THE TWELFTH TABLET
To come to Earth one more time Anu decided, with Antu his spouse he wished to come,
While his Arrival they awaited, the Annunnaki abodes in the Edin to reestablish began.
From the mountainlands where descendants of Shem dwelt, to the olden land the black-headed people migrated.
Upon the newly dried soil the Anunnaki let them settle, food for all to provide.
Where Eridu, Enki's first city, before the Deluge had stood,
On top of the myriads of mud and silt a new Eridu was marked out.
In its center, upon a raised platform, an abode for Enki and Ninki was built,
House of tile Lord Whose Return Is trimphant it was called;
With gold and silver and precious metals by Enki's sons provided it was adorned.
Above in a circle skyward pointing, the twelve constellations by their signs were marked out.
Below, as in the Abzu, waters with swimming fishes flowed.
In a sanctuary, a place that no uninvited can enter, Enki the ME formulas kept.
For Enmil and Ninlil. a next Nibru-ki atop the mud and silt was established;
Amid its people's dwellings and cattlefolds and stalls a sacred precinct was walled off.
An abode for Enlil and Ninlil therein was built, in seven stages it arose;
A stairway, rising as to heaven, to the topmost platform led.
His Tablets of Destinies did Enlil there keep, with his weapons it was protected:
The Lifted Eye that scans the lands, the Lifted Beam that penetrates all.
In the courtyard, in its own enclosure, Enlil's fast-stepping Skybird was kept.
As the time for the arrival of Anu and Antu neared,
For their stay in the Edin a new place was selected, neither Enlil's nor Enki's to be.
Unug-ki, the Delightful Place, it was named. Shade trees in it were planted,
A pure white structure, the House of Anu, in its midst was built.
Its exterior in seven stages rose; its interior like a king's quarters was.
When the celestial chariot of Anu at Earth arrived, Anunnaki skyships toward it soared;
For a safe landing at the Place of the Chariots, in Tilmun, it was guided.
Utu, the Place's commander, his great-grandparents to Planet Earth welcomed.
The three children of Anu, Enlil and Enki and Ninharsag, stood there to greet them.
They embraced and kissed, they laughed and cried. So long, so long has the separation been!
They to each other kept saying. At each other they looked, aging to examine: Though greater in Shars were the parents, younger than the children they looked!
The two sons looked old and bearded; Ninharsag, once a beauty, was bent and wrinkled.
All five of them with tears were filled; tears of joy with sorrowed tears were mingled.
In skyships were the guests and their hosts to the Edin taken,
In a prepared place beside Unug-ki the skyships landed.
All the Anunnaki that on Earth had stayed as an honor guard were standing.
Hail and welcome! Hail and welcome! in unison to Anu and Antu they were shouting.
Then in a procession, singing and music playing, the Anunnaki to the House of Anu the guests accompanied.
In the House of Anu, Anu washed and rested, then he was perfumed and clothed;
Antu by female Anunnaki to the House of the Golden Bed was escorted;
There she too washed and rested, then she was perfumed and clothed.
In the open courtyard, as an evening breeze the tree leaves rustled,
Anu and Antu on thrones were seated. Flanking them were Enli1 and Enki and Ninharsag.
Attendants, Earthlings who were completely naked, wine and good oil served;
Others, in a corner of the courtyard, a bull and a ram, gifts of Enlil and Enki, on a fire were roasting.
A great banquet was for Anu and Antu prepared, for the sign in the heavens its start was awaiting.
On Enlil's instructions Zumul, who in matters of stars and planets was learned,
The steps of the House of Anu ascended, the rising of the planets at evetime to announce.
On the first step Kishar in the eastern skies appeared, Lahamu or the second step was seen,
Mummu on the third step was announced, Anshar by the fourth step rose,
Lahmu on the fifth step was seen, the Moon from the sixth step was announced.
Then, on a signal from Zumul, the hymn The Planet of Anu in the Skies Rises began to be sung,
For from the topmost step, the seventh, the red-haloed Nibiru into view came.
To music the Anunnaki clapped and danced, to music they danced and sang;
To the one who grows bright, the heavenly planet of the lord Anu, they sang.
