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The cursing of= Agade
(Sumerian text= , 3rd Millennium BC, University of Oxford translation, The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature)
After Enlil's frown had
slain Kiš as if it were the Bull of Heaven,
had slaughtered the house of the land of Unug
in the dust as if it were a mighty bull, and then Enlil
had given the rulership and kingship from the south as far as the highlands=
to Sargon, king of Agade,
at that time, holy Inana
established the sanctuary of Agade as h=
celebrated woman's domain. She set up her throne in
Like a young man building a house for the first time, like a girl establishing a woman's domain, holy Inana did = not sleep as she ensured that the warehouses would be provisioned, that dwellin= gs would be founded in the city, that its people would eat splendid food, that= its people would drink splendid beverages, that those bathed for holidays would rejoice in the courtyards, that the people would throng the places of celebration, that acquaintances would dine together, that foreigners would cruise about like unusual birds in the sky, that even Marhaši would be re-entered on the tribute rolls, that monkeys, mighty elephants, w= ater buffalo, exotic animals, as well as thoroughbred dogs, lions, mountain ibex= es, and alum sheep with long wool would jostle each other in = the public squares.
She then filled Agade's stores for emmer wheat with gold, she filled its stores for white emmer wheat with sil= ver. She delivered copper, tin, and blocks of lapis lazuli to its granaries and sealed its silos from outside. She endowed its old women with the gift of giving counsel, she endowed its old men with the gift of eloquence. She end= owed its young women with the gift of entertaining, she endowed its young men wi= th martial might, she endowed its little ones with joy. The nursemaids who car= ed for the general's children, played the drumsticks. Inside the city tigi drums sounded, outside it, flutes and zamzam= instruments. Its harbour where ships moored was full of joy. All foreign la= nds rested contentedly, and their people experienced happiness.
Its king, the shepherd Naram-Suen, rose as the daylight on the holy throne of Agade. Its city wall, like a mountain, reached the heavens. It was like the Tigris flowing into the sea as holy Inana opened the portals of its city-gates = and made Sumer bring its own possessions upst= ream by boats. The highland Martu, people ignorant of agriculture, brought spirited cattle and kids for her. The Meluḫans, the people of the black lan= d, brought wares of foreign countries up to her. Elam and Subir loaded themselves with goods f= or her as if they were packasses. All the governors, the temple administrators, and the accountants of the Gu-edina regularly supplied the monthly and New Year offerings. What a weariness all these caused at Agade's city gate= s! Holy Inana could hardly receive all these offerings. As if she were a citizen there, she could not restrain the desir= e to prepare the ground for a temple.
But the statement coming from the E-kur was disquieting. Because of Enlil all = Agade was reduced to trembling, and terror befell Inana in Ulmaš. She left the city, returning to her home. Holy Inana abandoned the sanctuary of Agade like someone abandoning the young women of her woman's domain. Like a warrior hurrying to arms, she removed the gift of battle and fight from the city and handed them over to the enemy.
Not even five or 10 days had passed and Ninurta brought the jewels of rulership, the royal crown, the emblem and the royal throne bestowed on Agade, back into = his E-šu-me-ša. Utu took away the eloquence of the city. Enki took = away its wisdom. An took away into= the midst of heaven its fearsomeness that reaches heaven. = Enki tore out its well-anchored holy mooring pole from the abzu= span>. Inana took away its weapons.
The life of Agade's sanctuary= was brought to an end as if it had been only the life of a tiny carp in the deep waters, and all the cities were watching it. Like a mighty elephant, it bent its neck to the ground while they all raised their horns like mighty bulls. Like a dying dragon, it dragged its head on the earth and they jointly depr= ived it of honour as in a battle.
Naram-Suen saw in a nocturnal vision that Enlil would not let the kingdom of Agade occu= py a pleasant, lasting residence, that he would make its future altogether unfavourable, that he would make its temples shake and would scatter its treasures. He realised what the dream was about, but did not put into words, and did not discuss it with anyone. …… temples shake ……, …… perform extispi= cy regarding his temple ……. Because of the E-kur, he put on mourning clothes, covered his chariot with a reed mat, tore the r= eed canopy off his ceremonial barge and gave away his royal paraphernalia. Naram-Suen persisted for seven years! Who h= as ever seen a king burying his head in his hands for seven years? He realised what the dream was about, but did not put into words, and did not discuss it with anyone.
