Origin/Historian/Author: Sumerian, The Royal Inscriptions of Lagash (2100 BCE)
Source: The Sacred Books and Literature of the East, By Prof. Charles F. Horne, Ph.D.
The Sacred Books and Literature of the East Translations conducted by:
Morris Jastrow, Jr., LL.D., Rev. A.H. Sayce, LL.D., Robert W. Rogers, LL.D., George A. Barton, LL.D., Leonard W. King, F.S.A., Stephen Langdon, PH.D., Arno Poebel, PH.D., and other scholars.

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In the House of Ningirsu his King, the image of Gudea the
Patesi of Lagash, who built the temple E-Ninnu. One cab (16)
of strong drink, one cab of victual, half a cab of fine millet,
half a cab of ground corn, as a continual offering (17) he appointed.
If a Patesi revoke it, transgress Ningirsu’s command may his own
continual offering in the House of Ningirsu be revoked,
his own behests be thwarted!


To Ningirsu, the mighty Hero of Enlil (Bel), Gudea the
Giver of Ornaments, the Patesi of Lagash, the Shepherd
named by the heart’s choice of Ningirsu, faithfully regarded
by Nina (the Goddess of Nineveh), might-endowed by Nindara,
gifted with eloquence (18) by the goddess Bau, the child
born of the goddess Gatumdug, with kingship’s high scepter
endowed by the god Gal-elim,


of the living, far and wide, Destroyer through Dunshagga;
whose -supremacy is the creation of Gishzida his god.
When Mngirsu had looked upon his city with faithful eye,
when he had named Gudea for faithful Shepherd of the land,
when amid the magnates he had established his power, then
he purified and inspected the city, he made a ring-wall, the
banks of the canal he examined.


The sodomites, the catamites, the . . ., he banished from
the city. He who did not behave properly with women, powerful
officers threw him into the canal.
The House of Ningirsu, the Mansion of Heaven and Earth,
in a pure place he built; a grave he violated not, a coffin he
violated not; a mother (deceased) her child did not disturb.
The Gatewardens (Prefects), the Mayors (chazans; city-gov-
ernors), the Scribes, the sergeants, the overseers of this work,
wore garments of goats’ hair. The Scribes strengthened
their hands.

In the city a coffin was not made, a body was not laid in
earth; the wizard priest (sorcerer) performed no rite, poured
forth ho lamentation; the mother, the family uttered no
lamentation. In the dominion of Sirgulla a man, having a
suit, to the place of swearing brought no man; an architect
(draughtsman) did not plan or build any man’s house.
For Ningirsu, his King, he prepared splendid adornments.
In E-Ninnu, the chapel called “May Rimmon lighten the
Darkness! ?; he rebuilt, and restored its dwelling-place.
Within it his own chosen sepulcher of fragrant cedar he built
When he had built the House of Ningirsu, Ningirsu his
beloved King commanded, and from the Upper Sea unto the
Lower Sea his way he opened. From Amanum, (19) the mountain
of cedars, trunks of cedar, whose length was 70 cubits,
and trunks of cedar, whose length was 50 cubits, and trunks
of box, whose length was 25 cubits, for beams he felled, and
to this land from that mountain he conveyed. Many dikes, as
a defense against floods, before it he made. Many sacrificial
knives of flashing bronze, 7,000, he made. Of flashing bronze
the water-pipes on its sides and front he made. Of flashing
bronze the water-pipes of its cisterns he made. Of those
cedars some into great doors he wrought; with splendid decoration
he made them (i.e., the doors) surpassing, and in
E-Ninnu he set them up; others of them in E-Mag-kia-sig-de-da
(20) he fashioned into beams. From the city of Ursu
(Tassu), from Mt. Ibla, zabanum-trees, huge shadur-trees,
Tuddibbum-trees, and gin-trees, for beams he felled.

In E-Ninnu into beams he fashioned them. Shamanum
from the mountains of Menua, musalla from the mountains of
the West County, and Kagal-stone he fetched; into inscribed
slabs he made them, and on the side-walls of E-Ninnu he set
them up. From Tidanum (Dedan) in the mountains of the
West Country, Shirgal-gabbia-stone he brought; into urpadda
(doorposts) he wrought them; for the door-bars in the House
he set them up. At Kagal-ad-ki, in the Copper Mountains,
he dug out copper; into weapons unsparing he wrought it.
From the land of Meluchcha, he fetched ushu-vtood.; into . . .
he made it. Much hulalu-stone he fetched; into weapons for
the mighty he wrought it. Gold dust from the mountains of
Gagum (21) he fetched; into weapons for the mighty he made it.
Gold dust from the land of Meluchcha he fetched; for the
E-Martu (House of the Storm-god) he wrought it. Lid-ri he
fetched. From Gubin, the land of the galub-tree, he fetched
galub-wood; into bolts he fashioned it. From Madga-land,
from the mountains of the river Galruda, mineral pitch he
fetched; the platform of E-Ninnu he built therewith. Im-ga-um
he fetched. From the mountains of Barsib with
nalua-stone great barges he filled; the base of E-Ninnu he surrounded
therewith. With arms he crushed the city of
Anshan in Elam; the spoils of it for Nmgirsu in E-Ninnu he
laid up.


