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On the Ancient Mesopotamian Concept of "Taboo"

Autor Böck, Barbara
Fecha de publicación 2016
EditorMohr Siebeck
Citación A. Weissenrieder (ed.), Borders: Terminologies, Ideologies and Performances. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016, 305-321
ResumenTransgressions of the Ancient Mesopotamian religious, moral and social code are subject to divine punishment and are followed by all types of misfortune. Both the Sumerian and Akkadian languages have provided a rich vocabulary to describe the concept of the invisible line or zone that separates good from evil, the sacred from the profane, and the appropriate from the improper, as well as terms for the physical marking of the border between these areas in rituals. Often the word “taboo” is employed to refer to something which is set apart from the ordinary and as such consecrated or prohibited.1 As a term borrowed from another cultural worldview and religious outlook, “taboo” does not properly fit the Ancient Mesopotamian evidence2 and has been used here only initially in the meaning of “something inapproachable or unattainable” and therefore “untouchable.”
The following discussion addresses the issues of the native terminology and its underlying cognitive concept, the forms of transgression and their contextual frame, the physical impact of divine punishment on the human body, and those rituals that set an example for the function of borders.
Versión del editorhttps://www.mohr.de/en/book/borders-terminologies-ideologies-and-performances-9783161543753
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10261/148534
ISBN 978-3-16-154375-3
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