Mesopotamian Religions - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Mesopotamian Religions: History of Study

The study of ancient Mesopotamian religions, like the study of ancient Mesopotamia in general, was severely hampered in its early phases by an imperfect understanding of Sumerian and Akkadian, the languages of its source materials, and by the relatively limited and fragmentary nature of the materials then available. To some extent, similar difficulties still exist, and new finds as well as new insights may challenge even seemingly assured results.

General Presentations

The earliest attempt at a comprehensive presentation of ancient Mesopotamian religions is François Lenormant's La magie chez les Chaldéens et les origines accadiennes (1874). Lenormant posited an early Sumerian (then called Akkadian) animistic stage of belief in spirits that were controlled by magicians. Contrasting with this was the religion of the Semitic inhabitants (now called Akkadians), a debased form of monotheism in which hypostases of the...

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This section contains 3,719 words
(approx. 13 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Mesopotamian Religions Encyclopedia Article
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Mesopotamian Religions from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.