On the signal a bonfire was lit, seen from place to place were the bonfires started:
Before the night was over, the whole land of Edin was with bonfires lit!
After a meal of bull meat and ram meat, of fish and fowl, with wine and beer accompanied,
Anu and Antu to their overnight quarters were accompanied; by Anu and Antu were all the Anunnaki thanked.
For several Earth days and nights Anu and Antu slept; on the sixth day his two sons and daughter Anu summoned.
Of what had on Earth transpired their accounts he heard, of the peace and the warfare he learned.
Of how the Earthlings, by the oath of Enlil to be wiped off, had again proliferated Anu heard;
Of the gold discovery in the land beyond the oceans and the chariot's place there, Enlil to him revealed.
It was then that of the dream and the tablet from Galzu Enki to his father told.
By that was Anu greatly puzzled: A secret emissary by that name
To Earth by me was never sent! So did Anu to the three leaders say.
Puzzled were Enki and Enlil, baffled they at each other looked.
On account of Galzu Ziusudra and the seed of life were saved! Enki said.
On account of Galzu on Earth we remained! Enlil to his father said.
The day to Nibiru you return you shall die, so did Galzu to us say.
Incredulous of that was Anu; the change of cycles indeed havoc did cause, but with elixirs cured it was!
Whose emissary, if not yours, was Galzu? Enki and Enlil in unison said.
Who the Earthlings to save wanted, who on Earth made us stay?
Ninharsag her head slowly nodded: For the Creator of All did Galzu appear!
Was the creation of the Earthlings also destined, of that I must wonder!
For a while the four of them were silent; each one past events in his heart recounted.
While fates we decreed, the hand of destiny every step directed! So did Anu say.
The will of the Creator of All is clear to see: On Earth and for Earthlings, only emissaries we are
The Earth to the Earthlings belongs, to preserve and advance them we were intended!
If that is our mission here, let us accordingly act! So did Enki say.
The great Anunnaki who the fates decree counsels exchanged regarding the lands:
To create civilized regions the Great Anunnaki decided, therein knowledge to Mankind provide;
Cities of Man to establish, therein in sacred precincts abodes for the Anunnaki create;
Kingship as on Nibiru on Earth establish, crown and scepter to a chosen man give;
By him the word of the Anunnaki to the people convey, work and dexterity to enforce;
In the sacred precincts a priesthood to establish, the Anunnaki as lofty lords to serve and worship. Secret knowledge to be taught, civilization to Mankind convey.
To create four regions, three for Mankind, one restricted, the Anunnaki resolved:
The first region in the olden Edin-land to establish, for Enlil and his sons to dominate;
The second region in the Land of the Two Narrows thereafter to follow, for Enki and his sons to lord;
The third region, with the other two not mingling, in a distant land to Inanna grant;
The fourth region, for the Anunnaki alone consecrated, the peninsula of the Place of the Chariots will be.
Now this is the account of Anu's journey to the lands beyond the oceans,
And how in the First Region for,the Anunnaki cities were reestablished.
Having the decision about the four regions and Mankind's civilizations made,
Anu about his grandson Marduk inquired. I must see him again! to the leaders Anu said.
Whether by Dumuzi and Ningishzidda to Nibiru inviting, Marduk's ire I myself have caused!
So did Anu wonder; to reconsider the punishment of Marduk he wished.
When to the lands beyond the oceans you journey, Marduk to meet you will be told!
The land where he roams, in those parts of the Earth it is! So did Enlil to Anu say.
Before for the distant lands the royal couple went, the Edin and its lands Anu and Antu surveyed;
Eridu and Nibru-ki they visited, where the cities of the first region were planned they saw.
In Eridu Enlil about Enki complained: The ME formulas to himself Enki is keeping!
Anu, on the seat of honor seated, words of praise to Enki said:
My son for himself a magnificent house built, beautifully on a platform it is raised.
To the people that the House surround and serve, great knowledge will Enki give;
Now, the knowledge that in the ME's is secreted, with other Anunnaki must be shared!
Embarrassed was Enki; to share with all the divine formulas to Anu he promised.
