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Fabulous Goddess of Words, Language, Syntax and Meaning

It's all writing, innit? Having peeked at the Tablets of Destiny (ME), she is an expert at persuasive NAM-SHUBbery.

The daughter of ANU (or possibly his son ENLIL), she has much in common with ISHTAR, with a faint hint of PERSEPHONE. She married a shepherd type deity called DUMUZI and built him a city to rule called Uruk. She also has a sister (possibly a twin) called ERESHKIGAL who was ruler of the Underworld.

One day INANNA said to her maid Ninshubar: "Look after things for a day or two — I'm going Down Under to see how sis is getting on — we haven't seen each other for ages."

Well, it was quite a lark. There were seven gates, and before she went through each one she had to do a bit of strip tease. This was a strip search with a difference. By the time she got to the throne room she was starkers.

Unabashed (she was not the bashful type), INANNA cried 'Wheee — ain't we got fun! Wow — give us a kiss, move over and lemmee have a go on that fab throne! The ministers and judges of the dead in attendance on ERESHKIGAL were appalled and gave INANNA the sort of looks that could kill. So INANNA dropped dead. They hung her corpse on a butcher's hook. ERESHKIGAL did not seem very concerned. Twinning had never been her thing.

Ninshubar was the one who became concerned when her mistress did not return. She prayed to the Gods but there was much shaking of heads and shuffling from above and only ENKI came to her aid. He created two zombie-like beings and gave them a lunch box containing immortality snacks. Having no hearts or anything to prove they were alive they went through the seven gates without let or hindrance.

In the Throne room they just took INANNA off the hook and restored her to life. The judges looks were of no use. Somewhat subdued by now INANNA asked her sister if she could leave now. 'Well, I can let you off the hook for the time being' said ERESHKIGAL,' but you must send me a replacement, or you will have to come back.'

Doing a reverse strip on the way out, INANNA shot back to Uruk at top speed to find DUMUZI having the time of his life and sleeping with GESHTINANNA the Goddess of Wine, another sister of hers. She packed both of them off the Underworld and they each have to do a six-month stint — Duz in summer, Gesh in winter.

You would think all this sort of thing would have slowed INANNA down, but not a bit. She was always a headstrong girl and having heard of the " ME", The Tablets of Destiny and Fundamental Powers of the Universe had been left for safekeeping with ENKI, She thought ' ME, ME, ME! They're going to be mine!'

She paid a visit to ENKI who now had a slight drink problem and by using flattery, her considerable sexual charm and getting him well and truly sozzled, she persuaded him to let her have a peek at one of the famous tablets. Then another one. And then could she hold one? By the end of the evening she not only held them, she loaded them onto her barge and pushed off rapidly for Uruk.

When ENKI woke up with a hangover and found he had given the tablets away, he was not a happy God. He sent his minions in pursuit, but she outwitted them all, proclaiming that ENKI had given them of His Own Free Will. His being drunk at the time was not her problem — he should join Alcoholics Anonymous. (This of course was not really feasible because everyone knew who ENKI was.) And that was that.

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Article last updated on 08 January 2013
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Inanna is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Area or people : Sumer
Location : Mesopotamia
Gender : Female
Type : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : INANA, INNANA, INNINA
Popularity index : 539

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