Inanna is also the sister of Ereshkigal, queen of the dead.
Elaborate ritual provisions were made, therefore, to translate the deceased from a mortal to an immortal condition; they included mummifying the body, adorning the tomb with prayers and offerings, and equipping the deceased with spells, amulets, and formulaic affidavits of innocence to win safe passage and ensure success at the divine tribunal.
The term Hell is also used for the Greek Hades and Tartarus, which have markedly different connotations.
As this confusion of terms suggests, the idea of hell has a complex history, reflecting changing attitudes toward death and judgment, sin and salvation, and crime and punishment.
Virgil’s hell includes special compartments for infants and suicides and specific punishments for specific crimes, but the ordinary dead, who merit neither a hero’s reward nor a scoundrel’s punishment, remain unaccounted for.
Further attention to the structure of hell came during the first centuries of the Common Era, as a rising tide of eschatological thinking, fed by currents of thought from western Asia, swept through the Roman world.