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New Under Heaven

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The men of the Assembly of Ur bowed before Sargon, King of Akkad, King of Kish, and now of their city too. He stood with his soldiers and a young woman scarce out of girlhood.

"The portents say the Lord Nanna has called for an en-priest to live in the gipar as His holy spouse," Sargon said. "I am honoured to give my daughter to the Lord Nanna, as the signs demand."

She was but a child. She would be easily influenced, they thought.

The girl raised her young face to stare out at them, her eyes brilliant and hard.


Ur prospered as before, for Nanna was well pleased. Lord Nanna's en-priest was wise beyond her years, judicious in her words to her father. After some years of her presence in the gipar, none were surprised when she, sisterly, mourned the death of her fellow en-priest of Uruk.

The surprise came after.

"The portents say that I shall be en in Uruk also," she said.

"Lady, you are the Spouse of Nanna! How can you be the Spouse of An?" her ensi said, aghast. "Shall you seek divorce?"

"I am something new," she said. "Let Heaven shift to accommodate me."


Enheduanna, en of the Lord Nanna of Ur, of the Lord An of Uruk sat in her private rooms. With her own hands she pressed reed to clay, while her servants looked on in awe.

"Lady, will you not rest? You have prayed all morning and now you write hymns all day," her ensi said.

"The Lady Inanna sustains me."

"Not the Lords Nanna or An?" her ensi said, looking pained.

She smiled, still writing.

"I am something no gods have ever created before. Listen, a new song: Lady of all Divine Power, Resplendent Light - "

"Praise Inanna," her ensi whispered.