Dumuz , the Sumerian shepherd god Dumuzi, often known as Tammuz within the Bible, was the patron and protector of mortal shepherds and son of the sheep goddess, Duttur. In the Sumerian kings checklist, an historic text itemizing the kings of Sumer, he’s identiﬁed as a shepherdking who lived simply after the nice ﬂood. In myths, Dumuzi was often known as a fertility god.
The Sumerian Text
In the Sumerian poem “Dispute Between the Shepherd and the Farmer,” Dumuzi, the pastoralist, and Enkimdu, the god of irrigation and cultivation, have been each suitors for the hand of the goddess Inanna. The god Utu, Inanna’s brother, favored the shepherd, citing him as supplier. But Inanna most popular the farmer. Dumuzi responded by claiming his animal merchandise have been higher than the farmer’s produce.
The two suitors met on a riverbank, and Dumuzi provoked a quarrel. Enkimdu, who was the god-king of the dyke and canal, refused to compete any additional. Dumuzi, conﬁdent that he would win the hand of the goddess, provided friendship to his foe. Enkimdu accepted the provide and mentioned he would convey wheat and beans and barley from the threshing ﬂoor to Dumuzi. As for Inanna, he would convey her no matter she happy. Though the top of this story has been misplaced, it’s clear from different tales that Dumuzi marries Inanna.
The loss of life of the shepherd god is recounted inseveral myths. In the poem “Dumuzi’s Dream,” the god went out into the countryside, the place he had a horrible dream. Terriﬁed, he referred to as upon his sister, Geshtinana, to interpret it for him. She informed him that the dream foretold his loss of life. Dumuzi was then hunted by evil demons. He ﬂed into the tall grasslands, telling solely his sister and a good friend of his hiding place. His sister remained loyal, however his good friend, who was bribed by the demons, revealed his whereabouts.
The demons encircled Dumuzi as if he have been an animal and tried to snare him of their nets. Finally, they captured and certain him. Dumuzi prayed to the solar god, Utu, reminding him that he was his brother-in-law and interesting to his sense of household obligation. Dumuzi requested Utu to flip him right into a gazelle in order that he may swiftly ﬂee from the demons. Utu confirmed mercy and altered Dumuzi right into a gazelle. Dumuzi escaped, however the demons pursued and captured him once more.
Once once more Dumuzi appealed to Utu, who modified him again into a person. Dumuzi escaped the demons and sought refuge on the residence of an previous girl. Entering her home, he informed her that he was not only a man however the husband of a goddess. He requested for food and drink and begged for assist.
After pouring out water for him and sprinkling ﬂour, the previous girl left the home. When the demons got here close to and noticed the girl outside, they reasoned that Dumuzi have to be inside the home. They captured him and as soon as once more certain his arms and arms. Dumuzi raised his arms towards heaven and repeated his prayer to Utu. Utu once more turned him right into a gazelle and helped him to escape.
Finally, Dumuzi sought refuge within the sheepfold of his sister, Geshtinana. Upon seeing him approaching, Geshtinana started to scream. Her outcry was so loud that it lined the heavens. She lacerated her eyes, face, ears, and buttocks. All of her wailing attracted the eye of the demons. One by one, seven demons entered the sheepfold. They destroyed the animals and killed the shepherd god.
Dumuzi within the Underworld
Dumuzi’s entrance into the underworld is recounted within the Sumerian fantasy The Descent of Ishtar. The goddess Ishtar, the Akkadian counterpart of Inanna, determined to go to the netherworld, a spot of no return. There she was stripped bare, like a useless individual, and changed into a corpse to be held on a hook like a chunk of meat.
Revived by magical attendants despatched to the netherworld by the god Enki, Ishtar was permitted to go away provided that she would offer a substitute in her place. Arriving again in heaven, she discovered that her husband, Dumuzi, was wearing festive somewhat than mourning clothes.
Determined to punish him for such insolence, she designated Dumuzi as her substitute. Demons tried to convey him to the netherworld. Once once more, as within the poem “Dumuzi’s Dream,” the shepherd god appealed to his brother-in-law, the solar god, Utu, for assist. Utu got here to Dumuzi’s rescue and helped him escape.
The text is damaged at this level, however it seems that Dumuzi was recaptured, made a prisoner, and returned to the netherworld. Ishtar, who now repented, wept bitterly for her husband, however to no avail. Dead within the netherworld, he was left to spend six months of the 12 months there, alternating his time period of imprisonment along with his sister, Geshtinana.
Other Tales of Dumuzi
In a poem referred to as “Inanna and Bilulu,” the goddess seeks revenge towards an previous girl often known as Bilulu. Inanna believed that Bilulu had killed her beloved Dumuzi. She killed the previous girl and turned her right into a water pores and skin to maintain chilly water when touring within the desert. Thenceforth, Inanna was a protecting goddess of the desert.
Dumuzi’s residence within the underworld wasalso talked about within the Sumerian fantasy The Death of Gilgamesh. The function of Gilgamesh, the
Sumerian hero-king, is equated with that of Dumuzi.
Dumuzi can also be featured within the Akkadian fantasy of Adapa. After being referred to as to account due to his misguided motion towards the south wind, Adapa is ordered to seem in heaven, the place he encounters Dumuzi as a gatekeeper to heaven.
Storytellers can use these myths in a number of methods, emphasizing the feminist parts of Ishtar’s quest, and even the shamanistic parallels. In addition, Dumuzi needs to be acquainted to those that are acquainted with the Greek story of Persephone, however the Sumerian tales can also make thrilling telling on their very own.