Gudea, the Patesi of Sirgulla, when he had built E-Ninnu
for Ningirsu and adorned it with decorations; when a House
of Imagery (carven work), such as no pontiff-king had ever
built for Ningirsu, he had built; his name he inscribed; an
ornament, his own statue, he prepared; the commands of Ningirsu
he faithfully performed. From the land of Magan
hard stone (diorite) he fetched; into his own likeness (the
statue) he formed it; LU.GAL-MU.EA.NI MU.NA.KU NAM.TI
NI.BA.MU (22) for a name he called it; in E-Ninnu he placed it.
Gudea to the statue gave command : ” To the statue of my
King say thou it! ” (23)
After I had built E-Ninnu, his beloved House, I enfranchised
debtors, (24) I washed hands. (25) During seven days corn
(food) was not restricted; the bondmaid was made equal with
her mistress, with the bondman his lord was put on a par; in
my city with the powerful his inferior, at his side, reclined.
The bad man from this House I repelled. To the behests of
Nina and Ningirsu I was heedful. No oppression did the
rich man commit; violence the mighty man did not commit.
The house which had no son, its daughter presented its
offering in the mouth before his Image she placed it.
For the statue of Gudea neither silver nor lapis lazuli let
there be! neither copper nor tin, nor bronze, as covering or
ornament, shall any man bestow or lay on! be it hard stone
only! let a place of drink-offering be appointed! the work of
the pious let no man destroy! The statue before thee, O
Ningirsu, the statue of Gudea,


the Patesi of Sirgulla, who built Ningirsu’s E-Ninnu the
man that shall take it out of E-Ninnu, that shall erase his
(Gudea’s) inscribed name MTJ.SAR the man that shall carry
it off as spoil the man who, on the New Year’s Festival,
instead of my God his own God (Ningirsu is my King;)
among the people shall honor with libations my decrees
shall put down, my gifts shall reverse in the chanting of
my stated prayers my name shall take out, his own name shall
put in the side-walls of Ningirsu, my King, of their casing
shall strip, before him shall not sing; in the days to come,
of the exalted Seed a Patesi of Sirgulla E-Ninnu for Ningirsu
my King shall rebuild, who shall prepare splendid decorations.
His commands let no man alter, nor put down his
decrees! Of Gudea, the Patesi of Sirgulla, whoso his commands
shall alter, his decrees put down (annul), may Anu,
Enlil, Nin-garsag, En-ki the Righteous, Enzu (Sin) whose
Name man uttereth not, (26) Ningirsu King of Arms, Nina the
Lady of Oracles, Nindara the Warrior King, the Mother of
Sirgulla the glorious Gatumdug, Bau the Lady eldest-born of
Anu (Heaven), Ishtar the Lady of Battle, the Sun-god the
King of Light-giving, Ishum the Overseer of the World, Galelim,
Dunshaggana, Nin-mar-ki (Lady of the West-land),


eldest-born of Nina, Duzi-abzu Lady of Ki-nu-nir-ki (Borsippa),
and my God Gishzida mar his lot! like an ox in broad
day may be be slaughtered, like a wild bull in full strength,
fast bound, may he be slain! his throne may the men he has
carried captive lay in the dust! his children, his name to blot
out let them set their mind! his name, in the House of his God,
from the tablets may they take out! may his God regard not
the people’s crying! with the rain of heaven may he smite it!
with the waters of earth may he unite it! nameless may
he go forth to die! let his noble offspring become base!
That man, like one who hath done evil unto a righteous
man, far away at Heaven’s foundation in the marshes
may he abide! … Of the Deliverer of the Gods, the Lord
Ningirsu, his Majesty let the world declare!

(16) A cab is an ancient measure of about half a liter.
(17) i.e., to his own statue. The cultus of Gudea was maintained after his death. He was actually called ” the god Gudea,” like the Egyptian kings and the Roman emperors.
(18) Gudea may mean ” speaker, orator.”
(19) Probably Lebanon.
(20) i.e., ” The lofty House,” the place into which the sick were carried for healing.
(21) I.e., Khakh, southeast of Medina (Hommel).
(22) ” My king, Whose House I have built, let Life be my reward! ”
(23) I,e., ” the prayer expressed in thy name.”
(24) Literally, ” loosed interest.”
(25) I.e., “cleared all liabilities.”
(26) As the Jews came to avoid uttering the awful name of Jehovah (or Jahvah)