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Put

(108 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] In the table of peoples in the OT (Gn 10:6), Pūt is considered one of the four sons of Ham. The ethnic Pūt is characterized as pertaining to Egypt's sphere of influence in the 10th cent. BC. Pūt is likewise mentioned in Jer 46:9, Ez 27:10; 30:5; 38:5 and Nah 3:9. In contrast to earlier suggestions identification with P. is no longer advocated; identification with Libya/Libyans is more likely. The Putāayā (Old Persian; Elamite Putiyap; Akkadian Puṭa) of the Darius [1] I inscriptions at Naqš-e Rostam also denotes Libyans, not - as occasionally assumed - P. [1. 197]. Renger, Jo…

Qadesh

(298 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Ḫattusa | Aegean Koine ( Qadeš, Kadeš). Town in central Syria, south of Ḥimṣ, modern Tall Nabī Mand, situated in a strategically important location at the junction between the Egyptian sphere of influence on the one hand and Mittanian and Hittite on the other. In the 15th cent., Thutmosis III attempted to conquer the town [2. 94-98]. In 1275 BC, it was the site of the famous battle between the Hittite ruler Muwattalli II (1290-1272 BC) and Ramesses I…

Thinis

(97 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Greek Θίνις/ Thínis, Θίς/ Thís; Coptic tin). Capital of the eighth nome of Upper Egypt, precise location unknown. T. was an ancient royal metropolis of the First and Second Dynasties (3000-2635 BC). According to Manetho [1], who calls the rulers (e.g. Menes [1]) of the First Dynasty  Θεινίτης, -αι/ Theinítēs, -ai, 'Thinites', this period is also known as the Thinite period. The necropol(e)is of T. was/were located on the other bank of the Nile at Lepidotonpolis. The chief god of T. was Onuris. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography E. Brovarski, s. v. Thinis, LÄ …

Ishtar

(181 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] The Semitic goddess I. is etymologically related to  Astarte ( Aṯtarat). Grammatically speaking, the name is masculine (cf. Western Semitic Aṯtar). In southern Mesopotamia she was identified with Innana, the Sumerian city-goddess of  Uruk, and there is evidence of her being worshipped in that city into Achaemenid times. In northern Babylonia and Assyria figures of I. were venerated in numerous cities (I. of the cities  Akkad,  Arbela [1],  Nineveh) and to an extent identified with other goddesses. Th…

Iobaritae

(33 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Ἰωβαρῖται; Iōbarîtai, Ἰοβαρῖται; Iobarîtai). Ethnic group in southern Arabia; only mentioned in Ptol. 6,7,24 as neighbours of the Sachalitae ( Sachalites). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography J. Tkač, s.v. I., RE 9, 1832-1837.

Inanna

(120 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] City goddess of  Uruk, etymologized as the ‘Queen of Heaven’. She is represented by symbols from the 2nd half of the 4th millennium (looped reed bundles, in the 1st millennium also a star), and by inscriptions from c. 3200 BC. She is the goddess of the planet Venus, unmarried, and representing the power of sexuality; she also has martial features. Mesopotamian mythology equates her with  Ištar; as such she appears in the Ninevite recension of the  Gilgamesh Epic as well as in the myth of ‘Ishtar's descent into the Underworld.  Hieros Gamos;  Tammuz;  Venus; Ishtar Renger, J…

Ancient Near Eastern philology and history (Assyriology)

(5,513 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [German version] A. Name and definition (CT) Ancient Near Eastern Philology and History (ANEPH) is part of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, which includes the archaeology of the ancient Near East as well as philology and history. The term ‘ancient Near Eastern’, in the context of Western European and American scholarship, refers to the geographical area of the Near East and its pre-Christian or pre-Islamic civilizations in the territory of present-day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel,…

Sumerians

(167 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Akkadian term (of unclear etymology) [2. 33 f.] for the predominant ethnicity of southern Mesopotamia (Babylonia) towards the end of the 4th and in the 3rd millennium BC, defined by their Sumerian writing culture (Sumerian). By the early 3rd millennium, Semitic-speaking ethnicities (called Akkadians in scholarly literature; Akkadian) also played a role in Mesopotamia. In addition, there were population groups in southern Mesopotamia that can be defined through the substrate langua…

Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh Epic

(592 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Gilgameš, Gilgameš Epic). G., legendary ruler of  Uruk in southern Mesopotamia; linked in the sources passed down to us with the construction of the 9-km long city wall of Uruk around 2900 BC. Non-literary sources already mention G. about 2700 BC. The rulers of the 3rd dynasty of Ur (21st cent. BC) originating in Uruk maintained that they were genealogically connected with G. and therefore fostered the stories passed down about G. and his equally legendary predecessors ( Epic) in…

Caspii

(49 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Indian mountain tribe in the Hindu Kush; the ancestors of the Kāfir (i.e. ‘the disbelieving’) in the valleys of the Kūnar, the river of Tschitral. In the records of the Persian taxation districts in Hdt. 3,93, they are summarized with the Saces. Renger, Johannes (Berlin)

Xisuthrus

(66 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Ξίσουθρος/ Xísouthros: [1. 19 f.] or Σίσουθρος/ Sísouthros: Abydenus FGrH 685 F 2). Graecised form, in the context of renditions of the story of the Flood, of the Sumerian name  Zi.u4.sud.ra ('Life of distant days'), Akkadian Utanapištī ('I have found my life'), the mythical Sumerian/Akkadian survivor of the 'Great Flood' (Deluge, legend of the). Atraḫasīs; Gilgamesh Epic Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 S. M. Burstein, The Babyloniaca of Berossus, 1978.

Lagaš

(73 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Town and territorial state (capital Girsu) in southern Mesopotamia, with important inscriptions, architectural and artistic finds from the 25th-21st cents. BC, which have been of great significance in reconstructing early Mesopotamian history and culture, as also for establishing a Sumerian Grammar ( Ancient oriental philology and history). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography J. Bauer, D. P. Hanson, s.v. L., RLA 6, 419-431 A. Falkenstein, Die Inschr. Gudeas von L. Introduction, 1966.

Tiamat

(103 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Akkadian 'sea'). Primaeval/primordial female divine monster, known from the Babylonian creation myth Enūma Eliš . She is killed by her son Marduk in a theomachy (matricide) and split lengthwise into two halves: from the lower half he creates the earth, from the upper half the firmament of the heavens. In Berosus [1. 15] T. appears in a corrupt form as thalath (Gr. thálassa, 'sea'). T. is reflected in the Biblical creation myth (Gn 1:2) as tehōm (LXX: ábyssos, literally 'bottomless', 'primaeval depth'). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 S. M. Burstein, The …

Latage

(38 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] According to Ael. NA 16,10, an Indian town in the land of the Prasii, where the Greek Megasthenes was ambassador to the king. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography O. Wecker, s.v. L. (2), RE 12, 892.

Andriaca

(63 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Κώμη ( kṓmē) in Media (Ptol. 6,2,18), not far from a place called Ῥάψα ( Rhápsa), on the road from Ecbatana to Persepolis [1]. A. appears to have been on the same stretch of the road, probably the same place as Gulpaigan or Kaidu, and only had significance as a resting place. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 Miller, 783 with sketch no. 253.

Tammuz

(303 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Thammuz; Sumerian Dumu-zi, 'legitimate son', Aramaic  Tham(m)uza, Hebrew Thammûz, Greek  Θαμμουζ/ Thammouz). Prehistoric king of Uruk and husband of the city goddess Inanna (Ishtar; Hieros Gamos). She hands T. over to the forces of the Underworld when she - having failed in her attempt to seize the rule over the Underworld for herself - is released from the Underworld on condition of the promise of a (human) substitute. Dumu-zi is captured by the demons of the Underworld; however, his siste…

Ophir

(141 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Hebrew Ōfīr, Ōfir; LXX: Οὐφειρ/ Oupheir, Σωφαρα/ Sōphara, Σωφειρ(α)/ Sōpheir(a), Σωφηρα/ Sōphēra, Σωφιρα/ Sōphira, Σουφειρ/ Soupheir, Σουφιρ/ Souphir, Σοφειρ/ Sopheir). According to the OT, O. was the land of origin of gold (1 Kg 9:28, 22:49) and semi-precious stones (1 Kg 10:11, Job 28:16), which Solomon had shipped over the Red Sea to Israel. Gold from O. is also mentioned in a Hebrew ostracon (epigraphically dated between the 8th and 6th cents. BC) [2]. The location of O. is disputed: both southern Arabia (or the eastern African coast) and India (because of a Supara…

