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A šir-gida to Ninisina (Ninisina A)

1-14. …… who has taken her seat on an exalted dais, ……, imbued with awesomeness, an amazing sight, …… Ninisina, joyously fresh, ……, gathering up the divine powers, she announces the rites. …… Ninisina …… with intricate skill. ……, ministering with intricate skill, she gathers up the divine powers; Ninisina, ministering with intricate skill, she gathers up the divine powers. She takes in her hands the august divine powers. She attaches the incrustations to the great garment, while speaking favourable words. She tests the surgical lancet; Ninisina sharpens the scalpel. She has made perfect the divine powers of medicine, and hands them over to her son, the king of Ĝirsi, the kindly Damu:

15-26. "My son, pay attention to everything medical! Damu, pay attention to everything medical!" He takes the bandages and wipes them; he treats the bandages with embrocation, and softens the plaster that had been put on them. He mops up the blood and suppuration, and places a warm hand on the horrid wound. My lady, the midwife of the mothers of the Land, is the chief doctor of the black-headed; Ninisina, the daughter of An, hands this all over to her son, the king of Ĝirsi, the kindly Damu:

27-35. "My son, pay attention to everything medical! Damu, pay attention to everything medical! You will be praised for your diagnoses." Holy Ninisina performs for him her role as incantation priest, which Enki bestowed on her from the princely abzu. Because of the anxiety and intestinal disease which pursue mankind, this person writhes like a snake on scorching ground, hissing like a snake in waste ground, always calling out anew: "My heart! My stomach!"

36-45. My lady performs the incantations perfectly. Ninisina speaks the incantation formula over them and they become better. She performs the incantation with ghee, and pours it into her great bowl, bringing it along in her cooling hands. She makes the illness leave this person's body like wind. Like a raging fire of esparto grass, it dies out of its own accord. The personal gods of mankind stand before her pleading and praying; at their request, holy Ninisina intercedes before An and Enlil for them at his highest cult place:

46-51. "The evil demons and the evil demonesses who beset mankind, Dim-me and Dim-mea who enter by night, Namtar and Asag who will not leave a man alone, stand before the man. He is robbed of sleep (?). His god who smites all
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52-60. That man calls a dream interpreter, wishing to have knowledge of the future. The man for whom the demonic illness has been too great utters pleas to holy Ninisina, utters prayers to her: "My lady, I come to do homage to you!" Then your incantation descends onto the man, and you will treat him like a youth who has a protective deity. Afterwards, when you have stretched out your finger over him, he will himself praise you fittingly and call upon your name favourably!

61-73. My lady searched intensively on her own (?), concerned herself with things that otherwise one does not bother with, directed her attention to things that otherwise one does not do. Proudly she …… the rank of Mistress, and my lady took away all the divine powers established for it. At that time, the jewellery of šuba stones did not exist; no jewellery of šuba stones was worn on the neck. Ninisina invented it: it was she who ploughed with the šuba stones, she who made them into seeds. For (?) the goddess, the great mistress of heaven, she invented the jewellery of šuba stones. Radiating terrifying splendour as she grasped it, she placed it joyously on her head.

74-82. To create offspring for thousands of young women, to make things in order like a potter, to cut the umbilical cord, to determine destinies, to place a hand on the door of the Niĝin-ĝar (a part of Ninisina's temple at Isin) , ……, to let the human child scream loud and long after it is received in the embrace, to turn its belly downwards and to turn it upside down, to …… the office of Mistress, to treat it quickly, to wash …… -- after she has made all these great divine powers appear gloriously, and my lady has spoken praise …… in addition, Ninisina praises herself fittingly:

83-89. "I am the lady, the youthful woman, the great strength of Enlil! I am the beautiful woman Ninisina, daughter of holy An! My father An the king, shepherd of the gods, sat me in the Land on a holy dais. My mother Uraš, the lady of the gods, had momentous sexual intercourse with An, relaxing in the holy bedchamber; my place of engendering by holy An was a holy place."

90-104. "My house is the house of Isin, the cosmic border of heaven and earth, a fragrant cedar forest whose perfume does not diminish; its interior is a mountain established in plenteousness. Before the land of Dilmun ever existed, my house was created from a date palm. Before the land of Dilmun ever existed, Isin was created from a date palm. Its dates are like a great linen garment that hangs on a tree, heaped up into piles. The Anuna, the great gods, eat together with me. My house is a place of healing, full of opulence, the place of the formation of the Land. At night it shines to me like the moonlight; in the noonday heat it shines to me like the sunlight. My husband, Lord Pabilsaĝ, the son of Enlil, lies inside with me ……, enjoying his rest there. My watercourse is the Kir-sig watercourse, which produces plenty for eating, which spreads out over the wheat; in it the flowing water always rises high for me. Its banks make syrup and wine grow there, and make their produce rich for me."

105-120. "The heart of the Great Mountain Enlil became fearsome: he frowned at the enemy land, and cursed the rebel land. My father Enlil despatched me to the rebel land, the enemy land that he had frowned at -- me, the young woman, me, the strong heroine -- I went there. I made the shepherd of the rebel land there grasp Enlil's words well in his ears. He became frightened at me and became silent (?) in my presence. Then he was consigned to oblivion. Now no one knows him there in the destroyed city, no one finds the shepherd there in his pastures. After I had destroyed it like water, drowned it like the harvest, after I had grabbed him as a threshing sledge grabs barley, after I had set him ablaze like esparto grass, I struck him with the mace and killed him. I announced the news to my father Enlil in Nibru."

121-135. "I am the lady who sits upon terrifying divine powers! I am she who is endowed from holy heaven with the office of incantation priestess! I am she who withdraws the first fruits from the palace, I am she who has received the divine powers from the most elevated dais. I am mighty, I am the forceful one of An and Uraš, I am the great lady of the gods! My terror is fearsome as it weighs on the Land; my terrifying splendour burdens all the foreign lands. No man anticipates my commands. I am the lady, I am heroic, I am youthful, I am the powerful one of the Land! The heavens fold themselves in my presence like a mourning garment; the earth is more and more submerged as if by the water of a flood when I am present. I am the neck-stock of the Land which grips mankind. I am she who hastens like a north wind storm into the midst of the people! I am she who hears prayer and pleading!" Praise be to holy Ninisina.

    136. A šir-gida of Ninisina.

Revision history

17.iii.1999-15.iv.1999: JAB, editor: adapting translation
01.v.2000: GZ, editor: proofreading
01.v.2000: GZ, editor: SGML tagging
05.v.2000: ER, editor: proofreading SGML
05.v.2000: ER, editor: web publication GC/JE, editor/technical developer: XML/TEI conversion

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