Inanna was revered as a goddess of fertility, battle, and erotic desire, as well as a respected astral deity, by the Sumerians. Because of these characteristics, she was considered as wise, as portrayed in Mesopotamian myths (Joshua). In this regard, she was perceived to be bringing knowledge and culture, especially to Uruk. She returned the skills to the Sumerians after accepting the blessing from Enki, the god of wisdom, when he was drunk (Joshua). In some instances, she is portrayed as a young girl who is under a patriarchal authority while in other times, a figure that is ambitious in nature constantly seeking ways to expand the sphere of influence. Therefore, Inanna was regarded as a source of new information for the Sumerians as she brought more awareness concerning various aspects of life.
In warfare, Inanna was an important symbol of inspiration to fighters. She is seen in the company of lions, symbolizing courage and the sovereignty attached to the King of beasts (Joshua). Her courage is even taken a notch higher through riding a lion, an exercise that cannot be attempted by a normal hero. Besides, Inanna is depicted in the male armors in the battle dress while carrying an aquiver and a bow and identification with the Greek goddess, Athena Nike (Linssen 233). In this regard, it is presumed that the Sumerians believe in Inanna that she would assist them in battlefields whereas they are assured of victory once they believe in her. Inanna turns out to be one of the most complex deities in Mesopotamia that was held in great awe for the various roles she played.
Likewise, Inanna is regarded as a deity in charge of fertility amongst the Sumerians in collaboration with Demeter (Linssen 234). She is considered as a Persephone, a dying and reviving god Tammuz that carries the original incarnation as a rural goddess of agriculture. Following the ancient marriage between Inanna and Damuzi, her husband, the land was perceived fertile in which some festivals were being conducted to mark the events such as the Akitu celebrations at the Babylon (Joshua). It was out of their sacred marriage that the land gained fertility to became an integral part of the highly valued festivals. Purportedly, according to the Sumerians’ culture, the presence of Inanna appears to be introducing new children after sexual intercourse between priestess and kings during festivals as well as blessing the land to have more harvest.
An analysis of Inanna’s cultural context shed light on the unrealistic nature of events and their explanations in the ancient times. There is no scientific relationship between the fertility rituals and helping the plants to grow. The then society can, therefore, be regarded as primitive and relying so much on false beliefs to inform their decision. Besides, it is worth noting that these supernatural beliefs were necessary in ensuring there was social order. Other people were happy with the role that Inanna played, and the goddess was therefore honored in other societies like the Akkadian pantheon who referred to her as Ishtar. The role played by the mythical beliefs have been replaced by the written and unwritten rules like the constitution to encourage conformance to the agreed upon norms.
Joshua J. Mark. Ancient History Encyclopedia (2010). Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2010. https://www.ancient.eu/Inanna/-Accessed on September 24, 2017.
Linssen, M. J. H. “Eanna and other major Babylonian temples.” The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (2013).