The Soul has to Leave the Land of the Living

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
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Abstract

A fragmentary Hittite tablet (a late copy of an Old Hittite original) describes the soul's journey in the Netherworld, unwilling to travel “the great road . . . the road that makes things disappear”, even though aware that “to the gods belongs the soul”. This is the belief, or cry of hope, that runs through the entire history of humanity, which a popular poem in Des Knaben Wunderhorn expresses in this way: “Ich bin von Gott und will wieder zu Gott”. Despite this, the soul does not want to “undergo the perdition of the mortal”. The journey starts in the second column (of which only a few words remain). It is not clear whether the narrative is interrupted here by a ritual act. At the end of the second column and up to the start of the third, the desolation of souls in the Netherworld is described. However, the fate awaiting this soul is different, but the text breaks of without telling us anything more definite. The fourth column contains a brief section of the ritual.

The Soul has to Leave the Land of the Living

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

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