Epic of Gilgamesh
The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia, regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about Bilgamesh, king of Uruk, dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur; these independent stories were used as source material for a combined epic in Akkadian. The first surviving version of this combined epic, known as the "Old Babylonian" version dates to the 18th century BC and is titled after its incipit, Shūtur eli sharrī. Only a few tablets of it have survived; the "standard" version compiled by Sîn-lēqi-unninni dates from the 13th to the 10th centuries BC and bears the incipit Sha naqba īmuru. Two thirds of this longer, twelve-tablet version have been recovered; some of the best copies were discovered in the library ruins of the 7th-century BC Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. The first half of the story discusses Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, Enkidu, a wild man created by the gods to stop Gilgamesh from oppressing the people of Uruk.
After Enkidu becomes civilized through sexual initiation with a prostitute, he travels to Uruk, where he challenges Gilgamesh to a test of strength. Gilgamesh wins the contest. Together, they make a six-day journey to the legendary Cedar Forest, where they plan to slay the Guardian, Humbaba the Terrible, cut down the sacred Cedar; the goddess Ishtar sends the Bull of Heaven to punish Gilgamesh for spurning her advances. Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill the Bull of Heaven after which the gods decide to sentence Enkidu to death and kill him. In the second half of the epic, distress over Enkidu's death causes Gilgamesh to undertake a long and perilous journey to discover the secret of eternal life, he learns that "Life, which you look for, you will never find. For when the gods created man, they let death be his share, life withheld in their own hands". However, because of his great building projects, his account of Siduri's advice, what the immortal man Utnapishtim told him about the Great Flood, Gilgamesh's fame survived well after his death with expanding interest in the Gilgamesh story, translated into many languages and is featured in works of popular fiction.
Distinct sources exist from over a 2000-year timeframe. The earliest Sumerian poems are now considered to be distinct stories, rather than parts of a single epic, they date from as early as the Third Dynasty of Ur. The Old Babylonian tablets, are the earliest surviving tablets for a single Epic of Gilgamesh narrative; the older Old Babylonian tablets and Akkadian version are important sources for modern translations, with the earlier texts used to fill in gaps in the texts. Although several revised versions based on new discoveries have been published, the epic remains incomplete. Analysis of the Old Babylonian text has been used to reconstruct possible earlier forms of the Epic of Gilgamesh; the most recent Akkadian version referred to as the standard version, consisting of twelve tablets, was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni and was found in the Library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh. The Epic of Gilgamesh was discovered by Austen Henry Layard, Hormuzd Rassam, W. K. Loftus in 1853; the central character of Gilgamesh was reintroduced to the world as "Izdubar", before the cuneiform logographs in his name could be pronounced accurately.
The first modern translation was published in the early 1870s by George Smith. Smith made further discoveries of texts on his expeditions, which culminated in his final translation, given in his book The Chaldaean Account of Genesis; the most definitive modern translation is a two-volume critical work by Andrew George, published by Oxford University Press in 2003. A book review by the Cambridge scholar, Eleanor Robson, claims that George's is the most significant critical work on Gilgamesh in the last 70 years. George discusses the state of the surviving material, provides a tablet-by-tablet exegesis, with a dual language side-by-side translation. In 2004, Stephen Mitchell supplied a controversial version that takes many liberties with the text and includes modernized allusions and commentary relating to the Iraq War of 2003; the first direct Arabic translation from the original tablets was made in the 1960s by the Iraqi archaeologist Taha Baqir. The discovery of artifacts associated with Enmebaragesi of Kish, mentioned in the legends as the father of one of Gilgamesh's adversaries, has lent credibility to the historical existence of Gilgamesh.
