Saturday, December 24, 2011


Enlil is one of the Great Gods of Mesopotamia, bearing the epithets of "the father of the gods", "king of heaven and earth", "king of all lands", "establisher of kingship". His name, usually translated as Lord Air, appears in the earliest Sumerian texts (Jemdet-Nasr period) and already in a prominent place in the Old Sumerian pantheon lists (Fara), but its meaning is disputed: air, wind and breath of the universe (inspiration, spirit perhaps?). In terms of genealogy, according to the oldest account of creation, or the Eridu model, He is said to be the firstborn of An and Ki, the Earth Mother, and the first of the Anunnaki, the Great Mesopotamian gods. He is also sometimes described as the descendant of Enki (not to be confounded with Ea/Enki) and Ninki as Lord and Lady Earth. Enlil´s city is Nippur, the religious capital of Mesopotamia, and His main temple there is called the E-Kur. Apart from royal inscriptions, Enlil (or his epithets or temples) feature prominently in the personal names from all periods of Mesopotamian history. He is the subject of numerous Sumerian liturgical hymns and Babylonian prayers. As one of the great gods, He was worshipped in many other cities, such as Ashur, Babylon, Kullaba, Uruk, Elam, etc.

Enki´s consort is Ninlil, and their story is told in a Sumerian myth called Enlil and Ninlil, which can be found in tablets from the Old and Middle Babylonian periods. Enlil and Ninlil is perhaps the most passionate of all descent stories in world mythology, and I urge you to explore it further. Ninlil´s and Enlil´s offpring include Nanna/Sin, the Moon God, Nergal, Lord of Battle, Diseases and Lord of the Underworld and Ningiszida, Lord of the Good Tree, among others. A lighter Sumerian composition reconstructed from an Old Babylonian version from Nippur pairs Enlil with a young goddess called Sud. As in Enlil and Ninlil, the young god makes advances to her, and is indignantly rejected. Sud disappears into her parent´s house, and Enlil returns to Nippur, but sends his vizier Nusku to officially ask for Sud´s hand. A caravan loaded with gifts leaves Nippur, led by the goddess Aruru/Ninmah. Sud accepts Enlil and is led to the Ekur, where they consumate the marriage on the "shining bed". Enlil calls her then Nintu, the Lady who Gives Birth, Ashnan (Grain) and finally Ninlil, the great wife of Enlil, queen of Nippur. I would risk an educated guess that Aruru/Ninmah´s acceptance to the wedding confers to the young goddess the epithets which from now on She will share with Aruru/Ninmah, who is also Ninhursag-Ki.
FOR THE REST: Enlil- Lord Air/Wind, Master of the Divine Word, Inspirer and Empowerer
by Micha F. Lindemans
In ancient Sumero-Babylonian myth, Enlil ("lord wind") is the god of air, wind and storms. Enlil is the foremost god of the Mesopotamian pantheon, and is sometimes referred to as Kur-Gal ("great mountain"). In the Sumerian cosmology he was born of the union of An heaven and Ki earth. These he separated, and he carried off the earth as his portion. In later times he supplanted Anu as chief god. His consort is Ninlil with whom he has five children: Nanna, Nerigal, Ningirsu, Ninurta, and Nisaba. Enlil holds possession of the Tablets of Destiny which gives him power over the entire cosmos and the affairs of man. He is sometimes friendly towards mankind, but can also be a stern and even cruel god who punishes man and sends forth disasters, such as the great Flood which wiped out humanity with the exception of Atrahasis. Enlil is portrayed wearing a crown with horns, symbol of his power. His most prestigious temple was in the city Nippur, and he was the patron of that city. His equivalent is the Akkadian god Ellil.

FROM: Enlil
Article "Enlil" created on 03 March 1997; last modified on 02 February 1999 (Revision 2). 180 words.
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