Divine love is the central theme of many ancient Mesopotamian compositions. Both Sumerian and Akkadian texts poetically describe the love and sexual relationship between gods. The object of this study is to analyze the metaphorical language used to describe divine love relationships, focusing in particular on the use of images from agriculture, pastoralism, and the plant world. Such metaphors contribute to the creation and at the same time to the reinforcement of a sexual imaginary, not only divine but also human. Divine sexuality and the metaphors used to describe it would, over the millennia, become paradigms for understanding and thinking about human sexuality: male power and vigor, female desire, and sexual intercourse. I will start with the description of the goddesses' sexual bodies. The body and genitalia of the goddesses are described using a metaphorical universe proper not only to the agricultural landscape, but also to the plant world, hence the famous expression of the Assyriologist Wilfred Lambert (1975) according to which Mesopotamian love poetry refers mainly to 'gardens, fruits, and salads', to which James Cooper (1989: 88) rightly adds, in reference to the pastoral world, 'a healthy dose of dairy (butter, milk, cream, cheese)'. I will consider the literature of divine love in Sumerian language from the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 2nd millennium, as well as literary and magical-medical compositions in Akkadian language from the 2nd and 1st millennium that have as their object not only divine love but also a human one. I will show how Sumerian figurative language intended to describe divine sexuality, particularly of goddesses, provides a metaphorical device for describing female (and male) sexuality in later millennia.

gioele zisa (2021). Il corpo sessuato delle dee. Agricoltura, pastorizia e mondo vegetale nella Mesopotamia antica. In D. Bonanno, I.E. Buttitta (a cura di), Narrazioni e rappresentazioni del sacro femminile. Atti del convegno internazionale di studi in memoria di Giuseppe Martorana (pp. 29-60). Palermo : Museo Pasqualino.

Il corpo sessuato delle dee. Agricoltura, pastorizia e mondo vegetale nella Mesopotamia antica

gioele zisa
2021

Abstract

Divine love is the central theme of many ancient Mesopotamian compositions. Both Sumerian and Akkadian texts poetically describe the love and sexual relationship between gods. The object of this study is to analyze the metaphorical language used to describe divine love relationships, focusing in particular on the use of images from agriculture, pastoralism, and the plant world. Such metaphors contribute to the creation and at the same time to the reinforcement of a sexual imaginary, not only divine but also human. Divine sexuality and the metaphors used to describe it would, over the millennia, become paradigms for understanding and thinking about human sexuality: male power and vigor, female desire, and sexual intercourse. I will start with the description of the goddesses' sexual bodies. The body and genitalia of the goddesses are described using a metaphorical universe proper not only to the agricultural landscape, but also to the plant world, hence the famous expression of the Assyriologist Wilfred Lambert (1975) according to which Mesopotamian love poetry refers mainly to 'gardens, fruits, and salads', to which James Cooper (1989: 88) rightly adds, in reference to the pastoral world, 'a healthy dose of dairy (butter, milk, cream, cheese)'. I will consider the literature of divine love in Sumerian language from the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 2nd millennium, as well as literary and magical-medical compositions in Akkadian language from the 2nd and 1st millennium that have as their object not only divine love but also a human one. I will show how Sumerian figurative language intended to describe divine sexuality, particularly of goddesses, provides a metaphorical device for describing female (and male) sexuality in later millennia.
Settore L-OR/03 - Assiriologia
Settore L-OR/01 - Storia Del Vicino Oriente Antico
Settore M-DEA/01 - Discipline Demoetnoantropologiche
Settore M-STO/06 - Storia Delle Religioni
978-88-97035-75-6
gioele zisa (2021). Il corpo sessuato delle dee. Agricoltura, pastorizia e mondo vegetale nella Mesopotamia antica. In D. Bonanno, I.E. Buttitta (a cura di), Narrazioni e rappresentazioni del sacro femminile. Atti del convegno internazionale di studi in memoria di Giuseppe Martorana (pp. 29-60). Palermo : Museo Pasqualino.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Il corpo sessuato delle dee.pdf

Solo gestori archvio

Descrizione: contributo convegno su volume
Tipologia: Versione Editoriale
Dimensione 1.71 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.71 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/494631
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact