnificent strength …… you pile up the rebel lands in heaps. Nergal, your name is praised in song. May the lady, An’s daughter, the lady who loves her city, Bau who concerns herself with you, in Iri-kug, her city of ladyship, make your appointed …… famous for a reign of distant days.
A šir-namšub to Ninurta (Ninurta G): c.4.27.07
My king, you covered the edge of the sea with rays of light. On that day from the gold (?) of Ḫarali you are Ena-tum. From the cornelian and lapis lazuli of the land of Meluḫa you are Ena-tum. From the dušia stone of the land of Marḫaši you are Enakam. From the silver of fifteen cities you are Enakam. From the copper and tin of Magan you are Enakam. From the bronze of …… you are Enakam (?). From the silver of Dilmun you are Ena-tum. From the im-kalaga clay of the mouth of the hills you are Enakam. From the gypsum of the shining hills you are Enakam. (10 lines missing or fragmentary)
A hymn to Nungal (Nungal A): c.4.28.1
House, furious storm of heaven and earth, battering its enemies; prison, jail of the gods, august neck-stock of heaven and earth! Its interior is evening light, dusk spreading wide; its awesomeness is frightening. Raging sea which mounts high, no one knows where its rising waves flow. House, a pitfall waiting for the evil one; it makes the wicked tremble! House, a net whose fine meshes are skillfully woven, which gathers up people as its booty! House, which keeps an eye on the just and on evildoers; no one wicked can escape from its grasp. House, river of the ordeal which leaves the just ones alive, and chooses the evil ones! House, with a great name, nether world, mountain where Utu rises; no one can learn its interior! Big house, prison, house of capital offences, which imposes punishment! House, which chooses the righteous and the wicked; An has made its name great!
A šir-namšub to Utu (Utu F): c.4.32.f
“My brother, come, let me ……. My brother, the midst of the sea …… my eyes. My brother, women ……. Utu, women …….”
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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.
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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.
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-maḫ (Magnificent house), the house of Šara, for you in plenty. Your house E-maḫ — whose prince is the princely son of the Mistress — continues (?) in good fortune, an area of abundance and well-being.
The debate between Hoe and Plough: c.5.3.1
O the Hoe, the Hoe, the Hoe, tied together with thongs; the Hoe, made from poplar, with a tooth of ash; the Hoe, made from tamarisk, with a tooth of sea-thorn; the Hoe, double-toothed, four-toothed; the Hoe, child of the poor, …… bereft even of a loin-cloth (?) — the Hoe started a quarrel …… with the Plough.
The debate between Winter and Summer: c.5.3.3
By hand Winter guided the spring floods, the abundance and life of the Land, down from the edge of the hills. He set his foot upon the Tigris and Euphrates like a big bull and released them into the fields and fruitful acres of Enlil. He shaped lagoons in the sea. He let fish and birds together come into existence by the sea. He surrounded all the reedbeds with mature reeds, reed shoots and …… reeds.
The debate between Bird and Fish: c.5.3.5
Thereupon Fish conceived a plot against Bird. Silently, furtively, it slithered alongside. When Bird rose up from her nest to fetch food for her young, Fish searched for the most discreet of silent places. It turned her well-built nest of brushwood into a haunted house. It destroyed her well-built house, and tore down her storeroom. It smashed the eggs she had laid and threw them into the sea. Thus Fish struck at Bird, and then fled into the waters. Then Bird came, lion-faced and with an eagle’s talons, flapping its wings towards its nest. It stopped in mid-flight. Like a hurricane whirling in the midst of heaven, it circled in the sky. Bird, looking about for its nest, spread wide its limbs. It trampled over the broad plain after its well-built nest of brushwood. Its voice shrieked into the interior of heaven like the Mistress’s.
The debate between Bird and Fish: c.5.3.5
(Bird speaks:)”You ……, lord of true speech, pay attention to my words! I had put …… and laid eggs there. …… had bestowed …… and had given as their sustenance. After …… had started ……, …… he destroyed my house. He turned my nest of brushwood into a haunted house. He destroyed my house, and tore down my storeroom. He smashed my eggs and threw them into the sea. …… examine what I have said. Return a verdict in my favour.” …… investigating ……, she prostrated herself to the ground.
The debate between Copper and Silver: c.5.3.6
“When you keep hitting the soil, like someone falling from a roof; when they carry (?) you out from the big brambles and …… thorns, like a dog with a ……, as if they were catching a thief at midnight; when the great, turbulent waters, regularly, yearly (?), fill the desert; when they carry the grain from the dry ground to the canal banks; when they carry the sesame from the furrows to the canal banks; when they carry to the …… red onions, white onions, edible bulbous leeks (?) and turnips flourishing in the furrows; when they transport the salt and spice seeds lying at the edges of the fields; when they feed the various grains to cattle and sheep; when they bring …… to the pigs born at the fattener’s; when they feed dough to the porcupine’s litter; when they crush coarse flour for the huge wild boars, straight-tailed fish, il (?) fish, carp, fish with bellies (?), giraba fish laying their eggs in large amounts in the shallows (?), gurgal birds, suda birds, large u birds from the middle of the sea, eggs of ducks and all kinds of birds, all the good things which thrive in the desert, at peace there. (unknown no. of lines missing)”
The heron and the turtle: c.5.9.2
It catches fish; it collects eggs and crushes them. It crushes the suḫur carp in the honey plants. It crushes the eštub carp in the little zi reeds. It crushes toads in the ligiligi grass. It crushes fish spawn, its offspring, its family. It strikes heron’s eggs and smashes them in the sea.

Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
He organised ploughs, yokes and teams. The great prince Enki bestowed the horned oxen that follow the …… tools, he opened up the holy furrows, and made the barley grow on the cultivated fields. Enki placed in charge of them the lord who wears the diadem, the ornament of the high plain, him of the implements, the farmer of Enlil — Enkimdu, responsible for ditches and dykes.

Dumuzid’s dream: c.1.4.3
“My sister, I will duck down my head in the grass! Don’t reveal my whereabouts to them! I will duck down my head in the short grass! Don’t reveal my whereabouts to them! I will duck down my head in the tall grass! Don’t reveal my whereabouts to them! I will drop down into the ditches of Arali! Don’t reveal my whereabouts to them!”
Dumuzid’s dream: c.1.4.3
“My friend, I will duck down my head in the grass! Don’t reveal my whereabouts to them! I will duck down my head in the short grass! Don’t reveal my whereabouts to them! I will duck down my head in the tall grass! Don’t reveal my whereabouts to them! I will drop down into the ditches of Arali! Don’t reveal my whereabouts to them!”
Dumuzid’s dream: c.1.4.3
“Who since the most ancient times has ever known a sister reveal a brother’s whereabouts? Come! Let us go to his friend!” Then they offered his friend a river of water, and he accepted it. They offered him a field of grain, and he accepted it.” My friend ducked down his head in the grass, but I don’t know his whereabouts { (1 ms. adds:) Dumuzid ducked down his head in the grass, but I don’t know his whereabouts }.” They looked for Dumuzid’s head in the grass, but they couldn’t find him.” He ducked down his head in the short grass, but I don’t know his whereabouts.” They looked for Dumuzid’s head in the short grass, but they couldn’t find him.” He ducked down his head in the tall grass, but I don’t know his whereabouts.” They looked for Dumuzid’s head in the tall grass, but they couldn’t find him.” He has dropped down into the ditches of Arali, but I don’t know his whereabouts.”
Dumuzid’s dream: c.1.4.3
They caught Dumuzid in the ditches of Arali. Dumuzid began to weep and was tear-stricken: “In the city my sister saved my life, my friend caused my death. If a sister leaves (?) a child in the street, someone should kiss it. But if a friend leaves (?) a child in the street, no one should kiss it.”

Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
At that time, the good water coming forth from the earth did not pour down over the fields. The cold water (?) was piled up everywhere, and the day when it began to …… it brought destruction in the mountains, since the gods of the Land were subject to servitude, and had to carry the hoe and the basket — this was their corvée work — people called on a household for the recruitment of workers. The Tigris did not bring up its flood in its fullness. Its mouth did not finish in the sea, it did not carry fresh water. No one brought (?) offerings to the market. The famine was hard, as nothing had yet been born. No one yet cleaned the little canals, the mud was not dredged up. No one yet drew water for the fertile fields, ditch-making did not exist. People did not work (?) in furrows, barley was sown broadcast.
Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
“Ḫaštum stone, you cried out against me in the mountains. You yelled fiercely with wild battle-yells. With your yelling, you fixed a lila demon in the mountains. Young man, because of your digging, Ditch (ḫaštum) shall be your name. And now, according to the destiny of Ninurta, henceforth they shall say ḫaštum. So be it.”

Lugalbanda in the mountain cave: c.1.8.2.1
…… a storehouse, they made him an arbour like a bird’s nest. …… dates, figs and various sorts of cheese; they put sweetmeats suitable for the sick to eat, in baskets of dates, and they made him a home. They set out for him the various fats of the cowpen, the sheepfold’s fresh cheese, butter ……, as if laying a table for the holy place, the valued place (i.e. as if for a funerary offering). Directly in front of the table they arranged for him beer for drinking, mixed with date syrup and rolls …… with butter. Provisions poured into leather buckets, provisions all put into leather bags — his brothers and friends, like a boat unloading from the harvest-place, placed stores by his head in the mountain cave. They …… water in their leather waterskins. Dark beer, alcoholic drink, light emmer beer, wine for drinking which is pleasant to the taste, they distributed by his head in the mountain cave as on a stand for waterskins. They prepared for him incense resin, …… resin, aromatic resin, ligidba resin and first-class resin on pot-stands in the deep hole; they suspended them by his head in the mountain cave. They pushed into place at his head his axe whose metal was tin, imported from the Zubi mountains. They wrapped up by his chest his dagger of iron imported from the Gig (Black) mountains. His eyes — irrigation ditches, because they are flooding with water — holy Lugalbanda kept open, directed towards this. The outer door of his lips — overflowing like holy Utu — he did not open to his brothers. When they lifted his neck, there was no breath there any longer. His brothers, his friends took counsel with one another:

Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird: c.1.8.2.2
Then the men of Unug followed them as one man; they wound their way through the hills like a snake over a grain-pile. When the city was only a double-hour distant, the armies of Unug and Kulaba encamped by the posts and ditches that surrounded Aratta. From the city it rained down javelins as if from the clouds, slingstones numerous as the raindrops falling in a whole year whizzed down loudly from Aratta’s walls. The days passed, the months became long, the year turned full circle. A yellow harvest grew beneath the sky. They looked askance at the fields. Unease came over them. Slingstones numerous as the raindrops falling in a whole year landed on the road. They were hemmed in by the barrier of mountain thornbushes thronged with dragons. No one knew how to go back to the city, no was rushing to go back to Kulaba. In their midst Enmerkar son of Utu was afraid, was troubled, was disturbed by this upset. He sought someone whom he could send back to the city, he sought someone whom he could send back to Kulaba. No one said to him “I will go to the city.” No one said to him “I will go to Kulaba.” He went out to the foreign host. No one said to him “I will go to the city.” No one said to him “I will go to Kulaba.” He stood before the élite troops. No one said to him “I will go to the city.” No one said to him “I will go to Kulaba.” A second time he went out to the foreign host. No one said to him “I will go to the city.” No one said to him “I will go to Kulaba.” He stepped out before the élite troops.

The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
“Laying the foundations of my temple will bring immediate abundance: the great fields will grow rich for you, the levees and ditches will be full to the brim for you, the water will rise for you to heights never reached by the water before. Under you more oil than ever will be poured and more wool than ever will weighed in Sumer.”
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
With his divine duties, namely to see that the great fields grow rich; to see that the levees and ditches of Lagaš will be full to the brim; to see that Ezina-Kusu, the pure stalk, will raise its head high in the furrows in Gu-edina, the plain befitting its owner; to see that after the good fields have provided wheat, emmer and all kinds of pulses, numerous grain heaps — the yield of the land of Lagaš — will be heaped up, Gudea introduced Ĝišbar-e, Enlil’s surveyor, the farmer of Gu-edina, to Lord Ninĝirsu.

The death of Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma A): c.2.4.1.1
As the early flood was filling the canals, their canal-inspector was already silenced (?); the mottled barley grown on the arable lands, the life of the land, was inundated. To the farmer, the fertile fields planted (?) by him yielded little. Enkimdu, the lord of levees and ditches, took away the levees and ditches from Urim. (1 line fragmentary)As the intelligence and …… of the Land were lost, fine food became scarce. The plains did not grow lush grass any more, they grew the grass of mourning. The cows ……, their …… cattle-pen has been destroyed. The calves …… their cows bleated bitterly.
The death of Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma A): c.2.4.1.1
As the early flood was filling the canals, their canal-inspector ……. The mottled barley come forth on the arable lands, the life of the land, ……. To the farmer, the fertile fields ……. Enkimdu, the lord of levees and ditches, ……. …… its numerous people ……. …… of the Land ……. The plains …… fine grass ……. …… heavy cows …… (approx. 4 lines missing)

A balbale to Enlil for Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma G): c.2.4.1.7
My king, when you have finished with all the work on the fields of Enlil; Ur-Namma, when you have finished with all the work on the fields of Enlil, may the rains of heaven make the furrows that you laid out sprout abundantly. King, faithful farmer, you have …… the levees and ditches in the wide fields; Ur-Namma, faithful farmer, you have …… the levees and ditches on the wide fields. Like the rising Utu, the levees and ditches ……. My king, ……; Ur-Namma, ……. (2 lines missing) (2 lines fragmentary)

A praise poem of Išme-Dagan (Išme-Dagan A + V): c.2.5.4.01
My boundaries are marked, my borders are fixed; my embankments are piled up, my irrigation ditches are ……. …… at which the foreign lands bow down; it is wool from the highlands …….

A hymn to Numušda for Sîn-iqīšam (Sîn-iqīšam A): c.2.6.7.1
Nunamnir, the lord who determines the destinies, has made your name august throughout the wide extent of foreign lands. He has assigned as a cult place for you the city of abundance, founded in a favourable place: Kazallu, the mountain of plenty. By his unchangeable command he has ordered the fashioning of Kun-satu, your lordly dais. Father Enlil, the good shepherd who loves your plans, has desired to make its forgotten lay-out visible again, and to restore its abandoned cities; he has ordered prince Sîn-iqīšam to accomplish it, and he has made (?) your cities and settlements peaceful dwelling places. He has dredged your canals, and cleared up the levees and irrigation ditches, so that abundant water will never be lacking there. He has put in your …… and made manifest all that is proper.

A prayer to Nanna for Rīm-Sîn (Rīm-Sîn G): c.2.6.9.7
May Nanna, the king of heaven and earth, fit perfectly onto your head the legitimate august headdress of kingship. May the august queen Ningal, who has saved you from famine thanks to her benignity, let you live (?) an agreeable life for these days. As you receive from her holy hands the great splendour of kingship, may she place the august sceptre of heaven and earth in your hands like a ceremonial robe. Rīm-Sîn, king of the Ki-ur, endowed with abundance, constant attendant! O king, may the Tigris bring you abundance, and may the upper (?) Nun canal be filled for you with flowing water in its full flood. May the Nun canal, the good Nun canal, the life-bringing canal of the Land, bring you fish and fowl; from the ocean, the wide sea, from the standing reservoirs, may it bring an unending supply of creatures for your kingship. In the wide open spaces of the wide desert, the four-footed animals ……. May water levels rise for you in the irrigation ditches, with their levees, and the water-channels.

A hymn to Nanše (Nanše A): c.4.14.1
She is beer mash (?), the mother is yeast (?), Nanše is the cause of great things: her presence makes the storehouses of the land { bulge } { (1 ms. has instead:) prosper } and makes the honey …… like resin in the storerooms. Because of her, there stand vessels with ever-flowing water; because of Nanše, the baskets containing the treasures of the Land cover the ground like the silt of the river. She is the lady of ……. (1 line unclear)Nanše is the lady who raises high the channels for the meadows and the irrigation ditches.

The debate between Hoe and Plough: c.5.3.1
“Hoe, digging miserably, weeding miserably with your teeth; Hoe, burrowing in the mud; Hoe, putting its head in the mud of the fields, spending your days with the brick-moulds in mud with nobody cleaning you, digging wells, digging ditches, digging ……!”
The debate between Hoe and Plough: c.5.3.1
“Wood of the poor man’s hand, not fit for the hands of high-ranking persons, the hand of a man’s slave is the only adornment of your head. You deliver deep insults to me. You compare yourself to me. When I go out to the plain, everyone looks on but { (2 mss. add 1 line:) the Hoe does not …… the Plough, and } insultingly you call me “Plough, the digger of ditches”.”
The debate between Hoe and Plough: c.5.3.1
“I build embankments, I dig ditches. I fill all the meadows with water. When I make water pour into all the reedbeds, my small baskets carry it away. When a canal is cut, or when a ditch is cut, when water rushes out at the swelling of a mighty river, creating lagoons on all sides (?), I, the Hoe, dam it in. Neither south nor north wind can separate it.”
The debate between Hoe and Plough: c.5.3.1
“Insultingly you call me “Plough, the digger of ditches”. But when I have dug out the fresh water for the plain and dry land where no water is, those who have thirst refresh themselves at my well-head.”

The debate between Grain and Sheep: c.5.3.2
There was no muš grain of thirty days; there was no muš grain of forty days; there was no muš grain of fifty days; there was no small grain, grain from the mountains or grain from the holy habitations. There was no cloth to wear; Uttu had not been born — no royal turban was worn; Lord Niĝir-si, the precious lord, had not been born; Šakkan (the god of wild animals) had not gone out into the barren lands. The people of those days did not know about eating bread. They did not know about wearing clothes; they went about with naked limbs in the Land. Like sheep they ate grass with their mouths and drank water from the ditches.

The debate between Copper and Silver: c.5.3.6
Enlil joyfully addressed Sumer. In a …… of abundance he raised …… to the duties of shepherd. In order to build the …… of Enlil, to bring forth the houses of the great gods, to raise the banks of the levees and ditches, Enlil gave strength to the shepherd Ur-Namma in his majestic arms.
The debate between Copper and Silver: c.5.3.6
On Ur-Namma receiving …… and kingship, after he …… a good ……, Strong Copper helped him mightily. With it, the shepherd Ur-Namma …… in great amounts. With it, he …… the great temple of Suen in Urim. With it, he …… the E-kur, the house of Enlil in Nibru. He made famous the houses of the great gods, and raised high the banks of the levees and ditches.

The heron and the turtle: c.5.9.2
At that time, the water was drained away from the reeds ……, and they were visible at the sheepfold. The aštaltal plant, spreading its seeds from the reedbeds, and the little kumul plants came out of the earth: they are good as little ones. The small enbar reed tighten her headdress: it is good as a young maiden. The ubzal reed goes about the city: it is good as a young man. The pela reed is covered from bottom to top: it is a good daughter-in-law. The pela reed turns from bottom to top: it is a good young son. The gašam reed digs in the ground: it is good as an old man. The zi reed …… on its own: it is good as an old woman. The reedbed lifts its head beautifully: it is a good Gudea. The ildag tree lifts its head in the irrigation ditch: it is good as a king. …… with bright branches: it is a good prince.

Proverbs: from Nibru: c.6.2.1
The ditches of the garden should not flow with water, or there will be vermin.

