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)”
Proverbs: from Urim: c.6.2.3
Your outhouse is like your ……, like your canal, like your dykes. Of what importance is it to you as a scribe?

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