Goddess Inanna - Middle Eastern Aphrodite

The largest story of the gods, numbering 800 lines, is dedicated to Inanna and Enki. Inanna is the patroness of love and procreation, Enki is the god of wisdom and magic. One day Inanna left her city of Uruk to visit Enki in his city of Eridu. During the feast, the drunken Enki granted Inanna control over more than a hundred attributes of Sumerian life. Among them were the art of scribes, music, architecture, reason, as well as kissing, prostitution, family quarrels. Inanna fled with them to her city.

Once the goddess was raped by the gardener Shukallituta. Inanna repeatedly tried to punish the mortal, but each time Enki helped the criminal to escape punishment. Finally, the goddess managed to convince the god to hand over Shukallitstu. Inanna dealt with the mortal, but promised that his name would not be forgotten.

Also popular was the story of the love of Inanna and the patron saint of the shepherds Dumuzi. According to one version of the myth, the shepherd god competed for her with the agricultural god Enkimdu. On the other hand, Dumuzi had no rivals.


In Inanna's Descent into the Underworld, the goddess dies. She descends into the Lower World to her sister, who kills her. The death of Inanna led to the cessation of the birth of children. The messengers of the god Enki convinced the goddess of the Underworld to return Inanna. She agreed on the condition that she would give a replacement - this is the only way to leave the underworld.

Returning from the Underworld, accompanied by demons, the goddess met the patrons of the Sumerian cities. Seeing them in rags, Inanna did not allow the demons to take them to the underworld. The replacement was Dumuzi, who did not mourn the death of the goddess. Appeared in myths and a plot about Dumuzi's attempts to escape from the demons who were pursuing him. As a result, the young man's sister Geshtinanna agreed to replace him in the Underworld for six months. The relationship between Inanna and Dumuzi was the theme of the Sumerian love lyrics.

Inanna was revered not only by the Sumerians, but also by the Akkadians. In Akkadian myth, Enki, tired of the cruel nature of the goddess, created her double named Strife. Inanna saw herself from the side and was horrified. After that, the goddess abandoned cruelty, and Enki ordered the Sumerians to perform a ritual dance in her honor.

Sumerian myths about the gods developed in Akkad and Babylonia. The myth of the descent into the underworld of Ishtar repeats the text about the descent of Inanna there. Plots from the Sumerian pantheon developed other myths as well.


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