Girish Mahajan

Dumuzid the Shepherd

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Other names  Dumuzi
Spouse(s)  Inanna
Title  King of Sumer
Other name  Dumuzi
Dumuzid the Shepherd httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Dumuzid the shepherd


Dumuzid (sometimes transcribed as Dumuzi), called "the Shepherd", from Bad-tibira in Sumer, was, according to the Sumerian King List, the fifth predynastic king in the legendary period before the Deluge. The list further states that Dumuzid ruled for 36,000 years.

Contents

In Sumerian epic literature

"Dumuzid the Shepherd" is also the subject of a series of epic poems in Sumerian literature. However, in these tablets he is associated not with Bad-tibira but with Uruk, where a namesake, Dumuzid the Fisherman, was king sometime after the Flood, in between Lugalbanda "the Shepherd" and Gilgamesh.

Among the compositions involving Dumuzid the Shepherd are:

  • Inanna's descent to the netherworld: Inanna, after descending to the underworld, is allowed to return, but only with an unwanted entourage of demons, who insist on taking away a notable person in her place. She dissuades the demons from taking the rulers of Umma and Bad-tibira, who are sitting in dirt and rags. However, when they come to Uruk, they find Dumuzid the Shepherd sitting in palatial opulence, and seize him immediately, taking him into the underworld as Inanna's substitute.
  • Dumuzid and Ngeshtin-ana: Inanna gives Dumuzid over to the demons as her substitute; they proceed to violate him, but he escapes to the home of his sister, Ngeshtin-ana (Geshtinanna). The demons pursue Dumuzid there, and eventually find him hiding in the pasture.
  • Dumuzid and his sister: Fragmentary. Dumuzid's sister seems to be mourning his death in this tablet.
  • Dumuzid's dream: In this account, Dumuzid dreams of his own death and tells Ngeshtin-ana, who tells him it is a sign that he is about to be toppled in an uprising by evil and hungry men (also described as galla, 'demons') who are coming to Uruk for the king. No sooner does she speak this, than men of Adab, Akshak, Uruk, Ur, and Nippur are indeed sighted coming for him with clubs. Dumuzid resolves to hide in the district of Alali, but they finally catch him. He escapes from them and reaches to the district of Kubiresh, but they catch him again. Escaping again to the house of Old Woman Bilulu, he is again caught, but then escapes once more to his sister's home. There he is caught a last time, hiding in the pasture, and killed.
  • Inanna and Bilulu: This describes how Inanna avenges her lover Dumuzid's death, by killing Old Woman Bilulu.
  • Deity

    Later poems and hymns of praise to Dumuzid indicate that he was later considered a deity, a precursor of the Babylonian god Tammuz. In Tablet 6 of the Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh rebuffs Ishtar (Inanna), reminding her that she had struck Tammuz (Dumuzid), "the lover of [her] youth", decreeing that he should "keep weeping year after year". Pictured as a bird with a broken wing (an allallu-bird, possibly a European or Indian roller), Dumuzid now "stays in the woods crying 'My wing!'" (Tablet 6,ii,11-15). Another possible identification for this bird is the northern or red-wattled lapwing, both of which species are well known for their distraction displays where a wing is dragged on the ground as if broken in order to divert a potential predator from the lapwing's nest. The mournful two-note call of these birds also evokes the Akkadian kappi, "My wing!".

    In a chart of antediluvian generations in Babylonian and Biblical traditions, William Wolfgang Hallo associates Dumuzid with the composite half-man, half-fish counselor or culture hero (Apkallu) An-Enlilda, and suggests an equivalence between Dumuzid and Enoch in the Sethite Genealogy given in Genesis chapter 5.

    References

    Dumuzid the Shepherd Wikipedia


    Similar Topics
    Warning Sign (film)
    Sharad Arvind Bobde
    Laura Post
    Topics