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The Birth of Shulgi In the Temple of Nippur (1.172)

(1,422 words)

Author(s): Klein, Jacob
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Canonical Compositions; Royal Focus; Royal Hymns Commentary This hymn1 is part of a rich corpus of Neo-Sumerian “royal hymns” pertaining to Shulgi (ca. 2094–2047 bce), the second and most important king of the Third Dynasty of Ur.2 The hymn is dedicated to Enlil, the supreme god of the Sumerian pantheon, and it falls into two main parts: the first part opens with a hymnic praise of Enlil, which is followed by a description of Shulgi’s birth and investiture in the Ekur tem…

“Man and His God” (1.179)

(1,742 words)

Author(s): Klein, Jacob
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; Pious Sufferer Compositions Commentary This Sumerian poem, of about 140 lines, tells a didactic story of a righteous sufferer who remains faithful to his personal god and ultimately is rehabilitated and restored to his former happy status. The poem opens with a brief didactic exhortation, that a man should faithfully praise his god, soothing his heart with lamentations, for “a man without a god would not …

Enki and Ninmaḫ (1.159)

(2,537 words)

Author(s): Klein, Jacob
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Myths Commentary This archaic and still partly incomprehensible myth praises Enki, the god of the subterranean fresh waters, wisdom and magic, for having planned and directed the creation of mankind and for having devised ways in which the physically handicapped could adjust to society. The myth seems to consist of two originally independent stories. The first part tells the story of the creation of man rat…

Lamentation Over the Destruction of Ur (1.166)

(3,273 words)

Author(s): Klein, Jacob
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Lamentations Commentary Out of the five early Sumerian lamentations hitherto published, two laments commemorate the destruction of Ur, the capital of the Ur III empire. The Third Dynasty of Ur fell in the reign of Ibbi-Sin, its fifth king (ca. 2028–2004 BCE), as a result of a joint attack by the Elamites from the east and the Amorites from the west. The laments were composed not long after the events they r…