From the diverse sources found, two main versions of the epic have been reconstructed: the standard Akkadian version, or He who saw the deep, the Old Babylonian version, or Surpassing all other kings. Five earlier Sumerian poems about Gilgamesh have been recovered, some with primitive versions of specific episodes in the Akkadian version, others with unrelated stories; the standard version was discovered by Hormuzd Rassam in the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh in 1853. It was written in a dialect of Akkadian, used for literary purposes; this version was compiled by 1000 BC from earlier texts. The standard Akkadian version has incipit, from the older version; the older version begins with the words "Surpassing all other kings", while the standard version has "He who saw the deep", "deep" referring to the mysteries of the information brought back by Gilgamesh from his meeting with Uta-Napishti about Ea, the fountain of wisdom. Gilgamesh wa
Taylor & Francis
Taylor & Francis Group is an international company originating in England that publishes books and academic journals. It is a division of a United Kingdom-based publisher and conference company; the company was founded in 1852 when William Francis joined Richard Taylor in his publishing business. Taylor founded his company in 1798, their subjects covered agriculture, education, geography, mathematics and social sciences. From 1917 to 1930 Francis' son, Richard Taunton Francis was sole partner in the firm. In 1965 Taylor & Francis began book publishing. In 1988 it acquired Hemisphere Publishing and the company was renamed Taylor & Francis Group to reflect the growing number of imprints. In 1990 Taylor & Francis exited from the printing business to concentrate on publishing. In 1998 Taylor & Francis Group went public on the London Stock Exchange and in the same year the group purchased its academic publishing rival Routledge for £90 million. Acquisitions of other publishers has remained a core part of the group's business strategy.
Taylor & Francis merged with Informa in 2004 to create a new company called T&F Informa, since renamed back to Informa. Following the merger, T&F closed the historic Routledge books office in New Fetter Lane and relocated to its current headquarters in Milton Park, Oxfordshire. Taylor & Francis Group is now the academic publishing arm of Informa and accounted for 30.2% of Group Revenue and 38.1% of Adjusted Profit in 2017. Taylor & Francis publishes more than 2,700 journals, 7,000 new books each year, with a backlist of over 140,000 titles available in print and digital formats, it uses the Routledge imprint for its publishing in humanities, social sciences, behavioural sciences and education and the CRC Press imprint for its publishing in science, technology and mathematics. In 2017, T&F sold assets from its Garland Science imprint to W. W. Norton & Company and ceased to use that brand. Although considered the smallest of the'Big Four' STEM publishers, its Routledge imprint is claimed to be the largest global academic publisher within humanities and social sciences.
The company's journals have been delivered through the Taylor & Francis Online website since June 2011. Prior to that they were provided through the Informaworld website. Taylor & Francis ebooks are now available via the TaylorFrancis website. Taylor & Francis operates a number of Web services for its digital content including Routledge Handbooks Online, the Routledge Performance Archive, Secret Intelligence Files and Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Taylor & Francis offers Open Access publishing options in both its books and journals divisions and through its Cogent Open Access journals imprint. Taylor & Francis is a member of several professional publishing bodies including the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, the International Association of Scientific and Medical Publishers, the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers and The Publishers Association. In 2017, after collaborating for several years, T&F purchased specialist digital resources company Colwiz.
The group has 1,800 employees located in at least 18 offices worldwide. Its head office is based in Milton Park, Abingdon in the United Kingdom, with other offices in Stockholm, New York, Boca Raton, Kentucky, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Melbourne, Cape Town and New Delhi; the old Taylor and Francis logo depicts a hand pouring oil into a lit lamp, along with the Latin phrase "alere flammam" - to feed the flame. The modern logo is a stylised oil lamp in a circle. In 2013, the entire board of the Journal of Library Administration resigned in a dispute over author licensing agreements. In 2016 Critical Reviews in Toxicology was accused of being a "broker of junk science" by the Center for Public Integrity. Monsanto was found to have worked with an outside consulting firm to induce the journal to publish a biased review of the health effects of its product "Roundup". In 2017, Taylor & Francis was criticized for getting rid of the editor-in-chief of International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, who accepted articles critical of corporate interests.
The company replaced the editor with a corporate consultant without consulting the editorial board. The journal Cogent Social Sciences accepted a hoax article, "The conceptual penis as a social construct", rejected by another Taylor & Francis journal, NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies; when the authors announced the hoax, the article was retracted. In December 2018, the journal Dynamical Systems accepted the paper Saturation of Generalized Partially Hyperbolic Attractors only to have it retracted after publication due to the Iranian nationality of the authors; the European Mathematical Society condemned the retraction and announced that Taylor & Francis had agreed to reverse the decision. Previous instances of Taylor & Francis journals discriminating against Iranian authors were reported in 2013. Taylor & Francis academic journals Munroe, Mary H.. "Taylor & Francis". The Academic Publishing Industry: A Story of Merger and Acquisition. Northern Illinois University Libraries. Archived from the original on 2012-05-04.
