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Couve de Murville, Maurice Noel Leon (1975) Personal religion in Ancient Mesopotamia as shown in Akkadian texts. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study aims to examine the view that in Ancient Mesopotamia the lay citizen was relatively devoid of personal religious devotion and beliefs. The first chapter sets this thesis in the context of studies in Mesopotamian religion which have appeared since the beginnings of Assyriology. A selection of the main categories of literary and epistolary texts has been examined in an effort to isolate the practices of the layman from those of kings and priests, who are the primary authors or subjects of the majority of texts. Chapter II considers the evidence for the participation of the population at large in the liturgy and draws the conclusion that lay individuals participated in public festivals as well as in the temple worship of the gods, both in popular devotion as well as in judicial procedures. In Chapter III religious and devotional practices occurring outside the temples are studied. The role of the asipu is shown to have been important since he acted as intermediary between the gods and individuals in various personal crises. Rituals for individuals and the accompanying prayers show belief in the concern of the gods for the individual and his welfare, and the same belief is exhibited by the practice of house-blessings, the use of seals and amulets and the recourse to omens. Rites and beliefs connected with birth, marriage and the cult of the dead are examined. Chapter IV examines the relationship of the personal god to his devotee. It also studies the belief in protective deities, especially dlamassu in texts connected with lay persons.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:12

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