The sated lover

English interpretation by Alan Humm

This story is actually the second half of a tablet from which most of the first part is lost. Only a couple of lines remain from the preceding speech. What remains describes Inanna meeting up with Dumuzi (we know this because Inanna is named at the end of the preceding speech, and Dumuzi is called by his common epithet, “fairest face,” in line 30). They make love and immediately afterward he wants to take her to his father for approval. The text breaks off at this point.
This version is a combination of the translations of S. N. Kramer (1969), and Brendt Alster (1993, quoted from Gwendolyn Leick, 1994). The notes are mine, although, of course, I may cite points made by my sources.

Notes are ‘mouse hover style’, connected to passages in green.

Please report errors to me (link at end of page). -Alan Humm


Alster, Brendt (1993). Quoted from Leick, below, p. 72.

Kramer, Samuel Noah (1969). Set me free, my sister. The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion0691035032">Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament with Supplement. New Haven: YalePritchard, James B. (Ed.). Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. P. 645.

Leick, Gwendolyn. (1994). Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature . London: Routledge.

23  When …the one I love,
     my beloved, met me,
was glad to see me, and we enjoyed being together.
The brother brought me to his house,
and made me lie on his … honey-bed.
My precious dear one, lay by my heart, in unison, making “tongues,” in unison,
30   My brother with the fairest face, made fifty.
     He suddenly got quiet,
silenced by an “earthquake.”
My brother put his hand on his waist;
my precious sweet let the moment pass.”

    “Set me free, my sister, set me free,
Come, my beloved sister, let’s go to the palace,
my father will see you as his little daughter,
he will set free for you ….”

A balbale of Inana.

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