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The message of Lu-dingira to his mother: translation

1-8Royal courier, start the journey! I want to send you to Nibru -- deliver this message! You are going on a long journey. My mother is worried, she cannot sleep (1 ms. has instead: is too (?) ...... to sleep). Although the way to her (1 ms. has instead: the closed) woman's domain is blocked, deliver my letter of greeting into her hands, as she keeps asking (1 ms. has instead: and then she will not keep asking) the travellers (1 ms. has instead: wayfarers) about my well-being. Then my mother will be delighted, and will treat you most kindly (?) for it.

9-20In case you should not recognise my mother, let me describe her to you. Her name is Cat-Ectar (1 ms. has instead: Cimat-Ectar), ...... by her words (some mss. have instead: ......) ....... Her body, face and limbs, and outer appearance are ....... She is the fair goddess of her city-quarter. Her fate has been decided since the days of her youth. Single-handed she keeps in order the house of her father-in-law. She serves humbly before her divine mistress. She knows how to look after Inana's place. She never disobeys the orders (1 ms. has instead: wishes) of the king. She is energetic and causes possessions to multiply. She is loving, gentle, and lively. By nature she is a lamb, sweet butter, honey, flowing ghee.

21-31Let me give you another description of my mother: My mother is like the bright light in the sky (1 ms. has instead: on the horizon), a doe on the hillsides. She is the morning star, shining even at noon-time (1 ms. has instead: providing plenty of light). She is precious cornelian, a topaz from Marhaci. She is the jewellery of a king's brother, full of beauty. She is a cylinder seal of nir stone, an ornament like the sun (1 ms. has instead: a delightful cornelian jewel, an ornament) (1 ms. has instead: a cornelian ......, an ornament of nir stone) (1 ms. has instead: a ...... jewel, delightful and beautiful). She is a bracelet of tin, a ring of antasura metal. She is a nugget of shining gold and silver, but which is living and draws breath ...... (1 ms. has instead:...... and breathing) (1 ms. has instead: ...... place ......). She is an alabaster statuette of a protective goddess standing on a pedestal of lapis lazuli. She is a polished rod of ivory (2 mss. have instead: a living figurine (?)), with limbs full of beauty (1 ms. has instead: ......) (1 ms. has instead: full of pleasure).

32-39Let me give you a third description of my mother: My mother is rain from heaven (1 ms. has instead: timely rain), water for the finest seeds. She is a bountiful harvest of fully-grown fine barley (1 ms. has instead: ripe, exceedingly fine barley) (1 ms. has instead: heavenly ......) (1 ms. has instead: ripe ......). She is a garden of ...... (1 ms. has instead: delights), full of laughter (1 ms. has instead: filled with rejoicing). She is a well-irrigated pine tree, an adorned juniper (1 ms. has instead: adorned with pine-cones). She is early fruit, the products (1 ms. has instead: garden's yield) of the first month. She is an irrigation ditch bringing fertilising water to the garden plots. She is a sweet Dilmun date, a prime date much sought after.

40-46Let me give you a fourth description of my mother: My mother fills the festivals and offerings with joy. She is an akitum offering (1 ms. has instead: the akitum festival), awesome (?) to look upon. She is ...... child (1 ms. has instead: daughter) of the king, a song of abundance. She is a place of entertainment set up for delights. (1 ms. adds: ...... fruit ...... abundance.) She is a lover, a loving heart who never becomes sated with pleasure. She is the good news that the captive will return to his mother (1 ms. has instead: to celebrate).

47-52Let me give you a fifth description of my mother: My mother is a palm-tree, with the sweetest fragrance. She is a chariot of juniper wood, a waggon of boxwood. She is a fine cloth (1 ms. has instead: a good ...... ) perfumed with refined oil. She is a bunch of grapes, a garland (?) growing luxuriantly (1 ms. has instead: perfect in luxuriant growth). She (1 ms. has instead: My mother) is a phial made from an ostrich egg, overflowing (1 ms. has instead: full) with finest (1 ms. has instead: perfumed) oil. (1 ms. adds: She is a fair woman, accompanied by a protective goddess ....... She is a woman who will show you compassion like (?) Aruru, ...... born .......)

53-54When, thanks to the descriptions I have given you, you stand in her (?) radiant presence, tell her: "Your beloved son Lu-dijira is in good health". (1 ms. has instead: The descriptions I have given you describe (?) her (?) appearance. A most fair woman accompanied by many protective goddesses, she is my mother. Pay attention, ...... joyfully ......: "Your beloved son Lu-dijira is in good health ......", tell her .......
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Revision history

17.viii.2000 : GZ : adapting translation
30.ix.2000 : JAB : proofreading
04.x.2000 : GC : tagging
13.x.2000 : ER : proofreading SGML
13.x.2000 : ER : converting to HTML 4.0
7.ix.2001 : ER : header and footer reformatted; substantive content of file not changed