Then he went to perform extispicy on a kid regarding the temple, but= the omen had nothing to say about the building of the temple. For a second time= he went to perform extispicy on a kid regarding the temple, but the omen again= had nothing to say about the building of the temple. In order to change what had been inflicted upon him, he tried to to alter Enlil's pronouncement.
Because his subjects were dispersed, he now began a mobilization of = his troops. Like a wrestler who is about to enter the great courtyard, he …… his hands towards the E-kur. Like an athlete bent to start a contest, he treated the giguna= as if it were worth only thirty shekels. Like a robber plundering the city,= he set tall ladders against the temple. To demolish E-kur as if it were a huge ship, to break up its soil like the soil of mountains where precious metals are mined, to splinter it like the lapis lazuli mount= ain, to prostrate it like a city inundated by Iškur, alhough the temple was not the Mountains of Cedar-felling, he had large axes cast, he had double-edged= agasilig axes sharpened to be used against it. He set spades against its roots and it sank as low as the foundation of the Land. He put axes against its top, and= the temple, like a dead soldier, bowed its neck before him, and all the foreign lands bowed their necks before him.
He ripped out its drain pipes, and all the rain went back to the heavens. He tore off its upper lintel and the Land was deprived of its orna= ment. From its Gate from which Grain is never Diverted, he diverted grain, and the Land was deprived of grain. He struck the Gate of Well-Being with the picka= xe, and well-being was subverted in all the foreign lands. As if they were for great tracts of land with wide carp-filled waters, he cast large spades to = be used against the E-kur. The people could see the bedchamber, its room which knows no daylight. The Akkadians could look into the holy treasure chest of the gods. Though they had committed no sacrilege, its laḫama deities of the great pilasters standing at the temple were thrown into the = fire by Naram-Suen. The cedar, cypress, juni= per and boxwood, the woods of its giguna, were …… by him. He = put its gold in containers and put its silver in leather bags. He filled the do= cks with its copper, as if it were a huge transport of grain. The silversmiths = were re-shaping its silver, jewellers were re-shaping its precious stones, smiths were beating its copper. Large ships were moored at the temple, large ships were moored at Enlil's temple and its possessions were taken away from the city, though they were not the goo= ds of a plundered city. With the possessions being taken away from the city, g= ood sense left Agade. As the shi= ps moved away from the docks, Agade's intelligence was removed.
Enlil, the roaring storm that subjugates the entire land, the rising delu=
that cannot be confronted, was considering what should be destroyed in retu=
for the wrecking of his beloved E-kur. He
lifted his gaze towards the Gubin
mountains, and made all the inhabitants of the broad mountain ranges descen=
d. Enlil brought out of the mountains those wh=
not resemble other people, who are not reckoned as part of the Land, the
Gutians, an unbridled people, with human
intelligence but canine instincts and monkeys' features. Like small birds t=
swooped on the ground in great flocks. Because of Enlil,
they stretched their arms out across the plain like a net for animals. Noth=
escaped their clutches, no one left their grasp. Messengers no longer trave=
the highways, the courier's boat no longer passed along the rivers. The
In those days, oil for one shekel was only half a litre, grain for o=
shekel was only half a litre, wool for one shekel was only one mina, fish f=
one shekel filled only one ban measure, these sold at =
prices in the markets of the cities! Those who lay down on the roof, died on
the roof. Those who lay down in the house were not buried. People were flai=
at themselves from hunger. By the Ki-ur,
At that time, Enlil rebuilt his great sanctuaries into small reed sanctuaries and from east to west he redu= ced their storehouses. The old women who survived those days, the old men who survived those days and the chief lamentation singer who survived those yea= rs set up seven balaĝ drums, as if they stood= at the horizon, and together with ub and bronze šem drums made them resound to Enlil like= Iškur for seven days and seven nights. The = old women did not restrain the cry "Alas for my city!”. The old men did not restrain the cry &qu= ot;Alas for its people!”. The lamentation singer did not restrain the cry "Alas for the E-kur!”. Its young women did not restrain from tearing their hair. Its young men did not restrain from sharpening their knives. Their laments were as if Enlil's ancestors were performing a lament in the awe-inspiring Holy Mound by the h= oly knees of Enlil. Because of this, Enlil entered his holy bedchamber and lay d= own fasting.
