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The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria by Jastrow

The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria by Jastrow

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Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, by MorrisJastrow
Project Gutenberg's The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, by Morris Jastrow This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Religion of Babylonia and AssyriaAuthor: Morris JastrowRelease Date: March 7, 2007 [EBook #20758]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE RELIGION OF BABYLONIA ***Produced by Paul Murray and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net. (This filewas produced from images generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica)at http://gallica.bnf.fr)[Transcriber's Note: This file was produced from images generously made available by the Bibliothèquenationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at http://gallica.bnf.fr.]HANDBOOKS ON THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS
Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, by Morris Jastrow1
 
EDITED BY MORRIS JASTROW, Jr., PH.D.
Professor of Semitic Languages in the University of Pennsylvania
VOLUME IITHE RELIGIONOFBABYLONIA AND ASSYRIABY MORRIS JASTROW, Jr., PH.D. (LEIPZIG) PROFESSOR OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES IN THEUNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIAGINN & COMPANYBOSTON · NEW YORK · CHICAGO · LONDONCOPYRIGHT, 1893 By MORRIS JASTROW, Jr.ALL RIGHTS RESERVED35.11The Athenæum Press GINN & COMPANY · PROPRIETORS BOSTON · USATOH. B. J.MY FAITHFUL COLLABORATORPREFACE.It requires no profound knowledge to reach the conclusion that the time has not yet come for an exhaustivetreatise on the religion of Babylonia and Assyria. But even if our knowledge of this religion were moreadvanced than it is, the utility of an exhaustive treatment might still be questioned. Exhaustive treatises are aptto be exhausting to both reader and author; and however exhaustive (or exhausting) such a treatise may be, itcannot be final except in the fond imagination of the writer. For as long as activity prevails in any branch of science, all results are provisional. Increasing knowledge leads necessarily to a change of perspective and to areadjustment of views. The chief reason for writing a book is to prepare the way for the next one on the samesubject.In accordance with the general plan of this Series[1] of Handbooks, it has been my chief aim to gathertogether in convenient arrangement and readable form what is at present known about the religion of theBabylonians and Assyrians. The investigations of scholars are scattered through a large variety of periodicalsand monographs. The time has come for focusing the results reached, for sifting the certain from theuncertain, and the uncertain from the false. This work of gathering the
disjecta membra
of Assyriologicalscience is essential to future progress. If I have succeeded in my chief aim, I shall feel amply repaid for thelabor involved.
Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, by Morris Jastrow2
 
In order that the book may serve as a guide to students, the names of those to whose researches our presentknowledge of the subject is due have frequently been introduced, and it will be found, I trust, that I have beenfair to all.[2] At the same time, I have naturally not hesitated to indicate my dissent from views advanced bythis or that scholar, and it will also be found, I trust, that in the course of my studies I have advanced theinterpretation of the general theme or of specific facts at various points. While, therefore, the book is only in asecondary degree sent forth as an original contribution, the discussion of mooted points will enhance its value,I hope, for the specialist, as well as for the general reader and student for whom, in the first place, the volumesof this series are intended.The disposition of the subject requires a word of explanation. After the two introductory chapters (common toall the volumes of the series) I have taken up the pantheon as the natural means to a survey of the field. Thepantheon is treated, on the basis of the historical texts, in four sections: (1) the old Babylonian period, (2) themiddle period, or the pantheon in the days of Hammurabi, (3) the Assyrian pantheon, and (4) the latest orneo-Babylonian period. The most difficult phase has naturally been the old Babylonian pantheon. Much isuncertain here. Not to speak of the chronology which is still to a large extent guesswork, the identification of many of the gods occurring in the oldest inscriptions, with their later equivalents, must be postponed till futurediscoveries shall have cleared away the many obstacles which beset the path of the scholar. The discoveries atTelloh and Nippur have occasioned a recasting of our views, but new problems have arisen as rapidly as oldones have been solved. I have been especially careful in this section not to pass beyond the range of what isdefinitely
known
, or, at the most, what may be regarded as tolerably certain. Throughout the chapters on thepantheon, I have endeavored to preserve the attitude of being 'open to conviction'--an attitude on which atpresent too much stress can hardly be laid.The second division of the subject is represented by the religious literature. With this literature as a guide, theviews held by the Babylonians and Assyrians regarding magic and oracles, regarding the relationship to thegods, the creation of the world, and the views of life after death have been illustrated by copious translations,together with discussions of the specimens chosen. The translations, I may add, have been made direct fromthe original texts, and aim to be as literal as is consonant with presentation in idiomatic English.The religious architecture, the history of the temples, and the cult form the subject of the third division. Hereagain there is much which is still uncertain, and this uncertainty accounts for the unequal subdivisions of thetheme which will not escape the reader.Following the general plan of the series, the last chapter of the book is devoted to a general estimate and to aconsideration of the influence exerted by the religion of Babylonia and Assyria.In the transliteration of proper names, I have followed conventional methods for well-known names (likeNebuchadnezzar), and the general usage of scholars in the case of others. In some cases I have furnished atransliteration of my own; and for the famous Assyrian king, to whom we owe so much of the material for thestudy of the Babylonian and Assyrian religion, Ashurbanabal, I have retained the older usage of writing itwith a
b
, following in this respect Lehman, whose arguments[3] in favor of this pronunciation for the lastelement in the name I regard as on the whole acceptable.I have reasons to regret the proportions to which the work has grown. These proportions were entirelyunforeseen when I began the book, and have been occasioned mainly by the large amount of material that hasbeen made available by numerous important publications that appeared after the actual writing of the bookhad begun. This constant increase of material necessitated constant revision of chapters; and such revision wasinseparable from enlargement. I may conscientiously say that I have studied these recent publicationsthoroughly as they appeared, and have embodied at the proper place the results reached by others and whichappeared to me acceptable. The work, therefore, as now given to the public may fairly be said to represent thestate of present knowledge.
Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, by Morris Jastrow3

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