Enheduanna: A Remarkable Woman

Sunday, June 1, 2014


If you haven't already figured it out, I'm a writer. I love the art of storytelling and the people who have embraced it. 

One of my cousins recently posted a video to my wall about a woman named Enheduanna. I had never heard of her,so naturally my curious mind was ready to research. After my research, I couldn't help but wonder why I had never heard of this remarkable woman before.

Enheduanna was a Mesopotamian high priestess and believed to be the daughter of King Sargon the Great. However, she is best known as the first author and poet in the world. 

Enheduanna was born around 2285 BC in Mesopotamia. Although it is not completely know whether she was the blood daughter of the king, he made her the high priestess of the most important temple in the kingdom and gave her the duty of meshing the Sumerian and Akkadian gods together in order to further unite the kingdom.

Historian Paul Kriwaczek wrote in his book, Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization, "Her compositions, though only rediscovered in modern times, remained models of petitionary prayer for even longer. Through the Babylonians, they influenced and inspired the prayers and psalms of the Hebrew Bible and the Homeric hymns of Greece. Through them, faint echoes of Enheduanna, the first named literary author in history, can even be heard in the hymnody of the early Christian church." 

Enheduanna is said to have composed over 42 hymns, which were addressed to various temples across the temples. These hymns were very popular and continued to be used hundreds of years after her death, which is estimated to be around 2250 BC. Archaeologists also discovered that copies of her work were kept alongside royal inscriptions, suggesting that her work was held to the high value of kings. Most of her work has been translated and can be found at the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature.
 

6 comments :

  1. it's pretty mindblowing that people can track what people have documented that far back. i have never heard of her either, so thanks for sharing!

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    1. I know right; it's pretty amazing. Thanks for reading!

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  2. I echo what Estherjulee said - it's amazing that they can know anything at all about someone that far back, she does sound pretty remarkable! Love learning new things like this unexpectedly, thank you!

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  3. Wow I too never heard of her before and it is mind blowing just reading abit about her x

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    1. I know right. It's pretty interesting.

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