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Japan Durga - Ishtar - from Uruk (now Iraq) to Japan - Inanna (Sumerian 𒀭𒈹 DINANNA; Akkadian DINGIRINANNA DINANA ) is the Sumerian goddess of sexual love, fertility, and warfare. Alternative Sumerian names include Innin, Ennin, Ninnin, Ninni
Ninnar, Innina, Ennina, Irnina, Innini, Nana and Nin, commonly derived from an earlier Nin-ana "lady of the sky", although Gelb (1960) presented the suggestion that the oldest form is Innin (DINNIN) and that Ninni, Nin-anna and Irnina are independent goddesses in origin.[1] Her Akkadian counterpart is Ishtar.

As early as the Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE) it would appear Inanna was associated with the city of Uruk. The famous Uruk Vase, found in a deposit of cult objects of the Uruk III period, depicts a row of naked men carrying various objects, bowls, vessels, and baskets of farm produce, and bringing sheep and goats, to a female figure facing the ruler, ornately dressed for a divine marriage, and attended by a servant. The female figure holds the symbol of the two twisted reeds of the doorpost signifying Inanna behind her, while the male figure holds a box and stack of bowls, the later cuneiform sign signifying En, or high priest of the temple.

She figures prominently in one of the earliest legends, Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, in something like a kingmaker role, transferring her personal abode and favour, and thus hegemony, from the court of Aratta's king to that of Uruk.

Seal impressions from the Jemdet Nasr period (ca. 3100-2900 BCE) show a fixed sequence of city symbols including those of Ur, Larsa, Zabalam, Urum, Arina, and probably Kesh. It is likely that this list reflects the report of contributions to Inanna at Uruk from cities supporting her cult. A large number of similar sealings were found from the slightly later Early Dynastic I phase at Ur, in a slightly different order, combined with the rosette symbol of Inanna, that were definitely used for this purpose. They had been used to lock storerooms to preserve materials set aside for her cult.[2]

Inanna's name is commonly derived from Nin-anna "Queen of Heaven" (from Sumerian NIN "lady", AN "sky")[3], although the cuneiform sign for her name (Borger 2003 nr. 153, U+12239 𒈹) is not historically a ligature of the two. In some traditions Inanna was said to be a granddaughter of the creator goddess Nammu or Namma.[citation needed]. These difficulties have led some early Assyriologists to suggest that Inanna may have been originally a Proto-Euphratean goddess, possibly related to the Hurrian mother goddess Hannahannah, accepted only latterly into the Sumerian pantheon, an idea supported by her youthfulness, and that, unlike the other Sumerian divinities, she at first had no sphere of responsibilities[4] The view that there was a Proto-Euphratean substrate language in Southern Iraq before Sumerian is not widely accepted by modern Assyriologists[5].

[edit] Worship

Along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers were many shrines and temples dedicated to Inanna. The temple of Eanna, meaning "house of heaven" or "house of An"[6] in Uruk[7] was the greatest of these. The god of this fourth-millennium city was probably originally An. After its dedication to Inanna the temple seems to have housed priestesses of the goddess. The high priestess would choose for her bed a young man who represented the shepherd Dumuzid, consort of Inanna, in a hieros gamos or sacred marriage, celebrated during the annual Akitu (New Year) ceremony, at the spring Equinox. In late Sumerian history (end of the third millennium) kings established their legitimacy by taking the place of Dumuzi in the temple for one night on the occasion of the New Year festival.[citation needed]
One version of the star symbol of Inanna/Ishtar

[edit] Iconography

Inanna's symbol is an eight-pointed star or a rosette.[8] She was associated with lions ? even then a symbol of power ? and was frequently depicted standing on the backs of two lionesses. Her cuneiform ideogram was a hook-shaped twisted knot of reeds, representing the doorpost of the storehouse (and thus fertility and plenty).[9]

[edit] Character

Inanna is the goddess of love and is one of the Sumerian war deities: She stirs confusion and chaos against those who are disobedient to her, speeding carnage and inciting the devastating flood, clothed in terrifying radiance. It is her game to speed conflict and battle, untiring, strapping on her sandals. [10] But she is also seen among people: When the servants let the flocks loose, and when cattle and sheep are returned to cow-pen and sheepfold, then, my lady, like the nameless poor, you wear only a single garment. The pearls of a prostitute are placed around your neck, and you are likely to snatch a man from the tavern. [11] Despite her association with mating and fertility of humans and animals, Inanna was not a mother goddess, though she is associated with childbirth in certain myths[12]. Inanna was also associated with rain and storms and with the planet Venus.[13]Durga is almost certainly Ishtar, of Mesopotamia, now the Middle East ,worshipped by the Sumerians, Assyrians Babylonians, and even Romans and Egyptians on the sly. She has been around since 2000 BC at least, when an already old tale was set down as the epic, The Descent of Ishtar. This worthy was a very independent and headstrong goddess who roamed the wilds of forest and deserts at will and had many lovers, constantly seeking battle and generally being given a very respectful and extremely wide berth by everybody. Ishtar and Isis were the two opposite polarities of the ancient mother cults, but Isis never came to India, though the Mahadevi is a good enough substitute. Ishtar however, proved the words of the song, "Good girls go to heaven, but bad girls go everywhere," and she became the most popular goddess of the ancient world even if not quite as intellectually respected as Isis.The common man however preferred this wild energy that was no respecter of pretensions and pomposity and cared not a fig for show and class division - Ishtar's lovers being an extremely eclectic assortment of professions and social classes.
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admin  [Jun 23, 2009 at 01:58 PM]