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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…

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.

Translations

(4,791 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Görgemanns, Herwig (Heidelberg) | L.FL. | Binder, Vera (Gießen)
I. Ancient Orient and Egypt [German version] A. General Points Translation by means of an interpreter (Akkadian targumannu; Ugaritic targumiānu; Hittite tarkummija- ('to translate'); Aramaic ta/urgmānā; Arabic tu/arǧumān; Italian turcimanno; cf. dragoman) played an important role in the cultures of the Ancient Orient in their contacts with other ethnic groups. Mesopotamian rulers prided themselves on their command of foreign languages. Especially during the second half of the second millennium BC, Akkadian served as a kind …

Palace

(3,814 words)

Author(s): Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) | Nissen, Hans Jörg (Berlin) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] I. Terminology and Definition The modern term ‘palace’ is derived from the Palatine (Mons Palatinus), one of Rome’s seven hills, on which the residences of the Roman emperors were located. Palaces are buildings that a ruler uses as a residence and for representation. Depending on additional functions, they could have other names in Antiquity, relating to their respective use. Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg) II. Ancient Near East [German version] A. Structural History In the Ancient Near East and Egypt, the palace was originally a house with considerably expa…

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) …

Moon

(1,588 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Hübner, Wolfgang (Münster)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The rotation of the moon and the phases of the moon served as significant structural elements of the calendar from early times in all ancient Oriental cultures. People discussed not only the phases of the moon but also, from earliest times, the eclipses of the moon, regarding them as ominous signs (Astrology; Divination). Like the sun, the moon, which was represented as a deity, was the protagonist of numerous myths in Egypt, Asia Minor [1. 373-375] and Mesopotamia (Moon deities). In Babylonia, as early as toward the end of the 3rd millennium,…

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…

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 …

Family

(7,857 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Feucht, Erika (Heidelberg) | Macuch, Maria (Berlin) | Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) | Deißmann-Merten, Marie-Luise (Freiburg) | Et al.
[German version] I. Ancient Orient The family in Mesopotamia was organized in a patrilineal manner; remnants of matrilineal family structures are to be found in Hittite myths, among the Amorite nomads of the early 2nd millennium BC and the Arab tribes of the 7th cent. BC. As a rule monogamy was predominant; marriage to concubines with lesser rights was possible, while there is evidence of polygamy particularly in the ruling families. The family consisted of a married couple and their children althoug…

Pornography

(3,053 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | von Lieven, Alexandra (Berlin) | Henderson, Jeffrey (Boston) | Obermayer, Hans-Peter (Munich)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East With the possible exception of the numerous depictions of the sexual act on terra cotta reliefs and lead tablets - many of which may have served as magical amulets or represented ex voto gifts [1. 265] - there is no evidence of pornography from the ancient Near East. In literary texts, explicit verbal depictions that refer to sexuality are found in literary texts (e.g. hymns to Ishtar, who was, among other things, the goddess of sexual love) and therefore are to b…

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 …

Woman

(7,947 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Feucht, Erika (Heidelberg) | Brosius, Maria (Oxford) | Macuch, Maria (Berlin) | RU.PA. | Et al.
I. Ancient Orient, Egypt and Iran [German version] A. Introduction Knowledge of the status of women is largely based on texts of a legal nature (legal documents, law books, royal decrees). Accordingly, research to date emphasizes primarily the legal aspects of the position of women in family and society. Non-legal texts from a variety of genres contain information on the activities of women from the families of the elite, particularly those of the royal clan. Thus, the Hittite royal wife Puduḫepa (13th ce…

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.

Priests

(4,255 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Quack, Joachim (Berlin) | Niehr, Herbert (Tübingen) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Gordon, Richard L. (Ilmmünster) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia From the 3rd millennium to the end of Mesopotamian civilization, the staff of Mesopotamian temples consisted of the cult personnel in the narrower sense - i.e. the priests and priestesses who looked after the official cult in the temples, the cult musicians and singers - and the service staff (male and female courtyard cleaners, cooks, etc.). In addition, there was the hierarchically structured administrative and financial staff of the temple households, which constit…

Ištar

(160 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[English version] Die semit. Göttin I. ist etym. mit Astarte ( Aṯtarat) zu verbinden; gramm. ist der Name mask. (zu vergleichen mit west-semit. Aṯtar). Im südl. Mesopot. wurde sie mit der sumer. Stadtgöttin von Uruk, Inanna, gleichgesetzt, ihre Verehrung dort ist bis in achäm. Zeit bezeugt. Im nördl. Babylonien und Assyrien wurden I.-Gestalten in zahlreichen Städten verehrt (I. der Stadt NN; u.a. der Städte Akkad, Arbela [1], Niniveh) und z.T. mit anderen Göttinen gleichgesetzt. Daraus ist zu erklären, daß der Name als Ištar(t)u in Mesopot. als genereller Terminus für Göttin …

Garten

(2,228 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Carroll-Spillecke, Maureen (Köln) | Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike (Potsdam)
[English version] [1] Gartenbau s. Hortikultur Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [2] Garten, Gartenanlagen [English version] I. Alter Orient und Ägypten In unmittelbarer Nähe der Wohnhäuser waren G. wichtig als Spender von Schatten für Mensch und Vieh. Lust-G. als Teil von Palastanlagen dienten zudem dem Prestige, als Teil von Tempelanlagen symbolisierten sie kosmisches Geschehen. Ein myth. Konstrukt ist der G. Eden (Gn 2,8; 2,15). G. werden auf Reliefs (Assyrien) und Wandgemälden (Ägypten) dargestellt. Assyr. Könige beri…

Antiocheia

(1,432 words)

Author(s): Wittke, Anne-Maria (Tübingen) | Leisten, Thomas (Princeton) | Wagner, Jörg (Tübingen) | Tomaschitz, Kurt (Wien) | Weiß, Peter (Kiel) | Et al.
[English version] [1] am Orontes Als Antigoneia am Orontes 307 v. Chr. gegr., nach der Niederlage von Antigonos I. gegen Seleukos I. Nikator bei Ipsos (301 v. Chr.) von diesem zu Ehren seines Vaters Antiochos 300 v. Chr. an die Stelle des heutigen Antakya (Türkei) verlegt und in A. umbenannt. Hauptstadt des Seleukidenreiches; entwickelte sich unter den Seleukiden durch Zusammenschluß mehrerer Siedlungen zur Tetrapolis mit je eigener Umfassungsmauer. Dank der Lage als Verkehrsknotenpunkt im uralten Ku…
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