In the ensuing days, in skyships traveling, Anu and Antu the other regions surveyed.
Then, on the seventeenth day, to Unug-ki the royal couple returned for one more night of rest
In the morrow, when the younger Anunnaki before Anu and Antu for a blessing came,
Anu to his great-granddaughter Inanna took a liking; he drew her closely, he hugged and kissed her.
Let all my words heed! to the congregated he announced:
This place, after we leave, to Inanna as a dowry is given,
Let the skyship in which we the Earth shall survey to Inanna my present be!
Joyed, Inanna to dance and sing began, her praises of Anu as hymns in times to come were chanted.
Thereafter, bidding farewells to the Anunnaki, for the lands beyond the oceans Anu and Antu departed;
Enlil and Enki, Ninurta and Ishkur with them to the golden land went
To impress Anu the king with the great golden richess, Ninurta an abode for Anu and Antu built;
Its stone blocks, to perfection cut, with pure gold inside were covered.
A golden enclosure, with flowers of carnelian stones carved, the royal couple awaited!
By the shore of the great mountain lake was the abode erected.
How the gold nuggets are collected the visitors were shown;
There is gold here enough for many Shars to come! Anu, satisfied, said.
To a place nearby Ninurta to Anu and Antu an artificed mound showed,
How to a place for melting and refining metals it was made Ninurta explained.
How a new metal from stones was extracted he showed them: Anak, Anunnaki-made, he called it,
How by combining it with the abundant copper a strong metal he invented, he showed them.
On the great lake, from whose shores the metals came, Anu and Antu sailed;
The Lake of Anak Anu called it, henceforth this was its name.
Then from lands from the north, lands where great horned beasts are hunted,
Marduk before his father Enki and his grandfather Anu came; Nabu his son with him was.
When Enki about Sarpanit inquired, Marduk with sorrow of her death them told.
Now Nabu alone with me has remained! to his father and grandfather Marduk said.
Anu Marduk to his chest pressed: Enough you have been punished! to him he said;
With his right hand on Marduk's head, Anu Marduk to be forgiven blessed.
From the golden place, high in the mountains, all who had gathered to the plain below went.
There, stretching to the horizon, Ninurta a new place for the chariots has prepared.
Anu and Antu's celestial chariot stood there ready, with gold to the brim it was loaded.
As the time for departing came, Anu to his children words of good-bye and guidance said:
Whatever Destiny for the Earth and the Earthlings intended, let it so be!
If Man, not Anunnaki, to inherit the Earth is destined, let us destiny help.
Give Mankind knowledge, up to a measure secrets of heaven and Earth them teach,
Laws of justice and righteousness teach them, then depart and leave!
So did Anu to his children fatherly instructions give.
Once more they hugged, embraced and kissed, and from the new chariots' place Anu and Antu for Nibiru left.
The first to break the sorrowed silence was Marduk; with anger were his words:
What is this new Place of Celestial Chariots? of the others an explanation he demanded.
What after my exile without my knowledge has transpired?
When Enki of the decisions about the four regions to Marduk told,
Marduk's fury knew no bounds: Why will Inanna, a cause of Dumuzi's death, her own region get?
The decisions have been made, they cannot be altered! So did Enlil to Marduk say.
In separate skyships to the Edin and its adjoining lands they returned;
Sensing trouble, Enlil Ishkur to stay behind instructed, over the gold watch to keep.
To commemorate Anu's visit, a new count of time passage was introduced:
By Earth years, not by Nibiru Shars, was what on Earth transpired to be counted.
In the Age of the Bull, to Enlil dedicated, was the count of Earth years begun.
When to the Edin the leaders returned, the place of the first civilized region,
How to make bricks from mud the Anunnaki the Earthlings taught, therewith cities to build.
But where once cities of the Anunnaki alone had stood, cities for both them and Earthlings now arose;
Therein and in new cities for the great Anunnaki sacred precincts were consecrated,
Therein the Anunnaki with lofty abodes were provided, Temples by Mankind they were called;
Therein the Anunnaki as Lofty Lords were served and worshiped,
By number-ranks were they honored, the heirship to Mankind made known:
Anu, the heavenly, the rank of sixty held, to Enlil the fifty rank was given,
On Ninurta his foremost son did Enlil the same rank bestow.