Retrieved 2008-06-20. Brock, W. H. & Meadows, A. J.. The Lamp Of Learning: Taylor & Francis And Two Centuries Of Publishing. Taylor & Francis. Official website Taylor & Francis online journals and reference works Taylor & Francis eBooks Informa Divisions - Academic Publishing
Ninurta known as Ninĝirsu, is an ancient Mesopotamian god associated with farming, hunting, law and war, first worshipped in early Sumer. In the earliest records, he is a god of agriculture and healing, who releases humans from sickness and the power of demons. In times, as Mesopotamia grew more militarized, he became a warrior deity, though he retained many of his earlier agricultural attributes, he was regarded as the son of the chief god Enlil and his main cult center in Sumer was the Eshumesha temple in Nippur. Ninĝirsu was honored by King Gudea of Lagash. Ninurta became beloved by the Assyrians as a formidable warrior; the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II built a massive temple for him at Kalhu, which became his most important cult center from on. After the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Ninurta's statues were torn down and his temples abandoned because he had become too associated with the Assyrian regime, which many conquered peoples saw as tyrannical and oppressive. In the epic poem Lugal-e, Ninurta slays the demon Asag using his talking mace Sharur and uses stones to build the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to make them useful for irrigation.
In a poem sometimes referred to as the "Sumerian Georgica", Ninurta provides agricultural advice to farmers. In an Akkadian myth, he was the champion of the gods against the Anzû bird after it stole the Tablet of Destinies from his father Enlil and, in a myth, alluded to in many works but never preserved, he killed a group of warriors known as the "Slain Heroes", his major symbols were a plow. Ninurta may have been the inspiration for the figure of Nimrod, a "mighty hunter", mentioned in association with Kalhu in the Book of Genesis, he may be mentioned in the Second Book of Kings under the name Nisroch. In the nineteenth century, Assyrian stone reliefs of winged, eagle-headed figures from the temple of Ninurta at Kalhu were but erroneously, identified as "Nisrochs" and they appear in works of fantasy literature from the time period. Ninurta was worshipped in Mesopotamia as early as the middle of the third millennium BC by the ancient Sumerians, is one of the earliest attested deities in the region.
His main cult center was the Eshumesha temple in the Sumerian city-state of Nippur, where he was worshipped as the god of agriculture and the son of the chief-god Enlil. Though they may have been separate deities, in historical times, the god Ninĝirsu, worshipped in the Sumerian city-state of Girsu, was always identified as a local form of Ninurta. According to the Assyriologists Jeremy Black and Anthony Green, the two gods' personalities are "closely intertwined". King Gudea of Lagash dedicated himself to Ninĝirsu and the Gudea cylinders, dating to c. 2125 BC, record how he rebuilt the temple of Ninĝirsu in Lagash as the result of a dream in which he was instructed to do so. The Gudea cylinders record the longest surviving account written in the Sumerian language known to date. Gudea's son Ur-Ninĝirsu incorporated Ninĝirsu's name as part of his own; as the city-state of Girsu declined in importance, Ninĝirsu became known as "Ninurta". Though Ninurta was worshipped as a god of agriculture, in times, as Mesopotamia became more urban and militarized, he began to be seen as a warrior deity instead.
He became characterized by the aggressive, warlike aspect of his nature. In spite of this, however, he continued to be seen as a healer and protector, he was invoked in spells to protect against demons and other dangers. In times, Ninurta's reputation as a fierce warrior made him immensely popular among the Assyrians. In the late second millennium BC, Assyrian kings held names which included the name of Ninurta, such as Tukulti-Ninurta, Ninurta-apal-Ekur, Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur. Tukulti-Ninurta I declares in one inscription that he hunts "at the command of the god Ninurta, who loves me." Adad-nirari II claimed Ninurta and Aššur as supporters of his reign, declaring his destruction of their enemies as moral justification for his right to rule. In the ninth century BC, when Ashurnasirpal II moved the capital of the Assyrian Empire to Kalhu, the first temple he built there was one dedicated to Ninurta; the walls of the temple were decorated with stone relief carvings, including one of Ninurta slaying the Anzû bird.
