Origin/Historian/Author: Sumerian (ca. 2100 BCE)
Source: Sumerian Liturgies and Psalms, By Stephen Langdon, 1919

This Sumerian elegy is dedicated to the goddess Innini, otherwise known as Inanna. Scholars conclude that it was recorded around the end of the Akkadian period, or perhaps during the early Neo-Sumerian period. Throughout the early dynastic period of Sumer, cities typically had their own kings, however there are some instances where these cities were conquered by neighboring Sumerian rulers. It is unlikely this text refers to another Sumerian or even Akkadian ruler taking control of Uruk, since demolishing the city wouldn’t have been beneficial to the incoming ruler. Due to this understanding, we conclude this lamentation refers to the fall of Uruk to Gutian invaders, which occurred ca 2200 BCE.

Full Text Below

1. Oh pure one thy (?) crown overawes.
2. Thy proceeding arrow scatters the …..
3. Meal of the.. ..bean to the beared skate-fish thou givest to eat.
4. She that gives fish to the stream, in the streams fish (as numerous) as dates she causes to dart about.
5. Rushing like an ox in the street of Erech like a multitude(?) he followed
6. Multitudinously in the habitations they dwelled.
7. Her precentor? the defender king, whither they go, went up.
8. The hosts of peoples she beholds.
9. The singer refuses to chant and from his hand has thrown the dhm.
10. Thou drinkest not; thou drinkest not.
11. Water thou drinkest not, but thy sheepfolds drink.
12. Thoudrinkestnot; thoudrinkest not.
13. Beer thou drinkest not,but thy proteges drink.
14. Like an ox going forth in the streets of Erech like a multitude(?) he pursues thee.
15. In multitudes they have taken up their abodes in the habitations.
16. As for me what shall I do? I who have bestowed care. A sacred devotee I am.
17. Coming forth like an ox, hastening in destructive fury he came; even thee thyself he pursued.
18. The far-ur weapon, arm of my heroic power I have taken not in my hand.
19. Of my temple in Hallab its treasures he has hidden far away.
20. Of the of Eanna its kud he broke off.
21. Like an ox he came up against thee on the highways.
22. Like an ox going forth in the streets of Erech he slaughtered multitudes(?).
23. Multitudes in their habitations he caused to die.
24. The doors of the city gate he shattered.
25. Her defender he caused to go forth,
26. The fisherman, the son fisherman of lnnini.
27. The copper vessels he scattered.
28. Hastening like an ox he has wrought demolition.
29. Coming forth like an ox tears he has caused to fall and misery he caused to be.
30. Oh Innini, grant me favor.
31. Oxen of the mountains I will give thee: thy stables I will enrich for thee.
32. Sheep of the mountains I will give thee; thy sheepfolds I will enrich for thee.
33. Holy lnnini replied:
34. “In the plains of Hallab thou shalt make thy abode where the people repose.”
35. May their hosts attend(?) thee and proclaim to thee on lyre and harp(?)
36. Oh Innini, I will rehearse thy valor.
37. It is good to sing thy praise.