Παρασκευή, 27 Μαρτίου 2015

Religion on the Ground. An Interdisciplinary Conference. (Erfurt, Germany, August 22-23, 2015)



Religion on the Ground
An Interdisciplinary Conference sponsored by the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Erfurt, Germany, August 22-23, 2015
A pre-congress event in advance of the 2015 meeting of the IAHR



A major development in the study of ancient religion over the past few decades has been the growing emphasis on the social, material, and experiential realities of non-elites. This development has affected both the sorts of questions scholars are asking, and the sorts of data on which they draw to formulate their answers. Rather than focusing on the philosophical or theological concerns of elite texts, scholars have sought to bring a wider body of evidence to bear on understanding and interpreting the lived experience of religion.
The Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions seeks papers for a conference to be held in Erfurt, Germany, August 22-23rd 2015, on the topic, “Religion on the Ground.” In keeping with the society’s broad interests in religions of the Mediterranean basin over the great chronological expanse from prehistory to late antiquity, we seek contributions from scholars in the fields of Classics, Ancient History, Religious Studies, Archaeology, Near Eastern Studies, and Egyptology. While not excluding textual evidence, the organizers are seeking proposals that incorporate archaeology, history of art, ritual and/or liturgical studies, and other sub-fields that provide a window into the religious practices of the time. Particular preference will be given to proposals that engage a question from a cross-disciplinary perspective or that highlight important theoretical or methodological issues. Especially welcome are transdisciplinary papers which synthesize a variety of textual, archaeological, and art historical and/or material culture sources to reach new insights into ancient Mediterranean religions.  Scholars from all phases of their careers are welcome to submit proposals.
Abstracts of 500-600 words for a paper to take 18 to 20 minutes to read should be submitted by email attachment as .doc files to socamr@gmail.com. Abstracts should contain a title and a word count, but no identifying information. All abstracts will be judged in a blind-review process by our Program Committee. The deadline for submission of abstracts is April 3, 2015. Participants will be contacted with an invitation to participate by late April, 2012.
For further information, contact Nancy Evans at evans_nancy@wheatoncollege.edu.
For information on the 2015 IAHR Congress: http://www.iahr2015.org/iahr/index.html

Παρασκευή, 20 Μαρτίου 2015

THE OLDEST POEM IN THE WORLD


The oldest poem in the world, "The Love Song of Shu-Sin", was written c.2000 BCE and comes form ancient Sumer.
It is actually a part of a sacred rite, performed each year and known as the "sacred marriage", in which the king would symbolically marry the goddess Inanna, mate with her, and ensure fertility and prosperity for the coming year.
Samuel Noah Kramer (famous Sumerologist) came across it while translating ancient texts.
He writes:
"Once a year, according to Sumerian belief, it was the sacred duty of the ruler to marry a priestess and votary of Inanna, the goddess of love and procreation, in order to ensure fertility to the soil and fecundity to the womb. The time-honored ceremony was celebrated on New Year's day and was preceeded by feasts and banquets accompanied by music, song, and dance. The poem inscribed on the little clay tablet was in all probability recited by the chosen bride of King Shu-Sin in the course of one of these New Year celebrations."

The marriage of the goddess Inanna and the Sumerian King Dumuzi

The following translation of The Love Song of Shu-Sin is from Samuel Noah Kramer's work "History Begins at Sumer", pp 246-247:

~*~*~*~*~

Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,
Lion, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet.
You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
Bridegroom, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber,
You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you.
Lion, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber.
Bridegroom, let me caress you,
My precious caress is more savory than honey,
In the bedchamber, honey-filled,
Let me enjoy your goodly beauty,
Lion, let me caress you,
My precious caress is more savory than honey.
Bridegroom, you have taken your pleasure of me,
Tell my mother, she will give you delicacies,
My father, he will give you gifts.
Your spirit, I know where to cheer your spirit,
Bridegroom, sleep in our house until dawn,
Your heart, I know where to gladden your heart,
Lion, sleep in our house until dawn.
You, because you love me,
Give me pray of your caresses,
My lord god, my lord protector,
My Shu-Sin, who gladdens Enlil’s heart,
Give my pray of your caresses.
Your place goodly as honey, pray lay your hand on it,
Bring your hand over like a gishban-garment,
Cup your hand over it like a gishban-sikin-garment
It is a balbale-song of Inanna.

~*~*~*~*~

The literature of ancient Mesopotamia provided the first forms of world literature, the first expressions of human emotion and experience and, among them, the experience of romantic love and passion through the world's oldest love poem.

http://www.ancient.eu/article/750/
http://www.ancient.eu/sumer/
http://www.ancient.eu/Inanna/
http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/sum/