Ashurnasirpal II's son Shalmaneser III completed Ninurta's ziggurat at Kalhu and dedicated a stone relief of himself to the god. On the carving, Shalmaneser III's boasts of his military exploits and credits all his victories to Ninurta, declaring that, without Ninurta's aid, none of them would have been possible; when Adad-nirari III dedicated a new endowment to the temple of Aššur in Assur, they were sealed with both the seal of Aššur and the seal of Ninurta. Assyrian stone reliefs from the Kalhu period show Aššur as a winged disc, with Ninurta's name written beneath it, indicating the two were seen as near-equals. After the capital of Assyria was moved away from Kalhu, Ninurta's importance in the pantheon began to decline. Sargon II favored the god of scribes, over Ninurta. Nonetheless, Ninurta still remained an important deity. After the kings of Assyria left Kalhu, the inhabitants of the former capital continued to venerate Ninurta, who they called "Ninurta residing in Kalhu". Legal documents from the city record that those who violated their oaths were requi
Cuneiform or Sumerian cuneiform, one of the earliest systems of writing, was invented by the Sumerians. It is distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets, made by means of a blunt reed for a stylus; the name cuneiform itself means "wedge shaped". Emerging in Sumer in the late fourth millennium BC to convey the Sumerian language, a language isolate, cuneiform writing began as a system of pictograms, stemming from an earlier system of shaped tokens used for accounting. In the third millennium, the pictorial representations became simplified and more abstract as the number of characters in use grew smaller; the system consists of a combination of consonantal alphabetic and syllabic signs. The original Sumerian script was adapted for the writing of the Semitic Akkadian and Amorite languages, the language isolates Elamite, Hattic and Urartian, as well as Indo-European languages Hittite and Luwian. Cuneiform writing was replaced by the Phoenician alphabet during the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
By the second century AD, the script had become extinct, its last traces being found in Assyria and Babylonia, all knowledge of how to read it was lost until it began to be deciphered in the 19th century. Geoffrey Sampson stated that Egyptian hieroglyphs "came into existence a little after Sumerian script, invented under the influence of the latter", that it is "probable that the general idea of expressing words of a language in writing was brought to Egypt from Sumerian Mesopotamia". There are many instances of Egypt-Mesopotamia relations at the time of the invention of writing, standard reconstructions of the development of writing place the development of the Summerian proto-cuneiform script before the development of Egyptian hierogplyphs, with the suggestion the former influenced the latter. Between half a million and two million cuneiform tablets are estimated to have been excavated in modern times, of which only 30,000–100,000 have been read or published; the British Museum holds the largest collection, followed by the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin, the Louvre, the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, the National Museum of Iraq, the Yale Babylonian Collection and Penn Museum.
Most of these have "lain in these collections for a century without being translated, studied or published", as there are only a few hundred qualified cuneiformists in the world. An ancient Mesopotamian poem gives the first known story of the invention of writing: Because the messager's mouth was heavy and he couldn't repeat, the Lord of Kulaba pattes some clay and put words on it, like a tablet; until there had been no putting words on clay. The cuneiform writing system was in use for more than three millennia, through several stages of development, from the 31st century BC down to the second century AD, it was replaced by alphabetic writing in the course of the Roman era, there are no cuneiform systems in current use. It had to be deciphered as a unknown writing system in 19th-century Assyriology. Successful completion of its deciphering is dated to 1857; the cuneiform script was developed from pictographic proto-writing in the late 4th millennium BC, stemming from the near eastern token system used for accounting.
These tokens were in use from the 9th millennium BC and remained in occasional use late in the 2nd millennium BC. It has been suggested that the token shapes were the original basis for some of the Sumerian pictographs. Mesopotamia's "proto-literate" period spans the 35th to 32nd centuries; the first documents unequivocally written in Sumerian date to the 31st century BC at Jemdet Nasr. Pictographs were either drawn on clay tablets in vertical columns with a sharpened reed stylus or incised in stone; this early style lacked the characteristic wedge shape of the strokes. Certain signs to indicate names of gods, cities, birds, etc. are known as determinatives and were the Sumerian signs of the terms in question, added as a guide for the reader. Proper names continued to be written in purely "logographic" fashion; the earliest known Sumerian king whose name appears on contemporary cuneiform tablets is Enmebaragesi of Kish. Surviving records only gradually become less fragmentary and more complete for the following reigns, but by the end of the pre-Sargonic period, it had become standard practice for each major city-state to date documents by year-names commemorating the exploits of its lugal.
