The Revival of the Anu Cult and the Nocturnal Fire Ceremony at Late Babylonian Uruk


In The Revival of the Anu Cult and the Nocturnal Fire Ceremony at Late Babylonian Uruk, Julia Krul offers a comprehensive study of the rise of the sky god Anu as patron deity of Uruk in the Late Babylonian period (ca. 480-100 B.C.). She reconstructs the historical development of the Anu cult, its underlying theology, and its daily rites of worship, with a particular focus on the yearly nocturnal fire ceremony at the Anu temple, the Bīt Rēš.

Providing the first in-depth analysis of the ceremony, Julia Krul convincingly identifies it as a seasonal renewal festival with an important exorcistic component, but also as a reinforcement of local hierarchical relationships and the elite status of the Anu priesthood.
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Biographical Note

Julia Krul, Ph.D. (2014), Münster, is a postdoctoral researcher at Durham University and Leiden University. Her research interests cover the history of Assyrian and Babylonian religion, ritual, and scholarship in the first millennium B.C.

Table of contents



1 The historical background of the Anu cult
 1.1  A brief religious history of Uruk
 1.2  The development of the Late Babylonian Anu cult
 1.3  The Anu cult during the Seleucid and Parthian period

2 Theological and ideological aspects of the Anu cult
 2.1  Antiquarian theology
 2.2  Henotheistic tendencies?
 2.3  Anchoring the cult in the historical and mythological past

3 The tablet (AO 6460) and the text (TU 41)
 3.1  Publication history
 3.2  Transliteration, translation and commentary

4 The ritual’s calendrical setting
 4.1  Introduction
 4.2  The night vigil (bayātu) and its occurrences
 4.3  Day 16 and the lunar cultic calendar
 4.4  Cultic aspects of the 16th of Ṭebētu
 4.5  The winter solstice
 4.6  Conclusion

5 Analysis of TU 41
 5.1  Method of the analysis
 5.2  Obv. 1–8
 5.3  Obv. 8–13
 5.4  Obv. 13–28
 5.5  Obv. 28—rev. 1
 5.6  Rev. 1–14
 5.7  Rev. 14–27
 5.8  Rev. 28–32
 5.9  Rev. 33

6 Interpretation of TU 41
 6.1  The organisation of the ritual
 6.2  The fire ceremony
 6.3  Comprehensive analysis




Assyriologists, ancient historians, and Biblical scholars interested in Mesopotamian religion and rituals in the first millennium B.C. and in the history of Babylonian cities in the Hellenistic period.


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