popularising the literature of ancient Iraq through the art of oral storytelling



The following books are recommended by the Enheduanna Society for the study of Mesopotamia and its mythology.

For more information about each book, click on its cover image. If you purchase a book by clicking on one of the ‘Buy from Amazon.co.uk’ buttons on this page, the Enheduanna Society will receive a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.

The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder
by Stephanie Dalley

A story involving legends, ancient texts, and a vivid description of a little-known civilization. One of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the Hanging Garden remains a mystery steeped in shadow and myth.

The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood
by Irving Finkel

British Museum expert Dr Irving Finkel reveals how decoding the symbols on a 4,000-year-old piece of clay enabled a radical new interpretation of the Noah's Ark myth.

An Arabic translation by Najwa Nasr, published by Beisan Press of Beirut, is available from Al Saqi Books.


Stories from Ancient Iraq retold by Fran Hazelton, introduction by Dr Stephanie Dalley, cover picture by Sadiq Toma, illustrations by Ed Coyne

Twelve re-told stories from Mesopotamian mythology. Includes a guide to Mesopotamian dieties and cities, a story map and list of academic sources

Three Kings of Warka: Enmerkar, Lugalbanda, Gilgamesh
retold by Fran Hazelton, introduction by Dr Stephanie Dalley, cover picture by Sadiq Toma, illustrations by Eleanor Allitt

Masterly re-tellings of three major pieces of ancient Mesopotamian literature

Sumerian Mythology: A Study of Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millennium B.C.
by Samuel Noah Kramer

Originally published in 1944, this is the book that first brought Sumerian mythology to the attention of the general public. Essential reading for Mesopotamia enthusiasts.

Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: an illustrated dictionary
by Jeremy Black and Anthony Green

This unique illustrated dictionary provides answers to many frequently asked questions about Mesopotamian mythology and its iconography. A very good investment.

by Stephen Mitchell

This new version summarises the epic well in its introduction and tells it in full as an English poem.

The Epic of Gilgamesh
by Andrew George

This is the most up-to-date academic translation from Akkadian and Sumerian of the world’s first literary masterpiece.

Inanna: Queen Of Heaven And Earth: her stories and hymns from Sumer
by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer

This fresh retelling of the ancient texts is an inspiring introduction to Inanna illustrated with images from her era.

Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others
by Stephanie Dalley

A translation from Akkadian of several myths, with notes, a glossary of deities, place-names and key terms. Essential for any Mesopotamia enthusiast

Princess, Priestess, Poet: The Sumerian Temple Hymns of Enheduanna
by Betty De Shong Meador

A new English version of all forty-two temple hymns ascribed to Enheduanna, the daughter of Sargon I who was the high-priestess at the temple of the moon god in the city of Ur in 2300 BCE

Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna
by Betty De Shong Meador, foreword by Judy Grahn

A skilful rendering of Enheduanna’s hymns to Inanna, and discussion of how the poems reflect Enheduanna’s spiritual and psychological liberation

The Harps that Once… Sumerian Poetry in Translation
by Thorkild Jacobsen

Elegantly written academic translations full of ancient passion made accessible to the modern non-specialist reader

Sumer and the Sumerians
by Harriet Crawford

Classic introduction to the material world lived in by the people who originated Mesopotamian mythology

by Joan Oates

Excellently written and richly illustrated, this acclaimed account is a must-have for scholars, students and new-comers to the history and legacy of Babylon.

Mesopotamia: the invention of the city
by Gwendolyn Leick

7000 years of urban living are brought to life in this chronicle of ten great Mesopotamian cities: Eridu, Uruk, Shurappak, Akkad, Ur, Nippur, Sippar, Ashur, Nineveh and Babylon.

Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Was Caught Up in a War
by Kathy Henderson, illustrations by Jane Ray

A 4000-year-old Sumerian story retold for children with illustrations inspired by Sumerian art. A lost young prince discovers his destiny.

Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature
by Gwendolyn Leick

As their poems, stories, hymns, spells, charms and incantations reveal in this scholarly and intriguing book, the people of Mesopotamia were as anxious and exuberant about sex as people are today, in their own distinctive way.

History begins at Sumer: thirty-nine firsts in recorded history
by Samuel Noah Kramer

A delightful guide to the many examples of Sumerian originality: in love-songs, medicine, schooling, law-making, history-writing, story-telling, marathon-running etc.

Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East
by Michael Roaf

This lavishly illustrated atlas is great for dipping into for answers on ancient Mesopotamia and for seeing what that world looked like to those who lived in it, with special features on pottery, writing, ziggurats, religion, technology, and everyday life. Maps galore.

The East Face of Helicon
by M. L. West

A renowned classicist examines the elements of Mesopotamian literature to be found in Greek poetry and myth. He suggests, too, how Homer may have heard of the Gilgamesh epic.

The Legacy of Mesopotamia
by Stephanie Dalley (editor)

This well illustrated collection of essays shows in scholarly detail how the academic and literary traditions of Mesopotamia spread to neighbouring lands in cuneiform script long before the development of the alphabet.

The Literature of Ancient Sumer
by Jeremy Black, Graham Cunningham, Eleanor Robson and Gabor Zolyomi

An anthology of new academic translations of seventy Sumerian poems, myths, proverbs etc., about a fifth of the known corpus. A unique resource.

Before the Muses: an anthology of Akkadian Literature
by Benjamin R. Foster

A treasure trove of academic translations of Mesopotamian literary clay tablets written in Akkadian

Daring to Discover: Inanna her Descent into the Underworld
by Eleanor Allitt

An imaginative and lavishly illustrated adaptation of the ancient Sumerian myth showing its lasting relevance

Iraq: Then & Now: A Guide to the Country and Its People
by Geoff Hann and Karen Dabrowska

A thorough and detailed guide which includes information about Zipang and the Enheduanna Society

Complete Babylonian: Teach Yourself
by Martin Worthington

Enables the complete beginner to gain a working knowledge of cuneiform script and the sophisticated language spoken and written in ancient Babylon

Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization
by Paul Kriwaczek

A delightful and rewarding read, well illustrated with photographs, maps and diagrams


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