From about 2900 BC, many pictographs began to lose their original function, a given sign could have various meanings depending on context. The sign inventory was reduced from some 1,500 signs to some 600 signs, writing became phonological. Determinative signs were re-introduced to avoid ambiguity. Cuneiform writing proper thus arises from the more primitive system of pictographs at about that time. In the mid-3rd millennium BC, the direction of writing was changed to left-to-right in horizontal rows and a new wedge-tipped stylus was introduced, pushed into the clay, producing wedge-shaped signs. By adjusting the relative position of the tablet to the stylus, the writer could use a single tool to make a variety of impressions. Cuneiform tablets could be fired in kilns to bake them hard, so provide a permanent record, or they could be left moist and recycled, if permanence was not needed. Man
The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum; the museum is housed in the Louvre Palace built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the urban expansion of the city, the fortress lost its defensive function and, in 1546, was converted by Francis I into the main residence of the French Kings; the building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre as a place to display the royal collection, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons.
The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces; the museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801; the collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown through donations and bequests since the Third Republic; the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities. The Louvre Palace, which houses the museum, was begun as a fortress by Philip II in the 12th century to protect the city from English soldiers which were in Normandy.
Remnants of this castle are still visible in the crypt. Whether this was the first building on that spot is not known. According to the authoritative Grand Larousse encyclopédique, the name derives from an association with wolf hunting den. In the 7th century, St. Fare, an abbess in Meaux, left part of her "Villa called Luvra situated in the region of Paris" to a monastery.. The Louvre Palace was altered throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I renovated the site in French Renaissance style. Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed. Four generations of Boulle were granted Royal patronage and resided in the Louvre in the following order: Pierre Boulle, Jean Boulle, Andre-Charles Boulle and his four sons, after him. André-Charles Boulle is the most famous French cabinetmaker and the preeminent artist in the field of marquetry known as "Inlay".
Boulle was "the most remarkable of all French cabinetmakers". He was commended to Louis XIV of France, the "Sun King", by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as being "the most skilled craftsman in his profession". Before the fire of 1720 destroyed them, André-Charles Boulle held priceless works of art in the Louvre, including forty-eight drawings by Raphael'. By the mid-18th century there were an increasing number of proposals to create a public gallery, with the art critic La Font de Saint-Yenne publishing, in 1747, a call for a display of the royal collection. On 14 October 1750, Louis XV agreed and sanctioned a display of 96 pieces from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture of the Luxembourg Palace. A hall was opened by Le Normant de Tournehem and the Marquis de Marigny for public viewing of the Tableaux du Roy on Wednesdays and Saturdays, contained Andrea del Sarto's Charity and works by Raphael. Under Louis XVI, the royal museum idea became policy; the comte d'Angiviller broadened the collection and in 1776 proposed conversion of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre – which contained maps – into the "French Museum".
Many proposals were offered for the Louvre's renovation into a museum. Hence the museum remained incomplete until the French Revolution. During the French Revolution the Louvre was transformed into a public museum. In May 1791, the Assembly declared that the Louvre would be "a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts". On 10 August 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection i
Religious syncretism exhibits blending of two or more religious belief systems into a new system, or the incorporation into a religious tradition of beliefs from unrelated traditions. It is contrasted by the idea of polytheism, respectively; this can occur for many reasons, the latter scenario happens quite in areas where multiple religious traditions exist in proximity and function in the culture, or when a culture is conquered, the conquerors bring their religious beliefs with them, but do not succeed in eradicating the old beliefs or practices. Religions may have syncretic elements to their beliefs or history, but adherents of so-labeled systems frown on applying the label adherents who belong to "revealed" religious systems, such as the Abrahamic religions, or any system that exhibits an exclusivist approach; such adherents sometimes see syncretism as a betrayal of their pure truth. By this reasoning, adding an incompatible belief corrupts the original religion, rendering it no longer true.
