Dumuzi and Inanna, Considering and Re-considering some Literary Parallels. A Case Study

Ludovica Bertolini, Sapienza Università di Roma

The aim of the present paper is to provide an overview of the relationship existing between the literary production focused on the divine couple Dumuzi-Inanna and the sumerian social, cultural and religious context.

In this exposition is therefore presented, for demonstration purposes, one of the Sumerian texts of the literary corpus collated by Th. Jacobsen and then variously revisited by several scholars, and particularly by Y. Sefati in various publications.

The selected source for this dissertation in the so called Dumuzi-Inanna P, otherwise known as “Inanna the watered field. Who will plow her?”. The starting point will take place from the reading of the most significant excerpts, in order to switch to a broader reflective phase, in which the focus will shift to the political and cultural meaning or also symbolism that they may convey. In this way, we try to give a hypothetical explanation on how these lyrics shall promote, as exemplum, the values inspired by the social context, and how they constitute a mirror of the establishment which conceived them.

This research proposal can be seen as a small part of my PhD project. The selection of the core text for this presentation fell on this particular document because of the large number of themes addressed and for the huge variety of parallels offered. In the presentation and the analysis of the text, there will be several references to some other documents, also of a different kind, such as for example royal inscriptions or hymns pertaining the Ur III rulers, and few Akkadian love lyrics dealing with divine couples also because the sources of the cycle are mostly OB copies. In this regard a special attention, in this research, will be accorded to the concept of kingship and sacral legitimation through union with the divine principle.