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NIN-ME-SARA: Lady of countless cosmic powers

This is the first english translation of Dr. Annette Zgoll’s german, academic translation of Nin-me-sara found at the beginning of her book, "Der Rechtsfall der En-hedu-Ana im Lied Nin-me-sara"(1997), "En-Hedu-Ana's Lawsuit in the poem Nin-me-sara". It is a combined effort between myself and Tatjana Dorsch, who has very accessibly translated the whole book for me. It is the most recent, updated translation of Enheduana’s most famous poem since Dr. William Hallo’s grounbreaking translation, "The Exaltation of Inanna" in 1968. Dr. Zgoll has generously given of her time and corrected it and allowed me to post it here.

[1] This can also connote through homophone and homonym: "Queen of the countless battles, (as) a raging storm rising"

[2] Or we can read the sign of 'munus-zi' as 'zirru': “female”( bird). This is a title of Ningal, that is of Enheduanna.
- Dr. Joan Westenholz has identified zirru as a title of the goddess Ningal, used by Enheduanna in her article, “Enheduanna, En-Priestess, Hen of Nanna,Spouse of Nanna”. In this article she deduces that Enheduanna is endowed with this title of zirru to convey that she is the human embodiment of Ningal.

[3] nugig is a title of Inanna in the context of the exercise of power or the broadening of power, important in the context of legitimization of rulers.
-One of Dr. Zgoll’s theories is that Enheduanna herself, as en-priestess of Nanna in Ur, is endowed with the power to legitimate a king’s rule.

[4] I.e., Inanna loves the aga-crown/cap (object). It can also be read as: the aga-crown/cap (subject) loves Inanna, whereby then the aga metonomycal stands for Nanna, compare chapter 3.4.-- The attribute “right” is the same word as in line 2 “driven” , it can be understood here also as a replacement for ‘thirst for creating’.
(dictionary definition of metonymy- one word is put for another that it suggests; as, we say, a man keeps a good table instead of good food; we read Virgil, that is, his poems; a man has a warm heart, that is, warm affections)

[5] Or: “Who, authorized through the fate-determining mouth of An, says words”.

[6] In reference to nam-lu-ulu (mankind, men) line 21.

[7] literally: “to you” (or because of you)

[8] literally: “to you” (or because of you)

[9] Literally: “to you” . (or because of you)

[10] Arms, troups, idols, fighting strength etc...

[11] In Sumerian dictionary tooth--tartar.

[12] Referring to nam-lu-ulu (“mankind”, “men”).

[13 ] Literally: “flying around”.

[14] Variant writing: “they cannot withstand”.

[15] Literally ‘cool’ with connotation ‘refresh’.

[16] Literally also “liver”, “stomach’.

[17] Another translation possibility: “Rage (glowing) and not cooling,
great daugher of Suen!”

[18] Literally: “your earth”.

[19] Compare chapter 3.6.2.

[20] Some texts: “When you.... the ‘mountain ranges’” LaC: “you looked angrily upon
the enemy land , ....”; UnH “When you looked angrily at the enemy land”.

[21] UrB: “in ihre (their, her, your) great temple”.

[22] 2 text segments: “they have nothing to drink”.

[23] Other translation possibility, also in the following lines” “in their fear”.

[24] NiW: “stood in front of you”.

[25] NiMM and LaB: “The enemy city, which has not said “To you

[26] Variant: “ spoken from your fate-determining word”.

[27] Another word variant yielded the translation: “from the mother love”.
Literal translation: “Then... the foot is slipped”.

[28] Literally: “the fate-determining thing of her insides”.

[29] See the opening of line 4: the adjective “right” also comprises the connotation
of true powerfulness.

[30] The goddess Ningal. Literally: “as her own mother”.

[31] Simultaneously valid to the version: ”What you have spoken in as great a manner,
is the ‘most powerful’.”, i.e. “No one can become more praised than you”.

[32] By the use of “heart” the connotation of “Anger” from the context of line 38-41is
not to be overlooked.

[33] NiRR: ‘zirru’, “(bird)woman”; this version is also possible in the parallel text.
It is a title of Ningal, that is, Enheduanna; compare with chapter 6.1.

[34]NiRR: “the fate-deciding ME.” LaB, UnC: ”the rightful ME”.

[35] A part of the temple complex of the moongod in Ur, which encompasses the
residence of the en-Priestess and the shrine of Ningal.

[36] The name means translated “En,Ornament of An”. Compare to chapter 4.5.

[37] UrB, UrG, LaB, write euphemistically instead “the beautiful place”. NiRR: “One of
them has set down my meal (for the gods)”. NiA: “ of them offered, on his account
as if I had never lived there.”

[38] Literally: “Haven’t I not lived there?”

[39] This version is in Text NiC and Text NiHHH, all other texts have one of the
homophonic expressions. NiRR writes “bitter”.

[40] In other texts: "so that she calms her heart for me."

[41] NiA, LaB: "Be hailed", UrD "The Judge!"/"Pass judgement!", Niff "(you) attacked".

[42] Meaning Lugal-Ane. see chapter 5.2 and 5.3.

[43] Meaning the God, An.

[44] Meaning Lugal-Ane .

[45] Literally:"his envy".

[46] Or: "the lamentations, which were established".

[47] LaB: "should be approached".

[48] LaB: "they will die".

[49] UrB: "has not decided [my] verdict".

[50] NiU, NiDD: "He consumed my life."

[51] UnB: "the right garment".

[52] 2nd Version: "This will be pushed against you (like horns of a bull)”.

[53] This turn (idiom) is a regular formula of the heart-soothing of the gods,
which in this context agrees with the similar sounding:
"may it be ... turned to its territories".

[54] NiRR:"The beloved wife of An [has...], beloved [ ] of Ama[-sumgal-Ana]".

[55] NiDD:"In my radiant bed".

[56] UrB:"I will not say anything to him".

[57] NiA, UnB: "You are the beloved queen of An"

[58] UrA, LaC: kur.

[59] NiYY:"before your throne".

[60] The name of the Inana-temple in Girsu/Lagas;
beside it is also professed a place in various Inana-temples.

[61] Other texts:"May your heart be calmed/refreshed for me!"

[62] The meaning is first of all the text of NMS itself;
for a broader translation compare with Chapter 7.2.

[63] 'en' is a title for priests and rulers.

[64] In Sumerian this is only one lexeme. (=word)

[65] Another possible translation: (he) "led her out".

I have added a few explanations of her research in italics beneath some of the footnotes. For those unfamiliar with the Sumerian terms, Dr. Zgoll’s literary paraphrase will be most helpful and I will be posting it in the near futur. I have also taken the liberty in presenting the long lines of the poem as shorter pairs of lines whenever possible, to facilitate reading the poem. ---------------------------------------

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