Dumuzi's dream: Dream analysis in ancient Mesopotamia

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Mesopotamian civilization was the first to develop writing and the first from which literary texts remain, dating back to the late 3rd millennium B.C. Some of these texts contain accounts of dreams, especially of royal figures. The earliest of these texts, evidently the earliest recorded dream in history, is the dream of Dumuzi of Uruk. This dream is embedded within the framework of the larger epic of the Descent of Inanna, and not only is the dream text itself included but also its interpretation, by Dumuzi's sister Geshtin-anna. She appears to have played the role of a professional dream interpretress. There are also several cylinder seals that appear to depict the motifs of Dumuzi's dream. This article examines this dream and its interpretation within the Mesopotamian cultural context. It also compares the dream with several other well-known dream texts from Mesopotamia.

Original Citation

Hoffman C. (2004). Dumuzi's dream: Dream analysis in ancient Mesopotamia. Dreaming, 14(4), 240-251. https://doi.org/10.1037/1053-0797.14.4.240