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      The Sumerians symbolized the diversity of their universe in
naming not one god but many. It is clear that over thousands of
years in Mesopotamia, the concepts of gods changed along with the
fortunes of their worshipers. Thorkild Jacobsen argued that the
earliest gods of the agricultural peoples, in the fourth
millennium, were names of forces of nature. The interaction of
these forces was related in stories of courtship and marriage. One
collection of myths described the courtship of Dumuzi, a shepherd
and god of grain, and Inanna, goddess of the storehouse. Eventually
the gods were perceived as rulers, extending power not only over
large city-states but also over the cosmos. In that period, the
Mesopotamians developed concepts of individual divine figures. For
example, An, a sky god, was the force of authority and the power
that gave being to all nature  and gods. Enlil, an energy force of
crop-growing weather, was god of the winds. Ninhursaga was the
female deity manifest in the stony ground and the eastern and
western boundaries of the land. As giver of births, Ninhursaga
governed wildlife and gave birth to kings.  The cunning Enki, a
rival of Ninhursaga, was the divine power of the sweet