Sin (mythology)

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Original 1915 caption: "Worship of the Moon God. Cylinder-seal of Khashkhamer, patesi of Ishkun-Sin (in North Babylonia), and vassal of Ur-Engur, king of Ur (c. 2400 BCE) (British Museum). Photo: Mansell".
Your greatness covers all countries. Your fearsome radiance overwhelms the holy sky.
You brighten the night sky in the broad firmament, and illuminate the darkness. The Anuna gods stand by with prayers and supplications at your rising. The sweet sight of your resplendent crescent, full of loveliness, brings joy to the great lady of the Ki-ur, mother Ninlil. ~ Ishme-Dagan
Supplying evening light to dark places! Youthful Suen, glorious moonlight, the people gaze at you in wonder.

Sīn (/ˈsiːn/) or Suen (Akkadian: 𒂗𒍪 EN.ZU, pronounced Su'en, Sîn) or Nanna (Sumerian: 𒀭𒋀𒆠 DŠEŠ.KI, DNANNA) was the god of the moon in the Mesopotamian religions of Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia. Sin was the patron deity of Ur. The Semitic moon god Su'en/Sin is in origin a separate deity from Sumerian Nanna, but from the Akkadian Empire period the two undergo syncretization and are identified as one.


Quotes[edit]

Quotes about Sīn[edit]

  • The lord of the just word. The lord of the E-kic-nu-jal. When he fills the rivers with the spring floods, establishing fine grain in the fields, the marshes with various carp, the reed-beds with dead and fresh reeds, the woods with fallow deer and wild sheep, the high desert with macgurum bushes, the irrigated orchards with syrup and wine, the garden plots with lettuce and cress, the palace with long life, I will live there. [...] In your brick-built Urim, [...] in your Dubla-mah, the place where judgments are given, in your vestibule of wine and syrup, at your Just Quay, the quay of the barges, in your house of heaven, in your beloved house, I will live! Nanna, in the upper lands I will live on your mountain of fragrant cedars. Lord Nanna, I will live in your city. I will live where your cows are numerous, where your calves are numerous. Nanna, I will live in your Urim.

Anonymous[edit]

  • Say to Nanna, the firstborn son of Enlil, who loves prayers; repeat to the lord whose light spreads widely, the crown of heaven and earth, the great lord who loves to revive man; the father of the black-headed; the merciful king, who can untie and release; the merciful, compassionate god who listens to appeals:
    You, who are perfect in lordship and wear the legitimate headdress, the one with gleaming appearance and noble countenance, holy form endowed lavishly with beauty: your greatness covers all countries. Your fearsome radiance overwhelms the holy sky. [...] You are indeed glorious from east to west. [...] You are the king of heaven and earth; it is you who decide their fate.
  • Lord, glory of heaven, [...] Nanna, whose appearance in the high heavens is adorned with radiance! King, glittering light, crown of Urim, Nanna, glittering light, crown of Urim! Great lion of holy An, first-born of Enlil, seed of a bison, beloved of the gods, great strength inspiring awe in the Land, with the just crown and the shining sceptre, sparkling over the high mountains, [...] filled with princely divine powers.
  • Looking down upon his rivers grand and small! Lion uttering hostile words to the enemy, supplying evening light to dark places! Youthful Suen, glorious moonlight, the people gaze at you in wonder. The ewe with its lambs expresses deep affection. The goat with its kids honours you. The young man is able to make love with his wife. Suen relaxes with beautiful Ningal. Praise be to youthful Suen, to father Nanna!

Hymns[edit]

Late 3rd millennium BCE to early 2nd millennium BCE, at The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature.
  • Princely lord, foremost in the E-kur! [...] Suen, beneficent one of Enlil! [...] Cornelian calf, adorned with beauty!
  • Nanna, you have shown your attractiveness to me. May your beauty cover my body like a garment.
    Lord whose pure hands befit the milk churn, what you accomplish is pleasing to An and Enlil.
  • May you build enduringly the eternal house. May you build enduringly Nanna's eternal house, [...] the temple whose shadow extends out into the midst of the sea, the E-kic-nu-jal, the sweet wonder, the temple of Nanna built on empty land!
  • In the city which like the sea inspires awe!
    Far-seeing Suen, ruler of Urim!
    O Suen, in leadership, great lord of heaven!
    In the city which like the sea inspires awe!
    Far-seeing Suen, ruler of Urim!
  • Born in the mountains and coming forth in joy, he is an irresistible force, a lion, a dragon, a mighty lord -- Suen, mouth like a dragon's, ruler of Urim! Nanna, born in the mountains and coming forth in joy, is an irresistible force, a lion, a dragon, a mighty lord -- Suen, mouth like a dragon's, ruler of Urim!
  • Sat upon the dais, in his great banqueting hall he arranges the table of An. [...] The black-headed have lifted their eyes to you, the first-born son of Enlil.
  • Luminous brilliance that fills the holy heavens, an adept exuding radiance, Nanna, your divine powers are holy!
  • The sweet-sounding tigi instruments are arranged in the majestic forecourt where your food-offerings are presented. In the heavenly assembly, the tigi instruments resound for you.
    Nanna, the sweet-sounding tigi instruments are arranged in the majestic forecourt where your food-offerings are presented. In the heavenly assembly, the tigi instruments resound for you.

