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Re: [ANE-2] Priestesses in ANE (at the turn of the Era)

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Jul 1, 2009
      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 2 of 5 , Jul 1, 2009
        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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