Dumuzid and Ĝeštin-ana: c.1.4.1.1
The demons go hither and thither searching for Dumuzid. The small demons say to the big demons: “Demons have no mother; they have no father or mother, sister or brother, wife or children. When …… were established on heaven and earth, you demons were there, at a man’s side like a reed enclosure. Demons are never kind, they do not know good from evil. Who has ever seen a man, without a family, all alone, escape with his life? We shall go neither to the dwelling of his friend nor to the dwelling of his in-laws. Rather, for the shepherd let us go to the dwelling of Ĝeštin-ana.” The demons clap their hands and begin to seek him out.

Inana’s descent to the nether world: c.1.4.1
So when Inana left the underworld, the one in front of her, though not a minister, held a sceptre in his hand; the one behind her, though not an escort, carried a mace at his hip, while the small demons, like a reed enclosure, and the big demons, like the reeds of a fence, restrained her on all sides.

The šumunda grass: c.1.7.7
He set fire to the base of the E-ana; there he was bound, there he was fettered. When he protested, Inana seized a raven there and set it on top of him. The shepherd abandoned his sheep in their enclosure. Inana seized the raven there.

Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
“Let him submit to me, let him bear my yoke. If he submits to me, indeed submits to me, then as for him and me — he may dwell with Inana within a walled enclosure (?), but I dwell with Inana in the E-zagin of Aratta; he may lie with her on the splendid bed, but I lie in sweet slumber with her on the adorned bed, he may see dreams with Inana at night, but I converse with Inana awake. He may feed the geese with barley, but I will definitely not feed the geese with barley. I will …… the geese’s eggs in a basket and …… their goslings. The small ones into my pot, the large ones into my kettle, and the rulers of the land who submitted will consume, together with me, what remains from the geese.” This is what he said to Enmerkar.

Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
He entered the presence of the lord in { his holy ĝipar } { (1 ms. has instead:) in his most holy place }. { (1 ms. adds 1 line:) He entered the presence of Enmerkar in his most holy place. } “My king has sent me to you. The lord of Aratta, En-suḫgir-ana, has sent me to you.” { (some mss. add the lines:) “What does your king have to tell me, what does he have to add to me? What does En-suḫgir-ana have to tell me, what does he have to add to me?” “This is what my king said, what he added, this is what En-suḫgir-ana said, what he added.” } “This is what my king says: “Let him submit to me, let him bear my yoke. If he submits to me, indeed submits to me, then as for him and me — he may dwell with Inana within a walled enclosure (?), but I dwell with Inana in the E-zagin of Aratta; he may lie with her on the splendid bed, but I lie in sweet slumber with her on the adorned bed, he may see dreams with Inana at night, but I converse with Inana awake. He may feed the geese with barley, but I will definitely not feed the geese with barley. I will …… the geese’s eggs in a basket and …… their goslings. The small ones into my pot, the large ones into my kettle, and the rulers of the land who submitted will consume, together with me, what remains from the geese.””

The Keš temple hymn: c.4.80.2
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?

The heron and the turtle: c.5.9.2
The prince called to his minister, Isimud: “My minister, Isimud, my Sweet Name of Heaven!” “I stand at Enki’s service! What is your wish?” “First …… is filtered on the left side, then a copper box is made, so that …… is covered. Then you tie ……, and you tie the top with string ……; then you …… with a piece of dough, and you irrigate the outer enclosure (?); and you put …… (?) Enki’s interconnecting (?) lagoons. Then let him sit …… (1 line missing) (1 line fragmentary)”
The heron and the turtle: c.5.9.2
Isimud …… paid attention. First he filtered …… on the left side, then he made a copper box and covered ……. Then he tied the top with string ……; then he …… with a piece of dough, and he irrigated the outer enclosure (?); and he …… (?) Enki’s interconnecting (?) lagoons. (Enki speaks:) “Then I, the prince, will make

Enlil in the E-kur (Enlil A): c.4.05.1
Without the Great Mountain Enlil, no city would be built, no settlement would be founded; no cow-pen would be built, no sheepfold would be established; no king would be elevated, no lord would be given birth; no high priest or priestess would perform extispicy; soldiers would have no generals or captains; no carp-filled waters would dredge (?) the rivers at their peak; the carp would not …… come straight up (?) from the sea, they would not dart about. The sea would not produce all its heavy treasure, no freshwater fish would lay eggs in the reedbeds, no bird of the sky would build nests in the spacious land; in the sky the thick clouds would not open their mouths; on the fields, dappled grain would not fill the arable lands, vegetation would not grow lushly on the plain; in the gardens, the { spreading trees } { (1 ms. has instead:) forests } of the mountain would not yield fruits.

A song of Inana and Dumuzid (Dumuzid-Inana W): c.4.08.23
(4 lines missing) (2 lines fragmentary)May my sheep eat my …… which is growing in the fields, my plants, my camel-thorn. May my sheep eat my ……, my plants, my winnowed barley. May my sheep eat my life of the Land which is growing in the fields, my plants, my stubble. May my sheep eat my support of orphans and sustenance of widows, my plants, my šakir plants. May my sheep eat my string of clay balls (?) which is growing in the fields, my plants, my colocynth. May my sheep eat my beer wort mixed with honey, my plants, my marsh reeds. May my sheep eat my calves going together with their bulls, my plants, my reed shoots. May my sheep eat my blossoming garden of apple trees, my plants, my reeds.

A song of Inana and Dumuzid (Dumuzid-Inana D1): c.4.08.30
“May he act as shepherd of the black-headed inhabitants; may he, like a farmer, make the fields productive; may he make the sheepfolds multiply, like a trustworthy shepherd. Under him, may there be flax, may there be barley; in the rivers may there be carp floods. Under him, may there be mottled barley in the fields; in the marshes, fish, and may the birds chatter. Under him, may the old reeds and the young reeds grow tall in the reedbeds; under him, may the mašgurum bushes flourish on the high plains. Under him, may the wild sheep and wild goats multiply in the forests; under him, may the irrigated orchards produce syrup and wine. Under him, may lettuce and cress flourish in the garden plots; under him, may there be long life in the palace.”

The debate between Hoe and Plough: c.5.3.1
“I plant a garden for the householder. When the garden has been encircled, surrounded by mud walls and the agreements reached, people again take up a hoe. When a well has been dug, a water lift constructed and a water-hoist hung, I straighten the plots. I am the one who puts water in the plots. After I have made the apple-tree grow, it is I who bring forth its fruits. These fruits adorn the temples of the great gods: thus I enable the gardener to support his wife and children.”

Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
The lord cried “Alas!” so that Heaven trembled, and Earth huddled at his feet and was terrified (?) at his strength. Enlil became confused and went out of the E-kur. The mountains were devastated. That day the earth became dark, the Anuna trembled. The hero beat his thighs with his fists. The gods dispersed; the Anuna disappeared over the horizon like sheep. The lord arose, touching the sky; Ninurta went to battle, with one step (?) he covered a league, he was an alarming storm, and rode on the eight winds towards the rebel lands. His arms grasped the lance. The mace snarled at the mountains, the club began to devour all the enemy. He fitted the evil wind and the sirocco on a pole (?), he placed the quiver on its hook (?). An enormous hurricane, irresistible, went before the hero, stirred up the dust, caused the dust to settle, levelled high and low, filled the holes. It caused a rain of coals and flaming fires; the fire consumed men. It overturned tall trees by their trunks, reducing the forests to heaps, Earth put her hands on her heart and cried harrowingly; the Tigris was muddied, disturbed, cloudy, stirred up. He hurried to battle on the boat Ma-kar-nunta-ea; the people there did not know where to turn, they bumped into (?) the walls. The birds there tried to lift their heads to fly away, but their wings trailed on the ground. The storm flooded out the fish there in the subterranean waters, their mouths snapped at the air. It reduced the animals of the open country to firewood, roasting them like locusts. It was a deluge rising and disastrously ruining the mountains.

Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
The hero Ninurta led the march through the rebel lands. He killed their messengers in the mountains, he crushed (?) their cities, he smote their cowherds over the head like fluttering butterflies, he tied together their hands with hirin grass, so that they dashed their heads against walls. The lights of the mountains did not gleam in the distance any longer. People gasped for breath (?); those people were ill, they hugged themselves, they cursed the Earth, they considered the day of the Asag’s birth a day of disaster. The lord caused bilious poison to run over the rebel lands. As he went the gall followed, anger filled his heart, and he rose like a river in spate and engulfed all the enemies. In his heart he beamed at his lion-headed weapon, as it flew up like a bird, trampling the mountains for him. It raised itself on its wings to take away prisoner the disobedient, it spun around the horizon of heaven to find out what was happening. Someone from afar came to meet it, brought news for the tireless one, the one who never rests, whose wings bear the deluge, the Šar-ur. What did it gather there …… for Lord Ninurta? It reported the deliberations of the mountains, it explained their intentions to Lord Ninurta, it outlined (?) what people were saying about the Asag.

Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
The Asag leapt up at the head of the battle. For a club it uprooted the sky, took it in its hand; like a snake it slid its head along the ground. It was a mad dog attacking to kill the helpless, dripping with sweat on its flanks. Like a wall collapsing, the Asag fell on Ninurta, the son of Enlil. Like an accursed storm, it howled in a raucous voice; like a gigantic snake, it roared at the Land. It dried up the waters of the mountains, dragged away the tamarisks, tore the flesh of the Earth and covered her with painful wounds. It set fire to the reedbeds, bathed the sky in blood, turned it inside out; it dispersed the people there. At that moment, on that day, the fields became black scum, across the whole extent of the horizon, reddish like purple dye — truly it was so! An was overwhelmed, crouched, wrung his hands against his stomach; Enlil groaned and hid himself in a corner, the Anuna flattened themselves against walls, the house was full of fearful sighing as of pigeons. The Great Mountain Enlil cried to Ninlil:

Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
“My master, …… for you, Enlil has said: “As the Deluge (i.e. Ninurta), before whom the venom has piled up, attacks the enemy, let him take the Asag by the shoulder, let him pierce its liver, let my son enter with it into the E-kur. Then, Ninurta, to the limits of the earth my people will deservedly praise your power.” You, lord who trusts in the word of his father, do not tarry, great strength of Enlil. Storm of the rebel lands, who grinds the mountains like flour, Ninurta, Enlil’s seal-bearer, go to it! Do not tarry. My master: the Asag has constructed a wall of stakes on an earthen rampart; the fortress is too high and cannot be reached, …… its fierceness does not diminish.” (3 lines unclear)”My master, …….”

Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
The lord applied his great wisdom to it. { Ninurta } { (1 ms. has instead:) Ninĝirsu }, the son of Enlil, set about it in a grand way. He made a pile of stones in the mountains. Like a floating cloud he stretched out his arms over it. With a great wall he barred the front of the Land. He installed a sluice (?) on the horizon. The hero acted cleverly, he dammed in the cities together. He blocked (?) the powerful waters by means of stones. Now the waters will never again go down from the mountains into the earth. That which was dispersed he gathered together. Where in the mountains scattered lakes had formed, he joined them all together and led them down to the Tigris. He poured carp-floods of water over the fields.

Gilgameš, Enkidu and the nether world: c.1.8.1.4
“Did you see him who had one son?” “I saw him.” “How does he fare?” “He weeps bitterly at the wooden peg which was driven into his wall.” “Did you see him who had two sons?” “I saw him.” “How does he fare?” “He sits on a couple of bricks, eating bread.” “Did you see him who had three sons?” “I saw him.” “How does he fare?” “He drinks water from a saddle waterskin.” “Did you see him who had four sons?” “I saw him.” “How does he fare?” “His heart rejoices like a man who has four asses to yoke.” “Did you see him who had five sons?” “I saw him.” “How does he fare?” “Like a good scribe he is indefatigable, he enters the palace easily.” “Did you see him who had six sons?” “I saw him.” “How does he fare?” “He is a cheerful as a ploughman.” “Did you see him who had seven sons?” “I saw him.” “How does he fare?” “As a companion of the gods, he sits on a throne and listens to judgments.”

Gilgameš and Ḫuwawa (Version B): c.1.8.1.5.1
“In Unug people are dying, and souls are full of distress. People are lost — that fills me with dismay. I lean out over the city wall: bodies in the water make the river almost overflow. That is what I see: that people die thus, which fills me with despair; that the end of life is unavoidable; that the grave, the all-powerful underworld, will spare no one; that no one is tall enough to block off the underworld; that no one is broad enough to cover over the underworld — the boundary that a man cannot cross at the final end of life. By the life of my own mother Ninsumun, and of my father, holy Lugalbanda! My personal god Enki, Lord Nudimmud, (3 lines fragmentary)I will complete …… there. I will bring …… there.”

Gilgameš and Ḫuwawa (Version A): c.1.8.1.5
“Utu, I have something to say to you — a word in your ear! I greet you — please pay attention! In my city people are dying, and hearts are full of distress. People are lost — that fills me with { (1 ms. adds:) wretched } dismay. I craned my neck over the city wall: corpses in the water make the river almost overflow. That is what I see. That will happen to me too — that is the way things go. No one is tall enough to reach heaven; no one can reach wide enough to stretch over the mountains. Since a man cannot pass beyond the final end of life, I want to set off into the mountains, to establish my renown there. Where renown can be established there, I will establish my renown; and where no renown can be established there, I shall establish the renown of the gods.”

Gilgameš and Ḫuwawa (Version A): c.1.8.1.5
“Look, Enkidu, two people together will not perish! A grappling-pole does not sink! No one can cut through a three-ply cloth! Water cannot wash someone away from a wall! Fire in a reed house cannot be extinguished! You help me, and I will help you — what can anyone do against us then? When it sank, when it sank, when the Magan boat sank, when the magilum barge sank, then at least the life-saving grappling-pole of the boat { was rescued } { (1 ms. has instead:) was not allowed to sink }! Come on, let’s get after him and get a sight of him!”

Lugalbanda in the mountain cave: c.1.8.2.1
He was alone and, even to his sharp eyes, there was not a single person to be seen. Sleep overcame the king (i.e. Lugalbanda) — sleep, the country of oppression; it is like a towering flood, like a hand demolishing a brick wall, a hand raised high, a foot raised high; covering like syrup that which is in front of it, overflowing like syrup onto that which is in front of it; it knows no overseer, knows no captain, yet it is overpowering for the hero. And by means of Ninkasi’s wooden cask (i.e. with the help of beer), sleep finally overcame Lugalbanda. He laid down ilinnuš, pure herb of the mountains, as a couch, he spread out a zulumḫi garment, he unfolded there a white linen sheet. There being no …… room for bathing, he made do with that place. The king lay down not to sleep, he lay down to dream — not turning back at the door of the dream, not turning back at the door-pivot. To the liar it talks in lies, to the truthful it speaks truth. It can make one man happy, it can make another man sing, but it is the closed tablet-basket of the gods. It is the beautiful bedchamber of Ninlil, it is the counsellor of Inana. The multiplier of mankind, the voice of one not alive — Zangara, the god of dreams, himself like a bull, bellowed at Lugalbanda. Like the calf of a cow he lowed:

Lugalbanda in the mountain cave: c.1.8.2.1
(Description of the demons) They make …… Enki, father of the gods; they are ……, they ……; like a string of figs dripping with lusciousness, they hang their arms. They are gazelles of Suen running in flight, they are the fine smooth cloths of Ninlil, they are the helpers of Iškur; they pile up flax, they pile up barley; they are wild animals on the rampage, they descend like a storm on a rebel land hated by Suen, indeed they descend like a storm. They lie up during all the long day, and during the short night they enter …… houses (?); during the long day, during the short night they lie in beds ……, they give ……. At dead of night they ……, in the breeze …… swallows of Utu; they enter into house after house, they peer into street after street, they are talkers, they are repliers to talkers, seeking words with a mother, replying to a great lady; they nestle at the bedside, they smite ……, when the black …… are stolen, they leave …… the doors and tables of humans, they change ……, they tie the door-pivots together. The hero who ……, Utu who ……, the heroic youth Utu of the good word (2 lines unclear) the incantation …… of the youth Utu, which the Anuna, the great gods, do not know, from that time ……, (3 lines unclear)

Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird: c.1.8.2.2
Then the men of Unug followed them as one man; they wound their way through the hills like a snake over a grain-pile. When the city was only a double-hour distant, the armies of Unug and Kulaba encamped by the posts and ditches that surrounded Aratta. From the city it rained down javelins as if from the clouds, slingstones numerous as the raindrops falling in a whole year whizzed down loudly from Aratta’s walls. The days passed, the months became long, the year turned full circle. A yellow harvest grew beneath the sky. They looked askance at the fields. Unease came over them. Slingstones numerous as the raindrops falling in a whole year landed on the road. They were hemmed in by the barrier of mountain thornbushes thronged with dragons. No one knew how to go back to the city, no was rushing to go back to Kulaba. In their midst Enmerkar son of Utu was afraid, was troubled, was disturbed by this upset. He sought someone whom he could send back to the city, he sought someone whom he could send back to Kulaba. No one said to him “I will go to the city.” No one said to him “I will go to Kulaba.” He went out to the foreign host. No one said to him “I will go to the city.” No one said to him “I will go to Kulaba.” He stood before the élite troops. No one said to him “I will go to the city.” No one said to him “I will go to Kulaba.” A second time he went out to the foreign host. No one said to him “I will go to the city.” No one said to him “I will go to Kulaba.” He stepped out before the élite troops.

Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird: c.1.8.2.2
After he had stood before the summoned assembly, within the palace that rests on earth like a great mountain Enmerkar son of Utu berated Inana: “Once upon a time my princely sister holy Inana summoned me in her holy heart from the bright mountains, had me enter brick-built Kulaba. Where there was a marsh then in Unug, it was full of water. Where there was any dry land, Euphrates poplars grew there. Where there were reed thickets, old reeds and young reeds grew there. Divine Enki who is king in Eridu tore up for me the old reeds, drained off the water completely. For fifty years I built, for fifty years I was successful. Then the Martu peoples, who know no agriculture, arose in all Sumer and Akkad. But the wall of Unug extended out across the desert like a bird net. Yet now, here in this place, my attractiveness to her has dwindled. My troops are bound to me as a cow is bound to its calf; but like a son who, hating his mother, leaves his city, my princely sister holy Inana has run away from me back to brick-built Kulaba. If she loves her city and hates me, why does she bind the city to me? If she hates the city and yet loves me, why does she bind me to the city? If the mistress removes herself from me to her holy chamber, and abandons me like an Anzud chick, then may she at least bring me home to brick-built Kulaba: on that day my spear shall be laid aside. On that day she may shatter my shield. Speak thus to my princely sister, holy Inana.”

Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird: c.1.8.2.2
Holy Lugalbanda answered her: “What Enmerkar son of Utu quoth and what he says, what your brother quoth and what he says, is: “Once upon a time my princely sister holy Inana summoned me in her holy heart from the mountains, had me enter brick-built Kulaba. Where there was a marsh then in Unug, it was full of water. Where there was any dry land, Euphrates poplars grew there. Where there were reed thickets, old reeds and young reeds grew there. Divine Enki who is king in Eridu tore up for me the old reeds, drained off the water completely. For fifty years I built, for fifty years I was successful. Then the Martu peoples, who know no agriculture, arose in all Sumer and Akkad. But the wall of Unug extended out across the desert like a bird net. Yet now, here in this place, my attractiveness to her has dwindled. My troops are bound to me as a cow is bound to its calf; but like a son who, hating his mother, leaves his city, my princely sister holy Inana has run away from me back to brick-built Kulaba. If she loves her city and hates me, why does she bind the city to me? If she hates the city and yet loves me, why does she bind me to the city? If the mistress removes herself from me to her holy chamber and abandons me like an Anzud chick, then may she at least bring me home to brick-built Kulaba: on that day my spear shall be laid aside. On that day she may shatter my shield. Speak thus to my princely sister, holy Inana.””

