Origin/Historian/Author: Akkadian and Sumerian
Source: Sumerian Liturgical Texts, By Stephen Langdon, 1917

This Sumerian text was recorded during the Early Dynastic III period. Consisting of over 40 lines in a single column, it features Aruru who was thought to be conflated with Ninhursag in later times. This is perhaps confirmed as one of Ninhursag’s known titles, Ninmah, is listed here as visiting with her. It is likely that Bau, or as S. Langdon proposed, Damkina was the Ninmah referenced here.

The Lamentation to Aruru text portrays her to be in a state of decline. Her glory as far-famed is mentioned in past tense, implying it is not as it once was. Lines 13 through 15 state she languishes, she sleeps, and that she renounced her temple. It is not unreasonable to assume that Aruru is ill, or elderly and dying. The gods attempt to pacify her, but all seemingly fail.

Although easy to overlook, this text contains one of the greatest clues as to the origins of the Anunnaki and the lesser known Igigi. Mentioned on lines 26 and 27, the Igigi are described as being created by Anu in heaven, while the Anunnaki were created by Anu on earth. Whether these are both the same Anu is up for debate.

Full Text Below

1. ….. thou art; …..
2. ….. great sister of Enlil.
3. ….. of Emah [1] her temple.
4. Aruru procreative womb of Emah, her temple.
5. ….. in that temple, in her Emah
6. Which attains unto her glory, her glory was far-famed,
7. The glory of my lord abides far away.
8. The glory of the lord of my temple abides far away.
9. The lord of the Land abides far away.
10. From the “Temple of Fate” she(?) abides afar.
11. From the Hekal of Kesh she(?) abides afar.
12. A queen thou art. The day thou knowest not, the new moon thou knowest not.
13. The sister of Enlil she is; she languishes [2], she sleeps.
14. A queen she is. The house LAL of the temple she inhabits not.
15. Aruru her temple has renounced.
16. Like her whose husband slumbers they sit.
17. Like her whose child sleeps they sit.
18. To Aruru Anu went, but pacified her not.
19. Enlil went but pacified her not.
20. Ninlil went but pacified her not.
21. Enki went but pacified her not.
22. Ninmah [3] went but pacified her not.
23. Nannar went but pacified her not.
24. Babbar [4] went but pacified her not.
25. Unto her the Anunnaki hastened.
26. They [Igigi] whom Anu in heaven begat hastened.
27. They [Anunnaki] whom Anu in earth begat hastened.
28. The artist the first melody chants.
29. My ….. he sings.
30. ….. the man of lamentation laments to thee;”
31. ….. the man of wailing wails to thee.
32. …..the man of weeping is thy sorrowful weeper.
33. The great ushum, the man of threnody is thy threnodist.
34. Oh, Aruru, thy songs a stranger utters.
35. Oh, Aruru,thy liturgy a stranger utters.
36. Oh, woman, thy threnody a stranger utters.”
37. Oh, Aruru, the seized away, return.
38. Oh, Aruru, to the stalls and the sheepfolds return.
39. The inmate of the house of letters implores.
40. As for me like a ….. cow words of misery I restrain not.
41. I like a …..that has fallen on calamity weeping withhold not.

[1] Aruru’s temples in Nippur
[2] The goddess Aruru appears to be in a state of irreparable decline.
[3] Proposed by S. Langdon, Ninmah here could be a title for Damkina, or possibly Bau.
[4] Babbar is Utu, aka Shamash.