Enheduanna

Sumerian high priestess of Inanna

Enheduanna (born Birth name disputed; c. 23rd century BC) was a Akkadian priestess and poetess who is best known for writing her only known work, The Exaltation of Inanna, from a first person perspective. She is also much less known for being the first known priestess in the Akkadian Empire. She is celebrated as the first known person to write from a first person perspective. She is often mistakenly thought to be the first known writer.

Enheduanna
Born
Birth name disputed
NationalityAkkadian
Occupation(s)Priestess and poetess
Years activec. 23rd century BC
Known forThe first known person to write from a first person perspective; the first known priestess in the Akkadian Empire.
Notable workThe Exaltation of Inanna
(poem)
Parent
A ancient portrait of Enheduanna.

Biography change

Enheduanna was the daughter of Sargon of Akkad, who was the emperor and the founder of the Akkadian Empire. Her real birth name is rather disputed. When she grew up, Enheduanna became the priestess of the Akkadian Empire (She was the first known priestess in the Akkadian Empire), in which she likely inherited the title Enheduanna. Enheduanna was the priestess of the godess Nanna. Enheduanna was highly likely not her birth name. Given her role as a priestess to the godess Nanna, Enheduanna would have served as the embodiment of Ningal, who was said to be the spouse of Nanna. This would have given her actions divine authority. Modern-day archaeologists never found out what were the duties of Akkadian priests and/or priestesses.

During the rebellion of Lugal-Ane change

Towards the end of the reign of Narām-Sîn, Sargon of Akkad's grandson, numerous former city-states began to rebel against the Akkadian Empire. Probably around several decades before that, according to Enheduanna's poem The Exaltation of Inanna, a person by the name of Lugal-Ane became the new ruler of Ur. As the new ruler, Lugal-Ane, believing that Nanna was not a proper or right goddess, and made her an unofficial god of the city. Lugal-Ane probably went to Enheduanna (being the priestess) and probably demanded to her that he be crowned official ruler of Ur. When she refused, Enheduanna was suspended from her job as a priestess and was expelled from Ur. According to ancient temple records, Enheduanna later found refuge in Ĝirsu. Enheduanna most likely wrote the poem dedicated to Inanna, to intervene on the behalf of the Akkadian Empire, and to put an end to the rule and rebellion of Lugal-Ane. At last, Narām-Sîn put an end to the rule and rebeilion of Lugal-Ane and other kings, and restored the Akkadian Empire in the remaining years of his reign. It has been suggested that when Enheduanna learned that Nāram-Sîm put an end to the rule and rebellion of Lugal-Ane and other kings and restored the Akkadian Empire, she may have returned back to Ur, and may have resumed to her role as a priestess.

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