The Lamentation Texts

Image: "Lament for the destruction of UR"

“Lament for the destruction of UR”

Mesopotamian “city laments” — dirges for ruined cities in the voice of the city’s tutelary goddess.

The Lament for UR

The Lament for Ur, or Lamentation over the city of Ur is a Sumerian lament composed around the time of the fall of Ur to the Elamites and the end of the city’s third dynasty (c. 2000 BC).

The destruction of the city of Ur on the fall of its empire around 2000 BC made an enormous impression. A poet wrote a lament in eleven songs telling the terrible story, which takes place both on earth and in the heavens. In it, Ningal, the goddess of Ur, appears as a suppliant before the great gods, charged with the accomplishment of the decrees of Fate. In the end, the catastrophe will be undone and what remains “hung on a nail” before the temple of Enlil, the great god of Sumer.

The other city laments are:

The Lament for Eridug (Eridu)
The Lament for Nibru (Nippur)
The Lament for Unug (Urak)
The Lament for Urim (Ur)
The Lament for Sumer and Urim (Sumer and Ur)

Continue to The Lament for UR