Ur-Nungal of Uruk

May 2014
280
Portland, Oregon
Ur-Nungal of Uruk was the heir of Gilgamesh, a shadowy figure from the Sumerian king list who also appears as maintaining the temple of Enlil at Nippur in the Tummal Inscription.
There's something strange about this name: [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manungal"]Nungal[/ame] is also the name of a goddess. Is this just a coincidence (nun-gal could also mean something like "great offspring"), or does the grammar in our sources leave it open for Ur-Nungal to have been a woman?
 
Jan 2015
165
Kent
Ur-Nungal of Uruk was the heir of Gilgamesh, a shadowy figure from the Sumerian king list who also appears as maintaining the temple of Enlil at Nippur in the Tummal Inscription.
There's something strange about this name: Nungal is also the name of a goddess. Is this just a coincidence (nun-gal could also mean something like "great offspring"), or does the grammar in our sources leave it open for Ur-Nungal to have been a woman?
Although women in ancient Sumer could reach high rank, Priestess for example,I don`t think they could actually rule and Ur Nungal as heir to Gilgamesh became King and was the father of Udel-Kalama who followed him as King.I admit Sumer is not my area of expertise and my source is Wiki
 
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Mar 2011
66
Sumeria, I wish
I dont really know but I wouldnt rule out the possibility.
At other times, in other places, a woman was crowned queen, unsubordinate to any man, when that was unthinkable. So why not?
 

dreamregent

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
4,374
Coastal Florida
The Third Dynasty of Kish consisted of a female "king" name Kug-Bau. I believe she's the only known female ruler from Sumer.
 
May 2014
280
Portland, Oregon
The Third Dynasty of Kish consisted of a female "king" name Kug-Bau. I believe she's the only known female ruler from Sumer.
Right, Kug-Bau the alewife, who freed Kish from its overlord and "made firm the foundations" two generations before young Sargon is said to have become a servant in the royal household. So nothing stopped a woman from being a king (though one assumes she needed a bunch of men with spears who frequented her tavern as allies to successfully fight for Kish's independence). What we need to know to secure Ur-Nungal's manliness is that the Sumerian word we're seeing translated as "son of" is sex-specific and not "child of".

There's another tantalizing thing about this king: Ur-Nungal. If this was a throne name, (s)he was stating a claim of power over Ur rather than Daddy Gilgamesh's city or its rival Kish. The King List and Tummal Inscription both record hegemony passing from the First Dynasty of Uruk (Enmerkar-Lugalbanda-Dumuzi-Gilgamesh-UrNungal) to a First Dynasty of Ur. What role Ur-Nungal had in that change we can only guess.
 
Dec 2011
452
Kingdom of Mercia
Ur-Nungal is also frequently rendered as Ur-Lugal. Since we know what lugal is derived from (Man, Big) it is reasonable to assume I am in fact of the masculine persuasion.
 

Moros

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,099
What does the 'ur' part of the name mean? It appears in a number of Sumerian king names - Ur-Zababa, Ur-Ningin, Ur-gigr, Ur-Utu, Ur-Namma, Ur-Ninurtu, Ur-dukuga.

Could the 'Nungal' part be there to honour the goddess, rather than denoting the gender of the person with that name (perhaps something like Hera-cles meaning 'glory of Hera' rather than indicating the person was female due to the element 'Hera'?)
 
May 2014
280
Portland, Oregon
Thanks, Ur-Lugal! I had not realized that your name was rendered two different ways. :)

What does the 'ur' part of the name mean? It appears in a number of Sumerian king names - Ur-Zababa, Ur-Ningin, Ur-gigr, Ur-Utu, Ur-Namma, Ur-Ninurtu, Ur-dukuga.
Well let's break these guys down. There was...

Ur-[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zababa"]Zababa[/ame] of Kish
Ur-Ningin of Uruk, his son Ur-Gigir, and Ur-[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utu"]Utu[/ame], who was smitten by the Gutian hordes
Ur-[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nammu"]Nammu[/ame] of Ur
Ur-[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninurta"]Ninurta[/ame] (son of the storm god) and Ur-dukuga of Isin

So that's two names I can't make out, one king named Ur-*wheel, and the rest are named after a god(dess). The element "Ur" could mean either a city or "wolf, hound".

Could the 'Nungal' part be there to honour the goddess, rather than denoting the gender of the person with that name (perhaps something like Hera-cles meaning 'glory of Hera' rather than indicating the person was female due to the element 'Hera'?)
That seems likely.
 

ib-issi

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
3,403
just sitting here
Thanks, Ur-Lugal! I had not realized that your name was rendered two different ways. :)



Well let's break these guys down. There was...

Ur-Zababa of Kish
Ur-Ningin of Uruk, his son Ur-Gigir, and Ur-Utu, who was smitten by the Gutian hordes
Ur-Nammu of Ur
Ur-Ninurta (son of the storm god) and Ur-dukuga of Isin

So that's two names I can't make out, one king named Ur-*wheel, and the rest are named after a god(dess). The element "Ur" could mean either a city or "wolf, hound".



That seems likely.
The sugestion from Moros seems likely , otherwise you have the same
problem with Ninurta , as Nin means lady , Urta poss earth and then earth
goddess ??