Princess, Priestess, Poet

Princess, Priestess, Poet : The Sumerian Temple Hymns of Enheduanna

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Living in 2300 BCE, Sumerian high priestess Enheduanna became the first author of historical record by signing her name to a collection of hymns written for forty-two temples throughout the southern half of ancient Mesopotamia, the civilization now known as Sumer. Each of her hymns confirmed to the worshipers in each city the patron deity's unique character and significance. The collected hymns became part of the literary canon of the remarkable Sumerian culture and were copied by scribes in the temples for hundreds of years after Enheduanna's death. Betty De Shong Meador offers here the first collection of original translations of all forty-two hymns along with a lengthy examination of the relevant deity and city, as well as an analysis of the verses themselves. She introduces the volume with discussions of Sumerian history and mythology, as well as with what is known about Enheduanna, thought to be the first high priestess to the moon god Nanna, and daughter of Sargon, founder of one of the first empires in human history.

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  • Hardback | 338 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 30.48mm | 703.06g
  • University of Texas Press
  • Austin, TXUnited States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations, maps
  • 0292719329
  • 9780292719323
  • 1,649,572

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"Meador succeeds in presenting very unusual poetic material (translated beautifully) and in providing historical and cultural material that is still, alas, not well known to modern readers. [This work] is exceptional in succeeding at these difficult purposes." John Maier, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus of English, SUNY College at Brockport

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