Lugalbanda and the Anzud bird: c.1.8.2.2
Now Aratta’s battlements are of green lapis lazuli, its walls and its towering brickwork are bright red, their brick clay is made of tinstone dug out in the mountains where the cypress grows.

Enmerkar and the lord of Aratta: c.1.8.2.3
“”But if he were actually to have barley poured into carrying-nets, and to have it loaded on the packasses at whose sides reserve donkeys have been placed, and were to have it heaped up in a pile in the courtyard of Aratta — were he really to heap it up in such a manner; and were Inana, the luxuriance of the grain pile, who is the ‘illuminator of the lands’, the ‘ornament of the settlements’, who adorns the seven walls, who is the heroic lady, fit for battle, who, as the heroine of the battleground, makes the troops dance the dance of Inana — were she actually to cast off Aratta as if to a carrion-pursuing dog, then in that case I should submit to him; he would indeed have made me know his preeminence; like the city, I in my smallness would submit to him.” So say to him.”

Enmerkar and the lord of Aratta: c.1.8.2.3
The eloquent elders wrung their hands in despair, leaning against the wall; indeed, they were even placing their treasuries (?) at the disposal of the lord. His sceptre …… in the palace ……. Openly he spoke out the words in his heart:

Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
“Let him submit to me, let him bear my yoke. If he submits to me, indeed submits to me, then as for him and me — he may dwell with Inana within a walled enclosure (?), but I dwell with Inana in the E-zagin of Aratta; he may lie with her on the splendid bed, but I lie in sweet slumber with her on the adorned bed, he may see dreams with Inana at night, but I converse with Inana awake. He may feed the geese with barley, but I will definitely not feed the geese with barley. I will …… the geese’s eggs in a basket and …… their goslings. The small ones into my pot, the large ones into my kettle, and the rulers of the land who submitted will consume, together with me, what remains from the geese.” This is what he said to Enmerkar.

Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
He entered the presence of the lord in { his holy ĝipar } { (1 ms. has instead:) in his most holy place }. { (1 ms. adds 1 line:) He entered the presence of Enmerkar in his most holy place. } “My king has sent me to you. The lord of Aratta, En-suḫgir-ana, has sent me to you.” { (some mss. add the lines:) “What does your king have to tell me, what does he have to add to me? What does En-suḫgir-ana have to tell me, what does he have to add to me?” “This is what my king said, what he added, this is what En-suḫgir-ana said, what he added.” } “This is what my king says: “Let him submit to me, let him bear my yoke. If he submits to me, indeed submits to me, then as for him and me — he may dwell with Inana within a walled enclosure (?), but I dwell with Inana in the E-zagin of Aratta; he may lie with her on the splendid bed, but I lie in sweet slumber with her on the adorned bed, he may see dreams with Inana at night, but I converse with Inana awake. He may feed the geese with barley, but I will definitely not feed the geese with barley. I will …… the geese’s eggs in a basket and …… their goslings. The small ones into my pot, the large ones into my kettle, and the rulers of the land who submitted will consume, together with me, what remains from the geese.””

The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
Gudea, in charge of building the house, placed on his head the carrying-basket for the house, as if it were a holy crown. He laid the foundation, set the walls on the ground. He marked out a square, aligned the bricks with a string. He marked out a second square on the site of the temple, saying,” It is the line-mark for a topped-off jar of 1 ban capacity (?).” He marked out a third square on the site of the temple, saying,” It is the Anzud bird enveloping its fledgling with its wings.” He marked out a fourth square on the site of the temple, saying,” It is a panther embracing a fierce lion.” He marked out a fifth square on the site of the temple, saying,” It is the blue sky in all its splendour.” He marked out a sixth square on the site of the temple, saying,” It is the day of supply, full of luxuriance.” He marked out a seventh square on the site of the temple, saying,” It is the E-ninnu bathing the Land with moonlight at dawn.”
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
As they placed wooden beams on the house, they looked like dragons of the abzu coming out all together, they were like …… of heaven ……, they were like huge serpents of the foothills ……. The reeds cut for the house were like mountain snakes sleeping together. Its upper parts were covered with luxuriant cedar and cypress, and they put white cedars in its inner room of cedar, marvellous to behold. They treated them with good perfume and precious oil. The mud-wall of the house was covered with the abundance (?) of the abzu and they tied its …… to it. The shrine of E-ninnu was thus placed in the …… hand of An.
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
The seven stones surrounding the house are there to take counsel with its owner. Its chapel for funerary offerings is as pure as the clean abzu. The stone basins set up in the house are like the holy room of the lustration priest where water never ceases to flow. Its high battlements where pigeons live is …… Eridug ……. E-ninnu offers rest to pigeons, it is a protective cover with large branches and a pleasant shade, with swallows and other birds chirping loudly there. It is Enlil’s E-kur when a festival takes place in it. The house’s great awesomeness settles upon the whole Land, its praise reaches to the highlands, the awesomeness of the E-ninnu covers all lands like a garment.
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
With his divine duties, namely to erect cities; to found settlements; to build guard-houses for the wall of the Iri-kug; to have its divine resident constable, the mace of white cedar with its enormous head, patrol around the house, Gudea introduced Lugal-ennu-iri-kugakam to Lord Ninĝirsu.
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
Like Utu, he rose on the horizon for the city. He wound (?) a turban (?) on his head. He made himself known by the eyes of holy An. He entered the shrine of E-ninnu with raised head like a bull and sacrificed there faultless oxen and kids. He set bowls in the open air and filled them full with wine. Ušumgal-kalama was accompanied by tigi drums, and ala drums roared for him like a storm. The ruler stepped onto the outer wall (?) and his city looked up to him in admiration. Gudea ……. (6 lines missing)

A praise poem of Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma C): c.2.4.1.3
City of the finest divine powers, lofty royal throne-dais! Shrine Urim, pre-eminent in Sumer, built in a pure place! City, your well-founded great wall has grown out of the abzu! City, beautiful as the sky, endowed with beauty, colourfully decorated in a great place! Shrine Urim, well-founded ĝipar, dwelling of An and Enlil! Your lofty palace is the E-kiš-nu-ĝal, in which the fates are determined! Your pilasters heavy with radiance tower over all the countries! Its terrace like a white cloud is a spectacle in the midst of heaven. Its …… like flashing lightning shines (?) inside a shrine. Like a single bull under the yoke, ……. Suen’s beloved pure table; E-kiš-nu-ĝal, Suen’s beloved pure table. The king, ornament of the royal offering place, occupies the august courtyard; Ur-Namma the exalted, whom no one dare oppose, ……. Urim, the wide city ……. (1 line unclear)

A praise poem of Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma C): c.2.4.1.3
I returned …… to Urim. I made …… return (?) to his country …… like ……. I loaded its grain on barges, I delivered it to its storehouses. I returned its …… citizens to their (?) homes. I …… their earth-baskets. I …… the savage hands of the Gutians, the ……. After I had made the evil-doers return (?) to their ……, I restored (?) the walls that had been torn down; my outstanding mind ……. …… the shrine of Urim ……. I am the foremost workman (?) of Enlil; I am the one who …… food offerings. (7 lines fragmentary or missing)

The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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!
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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 high, ……, 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)
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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.

canals

Enki and Ninḫursaĝa: c.1.1.1
When he was filling with water a second time, he filled the dykes with water, he filled the canals with water, he filled the fallows with water. The gardener in his joy rose (?) from the dust and embraced him: “Who are you who …… the garden?”

Enki and Ninmaḫ: c.1.1.2
In those days, in the days when heaven and earth were created; in those nights, in the nights when heaven and earth were created; in those years, in the years when the fates were determined; when the Anuna gods were born; when the goddesses were taken in marriage; when the goddesses were distributed in heaven and earth; when the goddesses …… became pregnant and gave birth; when the gods were obliged (?) …… their food …… dining halls; the senior gods oversaw the work, while the minor gods were bearing the toil. The gods were digging the canals and piling up the silt in Ḫarali. The gods, crushing the clay, began complaining about this life.

Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
He called to the rain of the heavens. He …… as floating clouds. He made …… rising at the horizon. He turned the mounds into fields ……. Enki placed in charge of all this him who rides on the great storms, who attacks with lightning bolts, the holy bar which blocks the entrance to the interior of heaven, the son of An, the canal inspector of heaven and earth — Iškur, the bringer of plenty, the son of An.

Enlil and Ninlil: c.1.2.1
There was a city, there was a city — the one we live in. Nibru was the city, the one we live in. Dur-ĝišnimbar was the city, the one we live in. Id-sala is its holy river, Kar-ĝeština is its quay. Kar- asar is its quay where boats make fast. Pu-lal is its freshwater well. Id-nunbir-tum is its branching canal, and if one measures from there, its cultivated land is 50 sar each way. Enlil was one of its young men, and Ninlil was one its young women. Nun-bar-še-gunu was one of its wise old women.

Enlil and Ninlil: c.1.2.1
Enlil went. Ninlil followed. Nunamnir went, the maiden chased him. Enlil approached SI.LU.IGI, the man of the ferryboat.” SI.LU.IGI, my man of the ferryboat! When your lady Ninlil comes, if she asks after me, don’t you tell her where I am!” Ninlil approached the man of the ferryboat.” Man of the ferryboat! When did your lord Enlil go by?”, she said to him. Enlil answered as the man SI.LU.IGI: “My lord has not talked with me at all, O loveliest one. Enlil has not talked with me at all, O loveliest one.” “I will make clear my aim and explain my intent. You can fill my womb once it is empty — Enlil, king of all the lands, has had sex with me! Just as Enlil is your lord, so am I your lady!” “If you are my lady, let my hand touch your ……!” “The seed of your lord, the bright seed, is in my womb. The seed of Suen, the bright seed, is in my womb.” “My master’s seed can go up to the heavens! Let my seed go downwards! Let my seed go downwards, instead of my master’s seed!” Enlil, as SI.LU.IGI, got her to lie down in the chamber. He had intercourse with her there, he kissed her there. At this one intercourse, at this one kissing he poured into her womb the seed of Enbilulu, the inspector of canals.

Enlil and Sud: c.1.2.2
(Enlil speaks:) “From now on, a woman shall be the ……; a foreign woman shall be the mistress of the house. May my beautiful wife, who was born by holy Nisaba, be Ezina, the growing grain, the life of Sumer. When you appear in the furrows like a beautiful young girl, may Iškur, the canal inspector, be your provider, supplying you with water from the ground. The height of the year is marked with your new prime flax and your new prime grain; Enlil and Ninlil procreate them (?) as desired. (1 line unclear) The harvest crop raises its head high for the great festival of Enlil. The scribal art, the tablets decorated with writing, the stylus, the tablet board, reckoning and calculating, adding and subtracting, the shining measuring rope, the ……, the head of the surveyor’s peg, the measuring rod, the marking of the boundaries, and the …… are fittingly in your hands. The farmer (?) ……. Woman, the proudest among the Great Princes, ……, from now on, Sud …… Ninlil …….” (unknown no. of lines missing)

Enlil and Sud: c.1.2.2
(Enlil speaks:) “From now on, a woman shall be the ……; a woman shall be the mistress of the house. May my favourite wife, who was born by holy Nisaba, be Ezina, the grain, the life of the Land. When she appears in the furrows like a beautiful young girl, may …… be her provider, watering her with water from the ground, as she grows prime grain and prime flax …… (1 line unclear) …… the harvest crop …… the great festival of Enlil ……. ……, the measuring rod, the marking of the boundaries, and the preparation of canals and levees are fittingly in your hands. The farmer entrusted cultivation into your hands. Proud woman, surpassing the mountains! You who always fulfil your desires — from now on, Sud, Enlil is the king and Ninlil is the queen. The goddess without name has a famous name now, …… (1 line unclear)May it be you who determine that destiny …… attends to it …….”

Inana and Enki: c.1.3.1
So Inana got hold again of the divine powers which had been presented to her, and the Boat of Heaven; and then for the sixth time the prince spoke to his minister Isimud, Enki addressed the Sweet Name of Heaven: “Isimud, my minister, my Sweet Name of Heaven!” “Enki, my master, I am at your service! What is your wish?” “Where has the Boat of Heaven reached now?” “It has just now reached the Surungal canal …….” “Go now! The Surungal canal …… are to take the Boat of Heaven away from her! …… from holy Inana.”

Inana and Enki: c.1.3.1
Holy Inana spoke to the minister Isimud: “How could my father have changed what he said to me? How could he have altered his promise as far as I am concerned? How could he have discredited his important words to me? Was it falsehood that my father said to me, did he speak falsely to me? Has he sworn falsely by the name of his power and by the name of his abzu? Has he duplicitously sent you to me as a messenger?” Now as these words were still in her mouth, he got the Surungal canal …… to seize hold of the Boat of Heaven. …… from holy Inana. Holy Inana adressed her minister Ninšubur: “Come, my good minister of E-ana! My fair-spoken minister! My envoy of reliable words! Water has never touched your hand, water has never touched your feet!”

Nanna-Suen’s journey to Nibru: c.1.5.1
Nanna-Suen will cause six hundred ewes to give birth to lambs for the house of Enlil, for he will cause their rams to be let loose among them, and he will distribute them along the banks of the Surungal canal. Ašimbabbar will cause six hundred she-goats to give birth to kids for the house of Enlil, for he will cause their bucks to be let loose among them, and he will distribute them along the banks of the Surungal canal. Nanna-Suen will cause six hundred cows to give birth to calves for the house of Enlil, for he will cause their bulls to be let loose among them, and he will distribute them along the banks of the Surungal canal.

Nanna-Suen’s journey to Nibru: c.1.5.1
“I, Nanna-Suen, have caused six hundred ewes to give birth to lambs for the house of Enlil, for I have caused their rams to be let loose among them, and I have distributed them along the banks of the Surungal canal; porter, open the house. I, Ašimbabbar, have caused six hundred she-goats to give birth to kids for the house of Enlil, for I have caused their bucks to be let loose among them, and I have distributed them along the banks of the Surungal canal; porter, open the house. I, Nanna-Suen, have caused six hundred cows to give birth to calves for the house of Enlil, for I have caused their bulls to be let loose among them, and I have distributed them along the banks of the Surungal canal; porter, open the house.”

Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
At that time, the good water coming forth from the earth did not pour down over the fields. The cold water (?) was piled up everywhere, and the day when it began to …… it brought destruction in the mountains, since the gods of the Land were subject to servitude, and had to carry the hoe and the basket — this was their corvée work — people called on a household for the recruitment of workers. The Tigris did not bring up its flood in its fullness. Its mouth did not finish in the sea, it did not carry fresh water. No one brought (?) offerings to the market. The famine was hard, as nothing had yet been born. No one yet cleaned the little canals, the mud was not dredged up. No one yet drew water for the fertile fields, ditch-making did not exist. People did not work (?) in furrows, barley was sown broadcast.

Ninĝišzida’s journey to the nether world: c.1.7.3
“The river of the nether world produces no water, no water is drunk from it. { (1 ms. adds:) Why should you sail? } The fields of the nether world produce no grain, no flour is eaten from it. { (1 ms. adds:) Why should you sail? } The sheep of the nether world produce no wool, no cloth is woven from it. { (1 ms. adds:) Why should you sail? } As for me, even if my mother digs as if for a canal, I shall not be able to drink the water meant for me. The waters of springtime will not be poured for me as they are for the tamarisks; I shall not sit in the shade intended for me. The dates I should bear like a date palm will not reveal (?) their beauty for me. I am a field threshed by my demon — you would scream at it. He has put manacles on my hands — you would scream at it. He has put a neck-stock on my neck — you would scream at it.”

The Flood story: c.1.7.4
After the …… of kingship had descended from heaven, after the exalted crown and throne of kingship had descended from heaven, the divine rites and the exalted powers were perfected, the bricks of the cities were laid in holy places, their names were announced and the …… were distributed. The first of the cities, Eridug, was given to Nudimmud the leader. The second, Bad-tibira, was given to the Mistress. The third, Larag, was given to Pabilsaĝ. The fourth, Zimbir, was given to the hero Utu. The fifth, Šuruppag, was given to Sud. And after the names of these cities had been announced and the …… had been distributed, the river ……, …… was watered, and with the cleansing of the small canals …… were established. (approx. 34 lines missing)

Gilgameš and Aga: c.1.8.1.1
“That man is not my king! Were that man my king, were that his angry brow, were those his bison eyes, were that his lapis lazuli beard, were those his elegant fingers, would he not cast down multitudes, would he not raise up multitudes, would multitudes not be smeared with dust, would not all the nations be overwhelmed, would not the land’s canal-mouths be filled with silt, would not the barges’ prows be broken, and would he not take Aga, the king of Kiš, captive in the midst of his army?”

Gilgameš and Aga: c.1.8.1.1
“That man is indeed my king.” It was just as he had said: Gilgameš cast down multitudes, he raised up multitudes, multitudes were smeared with dust, all the nations were overwhelmed, the land’s canal-mouths were filled with silt, the barges’ prows were broken, and he took Aga, the king of Kiš, captive in the midst of his army. { (1 ms. adds 1 line:) Unug’s able-bodied men …… that army. }

Lugalbanda in the mountain cave: c.1.8.2.1
When in ancient days heaven was separated from earth, when in ancient days that which was fitting ……, when after the ancient harvests …… barley was eaten (?), when boundaries were laid out and borders were fixed, when boundary-stones were placed and inscribed with names, when dykes and canals were purified, when …… wells were dug straight down; when the bed of the Euphrates, the plenteous river of Unug, was opened up, when ……, when ……, when holy An removed ……, when the offices of en and king were famously exercised at Unug, when the sceptre and staff of Kulaba were held high in battle — in battle, Inana’s game; when the black-headed were blessed with long life, in their settled ways and in their ……, when they presented the mountain goats with pounding hooves and the mountain stags beautiful with their antlers to Enmerkar son of Utu —

Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
A sorcerer whose skill was that of a man of Ḫamazu, Ur-ĝiri-nuna, whose skill was that of a man of Ḫamazu, who came over to Aratta after Ḫamazu had been destroyed, practised (?) sorcery in the inner chamber at the E-ĝipar. He said to minister Ansiga-ria: “My lord, why is it that the great fathers of the city, the founders in earlier times (?), do not ……, do not give advice. I will make Unug dig canals. I will make Unug submit to the shrine of Aratta. After the word of Unug ……, I will make the territories from below to above, from the sea to the cedar mountain, from above to the mountain of the aromatic cedars, submit to my great army. Let Unug bring its own goods by boat, let it tie up boats as a transport flotilla towards the E-zagin of Aratta.” The minister Ansiga-ria rose up in his city, he …….

Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
…… Ansiga-ria ……, if only …….” My lord, why is it that the great fathers of the city, the founders in earlier times (?), do not ……, do not give advice. I will make Unug dig canals. I will make Unug submit to the shrine of Aratta. After the word of Unug ……, I will make the territories from below to above, from the sea to the cedar mountain, from above to the mountain of the aromatic cedars, submit to my great army. Let Unug bring its own goods by boat, let it tie up boats as a transport flotilla towards the E-zagin of Aratta.”

The rulers of Lagaš: c.2.1.2
However, he did not do any work. He became smaller and smaller, ……; his sheep died (?) in the sheepfold. In those days, because the water of Lagaš was held back, there was famine in Ĝirsu. Canals were not dug, the levees and ditches were not cleaned. The large arable tracts were not ……, there was no water to irrigate abundantly all the cultivated fields: the people relied on rain; Ezina did not make dappled barley grow, furrows were not yet opened, they bore no yield; the high plain was not tilled, it bore no yield.

The rulers of Lagaš: c.2.1.2
None of the countries with numerous people libated emmer beer, liquor, ……, sweet liquor or …… for the gods. They did not till large fields for them with the plough. (10 lines missing)…… the canal. …… its (?) fields.

The rulers of Lagaš: c.2.1.2
In order to dig canals, to clean the levees and ditches, to …… the large arable tracts, to …… all the cultivated fields, he established for the people the pickaxe, the spade, the earth basket, and the plough, which mean life for the Land. Then he turned his attention to making barley sprout. He made the people stand before the maiden, and they raised their heads day and night, at the appointed times. Before Ezina who makes the seeds grow, they prostrated themselves and she made them grow (?). Before (?) Ezina who makes the dappled barley grow, they …… (33 lines missing or uncertain)

The rulers of Lagaš: c.2.1.2
…… acted for …… years. …… dug the canal ……, he acted for 2760 years.
The rulers of Lagaš: c.2.1.2
En-akigalaguba: his personal god was ……, he dug the canal Niĝin-ĝiš-tukuam, he acted for 1200 years. In those days there was no writing, ……, canals were not dug, earth baskets were not carried. In those days, ……, the people …… offerings of refined gold (2 lines uncertain)a good shepherd rose over the Land; he gave them (?) …… as a gift. En-Ninĝirsu-ki-aĝ, the son of En- akigalaguba: he acted for 1320 years. En-Enlile-ki-aĝ, the son of En-Ninĝirsu-ki-aĝ: he acted for 1800 years. Ur-Bau the son of En-Enlile-ki-aĝ: he acted for 900 years.

The rulers of Lagaš: c.2.1.2
(2 lines missing) he dug the Maḫ canal, the …… canal, the Piriĝgin-ĝen canal, the …… canal, the Piriĝ canal at the mouth of the Lugal canal, the Gana-hili-ana canal, the …… canal, and the Nanše-pada canal. To care, single-handedly, for the great arable lands, he dug irrigation ditches and ……, he acted for 2220 years. Ur-Nanše, the son of ……, who built the E-Sirara, her temple of happiness and Niĝin, her beloved city, acted for 1080 years. Ane-tum, the son of Ur-Nanše, in whose …… place the gods stood, who …… the land register of great Enlil: his personal god was Šul -utul, he acted for 690 years. ……, the son of Ane-tum: he acted for X + 360 years.

The rulers of Lagaš: c.2.1.2
En-entar-zid: his god was Meš-an-du (?), of the seed of ancient days, who had grown together with the city, he acted for 990 years. ……, the son of En-entar-zid: he dug the canal Urmaḫ-banda, and the canal Tabta-kug-ĝal, his personal god was Meš-an-du (?); his master Ninĝirsu commanded him to build his temple; he acted for 960 years.
Sargon and Ur-Zababa: c.2.1.4
To …… the sanctuary like a cargo ship; to …… its great furnaces; to see that its canals …… waters of joy, to see that the hoes till the arable tracts and that …… the fields; to turn the house of
Kiš, which was like a haunted town, into a living settlement again — its king, shepherd Ur-Zababa, rose like Utu over the house of Kiš. An and Enlil, however, authoritatively (?) decided (?) by their
holy command to alter his term of reigning and to remove the prosperity of the palace.
The cursing of Agade: c.2.1.5
“May foxes that frequent ruin mounds brush with their tails your uzga precinct, established for purification ceremonies! May the ukuku, the bird of depression, make its nest in your gateways,
established for the Land! In your city that could not sleep because of the tigi drums, that could not rest from its joy, may the bulls of Nanna that fill the pens bellow like those who wander in the
desert, the silent place! May the grass grow long on your canal-bank tow-paths, may the grass of mourning grow on your highways laid for waggons! Moreover, may …… wild rams (?) and alert
snakes of the mountains allow no one to pass on your tow-paths built up with canal sediment! In your plains where fine grass grows, may the reed of lamentation grow! { Agade, may brackish
water flow } { (1 ms. has instead:) May brackish water flow in the river, } where fresh water flowed for you! If someone decides,” I will dwell in this city!”, may he not enjoy the pleasures of a
dwelling place! If someone decides,” I will rest in Agade!”, may he not enjoy the pleasures of a resting place!”
The cursing of Agade: c.2.1.5
And before Utu on that very day, so it was! On its canal bank tow-paths, the grass grew long. On its highways laid for waggons, the grass of mourning grew. Moreover, on its tow-paths built up
with canal sediment, …… wild rams (?) and alert snakes of the mountains allowed no one to pass. On its plains, where fine grass grew, now the reeds of lamentation grew. Agade’s flowing fresh
water flowed as brackish water. When someone decided,” I will dwell in that city!”, he could not enjoy the pleasures of a dwelling place. When someone decided,” I will rest in Agade!”, he could
not enjoy the pleasures of a resting place!
The victory of Utu-ḫeĝal: c.2.1.6
After departing from the temple of Iškur, on the fourth day he set up camp (?) in Naĝsu on the Surungal canal, and on the fifth day he set up camp (?) at the shrine at Ili-tappê. He captured Ur-
Ninazu and Nabi-Enlil, generals of Tirigan sent as envoys to Sumer, and put them in handcuffs.
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
He stepped aboard his boat, directed it on the canal Id-Niĝin-dua towards her city Niĝin, and merrily cut through the waves of the river. After he had reached Bagara, the house extending as far as
the river, he offered bread, poured cold water and went to the master of Bagara to pray to him.
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
The fearsomeness of the E-ninnu covers all the lands like a garment. The house! It is founded by An on refined silver, it is painted with kohl, and comes out as the moonlight with heavenly
splendour. The house! Its front is a great mountain firmly grounded, its inside resounds with incantations and harmonious hymns, its exterior is the sky, a great house rising in abundance, its
outer assembly hall is the Anuna gods’ place of rendering judgments, from its …… words of prayer can be heard, its food supply is the abundance of the gods, its standards erected around the
house are the Anzud bird spreading its wings over the bright mountain. E-ninnu’s clay plaster, harmoniously blended clay taken from the Edin canal, has been chosen by its master Lord Ninĝirsu
with his holy heart, and was painted by Gudea with the splendours of heaven as if kohl were being poured all over it.
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
With his divine duties, namely to keep the house clean; to let hands always be washed; to serve water to the lord with holy hands; to pour beer into bowls; to pour wine into jars; to make emmer
beer in the brewery, the house of pure strength, fizz like the water of the Papsir canal; to make certain that faultless cattle and goats, grain-fed sheep, fresh bread and hind’s milk are available day
and night; to wake from sleep the noble one, Enlil’s beloved son, the warrior Ninĝirsu, by offering (?) food and drink, Gudea introduced Šul-šaga, the lord of the pure hand-washings (šu-luḫ), the
first-born son of E-ninnu, to Ninĝirsu.
The lament for Sumer and Urim: c.2.2.3
Mighty strength was set against the banks of the Id-nuna-Nanna canal. The settlements of the E-danna of Nanna, like substantial cattle-pens, were destroyed. Their refugees, like stampeding
goats, were chased (?) by dogs. They destroyed Gaeš like milk poured out to dogs, and shattered its finely fashioned statues.” Alas, the destroyed city, my destroyed house,” she cried bitterly.
Its sacred Ĝipar of en priesthood was defiled. Its en priestess was snatched from the Ĝipar and carried off to enemy territory.
The death of Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma A): c.2.4.1.1
As the early flood was filling the canals, their canal-inspector was already silenced (?); the mottled barley grown on the arable lands, the life of the land, was inundated. To the farmer, the fertile
fields planted (?) by him yielded little. Enkimdu, the lord of levees and ditches, took away the levees and ditches from Urim. (1 line fragmentary)As the intelligence and …… of the Land were lost,
fine food became scarce. The plains did not grow lush grass any more, they grew the grass of mourning. The cows ……, their …… cattle-pen has been destroyed. The calves …… their cows
bleated bitterly.
The death of Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma A): c.2.4.1.1
Lord Ninĝišzida ……. Ur-Namma, my …… who was killed, (1 line fragmentary)Among tears and laments, …… decreed a fate for Ur-Namma: “Ur-Namma ……, your august name will be called
upon. From the south to the uplands, …… the holy sceptre. Sumer …… to your palace. The people will admire …… the canals which you have dug, the …… which you have ……, the large and
grand arable tracts which you have ……, the reedbeds which you have drained, the wide barley fields which you ……, and the fortresses and settlements which you have ……. Ur-Namma, they
will call upon …… your name. Lord Nunamnir, surpassing ……, will drive away the evil spirits ……”
The death of Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma A): c.2.4.1.1
As the early flood was filling the canals, their canal-inspector ……. The mottled barley come forth on the arable lands, the life of the land, ……. To the farmer, the fertile fields ……. Enkimdu, the
lord of levees and ditches, ……. …… its numerous people ……. …… of the Land ……. The plains …… fine grass ……. …… heavy cows …… (approx. 4 lines missing)
A praise poem of Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma C): c.2.4.1.3
Since I have been adorned (?) with their rulership, no one imposes taxes on my abundant crops which grow tall. My commands bring about (?) joy in the great fortresses of the mountains. The joy
of my city and the territory (?) of Sumer delights me. I release water into the canals of Sumer, making the trees grow tall on their banks. I have lifted the yoke of its male prostitutes. (1 line
unclear)
A praise poem of Ur-Namma (Ur-Namma C): c.2.4.1.3
…… at a banquet with me in the city. …… joyful dance ……. I have brought abundance to Enlil’s temple on the king’s canal: I have directed ships both to Kar-ĝeština of Enlil and to the lapis-lazuli
quay of Nanna. Alcohol and syrup have been poured out before Enlil. To me, the shepherd Ur-Namma, let life be given as a reward! For Nanna, my master, I have built his temple; as if it were a
verdant hillside, I have set up the E-kiš-nu-ĝal in a great place. I have surrounded (?) its terrace with a gold and lapis-lazuli fence.
Ur-Namma the canal-digger (Ur-Namma D): c.2.4.1.4
Who will dig it? Who will dig it? Who will dig the Asila-kug canal? Who will dig the Pabi-luḫ canal? …… Ur-Namma will dig it. …… will dig it.
Ur-Namma the canal-digger (Ur-Namma D): c.2.4.1.4
Who will dig it? Who will dig it? Who will dig the canal? Who will dig the Keše-kug canal? Who will dig the canal? Who will dig the Pabi-luḫ canal? Who will dig the canal? Wealthy Ur-Namma will
dig it. The trustworthy, prosperous youth will dig it.
Ur-Namma the canal-digger (Ur-Namma D): c.2.4.1.4
ln my city I dug a canal of abundance and named it the Keše-kug canal; in Urim, I dug a canal of abundance and named it the Keše-kug canal. I named it the Pabi-luḫ canal, a lasting name worthy
to be praised. The watercourse of my city is full of fish, and the air above it is full of birds. The watercourse of Urim is full of fish, and the air above it is full of birds. In my city honey-plants are
planted, and the carp grow fat. In Urim honey-plants are planted, and the carp grow fat. The gizi reed of my city is so sweet that the cows eat them. The gizi reed of Urim is so sweet that the
cows eat them. Since my ……, it is teeming with fish and birds. In Urim ……. May the watercourse bring them (the fish) into my canal, may they be carried in baskets to him. May the
watercourse bring them into Urim, into my canal, may they be carried in baskets to him.
Ur-Namma the canal-digger (Ur-Namma D): c.2.4.1.4
(unknown no. of lines missing) (1 line fragmentary)Who will dig it? Who will dig the …… canal? Who will dig the canal? Who will dig the Ĝisala-ĝara canal? Who will dig the canal? Wealthy Ur-
Namma will dig it. Who will dig the canal? Prosperous Šulgi will dig it. Who will dig the canal?
Ur-Namma the canal-digger (Ur-Namma D): c.2.4.1.4
……, and I named it the Keše-kug canal. I named it the Pabi-luḫ canal, a lasting name worthy to be praised. The watercourse of my city is full of fish, and the air above it is full of birds. The city
of the Keše-kug canal is full of fish, and the air above it is full of birds. The watercourse of the Pabi-luḫ canal is full of fish, and the air above it is full of birds. Its abundance brings fish and birds
for me to the E-kiš-nu-ĝal. Its banks are lush with licorice, a honey-sweet plant to eat. Its arable tracts grow fine grain sprouting abundantly like a forest.
A praise poem of Šulgi (Šulgi B): c.2.4.2.02
I also know how to serve the gods, and I can cool the hearts of the Anuna gods. I am Šulgi, whose thick neck becomes fat (?) in majesty. Grand achievements that I have accomplished which
bring joy to my heart I do not cast negligently aside; therefore I give pride of place to progress. I give no orders concerning the development of waste ground, but devote my energies to extensive
building plots. I have planted trees in fields and in agricultural land; I devote my powers to dams, ……, ditches and canals. I try to ensure a surplus of oil and wool. Thanks to my efforts flax and
barley are of the highest quality. The thirst and hunger of the gods are a cause of the greatest anxiety to me; I, Šulgi, am the life of Sumer.
A praise poem of Šulgi (Šulgi E): c.2.4.2.05
On the day when the destiny of the lands was determined, the king who in his arrogance ……, in luxuriance Enlil and Ninlil ……, …… for the life of Sumer and Akkad, …… justice for the Land,
canals which he did not maintain ……, a city which he did not enlarge ……. The Great Mountain …… at their side …… great places. He did not …… the god of the palace. He …… to Enlil, and
did not offer great gifts in the E-kur, and did not …… the door-sockets of the gods. …… songs. What he achieves with his praise, what he creatively decoratives with his words, the singer …… in
his songs.
Šulgi and Ninlil’s barge: a tigi (?) to Ninlil (Šulgi R): c.2.4.2.18
Your rudder is a large kiĝ fish in the broad waters at the mouth of the Kisala canal. Your …… are a bison, inspiring terror on the great earth. Your tow-rope is the gliding Niraḫ extended over the
land. Your mooring pole is the heavenly bond, which ……. Your longside beams are a warrior striking straight against another warrior. Your prow is Nanna …… fair sky. Your stern is Utu …… at
the horizon. Your canopy (?) is …….
Šulgi and Ninlil’s barge: a tigi (?) to Ninlil (Šulgi R): c.2.4.2.18
Then light shines up at the edge of the Land as Utu rises refulgently. As the barge is travelling upstream, it …… radiates (?) and creaks (?). …… in the Ninmutum, the canal of the year of
abundance ……. As the carp make their bellies (?) sparkle, Enlil rejoices. As the mušu fish play noisily there, Ninlil rejoices. As the …… fish ……, Enki rejoices. As the suḫurmaš fish dart about,
Nanna rejoices. The Anuna gods rejoice at ……. …… lifts its head in the Euphrates; it ……. In the midst of …… ever-flowing water is carried. In joyous Nibru, he moors the holy barge at the
quay.
A tigi to Suen for Ibbi-Suen (Ibbi-Suen A): c.2.4.5.1
Lord whose divine powers cannot be dispersed, who emits an awe-inspiring radiance, great crown! Youthful Suen, light elevated by Enlil to shine forth in the firmament, wide-spreading majestic
light, floating over the deep (?), born of Ninlil, god whose appearance is ……, …… in the assembly of the lands! The moonlight ……, my Ibbi-Suen, ……. His princely divine powers embrace the
heavens; his …… is splendid, reaching the earth. Ašimbabbar ……, my Ibbi-Suen, to be canal inspector in the Land among the widespread people. Nanna has made the righteous crown shine
forth radiantly. Ašimbabbar has …… you the sceptre ……. My Ibbi-Suen, among the widespread people …….
An ululumama to Suen for Ibbi-Suen (Ibbi-Suen D): c.2.4.5.4
“Canal inspector, prince on the dais, prince with life-giving divine powers! There shall be no end to the butter and the milk of the cow in the cattle-pen — the shrine Urim, which you have chosen in
your heart, the august royal dwelling-place, the encouragement of the Land! It shall have an abundance of butter, fish, birds, births, copper and gold!”
Sîn-iddinam and Iškur (Sîn-iddinam E): c.2.6.6.5
He surveys these numerous people — the lord of prosperity who makes celebration plentiful, who gives sustenance to the Land, the merciful prince whose solicitude is kind, the protector of
Larsam, the helper of Sîn-iddinam on the battlefield, who stands in combat with the troops at his side, the great lord, the canal administrator of An and Enlil, whose destiny has no equal!
A hymn to Numušda for Sîn-iqīšam (Sîn-iqīšam A): c.2.6.7.1
Nunamnir, the lord who determines the destinies, has made your name august throughout the wide extent of foreign lands. He has assigned as a cult place for you the city of abundance, founded
in a favourable place: Kazallu, the mountain of plenty. By his unchangeable command he has ordered the fashioning of Kun-satu, your lordly dais. Father Enlil, the good shepherd who loves your
plans, has desired to make its forgotten lay-out visible again, and to restore its abandoned cities; he has ordered prince Sîn-iqīšam to accomplish it, and he has made (?) your cities and
settlements peaceful dwelling places. He has dredged your canals, and cleared up the levees and irrigation ditches, so that abundant water will never be lacking there. He has put in your …… and
made manifest all that is proper.
A prayer to Nanna for Rīm-Sîn (Rīm-Sîn E): c.2.6.9.5
May you preserve the king, the good provider. May you preserve Rīm-Sîn, the good provider. May his reign be a source of delight to you. Lengthen the days of his life, and give him kingship over
the restored land. For him gladden the heart of the land, for him make the roads of the land passable. For him make the Land speak with a single voice. May you preserve alive Rīm-Sîn, your
shepherd with the compliant heart. May his canals bring water for him, and may barley grow for him in the fields. May the orchards and gardens bring forth syrup and wine for him, and may the
marshes deliver fish and fowl for him in abundance. May the cattle-pens and sheepfolds teem with animals, and may rain from the heavens, whose waters are sporadic, be regular for him. May
the palace be filled with long life. O Rīm-Sîn, you are my king!
A prayer to Nanna for Rīm-Sîn (Rīm-Sîn G): c.2.6.9.7
May Nanna, the king of heaven and earth, fit perfectly onto your head the legitimate august headdress of kingship. May the august queen Ningal, who has saved you from famine thanks to her
benignity, let you live (?) an agreeable life for these days. As you receive from her holy hands the great splendour of kingship, may she place the august sceptre of heaven and earth in your
hands like a ceremonial robe. Rīm-Sîn, king of the Ki-ur, endowed with abundance, constant attendant! O king, may the Tigris bring you abundance, and may the upper (?) Nun canal be filled for
you with flowing water in its full flood. May the Nun canal, the good Nun canal, the life-bringing canal of the Land, bring you fish and fowl; from the ocean, the wide sea, from the standing
reservoirs, may it bring an unending supply of creatures for your kingship. In the wide open spaces of the wide desert, the four-footed animals ……. May water levels rise for you in the irrigation
ditches, with their levees, and the water-channels.
Letter from Aradĝu to Šulgi about irrigation work: c.3.1.03
Their various cities and { all their environs } { (1 ms. has instead:) their troops }, their canals, fields, arable tracts and their embankments and ditches, (1 line unclear) All the cities are listening to
my lord. (1 line unclear)
Letter from Puzur-Šulgi to Šulgi about the advance of the enemy: c.3.1.07
As for the sector (?) of { Šu-Numušda } { (1 ms. has instead:) Šu-Marduk } { (1 other ms. has instead:) Puzur-Numušda }, the ruler of Ĝirilumtura: five nindan lengths of it are cut off. As for the
sector (?) of Lugal-melem, the manager of the { Šegšeg watercourse } { (1 ms. has instead:) city of …… (the correct form of this name is not known) }: { 40 } { (1 ms. has instead:) 25 } { (1 other
ms. has instead:) 30 } { (1 further ms. has instead:) 45 (?) } nindan lengths of …… on top of it are no longer fixed. As for the sector (?) of Ka-kugani, the ruler of the territory of Murub: 45 nindan
lengths were destroyed when the opposite side was captured. As for the sector (?) of Tākil-ilišu, the { canal inspector } { (1 ms. has instead:) ruler } of the Ab-gal and Me-Enlila watercourses: 50
nindan lengths of the edge have been removed, and in the middle of it they collapsed.
Letter from Nanna-ki-aĝ to Lipit-Eštar about Gungunum’s troops: c.3.2.03
If my lord does not …… crews of highlanders, bows, arrows, small boats, fishermen ……, their tied-up leather sacks, weapons, …… and implements, the armaments of battle, then the troops will
construct brick structures by the bank of the Id-Amar-Suena watercourse, …… and dig a …… canal.
Letter from Ur-Enlila to a governor and temple administrator: c.3.3.04
I proposed,” { Water should be brought } { (1 ms. has instead:) The irrigation should be done } on the basis of one ditch for me, one ditch for you and one ditch for the governor,” but they did not
agree. Your canal has no workers but its ditch brings water. It brings water for me unchecked. My workforce is inadequate so send me five or { 10 } { (1 ms. has instead:) 60 } able-bodied men. It
is urgent.
A hymn to Ḫendursaĝa (Ḫendursaĝa A): c.4.06.1
So that the pot will be standing by, and so that beer will be filtered, the oldest brother of the seven stands by at your behest. He pays you your due from the pot standing by and from the jug with
the filtered beer. So that the bitter taste (?) will …… out of the river water and out of the water of orchards and fields, next of them the second stands by at your behest. He pays you your due
when the bitter taste is …… out of the river water and the out of the water of orchards and fields. So that the little fish may eat ……, and so that the big fish can be brought up onto the fields
(during irrigation), next of them the third stands by at your behest. He pays you your due from the little fish that have eaten ……, and from the big fish that have been brought up onto the fields.
So that water can be brought into the pure canal, and so that its basin will bubble (?) joyfully, next of them the fourth stands by at your behest. He pays you your due from the pure canal into
which water was brought, and from its joyfully bubbling (?) basin.
A balbale to Inana as Nanaya (Inana H): c.4.07.8
” { (mss. a and c add 2 lines:) My resting against the wall is one lamb. My bending over is one and a half giĝ. } Do not dig a canal, let me be your canal. Do not plough a field, let me be your field.
Farmer, do not search for a wet place, my precious sweet, let this be your wet place. ……, let this be your furrow. ……, let this be your desire! Caring for ……, I come ……. I come …… with
bread and wine.”
Dumuzid and Enkimdu: c.4.08.33
“In what is the farmer superior to me, the farmer to me, the farmer to me? Enkimdu, the man of the dykes and canals — in what is that farmer superior to me? Let him give me his black garment,
and I will give the farmer my black ewe for it. Let him give me his white garment, and I will give the farmer my white ewe for it. Let him pour me his best beer, and I will pour the farmer my yellow
milk for it. Let him pour me his fine beer, and I will pour the farmer my soured (?) milk for it. Let him pour me his brewed beer, and I will pour the farmer my whipped milk for it. Let him pour me his
beer shandy, and I will pour the farmer my …… milk for it.”
Dumuzid and Enkimdu: c.4.08.33
He was cheerful, he was cheerful, at the edge of the riverbank, he was cheerful. On the riverbank, the shepherd on the riverbank, now the shepherd was even pasturing the sheep on the
riverbank. The farmer approached the shepherd there, the shepherd pasturing the sheep on the riverbank; the farmer Enkimdu approached him there. Dumuzid …… the farmer, the king of dyke
and canal. From the plain where he was, the shepherd from the plain where he was provoked a quarrel with him; the shepherd Dumuzid from the plain where he was provoked a quarrel with him.
Dumuzid and Enkimdu: c.4.08.33
“Why should I compete against you, shepherd, I against you, shepherd, I against you? Let your sheep eat the grass of the riverbank, let your sheep graze on my stubble. Let them eat grain in the
jewelled (?) fields of Unug, let your kids and lambs drink water from my Surungal canal.”
A hymn to Nanše (Nanše A): c.4.14.1
The dream interpreteter went into the sacristy and made glittering silver ešde cups ready for her. The temple cook ……, and prepared hot and cold food for her. He …… of the oven for her (?) and
…… made the great shovel bellow for her. After the meat had arrived in large bowls and cool water had been brought from the Sirara-canal, after the festival trappings had arrived from Lagaš and
wine had been brought from the countryside, her great oven which vies with the great dining hall, Nanše’s shrine of food offerings, was humming.
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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.
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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.
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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.
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
(2 lines missing) (1 line fragmentary)An has …… your platform. E-maḫ (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, Ninḫursaĝa 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.
The debate between Hoe and Plough: c.5.3.1
“I build embankments, I dig ditches. I fill all the meadows with water. When I make water pour into all the reedbeds, my small baskets carry it away. When a canal is cut, or when a ditch is cut,
when water rushes out at the swelling of a mighty river, creating lagoons on all sides (?), I, the Hoe, dam it in. Neither south nor north wind can separate it.”
The debate between Copper and Silver: c.5.3.6
Silver answered Strong Copper: “You do not give blades to the …… wooden hoe that breaks the …… ground. The wooden …… tool mixes the clay (?) ……; wedges are not written by you. The
wooden shovels pile up the sheaves — match your measuring devices to the measuring stick! Just approach the cargo boat that …… the canal banks, just keep knocking on the great door of the
house at night! The coppersmith wrestles with stones and with beads — they are too hard and he has to stop because of you. Work away with your tines at the dirt by the oven instead!”
The debate between Copper and Silver: c.5.3.6
“When you keep hitting the soil, like someone falling from a roof; when they carry (?) you out from the big brambles and …… thorns, like a dog with a ……, as if they were catching a thief at
midnight; when the great, turbulent waters, regularly, yearly (?), fill the desert; when they carry the grain from the dry ground to the canal banks; when they carry the sesame from the furrows to
the canal banks; when they carry to the …… red onions, white onions, edible bulbous leeks (?) and turnips flourishing in the furrows; when they transport the salt and spice seeds lying at the
edges of the fields; when they feed the various grains to cattle and sheep; when they bring …… to the pigs born at the fattener’s; when they feed dough to the porcupine’s litter; when they crush
coarse flour for the huge wild boars, straight-tailed fish, il (?) fish, carp, fish with bellies (?), giraba fish laying their eggs in large amounts in the shallows (?), gurgal birds, suda birds, large u birds
from the middle of the sea, eggs of ducks and all kinds of birds, all the good things which thrive in the desert, at peace there. (unknown no. of lines missing)”
The song of the ploughing oxen: an ululumama to Ninurta: c.5.5.5
ellu mallu! Enkimdu, he of dykes and canals, says to the lord ……,” My king, I want to ……. I will irrigate your fertile fields ……. The early rain ……” (11 lines fragmentary or missing)
The song of the ploughing oxen: an ululumama to Ninurta: c.5.5.5
ellu mallu! The harrow, the comb of my field, must be fitted with large teeth to harrow the holy field. The mattock must dig the edges. Remove the stumps! The mattock must dig the edges. Once
you have taken down from the beam your holy plough which was hanging from a beam, a skilled carpenter must tighten its bonds. …… its side boards. (12 lines missing or fragmentary)……
noises. …… the measuring reed in his right hand. Enkimdu, he of dykes and canals ……, should …… for you in …….
The farmer’s instructions: c.5.6.3
When you have to prepare a field, inspect the levees, canals and mounds that have to be opened. When you let the flood water into the field, this water should not rise too high in it. At the time
that the field emerges from the water, watch its area with standing water; it should be fenced. Do not let cattle herds trample there.
The home of the fish: c.5.9.1
Enter, my beloved son! Enter, my fine son! As if you were in a river with brackish water, don’t go investigating any canals! As if you were in silt settled on the riverbed, may you not be able to get
up! As if you were in flowing water, you should not fix your bed! The moonlight should not enter that house!
Proverbs: collection 5: c.6.1.05
A sick donkey went up ……: “How long have you not felt well? If until now you have not felt well, …… there is a canal inspector ……. Let him come to you, and your bones will feel well again.
(unknown no. of lines missing)”