    May your city experience prosperity under you! In Urim may you raise your head high, unique lord, luminous lord, into the distant future!
    Nanna, may your city experience prosperity under you! In Urim may you raise your head high, unique lord, luminous lord, into the distant future!
  • An, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursaja treat you with deserved affection in your place of creation. Exalted Nanna [...], adviser in heaven and on earth!
  • Youthful Suen, as you move the Anuna gods stand in attendance. In the four quarters of the world the black-headed people raise their eyes to you, the first-born son of Enlil.
    Nanna, youthful Suen, as you move the Anuna gods stand in attendance. In the four quarters of the world the black-headed people raise their eyes to you, the first-born son of Enlil.
  • As you become manifest in the holy heavens, [...] broadly over all the lands. Your light is holy and purifies. Oh, ah, it has come forth for the king like the sunlight!
  • God [...] coming forth on high, perfecting the divine powers of heaven! Outstanding crown, radiance, [...] justly cherished by An and Urac! Born in Dur-an-ki! Light, radiance and crown of Urim!
    Now in addition he desired something good, something good. The lord wearied Enlil to determine the fate of his city: "My father, may you restore my city for me!"
    No one should escape the grasp of father Nanna, him of most just words! Princely lord, princely lord, great princeliness among the gods! In the temple that, like the heavens, inspires terror and fear, you are awesome.
A hymn to Nanna (Nanna E)[edit]
A hymn to Nanna (Nanna E).
  • Princely son, you are radiant as you come forth from the sacred bathing chamber, [...] the mountain of pure divine powers, the abzu shrine. [...] Bringing terrifying radiance from the marshes.
  • Lifting your head in your goodness, greatness and majesty, majestically you extend your arm in order to determine destinies: great An has liberally bestowed on you your kingship over heaven and earth, and Enlil has perfected for you your great and noble filial status and lordship. Enlil has made majestic divinity manifest for you. Determining a destiny for your flowing waters, the majestic lower waters, Enki from within the sacred bathing chamber has placed the good earth, the good mother, at your feet. Enlil has sired you in majesty and lordship.

    O Nanna, your crescent moon is called "the crescent moon of the seventh day". Enlil has made known throughout heaven and earth your name, which is a sacred name. Princely son, he has made your greatness manifest throughout heaven and earth. The majestic assembly has bestowed on you his status as Enlil. And from the place of the sanctuary Eridug, Enki has determined for you your lordship and majesty. King of heaven and earth who adorns heaven and earth, from the majestic abzu, the place of the sanctuary Eridug, he has declared your great lordship and your greatness.

    O Nanna, he has chosen as your inheritance that you should surpass the Anuna gods. He has seated you in a sacred dwelling amid their pure divine powers which gladden the heart. He has grandly called the great gods to the food offerings. He has seated them for the ritual which fills the heart with majestic pleasure. He has presented to the gods their offerings which gladden the heart. He has seated you in a majestic place, a sacred place. O Nanna, he has seated you in a sacred place, a sacred dwelling.
  • Enki purifies the dwelling for you, he makes the dwelling shine for you. He consecrates the heavens for you, he makes the earth shine for you. He makes the E-kic-nu-jal, the house of the cedar forests, tower straight upward for you. He makes your majestic residence into a sacred place for you, the foundation of heaven and earth.

    He puts your ritual plans and majestic lustration rituals in order for you. [...] He makes the offering table resplendent for you in the sacred place. [...] He puts in order for you [...] your evening meals and morning meals. [...] He consecrates the lustration rituals and makes them shine for you. [...] Enki sets up for you the lustration rituals created in his abzu; Kusu establishes the lustration rituals created in their specific house -- the oven for oxen, sheep and bread beside the interior of the bathing chamber, those sacred lustration rituals beside the shrine!

    Kusu purifies the oil for the house. It is placed in readiness [...] to ensure the sacred lustration rituals are not neglected, from the majestic marshes, the vast, sacred bathing chamber, this destiny emerges: the E-kic-nu-jal, with its majestic, sacred dais, perfects the great, majestic divine powers of heaven and earth. You bathe on the majestic banks by the sacred bathing chamber; you put mountain oil on your sacred body; O Nanna, you are placed upon your majestic dais -- wrapped in majestic linen, with raised head, shining horns and the pectoral of lordship!

    With the majestic oil of the sacred body, the oil of lordship, oil from your great treasury, lord Ningublaga consecrates the hands on his lapis-lazuli quay, the majestic quay, the sacred quay. But from Eridug the stag of the abzu Enki purifies the oil for those hands. So that you should place sacred hands upon your offering table in the banqueting hall, the great place, your steward Kusu -- she who purifies hands and cleanses hands -- consecrates the hands. But from Eridug the stag of the abzu purifies the oil for those hands.
  • Ningal is the majestic lady of the abzu shrine, of the majestic dais of Urim determining good and great destinies, and of the E-kic-nu-jal, the sacred and good dwelling. O, the sacred dwelling is the place of your ladyship for Nanna its king! The E-kic-nu-jal, the Agrun-kug, is your house of royalty! Nanna and Ningal bring joyfulness to the dwelling.
  • O Suen, sage, majestic lord throughout heaven and earth, your crown is a majestic crown! O Acimbabbar who puts a terrifying radiance in heaven and earth! May his hands be consecrated for him. May they be consecrated like heaven for him, may they be made to shine like the earth for him. May they be as resplendent as the centre of heaven for him. May he lift his head with its crown of heaven and earth, the sacred crown. Suen, the sage lord, majestic throughout heaven and earth, who perfects the pure dais, Acimbabbar who wears the diadem and just crown with majestic, shining horns, lifts his head. Sacred oil, pure oil, cleansing oil!

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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