The World’s First Big City
Location, Location, Location
Writing, Beliefs, and Everyday Life
Uruk at Its Height
The Lady of the Evening appears in the heavens.
The people in all the lands lift their eyes to her...
There is great joy in Sumer.
The young man makes love with his beloved.
My Lady looks in sweet wonder from heaven.
The people of Sumer parade before the holy Inanna.
Inanna, the Lady of the Evening, is radiant. I sing your praises,
holy Inanna. The Lady of the Evening is radiant on the horizon.
When at last they arrived, Gilgamesh said to Urshanabi [the boatman], “This is the wall of Uruk, which no city on earth can equal. See how its ramparts gleam like copper in the sun. Climb the stone staircase, more ancient than the mind can imagine, approach the Eanna Temple, sacred to Ishtar, a temple that no king has equaled in size or beauty, walk on the wall of Uruk, follow its course around the city, inspect its mighty foundations, examine its brickwork, how masterfully it is built, observe the land it encloses: the palm trees, the gardens, the orchards, the glorious palaces and temples, the shops and marketplaces, the houses, the public squares.(Mitchell, 2004)