According to Wikipedia, Guedena, (also, "Gu-Edin", or "Gu'edena") was a fertile plain in Sumer.


Gu-Edin (also transcribed "Gu'edena" or "Guedena") was a fertile plain in Sumer, in modern-day Iraq. It lay between Umma and Lagash

Photo by Umma2350 - Wikipedia Location of Gu-Edin, between Umma and Lagash in Sumer.


Is the definition of Guedena known?

  • Surely the commonest meanings of "gu" in Sumerian are "side" or "river bank"?
    – Owen Dyer
    Jul 30, 2023 at 19:30
  • That's written 𒄘 gu₂/gú, not 𒄖 gu.
    – Cairnarvon
    Jul 30, 2023 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


The name was written literally GU-EDIN (or GU-EDIN-NA) in cuneiform. Radau suggests that GU here means Akkadian mātu "flat land, field" and EDIN means bamātu "open country, plain". (He also relates it to Hebrew bamoth "high places".) In other words, the name literally meant "the open fields".

EDIN meaning "plain" is pretty standard (though it's usually equated with the borrowed Akkadian edinu "steppe"), but this is a meaning of GU I haven't seen before. Still, it makes more sense than the usual meaning of GU ("net").

Source: Radau's Early Babylonian History Down to the End of the Fourth Dynasty of Ur, page 86 onwards. The book is from 1900, so take it with many grains of salt, but I haven't found anything more recent specifically discussing the GU part of this name.

  • So is he suggesting that the name would actually have been spoken as Mātu Bamātu? Aug 28, 2022 at 20:55
  • @JanusBahsJacquet It seems so, but I think I must be understanding him wrong because a name consisting of two separate nouns in the nominative is very odd. Or perhaps our understanding of Akkadian syntax has just advanced since 1900.
    – Draconis
    Aug 28, 2022 at 20:59
  • 1
    (Well, spoken that way in an Akkadian context at least. Presumably in a Sumerian context it would have been straightforwardly gu-edina.)
    – Draconis
    Aug 28, 2022 at 21:00

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.