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The first love poem is Sumerian

28 Oct

The tablet that holds the world’s oldest love poem. (Source)

Love has been celebrated in song, dance and literature since humans set foot on Earth, but because nothing was put in writing for a while, the world’s oldest love poem only dates back to 2025 BC.

The poem is the celebration of a ritual that took place each Mesopotamian new year, an event that took place around the Spring Equinox. It was written on the tablet found for King Shu-sin (2037-2029 BC), the fourth ruler of the Third Dynasty of Ur. The 29 lines are written in Sumerian and celebrate the sacred marriage between the Sumerian king and the Sumerian goddess of love and war, Inanna.

You can find a more detailed explanation of the ritual here, and an English translation of the poem here.

The tablet on which the poem is written is housed at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum in Turkey, and its details are here.

Sources:

English translation and tablet details at Istanbul Museum of Archaeology: http://www.istanbularkeoloji.gov.tr/web/30-127-1-1/muze_-_en/collections/ancient_orient_museum_artifacts/the_oldest_love_poem

“Inanna and the Sacred Marriage” by Johanna Stuckey: http://www.matrifocus.com/IMB05/spotlight.htm

Picture and another English translation: http://mristanblue.wordpress.com/first-love-letter-of-the-world-istanbul-archaeological-museum/

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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Sumerian, Tablets

 

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