Next. in succession was the lord Enki, the rank of forty he held;
To Nannar, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, the rank of thirty was assigned.
To his son and successor, Utu, the rank of twenty was allotted;
Ten as a number-rank to the other Anunnaki leaders' sons was granted.
Ranks by the fives between the female Anunnaki and spouses were shared.
When after Eridu and Nibru-ki and their temple-abodes were completed,
In Lagash the Girsu precinct for Ninurta was built, his Black Skybird there was kept.
Eninnu, House of Fifty, was the temple-abode for Ninurta and Bau his spouse called;
The Supreme Hunter and the Supreme Smiter, weapons a gift of Anu, the Eninnu protected.
Where Sippar before the Deluge had been, on top of the mud-soil Utu a new Sippar established.
In the Ebabbar, the Shining House, an abode for Utu and his spouse Aya was raised;
From there Utu for Mankind laws of justice promulgated.
Where because of silt-mud the olden plans could not be followed, new sites were chosen.
Adab, a site from Shurubak not distant, for Ninharsag as a new center was made.
The House of Succor and Healing Knowledge was her temple-abode therein named;
The ME's of how the Earthlings were fashioned Ninharsag in its holy shrine kept.
For Nannar a city with straight streets, canals, and wharves was provided; Urim was its name,
House of the Throne's Seed was its temple-abode called, the Moon's beams to the lands it reflected.
Ishkur to the mountainlands of the north returned, the House of Seven Storms his abode was called;
Inanna in Unug-ki resided, in the abode by Anu bequeathed to her she dwelt
Marduk and Nabu in Eridu dwelt, in the Edin their own abodes they did not have.
Now this is the account of the first City of Men and of kingship on Earth,
And how Marduk to build a tower schemed and wherefor Inanna the ME's stole.
In the First Region, in the lands of Edin and in the cities with precincts,
By their Anunnaki lords the Earthlings handiworks and crafts were taught
Before long were the fields irrigated, on canal and river boats soon sailed;
The sheepfolds and granaries were overflowing, prosperity the land filled.
Ki-Engi, Land of the Lofty Watchers, the First Region was called.
Then to let the black-headed people a city of their own possess it was decided;
Kishi, Scepter City, it was called, in Kishi did the kingship of Man begin.
Therein, in consecrated soil, Anu and Enlil the Heavenly Bright Object implanted.
In it Ninurta the first king appointed, Mighty Man was his royal title.
To make it a center for Civilized Mankind, Ninurta to Eridu journeyed,
The ME tablets that for kingship divine formulas hold from Enki to obtain.
Properly attired, with respect Ninurta Eridu entered, for the ME of kingship he asked:
Enki, the lord who all the ME's safeguards, fifty ME to Ninurta granted.
In Kishi were the black headed people with numbers to calculate taught,
Heavenly Nisaba writing them taught, heavenly Ninkashi beermaking them showed.
In Kishi, by Ninurta guided, kilnwork and smithing proliferated,
Wheeled wagons, to male asses harnessed, craftily in Kishi first were fashioned.
Laws of justice and righteous behavior in Kishi were promulgated.
It was in Kishi that the people hymns of praise to Ninurta composed:
Of his heroic deeds and victories they sang, of his awe-inspiring Black Bird they chanted,
How in faraway lands the bisons he subdued, how the white metal to mix with copper he found.
Ninurta's glorious time it was, with the Constellation of the Archer he was honored.
All the while Inanna in Unug-ki her lordship in the Third Region awaited,
All the while the domain of her own of the leaders she demanded.
The Third Region after the second one will come! her leaders thus assured her.
Having seen how Ninurta to Eridu journeyed, how the ME of kingship he obtained,
Inanna in her heart a plan devised, to obtain ME from Enki she schemed.
Her chambermaid Ninshubur to Eridu she dispatched, a visit by Inanna to announce.
