The ecology of Late Bronze Age Hittite Anatolia favored a predominantly wealthfinanced economic model, in which the elite sought to control the procurement of and trade in all precious materials. Besides this, staples were managed through a more decentralized system. The precious materials allowed the elite to display their riches and position of power, especially at cultic celebrations throughout the state. This is evidenced through the so-called festival texts and palace inventories as well as through some of the preserved objects. The relative lack of military propaganda, well-known from other Late Bronze Age states, in the Hittite textual and archaeological record remains intriguing and a task for future research.
The present article explores the way the law in Hittite royal view, regarded as a prerogative of the king – while based on the “customs of the land” – was formulized through “royal decrees.” By this formulization, the king enacted “royal legal sacrifice” under the adjudication of the royal court. Hittite royal rituals were enacted using written texts, which manifestly represent “narrativized ritual.” Hittite festivals and rituals evolved over the years from local traditions involving specific gods through centralized royal legalization into a demanding calendar of festivals for different gods. In the final part of this article I suggest that Hittite material may help us perceive how biblical rituals have been narrativized in the Priestly texts.
The purpose of this paper is to present which components of the kingdom the Hittite kings recognized as their own lands. In the analysis, the usages of the Hittite verb maniyaḫḫ- ‘to govern’ and the noun irha-/arḫa- ‘border’ are examined to understand the Hittite concept of territories and borders. Their usages show that, in the Hittite ideology, the state gods were regarded as heavenly owners of the Hittite lands, and the kings were given rule over these lands as divine deputies on earth. Those lands were centered in the Anatolian heartland, but they also extended to Carchemiš in Northern Syria. The Hittites, however, believed that they were not supposed to expand their territories unlimitedly, but rather protect them, since national borders were regarded as equal to the body of the state gods.
As the viceroy of Ḫatti in Syria, the king of Carchemish was responsible for the Hittite rule of Emar as its direct overlord. In Emar he was held in awe, though not as an unapproachable man. Whereas in principle he ruled indirectly, allowing the continuation of the local dynasty, in some areas he ruled Emar directly, employing a part of the Emarites as his servants (‘Emaro-Hittites’) in civil and military affairs. As for international relations, it seems that he put Emar’s diplomacy and commerce exclusively under his control, depriving the local king of any right concerning them. On the other hand, in the religious affairs he ruled Emar only indirectly, using the family of Zu-Baʿla the diviner as his agent, though leaving room for activities by the local king.
This paper, focusing on religious aspects rather than socio-economic ones, will argue that Urukagina put a reform policy into effect in the cultic sphere as a kind of manifestation of the reform. Some changes that occurred in the giš-tag offering lists of the Festival of the Goddess Baba between the reigns of Lugalanda and Urukagina seem to support this view.
The recent discovery (2009) and publication (2012) of the Tayinat version of Esarhaddon’s Succession Oath Documents (ESOD, promulgated in 672 BC) have enabled us to imagine much more vividly than before how every tablet of the documents was adored as a god in the temples of each district under the Assyrian dominion. The Documents explicitly demanded that the tablets be treated as gods by all oath takers. This adoration had a precedent in Assyrian history. Apparently, under Tukultui-Ninurta I, the Assyrian king in the 13th century BC, the adoration of the ‘Tablet of Destinies’ was already being practiced, and the ‘Tablet of Destinies’ was assumed to have been sealed by the god Aššur. Three seals of the god Aššur used for the sealing the tablets of ESOD also show depictions of ‘worshipping scenes’ on them. The wide dissemination of these documents and their deification indicate a form of a globalized ‘Tablet of Destinies’ as well as a new religious and cultural policy in the Assyrian dominion.
This paper deals with the names given to the city walls, city gates, and palatial structures in Assyrian capital cities, Assur, Kalhu, Dur-Šarrukin, and Nineveh, in the NeoAssyrian period. These names comprised popular names, which were supposedly used daily, and ceremonial names, which were given for ceremonial-ideological purposes. The names were formulated differently in various cities and in different periods, reflecting the change of historical circumstances and contemporary political-theological ideologies. The naming of the architectural works in later Assyria represented the increasing imperialistic pride of Assyrian kings about their world dominion, claiming the prominence of the capital as the navel of the world in political, economic, and religious senses. In this way, they particularly challenged the traditional Mesopotamian cosmic order, in the center of which Babylon and its god Marduk had been placed.
In Acts, we find various categories of people including Jews and gentiles differentiated presumably according to religion or ethnicity. However, when we investigate the border between those categories, we notice that a border can at the same time be a point of connection. This paper will show that in Acts the term “God-Fearer” can be seen as a topos which is a border and also a tangent connecting Jews and gentiles where religious piety and ethnic otherness converged. In this study, we ask how the concept of fear of God/YHWH, originally a reference to the piety of the ancient Israelites, became the technical term which referred to gentile believers who were peripheral to Israel. In Acts, Luke seems to use this term as a rhetorical strategy in order to legitimate a new social entity including Jews and gentiles invalidating the previous ethnic differentiation.
This article examines 15 cuneiform tablets from the late 3rd millennium BC from southern Mesopotamia. As administrative tools of the Ur III state bureaucracy, the texts are primarily concerned with the administrative and economic affairs of the central authority, but they also offer important information on the individuals living in the Ur III state and their different roles within the state’s bureaucratic structures.
The nineteen cuneiform texts published in this study are currently housed in the collection of the Williams College Museum of Art. They are Neo-Sumerian tablets from three proveniences: Umma, Puzriš-Dagan and Nippur.