Cultural Memory Reinterpreted
Composition, Reception, and Interpretation
The Egyptian Priestly Figure as a Teacher of Hellenized Wisdom
Christian H. Bull
Descriptive List and Edition of Selected Texts
Siam Bhayro, James Nathan Ford, Dan Levene and Ortal-Paz Saar
After 484 BC, several deities were (re)introduced into the pantheon of Uruk—most importantly the city’s new patron deity, the sky god Anu, but also the netherworld goddess Bēlet-ṣēri (“Lady of the Steppe”). In this article, I investigate the possible reasons behind the introduction of Bēlet-ṣēri’s cult at Uruk and the role ascribed to her by local worshipers. Using literary compositions, ritual texts, and legal documents, I trace the historical development of Bēlet-ṣēri’s divine characteristics, reconstruct her daily worship at Uruk, and examine the socioeconomic status of Urukean individuals bearing a “Bēlet-ṣēri-name.” I conclude that Bēlet-ṣēri was especially popular among non-elite citizens, probably because she could intercede with the queen of the netherworld, Ereškigal, for the lives of her followers and their families.
The article deals with the theology of the lilis kettledrum, used to accompany prayers in ancient Mesopotamian temple cult. The article analyzes the ritual in which the head of the kettledrum was covered with the hide of a bull and the ancient commentary on this ritual, showing that the ancient understanding of this ritual was that it reflected the primordial battle between the gods Enlil and Enmešara over the rule of the universe. The article connects this myth to other mythical episodes, such as the myths of the Bull of Heaven, Anzu, and Atra-ḫasīs. The analysis of these materials leads to the conclusion that the playing of the kettledrum during the performance of ancient Mesopotamian prayers symbolized the beating heart of the deities to whom the prayers were addressed.
This paper examines the demons Pazuzu and Lamaštu from a cognitive science perspective. As hybrid creatures, the iconography of these demons combines an array of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic properties, and is therefore marked by a high degree of conceptual complexity. In a technical sense, they are what cognitive researchers refer to as radically “counterintuitive” representations. However, highly complex religious concepts are difficult in terms of cognitive processing, memory, and transmission, and, as a result, are prone to being spontaneously simplified in structure. Accordingly, there is reason to expect that the material images of Pazuzu and Lamaštu differed from the corresponding mental images of these demons. Specifically, it is argued here that in ancient cognition and memory, the demons would have been represented in a more cognitively optimal manner. This hypothesis is further supported by a detailed consideration of the full repertoire of iconographic and textual sources.
Part III: Pages 343-442 (Chapters 321-347)
Iain Gardner, Jason D. Beduhn and Paul Dilley
Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore
Essays on Assyriology and the History of Science in Honor of Francesca Rochberg
“The Scaffolding of Our Thoughts” honors this luminary with twenty essays, each reflecting on aspects of her work. Following an initial appraisal of ancient “science” by Sir Geoffrey Lloyd, the contributions in the first half explore practices of knowledge in Assyriological sources. The second half of the volume focuses specifically on astronomical and astrological spheres of knowledge in the Ancient Mediterranean.