My brother, I will go round in the streets …….” (The demons said:) “Unless Geštin-ana is aware of Dumuzid’s whereabouts, she is indeed looking frightened! She is indeed screaming in a frightened way! Come, let us go to the sheepfold and cow-pen!” When the first demon entered the sheepfold and cow-pen, {he set fire to the bolt} {(1 ms. has instead:) he shouted ……}. When the second entered the sheepfold and cow-pen, he set fire to the shepherd’s stick. When the third entered the sheepfold and cow-pen, he removed the cover of the holy churn.

O ……, bolt founded by An,

Then as soon as the water in the bed of the Euphrates had receded, his tomb was built there from stone. Its walls were built from stone. Its door leaves were installed in the sockets (?) of the entrance. Its bolt and thresholds were hard stone. Its door-pivots were hard stone.

Probably, gišsag-kul is the wooden beam used to close a door. It needs to be a larger element of the door since it can be mentioned separately in house-selling contracts (see also Potts 1990, p.191, who prefers the translation ‘bolt’).

The first two rulers, Anu and Enlil, receive heaven and earth respectively; the third, Enki or Ea, takes control of ‘the bolts, the trap-bars of the sea’

Mesopotamian tradition speaks similarly of “the bolt, the bar of the sea” which is given in Enki’s care to keep the waters in place within the cosmic house

Engur is hard to separate from gur, ‘flood,’ synonym of uru (TEgunu); one is tempted to explain it as ‘-gur, ‘house of the inundation.’ Similarly, the Egyptian name of the watery abyss is tnwuw (Natl), properly ‘inundation.’ Both countries being alluvial, water was considered the primordial element, from which the earth arose; Engur is the ‘mother of heaven and earth.’

Ugaritic texts and the Bible

In texts uncovered at Ugarit, references to “Zephon” (Tsephon) have been identified with the Syrian mountain Jebel Aqra. In these texts, the mountain is the holy place of the gods, where the god known as the “Lord” reigns over the divine assembly. The word “Zephon” is a common Semitic word for “North”, and some have considered it to be possibly cognate with the Hebrew name Zion (Tsiyyon). Psalm 48:2 mentions both terms together: “…Har-Tsiyyon yarktey Tsafon…” (“Mount Zion on the Northern side”), usually taken to refer to the north side of Mount Zion, not necessarily indicating that Zion is found to the North.

Zechariah 4:7, seems to refer to this hill, but is also ambiguous, depending on the punctuation. In Hebrew it reads “Mi attah Har-haGadol lifnei Zerubbabel l’mishor…”; the plain text has no punctuation, but the Masoretic text puts a pause following Har-haGadol, to mean “What are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel, [you will become just] a plain…” However, if the pause is placed following Zerubbabel, it would mean instead “What are you, “great mountain” before Zerubbabel? [You are just] a plain…” Since this hill is where Zerubbabel built the Second Temple, it appears to be a reference to the “Daughter of Zion” (the hill), as distinct from Zion (the mountain).

Re-emergence of Atlantis
“Judah would lead to the east, followed by Issachar and Zebulun. Reuben would lead to the south, followed by Simon and Gad. Ephraim would lead to the west, followed by Menasseh and Benjamin. Dan would lead to the north, followed by Asher and Naftali.”
The tribe of Judah led to the east, corresponding to the angelic camp led by Gabriel. Judah was a symbol of strength and firm discipline as is Gabriel, the angel of divine strength.
The tribe of Reuben led to the south, corresponding to the angelic camp led by Michael. Reuben was a symbol of kindness; he was the first to rush to Joseph’s rescue. This corresponds to Michael, the angel of divine benevolence.
The tribe of Ephraim led to the west, corresponding to the angelic camp led by Raphael. Generation later, the tribe of Ephraim would prevent Jews from the north of Israel from visiting the Temple in Jerusalem. They never repented for this sin and were never spiritually healed. They were therefore aligned with Raphael, the angel of divine healing.
The tribe of Dan led to the north, corresponding to the angelic camp led by Uriel. The tribe of Dan actually implemented Ephraim’s ban on the pilgrimage and denied themselves access to spiritual light. They were therefore aligned with Uriel, the angel of divine light.

The word Cain used was “ad-aw-maw” meaning “the ground”: God had told him that his farming would no longer be successful, so Cain said “Thou hast driven me off of the ground.” (You have probably noticed that Cain’s descendants today are not farmers. They run pawnshop and other money lending institutions.)

When we come to Genesis 7, where it is talking about the “flood”, wherever it says that the flood covered “the earth”, the Hebrew word used in the original writing by Moses was “eh-rats”, meaning “the land”. The flood did cover the particular land where it occurred. That is, it was a local flood which covered one particular region or land, not the whole earth.

Again, notice that it specifies that “15 cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” In ancient times two different lengths of the cubit were in use, the sacred cubit of 25 inches and the common cubit of 20-5/8 inches. Therefore, the waters rose above the tops of the mountains it is speaking of by either 25 feet 9 inches or 31 feet 3 inches according to which cubit you use. If this meant that all the mountains on earth were covered, the waters would have to cover Mount Everest, which is nearly six miles high, therefore, all the earth would be covered by water six miles deep. In that case, where could it have run off to when the flood subsided? No, I don’t mean that the Bible was that badly mistaken, only the translators made this mistake. The translators took the Hebrew word “eh-rets” which means “that land” and mistranslated it to mean the whole world. A little later, we shall look over the evidence which proves where “that land” was.

Therefore, the Bible is correct in stating that the Flood covered only “eh-rets”, “that land”. The translators are wrong when they change the meaning of what Moses really wrote in Genesis 7, and say that the flood covered all “the earth”.

This leaves us ready to inquire where the flood did occur. For this, we will have to start with Adam and Eve and trace where they and their descendants went. They started out in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:10-14 tells us that a river went out of Eden and this river divided into four streams. It names these four rivers: Pison and Gihon (Neither of which can be identified among the rivers existing today), and Hiddekel (which is the ancient name of the Tigris River) and the Euphrates. The Tigris and Euphrates rise in what is today extreme southeastern Turkey, a little north of modern Iraq. Making some allowances for the fact that many rivers have changed their courses considerably in the course of several thousand years, this still placed the Garden of Eden at the northern end of ancient Akkad.

When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:24, tells us that God placed cherubim with a flaming sword at the east side of the Garden of Eden, to keep Adam and Eve from returning and having access to the tree of life. If this guard was to accomplish anything, it must have been placed between Adam and the Garden of Eden. So we see that Adam and Eve were driven out to the east. From Eden, Adam’s course would naturally have led him across northern Iran, around the southern end of the Caspian Sea, into what was formerly called Chinese Turkistan and today is known as Sinkiang province in the extreme west of China.

Hey! Hoe, Hoe, Hoe, tied up with string;
Hoe, made from poplar, with a tooth of ash;
Hoe, made from tamarisk, with a tooth of sea-thorn;
Hoe, double-toothed, four-toothed;
Hoe, child of the poor, bereft even of a loin-cloth;

Hoe picked a quarrel with the Plow.
Hoe and Plow – this is their dispute.

Hoe cried out to Plow
“O Plow, you draw furrows – what is your furrowing to me?
You make clods – what is your clod making to me?
You cannot dam up water when it escapes.
You cannot heap up earth in the basket.
You cannot press clay or make bricks.
You cannot lay foundations or build a house.
You cannot strengthen an old wall’s base.
You cannot put a roof on a man’s house.
O Plow, you cannot straighten a street.
O Plow, you draw furrows – what is your furrowing to me?
You make clods – what is your clod-making to me?”

The Plow cries out to the Hoe
“I, I am Plow, I was fashioned by the great powers, assembled by noblest hands!
I am the mighty registrar of God Enlil!
I am the faithful farmer of Mankind!
At the celebration of my harvest-festival in the fields,
Even the King slaughters cattle for me, adding sheep!
He pours out libations for me, and offers the collected liquids!
Drums and tympans sound!
The king himself takes hold of my handle-bars;
My oxen he harnesses to the yoke;
Great noblemen walk at my side;
The nations gaze at me in admiration,
The Land watches me in Joy!

The furrow I draw is set upon the plain as an adornment;
Before my sheaves, erected in the fields,
Even the teeming herds of Shakan kneel down!
Before my ripened grain, ready for harvesting…
The shepherd’s churn is filled to the brim;
With my sheaves scattered over the fields
The sheep of Dumuzi are sated.
My stacks adorning the plains
Are like so many yellow hillocks inspiring awe.
Stacks and mounds I pile up for Enlil;
Dark emmer I amass for him.
I fill the storehouses of mankind;
Even the orphans, the widows and the destitute
Take their reed baskets
And glean my scattered grains.
My straw, piled up in the fields
People even come to collect that,
While the beasts of Shakan go about.

O Hoe, miserable hole-digger, with your pathetic long tooth,
O Hoe, always burrowing in the mud,
O Hoe, whose head is always in the dust,
O Hoe-and-brickmold, you spend your days in mud, nobody ever cleans you!

Dig holes! Dig crevices! O navel-man dig!
O hoe, you of the poor man’s hand, you are not fit for the hand of the noble!
The slave’s hand is adorned with your head!
And you dare to insult me?
When I go out to the plains, every eye is full of admiration”

Then the Hoe cried out to the Plow:
“O Plow, my smallness – what is that to me?
My humble state – what is that to me?
My dwelling at the river bank – what is that to me?
At Enlil’s place, I precede you!
In Enlil’s temple, I stand in front of you!

I make ditches, I make canals;
I fill the meadows with water;
And when the water floods the canebrake,
My small baskets carry it away.
When a canal is cut, or a ditch,
And the water rushes out as a rising flood,
Making everything into a swamp,
I, the Hoe, dam it in,
So that neither southern nor northern storm can blow it away.