On this hearing Enki to Isimud, his housemaster, quickly instructions gave:
The maiden, all alone, to my city Eridu her step is directing,
When all alone she will arrive, my inner chambers let her enter.
Pour for her cold water to freshen her heart, barley cakes with butter give her,
Sweet wine prepare, the beer vessels to the rim fill up!
When Inanna alone the abode of Enki entered, Isimud Enki's commands followed;
Then when Enki Inanna greeted, by Inanna's beauty he was overwhelmed:
With jewelry was Inanna bedecked, by her thin dress her body she revealed;
When she bent down, her vulva by Enki was thoroughly admired.
From the wine cups sweet wine they drank, for beer drinking a competition they had.
Show me the ME's, Inanna to Enki playfully said; let me ME in my hand hold!
Seven, times in the course of the competition Enki to Inanna ME's to hold gave,
The divine formulas for lordship and kingship, for priesthood and scribeship,
For lovedressing and for warring ME's to Inanna Enki to hold gave;
For music and singing, woodworking and metals and precious stones,
Ninety-four ME's that for civilized kingdoms are needed Enki to Inanna gave.
Holding her prizes tightly, Inanna from the slumbering Enki slipped away;
To her Boat of Heaven she rushed out, to soar away her pilot she instructed.
When Enki from his slumber by Isimud was awakened, Get hold of Inanna! to Isimud he said.
When from Isimud that Inanna had already in her Boat of Heaven departed Enki heard,
To chase Inanna in Enki's skyship Isimud he instructed. All the ME's you must retrieve! to him he said.
At the approach to Unug-ki Isimud Ianna's Boat of Heaven intercepted,
To return to Eridu and the wrath of Enki face he made her.
But when Inanna back to Eridu was brought, the ME's with her no more were:
To her chambermaid, Ninshubur, she gave them, to the House of Anu in Unug-ki Ninshubur took them.
In the name of my power, in the name of my father Anu, I command you the ME's to return!
So did Enki angrily to Inanna say, in his abode captive he held her.
When of this Enlil heard, to Eridu to face his brother he came.
By right the ME's have I obtained, Enki himself in my hand placed them!
So did Inanna to Enlil say; the truth of that Enki meekly admitted.
When the time term of Kishi shall be completed, to Unug-ki kingship shall pass! So did Enlil declare.
When Marduk all this did hear, greatly he was enraged, his anger no bounds knew.
Enough has my humiliation been! to his father Enki Marduk shouted.
A sacred city of his own in the Edin from Enlil he forthwith demanded.
When Enlil to Marduk's appeal no heed paid, Marduk fate in his own hands grasped.
To a place that for Anu's arrival, before Unug-ki was selected, was considered,
Nabu the Igigi and their offspring from their dispersal lands summoned,
For Marduk therein a sacred city, a place for skyships, to establish!
When his followers at the place assembled, stones to build with they found not
Marduk how to make bricks and burn them by fire, to serve as stone, to them he showed,
Therewith a tower whose head the heavens can reach they were building.
To thwart the plan Enlil to the place hurried, to placate Marduk with soothing words he tried;
To stop Marduk and Nabu in their endeavor Enlil did not succeed.
In Nibru-ki Enlil his sons and grandchildren assembled; what to do they all considered.
Marduk an unpermitted Gateway to Heaven is building, to Earthlings it he is entrusting!
So did Enlil to his sons and grandchildren say.
If this we allow to happen, no other matter of Mankind shall be unreached!
This evil plan must be stopped! Ninurta said; all with that agreed.
It was nighttime when from Nibru-ki the Enlilite Anunnaki came,
From their skyships havoc upon the rising tower, fire and brimstones they rained; To the tower and the whole encampment a complete end they made.
To scatter abroad the leader and his followers Enlil thereupon decided,
Henceforth their counsels to confuse, their unity to shatter, Enlil decreed:
Until now all the Earthlings one language had, in a single tongue they speak.
Henceforth their language I shall confound, that they each other's speech will not understand!
In the three hundred and tenth year since the count of Earth years began did all this happen:
In each region and every land the people a different tongue he made to speak,
A different form of writing thereafter to each was given, that one the other will not comprehend.
