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The Sumerian word NIN (from the Akkadian pronunciation of the sign EREŠ) was used to denote a queen or a priestess, and is often translated as "lady". Other translations include "queen", "mistress", "proprietress", and "lord".
NIN originated as a ligature of the cuneiform glyphs of MUNUS (𒊩) and TÚG (𒌆); the NIN sign was written as MUNUS.TÚG (𒊩𒌆) in archaic cuneiform, notably in the Codex Hammurabi. The syllable nin, on the other hand, was written as MUNUS.KA (𒊩𒅗) in Assyrian cuneiform. MUNUS.KU = NIN9[clarification needed] (𒊩𒆪) means "sister".
Occurrence in the Gilgamesh epic
Ninsun (DNIN.SÚN) as the mother of Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh (standard Babylonian version), appears in 5 of the 12 chapters (tablets I, II, III, IV, and XII). The other personage using NIN is the god Ninurta (DNIN.URTA), who appears in Tablet I, and especially in the flood myth of Tablet XI.
Of the 51 uses of NIN, the other major usage is for the Akkadian word eninna (nin as in e-nin-na, but also other variants). Eninna is the adverb "now", but it can also be used as a conjunction, or as a segue-form (a transition form).[clarification needed]
- "May the brothers go into mourning over you like sisters…"
- Parpola, Simo, with Mikko Luuko, and Kalle Fabritius (1997). The Standard Babylonian, Epic of Gilgamesh. The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. ISBN 951-45-7760-4. (Volume 1) in the original Akkadian cuneiform and transliteration; commentary and glossary are in English
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