Nonetheless, a from the indicates that the ancient Sumerians already knew that the morning and evening stars were the same celestial object. When the goddess wakes up and realizes she has been violated, she becomes furious and determines to bring her attacker to justice. Inanna was also worshipped as one of the Sumerian war deities. Kumarbi and swallows them, causing him to become pregnant with Anu's offspring, including Ishtar and her brother, the Hittite. Later in the Hittite myth, Ishtar attempts to seduce the monster , but fails because the monster is both blind and deaf and is unable to see or hear her. Doves were also prominent animal symbols associated with Inanna-Ishtar. Shukaletuda removes her clothes and rapes Inanna while she sleeps.
Two major theories regarding her origins have been proposed. At the beginning of the hymn, Inanna knows nothing of sex, so she begs her brother Utu to take her to the Sumerian Underworld , so that she may taste the fruit of a tree that grows there, which will reveal to her all the secrets of sex. Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill the Bull and offer its heart to the sun-god Shamash. Inanna searches the mountains of the East for her attacker, but is not able to find him. Gilgamesh's companions chop down the tree and carve its wood into a bed and a throne, which they give to Inanna, who fashions a pikku and a mikku probably a drum and drumsticks respectively, although the exact identifications are uncertain , which she gives to Gilgamesh as a reward for his heroism. Anu asks her why she is complaining to him instead of confronting Gilgamesh herself. Modern scholars note that Aphrodite's warrior-goddess aspects appear in the oldest strata of her worship and see it as an indication of her Near Eastern origins.
At each gate, Ishtar is forced to shed one article of clothing. This myth may represent an eclipse in the authority of the priests of An in Uruk and a transfer of power to the priests of Inanna. This account later became the basis for the Greek story of 's castration by his son , resulting in the birth of , described in 's. Enki becomes infuriated and sends multiple sets of fierce monsters after Inanna to take back the mes before she reaches the city of Uruk. In a fit of rage, Inanna unleashes horrible plagues upon the Earth, turning water into blood. The intelligible part of the poem describes Inanna pining after her husband Dumuzid, who is in the steppe watching his flocks. Isimud replies that Enki has given all of them to Inanna.
Inanna, who is the patron goddess of both cities, appears to Enmerkar at the beginning of the poem and tells him that she favors Uruk over Aratta. The , the seven judges, rendered their decision against her. The three goddesses mourn continually until a reveals to Inanna the location of her husband. The beginning of the poem is mostly destroyed, but seems to be a lament. The fact that Gugalana is slain refers to the disappearance of the constellation when the sun rises in that part of the sky, which in the marked the occurrence of the. An ancient Sumerian depiction of the marriage of Inanna and Inanna's twin brother was , the god of the sun and justice who was later known as Shamash in East Semitic languages. Inanna's sukkal fends off all of the monsters that Enki sends after them.
He creates two sexless figures named gala-tura and the kur-jara from the dirt under the fingernails of two of his fingers. The shepherd and the farmer reconcile their differences, offering each other gifts. Unlike other gods, whose roles were static and whose domains were limited, the stories of Inanna describe her as moving from conquest to conquest. Inanna starts up a drinking competition with Enki. An warns Inanna not to attack the mountain, but she ignores his warning and proceeds to attack and destroy Mount Ebih regardless. These aspects were very diverse and the mes listed in the poem include abstract concepts such as , , and Counsel, technologies such as and , and also social constructs such as , priestly offices, kingship, and. Samuel Noah Kramer compares the myth to the later Biblical story of because both myths center around a farmer and a shepherd competing for divine favor and, in both stories, the deity in question ultimately chooses the shepherd.
Inanna was worshipped in at least as early as the c. The hymn employs the same found in the myth of Enki and Ninhursag and in the later Biblical story of. Several clay cake molds discovered at Mari are shaped like naked women with large hips clutching their breasts. After its dedication to Inanna, the temple seems to have housed priestesses of the goddess. Following Ereshkigal's instructions, Neti tells Inanna she may enter the first gate of the underworld, but she must hand over her lapis lazuli measuring rod. The Sumerian version of the story is nearly three times the length of the later Akkadian version and contains much greater detail. The goddess journeys all over the entire world, until she comes across Mount Ebih and becomes infuriated by its glorious might and natural beauty, considering its very existence as an outright affront to her own authority.
Illustration of Ishtar's Midnight Courtship from Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton's 1884 book-length poem Ishtar and Izdubar, loosely based on 's recent translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh In his 1853 pamphlet , as part of his argument that is actually Babylonian paganism in disguise, , a minister in the , incorrectly argued that the modern English word must be derived from Ishtar due to the phonetic similarity of the two words. The Sumerian hymn Inanna and Utu contains an describing how Inanna became the goddess of sex. The planet Venus appears to make a similar descent, setting in the West and then rising again in the East. They escort Inanna out of the Underworld, but the , the guardians of the Underworld, drag her husband Dumuzid down to the Underworld as her replacement. Inanna finally locates Shukaletuda, who vainly attempts to invent excuses for his crime against her.
Inanna passes through a total of seven gates, at each one removing a piece of clothing or jewelry she had been wearing at the start of her journey, thus stripping her of her power. The majority of the epic revolves around a great contest between the two kings over Inanna's favor. Utnapishtim tells how, when the flood came, Ishtar wept and mourned over the destruction of humanity, alongside the. Inanna is worshipped as a form of the in modern and. After Ishtar descends to the underworld, all sexual activity ceases on earth. Scholar Paul Thomas has criticized the modern portrayal of Inanna, accusing it of anachronistically imposing modern gender conventions on the ancient Sumerian story, portraying Inanna as a wife and mother, two roles the ancient Sumerians never ascribed to her, while ignoring the more masculine elements of Inanna's cult, particularly her associations with warfare and violence. He also mentions that Aphrodite's most ancient cult statues in and on Cythera showed her bearing arms.
It is possible that this legend may represent a historic transfer of power from the city of to the city of. In the Sumerian poem The Return of Dumuzid, which begins where The Dream of Dumuzid ends, Dumuzid's sister laments continually for days and nights over Dumuzid's death, joined by Inanna, who has apparently experienced a change of heart, and , Dumuzid's mother. Enki responds by telling her that she already has a domain and that he does not need to assign her one. Inanna pounds on the gates of the Underworld, demanding to be let in. Copy of the in the in Berlin, Germany Inanna has posed a problem for many scholars of ancient Sumer due to the fact that her sphere of power contained more distinct and contradictory aspects than that of any other deity.
The view that there was a Proto-Euphratean substrate language in Southern Iraq before Sumerian is not widely accepted by modern Assyriologists. She was portrayed as young and impetuous, constantly striving for more power than she had been allotted. The Phoenicians introduced Astarte to the Greek islands of and , where she either gave rise to or heavily influenced the Greek goddess. Asu-shu-namir sprinkles Ishtar with this water, reviving her. It was ruled by Inanna's sister, the goddess.