Twenty-three kings did in Kishi reign, for four hundred and eight years was it the Scepter City;
It was also in Kishi that a beloved king, Etana, for a heavenly journey was taken.
At the allotted time, let kingship to Unug-ki be transferred! So did Enlil decree.
To its soil the Heavenly Bright Object from Kishi was transferred.
When the decision to the people was announced, to Inanna an exaltation hymn they sang:
Lady of the ME's, Queen, brightly resplendent,
Righteous, in radiance clothed, of heaven and Earth beloved;
By the love of Anu consecrated, great adorations wearing,
Seven times the ME's she obtained, in her hand she them is holding.
For the tiara of kingship they are appropriate, for high priesthood suitable,
Lady of the great ME's, of them she is the guardian!
In the four hundred and ninth year after the count of Earth years began,
Kingship of the First Region to Unug-ki was transferred;
Its first king was the high priest of the Eanna temple-abode, a son of Utu he was!
As for Marduk, to the Land of the Two Narrows he went,
To be the master of the Second Region, once established, he expected.
Now this is the account of how the Second and Third Regions were established,
And how Ningishzidda was exiled and Unug-ki Aratta threatened.
When Marduk, after a long absence, to the Land of the Two Narrows returned,
Ningishzidda as its master he there found, its Lofty Lord Ningishzidda was.
With the aid of offspring of Anunnaki who Earthlings espoused did Ningishzidda the lands oversee,
What Marduk had once planned and instructed, by Ningishzidda was overturned.
What is it that happened? Marduk of Ningishzidda to know demanded.
Of the destruction of hidden things Marduk Ningishzidda accused,
Of making Horon to a desert place depart, a place that has no water,
A boundless place where sexual pleasures are not enjoyed!
The two brothers an uproar made, upon quarreling bitterly they embarked.
Pay heed, I am here in my proper place! Marduk to Ningishzidda said.
You have been my place-taker; from now on only a deputy of mine you can be.
But if to rebellion you are inclined, to another land go away you must!
For three hundred and fifty Earth years did the brothers in the Land of the Two Narrows quarrel,
For three hundred and fifty years was the land in chaos, between the brothers it was split;
Then Enki, their father, to Ningishzidda said: For the sake of peace, to other lands depart!
To go to a land beyond the oceans Ningishzidda chose, with a band of followers thereto he went.
Six hundred and fifty Earth years was at that time the count,
But in the new domain, where Ningishzidda the Winged Serpent was called, a new count of its own began.
In the Land of the Two Narrows the Second Region under Marduk's lordship was established;
In the annals of the First Region, Magan, Land of the Cascading River, it was called.
But by the Second Region's people, when languages were confounded,
Hem-Ta, the Dark Brown Land, it was henceforth called.
Neteru, Guardian Watchers, the Anunnaki were there in the new language called.
Marduk as Ra, the Bright One, was worshiped; Enki as Ptah, the Developer, was venerated.
Ningishzidda as Tehuti, the Divine Measurer, was recalled;
To erase his memory Ra on the Stone Lion his image with that of his son Asar replaced.
To count by tens, not by sixty, Ra the people made; the year he also by tens divided,
The watching of the Moon by the watching of the Sun he replaced.
Whereas under the lordship of Tehuti the olden City of the North and City of the South were reestablished,
Marduk/Ra the two lands, of the North and of the South, into one Crown City united.
A king, an offspring of Neteru and Earthling, he there appointed; Mena was his name.
Where the two lands meet and the great river divides, a Scepter City Ra established.
Splendor to surpass Kishi in the First Region he gave it, Mena-Nefer, Mena's Beauty, it was called.
To honor his elders Ra a holy city built, to honor Nibiru's king Annu he named it;
Therein on a platform a temple-abode for his father Enki-Ptah he erected,
Its head, within a high tower, like a sharp rocket skyward rose.
In its shrine Ra the upper part of his Celestial Barge deposited, Ben-Ben it was called;
It was the one in which from the Planet of Countless Years he had traveled.
On the day of the New Year, the king as High Priest the ceremonies performed,
On that day only alone the innermost Star Room he entered, before the Ben-Ben offerings he put.
