Influential Women: Enheduanna – High-Priestess, Astronomer, First Known Author

Under the influence!

File:Disk of Enheduanna.JPG from Wikimedia Commons – Author: Mefman00CC0

Daughter of Sargon

The world’s first known author is widely attributed to have been the daughter of Sargon (1) of Akkad in the 23rd century BC. We know her today as Enheduanna, which may have been a title of office, in which case her real name is unknown. She was the High Priestess of Nanna-Suen, a moon deity of Mesopotamia presiding over his temple complex in the city of Ur. The “En” part of her name signifies “leadership” and “ heduanna,” means “Ornament of Heaven” reflecting the divinity she served.

Clearly, she was of very high status in the society of her time and her writing was greatly influential then and in later times. Considerable parts of her work still exist in her original poetic form which has been influential in various religious systems throughout history.

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