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Lioness: The Songs of Inanna by Samuel David

by: Watkins Books

Limited hardback edition.

This compact, elegant volume is penned by Samuel David, the author of the popular “Rod and Ring: An Initiation into a Mesopotamian Mystery Tradition.” Composed in the tradition of Akkadian liturgical texts, LIONESS reignites the fire kindled by the royal priestess Enheduanna, the first known author in history.

LIONESS is a haunting hymn that takes the reader through a series of call-and-response invocations in which the hierophant summons Inanna by her traditional epithets – each of which is accompanied by a gorgeous, accurate depiction of the epithet’s cuneiform rendering in scarlet ink. Inanna then responds to the hierophant in ravishing, lyrical declarations that establish her immutable power: she is at once the blood-hungry lioness of the battlefield; the lusty lover of the sweat-soaked bed; and the lofty astral queen who rewards her supplicants with merciful compassion.

This exquisite volume comes with a short but useful essay on the cult of Inanna, as well as a glossary, pronunciation guide, and reading list. Certain to become a classic, it provides a uniquely beautiful line of approach to a goddess who, in her time, was unparalleled in scope and power.