He also had a minister named Isimu, a two-faced god who served him. Ki is the Sumerian word for earth, and she was personified as a goddess and female counterpart to An (the heaven god). Later they were separated by their son Enlil and moved away from each other. Enki was also associated with wisdom, magic, incantations, and arts and crafts. We will focus on the most widespread and well established. Enki’s wife, Ninhursag, is one of the oldest and most important of Sumerian gods and goddesses. The Sumerian Goddesses and Gods were the foundation upon which their society was based. In Sumerian poetry, he was concerned with every aspect of human life and organized every feature of the civilized world in great detail. Enlil and his wife, the air-goddess Ninlil, bore the moon-god Nanna. The legend is that Enlil found himself living in utter darkness in the sky. Nanshe: Associated with fishing, justice, prophecy and fertility. Unique to Sumerian religion is the fact that there is an absolute inferiority of men to gods. It is An who, in Sumerian tradition, took over heaven when it was separated from earth, creating the universe as we know it. To do that, she devised a plan to steal Enki’s divine decrees that outline the wisdom and knowledge of civilization-making. There is also reason to believe that Enlil took the place of An as the leader of the pantheon according to sources from around 2500 BC. I would also like to share my favourite piecing together of the Sumerian creation myth as retold by Neal Robbins. Sister of Inanna. The personality of Inanna can be divided into three quite separate parts: goddess of love and sexual behavior, especially connected with extramarital sex and lust; a warlike goddess fond of battle, violence, and power, standing next to her favorite kings as they fight; and Inanna as the planet Venus, the morning and evening star. The edimmu were a type of utukku, a ghost or spirit of the deceased that escaped the underworld either by their own will or through summoning. As a protector of good and destroyer of evil, he also had a warrior aspect to his personality. He was also the lord of constellations and king of gods, spirits and demons. During his journey across the skies, he saw everything. Her sacred animal was the dog, and small model dogs were dedicated to her by her followers. For more information on how humankind was created according to different Mesopotamian traditions, read our earlier post. Earth consisted of the ground and the land of the dead beneath it. Sarpanit: A mother goddess and the consort of the chief god, Marduk. Earth was Sumer, it was created by the migrants from the Indus Valley. Nanna and his wife Ningal bore the sun-god Utu, who traveled across the heavens lighting up the day. Here it is impossible for men to achieve any sort of paradise, which is reserved only for the immortal gods, not for mortal men. Ereshkigal, goddess of death and gloom, inhabited this nether world and was the older sister and bitter enemy of Inanna, the goddess of love and war. He is represented as the tragic victim of Inanna’s love and hate. Kings would then be symbolically married to the goddess. Heaven and earth was very confusing until I discovered something. Unlike most ancient cultures that primarily had moon goddesses, Nanna is the moon-god born to Enlil and Ninlil. Therefore, we will only focus on a few key Sumerian gods and goddesses that make up the bulk of the mythological stories of Sumer.

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