Expelling the Demon of Effeminacy: Anniwiyani’s Ritual and the Question of Homosexuality in Hittite Thought

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
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Abstract

The ritual of Anniwiyani drew the attention of scholars for more than eighty years, since its earliest publications. As its aim is not self-evident, various speculations and attempts were made during the years in order to try and comprehend it. The conventional explanations focused on the masculine-feminine dichotomy characterizing the ritual, as the background for its performance. The current paper sets forth a new interpretation, according to which the ritual actually aimed at treating a passive homosexual, in order to turn him into the active party in sexual relations.In light of this new perspective, the paper also seeks to assess the broader question of homosexuality in Hittite thought, as evident from several other textual sources.

Expelling the Demon of Effeminacy: Anniwiyani’s Ritual and the Question of Homosexuality in Hittite Thought

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

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