Indeed, critics of a specific syncretistic trend may sometimes use the word "syncretism" as a disparaging epithet, as a charge implying that those who seek to incorporate a new view, belief, or practice into a religious system distort the original faith. The consequence, according to Keith Ferdinando, is a fatal compromise of the dominant religion's integrity. Non-exclusivist systems of belief, on the other hand, may feel quite free to incorporate other traditions into their own. In modern secular society, religious innovators sometimes create new religions syncretically as a mechanism to reduce inter-religious tension and enmity with the effect of offending the original religions in question; such religions, however, do maintain some appeal to a less exclusivist audience. Discussions of some of these blended religions appear in the individual sections below. Classical Athens was exclusive in matters of religion; the Decree of Diopeithes made the introduction of and belief in foreign gods a criminal offence and only Greeks were allowed to worship in Athenian temples and festivals as foreigners were considered impure.
On the other hand, Athens imported many foreign cults, including those of Cybele and the Thracian goddess Bendis, in some cases this involved a merging of identities: for example, who had traditionally been regarded as a mortal hero, began here and elsewhere in the Aegean world to be identified as a divine figure under the influence of Eastern counterparts like the Tyrian Melqart. Syncretism functioned as a feature of Hellenistic Ancient Greek religion, although only outside of Greece. Overall, Hellenistic culture in the age that followed Alexander the Great itself showed syncretist features blending of Mesopotamian, Anatolian, Egyptian elements within an Hellenic formula; the Egyptian god Amun developed as the Hellenized Zeus Ammon after Alexander the Great went into the desert to seek out his oracle at Siwa. Such identifications derive from interpretatio graeca, the Hellenic habit of identifying gods of disparate mythologies with their own; when the proto-Greeks first arrived in the Aegean and on the mainland of modern-day Greece early in the 2nd millennium BCE, they found localized nymphs and divinities connected with every important feature of the landscape: mountain, cave and spring all had their own locally venerated deity.
The countless epithets of the Olympian gods reflect their syncretic identification with these various figures. One defines "Zeus Molossos" as "the god identical to Zeus as worshipped by the Molossians at Dodona". Much of the arbitrary and trivial mythic fabling results from mythographers' attempts to explain these obscure epithets; the Romans, identifying themselves as common heirs to a similar civilization, identified Greek deities with similar figures in the Etruscan-Roman tradition, though without copying cult practices. Syncretic gods of the Hellenistic period found wide favor in Rome: Serapis and Mithras, for example. Cybele as worshipped in Rome represented a syncretic East Mediterranean goddess; the Romans imported the Greek god Dionysus into Rome, where he merged with the Latin mead god Liber, converted the Anatolian Sabazios into the Roman Sabazius. The degree of correspondence varied: Jupiter makes a better match for Zeus than the rural huntress Diana does for the feared Artemis. Ares does not quite match Mars.
The Romans physically imported the Anatolian goddess Cybele into Rome from her Anatolian cult-center Pessinos in the form of her original aniconic archaic stone idol. When the Romans encountered Celts and Germanic peoples, they mingled these peoples' gods with their own, creating Sulis Minerva, Apollo Sucellos and Mars Thingsus, among many others. In the Germania, the Roman historian Tacitus speaks of Germanic worshippers of Mercury. Romans were familiar with the concept of syncretism because from their earliest times they had experienced it with, among others, the Greeks; the Romans incorporated the Greek Apollo and Hercules into their religion. They did not look at the religious aspects that they adopted from other cultures to be different or less meaningful from religious aspects that were Roman in origin; the early Roman acceptance of other cultures religions into
Tell Asmar Hoard
The Tell Asmar Hoard are a collection of twelve statues unearthed in 1933 at Eshnunna in the Diyala Governorate of Iraq. Despite subsequent finds at this site and others throughout the greater Mesopotamian area, they remain the definitive example of the abstract style of Early Dynastic temple sculpture. In the late 1920s antique dealers in Baghdad were acquiring large quantities of unusual, high quality artifacts from the desert east of the Diyala River, just north of its confluence with the Tigris. In 1929 the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago obtained a concession to excavate the area. James Henry Breasted, the founder of the institute, invited the Dutch Archeologist Henri Frankfort to lead the expedition. Between 1930 and 1937 Frankfort and his team conducted extensive horizontal and vertical excavations on four mounds: Khafajah, Tell Asmar, Tell Agrab, Ishchali, they uncovered temples, administrative buildings, houses ranging in date from about 3100 to 1750 B. C; the hundreds of artifacts recovered from the stratified ruins of these ancient civic structures enhanced understanding of Early Dynastic periodization.
