The Basis of Mesopotamian Religiosity
Mesopotamian religion is attested in written texts for the first three thousand years of recorded history. * All the same we would begin with a few words about the early Mesopotamian view of human life, the gods, and the city. It should be noted that
derives from his rootedness in the temple. The connection between the god’s relation to temple and his relation to people is expressed first of all by the juxtaposition of temple and mankind:
Lover of Ezida, preserver of life,
Lone one of Emaḫtila, multiplier of living.
The two are thus put on a
religion. Therefore, in a Mesopotamian context, witchcraft refers not to magical behavior as such, but to inimical behavior, that is, to the practice of magic for antisocial and destructive purposes (though, as we shall note later, not all behavior so labeled was, in fact, motivated by evil intentions
definition of this phenomenon, which Smith takes up. Assmann poses a definition that rests on equating the functions of gods, which then motivates the translation of gods. These two steps, however, are insufficiently differentiated in Assmann’s model, which leads to confusion.
In ancient polytheisms
some, like Walter Brueggemann, to see the dominant focus of wisdom as anthropological, that is, primarily concerned with humans, their behaviour and how they can attain a fulfilling life of security, happiness and wholeness here in this world. 35 Wisdom’s authority is said to be found “in the
‘quarrel’. Elsewhere, hawwôt is seen to pertain to the same lexical field as lies and deceit. That hawwôt is a ‘thing’ that can be uttered ( דבר in the Piʿel) becomes clear from texts such as Psalm 38:13. The protagonist of that psalm has fallen gravely ill, and experiences that his life is not safe
], traditional herbal therapy [ asûtu ], or a combination of the two.)
For the individual Mesopotamian, magic remained the major means of asserting control over the uncertainties and vagaries of life. Accordingly, magic treats illness and other such life difficulties and transitions; these personal crises may
-European was motivated by a split within the preexisting PIE animate gender and that the split was sex-based”, and he notes (as Luraghi does in 2011, though not in 2009b) that Meillet had already proposed in 1931 that the PIE feminine arose within the “common” or “animate” gender: “that the creation of the
no reason to doubt that the content of the psalm reflects a thought world in which the presence of demons, demonical possession, and malignant spirits and powers was considered commonplace. The text of the psalm reflects a sense of synergistic inner connection between ordinary life and the sinister
approach that designates ancient patterns of behavior and belief according to modern categories and views zikurrudâ purely in pathological terms fails to take account of the fact that some diseases are a function of cultural beliefs that motivate behavior, behavior that may seem bizarre to us but