Ḫammurapi

(240 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Ḫammurabi). Most important ruler of the 1st Dynasty of  Babylon, in office from 1792 to 1750 BC. Following extended battles with rival powers in Mesopotamia as well as with the rulers of  Elam who all claimed sovereignty over the states of Mesopotamia, Ḫ. ruled over all of Mesopotamia from Mari on the middle reaches of the Euphrates and the region surrounding modern Mossul to the Persian Gulf from 1755 BC on. In over 200 of his letters and in numerous reports by delegates of Zimr…

Potamophylax

(79 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (ποταμοφύλαξ/ potamophýlax, 'river guard'). The potamophýlakes (Ptolemaic officials) used guard boats (attested from the 2nd cent. BC on) to guard the Nile, its branches (in the Delta) and the canals of Alexandria up to Syene (Aswan). They occasionally also carried urgent letters and were put to service collecting tolls and taxes. The potamophýlakes were conscripted into service; the office of potamophýlax was a liturgy. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography E. Kießling, s. v. P., RE 22, 1029 f.

Sardanapalus

(88 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Σαρδανάπαλ(λ)ος; Sardanápal(l)os). Legendary Assyrian ruler, who combines traits of several Assyrian rulers (e.g. Sennacherib and Saosduchinus/Šamaš-šuma-ukīn) according to the accounts of  Greek authors (Hdt. 2,150; Pol. 8,12,3; Dion. Chrys. 4,135; Clem. Al. Strom. 2,20). During the 19th century, S. was a subject in music [1. 168], literature (Byron) and fine arts (Delacroix) (Orient, reception in the West). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 J. Renger, Altorientalistik und Vorderasiatische Archäologie in Berlin, in: W. Ahrenhövel, Chr. Sc…

Oikos economy

(680 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Oikos economy (OE) was first described as an idealised concept of a form of economy in antiquity by Rodbertus, later by M. Weber. Oikos describes an independent household (of a ruler), which produces everything used and consumed in it, apart from a few exceptions (metals, luxury products, in Mesopotamia also wood). In the Mesopotamian OE of the 4th and 3rd millennia, which had developed under the conditions of a comprehensive and mostly centrally-organized regime of artificial irrigation of the cultivab…

Urnamma

(97 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (2112-2095 BC), king of Uruk; the Sumerian King List (Kings' lists) describes U. as the successor to his brother Utu-Ḫeĝal (2119-2113) and the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur. U. gradually extended the power of the city of Ur at first to the south and then to the north of Babylonia. His early death in battle with enemies in the east of Mesopotamia and his journey to the Underworld are the subject of the poem The Death of Urnamma. Mesopotamia II G Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography E. Flückiger-Hawker, U. of Ur in Sumerian Literary Trad., 1999.

Enlil

(59 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Sumerian ‘Lord Wind’). City-god of  Nippur and highest god of the Sumerian-Akkadian Pantheon in the 3rd and the 1st half of the 2nd millennium BC. His place was taken in the 1st millennium by  Marduk, the god of Babylon. His spouse was Ninlil ( Mylissa).  Marduk;  Mesopotamia;  Nippur Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography T. Jacobsen, Treasures of Darkness, 1976.

Tennes

(247 words)

Author(s): Zimmermann, Sylvia | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Eponym of the island of Tenedos (Τέννης/ Ténnēs, also Τένης/ Ténēs). According to Plutarch (Quaest. Graec. 28) the eponym of the island of Tenedos, son of king Cycnus [2]; Apollo is often given as his father. Stepson of Philomene, who after an alleged rape has T. and his sister Hemithea put out at sea in a chest. Under the protection of Poseidon they land on the island of Leucophrys near Troy, where T. becomes king. The island is named after him. Later Cycnus recognises the truth and sai…

Inn

(1,837 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Dräger, Michael
[German version] I. Ancient Orient So far, evidence of inns comes mainly from Mesopotamia. There the inn was usually also the place where - outside institutional households -  beer was brewed. Inns normally served beer, with only one mention of the operator of a  wine tavern (ancient Babylonian period, 17th cent. BC; [3]). The running of an inn by a landlord or landlady or a hot-food stall by a cook was registered and licensed by royal edict in the ancient Babylonian period [5. 85]. Both had to pay a…