Among the most well-known and best preserved objects are the twelve statues known collectively as the Tell Asmar Hoard. The hoard was found during the 1933-34 excavation season at Tell Asmar beneath the floor of a temple dedicated to the god Abu; the statues were neatly stacked in an oblong cavity beside an altar in the sanctuary. The careful placement suggests. However, the reason for the burial and person responsible for doing so remains unclear. Frankfort, who wrote extensively on the subject, suggests that a priest periodically buried old or badly damaged statues in order to make room in the temple for their replacements; the statues of the Tell Asmar Hoard range in height from 21 cm to 72 cm. Of the twelve statues found ten are male and two are female. Eight of the figures are made from Gypsum, two from limestone, one from alabaster. All the figures, with the exception of one, kneeling, are rendered in a standing position. Thin circular bases were used as supports and large wedge shaped feet provided the larger statues with added durability.
The males wear kilts with a patterned hem that covers thighs. Their broad shoulders and thick, circular arms frame the bare chest, covered by a black, stylized beard. All the males, with the exception of one, bald and clean shaven, have long hair rendered in two symmetrical halves that frames the smooth surfaces of the cheeks and forehead; the large eyes, which are undoubtedly the most striking stylistic feature that the statues share in common, are made from inlays of white shell and black limestone. These materials are secured to the head with bitumen, used as a pigment to give the beard and hair its characteristic black color. Both the hair and the clothing, though abstracted reflect Sumerian styles of the Early Dynastic period; the hoard was discovered in a temple dedicated to the ancient Near Eastern god of fertility. Evidence from Early Dynastic ruins at Khafajah suggests that the statues may have been arranged along the walls of the sanctuary either on the floor or on a low mud brick bench before they were buried.
Some of the statues are inscribed on the back and bottom with a name and personalized supplicatory message, while others state “one who offers prayers.” These inscriptions indicate that the statues functioned as a surrogate for male and female worshipers who wished to leave their prayers with the god. In the 3rd millennium B. C. the price for a votive statue depended on its size, what stone was used. Frankfort argued that the largest figure in the hoard is not an effigy of a human worshiper, but rather a representation of the patron deity Abu, he calls attention to a number of features that set this particular statue apart from the rest including: the size, the unnaturally large eyes the pupils, the emblematic carving of an eagle with outstretched wings flanked by two recumbent mountain goats carved on the base. Henri Frankfort, Thorkild Jacobsen, Conrad Preusser, Tell Asmar and Khafaje: The First Season Work in Eshnunna 1930/31, Oriental Institute Publication 13, 1932 Henri Frankfort, Tell Asmar and Khorsabad: Second Preliminary Report of the Iraq Expedition, Oriental Institute Publication 16, 1933 Henri Frankfort, Iraq Excavations of the Oriental Institute 1932/33: Third Preliminary Report of the Iraq Expedition, Oriental Institute Publication 17, 1934 Henri Frankfort with a chapter by Thorkild Jacobsen, Oriental Institute Discoveries in Iraq, 1933/34: Fourth Preliminary Report of the Iraq Expedition, Oriental Institute Publication 19, 1935 Henri Frankfort, Progress of the Work of the Oriental Institute in Iraq, 1934/35: Fifth Preliminary Report of the Iraq Expedition, Oriental Institute Publication 20, 1936 Henri Frankfort, Seton Lloyd, Thorkild Jacobsen with a chapter by Günter Martiny, The Gimilsin Temple and the Palace of the Rulers at Tell Asmar, Oriental Institute Publication 43, 1940 Evans, Jean.
2012. The Lives Of Sumerian Sculpture: An Archaeology of the Early Dynastic Temple. Chicago: University of Chicago. Evans, Jean. 2007. The Square Temple at Tell Asmar and the Construction of Early Dynastic Mesopotamia, ca. 2900-2350 B. C. E. American Journal of Archaeology 4: 599-632. Frankfort, Henri. 1939. Sculpture of the 3rd Millennium B. C. from Tell Asmar and Khafajah. The University of Chicago, Oriental Institute Publications 60. Chicago. 1943. More Sculpture from the Diyala Reg