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The Akitu Festival: Religious Continuity and Royal Legitimation in Mesopotamia (Gorgias Dissertations Near Eastern Studies)

Julye Bidmead

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ISBN 10: 1593331584 / ISBN 13: 9781593331580
Published by Gorgias Press
Condition: VERY GOOD Hardcover
From OwlsBooks (Toledo, MD, U.S.A.)

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Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2615367685

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Akitu Festival: Religious Continuity and...

Publisher: Gorgias Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:VERY GOOD

About this title

Synopsis:

Religious ritual is embedded with socio-political ideologies. Nowhere is this more apparent then in the ancient Babylonian akitu, or New Year festival. The akitu festival is one of the oldest recorded religious festivals in the world, celebrated for several millennia throughout ancient Mesopotamia. Yet, the akitu was more than just a religious ceremony; it acted as a political device employed by the monarchy and/or the central priesthood to ensure the supremacy of the king, the national god, and his capital city. In first millennium B.C.E. Babylonia, when the festival was at its most advanced stage it was celebrated for twelve days involving elaborate rituals, prayers, sacrifices, royal processions of the king and of the deities, recitation of the Babylonian creation epic, and the issuance of prophecies and oracles for the upcoming year--ritualistic elements which symbolized the correct religious, social, political, and economical order of Babylon. Politics and religion in ancient Babylon were irrevocably intertwined. Myths and their supportive rituals justified social institutions and legitimized rulers, whether native or foreign. Using tools of social anthropology and ritual analysis, this book presents a detailed reconstruction of the festival events and its attendant rituals to demonstrate how the akitu festival became a propagandistic tool wielded by the monarchy and ruling class to promote state ideology. The akitu festival demonstrates the effectiveness of religion as a political tool. Julye Bidmead has a Ph.D. in the History and Critical Theory of Religion from Vanderbilt University. Currently on the faculty at California State University, Fresno she has previously taught at Moravian Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, and is a staff member of the Megiddo Expedition in Israel.

About the Author:

Julye Bidmead has a Ph.D. in the History and Critical Theory of Religion from Vanderbilt University. Currently on the faculty at California State University, Fresno she has previously taught at Moravian Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, and is a staff member of the Megiddo Expedition in Israel.

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