chapter  2
The feminine in myths and epic
Pages 31

The study of women in Sumerian literature has received only limited attention thus far.1 This is in contrast with many other fields of ancient studies.2 For instance, in both biblical and classical scholarship, monographs have appeared that shed light on the relations between women’s social roles and the images of women in literary documents.3 Thus, in her discussion on the image of women in Athenian literature of the fifth century, Sarah Pomeroy pointed out that “[t] he mythology about women is created by men and, in a culture dominated by men, it may have little to do with flesh-and-blood women.”4 Indeed there is a great divide between how heroines were portrayed in Greek tragedy and comedy, and actual women living in ancient Greece. The case of Mesopotamia, however, is quite different. As I have shown else-

where, the portrayal of women in Sumerian literature had everything to do with real women.5