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Enheduanna Chapter 1 : Introduction 

This is chapter 1 of 6 chapters in the series Enheduanna


Chapter 1 : Introduction 

Author’s note:

This play you are about to read is about love, passion, lust, romance, fantasy, intrigue, history and adventure. It is the first story to have ever been recorded in history. It is the story of Enheduanna and Lugal-Ane, two individuals whose love and passion still echo in many of our literature today.

Historical background:

In the ancient land of Mesopotamia, along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, there once resided two people, the Akkadians and the Sumerians. The Akkadians lived in the northern regions, where as the Sumerians occupied the southern fertile planes. They spoke two different languages and worshipped different gods even though they lived side by side for thousands of years.

Around 2340 BC, a great king emerged, Sargon of Akkad, who unified all the cities of Akkad under his rule. Then he occupied Sumer as well, killing its king, Zage-Si, and establishing one of the first global empires in the ancient world.

Princess Enheduanna (2285-2250 BC) was the daughter of Sargon the Great. She was also a poet and is considered to be the world’s first poet in recorded history. Her father appointed her as high priestess of the temples of Uruk and Ur, two of the greatest worshipping sites in Sumer. Her name Enheduanna means “The High Priestess Adornment of the God Anu”.

The great temple of Uruk was a very important sacred site in Sumer. It was there where the goddess Inanna was worshiped. At this temple sacred prostitution was common practice. The high priestess of the temple would choose to her bed young men who represented the shepherd Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna. Many Sumerian kings established their legitimacy by taking the place of Dumuzi in the temple for one night.

Enheduanna also served as high priestess at the important costal city of Ur where the Moon god, Nanna (Sin), was worshipped. As high priestess she referred to herself as “wife of Nanna,” the embodiment of the goddess Ningal, who was Nanna’s consort.

Enheduanna’s responsibility was to combine the Sumerian gods with the Akkadian ones to create stability in the newly established Akkadian empire. She was also credited with creating the first paradigms of poetry, psalms, and prayers used throughout the ancient world for many generations. 

A few years later, Enheduanna was ousted out of the city of Ur by Lugal-Ane, the son of Zage-Si (historical records do not mention Zage-Si as Lugal-Ane’s father but we will assume this is the case for our story).

Lugal-Ane expelled Enheduanna out of the city of Ur and desecrated the temple of Uruk. Enheduanna took refuge with her brother (Man-Ishtishu) in the city of Akkad. She came back with an army commanded by her nephew (Naram-Sin) and took back her cities from Lugal-Ane. She reinstated herself as high priestess and ruled once again.


Enheduanna: (Whom we shall call Anna) High priestess of the temples of Ur and Uruk in Sumer. Daughter of Sargon the Great.

Lugal-Ane: (whom we shall call Lugan) last King of Sumer (Lugal means: King)

Sargon of Akkad:  Enheduanna father, founder of the Akkadian Empire.

Zage-Si:  Lugal-Ane father. 

Sagadu:  scribe of Enheduanna

ILum:  maid and hairdresser of Enheduanna

Nanni: Wife of Lugal-Ane.

Man-Ishtishu:  Enheduanna brother 

Naram-Sin:  Enheduanna nephew

Sumerian Gods:

Inanna: (Akkadian goddess Ishtar) Queen of heaven, goddess of love, wisdom, war, fertility and lust. Inanna was associated with the planet Venus which is visible only when it rises in the east before sunrise (morning star), or when it sets in the west after sunset (evening star). As both goddess of love and war Inanna is also known for her duel nature and unpredictability. She is referred for her ill-treatment of her lovers and her outbursts of temper.

Anu (or An): king of all the gods, great grandfather of Inanna

Nanna (or Suen also called Sin): son of Enlil. Moon God and father of Inanna

Ningal: goddess of reeds. Nanna consort and Inanna mother.

Dumuzi: Inanna consort

Ereshkigal : Inanna sister and goddess of the underworld

Utu: the sun god and Inanna brother

Ishkur: rain God and Inanna brother

Enki : God of culture. Inanna great uncle. His temple is in Eridu.

Enlil: God of the Winds, weather, Lord of the Storm. Son of Anu and the most powerful after him. His temple is in Nippur. Grandfather of Inanna.

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