The mes were believed to grant power over all the aspects of civilization, both positive and negative.
Inanna briefly appears at the beginning and end of the epic poem Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta (ETCSL 188.8.131.52).
Samuel Noah Kramer compares the myth to the Biblical story of Cain and Abel because both myths center around a farmer and a shepherd competing for divine favor and, in both stories, the deity in question ultimately chooses the shepherd.
These aspects were very diverse and the mes listed in the poem include abstract concepts such as Truth, Victory, and Counsel, technologies such as writing and weaving, and also social constructs such as law, priestly offices, kingship, and prostitution.
Inanna-Ishtar is alluded to in the Hebrew Bible and she greatly influenced the Phoenician goddess Astarte, who later influenced the development of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
Her cult continued to flourish until its gradual decline between the first and sixth centuries AD in the wake of Christianity, though it survived in parts of Upper Mesopotamia as late as the eighteenth century.
She was associated with the planet Venus and her most prominent symbols included the lion and the eight-pointed star.
Her husband was the god Dumuzid the Shepherd (later called Tammuz) and her sukkal, or personal attendant, was the goddess Ninshubur (who later became the male deity Papsukkal).
It is her game to speed conflict and battle, untiring, strapping on her sandals." but in the later myth of The Return of Dumuzid Inanna paradoxically mourns over Dumuzid's death and ultimately decrees that he will be allowed to return to Heaven to be with her for one half of the year. Inanna moves the tree to her garden in Uruk with the intention to carve it into a throne once it is fully grown.
The tree grows and matures, but the serpent "who knows no charm," the Anzû-bird, and Lilitu, the Sumerian forerunner to the Biblical Lilith, all take up residence within the tree, causing Inanna to cry with sorrow.
Ishtar also became particularly worshipped in the Upper Mesopotamian kingdom of Assyria (modern northern Iraq, northeast Syria and southeast Turkey), especially in the cities of Nineveh, Aššur and Arbela (modern Erbil).
including Aya (eastern mountain dawn goddess), Anatu (a goddess, possibly Ishtar's mother), Anunitu (Akkadian light goddess), Agasayam (war goddess), Irnini (goddess of cedar forests in the Lebanese mountains), Kilili or Kulili (symbol of the desirable woman), Sahirtu (messenger of lovers), Kir-gu-lu (bringer of rain), and Sarbanda (power of sovereignty).
Inanna appears in more myths than any other Sumerian deity.