Jealous Gods and Chosen People: The Mythology of the Middle by David Leeming

By David Leeming

Esteemed pupil David Leeming, who has authored greater than twelve books on mythology, the following deals the 1st complete narrative examine of the mythology of the center East, that tumultuous area that was once the cradle of civilization. Leeming starts off with a short, enticing historical past of the center East, spanning Neolithic cultures, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the discovery of writing and the increase of Egypt and Babylonia, Israel and Roman rule, and the early background of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. this can be by way of an in-depth dialogue of the mythology of the zone, masking person pantheons, cosmic myths, mythic heroes, and lots more and plenty extra. Leeming levels from prehistoric figures resembling the mummy Goddess of ?atal H?y?k to Mesopotamian gods corresponding to Marduk and mythic heroes comparable to Gilgamesh, to the pantheon of Egyptian mythology, together with the falcon-headed sky-sun god Horus and jackal-headed Anubis. the writer additionally bargains an illuminating exploration of the mythology of the 3 nice monotheistic religions of the quarter: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In a provocative Epilogue, Leeming depicts contemporary obstacle within the center East as "violent, essentially immoral, and unlawful activities" justified by means of "what can simply be referred to as myths." He notes that fundamentalists within the area's 3 religions all see their approach because the in simple terms method, forgetting that myths signify truths which are religious and philosophical--not ancient occasions that may be used to justify acts of violence. With key maps, illustrations, bibliography, and index, Jealous Gods and selected humans offers an inclusive, authoritative, and desirable account of a mythology that is still a potent--and frequently destructive--force on this planet at the present time.

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Additional info for Jealous Gods and Chosen People: The Mythology of the Middle East

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Today the struggle between Semitic peoples for the city that is holy to the three Abrahamic religions and for the land that was once Canaan is still running its course. Another example of modern struggles reflecting ancient ones exists in Iraq. Saddam Hussein's political use of ancient Mesopotamian mythology and history, suggesting himself as a natural successor to the likes of Sargon of Akkad and Hammurabi of Babylonia, is common knowledge. It is impossible to avoid the seemingly inherent divisions that continue to plague the area, even within the context of a single religion, Islam.

One of these was a being called an umul who was so helpless that it could neither talk, walk, nor feed himself. Taunted by Enki to solve the being's problems, Ninmah asked it questions that it could not answer and offered it food that it could not use its hands to hold. Finally she gave up in disgust. Enki had won the contest. At least one scholar has suggested reasonably that the www/was probably the first infant (see Leick, 43). Enki and Ninhursaga This is a myth that gives expression to Enid's ancient metaphorical aspect as the power behind the irrigation complexities of the southern T"tt£ HyTHOLOUZ* 44 marshlands.

King Nebuchadnezzar II made several forays into Judah, each time setting up puppet regimes and taking away prominent Judeans into captivity in Babylon. In this way, like the Assyrians before him, he hoped to prevent future rebellions and the reestablishment of hostile regimes within his empire. E. he sacked the city, destroyed the temple, and took away the rebellious puppet king and still more Judeans. It was during the Babylonian exile that the captives from Judah emerged fully as Jews in the religious sense.

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