Ancient Sumerian king Etana went into space with the gods on a spaceship

(ORDO NEWS) — It all started in Mesopotamia around 3500-3000 BC. Ancient Sumer was the first urban civilization to inhabit the region 6,000 years ago.

In the ancient Sumerian texts, there are many legends and stories describing gods who descended from heaven. One of them is really fascinating: the legend of King Etana, who traveled to heaven with the gods.

Sumerian king list before the Flood:

“After the kings descended from heaven, the kingdom was in Eridug. Alulim became king in Eridug; he ruled for 28,800 years. Alaljar ruled for 36,000 years. 2 kings; they ruled for 64,800 years.

Then Eridug fell, and the kingdom passed to Bad-tibir” . After the flood, kingship again descended from heaven. This time, Kish became the place of kingship.

The Igigi, the gods of creation, created the city, laid its foundation, and named it Kish. But the people were left without a king, and the gates were closed from the whole world.

Then Ishtar searched the land for a king, Inninna searched the land for a king, Ellil searched for a king in the land, and they found the shepherd Etana and brought him to the city.

And they built him a throne, and gave him a scepter, and made him king over all the earth.”

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Detail from the Epic of Etana, Akkadian, Mesopotamia, First Dynasty of Babylon, c. 1895-1595 BC e., clay – Morgan Library and Museum – New York

“Etana, the shepherd who ascended to heaven and united all foreign countries, became king; he reigned 1560 years.”

In the Sumerian tradition, Etana is the first king who ruled over the Sumerian city of Kish. Etana is depicted as a ruler chosen by the gods who ruled at the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC.

The gods endowed him with the power and authority to establish rules and order on Earth among people.

On an Akkadian clay tablet found in Nineveh (an Assyrian city in Upper Mesopotamia, now on the territory of modern Iraq), in the library of Ashurbanipal (dated 1900-1600 BC), the legend of King Etana is written in cuneiform.

According to the text, Etana, the thirteenth king of the first dynasty of Kish, attempted to fly an eagle into the sky to meet the sky god Anu and find a magical plant to cure his wife’s infertility, which would enable Etana to become a father.

He is said to have ruled for 1560 years (or 635), after which he was succeeded by his son Balikh, who ruled for 400 years.

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The enthroned Sumerian king of Ur with his attendants. Standard of Ur, (c. 2600 BC)

The eagle prepared to speak to Etana:

“My friend… this god….

“We have passed through the gates of Anu, Enlil and Ea,

We have passed through the gates of Sin, Shamash, Adad and Ishtar,

We bowed together, you and me

I saw a house with windows, it didn’t have a seal.

I…. and went inside.

In it sat a wonderful young woman,

She was imposing… beautiful in face.

A throne was set up, the ground was trampled,

Lions sat under the throne

When I entered, the lions rushed at me.

I woke up and shuddered [ ]”.

The eagle told him, Etana:

“My friend, [ ] are obvious,

Come let me take you to the sky

Press your chest against my chest

Press your hands to the feathers of my wings

Put your hands on my sides.”

He pressed his chest to his chest,

He pressed his hands to the feathers of the wings,

He pressed his hands to his sides,

Great was his burden.

When he carried it one league high,

The eagle told him, Etana:

“Look, my friend, what the earth is like now.

Look at the sea, look for its boundaries.

The earth is hills…

The sea has become a stream.”

When he raised him to the height of the second league,

The eagle told him, told Etana

“Look, my friend, what the earth is like now!

The earth is a hill.”

When he promoted him to the third league,

The eagle told him, told Etana

“Look, my friend, what the earth is like now!”

“The sea has become the gardener’s ditch.”

After they ascended to the sky of Anu,

they passed through the gates of Anu, Enlil and Ea,

Eagle and Etana bowed together

At the gates of Sin

Eagle and Etana bowed together.”

The Italian historian Alberto Fenoglio described Etana’s story well:

“King Etana lived about 5,000 years ago, he was called the God King, and he was received as a guest of honor on a shield-shaped flying ship that landed behind the royal palace, surrounded by a whirlwind of flames.

From this Flying Ship emerged tall, fair-skinned, dark-skinned men dressed in white robes, who were said to be as beautiful as gods. They invited King Etana to come with them, King Etana’s advisers tried to dissuade the king from going inside the flying object.”

King Etana flew to the Moon, Mars and Venus with the ship and disappeared for two weeks.

When his realm was ready to be replaced by a new king, he returned to his realm with one of the blonds who stayed with the king.

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The myth of Etana. Seal impression of the period of the Akkadian Empire

Nowadays, the story of King Etana has attracted a lot of attention because of its historical and cultural value.

Interestingly, legends about a man flying to heaven on the back of an eagle can be found in the Greek myth of Ganymede, as well as in the story of how Alexander the Great was carried to heaven by eagles. The name Etana is still widespread among our contemporaries.

There is a peculiar difference between the late Babylonian version (700 BC) and its earlier versions. In cuneiform, two characters are used as prefixes to names, one of which denotes a mortal and the other a deity.

In early versions of the legend, Etana is identified as a mortal. Later, it was replaced by a prefix denoting a deity.


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