The fowler samples eggs;
The fisherman catches fish;
And they all empty bird-traps
Thus is wealth spread everywhere by my doing.

Moreover, after the water is drained from the meadows
And the work in the moist earth is to be taken in hand,
O Hoe, I come out to the field – I start that before you!
The opening up of the field – I start that before you!
The sides and the bottom of the dyke I clean for you!
The weeds in the field I heap up for you!
Stumps and roots I heap up for you!
Only then you work the field, you have your go!
Your oxen are six, your people four – you yourself are merely the eleventh!
The side-boards take away the field.
And you want to compare yourself with me?

When you finally come down to the field after me,
Your single furrow already gladdens your eye!
When you finally put your head to the task,
Your tongue gets caught by brambles and thorns.
Your tooth breaks, and your tooth is renewed;
You will not keep it for long.
Your plowman calls you “This Plow is broken again!”
And , again, carpenters have to be hired, people…
The whole chapter of workers is milling around you.
The harness-makers scrape another green hide for you,
Twisting it with pegs for you.
Without stopping they turn the tourniquet for you,
And finally a foul hide is put upon year head.

Your work is slight, though your ways are great!
My turn of duty is twelve months;
The time you are idle is eight months;
So you are absent twice as long as you are present!

And then, on the boat you make a hut;
When you are put aboard, your ‘hands’ sever the boards
So that your face has to be pulled out of the water like a wine-jar.
And only after I have make a pile of logs
Can my smoke and fire dry you out!
Your seeding-funnel – what is then its importance?
Your ‘important ones’ are thrown upon a pile
As implements to be destroyed.
But I, I am the Hoe, and live in your city!
No one is more honored than I am.
I am but a servant following his master;
I am but the one who builds the house for his king;
I am but the one who broadens the stalls, who expands the sheepfolds!

I press clay, I make bricks;
I lay foundations, I build houses;
I strengthen the base of an old wall;
I repair the roof of the honest man;
I, I am Hoe, I lay out the streets!

When I have thus gone through the city and built its solid walls,
And have made appear the temples of the great gods therein,
Embellished them with red, yellow and streaked wash,
I go to construct the royal dwelling in the city,
Where overseers and captains dwell.

When the weakened clay has been built up, the fragile clay buttressed,
They can rest because of me in a cool, well-built dwelling.
And when the fire-side makes the hoe gleam, and they lie on their side,
You are not to go to their feast!
They eat and drink;
Their wages are paid out to them Thus I enable the laborer to support his wife and children.
For the boat-man I make an oven, I heat pitch for him;
And when I have fashioned Magur and Magilum boats,
I have enabled the boatman to support his wife and children.

For the householder I plant the garden;
And when the garden has been encircled, the fences been put up, the agreements reached,
People again take up the hoe.
When wells have been dug, and poles set up,
The bucket-bar hung, I straighten the beds
And fill their ditched with water.
When the apple-tree has blossomed and the fruits appear,
These fruits are put up as an ornament in the temples of the gods.
Thus I enable the gardener to support wife and children!

When I work at the river with the plow, strengthening the banks,
Building a hut on its banks,
Those who have passed the day in the fields
And the shift which has done the same at night,
They enter their huts.
They revive themselves as in a well-built city;
The water-skins I made they use to pour water
And so they put life into their hearts again.

And you, Plow, think to insult me (by saying) ‘Go, dig a hole!?’
On the plains, where no moisture is found,
When I have dug up the sweet water,
The thirsty ones come back to life at the side of my wells!

And what then says the one to the other? What do they tell one another?
‘The shepherd’s hoe is surely set up as an ornament on the plains!
For when An had ordered his punishment,
And the bitterness had been ordained over Sumer,
And the waters of the well-built house had collected in the swamp,
And Enlil had frowned upon the Land,
Even the shepherd’s crook of Enlil had been make felt,
When great Enlil had acted thus,
Enlil did not restrain his hand.
Then the Hoe, with its single tooth, struck the dry earth!

As for us, the winter’s cold, as the locust swarm, you lift!
The heavy hand of summer as of winter you take away.
O Hoe, you binder, you bind the sheaf!
O bird-trap, you binder, you bind the reed-basket!
The lone workman, even the destitute, is provided for;
The grains… are spread.”
Then the Storm spoke a word

“The millstone lies still, while the pestle pounds!
From side-plate and foot-plate good results may be had!
Why should the sieve quarrel with the strainer?
Why make another angry?
Ashnan, can a single one reap your neck?
Ripe grain, why should you compare?”

Then Enlil spoke to the Hoe

“O hoe, do not be so angry!
Do not cry out so loud!
Of the Hoe, is not Nisaba its overseer, its captain?
Hoe, whether five or ten shekel make your price,
Or whether one-third or one half mina,
Like a maid-servant, always ready, you will fulfill your task!”

Dispute of the Hoe and the Plow.
Because the Hoe was greater than the Plow,
Praise be to Nisaba.

There is indication that there was more than one Eridu, and that the traditional site of Erech/Uruk was based on an earlier Eridu, that is, it was a “New-Eridu” if you will. The original Eridu seems to have been located in the Absu/Abyss/Underworld.

In fact, there seems to be an “Eridu/Erech” in every major region of the Near East. For example, the city of On (An/Anna) in Egypt is comparable to the E-Anna of Erech. The world’s oldest continuously occupied city of Jericho is Y-erech-ow in Hebrew, the Eridu of Canaan. The ancient cities of Urartu and Aratta are other examples

Seven Sages

It is not clear which gods correspond to which sages. Possible choices follow:

1) Uan (u: many meanings; an: “high, heaven”)

a) An/Anu
b) Ea/Enki, Oannes?
c) Adapa

2) Uanduga (duga: “establish foundation”; di: “judgment”; di-ku: “decisions, judgments”; du/dug: “gladness”; dug-gur: “sit down, rest”, du: “afar” (according to Sitchin))

a) Enlil
b) Adapa
c) Ea/Enki/Nudimmud (of Eridu)

3) Enmeduga (me: “office, function”; me-du-(du-)ga: “the good me’s/functions”)

a) Ea/Enki
b) Marduk, namesake of Enmerkar
c) Nannar/Sin/Suen/Enzu/Nugig (of Badtibira)

4) Enmegalama (galama: “great/exalted one”)

a) Nannar/Sin/Suen/Enzu
b) Marduk
c) Ninhursag, Ningal, Gula?

5) Enmebuluga (bulug: “sprout, grow big”)

a) Nintu/Ninhursag, Belit?, Bau?, Gula?
b) Dumuzi-Sib
c) Marduk, Enbilulu/Asalluhi?
d) Ninurta, Pabilsag (of Larak)

6) Anenlilda

a) Innana, Anunitu
b) Ninlil, Lilith? (Nin = “Queen”, Enlil = Nun-amnir, Enlil-da = “Enlil-ship”?)
c) Ninurta (Enlil-da = “protector of Enlil”?)
d) Utu-Shamash (of Sippar)

7) Utu-Abzu

a) Utu-Shamash, Nabu
b) Sud/Ansud the Goddess or Zin-suddu/Ziu-suddu/Ziusudra/Adapa (of Shuruppak)

