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The Induction of the Cult Image in Ancient Mesopotamia: The Mesopotamian Mis Pî Ritual
State Archives of Assyria Literary Texts, Volume I
by Christopher Walker and Michael Dick

Helsinki 2001 • 175 x 250 mm • Pp. viii + 268 + CD with tablet photographs
Paper • $119.00 • ISBN 951-45-9048-1

Thanks to George Bernard Shaw, everyone knows the story of Pygmalion and the statue that was brought to life. But the idea of bringing statues to life long predates the classical period. At last the critical edition of the Mesopotamian "Washing of the Mouth" (Mis Pî) ritual has been published. This volume contains all the known texts of the 6 to 8 tablet ritual, including both ritual and incantation tablets; the volume includes new photographs of all the cuneiform manuscripts on a CD-ROM in high quality jpeg format. This book will be of interest to Assyriologists, scholars of the Hebrew Bible, and students of ancient religion and magic. This was the Mesopotamian ritual whereby the cult image was consecrated as the god, in essence, "brought to life." So here we have the most elaborate theology of the cult image preserved anywhere in the ancient world. The original Akkadian and Sumerian texts are given together with English translation. The book begins with an introduction both to the divine cult image in Mesopootamia and to the history of the Mis Pî ritual.
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