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Title: The mortal wives of the gods : a comparative study focusing on the installation manual of the NIN.DINGIR from Emar and the Nitocris adoption stela from Thebes
Author: Tabatabai, S.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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My research project focuses on the significance of the role of mortal wives of the gods in 13th century Emar and Thebes in the Third Intermediate and early Late Period. I will analyse how the gods’ human “wives” were thought to provide a direct link between their communities and the divine. The starting point of the investigation will be a brief overview of the history of the two cities and their marriage practices, as well as some religious functions and rituals similar to the ones that will be considered in the case studies. The first case study will focus on the ritual for the installation of the Storm-god’s high priestess (NIN.DINGIR) in Emar, Syria, from the 13th century BC. The second case study will focus on the role of the God’s Wife of Amun in Thebes, Egypt, as attested on the stela of Nitocris, daughter of the Saite king Psamtik in the 7th century BC. The aim of the examination of these two cultic offices is to detect the way in which humans and gods interacted through women. This allows the interpretation of ancient religious practices as a form of diplomacy featuring two social spheres: the human and the divine. The last chapter will analyse the similarities and differences between the two offices, focusing on the social significance of the existence of practices envisioning a woman as a mortal wife of a deity. This comparative analysis will provide a better understanding of the social implications of cultic offices involving women as well as their crucial role in the establishment of solid relations with the gods.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available