Municipal law

(1,388 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Galsterer, Hartmut (Bonn)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the field of  legal texts in cuneiform, the political structure of the Mesopotamian confederation, that at times comprised small territorial states and at times large states stretching over the whole of southern Mesopotamia, created regional peculiarities that are demonstrated above all in the form of documents as well as in substantive law. The essential parameters of the legal system were defined by the structure of the society (Social structure), economy and f…

Mitra

(396 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Piece of armour (μίτρα/ mítra; μίτρη/ mítrē). (1) According to Homer (Hom. Il. 4,137; 187; 216; 5,857) a piece of armour worn to protect the lower body, identified by archaeological research with semicircular plates of bronze, dating from the early Archaic period and found particularly on Crete. Similarly, mitra is the name of a piece of armour worn by the Salii (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,70; Plut. Numa 13,4). (2) Belt for young women (Theocr. 27,55, cf. μιτροχίτων/ mitrochítōn, Athen. 12,523d) and goddesses (Callim. H. 1,120; 4,222, Epigr. 39) and also for…

Bilingual inscriptions

(1,899 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Neumann, Hans (Berlin)
[German version] A. Definition Bilingual inscriptions (or ‘bilingues’) are inscriptions that present the same text in two languages so as to be comprehensible to different readerships. Thus, bilingual inscriptions (BI), with closely corresponding texts, are distinguished from others in which one of the texts only summarizes the other. -- ‘Quasi-BI’ do indeed differ in their text format but treat the same subject matter or the same personalities. BI are only such texts as are composed contemporaneou…

Cookery books

(807 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schmitt-Pantel, Pauline (Paris)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt Although there is copious epigraphical and graphic evidence for a highly developed  table culture at the courts of oriental rulers in antiquity, cooking recipes are known to us so far only from Mesopotamia: 34 from the 18th cent. BC (gathered from three clay tablets), one from the 6th/5th cents. BC. They offer practical instructions in the manner of medical prescriptions. The reason why the recipes were preserved in writing is not clear. They deal predominantly with stewed poultry and other meat, together with two recipes…

Empires, Concept of empire

(1,874 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The idea of a  rulership that encompassed the entire known world was expressed in Mesopotamia in various royal epithets ─ i.a. ‘Ruler of the Four Regions (of the world)’ ( šar kibrāt arbaim/erbettim), ‘Ruler over the Totality’ ( šar kiššatim), ‘Ruler of Rulers’ ( šar šarrāni). The title ‘Ruler of the Four Regions (of the world)’ is first documented for the Akkadian ruler  Naramsin (23rd cent. BC). However, the claim inherent in this title did not hold true according to contemporary documents, since Naramsin's…

Amulet

(478 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Grieshammer, Reinhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] A. Ancient Orient Since prehistoric times in the Ancient Orient there have been numerous objects made as pendants (either figurative or abstract symbols) which could be worn, tied on or hung and also chains or other arrangements, which were all referred to as amulets [1]. Particularly Akkadian and Hittite texts for experts in the area of magic rituals describe materials, shapes and the process for making amulets and the purpose for which they are used. Stones and plants are ascribed …

Pledge, law of

(1,278 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The requesting of a surety to secure a contract is documented in the laws of the Ancient Orient to varying degrees. Requiring a pledge plays a large role in debt trials in agrarian societies. For example, if tenants were in arrears with their obligations, the forfeiting of a personal surety often led to debt-bondage [1; 2; 15. 179f.] with the resultant negative consequences for the social balance of a society ( Leasehold I.). The requesting of a pledge has been documented in cuneiform legal texts by documents of varying complexity from t…

Universal language

(1,092 words)

Author(s): Binder, Vera (Gießen) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] I. General points The term UL today conveys two meanings: (1) an artificially created language, intended to serve as a lingua franca for the entire world; efforts of this kind were made especially in the 19th cent. (e.g. Esperanto and Volapük); yet, as might be expected, they fell behind their self-imposed goal. (2) A language actually in world-wide use today is, above all, English. In the wake of the colonial period, it has established itself on all continents at least as a subsidiary means of commun…

Labaca

(37 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Fischer, Klaus (Bonn)
[German version] (Λάβακα; Lábaka). According to Ptol. 7,1,46, city in north-west India, in the land of the Pandoi (probably Old Indian Pāṇḍava). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Fischer, Klaus (Bonn) Bibliography O. Wecker, s.v. L., RE 12, 239.

