Intro to Mesopotamia intro and background to Mesopotamian literature

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
University of Waterloo
Nanotechnology Engineering
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Religious experience – drama (acting out myths)
- idols
- religious lit
-building of temples
Hieros games
sacred marriage rite
civic leader (king, priest-prince, head of state)
priestess of Inanna/Ishtar
re-enacting religious times (ritual sex)
Idols were abstract figures, later became human forms
texts – indantcation to keep away evil
temple = word house, wanted gods close to you
pantheons = reflect some type of order, civil society
notion – vital presence/divine presence (ex. In a mountain) deification of a natural
before highly organized society
then gods depicted as rulers
for economic survival
typical figure is dying then rising god
3rd millennium BCE – concept of surviving against enemies
2nd millennium BCE – fortunes of individual increased important until they rivalled
community importance
people are tolerant with different gods
gods are less harmful when there are a lot of them
early religion – controlling earth to ensure fertility
Sumerian – Akkadians –South Babylonians – North Assyrians
then replaced by Aramaic
Sumerian = language of learning
more multicultural
Gilgamesh – free will of man who can counteract the wishes of the gods and create own
preformed/recited in ceremony of ritual
probably entertainment
possibly historic character
Enmebaragesi – king of kish and gilgamesh’s succesor