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Nippur

NIPPUR nĭ poor’. An ancient Mesopotamian city about one hundred m. S of Baghdad or fifty m. SE of Babylon. It was founded by the “Ubaid” people c. 4,000 b.c. Although the city wielded no political power, it was the undisputed religious and cultural center from the early third millennium until the days of Hammurabi. From the 17th cent. until the 14th, datable material ceases. By the time of Hammurabi, Nippur had yielded to Babylon as a religious and cultural center, but it continued to be an important city down to Parthian times. Nippur was the seat of the cult of Enlil, and the ancient renown of this god insured his city the continued care on the part of the Babylonian kings. As late as the 7th cent. b.c., the Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal, restored Enlil’s temple. Nippur was the seat of Sumer’s most important “academy” and in the lit. composed and redacted in this academy, Nippur and its leading deities, Enlil, his wife Ninlil, and his son Ninurta, played a large role. Excavators fou