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The Akītu Festival (Hardback)

Religious Continuity and Royal Legitimation in Mesopotamia

P&S History > Theology & Religion

Imprint: Gorgias Press
Series: Gorgias Near Eastern Studies
Pages: 236
ISBN: 9781593331580
Published: 1st January 2004
Casemate UK Academic

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The akītu festival is one of the oldest recorded religious festivals in the world, celebrated for several millennia throughout ancient Mesopotamia. Yet, the akītu was more than just a religious ceremony; it acted as a political device to ensure the supremacy of the king, the national god, and his capital city. 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 festival became a propagandistic tool wielded by the monarchy and ruling classes. The akītu festival demonstrates the effectiveness of religion as a political tool.

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