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Priestesses in ANE (at the turn of the Era)

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  • Werner Llácer
    Hi all I was involved recently on a discussion with some friends about matters totally off-topic but tangential to this list. I carried the day, with an -it
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 1, 2009
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      Hi all
      I was involved recently on a discussion with some friends about matters
      totally off-topic but tangential to this list. I carried the day, with
      an -it seems- very convincing demostration that women priestesses
      (defined as a woman with a central and active function at ritual events)
      were a not unsual feature all across the Mediterranean Rim and the NE in
      pre-christian times. While I suspect I'm right, my argument had a flaw
      my oponents were unable to spot: I actually had NO DATA (and in one
      instance probably a flat denial) of the validity of my arguments for
      the Levant in general, and more particulary at the turn of the Era.
      A preliminary search has given me no further clue so I turn to the list
      in search for possible witnesses of women acting in priestly functions
      during the -100 to 200 timeframe in the ANE. It does not need to be
      native (i.e. greeks are welcome). I'm also interested in "evidence of
      absence" cases beside the jewish one (but it could turn funny, for me,
      it this one were falsified )


      Many thanks in advance
      Werner Llácer
      (IT) Project Manager
    • George F Somsel
      Heading (line 1) Tablet of rites for the high priestess of Emar’s storm god.  Day 1: The Day of Selection(lines 1–6)   When the sons of
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 1, 2009
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        Heading (line 1)
        Tablet of rites for the high priestess of Emar’s storm god. 
        Day 1: The Day of Selection(lines 1–6)
         
        When the sons of Emar elevate the high priestess to the storm god, the sons of Emar take lots from the temple of NINURTA and grasp them before the storm god.
        The daughter of any son of Emar may be designated.
        On the same day they take fragrant oil from the palace and from NINKUR’s temple and place it on her head. 
        They offer before the storm god one sheep, one quart jar, and one standard vessel of wine.
        They give the diviner one shekel of silver.
        They send back to NINURTA’s temple eight dried cakes and one standard vessel along with the lots. During the consecration of the shaving ceremony they consecrate all the gods of Emar with bread and beer.
         
        Hallo, W. W., & Younger, K. L. (1997). The context of Scripture (427) "The Installation of the Storm God's High Priestess". Leiden; New York: Brill.
         george
        gfsomsel


        … search for truth, hear truth,
        learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
        defend the truth till death.


        - Jan Hus
        _________




        ________________________________
        From: Werner Llácer <wernerj.llacer.ext@...>
        To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 1:51:36 AM
        Subject: [ANE-2] Priestesses in ANE (at the turn of the Era)





        Hi all
        I was involved recently on a discussion with some friends about matters
        totally off-topic but tangential to this list. I carried the day, with
        an -it seems- very convincing demostration that women priestesses
        (defined as a woman with a central and active function at ritual events)
        were a not unsual feature all across the Mediterranean Rim and the NE in
        pre-christian times. While I suspect I'm right, my argument had a flaw
        my oponents were unable to spot: I actually had NO DATA (and in one
        instance probably a flat denial) of the validity of my arguments for
        the Levant in general, and more particulary at the turn of the Era.
        A preliminary search has given me no further clue so I turn to the list
        in search for possible witnesses of women acting in priestly functions
        during the -100 to 200 timeframe in the ANE. It does not need to be
        native (i.e. greeks are welcome). I'm also interested in "evidence of
        absence" cases beside the jewish one (but it could turn funny, for me,
        it this one were falsified )

        Many thanks in advance
        Werner Llácer
        (IT) Project Manager






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • sbudin@camden.rutgers.edu
        The standard work on this topic is Ross Shepard Kraemer s _Her Share of the Blessings: Women s Religions Among Pagans, Jews, and Christians in the Greco-Roman
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 1, 2009
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          The standard work on this topic is Ross Shepard Kraemer's _Her
          Share of the Blessings: Women's Religions Among Pagans, Jews, and
          Christians in the Greco-Roman World_. Oxford University Press. 1992.

          For priestesses in the Greek orbit, check out most recently Joan
          Breton Connolley's _Portrait of a Priestess_. Princeton University
          Press. 2007.

          For ANE cultic personnel a good reference is Richard A. Henshaw's
          _Female and Male: The Cultic Personnel_. Princeton Theological
          Monograph Series. 1994. The only problem with this one is that it
          covers a much earlier period than what you are looking at (and he's
          not incredibly helpful with matters of chronology). So, you may also
          want to look at T. Boiy's _Late Achaemenid and Hellenistic Babylon_.
          Peeters Press. 2004. It brings you a bit closer in time to the Roman
          orbit.

