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
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
In the second half of the 20th century the study of ritual in Judaism received a new impulse. * Studies were published that discussed subjects like prayer and liturgy, Shabbat and Festivals, life cycle rituals, magic, 1 folklore and custom. 2 While earlier studies focused mainly on
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
notion of living quietly ( hēsychazein ). This is also a crucial term in the Apophthegmata Patrum . 154 In Paul’s context, emphasis is placed on ‘quiet’ in the sense of minding one’s own business and the practice of manual labour: the latter is also fundamental to the monastic life depicted 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
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
with active involvement in Emarite affairs in two documents. 102 One is aliving testament, which was concluded in front of Šaḫurunuwa and bears his royal seal. 103 As nothing in the text reveals why the king of Karkamiš was involved in such a quotidian legal matter, we might assume that the