Welcome to the web site of Betty De Shong Meador. Here you will find descriptions of her three books, each based on original translations of Sumerian myth and poetry. Betty discovered this ancient literature quite by chance. In the late 1970s, as I she was completing training at the C. G. Jung Institute in Los Angeles, she came across the cuneiform pictograph of the Sumerian goddess Inanna and read stories of her luscious, provocative sexuality. A female deity who lauded, even flaunted her sexual desire? In the temple, at the most sacred celebration of the religious year? Inanna was indeed intriguing.
A graduate student generously provided for Betty word-for-word versions in English of some of the Inanna/Dumuzi love poems. Here is Betty’s poetic rendition of Inanna inviting her consort Dumuzi to her bed:
I will scrub my skin with soap
I will rinse all over with water
I will dry myself with linen
I will lay out mighty love clothes
I know how exactly
I will look so fine
I will make you feel like a king
following web pages will chronicle Betty’s subsequent literary translations of Sumerian poems related to the Sacred Marriage ritual, as well as the myth of the Descent of Inanna to the Underworld, and finally the original poetry of the world’s first known author, Enheduanna, devotee of Inanna and high priestess in the temple of the Sumerian moon god Nanna in Ur, 2300 BCE. Betty’s three books contain the only available translations of all of Enheduanna’s known works.
Copy of an inscription found on the back of an alabaster disc that portrays a carving of Enheduanna in a ritual procession. Some believe it is the only existing text in her own hand. A portion of the Sumerian text reads, "Enheduanna, true lady of Nanna / wife of Nanna / child of Sargon / king of all / in the temple of Inanna of Ur / a dais you built [and] /Dais table of heaven your called it."