An important goddess of the ancient Near East, Inanna was worshiped primarily as the goddess of love and fertility. The daughter of either the sky god Anu or the storm god Enlil, she was also associated with forces of nature such as rain and thunderstorms. Inanna is the Sumerian counterpart of the Semitic goddess Ishtar.
A well-known myth about Inanna tells of her descent to the "land of no return," the underworld ruled by her sister Ereshkigal. Condemned to death there, Inanna is later brought back to life with help from Enki, the god of wisdom. To remain in the world of the living, however, Inanna must provide a substitute for her position in the dark realm. She chooses her husband, Dumuzi (known as Tammuz in Semitic mythology). This myth, as well as others about Inanna, was subsequently adopted by the cult of Ishtar.
In later versions of the story, Dumuzi stays in the underworld during the winter and returns to the world of the living for the summer, when his sister Geshtinanna takes his place among the dead. Dumuzi's annual death and rebirth are sometimes associated with the seasons, similar to the story of Persephone in Greek mythology.
See also Anu; Enlil; Ishtar; Persephone; Semitic Mythology; Underworld.
underworld fand of the dead
cult group bound together by devotion to a particular person, belief, or god
"Inanna." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 12, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/inanna
"Inanna." Myths and Legends of the World. . Retrieved December 12, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/inanna
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.