          Except for the vestal virgins (if them), the Romans were not big
          on priestesses, leaving pretty much all priesthoods and such official
          cultic positions to males. See recently John Scheid's _An
          Introduction to Roman Religion_. University of Indiana Press. 2003.
          (Chapter 8)


          Hope this helps,
          Stephanie Budin



          Quoting Werner Llácer <wernerj.llacer.ext@...>:

          > Hi all
          > I was involved recently on a discussion with some friends about matters
          > totally off-topic but tangential to this list. I carried the day, with
          > an -it seems- very convincing demostration that women priestesses
          > (defined as a woman with a central and active function at ritual events)
          > were a not unsual feature all across the Mediterranean Rim and the NE in
          > pre-christian times. While I suspect I'm right, my argument had a flaw
          > my oponents were unable to spot: I actually had NO DATA (and in one
          > instance probably a flat denial) of the validity of my arguments for
          > the Levant in general, and more particulary at the turn of the Era.
          > A preliminary search has given me no further clue so I turn to the list
          > in search for possible witnesses of women acting in priestly functions
          > during the -100 to 200 timeframe in the ANE. It does not need to be
          > native (i.e. greeks are welcome). I'm also interested in "evidence of
          > absence" cases beside the jewish one (but it could turn funny, for me,
          > it this one were falsified )
          >
          >
          > Many thanks in advance
          > Werner Llácer
          > (IT) Project Manager
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >



          "Maybe we can link up with someone who's meditating and download
          enlightenment!" -Tachikoma
        • Giuseppe Del Monte
          ... On the participation of women in synagogues rituals in early Judaism (some are called even Head of the Synagogue), in addition to Ross Shepard Kraemer s
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 1, 2009
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            At 10.51 01/07/2009, you wrote:
            >Hi all
            >I was involved recently on a discussion with some friends about matters
            >totally off-topic but tangential to this list. I carried the day, with
            >an -it seems- very convincing demostration that women priestesses
            >(defined as a woman with a central and active function at ritual events)
            >were a not unsual feature all across the Mediterranean Rim and the NE in
            >pre-christian times. While I suspect I'm right, my argument had a flaw
            ><snip>
            >Many thanks in advance
            > Werner Llácer
            > (IT) Project Manager

            On the participation of women in synagogues' rituals in early Judaism (some
            are called even Head of the Synagogue), in addition to Ross Shepard
            Kraemer's work mentioned by Stephanie Budin check out also Bernadette J.
            Brooten, Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue, Chico, Scholars Press,
            1982; Susan Grossman & Rivkah Haut eds., Daughters of the King: Women and
            the Synagogue, Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, 1992; and in
            general Lee I. Levine, The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years, New
            Haven and London, Yale University Press 1999. See also the early rabbinic
            reactions to the portrayals of female prophets in the Bible as sketched out
            (with bibliography) by Wilda C. Gafney, Daughters of Miriam. Women Prophets
            in Ancient Israel (Chapter 5), Minneapolis, Fortress Press 2008.

            With best regards,
            Giuseppe Del Monte



            Prof. Giuseppe del Monte
            Professore Ordinario di
            Storia del Vicino Oriente antico
            Dpt. Scienze storiche del mondo antico
            Università di Pisa
            via Galvani 1 - I-56100 Pisa
            Fax 39-050-500668 - E-mail <gdelmonte@...>
          • Max Dashu
            A pile of documentation for Greece is in Joan Breton Connelly s Portrait of a Priestess (2008). For west Asia, I haven t seen anything comparable for the early
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 1, 2009
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              A pile of documentation for Greece is in Joan
              Breton Connelly's Portrait of a Priestess (2008).
              For west Asia, I haven't seen anything comparable
              for the early centuries BCE, although Anatolian
              priestesses were still around, as might be
              suspected from the prominence of female leaders
              in Christian movements there. Ramsey MacMullen
              mentions some Anatolian examples such as the
              priestess Ammias of Thyatira, who was so highly
              revered that her grave became an oracular site.
              (Possibly this is the teacher in Thyatira who the
              author of Revelations called "Jezebel," for
              "claim[ing] to be a prophetess"?) MacMullen also
              refers to Syrian competitions of pagan women
              singing hymns in the second century CE; the
              winners were selected as priestesses. (in
              Christianity and Paganism in the 4th to 8th
              Centuries, Yale 1997.

              Various instances of priestesses are named in
              Pausanias and other ancient sources. I don't have
              the cites to hand at the moment. I haven't seen
              Stephanie Budin's debunking of "sacred
              prostitution" yet but there is bound to be some
              references to "hierodules" in there.

              A study of this is very much needed that will
              detach the priestesses from the linguistic
              couverture of the masculine plural, for ancient
              times, and for modern sources the inattention to
              the female dimension.

              Max

              >I was involved recently on a discussion with some friends about matters
              >totally off-topic but tangential to this list. I carried the day, with
              >an -it seems- very convincing demostration that women priestesses
              >(defined as a woman with a central and active function at ritual events)
              >were a not unsual feature all across the Mediterranean Rim and the NE in
              >pre-christian times. While I suspect I'm right, my argument had a flaw
              >my oponents were unable to spot: I actually had NO DATA (and in one
              >instance probably a flat denial) of the validity of my arguments for
              >the Levant in general, and more particulary at the turn of the Era.
              >A preliminary search has given me no further clue so I turn to the list
              >in search for possible witnesses of women acting in priestly functions
              >during the -100 to 200 timeframe in the ANE. It does not need to be
              >native (i.e. greeks are welcome). I'm also interested in "evidence of
              >absence" cases beside the jewish one (but it could turn funny, for me,
              >it this one were falsified )
              >
              >Many thanks in advance
              >Werner Llácer
              >(IT) Project Manager


              --
              Max Dashu
              Suppressed Histories Archives
              http://www.suppressedhistories.net
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