ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
[personal profile] ikhet_sekhmet
Some choice Inanna/Ishtar bits from an article on the Sumerian ball game (as played by Gilgamesh in his Epic):

"The hymnic passage of the bilingual Exaltation of Ištar states: 'O Inana/Ištar, make fight and combat ebb and flow like a skipping rope (ešemen2/keppû)! O lady of battle, make the fray clash together like pukku (the Akkadian version adds: and mekkû)" (George, 2003:898). The idea is that for the goddess of war, the fierce battle is enjoyable like a dance or game." (p 285) The pukku and mekkû, which Gilgamesh makes from the roots of the ḫuluppu tree which Inanna plants and waters, are a ball and mallet, which parallel the ring and rod which are the symbols of royalty.

"The cultic lament Uruammairrabi contains a similar passage about the goddess, in which she boasts: 'I send heads rolling like heavy balls (pukku); I play with my skipping rope whose cord is multi-coloured'." P. Lapinkivi argues that the keppû is not a skipping rope, but a "whip(ping) top". In either case, "its associations to pukku and the cult of the goddess are well attested." (p 286)

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Annus, Amar and Mari Sarv. "The Ball Game Motif in the Gilgamesh Tradition and International Folklore". in Robert Rollinger and Erik van Dongen (eds). Mesopotamia in the ancient world: impact, continuities, parallels: proceedings of the Seventh Symposium of the Melammu Project held in Obergurgl, Austria, November 4-8, 2013. Münster, Ugarit-Verlag, 2015.
George, A.R. The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic. Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts. Oxford, 2013.
Lapinkivi, P. The Neo-Assyrian Myth of Ištar's Descent and Resurrection. States Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts 6. Publications of the Foundation for Finnish Assyriological Research 1. Helsinki, 2010.
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