Enki and Ninḫursaĝa: c.1.1.1
“May the land of Tukriš hand over to you gold from Ḫarali, lapis lazuli and ……. May the land of Meluḫa load precious desirable cornelian, meš wood of Magan and the best abba wood into large ships for you. May the land of Marḫaši yield you precious stones, topazes. May the land of Magan offer you strong, powerful copper, dolerite, u stone and šumin stone. May the Sea-land offer you its own ebony wood, …… of a king. May the ‘Tent’-lands offer you fine multicoloured wools. May the land of Elam hand over to you choice wools, its tribute. May the manor of Urim, the royal throne dais, the city ……, load up into large ships for you sesame, august raiment, and fine cloth. May the wide sea yield you its wealth.”
Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
Enki, the king of the Abzu, rejoicing in great splendour, justly praises himself: “My father, the king of heaven and earth, made me famous in heaven and earth. My elder brother, the king of all the lands, gathered up all the divine powers and placed them in my hand. I brought the arts and crafts from the E-kur, the house of Enlil, to my Abzu in Eridug. I am the good semen, begotten by a wild bull, I am the first born of An. I am a great storm rising over the great earth, I am the great lord of the Land. I am the principal among all rulers, the father of all the foreign lands. I am the big brother of the gods, I bring prosperity to perfection. I am the seal-keeper of heaven and earth. I am the wisdom and understanding of all the foreign lands. With An the king, on An’s dais, I oversee justice. With Enlil, looking out over the lands, I decree good destinies. He has placed in my hands the decreeing of fates in the place where the sun rises. I am cherished by Nintur. I am named with a good name by Ninḫursaĝa. I am the leader of the Anuna gods. I was born as the firstborn son of holy An.”
Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
The lord established a shrine, a holy shrine, whose interior is elaborately constructed. He established a shrine in the sea, a holy shrine, whose interior is elaborately constructed. The shrine, whose interior is a tangled thread, is beyond understanding. The shrine’s emplacement is situated by the constellation the Field, the holy upper shrine’s emplacement faces towards the Chariot constellation. Its terrifying sea is a rising wave, its splendour is fearsome. The Anuna gods dare not approach it. …… to refresh their hearts, the palace rejoices. The Anuna stand by with prayers and supplications. They set up a great altar for Enki in the E-engura, for the lord ……. The great prince ……. …… the pelican of the sea. (1 line unclear)
Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
He filled the E-kur, the house of Enlil, with goods of all sorts. Enlil was delighted with Enki, and Nibru was glad. Enki placed in charge of all this, over the wide extent of the sea, her who sets sail …… in the holy shrine, who induces sexual intercourse ……, who …… over the enormous high flood of the subterranean waters, the terrifying waves, the inundation of the sea ……, who comes forth from the ……, the mistress of Sirara, …… — Nanše.
Enki and the world order: c.1.1.3
“Nanše, the august lady, who rests her feet on the holy pelican, is to be the fisheries inspector of the sea. She is to be responsible for accepting delectable fish and delicious birds from there to go to Nibru for her father Enlil.”
Enki’s journey to Nibru: c.1.1.4
“Enki’s beloved Eridug, E-engura whose inside is full of abundance! Abzu, life of the Land, beloved of Enki! Temple built on the edge, befitting the artful divine powers! Eridug, your shadow extends over the midst of the sea! Rising sea without a rival; mighty awe-inspiring river which terrifies the Land! E-engura, high citadel (?) standing firm on the earth! Temple at the edge of the engur, a lion in the midst of the abzu; lofty temple of Enki, which bestows wisdom on the Land; your cry, like that of a mighty rising river, reaches (?) King Enki.”
Enki’s journey to Nibru: c.1.1.4
Like the sea, he is awe-inspiring; like a mighty river, he instils fear. The Euphrates rises before him as it does before the fierce south wind. His punting pole is { Nirah } { (some mss. have instead:) Imdudu }; his oars are the small reeds. When Enki embarks, the year will be full of abundance. The ship departs of its own accord, with tow rope held (?) by itself. As he leaves the temple of Eridug, the river gurgles (?) to its lord: its sound is a calf’s mooing, the mooing of a good cow.
Inana and Ebiḫ: c.1.3.2
An, in delight at Inana, stepped forward and took his place. He filled the seat of honour of heaven.
Ninurta’s return to Nibru: a šir-gida to Ninurta: c.1.6.1
He hung the Six-headed wild ram on the dust-guard. He hung the Warrior dragon on the seat. He hung the Magilum boat on the ……. He hung the Bison on the beam. He hung the Mermaid on the foot-board. He hung the Gypsum on the forward part of the yoke. He hung the Strong copper on the inside pole pin (?). He hung the Anzud bird on the front guard. He hung the Seven-headed serpent on the shining cross-beam.
Ninurta’s exploits: a šir-sud (?) to Ninurta: c.1.6.2
At that time, the good water coming forth from the earth did not pour down over the fields. The cold water (?) was piled up everywhere, and the day when it began to …… it brought destruction in the mountains, since the gods of the Land were subject to servitude, and had to carry the hoe and the basket — this was their corvée work — people called on a household for the recruitment of workers. The Tigris did not bring up its flood in its fullness. Its mouth did not finish in the sea, it did not carry fresh water. No one brought (?) offerings to the market. The famine was hard, as nothing had yet been born. No one yet cleaned the little canals, the mud was not dredged up. No one yet drew water for the fertile fields, ditch-making did not exist. People did not work (?) in furrows, barley was sown broadcast.
Ninurta and the turtle: c.1.6.3
Lord Nudimmud honoured him duly: “Hero, no god among your brother gods could have acted so. As for the bird which your mighty weapon captured, from now to eternity you will keep your foot placed on its neck. May the great gods give your heroic strength its due. May your father Enlil do whatever you command. May Ninmena not fashion your equal (?). May no one be as revered as you and no god extend an upraised hand before you. Monthly may your house (?) regularly receive tributes in the shrine, in the abzu. May An (?) proclaim your name in the seat of honour.”
Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
A sorcerer whose skill was that of a man of Ḫamazu, Ur-ĝiri-nuna, whose skill was that of a man of Ḫamazu, who came over to Aratta after Ḫamazu had been destroyed, practised (?) sorcery in the inner chamber at the E-ĝipar. He said to minister Ansiga-ria: “My lord, why is it that the great fathers of the city, the founders in earlier times (?), do not ……, do not give advice. I will make Unug dig canals. I will make Unug submit to the shrine of Aratta. After the word of Unug ……, I will make the territories from below to above, from the sea to the cedar mountain, from above to the mountain of the aromatic cedars, submit to my great army. Let Unug bring its own goods by boat, let it tie up boats as a transport flotilla towards the E-zagin of Aratta.” The minister Ansiga-ria rose up in his city, he …….
Enmerkar and En-suḫgir-ana: c.1.8.2.4
…… Ansiga-ria ……, if only …….” My lord, why is it that the great fathers of the city, the founders in earlier times (?), do not ……, do not give advice. I will make Unug dig canals. I will make Unug submit to the shrine of Aratta. After the word of Unug ……, I will make the territories from below to above, from the sea to the cedar mountain, from above to the mountain of the aromatic cedars, submit to my great army. Let Unug bring its own goods by boat, let it tie up boats as a transport flotilla towards the E-zagin of Aratta.”
The Sumerian king list: c.2.1.1
In E-ana, Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer, the son of Utu, became lord and king; he ruled for { 324 } { (ms. P2+L2 has instead:) 325 } years. Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer entered the sea and disappeared. Enmerkar, the son of Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer, the king of Unug, { who built Unug } { (mss. L1+N1, P2+L2 have instead:) under whom Unug was built }, became king; he ruled for { 420 } { (ms. TL has instead:) 900 + X } years. { (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) 745 are the years of the dynasty of Meš-ki-aĝ-gašer. } { (ms TL adds instead:) ……; he ruled for 5 + X years. } Lugalbanda, the shepherd, ruled for 1200 years. Dumuzid, the fisherman whose city was Kuara, ruled for { 100 } { (ms. TL has instead:) 110 } years. { (ms. P3+BT14 adds:) He captured En-me-barage-si single-handed. } Gilgameš, whose father was a phantom (?), the lord of Kulaba, ruled for 126 years. Ur-Nungal, the son of Gilgameš, ruled for 30 years. Udul-kalama, the son of { Ur-Nungal } { (ms. Su1 has instead:) Ur-lugal }, ruled for 15 years. Lā-ba’šum ruled for 9 years. En-nun-taraḫ-ana ruled for 8 years. Meš-ḫe, the smith, ruled for 36 years. { Melem-ana } { (ms. Su2 has instead:) Til-kug (?) …… } ruled for { 6 } { (ms. Su2 has instead:) 900 } years. Lugal-kitun (?) ruled for { 36 } { (ms. Su2 has instead:) 420 } years. 12 kings; they ruled for { 2310 } { (ms. Su2 has instead:) 3588 } years. Then Unug was defeated and the kingship was taken to Urim.
The cursing of Agade: c.2.1.5
Its king, the shepherd Naram-Suen, rose as the daylight on the holy throne of Agade. Its city wall { , like a mountain, } { (1 ms. has instead:), a great mountain, } reached the heavens. It was like the Tigris { going to } { (some mss. have instead:) flowing into } the sea as holy Inana opened the portals of its city-gates and made Sumer bring its own possessions upstream by boats. The highland Martu, people ignorant of agriculture, brought spirited cattle and kids for her. The Meluḫans, the people of the black land, brought { exotic wares } { (some mss. have instead:) wares of foreign countries } up to her. Elam and Subir loaded themselves with goods for her as if they were packasses. All the governors, the { temple administrators } { (1 ms. has instead:) generals }, and the accountants of the Gu-edina regularly supplied the monthly and New Year offerings. What a weariness all these caused at Agade’s city gates! Holy Inana could hardly receive all these offerings. As if she were a citizen there, she could not restrain (?) the desire (?) to prepare the ground for a temple.
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
“Your will, ever-rising as the sea, crashing down as a destructive flood, roaring like gushing waters, destroying cities (?) like a flood-wave, battering against the rebel lands like a storm; my master, your will, gushing water that no one can stem; warrior, your will inconceivable as the heavens — can I learn anything about it from you, son of Enlil, Lord Ninĝirsu?”
The building of Ninĝirsu’s temple (Gudea, cylinders A and B): c.2.1.7
With his divine duties, namely to soothe the heart, to soothe the spirits; to dry weeping eyes; to banish mourning from the mourning heart; to …… the heart of the lord that rises like the sea, that washes away like the Euphrates, that hits like a flood storm, that has overflowed with joy after inundating a land which is Enlil’s enemy, Gudea introduced his balaĝ drum, Lugal-igi-ḫuš, to Lord Ninĝirsu.
The lament for Sumer and Urim: c.2.2.3
so as to obliterate the divine powers of Sumer, to change its preordained plans, to alienate the divine powers of the reign of kingship of Urim, to humiliate the princely son in his house E-kiš-nu-ĝal, to break up the unity of the people of Nanna, numerous as ewes; to change the food offerings of Urim, the shrine of magnificent food offerings; that its people should no longer dwell in their quarters, that they should be given over to live in an inimical place; that Šimaški and Elam, the enemy, should dwell in their place; that its shepherd, in his own palace, should be captured by the enemy, that Ibbi-Suen should be taken to the land Elam in fetters, that from Mount Zabu on the edge of the sea to the borders of Anšan, like a swallow that has flown from its house, he should never return to his city;
The lament for Sumer and Urim: c.2.2.3
The food offerings …… of his royal dining place were altered. In its sacred place (?) the tigi, šem and ala instruments did not sound. Its mighty tigi …… did not perform its sacred song. There was no eloquence in the Dubla-maḫ, the place where oaths used to be taken. The throne was not set up at its place of judgment, justice was not administered. Alamuš threw down his sceptre, his hands trembling. In the sacred bedchamber of Nanna musicians no longer played the balaĝ drum. The sacred box that no one had set eyes upon was seen by the enemy. The divine bed was not set up, it was not spread with clean hay. The statues that were in the shrine were cut down. The cook, the dream interpreter, and the seal keeper did not perform the ceremonies properly. They stood by submissively and were carried off by the foreigners. The priests of the holy uzga shrine and the sacred lustrations, the linen-clad priests, forsook the divine plans and sacred divine powers, they went off to a foreign city.
The lament for Sumer and Urim: c.2.2.3
That the orchards should bear syrup and grapes, that the high plain should bear the mašgurum tree, that there should be long life in the palace, that the sea should bring forth every abundance: may An not change it. The land densely populated from south to uplands: may An not change it. May An and Enlil not change it, may An not change it. May Enki and Ninmaḫ not change it, may An not change it. That cities should be rebuilt, that people should be numerous, that in the whole universe the people should be cared for; O Nanna, your kingship is sweet, return to your place. May a good abundant reign be long-lasting in Urim. Let its people lie down in safe pastures, let them reproduce. O mankind ……, princess overcome by lamentation and crying! O Nanna! O your city! O your house! O your people!
The lament for Nibru: c.2.2.4
Because the sealings of the abundant materials stored in the temple have been broken open, they have placed the loads on the ground. Because the property in its well-tended storehouses has been sent back, it says “What will they weigh out for me now?”; because the enemies who do not know good from evil have cut off all good things, it sings a bitter dirge; because they have finished off its populace there like animals, it cries “Oh my Land!”. Because they have piled up the young women, young men and their little children like heaps of grain, it cries “Woe!” for them. Because they have splashed their blood on the ground like a rain-storm, there is no restraint to its crying.
A praise poem of Šulgi (Šulgi E): c.2.4.2.05
They have composed šir-gida songs, royal praise poetry, šumunša, kunĝar and balbale compositions about how I carried warfare across the sea to the south, how I jerked up the hostile land of Elam as if it were grass by a gateway, how in the uplands I …… the people like grain, how I trekked the length of the mountains in battle, how I travel about indefatigably in the mountain uplands like an old donkey on the road, and about my expeditions …….
Išbi-Erra and Kindattu (Išbi-Erra B): c.2.5.1.2
With the city ……. …… Marḫaši ……. …… the foreign lands ……. From Bašimi by the edge of the sea …… to the edge of Zabšali ……, and from Arawa, the bolt of Elam …… to the edge of Marḫaši ……. Kindattu, the man of Elam, ……. …… Isin, the great spindle of heaven and earth. The king’s battle did not ……. The battle of Elam …… Sumer. …… by the edge of the sea. …… the land of Ḫuḫnuri. …… the wild animals and four-footed ……. The king …… in the battle.
A šir-namerima (?) for Iddin-Dagan (Iddin-Dagan D): c.2.5.3.4
Holy Ninisina, ……, whose raging heart, made like the heart of dusk (?), none can cool; whose angry heart no god can confront, which like the sea, bringing a flood-wave, drowns (?) the foe. Like the high tide, she pours spewed-out bile upon the enemy. She has made …… known in its midst.
Sîn-iddinam and Iškur (Sîn-iddinam E): c.2.6.6.5
A majestic wind bellowing in the broad heavens, whose thunder signifies abundance — when he utters his cries, the Land and the great mountains are fearful. Great hero, holding the shepherd’s crook in his hand and clasping authority at his side — when he roars over the sea and covers the Land with radiance, huge hailstones …… and slanting (?) rain, …… they set up …… for him.
A hymn to Enlil for Samsu-iluna (Samsu-iluna F): c.2.8.3.6
Iškur, the net of the foreign lands …… made the foreign countries praise him duly, and made the mighty …… manifest. Samsu-iluna, the good hero, lordly one of his Land, has wisely co-ordinated decisions for the Land. From the banks of the Tigris and the banks of the Euphrates, to the shores of the sea …… and the banks of its rivers, men …… Samsu-iluna. In E-kur, the house of Enlil, …… he has taken his seat on his dais of joy. Enlil, it is sweet to praise you. Enlil, give my king a brilliant destiny and years of life! Grant him as a gift a life of long days!
Letter from Aradĝu to Šulgi about irrigation work: c.3.1.03
My lord, you have given me instructions about every matter, from the sea and the land of Dilmun, { from the salt waters and the borders of the land of the Martu } { (some mss. have instead:) to the salt waters and the borders of the land of the Martu }, { to } { (1 ms. has instead:) from } the { side (?) } { (1 ms. has instead:) borders (?) } of Simurrum and { the territory of …… } { (1 ms. has instead:) the territory of Subir }:
Letter from Puzur-Šulgi to Ibbi-Suen about Išbi-Erra’s claim on Isin: c.3.1.19
“”Enlil, my lord, has …… the shepherdship of the land. Enlil has told me to bring before Ninisina the cities, deities and troops of the region of the Tigris, Euphrates, Ab-gal and Me-Enlila watercourses, from the province of Ḫamazi { to the sea of Magan } { (1 ms. has instead:) and from the …… of Magan }, so as to make Isin the storehouse of Enlil, to make it famous, and { to make those regions its spoils of war and to make Isin’s citizens occupy their cities } { (1 ms. has instead:) to make Isin’s citizens occupy the cities as spoils of war. }””
Enlil in the E-kur (Enlil A): c.4.05.1
Without the Great Mountain Enlil, no city would be built, no settlement would be founded; no cow-pen would be built, no sheepfold would be established; no king would be elevated, no lord would be given birth; no high priest or priestess would perform extispicy; soldiers would have no generals or captains; no carp-filled waters would dredge (?) the rivers at their peak; the carp would not …… come straight up (?) from the sea, they would not dart about. The sea would not produce all its heavy treasure, no freshwater fish would lay eggs in the reedbeds, no bird of the sky would build nests in the spacious land; in the sky the thick clouds would not open their mouths; on the fields, dappled grain would not fill the arable lands, vegetation would not grow lushly on the plain; in the gardens, the { spreading trees } { (1 ms. has instead:) forests } of the mountain would not yield fruits.
A hymn to Inana (Inana C): c.4.07.3
On the wide and silent plain, darkening the bright daylight, she turns midday into darkness. People look upon each other in anger, they look for combat. Their shouting disturbs the plain, it weighs on the pasture and the waste land. Her howling is like Iškur’s and makes the flesh of all the lands tremble. No one can oppose her murderous battle — who rivals her? No one can look at her fierce fighting, the speeding carnage. Engulfing (?) water, raging, sweeping over the earth, she leaves nothing behind. The mistress, a breaking plough opening hard ground, ……. The braggarts do not lift their necks, ……. Her great heart performs her bidding, the mistress who alone fashions (?) ……. Exalted in the assembly, she occupies the seat of honour, …… to the right and left.
A hymn to Nanna (Nanna G): c.4.13.07
May you build enduringly the eternal (?) house. May you build enduringly Nanna’s eternal (?) house, the …… quarters (?) and the courtyard of Nanna — the temple whose shadow extends out into the midst of the sea, the E-kiš-nu-ĝal, the sweet wonder, the temple of Nanna built on empty land! ……, Suen …… among the gods. …… Enlil (?). ……, Nanna, lord, great son of An, beloved …… of Enlil and Ninlil, (unknown no. of lines missing)
A šir-namgala to Nanna (Nanna L): c.4.13.12
Nanna, dragon of heaven and earth, standing ……, fixing the months and the new moon, sets the year in its place. Suen, lord, in heaven you alone are majestic. Lord, light of heaven, you are positioned forever. To prolong years of abundance, causing the early flood and unceasing abundance, to make firm the quays, to regulate the nipples of heaven, to establish celebration, …… to bring speckled grain, to ……, ……, to make firm the lofty dais of E-kiš-nu-ĝal, Nanna, to make firm the seat of kingship of the Land, (3 lines fragmentary)
A hymn to Nanna (Nanna M): c.4.13.13
Princely lord ……, great lord of heaven ……! In the city which like the sea inspires awe! Far-seeing Suen, ruler of Urim! O Suen, princely lord ……, great lord of heaven ……! In the city which like the sea inspires awe! Far-seeing Suen, ruler of Urim!
A balbale to Nanše (Nanše B): c.4.14.2
A fish is held in her hand as a staff ……. Fishes are put on her feet as sandals ……. Fishes light up the interior of the sea like fires ……. Fishes play on instruments for her like (?) sur priests. Fishes call out loudly for her like (?) oxen. She has fish wrapped around her body as a regal garment. The runner-fish (kaškaš) hastens (kaš) to her. The gurgur fish makes the sea surge up (gurgur) for her. The flash-fish (ĝir) makes the sea sparkle (ĝir) for her. She heaps up fish spawn so that …… fish will grow for her in the sea. Fishes fly around for her like swallows.
A balbale to Nanše (Nanše B): c.4.14.2
“I, the lady, will ride on my boat, I will ride home. I will ride on the prow of the boat, I will ride home.” Its canopy of gold and fragrant cedarwood sparkles for her on the sea. Its cabin shines for her like rejoicing moonlight on the sea.” My husband is the tax collector of the sea, Nindara is the tax collector of the sea.” (2 lines unclear)
A hymn to Nisaba (Nisaba A): c.4.16.1
“O Nisaba, good woman, fair woman, woman born { in the mountains } { (1 ms. has instead:) by the mountains }! Nisaba, may you be the butter in the cattle-pen, may you be the cream in the sheepfold, may you be keeper of the seal in the treasury, may you be a good steward in the palace, may you be a heaper up of grain among the grain piles and in the grain stores!”
A hymn to Ninimma (Ninimma A): c.4.21.1
You are the seal-holder of the treasury of the ……. You are the caretaker of the great gods, you are ……. Ninimma, you are the lady of all the great rites in the E-kur. Lady, you are the …… of Enlil, you are the heavenly scribe. You …… the tablet of life. (1 line fragmentary) You who bring the best corn are the lady of the E-sara. The surveyor’s gleaming line and the measuring rod suit you perfectly. You can hold your head high among the great princes. You are ……. You are ……, the cherished one. (1 line fragmentary) ……; you are exceptional in wisdom. …… joy ……. My lady, you were exalted already in the womb; you are resplendent like the sunlight. You are suited to the lapis-lazuli crown (?); you are the heavenly ……. …… adorned with loveliness ……. (1 line fragmentary) (approx. 10 lines missing)
A tigi to Nintur (Nintur A): c.4.26.1
When Mother Nintur sat upon the throne-dais on the holy seat of joy, the seat from which she has made everything numerous, it was then that the highest divine powers, which are golden, the glory of the numerous people — the en priesthood and the kingship — were created for Enlil. When Nintur, Mother Nintur, sat upon the throne-dais on the seat of joy, the seat from which she has made everything numerous, it was then that the highest divine powers, which are golden, the glory of the numerous people — the en priesthood and the kingship — were created for Enlil.
A šir-namšub to Ninurta (Ninurta G): c.4.27.07
My king, you covered the edge of the sea with rays of light. On that day from the gold (?) of Ḫarali you are Ena-tum. From the cornelian and lapis lazuli of the land of Meluḫa you are Ena-tum. From the dušia stone of the land of Marḫaši you are Enakam. From the silver of fifteen cities you are Enakam. From the copper and tin of Magan you are Enakam. From the bronze of …… you are Enakam (?). From the silver of Dilmun you are Ena-tum. From the im-kalaga clay of the mouth of the hills you are Enakam. From the gypsum of the shining hills you are Enakam. (10 lines missing or fragmentary)
A šir-namšub to Utu (Utu F): c.4.32.f
“My brother, come, let me ……. My brother, the midst of the sea …… my eyes. My brother, women ……. Utu, women …….”
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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.
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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.
The temple hymns: c.4.80.1
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-maḫ (Magnificent house), the house of Šara, for you in plenty. Your house E-maḫ — whose prince is the princely son of the Mistress — continues (?) in good fortune, an area of abundance and well-being.
The debate between Winter and Summer: c.5.3.3
By hand Winter guided the spring floods, the abundance and life of the Land, down from the edge of the hills. He set his foot upon the Tigris and Euphrates like a big bull and released them into the fields and fruitful acres of Enlil. He shaped lagoons in the sea. He let fish and birds together come into existence by the sea. He surrounded all the reedbeds with mature reeds, reed shoots and …… reeds.
The debate between Winter and Summer: c.5.3.3
“After they …… my seed, Winter, do not …… noise, when water is cut off from the arable tracts, when the bowls lie placed, when the fishing place has been prepared, when the fish have been piled up, I am Father Enlil’s great comptroller. I harrow the fields into fruitful acres. When the oxen have stopped working the fields, when you have concentrated your efforts on the damp areas and given the sign for the field work, I do not work for you in the large arable tracts and fruitful acres early in the season. If the spring grain bends its neck in the hollow of the furrows, no one provides a fence. Whatever your farmer brings to the oxen, he will not make the oxen angry with me. Winter …… in the uplands ……. The man of the bedroom …….”
The debate between Bird and Fish: c.5.3.5
Thereupon Fish conceived a plot against Bird. Silently, furtively, it slithered alongside. When Bird rose up from her nest to fetch food for her young, Fish searched for the most discreet of silent places. It turned her well-built nest of brushwood into a haunted house. It destroyed her well-built house, and tore down her storeroom. It smashed the eggs she had laid and threw them into the sea. Thus Fish struck at Bird, and then fled into the waters. Then Bird came, lion-faced and with an eagle’s talons, flapping its wings towards its nest. It stopped in mid-flight. Like a hurricane whirling in the midst of heaven, it circled in the sky. Bird, looking about for its nest, spread wide its limbs. It trampled over the broad plain after its well-built nest of brushwood. Its voice shrieked into the interior of heaven like the Mistress’s.
The debate between Bird and Fish: c.5.3.5
(Bird speaks:)”You ……, lord of true speech, pay attention to my words! I had put …… and laid eggs there. …… had bestowed …… and had given as their sustenance. After …… had started ……, …… he destroyed my house. He turned my nest of brushwood into a haunted house. He destroyed my house, and tore down my storeroom. He smashed my eggs and threw them into the sea. …… examine what I have said. Return a verdict in my favour.” …… investigating ……, she prostrated herself to the ground.
The debate between Copper and Silver: c.5.3.6
“When you keep hitting the soil, like someone falling from a roof; when they carry (?) you out from the big brambles and …… thorns, like a dog with a ……, as if they were catching a thief at midnight; when the great, turbulent waters, regularly, yearly (?), fill the desert; when they carry the grain from the dry ground to the canal banks; when they carry the sesame from the furrows to the canal banks; when they carry to the …… red onions, white onions, edible bulbous leeks (?) and turnips flourishing in the furrows; when they transport the salt and spice seeds lying at the edges of the fields; when they feed the various grains to cattle and sheep; when they bring …… to the pigs born at the fattener’s; when they feed dough to the porcupine’s litter; when they crush coarse flour for the huge wild boars, straight-tailed fish, il (?) fish, carp, fish with bellies (?), giraba fish laying their eggs in large amounts in the shallows (?), gurgal birds, suda birds, large u birds from the middle of the sea, eggs of ducks and all kinds of birds, all the good things which thrive in the desert, at peace there. (unknown no. of lines missing)”
The heron and the turtle: c.5.9.2
It catches fish; it collects eggs and crushes them. It crushes the suḫur carp in the honey plants. It crushes the eštub carp in the little zi reeds. It crushes toads in the ligiligi grass. It crushes fish spawn, its offspring, its family. It strikes heron’s eggs and smashes them in the sea.

A common paradigm is that chernozem soils developed in the Holocene under grassland steppes, with their formation largely determined by three factors, parent material, climate and faunal mixing. For European chernozems, however, pollen records show that steppes were rare. Here, using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy, micro Raman spectroscopy and radiocarbon dating, we characterized the nanomorphology and chemical structure of soil organic carbon (SOC) from central European chernozems. We identified submicron remnants of burned biomass (15-45 percent of SOC), coexisting as amorphous char-black carbon (BC) derived from pyrolized cellulose or soot-BC. The BC was several millenia in age (1160-5040 carbon-14 years) and up to 3990 radiocarbon years older than bulk SOC, indicating significant residence times for BC in soils. These results challenge common paradigms on chernozem formation and add fire as an important novel factor. It is also clear that the role of fire in soil formation has been underestimated outside classical fire prone biomes. Furthermore, our results demonstrate the importance of quantifying BC in soils because of its large contribution, longevity and potential role in the global biogeochemical carbon cycle.

The chaining and torture of Prometheus formed in antiquity the object of a significant number of poems, descriptions and explanations The fact that this memorable scene from the history of ante-Homeric civilization took place on the territory of Dacia, gives us the task to also analyze from a geographical point of view, the second legend about Prometheus’ suffering According to various Greek authors from a later time than the time of Hesiod, Prometheus was nailed on the Caucasus mountain in Scythia So, the grammarian Apollodorus tells us: “Prometheus, after shaping men from water and earth, secretly stole fire from Jove and hid it in the plant called ferula But Jove sensing this, ordered Vulcan to nail his body on the Caucasus mountain This mountain is in Scythia, where Prometheus stayed nailed for a number of years (Bibl Lib I 7 1) We have here therefore a new question from the geography of antiquity: which is the Caucasus about which the second legend of Prometheus speaks This Caucasus of Scythia on which Prometheus was chained or nailed, was a geographical mystery even for the most distinguished authors of old The Caucasus from Prometheus’ legends was not at all identical with the range of mountains which stretches between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea One of the most distinguished and learned men of the 12th century, the bishop Eustathius of Thessalonika, tells us the following in the Commentaries written by him on Dionysius Periegetus: “But the ancient authors affirm that that Caucasus, on which according to legends Prometheus was crucified, does not figure on the geographical tables” (v 663) So we have here a very precious statement, made on the basis of old legends and geographical sources, that Prometheus’ Caucasus was not the Caucasus of Asia, or from the eastern parts of the Black Sea And regarding this, the epoch of Roman domination in the eastern parts of Europe elucidates it completely Once the sovereignty of the world passed into the hands of the Romans, the geographical knowledge started to make an immense progress Each Roman expedition was at the same time also a geographical reconnaissance And, in our case, as soon as the Roman legions reached the Istru, the SE region of the Carpathians appears in different historical and geographical monuments under the name of “Caucasus”
The first Roman general who reached the Danube was Marcus Livius Drus (Florus, lib III c 5; Mommsen, Rom Gesch II 173) Shortly after that, the ex-consul Piso, following the same strong policy of punishing and weakening the barbarians by making military incursions in their lands, crossed, according to the historian Florus (lib III 5), the mountains of Rhodope and of Caucasus In the historical summary of Florus, under the name Rhodope was to be understood the entire complicated system of mountains of ancient Thrace, together with the Hem or today Balkans, as seventy or eighty years later the poet Virgil similarly called Rhodope not only the mountains of Thrace, but also the mountains of Scythia from the north of Istru (Georg III v 351) And Florus meant doubtlessly under the name of Caucasus, a mountain from the territory of ancient Scythia, or the southern range of Dacia’s Carpathians This is also confirmed by a remarkable Roman inscription (in Koln museum) from the time of the emperor Trajan, where the group of the Carpathians near the Olt river is called Caucasus The text of this inscription, of great value for the geography of Dacia in ante-Roman times is: “Matronis / Aufanib(us) / C(aius) / Jul(ius) / Mansue / tus M(iles) l(egionis) I M(inerviae) / p(iae) f(idelis) v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) fu(it) / ad Alutum / flumen secus / mont(em) Caucasi” (Henzen, nr 5939; Froehner, La Colonne Trajane, I p 28, nr 16) Dacia’s Carpathians appear also under the name Caucasus in various other historical and geographical descriptions In the 5th century ad, the Roman geographer Julius Honorius had composed, based on older sources, a small treaty on cosmography (Cosmographia, 28), in which he mentions two mountain ranges with the name of Caucasus, one on the territory of Europe close to the Hem mountain, which corresponds to the SE Carpathians of Dacia, the other on the territory of Asia, on the eastern part of the Black Sea (Honorius mentions near the Caucasus of Europe, the mountain Hypanis We note that a mountain near Olt, towards SE of Samboteni village, is called today the Upanas Peak – Charta Romaniei meridionale, 1864) We find another precious geographical statement with Jornandis, the historian of the Getae, who was probably born in Mesia Caucasus, writes he (De reb Get C VII), starts at the Indian Sea, goes then into Syria, where, forming a round corner, turns towards north, stretches along the lands of Scythia, descends to the Pontos, then, gathering its heights, touches also the courses of Istru, at the point where the river divides and flows in two directions Finally, the Carpathians also appear under the name Caucasus in the oldest Russian chronicle, attributed to the monk Nestor, born around 1056ad “In the northern part of Pontos”, he writes, “there are the Danube, Nistru (Dnestr), and Caucasus mountains, or the Hungarian mountains” (Schlozer, Russische Annalen II Gottingen, 1802, c II, p 22)
Prometheus’ Caucasus, or the legendary Caucasus of Scythia, is therefore from the point of view of prehistoric geography, one and the same with the southern range of the Carpathians, called by Apollodorus Atlas from the country of the Hyperboreans, and in the inscription from Koln, Caucasus by the river Olt (Alutum flumen)
[1 Hasdeu says in Istoria critica, p 285: “It is therefore a fact mentioned by seven undeniable sources, plus Ovid’s and Strabo’s, which makes them nine, that the Carpathians were named Caucasus, beginning with the most remote time, until the Middle Ages”]

THE SEA GOD TRITON
Hesiod, Theogony 930 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
“And of Amphitrite and the loud-roaring Earth-Shaker [Poseidon] was born great, wide-ruling Triton, and he owns the depths of the sea, living with his dear mother and the lord his father in their golden house, an awful god.”
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 28 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
“Poseidon married Amphitrite, and had as children Triton and Rhode.”

