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Schwemer, Daniel (2004) 'Ein akkadischer Liebeszauber aus Hattusa [Akkadian Love Magic from Hattusa].' Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, 94 (1). pp. 59-79.

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The article contains the first edition of a small 13th cent. collection of Akkadian medical prescriptions found in the Hittite capital Hattusa. The fragmentary text, published as KBo 36, 27, offers a number of prescriptions for therapeutic potions and one unusual, short incantation ritual. The ritual instructions of this incantation ritual leave no doubt that it was used for curing sexual impotency. The patient’s loins are treated and he is touched (?) with several items bearing phallic connotations (a scorpion’s sting, the posterior part of a wasp’s and a bee’s body, the head of a red ant). The incantation to be recited within this ritual, however, is untypical for Babylonian potency rituals. It addresses Nanaya-Kilili as goddess of erotic love, and in doing so the speaker puts himself in the position of Nanaya’s lover. Similar Akkadian texts are known from Babylonia and are usually referred to as ‘Divine Love Lyrics’, but their usage within a therapeutic ritual against impotency or within love magic is otherwise unknown. The incantation had been overlooked in previous studies of the goddess Nanaya, and so was her close association with Kilili, clearly attested in the present text. The implications of this equation of two goddesses of Ištar’s circle are examined on pp. 72–75; the influential association of Kilili with the iconographic motif of the ‘Woman in the window’ as the (divine) harlot leaning out of the window (Th. Jacobsen) is discussed and rejected on philological grounds. Texts like KBo 36, 27 are part of Babylonian scribal tradition and scholarship. The question of how such texts were transmitted in and to scribal centres of the periphery like Hattusa is addressed on pp. 75–79, discussing especially how cuneiform palaeography can contribute to the elucidation of the processes involved.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
ISSN: 00845299
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2008 11:02

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