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Inanna, the boat of heaven and the meh

Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, procreation, and of war who later, became identified
with the Akkadian goddess Ishtar, and further with the Phoenician Astarte and the Greek Aphrodite,
among others. She was also seen as the bright star of the morning and evening, Venus. Through the
work of the Akkadian poet and high priestess, Enheduanna (2285-2250 BCE) daughter of Sargon of
Akkad (who conquered Mesopotamia and built the great Akkadian Empire) Inanna was carefully
identified with Ishtar and rose in prominence from a local vegetative deity of the Sumerian people to the
Queen of Heaven and the most popular goddess in all of Mesopotamia.
Joshua J. Mark: Inanna

The boat of heaven

Below is an excerpt from The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi

My vulva, the horn,

The Boat of Heaven,
Is full of eagerness like the young moon.
My untilled land lies fallow.
As for me, Inanna,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will plow my high field?
Who will plow my wet ground?
As for me, the young woman,
Who will plow my vulva?
Who will station the ox there?
Who will plow my vulva?

Dumuzi replied:
"Great Lady, the king will plow your vulva?
I, Dumuzi the King, will plow your vulva."

"Then plow my vulva, man of my heart!
Plow my vulva!"
The meh
Inanna played a pivotal role in the mythological history of Uruk as it was she who stole the sacred meh
from her father-god Enki at the sacred city of Eridu and brought them to Uruk. The meh were, in the
words of Kramer (who first translated the cuneiform) divine decrees which are the basis of the culture
pattern of Sumerian civilization. As Eridu was considered, by the Sumerians, the first city created by the
gods and a place holy to them, the removal of the meh to Uruk signified a transference of power and
prestige from one city to the other. In the tale of Inanna and The God of Wisdom, Enki god goes to great
lengths, once he finds the meh are stolen, to have them brought back to Eridu but in vain. Inanna has
tricked her father and now Uruk, not Eridu, would be the seat of power.
Joshua J. Mark: Uruk

Below is an excerpt from page 161 of The Sumerians: Their History, Culture and Character

By the name of power, by the name of my power,

To holy Inanna, my daughter, I shall present the divine

He thereupon presents, several at a time, the more than one hundred divine decrees which, according to
our author, control the culture pattern of civilization. Inanna is only too happy to accept the gifts offered
her by the drunken Enki. She takes them and loads them on her "boat of heaven," and embarks for Erech
with her precious cargo.

Finally Inanna and her boat arrive safely at Erech, where, amidst jubilation and feasting on the part of
the delighted inhabitants, she unloads the precious divine mes one at a time.

Notice the link between Inanna and the military effectiveness and weaponry of the Sumerians.
The armies of Sumer and Akkad represented the pinnacle of military development in the Bronze Age. No
army of the same period could match the Sumerians in military effectiveness and weaponry. The
Sumerian civilization produced no fewer than six major new weapons and defensive systems, all of
which set the standard for other armies of the Bronze Age and Iron Ages. Few armies in history have
been so innovative.
Karen Metz & Richard Gabriel: "A Short History of War: The Evolution of Warfare and Weapons"