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En-men-dur-ana (also Emmeduranki) of Sippar was an ancient Sumerian king, whose name appears in the Sumerian King List as the seventh pre-dynastic king of Sumer (before ca. 2900 BC). He was said to have reigned for 21,000 years.


His name means "chief of the powers of Dur-an-ki" (wrong!), while "Dur-an-ki" in turn means "the meeting-place of heaven and earth" (literally "bond of above and below").[1] I have no idea how to properly edit Wikipedia, so I'll just post this and hope someone can alter it more correctly, in the Sumerian King List (https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/as11.pdf pg.74) it is spelled /en.me.en.dur2.an.na/ in Jacobsen's composite text, with the variants /en.me.dur.an.na/ where /me/ reflects the the typical omission of syllable final consonants with sound-signs. The variant /en.me.dur.an.ki/ occurs in a Baru ritual text from the Old Babylonian period and probably reflects a misreading of the sign NA as KI, an easy confusion next to the sign AN, since all that separates them is a horizontal wedge to the left of the KI sign(see note 28 on pg. 74 of above reference to Jacobsen's monograph.) Dur.an.ki is also an epithet of Nippur, an unlikely name for a king of Sippar. The translation of his name hinges on if the word "Me" or "Men" was originally intended: "Me" can variously be rendered as "being, essence, function; office; (divine) power" (Upenn PSD and Haloran pg.171), and "Men" (possibly composed originally as a compound of Me+En, where "En" means "lord; high-priest") means "crown; tiara" (PSD and Halloran pg. 174). Further, /-men/ could be a copular clitic meaning "I am/you are." /Dur/ gives us less ambiguity, meaning "bond;rope;strap;tie" (PSD and Halloran pg. 51).(/Dur2/ is most probably used as a sound sign here, since its meaning as a word-sign means "anus/buttocks".) /An/ is a word sign meaning "heaven" and refers to the Father of the Gods, and /-na/ is a sound sound that includes the final consonant of the previous word and the genitive marker /-a(k)/, "of." Given the aforementioned information we are left with two possible appositive phrases: "I am the EN- the bond of heaven" or "Lord-Crown (crowned En), the bond of heaven."


En-men-dur-ana's city Sippar was associated with the worship of the sun-god Utu, later called Shamash in the Semitic language. Sumerian and Babylonian literature attributed the founding of Sippar to Utu.[2]


A myth written in a Semitic language tells of Emmeduranki, subsequently being taken to heaven by the gods Shamash and Adad, and taught the secrets of heaven and of earth. In particular, Emmeduranki was taught arts of divination, such as how to inspect oil on water and how to discern messages in the liver of animals and several other divine secrets.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

En-men-dur-ana, held significance among the Pre-Sumerians as he was the ancestor from whom all priests of the Sun God had to be able to trace descent.[9]

He is sometimes linked to the Biblical patriarch, Enoch due to cultural associations between Enoch in the Genesis genealogies and En-men-dur-ana in the Sumerian King List.[10] Both people are the 7th name in a list of ante-deluvian patriarchs with long lifespans. En-men-dur-ana is associated with Sippar (which was associated with sun worship) while Enoch's lifespan is 365 years which is parallel to the number of days in a solar year (365 days).[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A. R. George. Babylonian topographical texts. p 261.
  2. ^ James Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3rd ed. pp 43, 164, 265, 270, 271.
  3. ^ Robert Alter. Genesis. p. 24
  4. ^ John Rogerson and Philip Davies, The Old Testament World. p 203
  5. ^ Wilfred G. Lambert. Babylonian oracle questions. p 4.
  6. ^ Wilfred G. Lambert, Enmeduranki and Related Material. Journal of Cuneiform Studies. Vol. 21, Special Volume Honoring Professor Albrecht Goetze (1967), pp. 126-138
  7. ^ J. J. Collins. The apocalyptic imagination: an introduction to Jewish apocalyptic literature. pp 44-47
  8. ^ I. Tzvi Abusch, K. van der Toorn. Mesopotamian magic: textual, historical, and interpretative perspectives. p24.
  9. ^ Isidore Singer, Cyrus Adler. The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History , Volume 5 p. 179.,
  10. ^ Hamilton, Victor. The Book of Genesis. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1990. pp 257-258.
  11. ^ R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2 volumes., tr J. McHugh (New York: McGraw-Hill, repr, 1965), 1:188.
Preceded by
En-sipad-zid-ana of Sumer
7th King of Sumer
before ca. 2900 BC or legendary
Succeeded by
Ubara-Tutu of Shuruppak
Unknown Ensi of Sippar
before ca. 2900 BC or legendary