Similarities Between Shuelgi And Gudea

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Several different pieces of evidence of ancient Sumerian kings have managed to remain intact today. These inscriptions and pieces of art give an insight to how Sumerians viewed their kings and how kings viewed themselves. Two kings that have a remarkable amount of surviving information is Shulgi of the Ur III dynasty, and Gudea of the Lagash II Dynasty. The similar depiction of Gudea and Shulgi suggests that the primary role of kingship in ancient Sumer was a religious one based on the connection between the gods and the king.
Both Gudea and Shulgi come from a Sumerian culture that dominated southern Mesopotamia for hundreds of years prior to their reigns. The land of Sumer benefited greatly from both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, whose
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The hymn describes Shulgi completing a 200-mile journey from the city of Nippur to the city of Ur and back over the course of a single day. Shulgi claims in the hymn to be a child of the Ninsun, a goddess and mother of the legendary king Gilgamesh, suggesting that Shulgi was considered as part divine. Shulgi then makes comparisons between himself and the gods saying “I am Shulgi, whose charms are revealed of Inanna” and other similar statements that further his divinity. Upon reaching Ur, Shulgi visits a temple and performs various rituals and sacrifices to the gods before returning to the city of Nippur. The fact that Shulgi feels the need to describe him taking time from his extraordinary journey to make praises to the gods demonstrates the importance that these rituals held in Sumerian society. The hymn implies that the reason Shulgi is such a good king, is because he properly worships the gods and is himself, part divine. It is easy to see then why Shulgi would want the hymn to include several libations to the gods. The people of Sumer see the success and prosperity of Shulgi’s realm irreparably tied to his ability to be in the gods’ good graces. It also is evident that the king was looked to lead religious ceremony like the ones Shulgi participates in while visiting the temple at Ur and ensure proper rituals were attended to.
There are several differences in the way Shulgi and Gudea are portrayed as kings, but a common trait among them is a connection to the Sumerian gods. The various pieces of evidence from both the statue of Gudea and the royal hymn of Shulgi support the conclusion that the primary role of Sumerian kings was a religious one based on bringing good fortune to the people by staying in the good graces of the

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