Jump to content

Sumerian Mes


etana

Recommended Posts

I know there a few other ANE geeks here. Has anyone ever wondered if the Sumerian Mes had a parallel or common source with what we understand as Priesthood keys?

Yes, i know there are bad mes as well, but doesn't the adversary also seem to have some keys/authorities/powers for specific mischief in specific circumstances. Certainly we have righteous angels with keys and authorities and priesthoods.

Maybe I'll tell the EQ president that he is like Enlil this Sunday.

Link to comment

What is "Sumerian Mes"??

Is "Mes" short for Mesopotamian, or does it mean something else?

A "me" is a kind of authority and power over a specific "thing" (Think "CI" if you are familiar with ITIL) like virtue, or vengeance or brewing.

Link to comment

You might get more replies if you wrote in English instead of jargon- but what do I know- Nothing apparently.

Link to comment

You might get more replies if you wrote in English instead of jargon- but what do I know- Nothing apparently.

Someone should have said that to Paul before he wrote to the Romans.

Link to comment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_%28mythology%29

he mes were originally collected by Enlil and then handed over to the guardianship of Enki who was to broker them out to the various Sumerian centers beginning with his own city of Eridu and continuing with Ur, Meluhha, and Dilmun. This is described in the poem, "Enki and the World Order" which also details how he parcels out responsibility for various crafts and natural phenomena to the lesser gods. Here the mes of various places are extolled but are not themselves clearly specified, and they seem to be distinct from the individual responsibilities of each divinity as they are mentioned in conjunction with specific places rather than gods.[1] After a considerable amount of self-glorification on the part of Enki, his daughter Inanna comes before him with a complaint that she has been given short shrift on her divine spheres of influence. Enki does his best to placate her by pointing out those she does in fact possess.[2] There is no direct connection implied in the mythological cycle between this poem and that which is our main source of information on the mes, "Inanna and Enki: The Transfer of the Arts of Civilization from Eridu to Uruk", but once again Inanna's discontent is a theme. She is the tutelary deity of Uruk and desires to increase its influence and glory by bringing the mes to it from Eridu. She travels to Enki's Eridu shrine, the E-abzu, in her "boat of heaven", and asks the mes from him after he is well into his cups, whereupon he complies. After she departs with them, he comes to his senses and notices they are missing from their usual place, and on being informed what he did with them attempts to retrieve them. The attempt fails and Inanna triumphantly delivers them to Uruk.[3]

We never learn what any of the mes look like, yet they are represented as physical objects of some sort. Not only are they stored in a prominent location in the E-abzu, but Inanna is able to display them to the people of Uruk after she arrives with them in her boat. Some of them are indeed physical objects such as musical instruments, but many are technologies like "basket weaving" or abstractions like "victory". It is not made clear in the poem how such things can be stored, handled, or displayed.

Not all the mes are admirable or desirable traits. Alongside functions like "heroship" and "victory" we also find "the destruction of cities", "falsehood", and "enmity". The Sumerians apparently considered such evils and sins an inevitable part of humanity's lot in life, divinely and inscrutably decreed, and not to be questioned.[4]

[edit]

Link to comment

I think the mes were more like the law of Moses than priesthood keys. Weren't they just a set of social mores and laws and the proper application of such in societal context?

Yeah, you could absolutely see them that way. Kramer called them "divine decrees that are fundamental to civilization", but his work may be considered out of date these days. They seem to have also had some kind of physical presence to the gods; and they entail not just the supernatural power to implement the concepts, but a kind of divine authority to do so.

Thanks Cal for the wiki (that i probably should have posted)

Link to comment

Yeah, you could absolutely see them that way. Kramer called them "divine decrees that are fundamental to civilization", but his work may be considered out of date these days. They seem to have also had some kind of physical presence to the gods; and they entail not just the supernatural power to implement the concepts, but a kind of divine authority to do so.

That makes perfect sense in a society that must have a physical representation of the divine.

Link to comment

I know there a few other ANE geeks here. Has anyone ever wondered if the Sumerian Mes had a parallel or common source with what we understand as Priesthood keys?

Yes, i know there are bad mes as well, but doesn't the adversary also seem to have some keys/authorities/powers for specific mischief in specific circumstances. Certainly we have righteous angels with keys and authorities and priesthoods.

Maybe I'll tell the EQ president that he is like Enlil this Sunday.

An article included in the Maxwell Institute (Inside a Sumerian Temple: The Ekishnugal at Ur E. Jan Wilson) connotes the Mes with temple ritual rather than with keys.

Link to comment

A "me" is a kind of authority and power over a specific "thing" (Think "CI" if you are familiar with ITIL) like virtue, or vengeance or brewing.

