Praise to Ishtar
From an Akkadian hymn to Ishtar translated by Ferris J. Stephens
She is clothed with pleasure and love.
She is laden with vitality, charm,
In lips she is sweet; life is in her mouth.
At her appearance rejoicing becomes full.
She is glorious; veils are thrown over her head.
Her figure is beautiful; her eyes are brilliant.
The goddess – with her there is counsel.
The fate of everything she holds in her hand.
At her glance there is created joy, power,
magnificence, the protecting deity and guardian spirit.
Ishtar – to her greatness who can be equal?
Strong, exalted, splendid are her decrees.
She is sought after among the gods;
extraordinary is her station.
Respected is her word; it is supreme over them.
Ishtar among the gods, extraordinary is her station.
The Ishtar Gate
Built about 575 BC by Nebuchadnezzar II, the Ishtar Gate was one of the eight gates of the inner city of Babylon, capital of the Babylonian Empire (now in Iraq). It is one of the most impressive monuments rediscovered in the ancient Near East. high more than 38 feet (12 meters) was made of brick glazed with a copper turquoise glaze alternating with unglazed brick (about 120 of them) covered with gold leaf. Covered with dragons, lions and bulls, Nebuchadnezzar dedicated the huge, ceremonial gate to the goddess Ishtar.
A reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way was built at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin out of material excavated by Robert Koldewey and finished in the 1930s. It includes the inscription plaque. It stands 47 feet high and 100 feet wide (14 meters by 30 meters). The excavation ran from 1902 to 1914, and, during that time, 45 feet of the foundation of the gate was uncovered.