Gudea ruled over the Sumerian city-state of Lagas during the 21st century B.C.E., and left an incredible wealth of inscriptions pertaining to his building activity and pious donations, displayed on statues, clay cylinders, mace heads, vessels and many other objects. The central part of the book is Gudea's incription dedicated to the construction of the Eninnu, the main sanctuary of his city-god Ningirsu. It is composed of two parts, each displayed on a huge clay cylinder measuring 60 cm in height and 33 cm in diameter. The composition as a whole has 1366 cases or lines, and is among the longest Sumerian literary texts known at present. Although formally a building inscription, it is at the same time Sumerian poetic art at its best, and also a rich source for the study of Sumerian religion.
Gudea's inscriptions and those of his predecessors and followers are offered in the Latin transliteration of the original cuneiform texts, in translation, and they are provided with introductions, commentaries and explanatory notes, with the volume as a whole highlighting a century which was part of the so-called Neo-Sumerian period.
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