Inanna and Ebih

fragments from various sources. By Enheduanna

Summary : The hymn tells the story of how Inanna devastated the land that would not worship her, a fearsome event that is mentioned in the Ninmesharra and Inninshagurra hymns as well. Inanna came before An to complain that Ebih was not interested in being obedient to her. He replied that the mountain was very fertile and very awesome, but could not withstand her. As soon as he had spoken, Inanna went to war and totally destroyed Ebih.

There is an important question as to whether Inanna acted against or in accord with An's wishes. The question hinges on the lines 129-130 'the great mountain, its aura is feirce. Maiden Inanna, they cannot withstand you.' Did he encourage her by saying they could not withstand her, and she went according to his word, or had she gone against him?

In this myth Inanna comes to An to express her desire for Ebih, whether she listens to his answer is an ambiguous translation [see above] This myth emphasizes Inanna's close relations with the gods of power. Inanna says to An 'You are the one who made my word unrivaled in heaven and earth' [line 57] and declares 'my father Enlil placed the fear of me in all the lands [line 168]

Fragment ..

'The spear I will swing against it [Ebih], The boomerang, the weapon aim against it, The forest around it I will set on fire, Against the evil [men] there I will swing the battle axe, The rivers I will dry up like the clean Gibilů As a city which An has cursed it will not rise up again, As a city which Enlil has beheld in anger it will not rise up.'

I think this is the start of the myth:

'Lordly queen of the awesome me, garbed in fear, who rides the great me, Inanna, you who have perfected the a-ankara weapon, who are covered with its blood, Who storm about in great battles, who step upon shields, Who initiate the flood-storm, Great queen Inanna who are knowledgable in planning combat, Destroyer of kur, who have shot far the arrow from your arm,who have planted your arm upon the kur, Like a lion you roared in heaven and earth, you smote the flesh of the people, Like a big wild ox you stood up eager to battle the inimical kur, Like an awesome lion you annihilated with your venom the hostile and the disobedient.

My queen, when you become immense as heaven, Maid Inanna, when you become vast as earth, When you rise like King Utu, swinging wide your arms, When you stand in heaven, garbed in your awesome fear, When on earth you are garbed in bright, steadfast light, When journeying over the mountains you come forth like a lapis lazuli blue net, When you bathe in the fruitful kur, When you give birth to the bright kur, the pure kur, When you seat yourself like a seemly lord, like a good lord, When in their battles you lift high their heads like a devastating weapon, Then the black haired people break out in song, All the lands utter sweetly their ilulamma chant, Queen of battle, great daughter of Sin, Maid Inanna, I would praise you as is fitting.'