Population, demographic history

(3,019 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] A. Object of research, and method The object of demographic history is the description and explanation of structures and developments in (ancient) populations in their relationship to living space. So far, ancient demographic history has made studies of esp. ancient views of population development, the numerical values of ancient populations (at a particular point in time or over a particular period of time), the age and gender structures of ancient demographics and particular determina…

City deity

(508 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The religion of Mesopotamia is characterized by a system of tutelary deities for the numerous city settlements that has its origin in the Sumerian religion of the 4th millennium BC. There is evidence of the existence and worship of city deities from the 3rd to the 1st millennium. Individual city deities achieved supraregional importance in the course of history (e.g.  Assur [2];  Enlil;  Ištar,  Marduk;  Nabû).  Asia Minor IV.;  Pantheon;  Religion II. and III. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [German version] II. Classical antiquity For Graeco-Roman …

Dreams; Interpretation of dreams

(2,165 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Walde, Christine (Basle)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Dreams and their interpretation were a popular topic in the written tradition of the Ancient Orient and Egypt since the 22nd cent. BC. Both spontaneously experienced dreams as well as dream incubation are attested. Preserved dreams relate divine messages (in the form of theophanies). Though usually contained in literary texts [3; 5. 746; 6], they also occur in letters [1]. Dreams also contained ethical maxims and wisdom for life reflecting personal experience and st…

Authors

(1,908 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Schmitzer, Ulrich (Berlin)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt As a rule, literature in the Ancient Orient and in Egypt was anonymous. It was produced in schools by the  scribes. However, a number of important literary or scholarly works in special list-like compilations are attributed to certain authors, as e.g. the Egyptian wisdom literature [1] or the  Epic of Gilgamesh. The author of the latter, Sîn-leqe-unnīnī [2; 3] rewrote, probably in the 12th cent. BC, traditional material dating from the 18th cent. BC into the…

Bull cults

(379 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia In historical times, bull cults were of no significance in the religions of Mesopotamia which were mainly anthropomorphic in character. Enlil was metaphorically referred to as a bull, and the roaring of the weather god Hadad compared to the bellowing of a bull. The fact that bulls (and other animals) served as pedestals for the statues of gods (in Syria-Palestine and Hittite Anatolia) is no argument for an actual bull cult. The 'golden calves' in Ex 32 and 1 Kg 12,28-32 are also interpreted as pedestals for the invisible Yahweh. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) …

Libation

(773 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Haase, Mareile (Toronto)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Since sacrifices were primarily intended to ensure that the daily needs of the gods were met, not only victuals but also beverages (generally water, beer, wine) were an essential component of regular sacrifices to the gods, as well as of sacrifices offered to the dead. Both in Egypt and in Mesopotamia, libation and terms used for libation stand as pars pro toto for sacrifice. This may have stemmed originally from the fact that for people living at a subsistence level the libation of water constituted their only opport…

Caraway

(271 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Caraway was widespread as an aromatic plant in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Ethiopia and Asia Minor and is mentioned in Mycenaean Linear B texts as ku-mi-no [6. 131, 136, 227]. The word is a cultural term that can be traced back to the 3rd millennium (Sumerian * kamun; Akkad. kamūnum, Hittite kappani- [with m > p change], Ugarite kmn, Hebrew kammōn, Turkish çemen, English/French cumin). Egyptian caraway (Cuminum cyminum; Egyptian tpnn, Coptic tapen) seems to have possibly been another species of caraway [5]. Caraway was also used medically in…

Horticulture

(2,122 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Christmann, Eckhard (Heidelberg)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt In the kitchen gardens of the Middle East and Egypt fruit trees (principally apples, figs, pomegranates, but in Egypt also carob trees and jujube;  Pomiculture) were grown in so-called tiered cultivation in the shade provided by date palms, and below them  vegetables (especially onions and cucumber plants, pulses, leaf vegetables, such as cress, and also aromatic herbs, coriander, thyme, caraway and mint, for example). The date palms provided not only dates …

