Lady of the Lions
NIN-UR.MAH.MEŠ, named the "Lady" of the Lions, was the author of two letters to the pharaoh, the King of Ancient Egypt, in the 1350-1335 BC Amarna letters correspondence. Her name is a representation of the original written script characters of Babylonian 'Sumerograms' , "NIN- + UR.MAH + (plural:MEŠ)", and means, "woman–lion–plural", namely: "Lady (of the) Lions". (See: NIN for "lady"). The Amarna letters are mostly written in Akkadian cuneiform, with local words/phrases/etc due to various city-states or countries.
The name, and location of her city/city-state is unknown(?). It is today assumed to be Beit Shemesh.
The two Amarna letters
The two letters by the 'Queen Mother', (of her unnamed location), are both minimally short and concise EA letters (26 lines and 19 lines) and are topically about the takeover of regional cities, by the attacking bands of people: the Hapiru, (EA for 'el Amarna').
EA 273: "From a queen mother"
- "Say to the king-(i.e. pharaoh), my lord, my god, my Sun: Message of fNIN-UR.MAH.MEŠ, your handmaid. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, 7 times and 7 times. May the king, my lord, know that war has been waged in the land, and gone is the land of the king, my lord, by desertion to the 'Apiru. May the king, my lord, take cognizance of his land, and may the [k]ing, my lord, kn[ow] tha[t] the 'Apiru wrote to Ayyaluna and to Sarha, and the two sons of Milkilu barely escaped being killed. May the king, my lord, know of this deed." -EA 273, lines 1-26 (complete)
EA 274: "Another city lost"
- "Say to the king, my lord, my god, my Sun: Message of fNIN-UR.MAH.MEŠ, your handmaid, the dirt at your feet. I fall at the feet of the king, my lord, 7 times and 7 times. May the king, my lord, save his land from the power of the 'Apiru..–lest it be lost. Sapuma has been take[n]. For the information of the king, my lord." -EA 274, lines 1-19 (complete)
EA 273, Obverse, lines 1-9 (Akkadian language and English)
- (Line 1) "A-na, 1 LUGAL-(=Šarru), EN-(="bēlu", Lord)-ia,
- (2) D-MEŠ-ia D-UTU-ia
- (3) qí-bil-ma
- (4) um-ma MÍ-(DAM=NIN?)-NIN.UR.MAH.MEŠ
- (5) ARAD-ka a-na GÌR-MEŠ Lugal-
- (6) -EN-ia D-MEŠ-ia D-UTU-ia
- (7) 7-šu-7, ta-a-an, am-qut-!
- (Line 1) "To, "KING-(Pharaoh)-Lord-mine",
- (2) (of)-My God(s), My Sun,
- (3) Speaking
- (4) Message-(Quote) F-DAM (=NIN), F-NIN.UR.MAH.MEŠ
- (5) Servant (Handmaid)-yours at (the) feet "King-
- (6) -Lord-mine", My God, My Sun,
- (7) '7-and-7-times, again', I bow down!
- (8) Know-!, "King-Lord",
- (9) Now ("now at this time") 'hostilities' ...."
- Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Glossary, pp. 119-145, šarru, "king", p. 141.
- Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Glossary, pp. 119-145, bēlu, "lord" p. 122.
- Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Glossary, pp. 119-145, nukurtu, "hostility", p. 135.
- Moran, William L. The Amarna Letters. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987, 1992. (softcover, ISBN 0-8018-6715-0)
- Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Parpola, Simo, Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, c 1997, Tablet I thru Tablet XII, Index of Names, Sign List, and Glossary-(pp. 119–145), 165 pages.