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Ritual and Prayer to Ishtar of Nineveh (1.65)

(1,057 words)

Author(s): Collins, Billie Jean
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary…

A Psephomancy Ritual From Assur (1.127)

(809 words)

Author(s): Hurowitz, Victor
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals…

Zarpiya’s Ritual (1.64)

(1,316 words)

Author(s): Collins, Billie Jean
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary The Ritual of Zarpiya  a is the second of three scapegoat rituals contained on a single Sammeltafel. The author of the text is from Kizzuwatna and as a result the text is laden with Luwian words and incantations, often rendering translation difficult. The first half of the ritual involves an oath–taking on the part of the participants; the second half is a scapegoat ritual of sorts. The human …

The Second Soldiers’ Oath (1.67)

(733 words)

Author(s): Collins, Billie Jean
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary This text is of New Hittite date and shows many developments from the older example translated above. Among other things, there are marked Hurrian influences.1 The Second Soldiers’ Oath (1.67) §1´ [… If you transgress these oaths …] may they […], may they […], may they […]. §2´ But [if you keep them], for you (pl.). […] he says: […] §3´ [He] h[olds] out torches [to them, and says,] “[…] these torches […], if [you transgress] these [words,] may Umpa2 and Šarruma3 [destroy you along with your …].” §4´ “And as [the fire (?) …] burns [the torches …] again [he …]s, (so) he who [transgresses] these wor[ds … entir]ely (?) from the dark [netherworld …] again to the dark netherworld [may he not (?) …]. §5´ “[But if] you [keep them (i.e. the words), may it be] wel[l] with you.” §6´ [A…

Puliša’s Ritual Against Plague (1.62)

(775 words)

Author(s): Collins, Billie Jean
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary Puliša’s Ritual  a was recorded on a Sammeltafel. It is one of a handful of Hittite scapegoat rituals, all of which were performed to counteract plague. This particular ritual uses human beings as the scapegoats, both belonging to the enemy population and therefore expendable. They act as substitutes for the king, with whom responsibility for divine disfavor and the welfare of the populatio…

The “Ritual Between the Pieces” (1.61)

(333 words)

Author(s): Collins, Billie Jean
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary This ritual is written on a Sammeltafel, which, judging by the use of double paragraph dividers, contains at least ten separate compositions. The final composition is a lustration ritual to performed in the event of military defeat. It has been dated to the Middle Hittite period. The tablet itself, however, was copied in the Empire period.…

Uḫḫamuwa’s Ritual Against Plague (1.63)  a 

(453 words)

Author(s): Collins, Billie Jean
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Uḫḫamuwa…

Six Months of Ritual Supervision By the Diviner See  Emar  446. (1.124)

(1,983 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary This tablet belongs to a separate type entirely from the previous two festivals. It is much smaller, especially relative to the material squeezed onto it, and is written in a cramped script with distinct sign forms. Instead of treating one ritual event, this text gathers diverse rites for unrelated cults, apparently united by involvement of the official who calls himself the diviner. The tablet is divided into four columns. The first treats one month and the last covers four; the third touches two months, the earlier one evidently completed on the same day left at the end of column I. Although certainty remains elusive, the text most likely was created to address six months from fall to spring, one half–year between the major ritual axes of the calendar. The full moon of the first month, defined as autumn by preparation for sowing at the top of column III, dominates the text…

The Zukru Festival See  Emar  373. (1.123)

(4,094 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary In a culture that generally observed two axes in the turn of the year, at spring and autumn, the term “new year” is often too loosely applied. Nevertheless, the Israelite feasts of Unleavened Bread and Booths and the Mesopotamian akītu festival do occupy these key turning points in the annual cycle, with special significance for public religious commitments. Emar’s zukru festival provides a first early Syrian representative of this practice, att…

Two Kissu Festivals See  Emar  385 and 387. (1.126)

(1,651 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Akkadian Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary The most often copied ritual texts from the diviner’s collection are also among the most mysterious. Emar’s kissu festivals serve a cluster of deities at the nearby village of Šatappi, though the language and procedure share the common stock of the larger center, especially of the installations for the storm god’s high priestess and for the mašʾartu. The festivals are found in several combinations on individual tablets, gathered once as a fu…

The First Soldiers’ Oath (1.66)

(1,990 words)

Author(s): Collins, Billie Jean
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Hittite Canonical Compositions; Divine Focus; Rituals Commentary The following is the second tablet1 of a two-tablet text of a military oath, known as the first soldiers’ oath. The language of the composition indicates that it was composed in the Middle Hittite period (late 15th century BCE), although the copies that survive were inscribed in the Empire period. The text is especially interesting for its parallels in the literature of other cultures, including Indian, Mesopotamian, Greek and Israelite. The First Soldiers’…