Hieros Gamos

(862 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
(ἱερὸς γάμος; hieròs gámos: sacred marriage). [German version] I. Term A term which has attained great significance in modern research as the name for a ritual sexual union, since the emergence of the fertility paradigm in the 19th cent. (Mannhardt, Frazer). Based on the sexual intercourse between  Demeter and her mortal lover  Iasion ‘in a thrice-ploughed field’ recounted in the Homeric epic (Hom. Od. 5, 125-128; Hes. Theog. 969-971), which has been understood by analogy with north-European customs as th…

Bisutun

(388 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel)
[German version] (Old Persian bagastāna ‘place of gods’, Βαγίστανα; Bagístana), Βαγίστανον ὄρος; Bagístanon óros, Behistun). Rock face 30 km east of Kermanshah, on the road from Babylon to Ecbatana on the  Choaspes ( Silk Road [3. 11]), on which  Darius I had his achievements from c. 520 BC recorded pictorially and in inscription -- c. 70 m above the road level -- in several phases. Because of their trilingual form (Elamite, Babylonian, Old Persian) the inscription [1] was the key to decipherment of the  cuneiform script ( Trilinguals). The reli…

Songs

(1,465 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Fuhrer, Therese (Zürich)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East Many song genres are attested in Mesopotamia (beginning in approx. 2600 BC), in Egypt (from the 24th/23th cents. BC onwards), among the Hittites (14th/13th cent.), in Ugarit (14th/13th cents.) and in the OT (see below). There is no uniform genre classification, since hybrid forms are common. The ancient terminology is only of limited help. The umbrella term ‘cultic poetry’ refers to the literary, lyric form of song. The term ‘song’ is related to the type of performance, i.e. singing with or without instrumental accompaniment. Texts from M…

Trilingual inscriptions

(757 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Günter (Würzburg) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] I. General Inscriptions in three languages on a single object that refer to the same facts exist in Antiquity, albeit rather rarely on the whole, ordered by official as well as private sponsors. The different versions were usually tailored to the cultural requirements and interests of the respective audiences so that their messages (and length) are not always completely congruous (cf. [4]). Most of the trilingual inscriptions (TI) originated in the east. They reflect the multi-lingu…

Temple economy

(1,836 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Rosenberger, Veit (Augsburg)
[German version] I. The Ancient Orient and Egypt With palaces, temples constituted the central institutions of society in the Ancient Orient (in Mesopotamia from the 3rd millennium BC) and Egypt. Besides their function as locations for divine worship, they also normally exercised significant economic power. This was founded on the fact that they had at their disposal extensive tracts of agricultural land (the essential means of production of an agrarian society) and stocks of precious metals, i.a. in the form of craft-produced votive gifts (Votive offerings). The temple estates o…

Assemblies

(2,182 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Eder, Walter (Berlin)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East There was at various periods and in various regions of the ancient Near East a spectrum of manifestations of collective bodies with diverse powers of decision-making  and capacities for implementation. Crucial to the role of such collective bodies was on the one hand the nature of their historical genesis, and on the other hand the nature of their integration into the prevailing system of rulership. There were no popular assemblies as in the Classical Mediterranea…

Kinship, Relatives

(1,915 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | di Mattia, Margherita (Rome)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient and Egypt Both Sumerian and Akkadian kinship terms - other than basic words like father (Sumerian a.a, Akkadian abu), mother (Sumerian ama, Akkadian ummu), son (Sumerian dumu, Akkadian māru), daughter (Sumerian dumu.munus, ‘female son’, Akkadian mārtu), brother (Sumerian šeš, Akkadian aḫu), sister (Sumerian nin, Akkadian aḫātu, ‘female brother’) - are of an analytical character (e.g. Akkadian abi abi or abi ummi, paternal or maternal grandfather; father's brother = uncle). In Sumerian, šeš.bànda (literally ‘little brother’) …

Women rulers

(1,599 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | AN.WI.
[German version] I. Ancient Orient In the societies of the Ancient Orient and Egypt with their rules regarding patrilineal inheritance and succession, women did not assume the role of rulers. The only exceptions to this occurred in cases when a female member of the ruling family - generally the queen mother - acted as regent for an underage heir to the throne. For example, Hatshepsut, half-sister and wife of Thutmosis [2] II, acted for 22 years as regent for her underage nephew Thutmosis [3] III.. In…
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