From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ancient Akkadian cylinder seal depicting Inanna resting her foot on the back of a lion while Ninshubur stands in front of her paying obeisance, c. 2334-2154 BC[1]

Ninshubur (also known as Ninshubar, Nincubura or Ninšubur) was the sukkal or second-in-command of the goddess Inanna in Sumerian mythology. Ninshubur, however, was not merely Inanna's servant. She was also a goddess in her own right and her name can be translated from ancient Sumerian as "Queen of the East." Much like Iris or Hermes in later Greek mythology, Ninshubur served as a messenger to the other gods.

Ninshubur accompanied Inanna as a vassal and friend throughout Inanna's many exploits. She helped Inanna fight Enki's demons after Inanna's theft of the sacred me. Later, when Inanna became trapped in the Underworld, it was Ninshubur who pleaded with Enki for her mistress's release.


Ancient Sumerian calcite-alabaster figurine of a male worshipper from sometime between 2500 B.C. and 2250 B.C. The inscription on his right arm states that he is praying to Ninshubur.

In the same way that Inanna was associated with the planet Venus, Ninshubur was associated with Mercury, possibly because Venus and Mercury appear together in the sky.[citation needed]


Ninshubur was an important figure in ancient Sumerian mythology and she played an integral role in several myths involving her mistress, the goddess, Inanna.

The Theft of the Mes[edit]

In the Sumerian myth of "Inanna and Enki," Ninshubur is described as the one who rescues Inanna from the monsters that Enki has sent after her.[2] In this myth, Ninshubur plays a similar role to Isimud, who acts as Enki's messenger to Inanna.

Inanna's Descent to the Underworld[edit]

In the Sumerian myth of Inanna's descent into the Netherworld, Ninshubur is described as the one who pleads with all of the gods in an effort to persuade them to rescue Inanna from the Netherworld.[3]

Related deities[edit]

In later Akkadian mythology, Ninshubur was syncretized with the male messenger deity Papsukkal.[4]


  1. ^ Wolkstein & Kramer 1983, pp. 92, 193.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Michael Jordan (2002). Encyclopedia of Gods. Kyle Cathie Limited.

External links[edit]