The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature
Catalogues: by date | by number | in full | Website info: navigation help | site description | display conventions | recent changes
Project info: consolidated bibliography | about the project | credits and copyright | links This composition: composite text | bibliography

A hymn to Nibru and Ishme-Dagan (Ishme-Dagan W): translation


A1-A19City whose terrifying splendour extends over heaven and earth, whose towers are exceptionally grand, shrine Nibru! Your power reaches to the edges of the uttermost extent of heaven and earth. Of all the brick buildings erected in the Land, your brickwork is the most excellent. You have allowed all the foreign lands and as many cities as are built to receive excellent divine powers. Your name is as excellent as your excellent divine powers. Your soil is soil as good as your name. City, your name towers (1 ms. has instead: your divine powers tower) over heaven and earth.

A20-A37You are the pillar (?) in the south and the uplands, the mooring post of all people. Your divine powers are supreme divine powers with which no divine powers can compare. Your plans are as if rooted in the abzu, endowed with great terrifying splendour. As if it were the lovely earth itself, no one can comprehend your eminence. Your pre-eminent destiny surpasses all praise. You are a lofty hill that no one can reach. Outstanding, with head high, you reach to the heavens.

A38-A56Your interior towers up, and your exterior is awesome. You were built as life-giving food for the Anuna gods; you were beautified for their eating and drinking. You are the sheepfold which is there for their life. Nothing escapes your grasp, as if caught in the threads of an outspread net. Shrine Nibru, your activities are quite excellent, quite surpassing all description. The divine powers that you allocate are a good fortune which cannot be overturned.

A57-A71City, your interior is holy, your exterior is radiant. Your body exudes terrifying splendour. Your location is a well-chosen location. The lord of wisdom, Enlil, the Great Mountain, has built a sanctuary in your midst; that sanctuary is a lapis-lazuli sanctuary, a sanctuary that can decide destinies. It is the E-kur, the lapis-lazuli temple, the temple that can decide the destinies.

A72-A114Your prince, Nunamnir, the steer who has engendered (?) the divine powers, and mother Ninlil, the great lady of your Ki-ur, the lady who has borne the divine powers -- what god is there living in the Land like these two? They have cultically purified (?) ....... They have settled ......, and taken their seats upon the good, great and praiseworthy divine powers. The Anuna gaze at them as if at their own father and mother, listening attentively when they speak holy and most precious words in the correct manner. Enlil and Ninlil looked at the heavens, while on earth they set bounds (?); and then, once their intention became clear in the great heavens and on the broad earth, the Anuna gods of heaven and earth set to work. The mattock and the earth-basket, tools for founding cities,
2 lines unclear

unknown no. of lines missing


2 lines unclear
The command for the whole of heaven and earth ......; ...... of the king, with wide understanding, who knows all ....... They heed the holy words uttered, as if they were those of their own father and mother. The Anuna in the Ubcu-unkena ......, ...... going to Enlil and Ninlil. They direct (?) their gaze to the E-kur, the solemn shrine. The important commands of Enlil and Ninlil ....... They have placed in the hands of the great hero Ninurta the power to make heaven and earth tremble at his solemn utterances. They have covered (?) his mouth with ...... like finest oil. They have placed the divine powers of heaven and the divine powers of earth in his hands. Ninurta, the great hero, the strong ......, the youth who subdues the foreign lands, the lord who plunders the cities ....... Father Enlil and the great mother Ninlil ...... have ...... him into the E-kur.
1 line damaged
unknown no. of lines missing


3 lines damaged
Enlil and Ninlil ......
5 lines damaged
Enlil and Ninlil have bestowed this on Nuska, the lord who stands ....... Nibru, no god excels like your lord and lady; they are powerful princes, brilliantly revealed deities. No god excels like Enlil and Ninlil; they are powerful princes, lords who can decide destinies. In your midst they have given divine powers to Nuska as minister. Nibru, your holy songs are exceptionally precious, surpassing all praise. I, Icme-Dagan, have put them in everyone's mouth for all time.

Top | Home This composition: composite text | bibliography

Revision history

23.i.1999-24.i.1999 : JAB : adapting translation
20.vii.1999 : GZ : proofreading
21.vii.1999 : GC : tagging
31.vii.1999 : ER : proofreading SGML
31.vii.1999 : ER : converting to HTML 4.0
7.ix.2001 : ER : header and footer reformatted; substantive content of file not changed