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Argumenta ad deum in the plague prayers of Mursili II and in the Book of Psalms

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Chapter Summary

This chapter compares the arguments of sufferers from two different religious and cultural backgrounds: the arguments in the prayers of the Hittite king Mursili II and the arguments in the biblical Book of Psalms. In both cases, the supplicants constructed so-called argumenta ad deum, arguments that they believed would be able to convince the gods, because they were in agreement with the way the gods were thought to be or thought to think. The Hittite prayers contain many argumenta ad deum, more than any other extra-biblical text from the ancient Near East discovered until now. A new translation of the Hittite prayers as well as an excellent introduction can be found in a recent book by the Hittitologist Itamar Singer. The quotations from these prayers, used in this article, are taken from Singer's translation. Argumenta ad deum are especially found in Mursili’s prayers concerning a virulent plague.

Keywords: argumenta ad deum; biblical text; Hittite prayers; Itamar Singer; Mursili II; Psalms; virulent plague

10.1163/ej.9789004160323.i-306.64
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004160323.i-306.64
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