At that time, Suen, Enki, Inana,
and Nisaba, the great gods sprinkled
Again, Suen, Enki, Inana,
and Nisaba, all the gods whosoever, turn=
their attention to the city, and cursed Agade
severely: "City, you pounced on E-kur: it =
as if you had pounced on Enlil!
be reduced to a pile of dust! May your pilasters with the standing lahama
deities fall to the ground like tall young men drunk on wine! May your clay=
returned to its abzu, may it be clay cursed by
"Agade, may your strong man be deprived of his strength, so that he will be unable to lift h= is sack of provisions and ……, and will not have the joy of controlling your superior asses. May he lie idle all day! May this make the city die of hung= er! May your citizens, who used to eat fine food, lie hungry, may your …… man e= at the coating on his roof, may he chew the leather hinges on the main door of= his father's house! May depression descend upon your palace, built for joy! May= the evils of the desert, the silent place, howl continuously!"<= /span>
"May foxes that frequent ruin mounds brush with their tails you=
precinct, established for purification ceremonies! May the ukuku<=
the bird of depression, make its nest in your gateways, established for the
Land! In your city that could not sleep because of the tigi=
drums, that could not rest from its joy, may the bulls of Nanna
that fill the pens bellow like those who wander in the desert, the silent
place! May the grass grow long on your canal-bank tow-paths, may the grass =
mourning grow on your highways laid for waggons! Moreover, may …… wild rams=
alert snakes of the mountains allow no one to pass on your tow-paths built =
with canal sediment! In your plains where fine grass grows, may the reed of
lamentation grow! Agade, may bracki=
water flow in the river, where fresh water flowed for you! If someone decid=
"I will dwell in this city!", may he not enjoy the pleasures of a
dwelling place! If someone decides, "I will rest in Agade!",
may he not enjoy the pleasures of a resting place!"<=
And before Utu on that very =
so it was! On its canal bank tow-paths, the grass grew long. On its highways
laid for waggons, the grass of mourning grew. Moreover, on its tow-paths bu=
up with canal sediment, …… wild rams and alert snakes of the mountains allo=
no one to pass. On its plains, where fine grass grew, now the reeds of
lamentation grew. Agade's flowing f=
water flowed as brackish water. When someone decided, "I will dwell in
that city!", he could not enjoy the pleasures of a dwelling place. When
someone decided, "I will rest in Agade!",
he could not enjoy the pleasures of a resting place! Inana be praised for the destruction of Agade!
Fragments of an earlier version from Nibru, dating to the Ur III period=
unknown no. of lines missing
And before Utu on that very = day, so it was! On its canal bank tow-paths, the grass grew long. On its highways laid for waggons, the grass of mourning grew. Moreover, on its tow-paths bu= ilt up with canal sediment, …… wild rams and alert snakes of the mountains allo= wed no one to pass. On its plains, where fine grass grew, now the reeds of lamentation grew. Agade's flowing f= resh water flowed as brackish water. When someone decided, "I will dwell in that city!", he could not enjoy the pleasures of a dwelling place. When someone decided, "I will rest in Agade!", he could not enjoy the pleasures of a resting place!
Inana be praised for the destruction of Agade!
Enki took away its wisdom. An took up into the midst of heaven its fearsomeness that reaches heaven. Enki tore out its well-anchored holy mooring pole from the abzu.
unknown no.= of lines missing
in a nocturnal vision that he would make its future altogether unfavourable,
that he would make its temples shake and would scatter its treasures! =
unknown no.= of lines missing
as if he were to change what had been inflicted upon him.=
His subjects were dispersed, so he began a mobilization of his troop= s. Like a wrestler who is about to enter the great courtyard, he …… his hands towards the E-kur. Like an athlete bent to start a contest, he treated the giguna= as if it were worth only thirty shekels. Like a robber plundering the city,= he set tall ladders against the temple. Though the temple was not a mountain of cedars, he had large axes cast to be used against it. He had double-edged <= span class=3Dtransux>agasilig axes sharpened to be used against it. As if they were for great tracts of l= and with wide carp-filled waters, he cast large spades …… to be used against th= e E-kur. He put spades against its roots.
unknown no.= of lines missing
and the Land was deprived of grain. He struck the Gate of Well-Being
with the pickaxe and well-being was destroyed in all the foreign lands.
unknown no.= of lines missing
4 lines unc= lear
unknown no.= of lines missing
Noses were punched, heads were smashed, noses were piled up, heads w= ere sown like seeds. Heroes lay dead on top of heroes, the blood of traitors ran upon honest men.
5-7. Enlil rebu= ilt his great sanctuaries into small reed sanctuaries and from the south to the uplands …….