The Descent of Inanna:
Throughout history women have had an enormous influence on the men of their times. The Descent of Inanna provides us with an example of the role women had during this era and the influence they had over creation stories. Women were very powerful and held in high esteem during this time, and it was not until after the introduction of monotheism that woman lost their position of power. The Descent of Inanna is a story full of irony about a goddess who is powerful yet weak, respected but disregarded, caring and concerned yet selfish and manipulative. The story begins with Inanna preparing to descend to the underworld to deliver a message to Ereshkigal, her sister, of her husband’s death. She gathered her me-garments and gave her servant Ninshubur very specific instructions what she should do should Inanna not make it back from the underworld. Although Inanna is very confident in herself, she is very uncertain about the journey ahead. She knows she may die, which is why she tells Ninshubur to go to the temple of the gods to beg for mercy on Inanna’s behalf. When Inanna reaches the underworld Neti, the gatekeeper, stops her and he goes to tell his queen and Inanna’s sister, Ereshkigal of the visitor. Ereshkigal knows that Inanna is shielding herself behind her me garments and without them she will be vulnerable. Ereshkigal instructs Neti to strip Inanna of her me at each gate and by the time Inanna enters the thrown room she is naked and vulnerable. It is only then that Ereshkigal is able to kill Inanna. After three days and nights of Inanna’s absence, Ninshubur did exactly as Inanna had instructed her to. Ninshubur had such a high respect for her goddess and was forever Inanna’s faithful servant. She set up lament for her by the ruins, tore at her eyes and mouth, and dressed in a single garment as a beggar. She went to the gods to plead for Inanna’s life. After she is refused help from Enlil and Nanna, Ninshubur...
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