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 20 :
“When it came time for the birth, Prometheus . . . by the river Triton struck the head of Zeus with an axe, and from his crown Athene sprang up.”

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 144 :
“They say that after Athene’s birth, she was reared by Triton, who had a daughter named Pallas.”
Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
“From Neptunus [Poseidon] and Amphitrite [was born] : Triton.”

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 23 :
“There is a story similar to this about the shell of Triton. He, too, when he had hollowed out the trumpet he had invented, took it with him against the Gigantes, and there blew strange sounds through the shell. The Gigantes, fearing that some wild beast had been brought by their adversaries, took to flight, and thus were overcome and came into their enemies’ power.”

Ovid, Metamorphoses 1. 332 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
“[After the Great Deluge had wiped out mankind :] Rector Pelagi (Lord of the Sea) [Poseidon] laid by his three-pronged spear and calmed the waves and, calling from the deep Triton, sea-hued, his shoulders barnacled with sea-shells, bade him blow his echoing conch to bid the rivers, waves and floods retire. He raised his horn, his hollow spiralled whorl, the horn that, sounded in mid ocean, fills the shores of dawn and sunset round the world; and when it touched the god’s wet-bearded lips and took his breath and sounded the retreat, all the wide waters of the land and sea heard it, and all, hearing its voice, obeyed.”

Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 6 ff :
“In the waves the Di Caerulei (Sea-gods) dwelt, Aegeon, his huge arms entwined around the backs of giant whales, ambiguous Proteus, Triton with his horn.”

Ovid, Metamorphoses 13. 918 ff :
“She gazed in wonder at his [the sea-god Glaukos’] colour and his hair that clothed his shoulders and streamed down his back, and thighs that formed a twisting fish’s tail . . . [and] he said, ‘. . . I am a Deus Aquae (Sea-God). Over the open sea not Proteus, no, nor Triton nor Palaemon Athamantiades has greater power than I.”

Virgil, Aeneid 10. 209 ff (trans. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) :
“His ship was the giant Triton, the sound of whose conch affrighted the dark-blue water; its dipping figurehead the hairy trunk of a man to the waist, bellow the belly a great fish.”
Propertius, Elegies 2. 32 (trans. Goold) (Roman elegy C1st B.C.) :
“The sound of water which splashes all round he basin, when the Triton suddenly pours forth a fountain from his lips.”
Propertius, Elegies 4. 6 :
“Triton hails the outcome [of the sea-battle at Actium] on his conch, and about the standard of liberty all the goddesses of the sea clapped their hands.”
Cicero, De Natura Deorum 1. 28 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
“The merman Triton who is depicted riding upon swimming monsters attached to his man’s body.”
Cicero, De Natura Deorum 2. 35 :
“[Cicero quoting Accius’ Medea :] Triton’s trident, heaving up the roots of cavernous vaults beneath the villowy sea, hurled from the depths heaven-high a massy crag.”
Statius, Thebaid 9. 328 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
“No more winningly does . . . Triton rise higher [than waist deep] from the summer waves.”
Statius, Silvae 3. 3. 80 (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) :
“The winged Arcadian [Hermes] is the messenger of supreme Jove [Zeus]; Juno [Hera] hath power over the rain-bringing Thaumantian [Iris the rainbow]; Triton, swift to obey, stands ready at Neptunus’ [Poseidon’s] bidding.”
Statius, Silvae 3. 2. 1 :
“Then let Proteus of manifold shape and twy-formed Triton swim [protectively] before [the ship], and Glaucus.”
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 1. 60 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
“[When Zeus abducted Europa in the form of a bull and carried her across the sea :] Triton heard the delusive lowing of Zeus, and bellowed an echoing note to Kronides with his conch by way of wedding song.”
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 36. 92 ff :
“[When the gods took sides in the battle of Dionysos against the Indians, Poseidon and Apollon faced off against each another :] The stormy trumpet of the sea brayed in the ears of Phoibos–a broadbeard Triton boomed with his own proper conch, like a man half-finished, from the loins down a greeny fish–the Nereides shouted the battlecry–Arabian Nereus pushed up out of the sea and bellowed shaking his trident.”
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 43. 203 ff :
“[When Poseidon led the sea-gods into battle against Dionysos and his allies during the Indian War :] The broadbearded Triton sounded his note for the mad battle–he has limbs of two kinds, a human shape and a different body, green, from loins to head, half of him, but hanging from his trailing wet loins a curving fishtail, forked.”
TRITON, GOD OF LAKE TRITONIS, & THE ARGONAUTS
Pindar, Pythian Ode 4. 19 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
“[The Argonauts were porting their ship across the Libyan desert in the vicinity of Lake Tritonis, when they encountered Triton :] A sign there was to tell that Thera shall prove the mother of great cities, when leaping from the prow where Lake Tritonis pours to the sea, Euphemos took the gift, token of a host’s friendship, from a god [Triton] in mortal guise ho gave a clod of earth; and from aloft, to mark the sign, a peal of thunder sounded from Zeus the father, son of Kronos. This so befell, as on our ship we hung the bronze-fluked anchor . . . when for twelve days we had carried from Okeanos over earth’s desert backs our good ship’s hull . . . Then came to us this deity, all alone, clad in the noble semblance of a man of reverent bearing, and with friendly speech made to address us with a kindly greeting–such words with which a man of good intent speaks to invite the strangers newly come to share his table, and bids them first welcome. Yet did the dear plea of our homeward voyage call to us and forbade our stay. His name he gave, Eurypylos, saying he was the son of the immortal Holder of Earth, Ennosides [Poseidon]; He saw hour haste to be away, and straightway he stopped and seized a clod beside his foot and in his right hand proffered the gift of friendship. And, for he felt no misbelief, Euphemos lept to the shore and grasped his outstretched hand, and took the earth, that sign of heaven’s will. But now I learn that it is lost, washed down as evening fell from the ship’s deck, to wander on the sea’s dark smooth tide, with the sea spray. Many a time, indeed, did I charge to the serving-men who ease our toil to watch it well; but they forgot. Thus now the deathless seed of Libya’s far-spreading plains is spilt upon this isle, e’er the due time. For had that prince, son of the horseman’s god Poseidon . . . Euphemos come to holy Tainaros and cast that seed where cleft earth opens to the mouth of hell, then had his sons in the fourth generation seized with the Danai this broad mainland. For then from mighty Sparta and Argos’ gulf and from Mykenai the peoples shall rise and move from their abode. But now Euphemos, taking from a breed a foreign women one to be his bride, shall found a chosen race. And they shall come paying due honour to the gods, unto this island, whee they shall beget a man born to be lord of those dark-misted plains. And on a day in time to come, this man shall tread the path down to the shrine of Pytho, and Phoibos . . . shall speak to him his oracle, proclaiming that he shall bring a mighty host in ships to the rich land of Neilos the precinct of the son of Kronos.”
Herodotus, Histories 4. 179. 1 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
“The following story is also told : it is said that Jason, when the Argo had been built at the foot of Pelion, put aboard besides a hecatomb a bronze tripod, and set out to sail around the Peloponnese, to go to Delphoi. But when he was off Malea, a north wind caught and carried him away to Libya; and before he saw land, he came into the shallows of the Tritonian lake. There, while he could find no way out yet, Triton (the story goes) appeared to him and told Jason to give him the tripod, promising to show the sailors the channel and send them on their way unharmed. Jason did, and Triton then showed them the channel out of the shallows and set the tripod in his own temple; but first he prophesied over it, declaring the whole matter to Jason’s comrades: namely, that should any descendant of the Argo’s crew take away the tripod, then a hundred Greek cities would be founded on the shores of the Tritonian lake. Hearing this (it is said) the Libyan people of the country hid the tripod.”
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 1548 – 1623 (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
“[The Argonauts were stranded in the Libyan desert near Lake Tritonis, their ship having been carried far inland by a giant wave :] Orpheus suggested that they should bring out the great tripod that Apollon had given Iason (Jason) and offer it to the gods of the land, who might thus be induced to help them on their way. So they went ashore; and no sooner had they set up the tripod than the great god Triton appeared before them, taking the form of a young man. He picked up a clod of earth and held it out to them by way of welcome, saying : `Accept this gift, my friends. Here and now, I have no better one with which to welcome strangers such as you. But if you have lost your bearings, like many a traveller in foreign parts, and wish to cross the Libyan Sea, I will be your guide. My father Poseidon has taught me all its secrets, and I am the king of this seaboard. You may have heard of me though you live so far away–Eurypylos, born in Libya, the country of wild beasts.’
Euphemos gladly held his hand out for the clod and said : `My lord, if you know anything of the Minoan Sea and the Peloponnesos, we beg you to tell us. Far from meaning to come here, we were driven ashore on the borders of your land by a heavy gale. Then we hoisted our ship, and for all her weight, carried her across country till we came to this lagoon. And no we have no idea how to get out of it and reach the land of Pelops.’
Triton, stretching out his hand, pointed to the distant sea and the deep mouth of the lagoon. At the same time he explained : `That is the outlet to the sea; the smooth, dark water marks the deepest spot. But on either side of it are beaches where the rollers break–you can see the foam from here–and the fairway in between them is a narrow one. The misty sea beyond it stretches from here to the sacred land of Pelops, on the other side of Krete. Once you are out in the open, keep the land on your right and hug the coast as long as it runs north. But when it trends towards you and then falls away, you may safely leave it at the point where it projects and sail straight on. A happy voyage then! And if the work is heavy, do not let that distress you. Young limbs should not object to toil.’
Thus encouraged by the friendly god the Argonauts embarked at once. They were determined to escape from the lagoon by rowing and the ship forged ahead under their eager hands. Meanwhile Triton picked up the heavy tripod and walked into the water. They saw him stepping in; yet in a moment he had disappeared, quite close to them, tripod and all. But their hearts were warmed. They felt that one of the blessed ones had come to them and brought good luck. They urged Iason to kill the best of their sheep and hold it out to the god with words of praise. Iason hastily selected one, lifted it up, and killed it over the stern, praying in these words : `God of the sea, you that appeared to us on the shores of these waters, whether the Ladies of the Brine know you as that sea-wonder Triton, or as Phorkys, or as Nereus, be gracious and grant us the happy return we desire.’
As he prayed he slit the victim’s throat and threw it into the water from the stern. Whereupon the god emerged from the depths, no longer in disguise but in his own true form, and grasping the stem of their hollow ship drew her on towards the open sea. So does a man trot along beside a fast horse griping his bushy mane, as he brings him in to race in the great arena; and nothing loath, the horse goes with him, tossing up his head in pride and making the foam-flecked bit ring out as he champs it in his jaws to this side and that. The body of the god, front and back, from the crown of his head to his waist and belly, was exactly like that of the other immortals; but from the hips down he was a monster of the deep, with two long tails, each ending in a pair of curved flukes shaped like the crescent moon. With the spins of these two tails he lashed the surface of the water, and so brought Argo to the open sea, where he launched her on her way. Then he sank into the abyss, and the Argonauts cried out in wonder at the awe-inspiring sight. They spent that day on shore. The harbour there bears Argo’s name and there are signs of her stay, including altars to Poseidon and Triton. At dawn they spread the sail and ran before the west wind, always keeping the desert on their right.”
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 1734 ff :
“[Euphemos the Argonaut, holding the lump of earth he had received from Triton had a dream :] He dreamt that he was holding to his breast the lump of earth which the god [Triton] had given him and was suckling it with streams of white milk. The clod, small as it was, turned into a woman of virginal appearance; and in an access of passion he lay with her. When the deed was done, he felt remorse–she had been a virgin and he had suckled her himself. But she consoled him, saying in a gentle voice : `My friend, I am of Triton’s stock and the Nurse of your children; no mortal maid, but a Daughter of Triton and Libya. Give me a home with Nereus’ Daughters in the sea near Anaphe, and I will reappear in the light of day in time to welcome your descendants.’
Euphemos, after committing his dream to memory, told it to Iason. The dream reminded Iason (Jason) of an oracle of Apollon’s himself, exclaiming : `My noble friend, you are marked out for great renown! When you have thrown this clod of earth into the sea, the gods will make an island of it, and there your children’s children are to live. Triton received you as a friend with this little piece of Libyan soil. It was Triton and no other god that met us and gave you this.’ Euphemos heard Iason’s prophecy with joy and did not make it void. He threw the clod into the depths of the sea, and there grew up from it an island called Kalliste, the sacred Nurse of his descendants.”
Lycophron, Alexandra 886 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
“[In Libya] where to Triton, descendant of Nereus [his mother was Nereus’ daughter Amphitrite], the Kolkhian woman [Medea] gave as a gift the broad mixing-bowl wrought of gold, for that he showed them the navigable path [from Lake Tritonis in Libya across the desert to the sea] whereby Tiphys should guide through the narrow reefs his ship undamaged. And the twy-formed god, son of the sea, declares that the Greeks shall obtain the sovereignty of the land [Libya] when the pastoral people of Libya shall take from their fatherland and give to a Hellen the home-returning gift.”
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 56. 6 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
“When they [the Argonauts] were driven by winds to the Syrtes and had learned from Triton, who was king of Libya at that time, of the peculiar nature of the sea there, upon escaping safe out of the peril they presented him with the bronze tripod which was inscribed with ancient characters and stood until rather recent times among the people of Euhesperis [near Kyrene in North Africa].”
Statius, Thebaid 5. 372 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
“The Vessel [Argo] . . . pitches to and fro, with the Triton on its bow now projecting from the water’s depths, now borne aloft in air.”
Statius, Thebaid 5. 705 ff :
“High on his chariot comes the ruler of the deep [Poseidon], and twy-formed Triton swimming by the foaming bridles gives signal far and wide to the subsiding main; Thetis is smooth again, and hills and shores emerge.”
Herodotus, Histories 4. 180 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
“[The tribes of Libya :] Next to the Makhlyes are the Auseans; these and the Makhlyes, separated by the Triton, live on the shores of Lake Tritonis. The Makhlyes wear their hair long behind, the Auseans in front. They celebrate a yearly festival of Athena, where their maidens are separated into two bands and fight each other with stones and sticks, thus, they say, honoring in the way of their ancestors that native goddess whom we call Athena. Maidens who die of their wounds are called false virgins. Before the girls are set fighting, the whole people choose the fairest maid, and arm her with a Korinthian helmet and Greek panoply, to be then mounted on a chariot and drawn all along the lake shore. With what armor they equipped their maidens before Greeks came to live near them, I cannot say; but I suppose the armor was Egyptian; for I maintain that the Greeks took their shield and helmet from Egypt. As for Athena, they say that she was daughter of Poseidon and Lake Tritonis, and that, being for some reason angry at her father, she gave herself to Zeus, who made her his own daughter. Such is their tale. The intercourse of men and women there is promiscuous; they do not cohabit but have intercourse like cattle. When a woman’s child is well grown, the men assemble within three months and the child is adjudged to be that man’s whom it is most like.”
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 144 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
“They say that after Athene’s birth, she was reared by Triton [or Tritonis], who had a daughter named Pallas. Both girls cultivated the military life, which once led them into contentious dispute. As Pallas was about to give Athene a whack, Zeus skittishly held out the aegis, so that she glanced up to protect herself, and thus was wounded by Athene and fell. Extremely saddened by what had happened to Pallas, Athene fashioned a wooden likeness of her, and round its breast tied the aegis which had frightened her, and set the statue beside Zeus and paid it honour.”
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 1493 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
“[Amphithemis, the son of Apollon and Akakallis :] He married the Nymphe Tritonis and she gave him two sons, Nasamon and the powerful Kaphauros.”
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 14. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
“The Libyans have a saying that the Goddess [Athene] is the daughter of Poseidon and Lake Tritonis, and for this reason has blue eyes like Poseidon.”
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 14 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
“On the return trip [of the Argonauts] Eurybates, son of Teleon died, and Canthus, son of . . ((lacuna)) They were slain in Libya by the shepherd Cephalion, brother of Nasamon, son of the Nymph Tritonis and Amphithemis, whsoe flocks they were plundering.”

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Herodotus 3.117.

There is a plain in Asia shut in on all sides by mountains through which there are five passes.1 This plain was once the Chorasmians’, being at the boundaries of the Chorasmians, the Hyrcanians, Parthians, Sarangians, and Thamanaei, but since the Persians have held power it has been the king’s. [2] Now from the encircling mountains flows a great river whose name is the Aces. Its stream divides into five channels and formerly watered the lands of the above-mentioned peoples, going to each through a different pass, but since the beginning of the Persian rule [3] the king has blocked the mountain passes, and closed each passage with a gate; with the water barred from outlet, the plain within the mountains becomes a lake, seeing that the river pours into it and finds no way out. [4] Those therefore who before were accustomed to use the water endure great hardship in not being able to use it; for during the winter, god rains for them just as for the rest of mankind, but in the summer they are in need of the water for their sown millet and sesame. [5] So whenever no water is given to them, they come into Persia with their women, and cry and howl before the door of the king’s palace, until the king commands that the river-gate should be opened for those whose need is greatest; [6] then, when this land has drunk its fill of water, that gate is shut, and the king has another opened for those of the rest who most require it. I know by hearsay that he gets a lot of money, over and above the tribute, for opening the gates. So much for these matters.

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