To benefit the Second Region, Ptah to Ra all manner of ME's gave.
What do I know that you do not know? the father his son asked.
Then all manner of knowledge, except that of the dead reviving, to Ra he gave.
As a Great One of the Twelve Celestials, Ptah to Ra the constellation sign of the Ram allotted.
The waterflow of Hapi, the land's great river, Ptah for Ra and his people regulated,
Abundance in the fertile soils quickly came, man and cattle proliferated.
By the success of the Second Region the leaders were encouraged; the Third Region to establish they proceeded.
To make it a domain of Inanna, as she was promised, they decreed.
As befits the mistress of a region, a celestial constellation to her was assigned:
Beforehand with her brother Utu the Station of the Twins she shared,
Henceforth, as a gift from Ninharsag, her Constellation of the Maiden to Inanna was allotted;
In the eight hundred and sixtieth year, according to the Earth year count, was Inanna so honored.
Far away in the eastern lands, beyond seven mountain ranges, was the Third Region;
Zamush, Land of Sixty Precious Stones, was its highland realm called.
Aratta, the Wooded Realm, was in the valley of a meandering great river located;
In the great plain did the people cultivate crops of grains and horned cattle herd.
There too two cities with mud bricks they built, with granaries they were filled.
As by Enlil's decree required, the Lord Enki, Lord of Wisdom,
For the Third Region a changed tongue devised, a new kind of writing signs he for it fashioned,
A tongue of man heretofore unknown, for Aratta Enki in his wisdom created;
But the ME's of civilized kingdoms for the Third Region Enki did not give:
Let Inanna what for Unug-ki had obtained with the new region share! So did Enki declare.
In Aratta Inanna a shepherd-chief appointed, akin to her beloved Dumuzi he was.
In her skyship from Unug-ki to Aratta Inanna journeyed, over mountains and valleys she flew.
The precious stones of Zamush she cherished, pure lapis lazuli with her to Unug-ki she carried.
At that time the king in Unug-ki was Enmerkar, the second one to reign therein he was;
It was he who the boundaries of Unug-ki expanded, by its glories was Inanna exalted.
It was he who the wealth of Aratta coveted, to be over Aratta supreme he schemed.
To Aratta Enmerkar an emissary dispatched as a tribute Aratta's riches to demand. Over seven mountain ranges, through parched lands and then soaked by rains, the emissary to Aratta went,
To the king of Aratta the demand words of Enmerkar word for word he repeated.
His language the king of Aratta to understand was unable; like the bray of a donkey its sound was.
A wooden scepter, inscribed with a message, the king of Aratta to the emissary gave.
To share Unug-ki's ME's with Aratta the king's message requested,
As a royal gift to Unug-ki grains on donkeys were loaded, with the emissary to Unug-ki they went.
When Enmerkar the inscribed scepter received, its message in Unug-ki no one understood.
He brought it forth from light to shade, he brought it forth from shade to light;
What kind of wood is this? he asked. Then to plant it in the garden he ordered.
After five years, after ten years had passed, from the scepter a tree grew, a tree of shade it was.
What shall I do? Enmerkar in frustration his grandfather Utu asked.
With heavenly Nisaba, the mistress of scribes and writing, Utu interceded.
On a clay tablet his message to inscribe Nisaba Enmerkar taught, in the tongue of Aratta it was;
By the hand of his son Banda was the message delivered: Submission or war! it said.
By Inanna Aratta was not abandoned, to Unug-ki Aratta will not submit! the king of Aratta said.
If warfare Unug-ki desires, let one warrior one warrior in combat meet!
Better yet, let us peacefully treasures exchange; let Unug-ki its ME's for Aratta's riches give!
On the way back, carrying the peace message, Banda fell sick; his spirit left him.
His comrades raised his neck, without the breath of life it was;
On Mount Hurum, on the way from Aratta, to his death was Banda abandoned,
The riches of Aratta Unug-ki did not receive, the ME's of Unug-ki Aratta did not obtain;
In the Third Region, Civilized Mankind did not fully blossom.