Comparable with the Book of Genesis, it opens in watery chaos and sings of the foundations of the world and its centre, the fabulous golden city of Babylon. A hymn of praise in celebration of Marduk, the city's noble and cunning god, brave conqueror of chaos, it was chanted at the New Year Festival and formed the most crucial element in the Ancient Mesopatamians' ritual attempts to keep their perilous world in order. Inanna's Journey to Hell tells the story of the Sumerian fertility goddess and is the earliest known poem on that greatest of myths - which has haunted writers from Homer to Sartre - the descendent into the underworld. The Sumerian Underworld, Adapa: The Man and A Prayer to the Gods of Night are also included in this edition, which comes complete with introductions and glossary of names.
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