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EN (Borger 2003 nr. 164 EN; U+12097 𒂗, see also ENSI) is the Sumerian cuneiform for "lord" or "priest". Originally, it seems to have been used to designate a high priest or priestess of a Sumerian city-state's patron-deity[1] - a position that entailed political power as well. It may also have been the original title of the ruler of Uruk. See Lugal, ensi and en for more details.



Amarna letters: bêluEdit

The 1350 BC Amarna letters uses EN for bêlu, though not exclusively. The more common spelling is mostly 'be' + 'li', to make "bêlí", or its equivalent. Some example letters using cuneiform 'EN' are letters EA (for 'El Amarna') 152, EA 254, and EA 282,[2] titled: "A demand for recognition", by Abimilku; "Neither rebel or delinquent (2)", by Labayu; and "Alone", by Shuwardata.

Most of the uses are in the letter introduction, formulaic addresses to the pharaoh, stating typically to effect:

"To the King (pharaoh), Lord-mine, (speaking) thus...."

Bodies of the letters also repeat the phraseology of "King, my Lord", sometimes doubly as in letter EA 34, (using be-li, as bêlu), "The pharaoh's reproach answered", by the King of Alashiya.

See alsoEdit

  • LUGAL "King or "ruler"
  • NIN - "Queen" or "priestess"
  • Bêlu - "lord" or "master"


  1. ^ Saggs, H. W. F. 1988, The Greatness That Was Babylon (revised edition)
  2. ^ Moran, The Amarna Letters, p. 239, 307, 323.