Recommended Reading

If you are interested in Mesopotamian religion, myth, history, or esoteric studies, the following texts are highly recommended. They can be purchased from retailers such as Amazon and AbeBooks, university presses, or acquired via inter-library loan.

Cuneiform tablet: a-she-er gi-ta, balag to Innin/Ishtar ca. 2nd–1st century B.C.

Beginning with a general introduction, I recommend the following texts:

A History of the Ancient Near East, Marc Van de Mieroop

The Ancient Near East, James B. Pritchard

The Sumerians, Samuel Noah Kramer

History Begins at Sumer, Samuel Noah Kramer

The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion, Thorkild Jacobsen

Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia, Jean Bottéro

Ancient Mesopotamian Religion and Mythology, Wilfred G. Lambert

For mythology and reference, I recommend the following texts:

Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary, Jeremy Black & Andrew Green

A Dictionary of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology, Gwendolyn Leick 

Sumerian Mythology, Samuel Noah Kramer

Before the Muses: An Anthology Of Akkadian Literature, Benjamin R. Foster

The Harps that Once…: Sumerian Poetry in Translation, Thorkild Jacobsen

The Literature of Ancient Sumer, Jeremy Black

Festivals and Calendars of the Ancient Near East, Mark E. Cohen

For selected mythology, I recommend the following texts:

Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer, translated by Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer

Love Songs in Sumerian Literature: Critical Edition of the Dumuzi-Inanna Songs, Yitzhak Sefati

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

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

Ishtar, Louise M. Pryke

Myths of Enki, the Crafty God, Samuel Noah Kramer

The Healing Goddess Gula, Barbara Böck

The God Ninurta in the Mythology and Royal Ideology of Ancient Mesopotamia, Amar Annus

For more information concerning magic and ritual, I highly recommend the following texts:

Witchcraft and Magic in Europe, Volume 1: Biblical and Pagan Societies, Frederick H. Cryer & Marie-Louise Thomsen

Mesopotamian Magic, I. Tzvi Abusch

Mesopotamian Witchcraft, I. Tzvi Abusch

The Magical Ceremony Maqlû, I. Tzvi Abusch

Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals: Volume One, Daniel Schwemer & I. Tzvi Abusch

Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals: Volume Two, Daniel Schwemer & I. Tzvi Abusch

The Witchcraft Series Maqlû, I. Tzvi Abusch

Magico-medical Means of Treating Ghost-Induced Illnesses in Ancient Mesopotamia, Jo Ann Scurlock

Healing Magic and Evil Demons: Canonical Udug-hul Incantations, Markham J. Geller

Forerunners to Udug-Hul: Sumerian Exorcistic Incantations Book, Markham J. Geller

The Cults of Uruk and Babylon: The Temple Ritual Texts, Marc J. H. Linssen

Pazuzu, Nils P. Heessel

Lamaštu: An Edition of the Canonical Series of Lamaštu Incantations and Rituals and Related Texts from the Second and First Millennia BC, Walter Farber

Deliver Me from Evil: Mesopotamian Incantations, 2500-1500 BC, Graham Cunningham

Mesopotamian Protective Spirits: The Ritual Texts, F. A. M. Wiggermann 

Ur III Incantations from the Frau Professor Hilprecht-Collection, Jena., Johannes J. A. van Dijk & Markham J. Geller

Surpu, A Collection of Sumerian and Akkadian Incantations, Erica Reiner

The Akkadian Namburbu Texts: An Introduction, Richard Caplice

Extensive online resources are available through the following sites, which are free for use by the public:

The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature:

The Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus (ORACC):