The Talking Mace

In Inanna’s Bargain, ancient ceremonial objects exhibit magical powers associated with their divine originals. This excerpt from Chapter 21 describes Kianu’s encounter with such an object.

As I prayed to the warrior god, my attention was captured by a large battle-mace displayed to one side of the cult statue, on a high shelf above the main altar. The object appeared to be a focal point for prayer and ritual. With my special gifts, I perceived a bright glow around the object, and a sense of great power. I was curious about the object and moved closer to the altar to get a better look.

“Could you tell me about the battle-mace on display?” I asked.

“The ceremonial battle-mace is a major symbol of Ninurta’s power,” she explained. “The original weapon was a talking mace named Sharur, which means ‘smasher of thousands.’ According to some legends, Sharur was quite formidable in battle and helped Ninurta destroy a demon named Asag. Other stories relate how Sharur assisted Ninurta in defeating the Anzu that stole the Tablet of Destinies from Enlil.”

“That story is portrayed on the wooden panels above E-Kur Temple gate,” I commented, recalling our visit earlier that day.

“Yes. If you look closely, Sharur is actually depicted in some of the scenes,” she stated. “The talking mace is also honored in many prayers to Ninurta.”

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