Do you mind translating "ANE" and "CI" and "ITIL" as well or is it beneath your brilliance?

And what does this have to do with Romans?

Pardon my total stupidity. I really would like to learn something here, but if this is a specialized discussion from which I am dis-invited, perhaps you should keep it in a peer reviewed journal or something for specialists, and not on a general discussion board.

Thanks Cal!

Link to comment

Do you mind translating "ANE" and "CI" and "ITIL" as well or is it beneath your brilliance?

And what does this have to do with Romans?

Pardon my total stupidity. I really would like to learn something here, but if this is a specialized discussion from which I am dis-invited, perhaps you should keep it in a peer reviewed journal or something for specialists, and not on a general discussion board.

Thanks Cal!

Sorry friend, didn't mean to offend anyone. If i were brilliant, one might expect me to be a better communicator. :)

ANE is as Lee said, Ancient Near East and as Cal linked to, ITIL is Information Technology Infrastructure Library with CI being Configuration Item. It's not really relevant i guess, except as a poorly thought out metaphor on my part. ITIL is kind of like a plan or structure for IT departments with CIs being the IT components that are manipulated by the system. A CI could be a keyboard, a printer driver or a Unix team (that's a "team of Eunuchs" for the ANE folks).

Link to comment

Sorry friend, didn't mean to offend anyone. If i were brilliant, one might expect me to be a better communicator. :)

ANE is as Lee said, Ancient Near East and as Cal linked to, ITIL is Information Technology Infrastructure Library with CI being Configuration Item. It's not really relevant i guess, except as a poorly thought out metaphor on my part. ITIL is kind of like a plan or structure for IT departments with CIs being the IT components that are manipulated by the system. A CI could be a keyboard, a printer driver or a Unix team (that's a "team of Eunuchs" for the ANE folks).

AHA!

Ok well that's definitely over MY head!

I find it a great accomplishment just to get on the internet and post here!

Thanks for the clarification, but it looks like others also had trouble understanding so I don't feel quite so dumb!

Link to comment

Sorry friend, didn't mean to offend anyone. If i were brilliant, one might expect me to be a better communicator. :)

ANE is as Lee said, Ancient Near East and as Cal linked to, ITIL is Information Technology Infrastructure Library with CI being Configuration Item. It's not really relevant i guess, except as a poorly thought out metaphor on my part. ITIL is kind of like a plan or structure for IT departments with CIs being the IT components that are manipulated by the system. A CI could be a keyboard, a printer driver or a Unix team (that's a "team of Eunuchs" for the ANE folks).

Completely off topic, but have you ever read Rick Cook's computer geek/sci-fi/fantasy novel "Wizard's Bane" and its four sequels?

What made me think this: Wiz's mention of UNIX in the novel being mistaken as 'eunuch" by the hedge witch, Moira.

Link to comment

An article included in the Maxwell Institute (Inside a Sumerian Temple: The Ekishnugal at Ur E. Jan Wilson) connotes the Mes with temple ritual rather than with keys.

Just an additional sidenote. Some modern theorists have suggested that the mes are reflective of a later Platonic theorem where God assigns different functions to individual deities.

Link to comment

What made me think this: Wiz's mention of UNIX in the novel being mistaken as 'eunuch" by the hedge witch, Moira.

I resemble that remark ;)

Link to comment

Completely off topic, but have you ever read Rick Cook's computer geek/sci-fi/fantasy novel "Wizard's Bane" and its four sequels?

What made me think this: Wiz's mention of UNIX in the novel being mistaken as 'eunuch" by the hedge witch, Moira.

I haven't. Do you recommend it? If it's good i'll add it to the queue.

Link to comment

Completely off topic, but have you ever read Rick Cook's computer geek/sci-fi/fantasy novel "Wizard's Bane" and its four sequels?

What made me think this: Wiz's mention of UNIX in the novel being mistaken as 'eunuch" by the hedge witch, Moira.

Do you have an ISBN? I'm having a hard time finding it at my library.

Link to comment

This also puts me in mind of Genesis 4, where Cain and Abel are assigned to flocks and to fields, and also Jabal as the father of those who dwelt in tents, and Jubal, the father of all those that "handle the harp and the organ", and Tubal-cain (love that name!! ha ha, used it in a novel), "an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron".

Link to comment

This also puts me in mind of Genesis 4, where Cain and Abel are assigned to flocks and to fields, and also Jabal as the father of those who dwelt in tents, and Jubal, the father of all those that "handle the harp and the organ", and Tubal-cain (love that name!! ha ha, used it in a novel), "an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron".

Yes, it also echoes the book of Enoch with the watchers each teaching a skill.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...