Posts Tagged ‘Ereshkigal’


In ancient Sumeria (3300 – 2270 BCE), legends told of a savage dragon god who existed at the dawn of creation. Their lore held that the world was composed of three parts: the surface Land, an oceanic Abyss, and between them a space known as Irkala, the Underworld. This was the domain of the gigantic serpent, Kur.

Various deities had paired off during the creation of the world. Anu, god of the stars, captured and married Uras, goddess of the heavens, while Enlil, the storm god, married the earth goddess Ninlil. Not to be left out, Kur abducted the goddess Ereshkigal and made her his queen in Irkala.

This offended the water god, Enki, and he set off to avenge Ereshkigal. Enki descended to Irkala in a boat made of reeds. Kur saw him coming and attacked with a shower of stones while trying to swamp the boat with swirling tidess. Enki fended off the attack. Kur tried again with a rain of boulders and raging waves, but still Enki’s boat survived.

At last Kur himself came in person and the battle was joined! One can only imagine the foam and fury as two water gods made war. Enki prevailed and installed himself as Lord of the Abyss, but Ereshkigal either could not or would not return from captivity. She remained in Irkala as an independent and powerful Queen of the Underworld.

As for Kur, the myths do not state his fate. He may well have survived, for shortly afterward the waters began to rise. Soon all life on Earth was threatened. Check back on Wednesday to learn which deity was next to take on the dreaded Kur!

A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection and Masters of Air & Fire, her middle-grade novel.

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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