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(2,975 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen) | Schwemer, Daniel (Würzburg) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Rieken, Elisabeth (Berlin)
[German version] I. General ‘Multilingualism’ refers to two different things: on the one hand the ability of an individual to use several languages, on the other hand a situation where, within a social group, several languages are used (linguistic contact). As a result, research into multilingualism can look at multilingual individuals or a multilingual society; accordingly, points of contact arise to psycho- and neurolinguistics on the one hand or to sociolinguistics and historical linguistics (des…

Weather gods

(744 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Daniel (Würzburg)
[German version] The cult of the Sumerian god Iškur can be documented for Babylonia from the early 3rd. millennium BC. He was the head of the pantheon of the Middle Babylonian city of Karkar, but remained less significant beyond this area. Iškur was attributed with the threatening power of storms, but also with the rains beneficial for vegetation. Just as Ninurta, he was regarded as a fighter against the power of chaos, and vice versa, Ninurta displayed traits of a storm god in this context. As ea…


(2,534 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen) | Schwemer, Daniel (Würzburg) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Rieken, Elisabeth (Berlin)
[English version] I. Begriff “M.” bezeichnet zwei verschiedene Dinge: zum einen die Fähigkeit des Individuums, sich mehrerer Sprachen zu bedienen, zum anderen eine Situation, in der innerhalb einer gesellschaftl. Gruppe mehrere Sprachen verwendet werden (Sprachkontakt). Dementsprechend kann sich M.-Forsch. mit dem mehrsprachigen Individuum oder der mehrsprachigen Ges. befassen; je nach Sichtweise ergeben sich Berührungspunkte zur Psycho- und Neurolinguistik einerseits oder zur Soziolinguistik und hi…


(586 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Daniel
[English version] Der Kult des sumerischen Iškur kann in Babylonien seit dem frühen 3. Jt. nachgewiesen werden. Er stand an der Spitze des Pantheons der mittelbabylonischen Stadt Karkar, blieb aber überregional von untergeordneter Bed. Seinem Wirken schrieb man v. a. die bedrohliche Gewalt des Sturms, aber auch den vegetationsfördernden Regen zu. Wie Ninurta galt er als Kämpfer gegen die Chaosmacht; umgekehrt trägt Ninurta in diesem Kontext Züge eines Sturmgottes. Iškur wurde schon im 3. Jt. mit d…

Asia Minor

(5,414 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Daniel | Schuler, Christof | Rutgers, Leonard V. | Breytenbach, Cilliers | Ursinus, Michael | Et al.
[German Version] I. Geography – II. History – III. Society – IV. Religions – V. Literature I. Geography “Asia Minor” serves as the historical designation of the peninsula between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea; its eastern boundary is marked by the Amanus, the Anti-Taurus, and the upper reaches of the Euphrates (Turkey). To the north and south, coastal mountain ranges (t…


(8,420 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Daniel | Feldtkeller, Andreas | Fitschen, Klaus | Tamcke, Martin | Kaufhold, Hubert | Et al.
[German Version] I. Geography Greek Συρία/ Syría is an abbreviated form of ’Ασσυρία/ Assyría (“Assyria”); Greek and Latin manuscripts often use the two terms indiscriminately. Initially Syría, corresponding to the Persian satrapy of ʿEbar-naharā, denoted the region between Egypt and Asia Minor, including the area east of the Euphrates, which was called Mesopotamia after Alexander’s campaign. After the time of the Seleucids, Syria, with the Euphrates now marking its eastern border, was divided into northern Syria Coele and southern Syria Phoenice (Phoenicia), bordering on Pa…

Rite and Ritual

(6,139 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Stausberg, Michael | Schwemer, Daniel | Gertz, Jan Christian | Hollender, Elisabeth | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. The terms The terms rite and ritual are often used synonymously, both in daily speech and in the specialized language of religious studies, leading to a lack of clarity. “Rite” is etymologically related to Sanskrit ṛta, “right, order, truth, custom,” and may thus be regarded as the “smallest” building block of a ritual, which can be defined as a complex series of actions in a (logical) functional relationship. Within a three-level sequence, cult (Cult/Worship : I, 2) must also be taken into cons…